Hump Day Chomp: The Diner

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Hump Day Chomp is a new weekly posting that intends, perhaps unsuccessfully, to make your Hump day a bit less humpy. We’ve found restaurants that are (mostly) cheap, rarely visited by our Georgetown amigos and, above all, pretty freaking good to get you through the week. 

Few culinary experiences can stimulate as much excitement as those enjoyed at our very own Leo’s. Some nights that begin with the highly anticipated dinging of the omelet bell, however, end in a deeply unsatisfying cheese-to-egg ratio, or, more horrifyingly, a lack of cheese altogether. After having despondently consumed a block of egg sprinkled with the occasional diced pepper or two, we can’t help but wonder what happened to the tomato and feta that we blatantly checked off on the omelet slip. Doesn’t writing “Thank You!!!” surrounded by hearts count for anything these days?

If you find yourself feeling like your aggressive politeness, excessive heart drawings and subtle winks at the gentleman with the frying pan have gone egregiously unnoticed one too many times, fear not. This week’s Hump Day Chomp hopes to take you off campus and into a venue where you can have your omelet and eat it too – and it will have tomato and feta if you ask for it.

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The Diner in Adam’s Morgan is the perfect spot for weekend brunch. Situated on the neighborhood’s main strip along 18th Street, the restaurant is a quick walk from the bus stops that transport to and from Dupont. The Diner boasts a cozy, Sunday morning ambiance, with countertop seating and classic ketchup bottles, diner coffee mugs and bottles of syrup set at wooden tables. The one drawback is that you will inevitably face the age-old, paralyzing debate over whether to go with breakfast, brunch or lunch. The menu has everything from Western omelets to bread pudding French toast, from steak and eggs to chili cheeseburgers, and BLTs to grilled salmon. Not to mention, there’s a whole section of “Eye Openers” featuring mimosas, Bloody Marys and “adult spiked milkshakes.”

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If you’re looking to explore a new slice of the District with friends over breakfast or lunch, head to The Diner and check out the other restaurants and shops along the main drag in Adams Morgan. Tryst, a cute coffeehouse and cafe and The Diner’s sister restaurant, is located just a few doors down (featuring Instagrammable latté art). Unless, you know, you’re really into the always unpredictable game of Russian Roulette that is the omelet-making process at Leo’s (which one will be denied cheese in this batch?).

Here’s hoping you use this hump day as an excuse to treat yourself. You are better than a feta-less omelet.

Photos: Stationstart.com, Flickr.com, dinerdc.com

 

 

 

Hump Day Chomp: Dukem

humpdaychomp

Hump Day Chomp is a new weekly posting that intends, perhaps unsuccessfully, to make your Hump day a bit less humpy. We’ve found restaurants that are (mostly) cheap, rarely visited by our Georgetown amigos and, above all, pretty freaking good to get you through the week. 

I bet you’ve said, “Mmmm I’m craving Ethiopian” about as much as you’ve said, “I need a colonoscopy”, so today’s Hump Day Chomp is written with the intention of changing your mentality. With over 250,000 Ethiopian residents, DC boasts a large number of great Ethiopian restaurants that are cheap, laid-back and Hump Day Chomp-worthy.

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I recently visited Dukem, a small Ethiopian restaurant on U St. Corridor. (You can get to U St. by taking the metro to the U Street-Cardozo Metro Station on the green line.) The restaurant is really casual and cozy, and has a chill terrace facing the bustling area. Dukem serves different types of Ethiopian foods, like fitfit and kitfo, as well as God-knows-what for you vegetarians, but their specialty is Ethiopian injera with wat.

Injera is kind of like a spongy crepe that doubles as a plate to serve a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables. We ordered a platter of warm injera with a colorful combination of different stews that came in less than 10 minutes and was so big it could barely fit the table. The combination platters are about $20, and are enough to feed an average indigenous Guatemalan family, which, for your information, is 5.2 people. All right, maybe it’s enough to feed just 2 or 3 of you, but that’s still pretty damn cheap.

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The best part? FINGER FOOOOOOOOOOOODDDD. Ethiopians eat exclusively with their right hands, so utensils aren’t even given to you unless you ask for them. You’re supposed to eat whatever you ordered by using pieces of injera to pick up the meats, cheeses and vegetables on top of it. Be warned that these foods have a lot of spices, so some of you might have bowel problems à la Ben Stiller in “Along Came Polly.”

I hope your Hump Day is less humpy than mine, and if it’s not, then stop complaining and go eat with your hands!

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Photos: quickmeme.com, pandawhale.com, blogspot.com

Hump Day Chomp: Toki Underground

humpdaychompHopefully the first of many, Hump Day Chomp is a new weekly posting that intends, perhaps unsuccessfully, to make your Hump day a bit less humpy. We’ve found restaurants that are (mostly) cheap, rarely visited by our Georgetown amigos and, above all, pretty freaking good to get you through the week. So without further ado, I would like to presenteth our first Hump Day Chomp, Toki Underground.

Toki Underground is a small, cozy restaurant located at 1234 H St. NE, nuzzled between another Asian restaurant and one of those dark bars with scary tattooed bartenders. As you go up the narrow stairs, you can hear 90s music playing and Toki’s red lighting infiltrate the walkway. For a split second, I wondered if I was being taken into some sort of Red Light District, praying that I wouldn’t get deported if I somehow got caught. Thankfully, my friend and I were greeted by a smiling hostess.

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Toki does not have any tables — only limited bar seating. The dangling lamps and awesome wall art make you feel as though you are in a hip, hole-in-the-wall in central Kyoto. All germaphobes can rejoice because there is an open kitchen to the left, in case you are worried about the noodle-making process. The waiter behind the bar also happens to be the bartender, which is cool but might lead to poor choices considering you have class on Thursday.

Their menu is pretty short and their specialty is Taiwanese ramen, but they also have different types of dumplings. We ordered the pork dumplings to share and I had the vegetarian ramen that had roasted root vegetables soup, tofu, daikon and shitake mushrooms. My friend had the Toki Classic, with pulled pork and pickled ginger. I immediately regretted my decision.

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Ramen bowls cost $11 or $12, and they are HUGE. You will feel fuller than Chris Christie after an all-you-can-eat buffet at Friday’s, so believe me when I say it’s worth it. They also offer an assortment of Japanese beers and sakes that the waiter/bartender will gladly pair with whatever you decide to order.

All in all, Toki Underground was fan-freaking-tastic. Although you might have to wait a while for the limited bar seating, H Street is a good place to explore while you kill time. They also offer take-out, so give ‘em a call if you’re in a hurry. Once we sat down, however, the food came very quickly. Get out of the Gtown Bubble and have some fun. Remember, winter is coming.

Toki Underground
1234 H St NE
(202) 388-3086
Nearest metro stop: Union Station on the red line. You might want to share an Uber once you get there, as H St. is more than a mile from the stop.