It's as fascinating to watch the repartee between customers and Big Mama, Dickie's goddaughter, as it is to watch the deep-fried creations being stuffed into large Styrofoam carryout boxes. "If she's not messing with you, something's wrong," said one regular, doing a lunch run for seven co-workers in Crystal City. With trolley-track construction dominating the corner of 12th and H streets NE, this wee blue and white carryout - flourishing since 1990 - is easy to miss. Follow your nose or look for the lunchtime line.
Known for: Fried fish, of course, but no itty-bitty square fish patties on hamburger buns here. Instead, the basic order includes four huge whiting fillets - dipped in cornmeal laced with secret spices - deep fried to a crisp golden brown and plopped on top of white or wheat bread. A hefty dousing of hot sauce is optional.
Tip: Finish your phone call before venturing inside or Big Mama will call you out - loudly. And pay attention when she points to her tip jar or she'll scoff at you - but it's all done with a good-natured swagger.
I've been a H&D customer for over 15 years and I luv it. Though now retired, I still at times drive back to DC from Howard County just to get a whiting sandwich and a couple of sides. Have recommended to others and they're now staunch patrons. Guess I'll keep on making the trip . . .
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