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Slim’s Diner closed by Department of Health Order

by Prince Of Petworth April 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm 42 Comments

Upshur and Georgia Ave, NW

Got a lot of emails about Slim’s Diner being closed by the Department of Health. One reader reports:

“Do you have any info on what happened to Slim’s? They’ve been closed at least since Friday due to some sort of health inspection violation. Their twitter just says something about needing to fix their grease trap…”


  • PetworthGuy

    Slim’s just can’t catch a break. After a rough start and mixed reviews, they actually seemed to find their groove these past few months. The service is still incredibly slow, which still perplexes me given the size of the place, but the food has actually been really tasty the past few times I’ve been for breakfast. Hopefully it really is just a grease trap issue and they’ll be open again soon.

    • timmyp

      This place doesn’t deserve a break. The food is terrible and as mentioned the service is horrendous. All of Rupert’s restaurants are pretty sub par with the exception of maybe room eleven and that’s just a maybe.

      I’ll give him the credit that he’s good at opening places in locations that need them but the restaurants themselves are so blah when it comes to food. Did anyone try Cappy’s small rotten Crabs?

      I live on Taylor so I’ve been to all of them way more than I’d like to have. Last time I went to Slim’s I waited 45 minutes to an hour for eggs that were still gelatinous . I told the manager they were inedible and he said next time I should ask for them over hard. They were just raw. He also didn’t take them off the bill until I told him I wasn’t paying for raw eggs I hadn’t taken a bite of.

      The place has been shut down twice for health code violations already. When I see people waiting for a table outside for 45 minutes it’s laughable. Drive 5 minutes away to the Highlands and you’ve got a much much better breakfast with better service for cheaper.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        I had Cappy’s once, and it was terrible. At least 50% of the crabs were just filled with slime…

      • surewould

        Wait you order your eggs with the yolks cooked completely? I’m afraid your opinions are null (even though I happen to agree with them)

  • Daduf96

    In my opinion, here are a couple of Slim’s Diner biggest problem as guests who have visited multiple times (and trust me, I really want to like the place, so I hope they fix some of their issues).

    – Their hostess has been rude almost every time we went to the restaurant. It is a total turn off.
    – The wait for a table is always extremely long, and there is no where to wait for a table other than standing on the street corner, which certainly wasn’t fun during the winter.
    – Why they installed multiple large booths down the center of the restaurant is beyond me. Their table set up requires them to sit 2 people at tables for 6 unless they want to sit at the counter. This is what contributes to most of their long waits, in my opinion.

    The food is okay for a diner (I actually really like their bacon), but some of the problems outlined above discourage us from frequenting the establishment. Hopefully in addition to fixing the health department issues, they fix some of the other problems.

    • PetworthGuy

      +1 all valid issues. I try to ignore it, but the staff really irks me too. Rude and slow.

      • A

        100% agree with these points. Had such high hopes and it was a cuisine the neighborhood needed. The execution has been awful and not sure the owner entirely recognizes how much of a turnoff it is. With more and more quality food choices in Petworth, mediocrity (or worse) won’t suffice.

      • saf

        That was my issue there too. All Ruppert’s places have this problem. Perhaps he needs to re-think how he hires. (Go back to how it was done at Ruppert’s – the staff there was great!)

    • KenyonDweller

      How enticing–surly staff, long waits, and mediocre food. I’ve been meaning to check this place out, but I’ll pass if they reopen.

  • madmonk28

    If I recall correctly, they’ve been closed by the health dept before.

  • Anon

    Are all of Rupert’s properties similarly fraught with issues? This seems oddly amateurish for an experienced restaurateur.

  • JS

    Maybe they can reboot the concept and open “Slim’s Family-Friendly Beer Garden.”

    • bean


    • Skip


    • stcohi

      Haha! Or “Uncle Moe’s Family Feed Bag” I would actually love to go to a place like that.

  • anon

    I really wanted to like the place but have to admit that my food was not good. Thinking it would be a safe choice for a diner, I had a hamburger and it was like eating a hockey puck. The fries tasted like freezer burn and tasteless. Maybe it was just my luck for the night that I visited, but I do not want to return.

  • Obvious

    when a grease trap needs cleaning it’s readily evident – i.e., when you run water through your triple sink down into the drain it smells like shit. any low level manager (and certainly a GM) would know this and get ahead of the problem. clearly they have no operational experience evidenced by this and their other past DOH issues.

    • Obvious

      also, to get closed for ONLY a grease trap issue (unless the pipes are clogged and there is overflow/back-up into the kitchen/FOH) makes me think there are ‘other’ issues also. who knows. no report posted on DOH site yet.

      • DF

        Having floor drains back up can certainly happen. I worked at a place in NoVa where we closed due to this happening and AFAIK was the only issue.

  • Shmoo

    every time I’ve gone there, I have ordered the same thing. Burger and onion rings. Every single time, the burger looks completely different. It is kind of mind boggling.

