(Pre-post P.S.: We recently returned from Paris, so look forward to an upcoming postcard, but for now suffer through a slightly outdated review of a new spot)
Tackle Box is the latest Barton Seaver adventure. Turns out he's more than just one of D.C.'s Top 20 eligible bachelors, but I guess we already knew that.
TB is simple: For the Maine Meal ($13), first pick whether you're going to be good or bad (crispy or wood-grilled). Crispy could be bay scallops, calamari, pollock, shrimp, clam, or oysters. Wood-grilled includes tilapia, calamari, bluefish, rainbow trout, and a hamburger. After choosing a protein, pick your two sides (cornbread, green beans, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, and many more). Lastly (although I guess you can do it whenever), choose a sauce (from classic tartar to basil walnut pesto!).
I enjoyed the wood-grilled tilapia. I picked the lemon-garlic aioli "sauce," which to me didn't seem much different than a regular old mayo. I didn't sense anything particularly lemony or garlicky about it. As a result, I barely used it, which was fine. My asparagus side would have been excellent if it was hot. The gus was perfectly charred on the outside (without being burned), and was well-seasoned. It's a shame that it was room temperature. My hushpuppies WERE hot, but I was slightly disappointed in them. Hushpuppies are essentially fried cornmeal bread (not as sweet as cornbread). I don't know if it's that the Tacklebox hushpuppies aren't up to snuff, or if I just plain old am not a hushpuppy kind of gal.
J loved the crispy (read: fried) bay scallops, which were hot and provided in a generous portion. His sweet potato fries and mac and cheese (especially the mac and cheese) would have been GREAT if they were HOT. But they were NOT. They were ROOM TEMPERATURE.
What I don't understand is how a place with only 7 hot sides and with counter service (you order, pay, get a number, they call your number when it's "up") manages to serve cold food. It's not like I'm at a table for 15 and it was sitting under a lamp or anything.
I'll for sure go back to Tackle Box. Maybe by the time I do they'll have figure out the whole temperature thing. In a nutshell, they serve cheap, fast, good quality food in trendy and somewhat unreliable Georgetown--a serious feat. You can go healthy (wood-grilled, greens/salads on the side) or not (fried, fried and more fried). While Stewart's root beer is on tap, Diet Stewart's is not (tsk, tsk).
3245 M Street NW
Metro: Orange/Blue Lines to Foggy Bottom, and every other route to G-town