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U Street has grown into a pretty robust dining locale in the last several years. Its progressive vibe (just step inside Busboys and Poets and you’ll see what I mean) has ensured the inclusion of lots of vegetarian menu options in the area.

Eatonville, brought to you by Andy Shallal of Busboys and Poets, opened in 2009 and serves up Southern comfort food in their large, airy dining space. The decor is quirky and unexpected and the waitstaff are friendly if a bit forgetful.

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First off, do not miss the honey cornbread muffins. For a mere $2, you get four sweet, moist muffins fresh from the oven. They don’t even need butter, but I’m not one to pass it up. So good.

Honey-Cornbread Muffins

Honey-Cornbread Muffins

I have to say two of the side dishes we tried were disappointing. The macaroni and cheese is passable (it’s hard to go totally wrong with pasta and cheese; let’s be honest), but stay away from the mushy and oddly sweet braised collard greens.Side dishes: Classic Mac and Cheese, Braised Collard Greens

Do not miss the fried green tomatoes, though. You’ll bite into fresh, juicy, breaded and fried tomatoes complemented by greens and avocado. The dish is attractively plated with a swirl of sauce on the bottom.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes with avocado and micro-greens salad, basil oil, and saffron aioli.

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or neither, you should try the pan-seared tofu. I’m not sure I want to know how much oil they use to make it that crisp, but it’s worth it. The zesty herb sauce is spot-on, but the the side of asparagus could stand to be a bit more generous than three spears. Sadly, the dry, bland cremini mushroom risotto that comes with it is a flop, but they’ll substitute the macaroni and cheese or something else for it if you ask.

Pan-seared tofu with cremini mushroom risotto and herb sauce. Pictured here with collard greens. From The Washington Post's "Washington’s essential vegetarian eats"

Pan-seared tofu with cremini mushroom risotto and herb sauce. Pictured here with collard greens. From The Washington Post’s “Washington’s essential vegetarian eats”

We were full at this point, but went for a dessert anyway. The oatmeal-pecan pie was homey and tasty, but nothing too special. I’d suggest asking them to skip the cream on top and go for some ice cream instead, or try the famous coconut cake (which we haven’t yet).

Oatmeal-Pecan Pie

Oatmeal-Pecan Pie

It’s best to know Eatonville’s strengths and weaknesses going in, because the dishes they do well are unique and delicious. Just avoid the pitfalls and you’ll have a great meal.

EDIT: If you see the Roasted Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad on the menu, get it. It’s studded with lots of candied pecans, a bounty of spinach, and delightful little balls of fried goat cheese.

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Roasted cauliflower and goat cheese spinach salad

Eatonville
2121 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-9672

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