Friday Question of the Day – What Restaurants did you once Love but no Longer Do?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Rich Renomeron

While I usually try to be more positive with these questions, yesterday’s post about the Washington Post food critic being disappointed with Birch & Barley got me wondering about other “onetime trendsetters”. Do you have any restaurants/bars that you used to love when they first opened but no longer like them now? If so, what changed?

323 Comment

  • Eatonville, sadly. I used to go there about once a week to meet up with friends, enjoy happy hour, and order lots of the mac and cheese. Between the change in management and a seemingly downhill turn of the food quality, I haven’t been back in over a year. Very sad.

    • have to agree with this. used to love Eatonville and everything about it. moved into the hood in late 2013, went twice, it was a let down both times.

      • Sad to hear that, I had really good Jambalaya there in 2010, was hoping to make it back there some time soon…

        • Black & Orange is good when it’s good, but terribly inconsistent. Even though I live only a few blocks away, I’ve stopped going because I never know if I’ll get a good burger or a meh burger. Shake Shack and BTS are my favorites now, though Five Guys makes a consistently good burger as well.

          • Hm this was meant for the burger discussion below. That said, I live two blocks from Eatonville and rarely go unless we have people visiting and can’t get a reservation for any of the other 14th ST places.

    • Haven’t been back to Eatonville since I was served a deep-fried and breaded “poached” egg for brunch one day.

    • I walk by Eatonville every day/night and it’s just empty, empty, empty. That space is palatial, like so many DC restaurants.

      • what dc restaurants are palatial?

        • Most new places popping up are large. Or perhaps a better way of saying it is: few are small (in the way that many much-hyped NY or SF places are small). From Ted’s to Doi Moi, to the two-floored (!) Diego’s, to the new Bluejacket to the new places on the SW waterfront, to places like Eatonville, to Diplomate, and on and on.

  • i used to *love* Shaw’s Tavern when it first opened for about the first year or so, then when a new chef and/or management came it, the service and food quality both QUICKLY went downhill and frankly has never recovered (although I haven’t been in months since I have essentially given up, but several friends have recently echoed my opinion).

    • Shaw’s Tavern is terrible! The service is incredibly slow and brings out the wrong order every three or four times.

      The food is incredibly expensive for its low quality. I keep going back because friends organize events there and I keep getting my fill of regret.

    • I usually have a good experience at Shaw Tavern. I did like their old menu better than their current one.

      I like the host that gives high fives. Kinda corny, but it puts me in a good mood for drinking every time.

    • I’ve been to Shaw’s Tavern 4 or 5 times and I’ve always had a great experience. Brunch and early dinners mostly. No complaints from me at all!

  • Five Guys. I’m team Shake Shack for now.

    • +1. SS trumps 5Gs skunky grey meat, bloated dough rolls, and soggy-ass fries.

      • I don’t know why anyone would go to either of these places other than tourists. There are so many better burger places all over the city. Black & Orange, BTS, BGR, Good Stuff, etc., just to name a few.

        • Why do people love Black & Orange? Maybe I went on a bad night. I thought it was just ok, nothing great. I remember thinking the fries seemed like they came from frozen potatoes/were gross. Prefer Good Stuff.

          • B&O was good when it first opened, but now it’s kinda awful. Hasn’t been very good for the last 1.5 years.

          • I liked Black and Orange in its original iteration as Rouge States. For some reason, since reopening, it hasn’t been able to live up to the same standard and the 14th Street location has never been as good. I agree with you, though, it’s not awful, but it’s just OK.

          • “I liked Black and Orange in its original iteration as Rouge States. For some reason, since reopening, it hasn’t been able to live up to the same standard”

            Presumably that’s because the original owner sold his stake @ that time. Don’t remember his name, but he recently opened up a new restaurant/bar/butcher shop in downtown Silver Spring called Urban Butcher. Went last weekend and it was pretty damn tasty.

        • Black and Orange, Good Stuff…really? Shake Shack beats both of those places six days a week and twice on Sunday. That said, I’ve never understood the love for 5 Guys. When I moved here in 2001 it was still a local-only operation and had such a mystique about it. When I finally ate there all I could wonder was why people got so excited about soggy fries and cheeseburgers so laden with grease as to almost be mushy. 5 Guys makes awful burgers and fries.

    • No, way, I’ll take 5 Guys over Shake Shack any day.

      • Oh yeah. Five Guys is the best mid-range burger in town. (The 5G, SS, ZB category.) I work next door to SS and have to go there with colleagues every couple of months. I’m invariably let down.

      • Does my luck just suck? Two trips to 5 Guys yielded two fried — not grilled — burgers cooked to to the color of a menacing sky and topped with tasteless near-cheese. I don;t see the appeal.

        • Same experience for me. I’ve been 4 or 5 times and I’ve never had a good meal there. The meat is just terrible: dry, flavorless, and grey.

        • I think the problem with Five Guys is consistency across the locations. I’ve had luck at some locations and had pretty bad burgers at others. Oddly enough, the most consistently good location in my experience is the one near my parents in suburban Ohio.

  • wonderland. different crowd now.

    • And a limited menu way too often… I thinks it’s been a year since I was able to successfully order a burger there — seems linked to their embrace of adult lawn sports.. Miss the spot though… Jazz outside on Sundays used to be the best.

    • not really related to food as they dont serve any lol

      but thats exactly how i feel about miss whiskey
      used to be ,y favorite bar on h when they first opened up. before the big shiny door and lights etc
      when you didnt really know unless you knew

      now its ugh…

      • This is how I’m starting to feel about almost all of my favorite placed in DC.

      • Well, they certainly do serve food. It may be run of the mill fried bar food, but I thought it was fine for what is was. The clientele most certainly has changed over the years though.

        • Miss whiskeys doesnt
          wonderland does…

          i guess the food at whiskeys is as good as you make it as you can bring any food you would like in

      • I could not agree more about Little Miss Whiskey’s. I used to absolutely love it. I’ll still go now, but more because I’m hoping I’ll have as much fun there as I used to. It’s still a pretty good spot to hang out on non-crowded weeknights.

    • +1, but to Wonderland’s credit they haven’t really changed much of anything – it just got to be known as a great bar.

      It’s still about the best place to be on a nice summer weekday evening, though!

      • Yes. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole on the weekends, but it’s still pretty awesome for a couple of drinks on the patio early in the evening, and the food really isn’t bad at all. I’m a big fan of their fries.

      • I think with Wonderland the clientele stayed the same age it has always been while we all got old.

    • You got older, but they stayed the same age, honey.

  • Founding Farmers has gone downhill…such a shame. It was a great place to catch up with friends over drinks and a fresh meal. Now the popcorn has gone flat, the bread choices are uninspired and the drinks are trying too hard.
    The menu execution is sloppy at best.

