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Photos: R. Lopez

Choice Condiments: The Anti-Ketchup Chronicles

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Condiments are often meant to be a complement to whatever food they accompany. But sometimes the condiment is even better than the food itself, transforming the fries, chicken or other item they're served with as merely a vehicle to taste the sauce.

These are some of the condiments around town. If there are other condiments that have you licking the plate, let us known in the comments.
—Jamie Liu

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Crisp & Juicy

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4540 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 243-4222
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Most would say that the Peruvian chicken at Crisp & Juicy needs no accompaniment. But the chain's spicy garlic mayonnaise certainly enhances the consumption of the standard bearer frozen fries - and that's not even mentioning the stellar spicy green sauce. And no one could be blamed for swiping a little mayo for the chicken.

2. Eamonn's, A Dublin Chipper

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728 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 299-8384
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Among the various mayo-based dipping sauces at Eamonn's it's hard to pick a favorite. But the most unique among them is the Kitty O'Shea with capers, olives and oven-dried tomatoes. Think of it as a sunnier, French version of tartar sauce.

3. Fish In The Neighborhood

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3601 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 545-6974
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The ability to choose from a plentiful array of fresh seafood to be fried or broiled, what keeps people going back is owner Bill White's Mango Tango sauce. The creamy, sweet sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the spiced cornmeal-crusted fish, fried chicken or fried pork chops.

4. Granville Moore's

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1238 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 399-2546
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People head to Granville Moore's for the moules frites. And one of the best parts is the choice of dipping sauces. The best of them is the truffled mayonnaise with its familiar heady aroma of black truffles.

5. Julia's Empanadas

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1221 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 861-8828
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Some restaurants only provide a sauce by request. And that appears to be the case with the hot green sauce at Julia's Empanadas. It's a neon melange of blitzed jalapeno that works best when poured into an empanada before each bite. The flavor brightens up the cinnamon- and cumin-heavy fillings in the empanadas.

6. Naan & Beyond

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1710 L St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 466-6404
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Naan & Beyond offers three different sauces to accompany the samosas, biryani and other dishes. Among the three options of mint, hot and mango, the mango is among the best. It has a subtle hint of spice to balance its creamy sweetness.

7. Palena Cafe

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3529 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

Palena Cafe, much to the relief of its diners, is bringing back its fry plate that includes fried lemon slices, onion rings, and duchess potatoes from before the Cafe opened. And as always it will be served with its zippy mayonnaise, which gets a kick from a dollop of spicy harissa.

8. Rose's Luxury

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717 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

Most of the time the butter that accompanies bread is an afterthought. But at Rose's Luxury the butter is whipped with chives and fried potato skin crumbs added on top. It's a perfect complement to the warm potato bread making it reminiscent of great potato skins.

9. Smokey's Fried Chicken

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4714 14th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 723-8960

Many Chinese carry outs in D.C. feature fried chicken with mumbo/mambo sauce. And each has its own rendition of the local sauce that is often described as a flavor hybrid of sweet-and-sour and barbecue sauces. Smokey's is one of the favorites though places like Yum's are also favored. And GBD has a high brow version that it serves with its fried chicken.

10. La Placita Taquiera

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5020 Edmonston Rd
Hyattsville, MD 20781
(301) 277-4477

The intensity of freshly made hot sauces serves as a perfect complement to the tacos at Taqueria la Placita. The red hot sauce is intense and smoky with enough heat to bring forth beads of sweat.

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1. Crisp & Juicy

4540 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207

Most would say that the Peruvian chicken at Crisp & Juicy needs no accompaniment. But the chain's spicy garlic mayonnaise certainly enhances the consumption of the standard bearer frozen fries - and that's not even mentioning the stellar spicy green sauce. And no one could be blamed for swiping a little mayo for the chicken.

4540 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207

2. Eamonn's, A Dublin Chipper

728 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Among the various mayo-based dipping sauces at Eamonn's it's hard to pick a favorite. But the most unique among them is the Kitty O'Shea with capers, olives and oven-dried tomatoes. Think of it as a sunnier, French version of tartar sauce.

728 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

3. Fish In The Neighborhood

3601 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

The ability to choose from a plentiful array of fresh seafood to be fried or broiled, what keeps people going back is owner Bill White's Mango Tango sauce. The creamy, sweet sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the spiced cornmeal-crusted fish, fried chicken or fried pork chops.

3601 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

4. Granville Moore's

1238 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

People head to Granville Moore's for the moules frites. And one of the best parts is the choice of dipping sauces. The best of them is the truffled mayonnaise with its familiar heady aroma of black truffles.

1238 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

5. Julia's Empanadas

1221 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Some restaurants only provide a sauce by request. And that appears to be the case with the hot green sauce at Julia's Empanadas. It's a neon melange of blitzed jalapeno that works best when poured into an empanada before each bite. The flavor brightens up the cinnamon- and cumin-heavy fillings in the empanadas.

1221 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

6. Naan & Beyond

1710 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Naan & Beyond offers three different sauces to accompany the samosas, biryani and other dishes. Among the three options of mint, hot and mango, the mango is among the best. It has a subtle hint of spice to balance its creamy sweetness.

1710 L St NW
Washington, DC 20036

7. Palena Cafe

3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Palena Cafe, much to the relief of its diners, is bringing back its fry plate that includes fried lemon slices, onion rings, and duchess potatoes from before the Cafe opened. And as always it will be served with its zippy mayonnaise, which gets a kick from a dollop of spicy harissa.

3529 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

8. Rose's Luxury

717 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Most of the time the butter that accompanies bread is an afterthought. But at Rose's Luxury the butter is whipped with chives and fried potato skin crumbs added on top. It's a perfect complement to the warm potato bread making it reminiscent of great potato skins.

717 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

9. Smokey's Fried Chicken

4714 14th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20011

Many Chinese carry outs in D.C. feature fried chicken with mumbo/mambo sauce. And each has its own rendition of the local sauce that is often described as a flavor hybrid of sweet-and-sour and barbecue sauces. Smokey's is one of the favorites though places like Yum's are also favored. And GBD has a high brow version that it serves with its fried chicken.

4714 14th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20011

10. La Placita Taquiera

5020 Edmonston Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20781

The intensity of freshly made hot sauces serves as a perfect complement to the tacos at Taqueria la Placita. The red hot sauce is intense and smoky with enough heat to bring forth beads of sweat.

5020 Edmonston Rd
Hyattsville, MD 20781

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