Outside of Micho’s Lebanese Grill
In the coming weeks, Micho’s Lebanese Grill (500 H Street, NE) will bring a taste of Lebanon to the western end of H Street in a fast casual format. The restaurant is going into an end unit space that had previously been a florist and will have a nice patio area on the side for diners to enjoy good weather. When it opens in mid-July, Micho’s will offer both lunch and dinner service every night, in addition to having late night hours on the weekends. You can see the menu here.
Window Seating at Micho’s Lebanese Grill
It will have takeout service, and the owners are currently considering delivery service as well. In addition to having Lebanese cuisine, it will also feature several different types of beer in addition to sangria and margaritas. It will also have a weekday happy hour.
Counter at Micho’s Lebanese Grill
Micho’s Lebanese Grill comes from three Lebanese friends who have spent their careers in the restaurant industry. Micho, the chef, is currently the head chef at Darna in Arlington and received his culinary training in Lebanon. Jad started his restaurant career at age 17 working as a busboy at PF Chang’s and has worked his way up through the industry ever since. And Fady has owned and run a restaurant in Springfield since 2006. Continue reading
Catfish Po Boy at Po Boy Jim
After years of waiting, Po Boy Jim on H Street (709 H Street, NE) finally opened its doors this week and based upon our initial experience it was worth the wait (you can read our first preview post from September, 2012 here). The restaurant is a family business that has several family members working throughout the restaurant. The staff was very friendly and seemed to take pride in the restaurant and its food. The first day of service was this Thursday, and after they have a couple of days of operations under their belts, the owners plan on having it open from lunch through dinner and late night.
Tables on Second Floor Overlooking Patio at Po Boy Jim
It will open at 11am for lunch and stay open until 3am on weeknights (earlier during the week). The restaurant offers full dining service as well as takeout and bar service. The food is cajun inspired but has different influences from around the world throughout its menu (which you can view here).
Bar at Po Boy Jim
Po Boy Jim’s interior was completely renovated and the space is quite large. The downstairs area has several tables, a somewhat open kitchen, and a place where you can wait for takeout. There is a fairly large patio with several picnic tables and a large wall mural featuring the forthcoming (we hope) H Street streetcar. The upstairs has a large bar as well as tables that overlook H Street down below.
Po Boy Jim Ceiling
The ceiling has been decorated with large and multicolored window shutters to create a very interesting vibe. When you walk past the bar on the upper level, there are two separate additional dining areas towards the back of the restaurant. The second of the two back dining areas has glass doors with a railing that overlook the patio that will be opened once the patio is complete (it is still under construction) whenever the weather is nice. On the night that we were in there, jazz was being played throughout the restaurant to give it an authentic New Orleans feel. Continue reading
Back in the spring, we looked at the new restaurants and bars that were coming to H Street. Now that several months have gone by, we wanted to take a look at what restaurants have opened, what ones have made construction progress, and what new restaurant concepts have been announced recently. For each of these categories we list the establishments in order of going west-east down H Street. If we’ve missed a place, please let us know in the comment section.
Opened this Summer and Fall
- Heaven & H (701 H Street)–new deli in former Grace Deli location that honors the memory of the owner of Grace Deli (June Lim) who was murdered in 2012, deli underwent some renovations and is now open but appears that renovations may be ongoing, more details from Washington City Paper
- Chupacabra (822 H Street)–taco restaurant that previously was a food truck, operates right off of H Street but has added a covered patio that links it to H Street in the last several months that should be quite popular when it is warmer
- Vendetta (1210 H Street)–Italian restaurant and bocce bar by Joe Englert, you can read our early review here
- Da Luft (1242 H Street)–initially billed as a “seafood restaurant,” now appears to be more of a club with three levels and a rooftop patio
- Sol Mexican Grill (1251 H Street)–two level Mexican restaurant with fast casual service downstairs and full service restaurant, bar, and patio upstairs, you can read our early review here
- RedRocks (1348 H Street)–full service pizza and Italian restaurant with extensive bar and retractable roof patio, three other DC area locations
- Manny and Olga’s (1409 H Street)–D.C. pizza chain offers delivery
- The Elroy (1423 H Street)–a bar concept on the eastern end of H Street, more from Washington City Paper Continue reading
This evening the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee–which has jurisdiction over the eastern end of H Street–held a discussion about possibly changing its policy that currently prevents restaurants and bars from operating public space patios (i.e. patios on the street) and rooftop decks after 11pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends. While the D.C. Government’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) handles alcohol licenses in the District, ANCs play a very important role in the process through recommendations to ABRA and by holding hearings to help restaurants/bars and residents come to mutually beneficial agreements that will help the establishment thrive in the community without negatively affecting its neighbors. The current policy of ANC 6A is to require restaurants and bars to agree to not serve alcohol on patios and rooftops late at night even though the establishment can stay open until much later in the evening. This meeting was to discuss a potential change to that policy.
