Hours: Weekdays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Atmosphere: Organic diner.
Price range: Sandwiches, quiches, pizza and salads from $2.50 to $3.95; beer and wine from $1.10 to $4.25.
Reservations: Recommended for large parties.
Credit cards: All major cards.
Special facilities: Garage parking for patrons; accessible by elevator to Pparons in wheelchairs.
The Sunlight Cafe, tucked away in the basement of the Foundry Mall in Georgetown, offers standard fare at low prices. Despite its name, no sunlight reaches the cafe, so many customers take their food out to the banks of the nearby C & O canal.
On a recent overcast Saturday, four of us ate inside for $22. The children chose a table with a view of the color television and the giant mushroom applique' on the wall behind the counter.
One ordered the "Sunlight's Fantasy" ($3.95), an impeccable club sandwich heaped with turkey breast and ham and served with potato chips, pickle slivers and a sweet, glutinous potato salad.
The other had a "Prince Charming" ($3.25), a meaty medium-rare cheeseburger accompanied by French fries (the serrated frozen kind) and pallid tomato rounds.
Mushroom quiche ($3.75) was comparable to most of the ones in town: It did not have the puffed and airily elastic texture of a freshly baked flan, but was collapsed and dense, obviously reheated. This came with a bowl of iceberg lettuce, red cabbage shavings and tomato.
I asked for the soup and salad combo ($3.25) because I remembered from previous occasions that the salad bar had boasted some excellent and original toppings: paper-thin slices of ripe, mellow papaya, deviled eggs and a spicy pickled medley of zucchini, cauliflower and squash.
But I was not able to update my memories, as it turned out that soup and salads were available only during the week. Disappointed, I resorted to "Thinliner's Diet" ($2.50), a vegetarian sandwich described on the menu as American and Swiss cheese bedded on spinach, lettuce, tomato, mayo and wheat bread. I found it unimpressive.
We fared better with dessert. The children had large helpings of creamy Colombo frozen yogurt sprinkled with Quaker Oats granola ($2.15). One of them was pleasantly surprised to discover that the banana yogurt he had requested tasted curiously like strawberry. My friends had an acceptable, but undistinguished, chocolate cake ($1.25).
Lunch for four, including one soda (60 cents), one Hawaiian punch (60 cents), one glass of wine ($1.25), one Michelob beer ($1.35), one coffee (45 cents) and tax came to $22.14.