Busboys and Poets
If I made a list of my top five DC-area restaurants, Busboys and Poets would certainly make the list. It’s an artsy gathering place owned by restaurateur Andy Shallal, an Iraqi-American businessman in the Washington, DC area. It is named in honor of Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy on his road to become the notable author and poet that he was. There are currently four locations: 14th and V Streets, NW (the original location); 5th and K Streets, NW; Shirlington, VA; and Hyattsville, MD. There are talks about opening a new location also in Takoma and possibly Brookland as well. I was at the Shirlington location last weekend after a long hiatus, and it was just as lovely as it always was.
One of my favorite things to eat there is the Falafel Sandwich with hummus, cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, red onion on whole wheat pita pocket. I usually get their homemade kettle-cooked chips but they also offer fries, sweet potato fries, soup of the day, salad, or fruit. Look at the menu to see the other things they offer.
The neat thing about this place is its wide array of menu offerings. They have enough variety to satisfy anyone’s palette, including dessert and alcoholic drinks. The ambience is pretty cool too. Another cool feature is the bookstore as well as the poetry slams and author events. A portion of the bookstore sales supports teachers through a great non-profit organization, Teaching for Change. Teaching for Change provides resources for teachers and students to help improve the learning process and better enable students to learn to read, write and change the world. I love that Busboys and Poets use some of its bookstore sales to support Teaching for Change. How amazing is that?
If you’ve never been or haven’t been in a long time, you should consider planning a visit.