    Maybe they are funneling all of their culinary creativity over at the sister location- Farmers, Fishers, Bakers.

    • And speaking of Tom Sietsema, he wholeheartedly agrees with you about Founding Farmers. You don’t see many places get half a star.

    • Founding Farmers was the first place that popped to mind for me, as well. Though, I haven’t been all that impressed with Farmers, Fishers, Bakers (other than their brunch) the last few times I went there, either.

    • em

      My wife agrees on Founding Farmers. I went there with work colleagues a couple of months ago and found it to be okay (read: not quite as downhill as others have said), but definitely no longer a star.

    • Their Rockville location is even worse. It’s like their goal is to shepard everyone in and out of there ASAP.

    • Founding Farmers made it into a lot of DC guidebooks. It’s for tourists, who will continue to pack it in as long as Frommers tells them to go there. The management has little incentive to have consistent good quality food. I loved it at first and have been disappointed the last few times (the last time was a disaster, but really that was because it was a horrible date). I’ll give that one to the touists though, there are plenty of other good places.

  • Dukem – after the owner returned to Addis several years ago, quality has severely declined.

    • I thought dukem was one of the more overly hyped places in the District. This would be a good explanation (used to be amazing, not so much now).

    • +1
      Was a childhood favorite, now its just disappointing. At least its expensive…

    • I’m not an expert on Ethiopian food – Dukem was actually my introduction to it – but I went most recently this past June and thought it was really pretty good. The restaurant space itself has gotten rather dingy and run down looking, but I didn’t notice an appreciable difference in the food.

  • i still love meridian pint, but I’ve had two raw burgers served to me in the past 6 months, so I pretty much only love them for their beer list now.

    • Yeah, Meridian Pint has some issues. It is unfortunate. Servers can be hit or miss, too (mostly miss, lately!).

    • I used to love Meridian Pint but the last time I was there, the bartender downstairs kept insinuating that he was going to have to stop serving my friend and me because we were too drunk. He also made comments about how we shouldn’t drive home. We were not drunk. Or loud. Or causing a raucous. It felt like bullying and kind of ruined my night. It came right out of left field. We weren’t at a church or a library for goodness sakes! I’ve been too scared to go back since.

      • I can see if that’s annoying if you weren’t drunk. It’s happened to me before too. However, I wish more bartenders around the city would do this more often. Especially encourage the patrons not to drive. Remember, it’s their right and responsibility to do that.

      • I am proud to say I have only been shut off at a bar once but it was warranted since my buddy had just fallen off of his bar stool.

    • I used to love Meridian Pint as well until the staff and owner grossly mishandled a serious situation…haven’t been back since.

    • I love their beer list too and used to go a lot when they first opened. I was by no means a regular, but I ran into one or two of the bartenders elsewhere and they would wave hi. Last time I went, just last month, I was sitting at the downstairs bar and I couldn’t even get the bartender to look at me. It took like 10 minutes just get him over to take our beer order. We asked for the check at the same time because we were afraid we’d never get it otherwise. We didn’t eat much food, so I can’t comment on that, but the service was awful.

    • I used to be a regular at the Pint as well when it first opened. I still love it and know a bartender so I get hooked up, but the neighborhood has changed/grown and I can’t get in the building on a Friday night.

  • The Heights in c. Heights. Used to have awesome bread, food and drinks. They remodeled and changed their menu. Now it’s more expensive and the food isn’t good.

    • “Used to have awesome . . . food . . . .”

      Not ever.

    • Well, I never loved the Heights, but I liked it well enough because it is close to me and the food was always decent. The new menu is a real step down. They are trying too hard for upscale cuisine. If you’re going to put duck confit on the menu, you better nail it, and they don’t. And what’s with the unsalted steak?

    • I used to live by the Heights in 2008 and went once – the food was terrible! I ordered a tofu dish that turned out to literally be a raw block of tofu. Then I went back again for dinner with a friend in 2009 and was similarly unimpressed. I had a pretty good cocktail there once on a Sunday afternoon. That’s about it.

    • i went to the heights last week and thought it was absolutely fantastic.

    • I’ve liked the few things I tried on the new menu, though I mostly stick to my old favorites – burgers and ginger calamari. They had great roasted chickpeas for a bar snack but those vanished. The staff and service is still good – pretty consistent now. But the renovation is god-awful. It used to look like a cozy comfortable neighborhood place, now it looks like a 1970s airport cafe. And the new chairs and bar stools are horrible – hard, slippery and with a lump that quickly makes your legs numb. Those bar stools have easily cut my visits in half.

  • Tabard Inn. So sad.

    • Agree. I didn’t go there often, but had a couple of memorable meals over the past few years. Just went recently with friends and it was overwhelmingly meh. Atmosphere is still tough to beat for winter, though.

  • I have been enjoying Filomena for years but the last time we went (in August or September) there was a new chef and the quality was very disappointing.

  • Redrocks on 11th. I hadn’t been there in a year, but when I returned last week my pizza was soggy and undercooked in the middle. What used to be tasty, charred slices of salami were now grey strips of meat. Maybe I just caught them on a bad night but I was really disappointed.

    • I second Red Rocks. I used to go all the time 2007-2009 and thought it was the best pizza in the district. I’ve been back 3 times since returning to the ‘hood 4 months ago, and every single time the pizza has been a disappointment. Last week’s special came with “creamy ricotta sauce” which turned out to be either no sauce or so little that it was hard and salty, not the least bit creamy. Very disappointing.

    • Red Rocks on H has been consistently good,but they haven’t been open for a year yet. I haven’t been disappointed yet and I’ve gone once every few weeks since they opened.

    • justinbc

      That sounds like every experience I’ve had with Red Rocks (once at the Old Town location and once at the H Street location). I’ve yet to visit the original on 11th, but given their poor performance at the other two I can’t imagine I ever will.

    • The crusts at Red Rocks have been undercooked from day one (back in 2007-ish). Asking them to cook it longer/ make it crispy don’t work either….

    • When we first moved to the neighborhood, everyone raved about Red Rocks. So we went and I still do not understand how people think this place serves good pizza. Way overpriced for so-so crust (which is really what makes pizza good or not) and meager toppings. We tried again a couple of times, but after ordering a plain cheese pizza, add spinach (costing something like $2 more) and receiving a soggy pie with three (THREE) small pieces of spinach on the whole thing, we said never again. It’s worth the extra walk or delivery from Pete’s.

      • Let’s just keep in mind how excited we all were for *anything* over on 11th in those days. Red Rocks was never great, it was always just better than alternatives, with the real bonus of a nice patio.

    • I’ve always had soggy crust in the middle there. Blech.

