A guide to D.C.’s most overrated restaurants

Media Credit: Graeme Sloan | Hatchet Photographer

Old Ebbitt Grill may be the oldest restaurant in D.C., but skip this spot if you want to avoid expensive food and long wait times.

D.C. is becoming a city for foodies with new restaurants popping up alongside old classics, making it difficult to tell what’s worth your time.

So as the new restaurants come – from openings at The Wharf to areas like 14th Street – it’s time to leave behind the old and overrated.

Some of the most popular restaurants in the District don’t always hit the spot, and these over-hyped eateries might persuade you into a meal you should’ve avoided. For any occasion, here are the most overrated restaurants in Foggy Bottom and around the District.

Old favorites that flop: Old Ebbitt Grill
Located near the White House, Old Ebbitt Grill is the oldest restaurant in D.C. The tavern, which was established in 1856, features Victorian-style digs and was a favorite of former Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, Warren Harding and Theodore Roosevelt. But don’t let its historic past fool you.

The food is expensive, with prices up to $41.99 for a main dish. Whatever you order will be top-notch, but even the quality isn’t worth the long wait times and lack of available reservations. You can likely slide into an early dinner on a weeknight, but unless you make a reservation weeks in advance, no amount of OpenTable points will get you in the door.

Drunk food to dodge: Jumbo Slice
Amid dozens of bars and clubs, this shoddy pizza spot is located in Adams Morgan. Although oversized pizza is the ideal drunken meal to absorb the alcohol in your system, the extra greasy foot long slice will leave you feeling worse in the morning.

You might not mind the belligerent crowd here on a Saturday just after midnight, but you won’t want to lay eyes on this place in the daylight. The grimy seats and tables you eagerly eat off of in an inebriated state, you’d never touch clearheaded. The spot was even temporarily closed Dec. 28 for health code violations that included “operating under gross unsanitary conditions,” the Washington Post reported. No matter how fun the social media posts of you eating a giant slice are, they aren’t worth risking the dirt-ridden conditions.

GWorld waste: Crepeaway
Crepeaway, located on the corner of 20th and L streets, is one of the few late-night spots for students that accepts GWorld. The shop serves sweet and savory crepes named after people and places, including the D.C. favorite, Obama crepe ($7.25) filled with nutella, bananas, strawberries and blueberries. Students frequent Crepeaway more for the atmosphere than the crepes, because it turns into a raging dance party filled with college kids in the wee hours of the morning.

This crepe shop is the club for kids who come to college before they turn 18 and still call prom the best night of their life. Dancing on the tables at 2 a.m. to pop hits may seem like a fun time freshman year, but once you get over the feeling of freedom that comes with being away from home – you’d rather eat your mediocre crepe in silence.

Overpriced authentic: Flavors of India
Flavors of India, located close to campus at 2524 L St. NW, is a mysterious place you’ve probably never visited. But you’ve likely seen it on the GET app’s delivery tab and have maybe even dared to order. The food is average at best, but definitely not worth the hefty price tag of about $15 to $20 per plate. The only positive side to the high price is that it will boost you up to the minimum total needed for free delivery to campus.

Indian cuisine often features a few classic dishes every place gets right no matter what, but Flavors of India can’t even get those straight. The Daal Makhani should be a vegetarian dish made from lentils cooked in light butter cream sauce and bursting with a mix of cumin, garlic and ginger, but this version is tasteless and heavy. A simple and classic addition to any Indian meal – naan – isn’t even mastered by Flavors of India. A good naan should be thin and slightly crisp, but you can taste all the extra flour in this bogged down, soft version. If Flavors of India can’t grasp the simple stuff, it’s not worth your time.

Only in it for the views: Harbourside restaurants
When you need a lofty spot to take your parents with a scenic view, Potomac-side restaurants like Nick’s Riverside Grill, Tony and Joe’s and Sequoia are all go-tos. But these spots often draw large crowds – especially in the summer months – and the food isn’t anything to write home about.

The prime location means all of these restaurants are overpriced. The run-of-the-mill salads and sandwiches run for about $20 a plate at most of the restaurants mentioned, and cocktails are almost equally costly at around $15 per glass. Diners may get a nice view of the Potomac River – and they’re far enough away to forget how dirty it is – but these meals would have anyone running to write a negative review on Yelp if they were served at a restaurant at any other location.

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