    I will say this tho, after our last atrocious visit where we waited 45 minutes for a couple burgers and walked out after being told by the manager that it wasnt his job to try and hurry up the cooks (never received our food), we sent slims an email and was answered by Ruppert himself (from his personal email address). He knows it is a problem, i think he truly just dosent care to fix it or he is giving his staff 5th, 6th, and 7th chances at getting it right.

    • Elkhaert

      If you want a burger, walk down Upshur to Slash Run. No sense wasting your time at Slims when some of the best burgers in the city are so close by.

      • NH Ave Hiker

        Slash Run burgers are definitely on point.

        • madmonk28

          Sadly, not open for lunch during the week.

      • Shhh

        Hey, don’t tell anyone about Slash Run. No need to make a neighbor favorite crowded.

    • Michael Pierce

      Same thing with co-owned Petworth Citizen. I’ve ordered the same thing there three times. First time it was really satisfying, but the next two times it was just different and not as good. Though the service is only occasionally weird there.

  • Neighbor8

    I’m usually willing to give places a break on health stuff, as long as it’s not too gross a violation.

    But I’m with the other posters who haven’t been all that impressed. I want to love the neighborhood spots but …. the staff just isn’t very pleasant. I’ve been several time and had mostly negative experiences, which bums me out.
    The food is fine (Good biscuits!) and I could overlook mediocre eggs and/or the small space and long waits, but I just can’t get over the rudeness.

    I was there recently with my folks and the attitude of (I believe) the owner turned us all off, put everyone in a bad mood and made me strike Slim’s from my list for now.

  • DeepDarkUnder

    This is really disappointing. Why is management not providing more direct quality control to make sure they are in compliance with health codes?

  • ren

    The first (and last) time i was here, i walked in on a Tuesday afternoon with some coworkers for lunch. Not busy, but no one said anything to us! Two servers walking around and even came up front where we were standing, didn’t say a word. We waited for ten minutes and decided to leave… super awkward

  • Otis Gal

    Amazing how much bad food we’d put up with, hoping it will get better, if only the service wasn’t so bad.

  • Neighborly

    Just go to The Coupe on 11th St. It’s a seven minute walk from Slim’s. The place is clean, has good food, and always-friendly service. Bonus: They couldn’t be more dog-friendly on the patio.

    • textdoc

      Weren’t there lots of complaints about the service at the Coupe? Or has it finally gotten its act together?

      • LittleBluePenguin

        not that I’m aware of – they’ve always seemed like they have their sh*t together, it’s warm and welcoming to everyone each time I’ve been there.

      • Elkhaert

        I’ve always had good service at the Coupe.

      • Leeran

        It’s totally fine. I don’t have strong feelings about the place but if the complaints above are true it’s a step up from that mess.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, there were lots of complaints when it opened and for a while thereafter. It sounded like it was a total mess for a while in terms of service and food. Perhaps they eventually figured it out, but I never went since I never heard anything particularly good about the place.

      • textdoc

        Glad to hear the Coupe has apparently gotten their act together — there were LOTS of complaints on PoPville during their first year or two of operation. It seemed like people really wanted to like them, but the restaurant was making it hard.
        I’ll have to check out the Coupe. Like Anonymous 10:02, I was put off by all the bad reviews and never went.

      • jc

        I wouldn’t say it’s improved in any appreciable way (though I haven’t been there in a few months, thankfully). The food I’ve had has been poor and a fair amount of it seems like just frozen stuff they fry up.

    • dcpolis

      you mean seventeen minute walk to the coupe. they’re close, but not that close.

      • Anonymous

        +1. And even further if you’re starting north of Slim’s. Not a great alternative for everyone.

  • Dave in CoHi

    I’ve been to Slim’s twice now, sat at the bar, and both times were pretty bad. Food is sub-par at best. Service was INCREDIBLY slow, and nobody seemed to care about me as a customer. I don’t have high standards for a place. Just give me a cup of coffee, and some good breakfast grub and I’m happy…but they can’t seem to even pull that off. Very disappointed considering the lack of casual diner spots in DC and how pumped I was for this place to open.

  • oldhouselover

    Ok, going to be contrarian here. My family goes to Slims like once or twice a month. The service is slow, but always friendly (maybe it helps to have a cute kid in tow). I think most of the food is good, but you have to know what to order. The veggie omelet is great. The hash (corned beef or veggie) is great. The bacon is terrible b/c it sits on the griddle drying out. The sausage patties, otoh, are decent. The grits are great. The cheddar biscuit is solid. The pancakes are reliably very very good. It’s not amazing and everything I’d hoped for. It is an extremely solid place to grab breakfast on the weekends, and a really good place for families.

  • Tia

    I was definitely eating at the restaurant as they abruptly stopped letting people in (even though it was 2PM and meals were still being prepared and served. I felt bad for the multiple families who were turned away (since there aren’t many daytime options in the area) without explanation. I wound up suggesting the Coupe to a couple of women and their hungry kiddos when I found them confusedly wandering the block for a lunch spot.


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