  • Ristorante I Ricchi on 19th St – Used to love it and now its just bad overpriced food, pushy servers, and bad management. Avoid like the plague.

    I’m also very tired of Jaleo. I feel like dishes got smaller and more expensive over time.

    • Agree with Jaleo. Once they did their remodel of the Penn Quarter location it went downhill. Plus it looks like Ikea hired a 5 year old to design the interior and all he did was vomit colors everywhere. Heck, the bartender was too involved telling us about the remodel to even remember our drinks…

    • Jaleo!! Honestly the worst remodel I have EVER seen, including lighting so bright you get a headache and the foozeball tables. Since the remodel they have gotten snotty too. I recently asked about the (previously great) happy hour, to which the host replied “Since the remodel, we don’t DO happy hour.” Great.

    • My wife is from Spain and she loves Jaleo — says one dish in particular is cooked exactly the way her grandmother used to.

      • What’s wrong with Jaleo? I ate there the other day and the food was delicious, very authentically Spanish, esp the calamari cooked in its own ink. Where else do you find a dish like that?

  • Moroni Bros! I used to love them, but then they disappeared in the blink of an eye! Closed!

    Anyone know if they will be re-opening anywhere? I hope so!

    • If you remember the recent Club Moroni edition you may wish it stays closed. Oh Moroni of 2012 and years prior, how I loved thee!

      • Club Moroni was the final nail in the coffin for us. My wife and infant daughter were the only ones in the restaurant and we had to ask them 5 times to turn down the house music. Such a dramatic turn for what used to be a nice family restaurant. After that, I was almost wishing it would go under out of spite.

  • Right Proper

  • Agree with some points here.
    The Heights, I think having revamped, make their own bread and no longer use Lyon.
    Red Rocks has always been hit or miss. Spencer, their GM, has been hastled a bit because of the new locations opening and I think the focus is lost (also, they don’t even have a chef).
    Have had a raw-ish burger at Meridian Pint before. Not very good.

    Can’t think of a place personally. We were pretty devoted to Zaytinya and Oyamel but don’t go as much anymore. It’s just too damn expensive for what you get, despite the food being great.

  • Excellent question.

    My last meal at Pesce was not nearly as good as I remembered, though I hadn’t been there for years.

    When going to a show at the Signature Theater, we used to grab a quick bite at Carlyle, but the last two times were terrible.

    But most dissapointingly, ALL of the older Passion Food Group restaurants (DC Coast, Ceiba, Acadiana), which I used to like very much, have aged poorly, and are no longer even considerations. (Although it’s been about a year since I’ve been to any of them, so maybe they’ve gotten their acts together.)

  • Taylor Gourmet. Back in 2009/2010 the Pattinson Ave was one of the most delicious things I’d ever eaten. A couple years ago, when a location opened near my office (19th St) I was so excited. The first time I went, the sandwich was just not very good. Second time, it was downright terrible. Also, the sandwiches have gotten much smaller. (“The food is bad, and such small portions!”) So sad.

    I’m firmly on Team Bub & Pops now.

    • I agree on Taylor. I used to travel across the city to get it a few years ago and now that it is all over the place, I won’t even walk a few blocks. The bread is worse, they constantly mess up orders (and forget to make phone orders), I have had completely raw chicken there a few times as well. Nasty. That said, while there may be slightly less meat on the sandwiches, they are still pretty huge. I like Sundevich and G for my over-priced sandwiches now.

      • Yeah, the bread is downright horrible now! So unfortunate.

        • Horrible? Geez, that’s a pretty extreme opinion. I do think it went downhill when they changed up for softer bread several years back, and that is especially evident in the hot sandwiches which tend to easily make the softer bread mushy, and yet I eat at the Bethesda location about once a week and honestly, calling the bread horrible just sounds like you’re trying to make yourself appear like an elitist foodie by voicing an extreme opinion. As far as the portion sizes go, I’ve noticed no change whatsoever, at least at the Bethesda location, and I’ve probably eaten there a good 60-70 times in the last 3-4 years.

          • I’m trying to sound like an elite foodie? You got all of that out of my super short response? Ok I guess. But I’m far from that and definitely wasn’t trying to portray such. Hyperbole is lost on some I suppose. The last two sandwiches I got from Taylor, I could barely chew the bread. Bad luck perhaps.

    • +1 for Taylor, sadly. I used to go all the way from Mt Pleasant to H St just for their sandwiches. Now there’s a new Taylor near my office on Penn Ave, I went once and I’ll never go back. My sandwich was bland, dry, and the bread was mushy, hardly better than Subway.

    • Agree wholeheartedly! Taylor seems only interested in starting as many news stores as possible and reminding everyone that Barack Obama went there once.

      Bub and Pop’s, on the other hand, is a great local spot that really feels like a family establishment. And the food is great.

    • Am I the only person who has never liked their bread? Even in 2010, I thought it was tough and not delicious at all.

      • I never had strong feelings either way about the bread. It’s the fillings whose quality has declined precipitously.

      • Agree, Taylor’s bread sucks, and has always sucked. Pretty much the polar opposite of what good Italian hoagie bread is supposed to be like.

      • I agree about the bread. I thought it was too much bread and too little filling. I would have preferred a thinner option for the bread because the ratio was off. It made it too dry.

    • I have tried to go into the 14th St location 3 times, but each time it smells like a dirty dish rag, so I walk out (I hate that bleachy smell, I can’t deal)

    • Taylor Gourmet has just turned plain old nasty for the lack of interest in spelling it all out.

  • The recently closed Dino was a place that, for me, had been one of my favorites a few years back but had fallen off.

    Brasserie Beck is another place–the food recently has been just ok, while the service has really been just awful. A couple of friends and I went there a few months back and were seated on the patio by the host, only for us to be completely ignored by the wait staff (we weren’t even given menus). 25 minutes later we decided to go elsewhere.

    Finally, Jaleo just doesn’t do it for me as much as it used to. I’m not sure whether it’s the food, or the weird child-like motif of the location on 7th Street. It’s just…odd.

    • I agree with Brasserie Beck. I used to think they were a top restaurant. Service seems to continually get worse and worse. The food is also very heavy handed; almost as if they are masking poor quality ingredients. Let me assure you, they did you a favor by not serving you. You would have been even more disappointed if you ate the food!

    • The plan is for Dino to close this Sunday, however after chatting with the owner last night, there’s apparently a chance that it may remain open until mid/late February. He hopes to find out in the next day or two.

      • I went to Dino this week thinking I’d get one last good meal there before they closed, but they were clearly already phoning it in. The burrata, which used to be amazing, tasted like it came from Wholefoods, the mozzarella in carrozza tasted like a bad Bennigans sandwich, and the risotto was barely edible. Very sad.

    • Agree 100% on Jaleo.

