Two words: Pit. Beef.
Most people outside of Baltimore have never tried -- or even heard of -- this unlikely version of barbecue. To call it barbecue is a little off, since it’s top round that isn’t smoked at all, just grilled over an open pit (hence the name). Unlike, say, the brisket of Texas, it's cooked rare and shaved paper-thin with a peppery, crusty edge. Traditionally, it’s meant to be eaten on a kaiser roll, with crazy-spicy horseradish and topped with rings of white onion. The beauty of this sandwich is not only its tender texture and smoky flavor, but it’s served in the most unassuming places, like carnivals, shacks, or even (true story) in the parking lot of a strip club.
The only food “native” to DC is just a gussied-up hot dog
Ah yes, the half smoke. Let’s be honest, it’s really just a glorified chili dog. People just get it as a sort of DC-bucket-list thing (or a hungry-at-3am thing), but it’s just not that special.