Horace and Dickies

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

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The huge Whiting Dinner with collards and mac and cheese on the side.

Horace and Dickies is a soul food and seafood carryout specializing in fried fish located at 809 12th St NE. There is an additional location in Takoma but this one along the H Street NE Corridor is the original. While it’s nowhere near as old as Ben’s Chili Bowl, Horace and Dickies has been in business for about 25 years and is an institution along H Street, much like Ben’s Chili Bowl is for U Street, but far less well-known. Horace and Dickies long predates the fancy new places on H Street like Maketto and Dangerously Delicious Pies; it remains an authentic locals’ spot, specializing in basic, tasty, fried fish with soul food sides, like collards and creamy mac and cheese. The most popular item on the menu is the Whiting Sandwich, which is a large portion of fried whiting served with two slices of bread. It’s nothing fancy (the bread is supermarket bread and you have a choice between wheat or white) and there is far more fish than you could possibly fit into one sandwich. It’s a very satisfying comfort food, particularly after a night out on H Street, and it’s as DC as the chili half-smoke. Another option is to get the Whiting Dinner, which comes with a choice of two sides. I made the mistake of getting this my first time there. It was delicious but the large helping of fish plus collards and mac and cheese made it far too much for one person; this is a great option if you have someone to split it with. Be warned that Horace and Dickies’ authenticity and popularity does have its drawbacks: it’s often pretty packed (waiting in line does give you a chance to hear the latest from longtime residents about the neighborhood, though) and there’s no seating at all (it’s a true carryout) so prepare to find a bench on H Street to eat your tasty fried fish if you don’t live nearby. I’ve done this twice in rainy, cold weather and it was less than ideal, though the food made it worth it.

 

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