      It baffles me how it gets ranked one of the top restaurants in DC every year. Estadio blows it out of the water from a Spanish tapas standpoint. It used to be very good but Jose Andres’ energy is clearly elsewhere now.

  • Obelisk – they haven’t updated their decor since the 90’s. It’s like eating at HoJo’s

  • All of them. They all start off hot and then they all drop off. All. Of. Them.

    That said I still have favorites like Bistro du Coin that I’ll always love, despite the drop off.

    • I think Bistro Du Coin has been consistently, even gleefully, mediocre from the beginning but I like the place so much I can’t stay away.

      • Agreed, I never thought it was otherwordly food but it has a “i’m home” feeling to it that I always love going back to.

      • Its’ nice but really, really noisy, a gripe I so rarely have that it must be bad, and that alone keeps me away. I can’t hear the people I dine with. Good food though, alas! Tant pis!

      • Agreed, but the rabbit dish there is so unbelievably awesome and winter perfect.

    • I used to agree on Bistro Du Coin, until a cockroach crawled across the bar the last time I was there right before the holidays.

  • I agree with all of these, and I’ll add two more to the list.We used to love Pasta Mia but the long wait, cash-only requirement, and occasional cockroach/mice siting finally took its toll. We haven’t returned in well over a year. The second place is Sweet Mango Cafe on Georgia Avenue. We were once faithfuls but the chicken somehow lost a good portion of its kick. Bummer on both accounts!

  • I often wonder about this. Do people think that the food quality at some of these old places has gone down drastically, or have our standards gone up since so many new spots have hit town in recent years? It seems like there are so many great options that it takes so much more to impress me these days.

    • This is a great point. I think it could be a mixture of both. When I first moved to the H St area we used to go to Argonaut all the time. Food was never amazing, but it was good enough and their outdoor patio was the only one on H. Fast forward two years later, their food and service declined drastically (one time they served me a grilled cheese sandwich that was burnt on the outside but the cheese was not melted…what?). Now there are SO many new restaurants on H that are a million times better so I haven’t been back since. Perhaps if there wasn’t as much choice I’d be more willing to forgive some bad experiences.

      • It’s what you get for going out to restaurant to order a grilled cheese! It’s two pieces of bread and some processed cheese!

    • I think it’s a bit of both. Like lanisa, I really liked Pasta Mia… I lived down the street so could jump in line if I were coming home from work and saw it was really short. Then send out the txt to friends and roommates to whoever wanted to join me. But now with a lot more italian pasta-focused restaurants in town, I realized it just wasn’t really that good, that you got mass quantities of decent but nto great pasta, and you bought into the hype of the line and all.

      I got into an argument with someone I met over the Thanksgiving holiday.. I had said that the culinary scene in DC has really come alive in the past four years or so and before that, it was a lot of mediocrity and just plain bad expense account restaurants. He was emphatic that the DC restaurant scene was just as exciting back then as it is now.

      • I think it’s a combination of factors. Including the increased variety and slipping standards mentioned above, I think you also have to look at one other factor. Expansion.

        A lot of the restaurants in this list have in the past year or two expanded their operation. You now have a huge number of Taylor’s in DC. Founding Farmers came out with a cookbook. Red Rocks H street was the focus of the company over the past year. Even Tom Sietsema’s criticism of once mighty Birch and Barley could be attributed to NRG’s massive expansion across the District .

        Hopefully 2014 sees a commitment to honing what you have rather than trying to open as many locations as possible (I hope Sweetgreen takes this to heart).

        • That’s right… it seems like a lot of independent restaurants are opening up but it’s really the same 5-10 groups opening new ventures. And it seems a lot of them are stealing from Peter to pay Paul, so to speak.

          • The Hilton Brothers are a good example of this. Used to be, you couldn’t go wrong with one of their places, but more and more, they’re becoming known for overpriced mediocrity, and at least one of their restaurants has altogether failed.

          • Which of their restaurants has closed, other than Dragonfly (which was more a lounge that served food than a restaurant per se)?
            Not sure if Ian Hilton was involved in that one, either.

          • I’m guessing Anonymous was referring to Blackbyrd.

          • Yes, Blackbyrd and subsequently Hanoi House.

        • Hanoi House closed? Or just isn’t very good? (Although granted, the latter would certainly explain the former).

    • With so many new restaurants opening in DC so quickly, it feels like we’re reaching the saturation point. So many new places are constantly opening up, and either they’re incapable of maintaining a level of quality, or they fail to keep up with everybody else and end up looking tired and worn way too soon.

      • +1. I agree. I often wonder how they all stay in business as long as they do.

      • Most of the actual cooking in any restaurant is not done by the chef – especially the celebrity chef – but by line cooks. That is where the consistency can falter. It is hard hard work, long hot hours and not great pay – certainly not enough for most to afford to live anywhere near the hot restaurant areas, so they also may have a long bus ride home.

    • Good money chasing bad food, that’s my summary of most of DC’s scene. There are some great fine dining options, and a couple of standout new arrivals that are casual fine dining. Most of the rest try to get by on location, design, contrivances, and hype (Ted’s anyone?). Most are too large by a factor of 2 or 3, and try too hard by a factor of 4. They need to compete on quality, full stop.

      • Great summary.
        DC dining scene is just that – a “scene.” It’s all about chasing expense accounts.

        • You’re at least 10 years too late with that assessment.

          • And you’re not helpful by a factor of 10. DC is still bloated with big conservative restaurants that cater to the business crowd. His assessment is valid for 10 years ago, as well as today.

          • Maybe, but they’re concentrated in a very small area of DC, and not in neighborhoods where most of us live/work/play. So who cares? Let the expense account crowd continue going to their stuffy steakhouses if they want.

    • I think people just love to complain, especially on message boards, when they can be anonymous, and voice extreme opinions with an air of authority – they probably don’t know squat but it gives them an ego boost.

    • I think people just like to complain, especially anonymously on message boards, and especially if they can make their complaining as extremely negative as possible – I think it gives them an ego boost by making them feel as if they’re some sort of authority.

  • Banana Leaves pre-fire = delicious
    Banana Leaves post-fire = dead to me

  • I had some good experiences at Georgia Browns, but now it’s like they aren’t even trying anymore.

  • Brunch at Level One. My last visit (ever) was the worst experience I have had at any restaurant in my life.

    • I got a deep fried turkey for Thanksgiving from them (because they were the only ones making them at the time) last year and it was horribly bland. Won’t be back again.

    • When has Level One ever had good food? Never. Be serious now. The only reason to brunch at Level I’ve us to get drunk and to be seen.

  • For me it would have to be Bourbon. The food and drinks were great for the first year or two they were open in Adams Morgan, but the menu and the crowd really changed, and everything went downhill. I haven’t been there in a long time though, so maybe they’ve gotten it together.

