When I decided to go to Open City I had almost completely recuperated from the PTSD of my last dining experience. With that being said, in the midst of my recovery I wanted to go somewhere unassuming, inexpensive, and casual. Since I was in the Woodley Park area, I decided Open City would be the best choice.
It was mid-afternoon on a week day and their “Please Seat Yourself” sign was up at the host stand, so I followed instruction and graciously took a seat.
Open City is a casual diner with closely placed tables and ceiling fans throughout; similar to that of a New Orleans café. The patrons ranged from families with young children to business men and women just getting off of work. When I took a seat I had a brief moment of doubt as to whether or not anyone would come greet me but they did and well within a reasonable amount of time with water and menu in hand.
After perusing Open City’s options, I decided on the Spinach and Roasted Garlic Dip with pita bread and the Grilled Tilapia BLT with chili lime tartar sauce.
The relaxed setting combined with the variation of patrons provided a degree of anonymity that I appreciated after a long work week and I had no hesitation sprawling some paperwork out on the table before my meal; however, before I made any substantial progress the food had arrived and I was delightfully pleased at the speed at which it came.
I started with the Spinach and Roasted Garlic Dip. The dip was extremely smooth, creamy and was topped with a delightful excess of cheese. The roasted garlic was present and very complimentary to the dish. The pita bread was good with this dip but I must be honest. After looking to my right and seeing the other guests with their house made chips I did wish I had chosen them instead.
The Grilled Tilapia BLT consisted of freshly grilled tilapia, tomatoes, lettuce, apple wood smoked bacon, and chili lime tartar sauce on two pieces of white toast. The tilapia was fresh, perfectly cooked, and void of any musty or fishy flavor. The bacon was sliced substantially thick and added a great sweet and smoky component to the sandwich. All of the produce used was fresh and ripe (truly nothing worse than what would have been a good sandwich with soggy lettuce and un-ripened tomatoes), and the chili lime tartar sauce added a lightly spiced undertone to the sandwich and was appreciated.
Holistically speaking, my dining experience was satisfactory. The servers were personable and attentive, the food was extremely affordable, and the atmosphere was comfortable and casual. Whether visiting the Smithsonian National Zoo or randomly in the area, I can’t see you going wrong by stopping in Open City for a quick bite.
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