When Kojo Nnamdi and I sat down at Indique Heights to discuss his Wednesday food programs, we talked a lot about his favorite places to eat and what he likes to order. Here are a few edited outtakes from that discussion:
All We Can Eat: How often do you come to Indique Heights?
Kojo Nnamdi: Oh, not that often. Maybe once every couple of months. I eat out maybe once a week or once every two weeks. I pick out a circuit of places that I go to when I eat out. This is one of them. Crisfield’s in Silver Spring. BlackSalt is another. I used to go to another place on MacArthur Boulevard. Mark Plotkin and I used to have a weekly lunch, but we haven’t been in the past month or so. For some reason, I’m blanking on the name right now…This is a regular American joint.
AWCE: Kemble Park Tavern?
KN: Kemble Park!
AWCE: I think that closed.
KN: That’s what Plotkin told me. So the last time he went, it wasn’t very good, and he thinks they’re going to close...Yeah, that was one of my spots. We also used to go to Il Mulino on Vermont Avenue quite frequently....
AWCE: Another closed place.
KN: That’s been closed, too? See, we stopped going when the maitre d’ left, so I guess that would have been a prevew to their closing…On 19th Street, the Italian place on 19th between M and N. IRicchi.That’s presumably still open… And there’s another place called the Hitching Post..
AWCE: I love the Hitching Post
KN: That’s been a regular spot for 20 years. I don’t know Mr. Carter’s first name, but Adrienne is the wife’s first name…It’s a neighborhood place which I used to go by every evening on my way home for a glass of wine... On the weekends, my wife and I would go. It’s like an unfolding soap opera for the regulars. The Carters’s daughter, I’ve known her ever since she was a kid...But I don’t go to any places as regularly as I used to anymore, because my schedule.
AWCE: So what would you order at Hitching Post?
KN: Wings, but they used to have a really good seafood and chicken gumbo that they took off the menu and they put it back on. It’s not as good. But it was the closest thing that came to the gumbo I got in New Orleans. It was thick. I just really really like the quality of it. And it didn’t include any sausage.
AWCE: Any other places?
KN: That’s about it for my round-up of places. Oh, no, for some reason, mostly because of location, I go to Acadiana at Ninth and New York Avenue. There’s something about that location I like, because I’ve been in Washington a long time, and I remember when the location was completely different.
AWCE: The New York Avenue spot…
KN: It’s right across from where for the last two or three years they’ve been staging summertime tennis tournaments with the Washington Kastles. I just like that area. The Acadiana menu, I can take it or leave it. It’s not that good. It’s probably the only place I go for location because I always want a seat at a booth near the window because I can see New York Avenue…That’s why I go, just for that spot.”
AWCE: Sounds like you have an affinity for Cajun…
KN: That’s the Caribbean in me. [Nnamdi was born in Guyana.] Being from the Caribbean and growing up with a lot of curries and a lot of mixtures of flavors, I do have an affinity for that kind of thing...And every Saturday, I get a chicken soup from Negril in Silver Spring. Every Saturday.