  • justinbc

    The only thing I can really think of is Beuchert’s Saloon. I’ve had dinner there twice and really loved it, but when we went for brunch recently it was terrible. Not just disappointing, several dishes were nearly inedible. We always try to hit as many different places as possible though, so most places rarely get a return visit unless they were really exceptional (except Great Wall Szechaun, I could eat that twice cooked pork every day).

    • This is surprising. I’ve never had a bad meal at Beucherts and the place is always full. The bar is one of the best in the city, IMO.

  • Years ago I used to think highly of Clyde’s, but everything about them is mediocre these days. And I bought the food at Biergarten Haus was pretty decent when they first opened, but since then it’s been nearly inedible.

    • Clyde’s has pretty much always been rather mediocre. Except for their HH specials on oysters, that’s still solid.

    • Weird. I never thought the food was great, but I’ve noticed no change in it. Inedible? Really? It’s so bad as to be inedible? Geez, I mean I thought the schnitzel was a tad dry last time I had it, but inedible just seems like a ridiculous exaggeration. What did you have that was inedible, and why? I had a knockwurst there back in October and I thought it tasted like a hot dog, which made me think it was over-priced, but inedible? Man, I never thought it was that bad. Actually, it was kind of tasty, even if it was an over-priced hot dog.

  • Anybody have a before and after opinion on The Hitching Post? Before the renovation and new owner, it was great. I haven’t been back since, and I’m almost scared to see what it’s become.

    • Conquer your fledgling fears and give them a visit.

    • I think it’s a huge improvement. All due respect to the previous owners, but by the end, it took over an hour to fill an order for fried chicken, and they were having weird liquor license issues. The place is more open now, less dark and depressing, and run more professionally. The food price and portion ratio isn’t what it used to be, but like I said at least I don’t have to wait forever to get it. There’s new life in the place, a good neighborhood spot.

      • Have they gotten new owners in the past year? I went about a year ago and had issues with everything you mentioned as being fixed by new ownership.

      • good to hear. They said they were going to keep the fried chicken the same. Did they tell the truth?

        • Went to the Hitching Post a few months ago and the fried chicken was great. I had a few times before the change and it was great a few years ago and right before the change, it was undercooked. The decor is certainly different but the place is still a gem. Does anyone know if Kojo still shows up?

  • Don Pablos… Used to go there weekly until they fell of the wagon.

    Chevy’s until they changed their menu and got rid of their BBQ wings.

    TexMex died out for me a few years ago and I started eating more asian food.

    Penang in Bethezda MD used to be magical, but a change in the management had them cutting quality and I haven’t been back since.

    I used to go to Wize Guys for pizza, but the last time I went they left out a slice that I paid for and I ended up paying 26$ for 3 slices and 2 sodas, and a piece of cake, pretty crazy for just pizza, though it was good, it’s nowhere near worth that much.

    I used to go to California Pizza Kitchen weekly for their Thai Chopped Salad until they moved out of DC at their Dupont circle location, now Pentagon City is too far most times.

    Usually a restaurant cutting back on quality or not being consistent with recipes are the most common reasons for losing my business.

  • ChurchKey – got a rabbit pot pie about a year and a half ago which was amazing. Got a pork bells sandwhich within the past few months, down right felt ripped off paying $15 for two peices of bread with a peice of pork fat between it. Gross. ChurchKey use to be a nice place to try out new beers…now im just so scared that i wont get a seat that its not even worth trying, food isnt great either for the price.

  • West End Bistro was amazing when it first opened, and now I haven’t been back in a few years after multiple disappointing visits. It used to the be the best cheeseburger I had ever had, and then it fell somewhere above McDonald’s, but below Wendy’s.

  • Room 11. From a surprisingly tasty modest menu to a surprisingly disappointing modest menu. Their mojo has fled.

    • We disagree again! I think Room 11 has held up pretty well. It’s not quite as good as when it opened, but still pretty good. It had a rough patch a year or so ago but has improved since. I’m less of a fan of the new breaded pork chop. Other items, like the roasted cauliflower and grilled cheese, have been on the menus since the beginning and are still good. They always have great soups. I do wish they would bring back the duck confit–they did it right.

    • yea, i wasnt as impressed on my last visit

    • I’ll have to try it again (and blame you if I still think it sucks) 😉 It’s one of those places that has a lot going for it and I want to like it, and and if the food is back it would be the answer to a lot of “where should we go tonight?” discussions.
      Why don’t I love Maple more?

    • I agree that the night menu needs an overhaul, but the breakfast and lunch at Room 11 is amazing. The bacon, egg cheese jalapeno biscuit is the most amazing sandwich ever.

  • DC Reynolds…imo the bartenders arent particularly good at making drinks, taps almost never change, overpriced food that doesnt match the bar’s vibe at all…other than that its still cool i guess.

    • DC Reynolds definitely made their portions smaller about 9 months after opening, and they raised their prices. To be fair, you used to be able to get a very good burger and tons of solid fries for like $10, so now their prices are more in line with DC standards… Still, can’t beat 2-for-1 drinks. Sometimes I feel like I’m being held hostage by their drink specials, though – I really can’t bring myself to pay twice as much somewhere else.

      • I love D.C. Reynolds’ happy hour for drinks, but I’ve been disappointed with the changes in their menu. When they opened, their food prices were surprisingly reasonable — I thought their mac & cheese in particular was a steal. (Four dollars for a portion big enough to make me full!) Sadly, their portion sizes and prices are now more in line with other places in D.C. (The mac & cheese went up to $6, then $7… and then disappeared from the menu.)
        Last time I was there, I couldn’t find any food on the menu that looked appealing other than dessert. I’ll still root for D.C. Reynolds because it’s my neighborhood joint, but their food offerings could use some work.

        • I miss their mac and chees too!! I love this place but the food has definitely gone down in quality and up in price.

    • The drinks are certainly hit or miss, but the BOGO deal is fantastic.

      • I (and im only speaking for me) would pay the extra couple of bucks for a well made drink. BOGO is great and all but if you get two drinks and only one of them is made properly it kind of defeats the purpose of the deal right?

        • Patty Patty Boom Boom – They used to have HUGE patties now they are small and unappealing. Also they were play DuBstep not like PoP DubStep but hardcore DubStep that won’t make it on 99.5 because its just random noise.

      • I guess I usually just drink beer at happy hours, so this doesn’t affect me that much. Could they have a more dynamic beer selection? Yes. But between the Port City wit and the Great Lakes Vienna, I can always get something good enough.

  • El Centro DF. Loved this place but last time I was there the food was not as good and then I saw a roach running across the booth. Haven’t been back since.

