1426 Park Rd NW
Homespun Caribbean food has a barebones home in Columbia Heights at Los Hermanos. Prepared meats (pulled pork called pernil, beef tripe, stewed chicken, goat) and helpings of mofongo (mounds of fried, mashed plantains molded around chicharrón pork) are piled onto plates or to-go containers, but you have to be in-the-know to ask for the true specialty: bistec encebollado, a mix of strips of lime-soaked steak tossed with a zingy salsa verde, topped with grilled onions and served with salty, crispy tostones (all the better to soak up the juices with), rice beans and a side. Dominican chefs in the back busy themselves transforming green platanos (like a larger, less sweet cousin of the banana) into the sought-after, chip-like tostones discs. The restaurant started as a small bodega in 1995, but once the owners started to cook, a business requiring 300-400lb of rice a week was born. Leave your comfort zone and order the oxtail stew or goat, but whatever you do, try the tostones. And maybe a papaya milkshake or a Morir Soñando (translates to "to die dreaming"): evaporated milk, orange juice, lime, sugar.