DC for Foodies on a Budget


urlA pitcher of beer might be the more obvious pairing for Chicago-style pizza. And yes, you can get Goose Island with your deep dish or thin crust pie at Vin & Vic’s (229 Pennsylvania Aveue, SE), a Friday and Saturday pizza pop-up a Capitol Lounge.

But Vin & Vic’s founder Tom Madrecki is also assembling a wine list made up of bottles that aren’t otherwise found in the city by taking advantage of D.C.’s unique alcohol import laws. By paying a small fee and filling out a form with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, he’s able to bring in bottles that aren’t available from distributors.

The wines also tend to be lower in alcohol and higher in acid, which happens to make them pair well with pizza.

By essentially eliminating a middle man, Madreccki says the prices are lower than they might otherwise be. His current list ranges from $7 to $10 for a glass and $33 to $47 for a bottle. Cool Huh!

haute-dogs-fries-restaurantBlue cheese, mango-pineapple relish, and dill pickles are among the many creative hot-dog toppings at Haute Dogs & Fries (610 Montgomery St., Alexandria, 703-548-3891; 609 E. Main St., Purcellville, 540-338-2439).

We could have these franks with a little mustard and relish and be happy. But it’s tough to pass up the more creatively topped options. Take the Duck, Duck, Dog, with hoisin, cucumber, and scallions, à la Peking duck. Or the Banh Mi, with its Vietnamese-inspired accents of Sriracha-spiked mayo and cilantro. Then there’s the mango-pineapple-relish-laden Monroe, a must for lovers of all things salty-sweet.

348sOrder a stack of pupusas from La Casita, and you will wait. The minutes, in fact, may pass like hours on a Saturday night, when the pupuseria is packed with Anglos and Latinos alike. They all wait for the same reason: The kitchen prepares pupusas to order, each a thin, browned masa shell concealing a vein of stringy hot cheese paired with your choice of ingredients. The pupusas are merely the gateway drug; there are many more mind-tripping dishes available here, including breakfast sandwiches built on French bread. La Casita Pupuseria and Market, 8214 Piney Branch Rd., Silver Spring. 301-588-6656.lacasitapupusas.com.

793b086a3ac7f47128e2a6dc1dd4ef68East London collides with Dupont Circle East at this “casual yet sophisticated” spot serving “hearty” sandwiches and specials (i.e. salt beef, “unreal” pumpkin curry) along with a full English breakfast in a “welcoming” row-house setting; it’s best known for its “awesome” classic burger, as well as a double-patty version that’s a “perfect hangover cure.” Duke’s Grocery located at (1513 17th St NW) is the best game in town if you are hankering for a mouthwatering burger!