Hours: Mondays through Thursdays from 11.a.m. to 2 a.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sundays from noon to 2 a.m.
Atmosphere: It looked as if they held a party and everybody came -- as they were. It's the family room for Adams-Morgan.
Price Range: Anything from a cheese sandwich at $1.40 to a dozen or so dinners at $3.75 or less, on up to the T-bone for $5.
Credit Cards: Bring greens for this one.
Reservations: For a wedding, maybe.
Special Facilities: Accessible by wheelchair. Special seating for wee ones can be improvised. Street parking usually available on evenings and weekends.
If -- and hold on to your forks, for this is a big if -- you're game for a taste of down-to-earth, local flavor in a loud but lovable hangout with bargain food, we've got a live one for you.
"Millie and Al's is a slice of Adams-Morgan, topped with just about anything you feel like ordering. Fancy it ain't but we found it fun when the four of us popped in early one Sunday evening.
The old quick-peek -in-the-door routine won't tell it all here, for up front all you see is the bar. Walk on by to the back, as we did, to a booth near a mounted and thoroughly suffered swordfish.
From there you can do a pretty fair 360-degree panning of the walls, taking in the steer skull and the sample Millie and Al's T-shirt hanging from the rafters; the painting sitting on a ledge alongside a small box of Tide, with the sign that says, "O.K. art lovers -- which looks better, this painting or this box of Tide?"; the Ali and Rocky posters, the scene of Clydesdale with Child, movie posters, a board covered with snap-shots of neighbors and a six-case-high stack of deposit beer bottles. $ a beautifully Hispanic waitress in colorful long dress traded four menus for our request for mugs of draft and colas. But serious menu research had to be posponed pending a little people-watching.
In the air there is Spanish, English and a smattering of Incomprehensible from people of all colors and ages. In no particular order, we could hear Glenn Miller, Tammy Wynette, a medley of popular Latin American numbers, Fats Domino, Elvis and "Fiddler on the Roof."
Our own 12-year-old musical director, eager to join with his 10-year-old sister in selecting a few numbers, approached the innkeeper to ask if he could have four quarters for a dollar. "Listen, kid," said the man, "You better get 'em now, because next week you only get three." Then a grin.
The menu, like the juke box, has something for every taste. Among the sandwiches, hamburgers and subs are a meat-ball sub, $2; hot roast beef sandwich, $2.75; 12-inch steak sub, $3.50; veal cutlet sandwich, $1.75, and a chicken breast sandwich, $1.50.
The clip-on special was Salisbury steak, $3.50. The dinner offering, each with a chef's salad, included spaghetti with meat-ball, $3; lasagna, $3.75; sirloin steak, $4, and the biggie, a T-bone for $5.
Two of us tried the $1.95 soups, which turned out to be homemade meals in themselves. Our son's mini-vat of vegetable soup range bells in all four corners of the booth. My chicken soup featured a wing sitting right in the middle, with a school of rice swimming around it.
Next came some magnificent pizzas, each with a fatter topping than anything ever seen entering a Weight Watchers' clinic. Our daughter tackled a regular cheese pizza, $2, while my wife has a sausage and mushroom model for $1 more. The peppers, by way, are stylishly stored in a Topicana orange juice container.
Reeling from the tidal waves of a soup, our son and I forged ahead -- he into a cheese-burger royale, $2.25, and I into an outsized plateful of arrozo con pollo, $3.75. Mine was a mountain of seasoned rice with peas, serving as a cushion for three large pieces of chicken.
Add to all this a basket of hot rolls, then subtrtact all that anyone could possible pack away -- and the operative word in excess. Even I, the old compacter truck of this term, stopped short of the finish line.
We checked the preliminary results of the art contest, which showed the Tide box beating out the painting by a landslide. The artist, it turned out, is a woman named Netta, who was wearing a swimsuit and jeans and who doubles as a bartendress. She explained that it was her box of soap, anyway.
Before we could pick up stakes, a gentleman has given our daughter a free selection at the juke box -- chivairy is alive and playing at 33 r.m.p.
Our own total score for this evening of food and folly was a remarkable low $17.03 plus tip. That, as any roving diner knows, is a right neighborly figure -- and at Millie and Al's, you can figure rightly on plenty of neighbors to make it all the more worthwile.