    • I was just about to mention El Centro. I used to love it, and thought that it was pretty much the best sit-down Mexican place in DC. But last time I was there, my meal was a greasy, disgusting mess, the guac tasted funny, and most surprisingly, the place was almost totally empty at lunchtime.

    • I’ve always thought El Centro was horrid. A friend told me I had to go there for the best margaritas in town, and after going, I realized I must have higher standards than he because of my level of ancientness, because the margaritas at Oyamel are so far superior.

      • There is really no better margarita than any of the margaritas at Oyamel. Plus, pitchers!

        Actually every drink I’ve had at Oyamel has been astonishingly good

      • Weird, I’ve had quite a few tasty meals there, and some that were really hum-drum, but horrid? Good grief, it’s not like they’re serving you moldy dog food with bits of raw rancid chicken wrapped in a mucus soaked tortilla. Now THAT would be horrid!

        Yeah, the margaritas are weak – upstairs at least they use the same old cheap triple sec and day-glo sweet/sour junk that you find at any weak tex-mex joint, however, the last time I went I really enjoyed the pork mole tacos. Actually, they were downright fantastic. The menu has always been hit or miss. Chicken is always dry and overcooked but the pork shoulder is always nicely moist with some good crunchy bits. The short ribs have been great both times I’ve had them but the nopal tacos have always been slimy and flavorless. They also used to do a duck mole quesadilla that was delicious.

        So, yeah, some things have always been better than other at El Centro DF, but horrid? I dunno, that just seems like a serious over-exaggeration.

        • True, horrid is a bit harsh. Think I feel that way only because of the major hype around the place so expectations were high.

    • i think it’s still great.

  • Lauriol Plaza. I loved it when it was in its former frumpy house digs at 18th and S Streets, but once it got all glitzy and elephantine, I lost interest and don’t go no mo’.

  • Gosh, this whole thread is bringing back nostalgia for circa 2009 or so! Funny thing is that I think the new places are better than these places ever were – I’d take a meal at Le Diplomate or Red Hen over every place on this list. But, still, reading about all these places I haven’t been in years is reminding me of my first years in this city and it’s a little bittersweet!

    I’ll second whoever said Perry’s. That used to be one of my favorite “upscale” places in the city – the very first time my parents visited me I took them to that rooftop and I remember feeling so grown up and proud of the cool spots in my city. I kept going for awhile out of sheer loyalty but I moved to Bloomingdale a couple years ago and while I’ve trekked back over there for other places (Mintwood Place and Amsterdam Falafel will be my jams forever), I haven’t missed Perry’s.

  • El Centro DF, Founding Farmers, Bistro Cacao, Bistro Bis

  • Pho 75. Not necessarily in the District, but always mentioned on “Best of” lists. Ever since I tasted Pho Viet in Columbia Heights, I don’t understand how I ever thought Pho 75 was amazing.

    • Love me some Pho Viet

    • Uh, because it’s good pho. Seriously, think about this for a second, do you really think the folks at Pho 75 have somehow slipped in the last year or two, that they’ve shaken up the operation and let it go downhill? Gimme a break! Those people have been making the same pho, the same way, day in and day out since probably before you were born. I’ve eaten at the Silver Spring location 3-4 times a year for over a decade, and it is exactly the same as it always has been. Maybe you’re tastes have changed, but at least in terms of the Langley/Silver Spring location, it is exactly the same as always, which means bare bones, no-frills, and delicious.

  • I used to go to Hamilton’s all of the time and drink Coors light out of an entire pitcher by myself. I loved their tots and I would usually get the chicken tenders. Then after getting a good base of food I would go in the basement or upstairs and destroy everyone at pong because I can make it rain from anywhere on the table, I’m an elite pong player. Now I don’t go there because I’m 32. (Jesus Christ I’m a 32 WTF Happened someone stop time). Now i hate crowds and loud noises and only grab drink or two with a salad because I’m trying to watch my carbs.

  • Masala Art. It was so good when it first opened. Now it sucks.

    • I dunno – we got takeout from them about a month ago and both pretty much licked the tupperware clean (palak paneer and chicken tikka masala, garlic naan, and a samosa for good luck/fatness). What did you eat?!

  • Kangaroo Boxing Club. When they first opened, I thought they were amazing and loved everything on the menu. Those baked beans were some of the best I ever tasted. Now, the service has gotten pretty crappy (I usually don’t get at least 1 thing I ordered), they also changed their menu and got rid of a lot of the better dishes, and their baked beans are barely passable as mediocre. This is very disappointing. I used to tell everyone who would listen to go there, but now don’t even bother. Several of my friends have had similar experiences recently. I wonder how it will be after the expansion is finished.

    • Wow, really? I haven’t experienced this, but it’s been a few months since I’ve been there. Big fan of this place, one of the few no-frills, cheap and delicious eateries in the district.

      • “Cheap”? My recollection was that their prices were pretty much the same as elsewhere.

        • Pork platter with added bun is $13, and gives you a tremendous amount of delicious food. In my experience “everywhere” tends to give you a small amount of delicious food for that money.

          Also, the FuckItBucket is just astounding.

  • Belga. Went a few times when they prepared food normally. Now if I go, the food is pretty but the portions suck. End up leaving hungry every time.

  • Red Hot and Blue. It was awesome for the first few years. Then it franchised out and the management change and now it sucks. Havent been back in years.

  • by the end of the day every restaurant in the city will be on this list.

  • I used to love the chicken salad salad at Pot Belly. It was big and fresh. Now the lettuce is old and generally not good. Most of the restaurants on 14th St (with the exception of Le Diplomate and Etto) are pretty pedestrian — over priced and over hyped.

  • How about places that have sustained themselves over the long term? Raku is at the top of that list for me.

  • I have to say this is one of my favorite FQOTDs! & I hope some of the restaurants (Hi, Meridian Pint!) will take notice…

  • Red Rocks – Atrocious. I never thought it was great, but the past 18 months has gotten laughable food wise.

    Maple – Been a solid disappointment from the get go, and I have given it 3 tries. The food is so mediocre, yet priced like Jose Andres is cooking in the kitchen. The drinks are average, certainly nothing you couldn’t get in one of the any other half dozen options within a block.

    Taylor Gourmet – God I loved those sandwiches when they opened their first location, but their fall from goodness has been the most precipitous. I can deal with bad service (which they now seem to have in spades at multiple locations), but the sandwiches have fallen to the point where the value proposition between Taylor and Subway is almost non-existant, and that hurts to say. The size, quality of ingredients, bread…eh. I used to go there a couple times a week for the first couple years, and I probably haven’t been there in more than a year.

    • Yeah dude Maple sucks, maybe you shouldn’t go there, and you should tell your friends to not go there.

      That’ll leave more room for me.

