City Cast

DC Restaurant Hot Takes With Jessica Sidman

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on August 23
Half smoke and chili cheese fries from Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Half smoke and chili cheese fries from Ben’s Chili Bowl. (T.Tseng/Flickr)

What are your most fiery takes on D.C.’s food scene? Washingtonian’s food editor Jessica Sidman joined us on our podcast to hash out some restaurant hot takes that might make your blood boil.

The best half smoke in DC isn't at Ben's Chili Bowl.

“I think that the best half smoke in D.C. is actually at a somewhat nearby restaurant called Meats and Foods. They make their own sausages, they make their own chili, and it's just a notch above in quality. I love Ben's, but a lot of its appeal is tied up in its history and character.”

Georgetown Cupcake is better than Baked & Wired.

“The Georgetown Cupcakes are a little more petite and you know, that quick sweet treat, whereas I feel like Baked and Wired is really that full dessert experience. So, you know, maybe if you have that preference.”

Cupcakes at Baked & Wired.

Cupcakes at Baked & Wired. (Kevin Harber/Flickr)

QR code menus are actually better than paper menus.

“Paper menus are overrated. Sometimes they're a little greasy or gross, and there’s a practical element if a restaurant changes its menu every day. With a QR code, everybody scans it, everyone's good to go. I love when you can order and pay on your phone.”

$20 for a good sandwich is totally reasonable.

“A sandwich is actually an incredibly complex dish. If you do it well, there are a lot of expensive components. $20, if that was a composed dish, no one would blink an eye. I don't think it should necessarily be any different if you put it between bread.”

Call Your Mother is not good.

“I think [people] say this to be nonconformist, right? I think Call Your Mother is … fine. Is it my first choice? No. Their bagels are a little sweet for my taste. But, if you're trying to be non-conformist, go find a place that you actually really like and then tell me about it, so I can review it.”

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