I’m really pleased to say that the Hitching Post, a long-time favorite restaurant of many Petworth residents, has become a sponsor of Petworth News. And I’m really excited to say that they’re offering Petworth News readers a 15% discount off of dinner on Wednesday nights when you mention the site or their ad on this blog (look to your right). Definitely take advantage of that great offer.
First opened in 1967 by the Carter family, the restaurant located at 200 Upshur St NW has been known for its traditional Southern food, including some of the best fried chicken in DC. The owners decided they wanted to retire, and sold the restaurant in 2012 to Barry Dindyal, who used to own Fusion, the Indian restaurant at 4815 Georgia Ave NW.
Owning a business in Petworth was important to Barry. “I liked the idea of investing in your own neighborhood,” Barry said, when I asked him why he’s opened his second restaurant in Petworth (Fusion is now closed). “It’s also less of a commute," he said with a laugh (his family has lived on Delafield since 2001), "And my kids go to school here, so it made sense to us to own a business in the neighborhood.”
Barry committed to keeping the cuisine, welcoming atmosphere and character that the Hitching Post has always been famous for, and has added his own flair and enhanced menu.
Barry renovated the restaurant (which sits in a converted row house at the corner of Upshur and Rock Creek Church Road). A new bar, new booths and tables and a juke box (along with a couple of flat screen televisions for game time) update the place to fit a more modern Petworth. (Interesting side note, the original owners live above the restaurant and still eat there.)
Barry just launched a new lunch menu with lower prices (he calls them “more economically priced”) at about $8-10. Lunch is available Tuesday through Sunday, starting at 11:30am. You can enjoy Happy Hour all night on Mondays, as well as every day from 4pm to 7pm.
The restaurant now features Indian specialities and flavors along with the traditional Southern fare. It may seem an add combination, but it’s a very tasty complement of flavors.
For example, the Chili Garlic Calamari makes for a really wonderful appetizer (just before you dig into your Fried Maple Farm Pork Chops and mashed potatoes). The hand-cut calamari is tender and the turmeric and red chili provides a gentle, spicy bite. The side salad of fresh romain and diced carrots will help cool any sensitive palate.
Barry does most of the cooking himself, along with his assistant chef James. Everything is made on-site, from the hand-cut calamari to the homemade french fries.
The Chilean Sea Bass Sandwich, another speciality of Barry’s, makes for a delicious lunchtime sandwich. The perfectly cooked fish is pan-seared and seasoned with sea salt and saffron. It sits on Texas toast with lettuce and tomato, and comes with home-made coleslaw.
I can personally vouch for the pork chops, with sides of mashed potatoes and broccoli. My daughter decided her hamburger was one of the best she’s had (she’s almost five, but she’s an experienced food critic already).
Speaking of the burgers, Barry offers something called an “Atomic Burger.” It’s 8 ounces of fresh ground beef with applewood smoked bacon, carmelized onions and habanero peppers (hence the atomic). It comes with a side of the home-made, hand-cut fries, lightly seasoned with black sea salt. Wash it down with a Blue Moon from the bar.
As one Yelp reviewer calls this place, it’s a hidden gem. But not really — if you know Petworth, you should know the Hitching Post. Whether you're coming for lunch, dinner or to sit at the bar and celebrate a birthday, the Hitching Post will convince you it's a wonderful Petworth institution. (Just read the enthusiastic comments on this article's accompanying Facebook post.)
When you visit, be prepared to wait at least 20-minutes for fried chicken; it’s made to order and worth the wait. And remember to tell them that you saw the ad on Petworth News and get 15% off your Wednesday night dinner.
The Hitching Post
200 Upshur St NW
Monday: 4pm -12am
Tues - Sunday: 11:30am - 12am