Now Open

As many of you will remember when I posted about the proposed Flip-It Restaurant coming to RIA here, well, the restaurant has finally opened! The restaurant is located at Rhode Island Ave and 16th Street NE.

It appears that the owner has taken care to create a good space by revisioning the interior and offering a banquet hall for private parties, as well as, having outdoor seating. I personally have not been there yet (I plan on it soon) but if anyone has, please let us know your thoughts!

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13 thoughts on “Now Open

  1. The space is beautifully designed and decorated. My daughter and I ate there last week. The food was mediocre, but they absolutely made up for that with the space. I’m hoping that they decided to offer Wifi. Right now they have a locked network. We’ll definitely visit again!

  2. Thanks for letting us know. Looking forward to trying it out soon. Hopefully some more restaurants come to Rhode Island Row and other store front locations further up RIA so we won’t have to go to MD or other parts of DC for a good sit-down dining experience.

  3. Glad to have Flip it in the neighborhood. I’ll go to see if I can eat any of their food. But even if i in particular can’t, they are a welcome addition, and might b a pretty good fit for RIA.

    Has anyone tried the West African place yet, called “Taste”? (I still have not.)

    Of all of the near-ish by restaurants (slim pickins), I recommend Shagga in /Hyattsville for Ethiopian, Elevation Burger (free-range, all-grass-fed beef) also in Hyattsville, and Sweet and Natural, I think they are called, for gluten-free and vegetarian ethnic food options, located next to Glut grocery coop in Mt. Rainier.

    All in Maryland.

    I’m thinking in the next two or three years we should see several more restaurant/cafes open around here…hopefully one will be in the old town on upper RIA.

  4. I’ve eaten at Flip It several times already and I think it’s great. The food is moderately priced and, in my experience at least, quite good. I had the Veggie Panini which was delicious. And the presentation was surprisingly sophisticated. I would say that they still have some “bugs” to work out in terms of service/workflow. But that’s not a complaint – the place is brand new. And the people working there are very friendly and helpful.

    1. Just to notify everyone, the restaurant called “Rhode Island Reds” further up RIA/Baltimore/Route 1 (just as you hit Hyattsville) is for sale, lock stock and barrel, with functioning coffee machine, ceramic pizza oven, all of the equipment, display shelves, and general San Francisco funky artsy decor, for around 15K. If anyone has ever wanted to transform a road-side restaurant into a shisha bar, a cute little cafe, or a cool hip little ethnic restaurant–or jut keep it pizza and and soups and salads, this could be your chance. The owner, Chris, wants to turn his energies away from food toward creative writing.

      Hyattsville is becoming the driver friendly restaurant destination for some of us who live in the relatively restaurant impoverished upper Northeast….with Elevation Burger, a new Chipotles, soon to arrive Busboys and Poets, the always kind and charming Shagga for Ethiopian cuisine, and cute, funky Rhode Island Reds for Pizza and sandwiches. I wish someone who really knows how to cook would buy that restaurant and make it a charming little treasure! Please spread the word quickly–it is for sale now, and needs a buyer, and it is cheap!

      1. Agreed. Hyattsville Arts District has been nicely planned to include some great international dining options. I like Under the Coconut Tree. I do not care for Elevation Burger. (Z-Burger in DC is much better. Their black bean veggie burgers top anything Elevation Burger could produce). I do not care for Shagga. You can find much nicer Ethiopian Restaurants in DC at the same price that have very nice decors and food. I wouldn’t waste my time with Shagga. But, it is worth giving all these places a try and coming to your own conclusions.

        I’m sure all these restaurants and lounges including Taste, Lace, Flip-It 2, Tropicana, and even Earl’s Sandwich will attract their own following and allow them to remain open. Flip-It has 2 other locations. Earl’s is atrocious inside but it’s Subs attract a lot of people.

  5. Have been anxiously awaiting this place!

    Pros: interior is bright, friendly, clean. Food was good. Decent prices. So close to home!

    Cons: Need more healthy options. Server seemed a inexperienced or possibly apathetic – was not a short breakfast at a non-busy 10:30 weekday morning due to slow service and lack of attention. Disappointed to find they weren’t open one night when I went to dinner – come to find out they are open only until 7.

    To answer previous post: I went to Taste shortly after the opening. The food was good, though we left with a pretty pricey (but typical DC) tab for two soft drinks, two entrees, and one appetizer . Lots of unique African dishes. Wouldn’t mind seeing what the happy hour is like since the alcohol license was non-existant when I went.

