Friday, November 8, 2013

Chix, DC

Chix recently opened at 14th and L Streets in NW DC.  Their logo has "eat responsibly" in it and vegetarian food is advertised outside, but the name was deceiving. Was it chicken, vegetarian food, or both? So before I ventured inside, I checked online to see if there were any vegan options. Their online menu noted vegetarian items, but didn't use the word "vegan." So my next step was to email them. They responded with the following: "All of our menu is vegan except the chicken, noodles & cheese and the curry mustard. We can make any of the wraps and chops without chicken as well." Okay so it is chicken and vegan food. Weird.

So I met a friend there for lunch. This is a small lunch cafe in the downtown business district -- a no frills kind of place. The walls are green and the menu board is chalkboard. When we first walked in there were people standing in like three different nondistinct lines and it was very confusing. There were no signs indicating where to order and no order to the disorder. So we asked and apparently people just make a bunch of lines, then they call the next person up. My first recommendation would be for them to put up a sign to indicate where to order and have everyone stand in one line.

The food is Latin-inspired as they say they are committed to providing natural, healthy, delicious, affordable, quick Latin-flavored meals in a casual environment.  On the menu board, it stated that all sides are vegan and gluten free except for the noodles and pita. Alright, now we are getting somewhere. There is a vegan organic lentil soup, veggie deluxe wrap, black bean hummus and veggie wrap, several salads and many sides. The sides included organic black beans, brown rice, basmati rice, black beans and rice, veggie mix, roasted sweet potatoes, black bean hummus and seasonal greens. We grabbed a limonata and a coconut water, placed our orders, and sat down at a table.

I ordered the black bean hummus and veggie wrap. I expected it to be filled with black bean hummus and veggies. That is not what I got. Their "veggie" mix is actually mostly corn, albeit organic corn, with tiny pieces of green and red peppers and onions. So it is corn with a few tiny pieces of peppers and onions -- an entire burrito filled with oily corn and a little bit of hummus for $7.49. It was not good.

My friend ordered a bunch of sides that were much better than my meal. He had a salad, the black bean hummus, guacamole, roasted sweet potatoes, and a chickpea salad. The roasted sweet potatoes were very good. Actually all of the sides were pretty good. I also ordered the seasonal squash, which was good as well.

But none of it was all that impressive and, in the end, I had just wished we had gone somewhere else. That's not to mention having to watch people eating entire chickens in front of us. The chicken was teetering on being offensively nasty and we did not enjoy watching the staff bring it out to the customers sitting around us. I like that Chix is committed to being environmentally responsible by using earth-friendly materials in its packaging and paper products, but that isn't going to bring me back here. There are much better options in the downtown area.

1121 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 682-2449