Quick Bites

Originally Published 05/11/98

Washington, D.C. is more than the nation’s capital – it is home to a vast array of restaurants. From classic American cuisine to Thai and Ethiopian food, the District offers something to satisfy even the most exotic of appetites.

But in the midst of Commencement weekend hubbub, few GW families have the time to sit down and enjoy D.C.’s delicacies. Luckily, the city has a slew of places to grab a quick and delicious meal.

Au Bon Pain

For breakfast, lunch or dinner, Au Bon Pain – or “ABP” as it is known in Foggy Bottom – has something for everyone. Breads and pastries are one of ABP’s specialties. Bagel flavors range from plain to asiago cheese to Dutch apple walnut, and ABP recommends a flavorful cream cheese to top each. For those with a sweet tooth, the chocolate croissants and bear claws will satisfy any craving.

ABP offers wonderful soups, salads and sandwiches. Soups like corn chowder, chicken noodle and vegetarian chili are served steaming hot and can be spooned into a bread bowl for a nice twist on the typical cup of soup. Sandwiches are served on a variety of breads, bagels or croissants. The croutons on the salads are mushy, but ABP’s fat-free tomato basil salad dressing cannot be matched.

Au Bon Pain serves up tasty food, but the prices can be a bit steep. A small bowl of soup and a soda, one of the more inexpensive meals, costs almost $5.

Despite the prices, ABP provides a plethora of choices, most of which are delicious. Most ABP cafes offer outdoor seating, which is perfect for sipping an iced mocha on a sunny day.

Au Bon Pain is located at:

1001 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

2000 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

1401 I St. N.W.

1801 L St. N.W.

Burrito Brothers

As the name implies, burritos are the food of choice at this D.C eatery. The hardest choice is not which burrito to order – only three types are offered – but which tortilla flavor to try. For the adventurous, Burrito Brothers offers jalape?o achiote, spinach and tomato flavored tortillas. And of course, Burrito Brothers offers traditional whole wheat and white flour tortillas.

Burrito Brothers’ menu includes a few varieties of tacos and quesadillas and three larger combination platters. Despite its limitations, the menu appeals to both meat lovers and vegetarians. All non-meat items are strictly vegetarian, and the staff will make any item to please the customer.

Burrito Brothers offers a decent, inexpensive meal. The most expensive item on the menu is the taco salad platter at $5.95. So for a cheap Mexican lunch, look for one of the many D.C. Burrito Brothers.

Burrito Brothers is located at:

205 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E.

2418 18th St. N.W.

3273 M St. N.W.

1524 Connecticut Ave. N.W. (near Q St.)

1825 I St. N.W.

1815 M St. N.W.

La Madeleine French Bakery

La Madeleine brings a hint of Paris to D.C. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, La Madeleine offers French delicacies at any time of day.

For breakfast, offerings range from a French country breakfast to homemade croissants to organic granola with skim milk. The lunch menu includes sandwiches, salads, soups and hot French specialties. Most lunch items also can be ordered for dinner, but there are additional choices available after 5 p.m. Dinner prices range from $7-$11.

Although some dishes are overpriced, the French dessert pastries are worth the price. Served for lunch or dinner, a bowl of tomato basil soup will fill even the hungriest of customers. La Madeleine offers free, fresh bread with every purchase – a perfect companion to a bowl of soup or a salad.

The warm and cozy atmosphere compensates for the high prices. Just remember there is fresh bread for free at the end of the line, so order sparingly at the beginning and save room for dessert.

La Madeleine is located at:

3000 M St. N.W.

500 King St., Alexandria, Va.

Wrapworks

Wrapworks proves almost any combination of ingredients can taste good if it is neatly wrapped in a tortilla. Inside every tortilla and behind every cute name looms an entire meal. The “General Mustard” wrap, for example, is grilled Dijon chicken, saut?ed portabella and button mushrooms, mango salsa, rice and black beans wrapped in a spinach tortilla. The rule of thumb at Wrapworks: The crazier the combinations sound, the better they taste. Wrapworks offers two 98 percent fat-free wraps, which are both vegetarian and delicious.

In addition to its wraps, Wrapworks offers salads and other dishes for customers who don’t want to deal with the mess of a tortilla. The tortillas are definitely more fun.

Wrapworks has smoothies – delicious blended fruit drinks. For an additional 50 cents, a “spike” can be added to a smoothie. Spikes of bee pollen, ginseng or gingko biloba are added to smoothies for an extra kick of energy.

Wrap prices range from $5-$6 and salads are about the same price. Smoothies are about $4, but are well worth it on a hot day. In fact, whatever the price, a meal at Wrapworks is a good value. The food is superb, and trying to keep all the ingredients inside the wrap until the last bite is a true challenge.

Wrapworks is located at

1079 Wisconsin Ave. N.W. (between M and Potomac streets)

1601 Connecticut Ave. N.W. (Q St.)

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