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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Horace & Dickie's on WP's Iconic Eats List

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Horace and Dickie's (809 12th Street) made the Washington Post's short list of iconic eats. These are unique places that the Post deems local institutions and good bets for taking out of town guests.

24 comments:

uh-oh said...

A lot of snarky whiners on Frozen Tropics are about to get really, really vocal.

Tom A. said...

well they said "iconic" -- not "good."

No one can argue the fact that it's a local icon.

Like Marion Berry.

Trinidaddy said...

That bespectacled cashier at HD is definitely iconic. Props to him!

Dave B said...

When people hate on H&D and Ben's, are they doing so because they don't like fried fish and half smokes or because they like other fried fish and half smokes better?

If you walk into one of these places expecting fine steak or lobster, you will be disappointed. However, I suspect most people wanting a sausage or fried fish will be pleased, like I am the few times I eat at these places

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they meant "iRonic" eats! H&D serves a market that is shrinking but still exists - the low income, "quantity trumps quality because it leaves you full" market. It's the same approach that leads third-world Chinese restaurants to serve HUGE but low-quality piles of rice dishes for a minimum price to teeming crowds of relatively impoverished customers.

My two experiences at H&D's were the same...cheap sliced white bread absolutely heaped with so many fried fish filets I could barely get my mouth around it. Mostly breading, OK fish. Good-n-filling, but not really anything much more. I'd take a lightly beer battered fish & chips from the Argonaut any day, but at three times the cost and half the volume, it's going for a different customer base.

Same for Ben's - when it comes right down to it, a hot dog's just a hot dog, and a half-smoke's just a half-smoke. The chili is mediocre but plentiful. The crowds make you feel like you are missing out if you don't join in. But is there anything special about the food there? Not so much. But well-paid scenesters seeking lowbrow cache (or just to save a buck or two) and wanting to take in a semi-historic setting can enjoy one of the few real old-style, character-filled eating establishments left in DC.

In atmosphere, Ben's isn't far off from Ollie's Trolley downtown - greasy spoon short-order. Why Ollie's doesn't get lumped in with the same "historical" category I've never figured out.

Anonymous said...

Wow.
Tony surly T
The pug

Anonymous said...

I've gone to H&D's regularly for the last five years, especially during lent. The fish on my most recent trip was by far the best I've had from there. I wonder if they changed something recently.

andrew said...

I like fried fish too. However, every time I've gone to H&D's (admittedly only twice), the fish has been disgustingly soggy.

It's possible to make cheap Fish&Chips that don't suck. Maybe I just caught H&D's on an off night, but I wasn't terribly impressed.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:16, you don't like Ben's Chili Bowl and H&D's because they're black owned business and you want to see them go away, just like Georges, the wig shops, and other black owned businesses on H St. It's a shame how many people on here want to see black owned business fail.

Anonymous said...

Ruh roh. Here we go.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:53 is just trolling to get a reaction and stir things up. Must be a slow day for his/her Craigslist personals.

Anonymous 10:16 didn't say ANYTHING about black owned businesses, and didn't wish them any ill-will. Just said what many others on the OTHER Ben's post have said...mediocre food.

Don't feed the trolls. Stay classy.

Anonymous said...

Unless they invest in an expensive ventilation and filtration system,which would be cost-prohibitive for their business model, I suspect H&D's days are limited.

See:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-gurus/post/rogue-states-to-reopen-as-black-and-orange/2011/06/17/AGntvMZH_blog.html

http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/dc/prestigious-law-firm-sues-burger-joint-over-smell


They have the right to sell fried fish. Property owners around there have the right to not smell fried fish. With all the growth in the area, it is just a matter of time until someone forces legal action to rectify the situation.

Anonymous said...

I love the fish at H & D and just maybe if you'd bother to vent the carry out box, your fish wouldn't get soggy. I have no issue with the Argonaut food but you pay three times as much for 1/2 the fish.

Anonymous said...

Its hard to communicate with the people that work at ben's

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:46 #1: that was exactly my point...you're happy with H&D and have concluded that the Argonaut's fish is not for you...and for me, I'm happy with the Argonaut's and have concluded that H&D's is not for me.

I think we've just agreed to agree, and we've both found a place to get the fish we love! That's what makes H Street great - varying options for varying tastes /pocketbooks...

Kindest regards, Anonymous 10:16

Anonymous said...

This is a neighborhood landmark. Weather you all enjoy the food or not doesn't matter. Obviously, they have a strong customer base and they are successful without your support. There lines out the door every week. I've lived in the neighborhood for the past two years and have enjoyed eating there (once every two-three months). Yep, it's not for me either, however the character, history, and flavor that it adds to the neighborhood is irreplaceable. I do feel bad for those who bought or live around Wyle street who are living day-to-day with the smell / poor ventilation system. On the hand, you all new what you were buying into! WTF! Yep, this a white yuppy who paid a premium to live in a changing neighborhood telling you white yuppies to get a positive outlook on life! Start showing your support for H street or get out. We don't want you here.....

Anonymous said...

I'd bet that the fish used in the argonaut's fish and chips is of similar quality to the fish used at H&D, even if it's a different typ of fish. The same is probably true of the fry-oil and other basic ingredients (all probably from cisco or another massive purveyor). As 10:16 points out, the two places cater to different clientele. But, the differences have a lot more to do with packaging/prep/appearance than actual quality of the ingredients.

Tom A. said...

I actually like the fist at Cameron's Seafood at Heckinger Mall. (They have many locations, actually.)

How do they compare to H and D?

Anonymous said...

Tom A. wins award for funniest typo for his 12:43 post. :)

poo sees beyond petty people said...

wow! wiki john y. brown, jr. now i'm wondering why ollie's trolley isn't iconic too! he was the guy that bought KFC from colonel sanders, and made it into an empire. he sold it and then started ollie's trolly. the one in dc is the last vestige of his own attempt to create another empire, and the perfect burger.

why is this not iconic???

lol said...

The fist at Cameron's Seafood is much more delicate than H&D's rough and unexpected fist.

monkeyrotica said...

If the fried fish is soggy, it's either because the oil isn't hot enough (sometimes a problem at the beginning of the lunch rush) or you didn't open the bag to vent the steam. Pretty much the same deal for any kind of carryout fried food. A lot of people who complain about Five Guys soggy fries would benefit from getting that bag open ASAP before you end up with a steamy sack of soggy potatoes.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Consistently amazed by how many commenters on this blog/people in DC just don't get it. If you think the market for cheap quantity is shrinking, you are clueless. Walk around H street during a weekday for a change, and see who the real foot traffic is.

emo said...

Whitey off the rez;)