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Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Munchies: Shophouse

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle

The Vibe

Unlike most things, Shophouse is actually exclusive to DC; Chipotle chose our fair city for their new restaurant, taking their approach to burritos and grafting it onto Asian food. The space is a long room with a square C shape, wooden floors and wooden-slatted walls and wooden tables. Like its neighbor BGR, there's a booth in the window and the food counter in the back.

The Food

Unlike Chipotle's five options, Shophouse has two: noodles and banh mi. But the process is the same: pick a preparation, pick a meat, pick what you put on top of it, mix it all together. On this trip, I got a banh mi with pork and chicken meatballs, topped with papaya slaw, peanuts, and an herb salad. Yes, I've criticized other banh mi for using meat that's untraditional, but innovation can be forgiven if everything is done well. In this case, the meatballs were pretty good and the the papaya slaw was nice and bright, with a sweet citrus tang to it. The whole thing was actually a pretty decent bite for a grab-and-go sort of place, and lightyears beyond other grab-and-go banh mis. The bread could've been a little more crusty, but otherwise good.

The Verdict

A little heat to some things, but otherwise a good quick bite.

Food Rating: ***
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 2.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Bar Rating:
(out of 5) (less than $25 for two)

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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