In the course of looking for great places to eat like the locals do in great cities, here’s a priceless piece of advice: poke around the backroads within two or three blocks of the universities closest to the coolest areas. Even Ivy League students remain students and very unlikely able to afford typical tourist fare.
The Georgetown area of Washington DC is one of the hippest places on the planet, and attracts throngs of tourists as a result. Having a local experience there is nigh impossible.
Or is it?
Remember that Georgetown is home to Georgetown University thousands of kids who want cool without cool prices. Those students frequent an eatery known as Booeymonger. So that’s where I went.
Booeymonger sits one block north of M Street and one block west of Wisconsin street, Georgetown’s intersecting main drags. So it’s certainly within the realm of Georgetown cool, but with enough buffer to keep it off the well-beaten tourist path.
Booeymonger keeps it simple. It’s sandwiches. But what sandwiches! Booeymonger puts something in its bread (possibly crack) that makes the stuff unforgettable. Range of offerings is extensive. In fact, if I have a complaint, it’s that there are too many choices, and I found myself looking at the menu board feeling overwhelmed while the cashier waited for me to get it together. In the end, I panicked and went with the Steak Special, probably because it sits at the top of the list. I threw in a side Caesar salad and a drink, and by the time it was all rung up, the total was about $15.00.
To truly round out the local experience, consider walking to get there. Start at the DuPont Circle Metro stop and walk west on Massachusetts Avenue, the famous Embassy Row. Walk for almost exactly one mile, enjoying the beautiful embassies there, until you cross over the Rock Creek Expressway, where you’ll quickly find a gravel trail into Dumbarton Oaks on your left. Take the trail and enjoy the feeling of being in the middle of a forest that happens to be in the center of the capitol city of the most powerful nation on the earth. It’s a cool feeling.
That trail will take you to near 30st and R Streets, which is one mile from Booeymonger and home to the most beautifully iconic Georgetown-style (think the home of Frank Underwood) architecture you’ll see the all of Washington DC. I suggest taking a rambling route as you walk the one mile from there to Booeymonger from there. And if you time is right, make sure the walk back takes place at dusk, when you’ll see actual gaslights and lightning bugs illuminating many of the streets there.