Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Heading to Nationals Park? Give Levi's Port Cafe a Try

Soon, Opening Day will be upon us and I'll be making regular trips to Nationals Park. At least a couple of those trips will be preceded by a meal at Levi's Port Cafe.

I read about Levi's prior to the 2008 baseball season. The Washington Post ran a piece on places to eat and drink that were generally near Nationals Park. I use generally near because the neighborhood around the stadium is just now being developed. Most eating establishments are several blocks away. While the Nationals were out of town early last season, a friend and I went exploring all around Nationals Park one Saturday afternoon. I took the piece from the Post with me so I could find the places it listed.

We walked from the stadium east on M St. and made the left onto 8th St SE. A few more blocks later, we were standing in front of Levi's. My friend had her dog with her, so I went in on my own to check the place out. I was greeted by the owner, Johnny Kersey. Mr. Kersey is just the kind of person you think of when you think of an owner of a soul food restaurant, friendly and quite the promotion man. Mr. Kersey asked me if I had ever been in a soul food place before. I answered that I had been in a few, including Flavors located in Bailey's Crossroads. Once I mentioned Flavors, Mr. Kersey was quick to tell me "they call themselves Flavors, but I got the flavor". Well, that sold me on eating there.

I got a carry out order of catfish and I wasn't disappointed. The portions that trip were good sized and everything I had was good. But, it was a trip to Levi's later in the season that really made me appreciate it. Another friend and I went to Levi's one Saturday afternoon prior to a game. For about $10 each, we both got plates stacked full of food. That day I ordered smothered pork chops. They melted in my mouth. It was a very satisfying and filling meal.

The only issue that day was that is was a one of those D.C. summer days where the temps are in the 90s and the humidity wasn't too far behind. All that pork made for a looooong walk back to Nationals Park. But, at least I had a smile on my face.

Levi's Port Cafe is located at 1102 8th St. SE. As far as I know, they don't have a website, but the phone number is 202-547-6500. You can read more about Levi's and see a few other customer reviews in this piece on The Washington Post website.

Oh, there's one last thing. Levi's doesn't serve adult beverages. But, please don't let that stop you from stopping in.

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