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Old Ebbitt Grill’s Ebbitt Express Closing on Friday

by Prince Of Petworth February 14, 2013 at 10:30 am 19 Comments

675 15th Street, NW

Ebbitt Express is closing this Friday after 19 years. It’s located in the atrium next to Old Ebbitt Grill. Their website says:

Ebbitt Express caters to local workers, shoppers and visitors on the go.

The accent here is on wholesome, healthy food, freshly prepared every day using the natural, locally-produced ingredients Clyde’s is famous for. Freshly baked muffins, bagels, yogurt and fresh fruit greet workers during the morning rush. But lunch is what Ebbitt Express is most noted for. Choice meats and chicken are grilled to order. And selection is exceptional, ranging from baked potatoes and grilled vegetables to pasta, soups and salads.

I spoke to an employee who said the express simply wasn’t making enough money. While I was there customers consistently shared their disbelief. One even offered to start a petition to keep them from closing. Sad news indeed. Thanks to all who sent word. Fortunately Old Ebbitt Grill will offer carry out:

  • Anon

    I am SO sad to hear this. So many memories and the food was always great!

  • Clayton

    I pray to the flying spaghetti monster that this turns into a Burger King.

    • Greg

      I beg at the feet of the Burger King that he kindly bequeaths his people a Spaghetti Factory. Long live King Burger!

  • Charlotte

    Clayton — Get off the chat board! How many times have I told you not to post on these sites!

    • Clayton

      Geez Char, don’t tell me what to do in front of everyone, you make me feel like such an idiot.

  • DC

    Oh no! Taco Salad!!!

  • Anonymous

    So very sad. Does anyone know what is going in opposite Ebbitt Express (on the 14th St. side, next to Hamilton’s)?

  • I love that the answer to everything is to start a petition.

    “One even offered to start a petition”

    What a gallant, selfless sacrifice this person was willing to endure.

    • Greg

      The petition should be to have them make their portions about 15% smaller. Could cut food costs enough to improve profits.

  • Anonymous

    They made an awesome personal sized pizza. This place will definitely be missed!

  • Boooooo – this is one of the best hot lunches in DC – for freshness and variety.

  • Hello Goodbye

    Dang! I’m going to miss this place. I wish they could have made up for the money gap by adjusting prices/portion sizes, or something.

  • Non e Mus

    This place was a top lunch option for me for a long time – dating back to my first job in DC 19 years ago. But I’m not really surprised that it is closing now. In the last year the prices have increased and the quality of the service has decreased. It used to take forever to get food because the lines were so long. Then the lines disappeared and it still took forever to get food. I suspect a lot of people just gave up on it.
    Through it all the food has remained good. But for me it just stopped being worth the wait.

    • anon

      this is why i stopped going. they started changing the menu and not for the better. You couldnt get out of there in under 20 minutes. I say the head chef just standing around while there was a ton of work going on… too be fair i think you could say that about the regular resturant too. Old ebbitts isnt what it used to be. weird mixture on the menu, great items were taken off despite the fact they were selling – just to be different. All thebartenders would rip the chef choices. makes no sense.

  • ClevelandDave

    Sad to hear this. Always freshly prepared food at a reasonable price. Always packed at lunch. Seems like an innovative way to use what would otherwise be an under utilized space. Also seems like a good place to train chefs for OEG and the other places they own. I wonder how hard they tried to make it a profit center- more starches and less protein, jack up prices a little bit, pre-prepare more items, shift staff a bit, reduce hours, grow the catering/delivery and take out business?

  • RIP Ebbitt Express

    I’ve worked nearby and patronized the Ebbitt Express for nearly 20 years. For the longest time they offered a limited menu of well-prepared items at bargain prices and they were packed. (Anybody remember the folks lined up out the door on Fridays for the sublime Garlic Chicken Pasta? Or the delicious-if-not-exactly-healthy Taco Salad on Tuesdays?)

    But in the past few years they tried to transform a simple-but-successful carryout into something fancier. The menu was expanded to include multiple dishes that were far more complex and substantially more expensive. If they staff had been able to prepare them in less than 30 minutes, this strategy might have caught on. But they were seldom up to the job. Confusion reigned supreme and getting your food became an ordeal.

    Sigh! Yet another reasonably-priced option in D.C. goes by the wayside.

  • jimmy

    you will see more and more good places will be closing thanks all the truck park in front of their store, no rent , no sale tax ,no dc high utilities bills (commercial) no high veges employee ,just pickup some one in front of 711 or home depot.(also most of the truck comes from VA or MD) lets all of us help the truck to close the restaurant in downtown dc


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