Eater asked restaurants to dish on those items they just can't take off the menu - or else their loyal customers would seriously freak out. From the shrimp and grits at Chef Geoff's (which has been on the menu for 14 years) to the ginger calamari at Grillfish (which was on the opening menu 18 years ago), some things never change.
While truffle fries can be found elsewhere in D.C., they're particularly popular among the diners at Poste (especially during happy hour at the patio). Poste's truffle fries require the restaurant to use 500 pounds of potatoes and almost 420 gallons of truffle oil to keep up with demand each year, according to a rep. The restaurant also hasn't been able to part with their Basil Lemontini cocktail (even if they tried).
Sushiko's sesame dressing has been on the menu at the restaurant since the mid 1980s, to the point where customers ask if the city's first sushi restaurant will bottle it and sell it. The restaurant recently updated its Sushiko Salad to make it a more worthy vehicle of the standby dressing, owner Daisuke Utagawa tells Eater. The restaurant was also the first place in D.C. to do the "whale sized" soft shell crab karaage in D.C., and that item remains a popular yearly seasonal item.
Granville Moore's has been serving Moules Fromage Bleu (or blue cheese mussels) since the Atlas District restaurant opened in 2007, according to owner Teddy Folkman. "Without fail, every time we put together a new menu, it comes up," says Folkman. Someone asks if they can be taken off the menu - even for a few months - and the answer is always no.
Adams Morgan's Ventnor Sports Cafe sells three times as many nachos as it does anything else on its menu. "I literally think half of our customer base would stop coming by if they were no longer on the menu," said Ventnor's Scott Auslander.
Cava Mezze has had sagnaki (more popularly known by customers as "the flaming cheese) on the menu since the restaurant opened in 2006. "We would never (and could never) take it off our menu," said Cava's Jamie Barmak. "Years later, it still proves to be one of our most beloved and popular menu items."
At Vidalia (which will turn 22 years old in April), shrimp and grits, sweatbreads and waffles, lemon chess pie and Georgia pecan pie have all remained on the menu (sometime in different variations) since the restaurant began.
Other menu items that aren't going anywhere anytime soon: The Tin of Sin caviar dish at The Inn at Little Washington; the DC Coast Salad (which is been on the menu for more than 16 years); the pho terrine and the shrimp burger at Proof; the B Burger at Beuchert's Saloon; chicken pot pie, lamb shank, salmon nicoise and mac and cheese at Cafe Deluxe; and the Prime Rib, classic mussels, cedar plank salmon and berry crisp at Wildfire in Tysons.