Hours: Weekdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., except Friday night to 11 p.m. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Atmosphere Cozy, clean little vegetarian place, whitewashed walls, natural wood and no smoking.
Price Range: Main dishes range from $2.25 to $4. Salads, which outnumber the main courses and are meals in themselves, range from $1 for a yogart salad to $3.50 for the vegetarian chef's special.
Credit Cards: Master Charge and Visa/Bank-Americard.
Reservations: Not necessary or taken.
Special Facilities: Parking is catch as catch can in Georgetown. Wheelchairs have three small steps to negotiate inside.
No, Yes! does not look like a vegetarian restaurant. My wife thought there might be sawdust on the floor. I envisioned the waiters barefoot and in hairshirts or possibly turbans. And our two boys had expected that the small Georgetown restuarant near the CAO Canal would be "a pretty freaky place."
But Yes! with its whitewashed walls and wooden tables, looked like other restaurants. It smelled better, however, because smoking is prohibited. Its patrons all looked lean and healthy. The waiters wore no uniforms and showed no obvious signs of vegetarianism. Our boys were halfway through dinner before realizing their lasagna and chili were meatless - and that it didn't matter.
They had commenced the meal laughing at the menu and its list of drinks - carrot, beet and celery juices - and ordered pineapple-papaya juice when they couldn't see any sodas on the menu. To their surprise, they concluded it was "delicious."
Yes! formerly known as the Laughing Buddha, began as a soup kitchen. Now it's an incorporated conglomerate, with a Yes! food shop, book shop, soap shop, home shop and herb soap in Georgetown, all dedicated to things natural and to the proposition "Whole Food, Whole People, Whole World," a slogan that is painted on the window. Its prices have risen with its fortunes, but then even lettuce has been selling for almost $1 a pound in Washington.
We arrived at 6:30 p.m., to find a parking place as soon as the city's weekday rush-hour parking curfews lifted, and quickly ordered some spicy hummus and guacamole appetizers, which are also pricy at $1.75 and $2. "This is the strongest guacamole I've ever eaten, pure garlic," said my wife, reaching for the liter carafe of California white wine (produced without chemical additives, the menu assured us). We mistakenly ordered the liter, not thinking metric, on the assumption we'd be getting a small decanter.
Still gasping happily from the guacamole, my wife ordered a hot and spicy Szechuan Banquet, a stir-fried Chinese dish of mushrooms, almonds and "tofu," which, we were told, was bean curd. At $4, it was the highest-priced entree on the international vegetarian menu, which offers Middle Eastern, French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and several nondenominational dishes. I chose a $3.50 quiche with fresh vegetables of the day, which turned out to be primarily broccoli. It had a whole wheat crust and was delicious. Our boys enjoyed the synthetic meat dishes, with what appeared to be carne in the $2.25 chili turning out to be soy protein, according to our waiter.
The salads that accompanied our salad main courses were fresh and crisp, as befits a vegetarian restaurant, though we wondered if the cuisine declines in winter. Our boys even liked the bean sprouts that adorned the salads.
Our 14-year-old son devoured a hornemade cheesecake, which he wouldn't share but described, for our benefit, as "really delicious." Our 12-year-old had frozen vogurt, a favorite staple of his diet. We settled for Viennese coffee, "with a hint of cinnamon," to counteract our metric mistake over the wine.
Our bill was $31.20 without taxes or tip, but would have been $29 with a demi-liter of additive-free wine. At $4.75 a liter we hated to leave it unfinished, but then they don't have doggy bottles.