Over 20 residents showed up to protest any potential change vociferously. Most of the comments were similar: allowing later hours outdoors would create more noise and prevent residents from sleeping, later hours would encourage more drunken debauchery along H Street and in the surrounding neighborhoods, and that there was no benefit to the community for allowing restaurants to have later outdoor hours. Several residents argued that allowing restaurants to have later outdoor hours would lead to an increase in crime.
Only two restaurants testified in favor of changing the current policy to allow for later hours. Joe Englert–owner of several H Street establishments and arguably one of the main reasons that H Street is currently experiencing such a renaissance–countered many of the residents claims that a change in policy would have negative effects. Englert argued that he and other H Street restaurants have invested many millions of dollars in the community and have no reason to be bad neighbors. He offered to install any kind of noise barrier to help alleviate any noise problems that arose in neighborhoods surrounding H Street. After several residents questioned the need to keep outdoor areas open so late (one said that there was no reason for people to be drinking or even out after midnight), Englert pointed out that many young people are going to be out late drinking “because that’s what they do.” He implied that if they weren’t out drinking and spending money on H Street they would be doing it elsewhere around the city which would hurt the H Street economy. Continue reading
Earlier this month, the Port of Piraeus location in West End (1155 21st Street, NW) closed its doors permanently. The Greek restaurant had been at the West End location since 1989; however, owner Frankie Doyle tells us that it was time to streamline operations by closing this location and consolidating the business in the restaurant’s other location in Franklin Square. The other location will continue to offer breakfast and lunch as well as catering across the city. No word on what might replace the restaurant.
Currently H Street’s restaurant scene is divided into two sections: the Western end and the Eastern end without almost any restaurants in the middle. The Western end runs from Ethiopic in the 400th block to Hikari Sushi in the 600th block. The Eastern end starts with the Atlas Room in the 1000th block and runs to the 1400th block. In between there are not really any restaurants (the new Chupacabra being the exception). There is a lot of development planned for that section (including three apartment buildings and a Whole Foods) but not much has materialized so far. Continue reading
Our first trip to TD Burger in NoMa (250 K Street, NE) almost didn’t warrant a return trip. It was very disappointing as the restaurant has a great outdoor seating area and a Top Chef contestant as the chef (Timothy Dean). Yet, the fast casual burger restaurant had a weird set up, confused service, and unimpressive food. Since that, our most recent return trip saw some improvement. However, we hope that this trend continues and accelerates as the restaurant still needs help.
Sonia from the Bronx Burger at TD Burger
Customers order their food at the counter and then go sit down with a number card for food to have their food delivered to them. But there’s a catch: you can’t order any alcoholic drinks at the counter and instead have to go to the bar or get the attention of the cocktail waiter/waitress (only one or two employees had the ability to serve alcohol even though there were close to ten employees serving customers). It took us around seven minutes to order drinks once we sat down even though the restaurant was empty and we’d already asked a different server for help. This was after waiting several minutes to order food (there was no one in line in front of us) due to a combination of the server being completely confused and the computer system being down. Additionally, this set up is not ideal as it requires customers to open a second tab for alcohol even if they only want to order a beer.
The food did not improve the night. The “Sonia from the Bronx” burger sounded intriguing: avocado, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and grilled romaine. The burger probably would have been great if it had been served as a salad without the bun. The grilled romaine was tasty and the burger had promising flavor. Unfortunately, all of this was overshadowed by a soggy bun that fell apart and could not hold the burger properly. We were a little confused at how the bun was so soggy as it had clearly been thrown on the grill for a few seconds and had light grill marks. Regardless, it ruined the burger. The allegedly “beer battered” onion rings tasted like onion rings we could have picked up in the frozen section of the grocery store.
Energy Kitchen (1901 L Street, NW), a fast casual restaurant focusing on “healthy fast food,” closed earlier this week. No word yet on what might replace it.
Energy Kitchen Closed on L Street