    • I agree on Maple, but I never loved it to begin with. It was a neat new place on 11th sure, but the menu is too limited and the service is AWFUL . Food is decent but not anything awesome. I have been there three times. First time we got a table and were super rushed the whole meal. Second time we ate at that little shelf along the wall in the back, and were ignored by the servers. Third time we were told it was going to be a 15 minute wait for a table, so we ponied up to the bar (we told the hostess thats where we would be). Bartender ignored us, took ages to get one drink and she just seemed so put out to be doing her job. After waiting for about 20 minutes, we checked back in with the hostess on our table. “oh only 15 more minutes”. Another 20 minutes go by, hostess seats two other parties before us. We check back in to see what the deal is. “oh I forgot about you guys. Just gave away two tables. oops. probably another 15 minutes for the next one”. No apology. Then it takes forever to close our tab at the bar because again, bartender is ignoring us. I won’t ever go back.

      • Hmm, I’ve always had great service at Maple. I’m usually there when the dude with the beard (I think) is bartending. I don’t recall ever having a female bartender there. However, I tend to go early (6) so we can get a table and not have to wait.

    • Bad service? I mean, it’ a person taking your order at a cash register. To some degree I don’t even really consider that “service.” Again, having eaten at the Bethesda location weekly for 3-4 years, I see no change in portion, then again I am also not someone who demands every entree be around 2000 calories, so maybe I simply expect to reasonable a serving size. Also, as someone who tends to eat a lot of Subway when travelling, I can tell, Taylor is a LOT better than Subway. In our glee to toss out insults, let’s not lose touch with reality here.

      • This is because it had already slipped a lot before it opened in Bethesda. If you never had it on H St when that was the only location, you are never going to know what people are talking about.

  • Its decline happened a long time ago, but back in the 90s, Rocklands BBQ was top notch. Every time I’ve been in the past few years (Glover Park and Arlington locations), the pulled pork has been gristly, the ribs mediocre (and somewhat tough), and the sides bland. But as long as they keep piping that amazing BBQ smell onto the street outside the shop, I will continue to be fooled into eating there.

    • From what I can tell, Rocklands’ locations can be hit-or-miss. I had some very, very dry barbecue at the Rockville location a couple of years ago. I’ve also been underwhelmed by both the beef and pork ribs at the Arlington location. HOWEVER, gristly pulled pork? Uh, I’m going to call you on that one and accuse you of basically talking out of your a$$. I used to jam with some folks down in Arlington every other Saturday, for most of last year, and stopping in for a couple of pints and a pulled pork sandwich was sort of my routine, pre-jam lunch. I must have eaten over 30 pulled pork sandwiches there last year and NONE of them could be called anything near gristly! Truth be told, I think they do terrific pulled pork at that location (and I say that as someone raised in the heart of Eastern NC BBQ country) which is always moist, flavorful, nicely smoked, and served in copious amounts on a soft, fresh potato roll. Gristly smoked pork shoulder? Son, I don’t know if you really know as much about pork and barbecue as you imagine.

      • The gristly pulled pork was at the Glover Park location, circa 2007/8. Haven’t tried the pulled pork at the Arlington one. I did have mediocre ribs from the Arlington spot earlier this year.

  • Taan Noodles. When it first opened it was unreal, way downhill since.

  • Jaleo in Chinatown. The no longer serve bread. I like when Spanish food is served with bread to sop up the delicious sauces.

  • Alero on U Street. I used to love going there but it has turned into more of a night club than restaurant. It is a pathetic place and they will never get another dollar from me.

    • IMHO Alero on U is one of the worst restaurants in the city. I took some friends with kids from out of town there a couple years ago and our food was so bad I wondered if it had been picked off the floor before giving it to us. I was embarrassed to have taken a family there. I had been there before and thought the food was good enough, but I certainly don’t plan to go back.

      • leftcoastsouthpaw

        I agree. Alero is my least favorite place in all of DC. I could never understand the appeal of that place. TexMex in the city is pretty crappy to begin with, but calling what they do TexMes is an insult to Chevy’s.

    • its been like a nightclub since it first opened. i went during the first week.. it was never a good place.

  • Fast Gourmet on W and 14th: Man it used to be good, but then the owners left and got their own place.

    Stoney’s: Their Super Grilled Cheese has declined in quality over the years. Which is very sad.

    • Where are the former owners now?

      • I think they are behind Beuchert’s Saloon. I’ve gone to Fast Gourmet for years and haven’t noticed a change in quality at all. Then again I basically just order a Chivito every time and it’s the same as it’s been for at least the last three years. Furthermore, the folks who run it have always been friendly and enthusiastic, at least in my 20-30 experiences.

        • The Fast Gourmet brothers have a restaurant in Dupont called Take Eat Easy.

          Beuchert’s is a different group (folks from PS7 and Acqua al 2)

  • La Lomita, 13th and Penn Ave SE. Sickening.

  • I used to go to Double Slice Pizza in AdMo all of the time as well but I went their sober recently and it totally falters in comparison when i had it in my 20s on the walk back to the Woodley Metro before I would piss in the woods by the Duke Ellington Bridge. When drinking always have a public urination spot.

  • All of them. Just say all of them and be done. Nothing impresses you people.

  • Cleveland Park Bar & Grill – while never an amazing place, it was a good neighborhood bar on weeknights. They lost their main bartender and his replacement spends more time texting than serving people. After waiting at the uncrowded bar for about 10 minutes, I flagged down a busboy to get an order in, since the bartender was busy on the phone. I thought “off night” and went back a couple of weeks later. Same issue. Oh well, at least there’s St. Arnold’s as a tastier replacement.

    Also, with regards to Tom Sietsema on Arsenal at Bluejacket, wow. He was right. I went last night with some friends. Two of us like good beer. One prefers lighter more “Hell yeah America!!!” fare. Of the 9 beers we ordered, one was undrinkable. The rest were mediocre or overspiced. Service was pretty terrible. The burger fought with me most of last night. The sad part is that Bluejacket will likely survive as is rather than become a quality place because of its proximity to the stadium.

  • Nellie’s. Granted, more of a bar than a restaurant, but the food went from tolerable for bar food to inedible, and the crowd shifted from mostly masculine gay guys of all ages when they opened to mostly 20-something twinks and the “woo!” girls that follow them like puppies everywhere they go now. Add in that that particular intersection and the surrounding couple blocks have seen an uptick in crime in the last two years, and it’s not worth it anymore.
    I’ve had to set my Nellie’s limit at once a year now, for two drinks or less. Too bad – it used to be a fun place that you could go to once or twice a month.

    • are the 20 something twinks and the woo girls there before or after Town? Ha.

