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Trio Restaurant
1537 17th St., Washington, DC 20036

(202) 232-6307

Joints along this busy stretch in long-since-gentrified Dupont Circle have long struggled to overcome the rap that they live off of happy hour revenues at their spacious patios. And Trio Restaurant, a classic diner both in layout (throwback booths and an art-deco feel) and pay modality (you bring your check to the cashier) is doing little to change things. Stop by on any temperate afternoon, and the afterwork-drink crowds are bursting out of the place’s sidewalk space. Indeed, it takes beer goggles to make Trio’s menu palatable: The burgers are limp—especially the turkey burger, which doesn’t hold together too well—the fries are hit-or-miss, the seafood tastes like it came straight from the 17th Street Safeway (i.e., not terribly fresh), and the specials don’t deserve the appellation. The smart shopper skips both the booze and the fare and heads straight to the milkshakes, which are Trio’s grand contribution to the city’s diner fare. As if conscious of the menu’s shortcomings, the servers are generally friendly and particularly so to small children.