Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Writing about the pleasures of Osman & Joe’s Steak ’n Egg Kitchen in Tenleytown, a favorite spot of mine while attending American University, is bittersweet. At some yet-to-be-determined point in the future, the tiny shack that houses the greasy spoon will be torn down to make way for a new mixed-use development. And while Steak ’n Egg has plans to return once that building is erected, it just won’t be the same. How could it when Steak ’n Egg offers so singular an experience in D.C.: an actual diner with cheap breakfast food, limited counter space, and outdoor picnic tables surrounded by a white picket fence. It’s one of the most charming places in the District, with a structure that seems to say, “To hell with your density concerns! This is worth it!” And as long as you order correctly (stick to traditional diner fare like eggs, grits, and corned beef hash), Steak ’n Egg offers some of the most satisfying food around, 24 hours a day.