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My friends are still a little alarmed at my impending relocation to Arlington. They cry that I’m abandoning the city and soon will have no life. I try to explain that Arlington isn’t the burbs, that it’s actually cool. It’s like a secret hidden neighborhood were you can be a real person and avoid the high-rent, high-douchebag factor of living in Dupont Circle or Adams Morgan (Whitlow’s aside). The Royal Lee proves my point.
The Royal Lee is a real dive bar, an increasingly rare find in D.C., where most are either fake or infested with doofuses or both. And since it’s inconveniently located in a strip mall far from any Metro stops, there’s no risk of it being “discovered.” In addition to hosting karaoke five nights a week (five!), the Royal Lee serves some damn good fried stuff in baskets (usually with a doily). The highlight of the menu, however, is a sandwich. A buffalo chicken sandwich. I’m sure this has been done before, but the Royal Lee’s version is a miracle. A slab of breaded and fried chicken swimming in a gooey, spicy buffalo coating. Squishy white bun, lettuce, mayo. The sloppy thing usually falls apart about two-thirds of the way through, which is usually just about quitting time. Next time, I’ll take a picture.