Once you place an order at this U Street operation, you then place yourself at the mercy of Oji Abbott and his team of cooks, who may be working any number of tickets ahead of yours. You see, unlike a lot of soul food joints, Oohhs & Aahhs prepares everything a la minute. Waiting is part of the experience. If you don’t have your Crackberry handy, I’d suggest using your down time to study the ways of Oohhs & Aahhs. Abbott and company, you’ll learn, are masters of the deep fryer. Folks rightly rave about the fried chicken, but I can’t seem to stray from the fried catfish platter with a side of the cheesiest mac in town. The massive fillet is so large that, once it’s pulled from the fryer, all golden brown and crispy, it must be broken into two or more pieces just to fit onto the soft roll. You can pair that pepper-laden fish with any number of garnishes, but I like to smother it in tartar and hot sauce, which adds elements of heat and acid to this bottom-feeding bite of fried goodness.

1005 U St. NW, (202) 667-7142

Next up: Oval Room