A good family dinner out does not always require a sit-down-and-be-waited upon a restaurant, with a special children's menu and an all-you-can eat salad bar. There are times when a good sandwich place is just as good or better.
Among the sandwich shops we rate very highly is Booeymonger, near the District line at 5252 Wisconsin Ave. NW, an offshoot of the original Booeymonger in Georgetown.
The food is of very high quality at this cafeteria-style eatery, the atmosphere informal and relaxed and the prices, considering quality and quantity, quite reasonable.
On a recent Sunday evening, we took out 6-year-old son and his 8-year-old friend, and the tab for the four of us came to only $1474.
The restaurant is well-lighted and wood-paneled, with ferns and hanging plants. The eating areas are on two levels. The tables are finished light hard wood without table cloths. There are also booths. The unobstructive background music are FM stereo rock.
During our visit, we saw other families there with children from toddler age on up. We did not see any booster seats or high chairs but were later told the restaurant possesses one high chair.
Booeymonger's menu is varied and imaginative. There's the $2.75 "Patty Hurst" toasted English muffin, Russian dressing, turkey, bacon and melted provolone - and, the $2.35 "Sloppy Jaws," "Starring" hot ham and cheese, grilled tomato, and "co-starring" a hard roll, cole slaw and Russian dressing. Altogether, there are 15 special sandwiches, plus "the Basics," about 20 unadorned sandwiches in regular or "3-D" size, various salads, country pate on French bread, different soups on different days, and mushroom or spinach Quiche Lorraine.
My wife ordered "The Exorcist" for $2.50. It contained hot roast beef "possessed" by blue cheese dressing with bean sprouts in a clementine role, and it was more than she could eat.
I chose the "Johnny Horizon" for $2.25 - generous amounts of sliced ham and several slices of Muenster cheese, plus Russian dressing and apple slices on a hard roll.
Our son ordered salami and butter on hard roll, from the "Basics" category, for $1.65. His friend asked for another "Basics" sandwich - hamburger on roll with ketchup. It was a sizeable portion of fresh hamburger for $1.50. Both of the children's orders came with what my son called a "super pickle."
Midway in the tray line is a refrigerated glass display case where you can see the Quiche and various salads and pies before ordering them. Here also, you may order a "Miami" sandwich of Nova Scotia salmon, bagel and cream cheese for $2.75. Booeymonger offers several types of bagels - pumpernickel, onion, sesame - as well as bialys, a sort of dry-crusted roll with Eastern European origins.
We purchased two plastic containers of fresh fruit salad, at $1 apiece - apples, pineapple, melon (water and hoeny dew), grapes, oranges and grapefruit sections in all their combined juices. My wife thought the fruit salad was not uniformly fresh.
I got a good-sized slice of pecan pie (warmed) for myself for 90 cents, and, from the self-serve pastry cabinet, two 80-cent chocolate eclairs for the kids. My wife selected a piece of chocolate cake with almonds in the frosting and a dollop of jam on top. We both agreed my pecan pie, which also contained a good flaky crust, was superior. The children finished their eclairs without complaint.
While the kids drank sodas, my wife and I tried an apple and strawberry juice concoction - eight ounces for 80 cents. It proved to be a dubious hybrid. For those who wish, Booeymonger also serves milk, imported beers and wines, coffee and tea.
The meal was amply filling. We wound up taking home half my wife's "Exorcist" and half my son's salami sandwich. They were both too good to waste.
We were able to find a parking space on the street nearby. There is also a private parking ramp around the corner on Jennifer Street N.W.
No credit cards. Winter hours: Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Friday and Saturday, all night. Open around the clock daily in the spring, summer and fall.