    1. This review on Taste was published in the Brookland Heartbeat Summer 2011 issue at http://www.brooklandheartbeat.org/summer11_taste.html

      New Restaurant Offers “Taste” of International Cuisine
      BY BREENA SIEGEL

      Tucked away on Hamlin Street is a new dinner spot—also late-night nightclub and lounge—called Taste. Taste’s unassuming exterior disguises a sleek, modern and colorful atmosphere within.

      Welcoming hosts invite guests to unwind at the bar or dine at chrome and glass tables surrounded by red and black leather seats. Owner Chris Nwaeze said his vision was to create a surprising oasis that wows people when they cross the threshold of the small storefront.

      Mr. Nwaeze said his restaurant offers “the best tasting food you can have, with service that complements it.”

      Chris and his wife Grace “Esi” Nwaeze opened Taste in October out of their “deep experience and love for cooking,” said Mr. Nwaeze. This is the couple’s second restaurant: they own another location of Taste in Baltimore.

      Mr. Nwaeze said Taste is a place where people can have “an experience from all over the world” by sampling West African, Caribbean, and American food on the menu. Mr. Nwaeze said the restaurant’s location next to Rhode Island Avenue, halfway between downtown D.C. and the Maryland border, was perfect. “We are trying to bring an upscale, international restaurant” to the neighborhood, he said.

      With a background in technology, Mr. Nwaeze is the restaurant’s “fix-it guy.” Ms. Nwaeze, a trained cook, works as head chef and bar manager.

      After 10 p.m., the restaurant turns into a nightclub with different musical acts. Weekends pump out a wide range of music, from African night on Fridays to International night on Saturdays.

      You can relax with your friends or hold a private party in one of the restaurant’s three VIP areas. Birthday and celebration packages start at $350 and include a customized flyer, two bottles of champagne, appetizers and complementary admission during entertainment hours.

      The owners, originally from Nigeria and Liberia, sprinkle their menu with a touch of their homelands. In addition to American fare, the menu offers “popular, traditional African dishes,” like fish pie and whole tilapia grilled in a house-made ginger sauce. Bonfire Chicken is “chicken grilled to perfection with African spices served with cassava or fried plantain.” Curried Shrimp is also a popular choice.

      For lighter fare, there is Okra soup, fried goat meat and African inspired Peanut Butter Soup (a Tuesday special). The menu is priced to suit all budgets.

      House cocktails are also a specialty, made to order by Ms. Nwaeze.
      Taste
      1812 Hamlin Street NE, (202) 269-3335
      http://www.tasteloungedc.com
      Hours: dinner Tues. through Sun. 4-10pm;
      nightclub Wed. through Sun. 10pm to 2am (3am on weekends)

  6. Can you say yummy? I’ve eaten at Flip It several times in the past two weeks with my children and my husband on Father’s Day. The food is moderately priced and very good. My children loved the strawberry pancakes and bacon, and my husband liked the French toast. The Flip It omelet was the best too, with fresh spinach, diced red onions, and mozzarella cheese. Can you say yummy to your tummy? The atmosphere is quite nice too and colorful; and the staff is friendly and welcoming. Overall, I give them a 3 ½, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is nice; however, they need to incorporate Wi-Fi, and make sure they stay stocked with children menu and crayons, and cups. Otherwise, a 4 would have been a no brainer. As a Washingtonian, and a resident of Rhode Island Avenue, N.E.; I am pleased with Flip It arrival in my neighborhood.

  7. We ate at Flip-It on Saturday afternoon and were pleased with the food, menu, and atmosphere–yummy sandwiches and good desserts. The service needs improvement but to be expected at a new place. We’re so glad to have a good, low-key, sit-down place within 2 blocks of our home! Bring more to RIA!

  8. More good news! Sorry that this is only tangentially related, but I didn’t know where else to post it.

    Yesterday I met the new owner of Ocean Fish (17th & RI Ave). That’s the small, green fish place that looked abandoned right on the corner. The new guy is really nice and says that he is going to fix the place up and open a crab joint. Another business on the Ave.!

  9. Just had breakfast there this morning. Food: C+, Cleanliness: A+, Overall Appearance: B, Service: D-, Prices: A+ (thought they were super cheap especially as compared to Ted’s Bulletin where I generally have breakfast).

    All in all I was pleased with the offerings on the menu. Timing seems to be their biggest challenge right now but I’m sure that will come as they continue to improve. Will definitely go back at some point if for no other reason than to support a biz owner who invested in our neighborhood.

  10. This is another tangentially related item – sorry, I don’t know where else to put it! But the long-neglected building at 1515 RI Ave. (right across from Flip It) looks like it may be coming on to the market. If anyone has any info, please share.

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