I agree with ChezKatie on Ben’s food quality.
Also, when in DC, be sure to hit these other family run and one of a kind places: (neighborhood in parenthesis)
Old Glory – BBQ. They make many styles, all "authentic." (Georgetown) All BBQ joints that aren’t a chain should be mentioned in roadfood.com.
Tony Chen’s Mongolian BBQ and Seafood Restaurant. THE Chinese restaurant to go to when in DC. (Chinatown). The place to stop at when travelling to DC. I wonder where Tony Chen is these days?
Harry’s Pub – pub food, great prices on both food and drink in the heart of downtown. Many locals go here for happy hour. I haven’t been disappointed yet. (Downtown) Locally owned, sole location. It would be a diner, if it wasn’t for the full bar.
Full Nee – another great chinese restaurant still in Chinatown. Not many of these good ones left. A DC Cheap Eats favorite. (Chinatown) Cheap ethic
Cafe Divan – Turkish food (Mediterranian) great food, reasonable prices, nice service. This was my choice of restaurants for my graduate graduation dinner. I still go there. (Georgetown) Locally owned and operated. Just this one location.
Max’s Best – Super Yummy ice-cream made by Max on site (Glover Park) Family run – the one and only.
Bob and Edith’s Diner – this should be reviewed in Roadfood! Great food, long history, locally known.(Arlington, VA) Classic roadfood establishment.
Mr. Chen’s Organic Chinese – it’s take out, but it would be one of the best area Chinese restaurants if they had a dining room – and it’s inexpensive to boot. (Woodley Park) Family run.
Ugly Mug – the best darn little burgers you’ll ever eat. Good salads too! (Barracks Row) Well known D.C. chef opened his own place.
Banana Cafe & Piano Bar: Cuban and Puerto Rican food. Sizzlin’! and be sure to catch Chuck Smith singing in the piano bar on Friday nights. (Barracks Row) One of a kind restaurant.
Georgetown Cafe. This place has that mom and pop, unpretentious look. Along with cheap prices, and a mixed menu of classics, this cafe is a bit of an oddball for Georgetown. Not very Georgetownonian – that’s a good thing. (Georgetown) Classic Roadfood place.
Horace and Dickie’s – take out seafood. The fish sandwich is to die for. (Cap Hill/H Street Corridor) Has to be roadfood, you can’t eat there!
Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe – cheap eats! Poy boy’s, crawfish, etc. Very cosy joint. Be sure to get the beignets! (Adams Morgan)
Tryst: Down to earth diner food, with trendy atmosphere. Weird mix, but great food (Adams Morgan) Roadfood with a "tryst."
The Market Lunch – there’s only one city market left, and this lunch stand still serves up a great breakfast and lunch diner menu with some seafood choices. (Eastern Market) Classic Roadfood place
Kavanaughs Pizza Pub. Kevin bought this Faccia Luna restaurant location from his Penn State buddies. No longer a part of the small Faccia Luna chain, the pizza is still the best brick oven pizza in DC. The improved entrees and appetizers ALL very resonably priced, makes this a very popular neighborhood restaurant. (Glover Park) Kevin, the owner, works on-site. You occasionally see his new baby checking on dad’s work.
Mama Ayesha’s – middle eastern food. Since Lebanese Taverna, though family owned, is a small chain, you may want to try this little cafe instead. The food is equally as good, if not better, and the owner’s family is always greeting you at the door and serving your meal. (Woodley Park/Adams Morgan)