    • I agree completely. Nellie’s had a great vibe when it first open (before the roofdeck was full built out yet) but rapidly went downhill. My girlfriend and I feel very out of place there as a lesbian couple.

    • I agree with you on Nellies. It was cool idea but they ruined it. If I go to a sports bar then thats what i want….a SPORTS BAR and not a drag show. If I want a drag show then I would go to a drag bar. Not only is the food bad (well, at least it was the last time I ate there–probably been 3 years) but the drinks are way over priced.

      • Couldn’t agree more, @Anonymous12:49 and 12:22. Nellie’s has really turned into a parody of what it opened up and started to be. And without some kind of a cap on the number of bachelorette parties you have inside at any given time, it’s just become over-run with a different kind of crowd. I actually heard a young woman sound drunkenly surprised at how many gay men there were (at a gay bar!) the last time I was there. Maybe that’s the demographic they’re going for now, and if it is, more power to them, but I’ve happily gone back to gay bars where gay and lesbian customers still make up 90% of the crowd.

        • Anyplace (besides Phase One of course) where lesbians make up a significant part of the crowd (like maybe 20% at least)? We don’t know where to go anymore.

          • They ladies just want a safe place they can dance and not have a creep sneak up behind them

          • @CH_Gangster – then they should open a bar that’s ladies only instead of taking over one that wasn’t designed for them. The gay guys and gals that open gay bars just want a safe place they can dance and meet people and not have a gaggle of giggling sorority girls sneak up behind them and say “ah ma gawd! I loooove your outfit! what do you think of my new shoes?! WOOOO SHOES!!! LET’S DO ANOTHER SHOT!! WOOOO! Can I wear your hat!?!”.
            Gays seriously only get about a dozen of the 2,000+ liquor licenses in this city. If you’re a girl looking for a place to dance without straight guys bothering you, go build one or go invade one of the 99.994% of DC bars that were meant for woo girls.

    • Yeah, i totally agree about Nellies. It’s not even on my list of options when I think of where to go. I go to gay bars to meet other gay men–and I mean men who look and act like men. Shrieking sorority type girls and little pantywaist boys don’t cut it. And as for the food, it’s got to be the first place where I had to send a hamburger back twice because it was so overcooked.

  • Annie’s Paramount Steak House. Oh why did you have to go upscale?

    • Althought Annies is not a five star restaurant (not even a four star and pushing to be a three star) I go there anyway. The atmosphere is always fabulous. That is why I continue to go back. However, I really wish they would change the menu up. It has not changed in a couple years it seems.

  • Becks

    The Tackle Box used to have the best fried oysters in DC and at a reasonable price. For 9 dollars you got 8-10 fried oysters and a side of fries. Then after the fire the cost went up, the protions went down, and they didn’t taste as awesome! I miss fried oysters!

    • I’m glad Tackle Box’s experiment in Cleveland Park failed miserably, but Pulpo (in the same location) is struggling mightily. Maybe it’s because the space used to be a McDonald’s up until the late 90s.

  • Acqua al 2 — used to be great (one of the only great Italian places in DC) but last two times were not very good. It is a real bummer.

    • Aqua al 2 is my favorite place. My only complaint is service is either awesome or odd. But the food has always been amazing. It’s so cozy and welcoming. My go to place if I go to Eastern Market!

  • I’ll go with The Pig. My GF and I have been going there every few months since, literally, opening night. Ever since the original head chef left, and major menu changes occurred, it’s been far less satisfying. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad place, but some of the changes really robbed it of its best qualities. Gone is the amazing wild boar ragu, and the semi-regular goat “stew” they used to have as a frequent special (which was incredible) has apparently vanished entirely. They had a wonderful pulled pork plate on the small plates portion of the menu that was (ghasp!) actually a nice serving amount for $12, but now it’s relegated to the “dinner” menu where you get the same amount of meat and mac ‘n cheese (but now with cole slaw) for $8 more. Gimme a break. Growing up in the heart of one of the most fertile areas of the country or pulled pork it makes me downright angry to see a plate of pulled pork, slaw, and mac ‘n cheese being sold for $20. The face bacon is unremarkable, as is the porchetta, and the pigs tails taste like greasy, fatty, miniature riblets. You can still find some good things on the menu, they do have one of the best charcutterie platters around, and the service has always been prompt and friendly, but make no mistake, this place was much better a year ago.

  • Kushi. Used to be a great japanese restaurant with a lot of varied options. Not so much anymore.

  • The Coupe. It’s gone downhill ever since Obama went there

  • I am going to add Cafe Asia to the list on I/19th. Was always a reasonably priced and reliable place downtown. Haven’t been in a a couple of years. Last time I was there there were serving food AND doing construction. Holy OSHA violation Batman. The food was just mediocre.

  • Cafe Asia. Not sure if is till open anymore. Use to be a reliable and reasonably priced place downtown. Last time I was there, they were doing construction all over the restaurant AND serving food. Holy OSHA violation, Batman!

  • What a negative thread. How about next time you ask for the most improved restaurants?

  • I think most of the restaurants that come to my mind have more to do with me changing than the restaurant— I’m pretty sure that Lindy’s still has the best french fries in town, but Fried Food Fridays doesn’t sit as well with me as it used to. Loooved the beer selection at The Saloon, but have decided in my old age that I don’t like places with a lotta rules.
    Also, I will just say 14th street in general. Still some great spots in it, but used to love the restaurants in this neighborhood, but now it’s over crowded, over booked, and over priced. #hatehatehatehatehate

  • Lavagna. I used to love their low key patio, great brunch deal, decent food and awesome staff. Then they got a sous vide machine and it all went to the birds. New staff, runny egg white and hard yolk for Benedict, etc. Just not good. Sad, cause it used to be great!

  • Hate to say it but Commissary. Was my favorite neighborhood spot for years. LOVE the bartenders. Food started slipping when they took the 3 pigs pizza off the menu, drinks got more gimmicky with upselling options. Now it’s just as crappy as logan tavern, the heights and all of the groups other restaurants. Restaurants in DC seem to be good for a while, maybe even a year, then quality declines. The places that don’t fit this mold seem very rare.

    Also Bua thai. Used to be my go to and progressively got worse and worse until I gave up on it.

  • On the flip side – restaurants that have gotten better – Madam’s Organ. OK, I only ate there once recently, but with 6 of us everyone liked their food. It’s comfort food – meatloaf, chicken-fried steak etc. the kind of food I’m never going to make at home. They have a nightly “blue plate” special too.

  • Dupont Italian Kitchen, Taylor Gourmet, Busboy’s & Poets

  • I used to love Zentan. The slaw was amazing. Went there a few months ago and they had a totally different menu and chef, and the old chef took the slaw with him! Thoroughly disappointing and haven’t gone back since

  • Palena.

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