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Comet Ping Pong (5037 Connecticut Ave. NW.)

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For anybody who has not heard of Comet Ping Pong (which we hadn’t before seeing it on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives), you should look it up now. The entrance of the building is marked by a retro looking Comet sign, and the doors used as the entrance are hidden behind a square corridor of bushes. With a ping pong table constantly being used outside, this location is hard to miss.

The crowd inside of Comet is a mix of college students, families, and couples looking for a fun date night. The front room is set up with long tables where strangers are sat to eat side-by-side. Just past the open kitchen lies a second room filled with, you guessed it!, more ping pong tables. This back room is a great place to pass time while waiting to be seated (up to 40 minute wait). We enjoyed a few games of ping pong ourselves and were told the wait would be half an hour, but were pleased to be seated after only 15 minutes. The dining area has a huge television that shows nothing but ping pong matches–making even the least coordinated feeling like they can paddle the world (excuse the pun).

Now, onto the delicious food! As a trio, we decided to order an appetizer, two “individual” pizzas, and a single scoop of ice cream for dessert. A well rounded meal that totaled $40.00 with two soft drinks included. The appetizer of choice were the much talked about Comet Hot Wings w/ Dipping Sauce. We were not sure what to expect as our waitress told us that they “are like nothing you can imagine.” The wings definitely were a surprise. Char-grilled rather than the traditional fried, the wings had an Asian flare and a spice to match the black coloring. The meat fell right off the bone, reminding our guest reviewer of ribs. The dipping sauce that accompanies these tasty treats was a unique combination of horseradish and sour cream. Mixing the flavors together provided something satisfying for all of us. Although the wings are not for the faint of heart, they have the perfect kick–not too much to deter those who can’t handle spice, but just enough to satiate those who crave a slight burn. Overall, we give the wings high marks and suggest these as a must when ordering. [A couple next to use ordered the Homemade Meatballs as an appetizer and informed us that they were even better than the wings!]

The first pizza delivered to our table is called the Yallie and is a crowd favorite. The Yallie has a wonderful mix of fresh ingredients: Clams, garlic, melted onions, thyme, and  parsley all spread out atop some of the best pizza crust that we have experienced. The crust is light and warm entirely through… it has a softness and taste that made us believe that asiago cheese may be mixed in with the dough before baking. All the ingredients used at Comet are fresh and local, causing a noticeable impact on the overall taste of the pizza. The Yallie comes with fresh lemon slices that are meant to be squeezed over the pizza. A little skeptical at first, we were delighted by the the effect the lemon had on the pizza. The Yallie is a great choice! How many times have you had clams and lemon on a pizza?

Our second pizza to be delivered was The Time Out. This pizza also had local ingredients. Topping this pie was Stan’s Local Merguez sausage, parsley, melted onions (this ingredient is on most of the pizzas), potato, and gorgonzola cheese. We only had one concern while ordering this pizza: Gorgonzola is a very strong cheese that is hard to work with due to its often overpowering flavor. However, the ingredients on this pizza complimented each other perfectly and the gorgonzola was the perfect touch! Once again, a highly recommended pizza.

Finally, dessert. Comet Ping Pong boasts that they have the best tiramisu ever. Although the tiramisu was a tempting choice, we decided to try their organic and locally made ice cream. Our waitress suggested another crowd favorite: Salted Praline. All we can say is that the ice cream was unbelievably creamy and every bite left us craving more! The salted praline flavor can be compared to a butter pecan… but, in our opinion, a butter pecan on steroids.

Overall, Comet Ping Pong was a fun and delicious experience. Our tips for ordering are to try a pizza that may be out of your comfort zone because the unique combos at Comet are more often a hit than a bust. We also suggest going with a friend, get an appetizer and one pizza, saving a little room for dessert. This way the bill is cheaper and you can try more items on the menu! Because all of the ingredients are local, fresh, and in many cases organic, you do pay a little more than anticipated. The food and atmosphere are all worth the extra cost!

As for getting to this awesome location, take the red line metro to either the Van Dress stop or the Tenleytown stop. Either way, you may have to walk some distance, but it is not an arduous walk by any means, so lace up and hit this great location!

Click Here to Connect to Comet Ping Pong’s Website! 

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Roti Mediterranean Grill (2221 I St. NW)

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As one of the newest venues open at The Avenue, Roti offers Mediterranean style food very close to the GW campus.  Since it is an up and coming restaurant that is new to the Foggy Bottom area, the staff lacks in knowledge about some of the dishes and sauces, but hopefully these issues work themselves out in time. They won’t mess up your order or anything along those lines, but you may be required to point at what you want rather than referring to it by name (for example, the staff didn’t know which sauce was the tzatziki sauce).

Now onto the important part…the food.  We ordered the Mediterranean Plate with steak and the Double Chicken Kabobs plate.  Each plate came to a grand total of around $9.  This is not bad at all for a great variety of food.

Mediterranean Steak Plate: We ordered it with cucumber and tomato salad, Greek olives, Rice, and Spanish zucchini.  Topped with the red pepper aioli sauce, this dish was full of flavor and the steak was well cooked.  The dry rub that is used on the steak itself serves as a huge source of flavor and is truly unique to Roti.  The variety really makes this plate extraordinary and worth the $9. The rice was definitely unique and delicious.

Double Chicken Kabob Skewers: We ordered this variation with the tomato and cucumber salad and mixed vegetables.  The chicken was very moist, but on its own didn’t have a lot of flavor.  It is, however, a mild meat that pairs nicely with any of the offered sauces. The rice and pita, given with every meal, are full of flavor and are a great addition to any meal.  With the two sides, the overall dish was very colorful.  The mixed vegetables came with a vinegar based sauce which was a nice compliment, however it would have been better if the vegetables were warm instead of cold.

Overall, Roti is great for a quick meal.  Most dishes are under $10 and you get a wide array of options for that low price.  For the GW followers, Roti does accept GWorld, making it an even more convenient option and adds something different to the current dining options around campus.

Ordering Hint: While in line, ask for a sample of the falafel. If you enjoy the flavor, get it at as a side for just $3!

Our First Bite…

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Welcome foodies to BitebyBiteDC!  This up and coming blog will serve as your one- stop-shop for affordable, delicious restaurants within our nation’s capital. Aimed at the college student, we look to provide you with some of the best well known and off the beaten path restaurants that are sure to excite your appetite. Our first bite will happen this week…stay tuned!