Tiki Carryout is a bit different from most carryouts in DC in that it doesn’t have Chinese food. Instead, it has many fried fish and chicken options (though sadly absolutely nothing Tiki-themed). However, what it is best known for is its cheap breakfast sandwiches, which are served all day. Imagine waking up hungover on a weekend morning and craving some eggs on the cheap. You could make some yourself, but you’re hungover and lazy. Fortunately, Tiki Carryout will make a breakfast sandwich for you on the cheap- only $3.40 including tax for a sausage egg and cheese or bacon egg and cheese sandwich. That’s even cheaper than an Egg McMuffin. I ordered a bacon egg and cheese sandwich, which came extremely neatly stacked on toast. It was nothing special and on the small side, but it hit the spot and barely made a dent in my wallet. The place is dumpy-looking but the people are friendly.
Tiki Carryout is located in Shaw at 1601 7th St NW.
Sharks Fish and Chicken is a DC branch of a chain hailing from the South Side of Chicago, located at 4049 Minnesota Ave NE. Sharks Fish and Chicken offers a large variety of fried fish and fried chicken options in a bright, spotlessly clean storefront. A word of caution about the neighborhood: Minnesota Avenue is rapidly developing with new retail and residential units, but it’s still not the safest part of town. That said, it is DistrictNoms’ goal to highlight noteworthy food spots in all neighborhoods. Sharks Fish and Chicken is especially noteworthy for its fantastic deals if you’re buying in bulk. Take the 50 pieces of fried chicken (legs and thighs) for $36.99, for instance. That works out to approximately $0.75 per piece! There are other good bulk deals for fish, but the fried chicken deal is the best in my opinion. I ordered a”small” combo dinner, which was a lot of food for the price. I got two chicken tenders plus a catfish filet and fries. The crinkle-cut fried were nothing special and almost certainly came out of a bag. The chicken tenders were actually tender and were certainly real, juicy white meat chicken. However, I could have used a bit more seasoning on them. The catfish filet was thin, but huge and the crispy batter was delicious. It made for a tasty sandwich with hot sauce and tartar sauce. Unlike other DC fish spots where whiting is the star, like Horace and Dickies, catfish is apparently the thing to get at Sharks, though whiting is available too and for a cheaper price.
The Codmother is a dive bar and restaurant known for fish and chips located at 1334 U St NW. This place is awesome if you’re looking for a grungy, basement dive with a ton of character, tasty food and cheap drinks. If you’re looking for anything remotely classy or datey, stay away. The beer of choice here is Genessee Cream Ale, aka “Genny” which is a pretty terrible cheap beer from Rochester, New York, but I applaud this place for offering something other than PBR. The atmosphere of the place transports you from U Street to what I imagine a divey joint in Newfoundland would look like. And the fish and chips are excellent – fried to perfection with a small side of mushy peas. The walls are covered in chalk with whatever the patrons decide to scrawl on them (often obscenities). This is, of course, no surprise since this is the home of the world-famous “Peruvian Bearfucker” cocktail, composed orange juice and PBR with a shot of bourbon on the side. It may not be the most classy drink, but points for the name.
Fish in the Hood is a fish and soul food carryout (though there is a small counter for eating in) located at 3601 Georgia Ave NW. This place is really cool because you get to choose from a wide selection of fresh fish as if you were in a fish market, and then they fry it or broil it for you while you wait. They also have a large selection of delcious soul food sides. Since I tend to be a bit of a purist, I ordered a whiting sandwich with corn bread and collard greens. It was all delicious. I highly reccomend this place.
Capitol Hill Crab Cakes, which opened in November 2015, is a small seafood and soul food establishment located at 1243 Good Hope Rd SE in Historic Anacostia. The owner grew up on Capitol Hill, which explains the name. The place is a friendly neighborhood spot; when I was there, Business Beauties, a group that holds poetry and arts events to promote networking for local businesswomen, was collecting donations of cases of water for Flint, MI. It’s nothing fancy, with a few tables for eating in. At $15.99, the price of the jumbo lump crab cakes was pretty steep, but the crab cake was truly jumbo and almost entirely crab meat. It came with a side of tasty, seasoned fries. Other menu options include shrimp and grits, crab and grits, kale greens and crab fries. This is a solid spot for lunch if you’re in the Anacostia area.
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.