The Chew’s ebullient Carla Hall dishes on her district favorites when it comes to sweet and savory cravings.
Chef, TV personality, and restaurateur Carla Hall has plenty of suggestions for on-the-go sweets in DC.
“You could eat out five times a day, every day of the week, and still not dine everywhere I like in DC,” says Carla Hall. “There are that many great places.” The Top Chef breakout star leads a busier-than-busy life cohosting ABC’s The Chew, overseeing her boutique baking company, Petite Cookies, and launching her Nashville hot chicken restaurant, Southern Kitchen, in New York City, with a location to follow here in the District. So when she can take a break from her hectic schedule, she truly appreciates sitting down to enjoy a memorable meal or a superlative snack.
“I love having tea in the morning at Blind Dog Cafe & Bakery (944 Florida Ave. NW, 202-290-2865). It’s so comfortable and cute. They have a really dense, old-fashioned pound cake I love to get with a cup of Earl Grey tea. I sit in the back on the couch and pretend like it’s my living room.
The pastry counter at Blind Dog Cafe & Bakery.
“I love chef Ris Lacoste’s soups and salads. At Ris (2275 L St. NW, 202-730-2500), she does simple food that’s not flashy, but it’s so well-done, and it’s so delicious.
“During the afternoon, I make a beeline for Ted’s Bulletin 14th Street (1818 14th St. NW, 202-265-8337; tedsbulletin14thstreet.com). The brown sugar Pop Tart is my go-to. I have no words—it’s that good. I recently went in and ate two tarts, plus a hot chocolate. I was wired.
“I know it’s cliché, but it’s such a DC thing to take visitors to get a half smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl (1213 U St. NW, 202-667-0909)—and the strawberry cake, which you get to-go after dinner because you never have the stomach space after you eat.
“If I need a midnight nosh, I go for the lobster burger and fries at Central Michel Richard (1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-626-0015). I think they have the best fries in town. They’re just so spot-on. They’re the perfect way to end the day.”