On the ground level at the corner of 36th and Prospect St. in Georgetown, diners can find “1789,” one of the finest and priciest restaurants in the Georgetown area. However, the real gem of the block lays directly beneath… a trip underground to “The Tombs.”
Part of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group (which also includes Chadwick’s, Clyde’s, 1789 and F. Scott’s), The Tombs is the least expensive variation of all of the restaurants in the group. While the price may seem low compared to the other restaurants, the quality of food surely does not suffer.
On any given day, exactly one block away from the campus of Georgetown University, The Tombs is one of the most happening spots in the Georgetown area. During the daytime, it would not be uncommon to find Georgetown students and their professors splitting “Study Snacks,” a Monday – Friday special from 3 – 5 p.m., during which patrons can munch on their favorite appetizers for discounted prices.
The Tombs also runs weekly specials depending on the day of the week. Customers can indulge in “All American Mondays,” where The Tombs serves pork chops, meatloaf and gumbo, “Italian Wednesdays” with food “just like Grandma used to make,” or perhaps “Seafood Fridays,” with samplings of lobster and salmon. No matter what day of the week, The Tombs always features delicious special items on their ever-changing menu.
In honor of its location in the heart of Georgetown, The Tombs never forgets its deep connection with the school. Every day after the Georgetown Hoyas’ run to the Final Four last year, The Tombs named a daily special sandwich after a Georgetown player. One sandwich, the Hibbert Roast Beef Dunk (medium rare roast beef, onions, cheese and au jus), became so popular that the item remains on the menu today, perhaps a tribute to the senior’s decision to come back for his final year at Georgetown. In fact, when he’s not feasting on undersized post-players, Hibbert and his teammates can sometimes be found eating at the restaurant.
The rustic walls feature memorabilia from Georgetown crew teams and football teams side-by-side with other sports relics, such as a tennis racket used by Andre Agassi. A fireplace on the upper-level of the restaurant adds to the décor. The Tombs strives to feel like your best friend’s cozy basement that you never want to leave.
Start with one of the local favorite appetizers, the Tombs Nachos ($7.95). Piled high with beans, cheese, sour cream and guacamole, the Tombs Nachos work great as a full-table appetizer, whetting the group’s appetite before the meals come out. The Tombs also excels with their Mozzarella Sticks ($7.95), as the plate contains a heaping portion of the fried cheese sticks. For those worried about being shortchanged on food value, The Tombs assuredly will leave you satisfied.
The Tombs knows college students constitute a large part of its customer base, thus its menu tends to cater to a college student’s tastebuds and budget. Some of the most popular items at The Tombs are their burgers and sandwiches. The Chicken #1 ($8.50), a grilled chicken breast topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese, hits the spot every time, while the Tombs Cheesesteak ($8.95), made of sliced ribeye, sliced banana peppers, sautéed onions and three cheese sauce, makes you feel like you’ve taken a trip up I-95 to Philadelphia for a legitimate Philly Cheesesteak.
I enjoyed a particularly savory Shrimp Linguine ($12.95) dish on my visit, made up of shrimp, diced tomatoes, garlic, white wine, clam juice and linguine. The Tombs’ ingredients always are fresh and of the highest quality. Another specialty of The Tombs is the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake ($13.95), corn and tomato Chesapeake with oven-roasted potatoes on the side.
Come 10 p.m. every night, The Tombs makes the transition from restaurant to a hopping bar, and the 21+ crowd comes flocking. Much like the weekly specials for food, The Tombs runs special nights every week during its bar hours. Patrons can enjoy “Trivia Night” on Monday, “80’s Night” on Wednesday, or half-price bottles of wine on Sunday from 5 – 9:30 p.m. and a Madden Tournament (a video game, for the uninitiated) starting at 10:30 p.m.
A Georgetown favorite, the trip below ground to The Tombs is guaranteed to delight.
1226 36th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 a.m.
Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:15 a.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 2:15 a.m.
Sunday: 9:30 a.m. – 1:15 a.m.