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Showing posts with label Monday Munchies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monday Munchies. Show all posts

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Munchies: Donburi

Normally a review of Donburi would have to include a measurement of its other qualities as a restaurant. But in this case, we ordered out. Like the proliferation of ramen shops in the neighborhood, Donburi focuses on multiple versions of a singular dish, the eponymous Japanese comfort food. All of us order a bowl, which all come with a fluffy rice base, a fried egg, and some vegetables (grilled onions and pickled peppers). Mine comes with a mix of panko-crusted pork and panko-crusted shrimp. The whole affair is comforting and steady, with a slightly sweet soy-based tang.

The Verdict


Fun, relatively inexpensive, and filling.

Food Rating: ***
(out of 5)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Munchies: Tacos El Chilango

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: U Street

The Setup


Official Co-Writer/Wife of DCWD Texas and I have lived down the street from the U Street version of Tacos El Chilango since the time the space was an increasingly sketchy Italian joint. But on the verge of hangry and parking our Car2Go right in front of the shop, we just couldn't avoid the call of tacos anymore.

The Vibe

Tacos El Chilango is exactly what you'd expect the joint to be: a small, low-key shop decorated with some traditional Mexican kitsch - those vibrant tiny statues of the Virgin Mary, the ubiquitous colored flags - and very large bold cutout-style portraits of prominent Latino/as (e.g. Frida Kahlo); if you've ever been to Miss Pixie's, you'll recognize the artist. The tables are simple silver patio furniture, but the hidden surprise is the patio out back.

The Food


We ordered a full slate of tacos: cheese and avocado; cheese and green peppers; and cheese and mushrooms for Texas, and carne asada; chorizo; beef tongue; and pork with pineapple for me. Having recently eaten the underwhelming tacos at El Rey, these were exactly what we were looking for: for $2.50 a pop, we got larger, stuffed-to-the-gills tacos that burst with flavor and came with more accoutrements than we knew what to do with: a red sauce, a green sauce, cucumbers, limes, and radishes. I can't emphasize enough how much we enjoyed these tacos. Like the bites we had at Guisado's in L.A. these were rich, filling, and sharp.

The Verdict


Um, do we have a new favorite taco place? We have a new favorite taco place.

Food Rating: ****
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 2 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
N/A
Vibe:
Calm
Cost:
$
(out of 5) (less than $25 for two)

Tacos El Chilango on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday Munchies: Jetties

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: Three locations: Bethesda, Glover Park/Palisades, and Foggy Bottom/K Street

The Setup


This entry describes two different visits to the two of the different Jetties locations, both for quick grab-and-go lunches.

The Vibe

Both locations share similar vibes, that of a cleaned up surf shack but adapted to their surroundings: the Palisades location, tucked away in the sleepy suburbs, has a definite family bent, looking much like a sandy restaurant in a Jersey shore beach town; while the Foggy Bottom location, a former Juice Zone next to a Baja Fresh is more suited to the office lunch crowd, with the polish of a Santa Monica walk-in. Still, the look is the same: some nice use of honey-colored wood, chalkboard menus, a sandwich shop counter set-up.

The Food


On trip one, I had the Smith Point, a roast beef and havarti sandwich with red onion, tomato, and horseradish sour cream on pumpernickel. The sandwich had a lot to live up to: I love basically every ingredient in this sandwich, and I long ago realized how delicious roast beef and horseradish are, from my own days working in a deli. Still, the sandwich lived up well to those expectations, a solid bite, though one that could have used a bit more horseradish and havarti in my estimation.

On trip two, I switched it up with the Surfside, a roast turkey and havarti sandwich with bacon, avocado, and whole grain mustard on sourdough. Much like the Smith Point, the emphasis here is on the meat, with gargantuan amounts of meat compared to all of the other accoutrements. The bacon darts up from time to time, as bacon is wont to do, but you get way more of the mild slick turkey than you do of anything else.

The Verdict


Solid sandwiches that at the least, hit you with quantity, and decent bang-for-your-buck.

Food Rating: ** 1/2
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 2 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
N/A
Vibe:
Calm
Cost:
$
(out of 5) (less than $25 for two)
Pairing
: Those bikes are heavy as hell, but grab some Capital Bikeshare and ride along the Capital Crescent Trail, the scenic tour along the banks of the Potomac.

Jetties on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Munchies: Lemongrass Truck

In our endless search for the best banh mi in the city, we of course decided to try the many Vietnamese food trucks that have popped up with their mobile contemporaries. On this trip we sample the Lemongrass Truck and its signature dish: the eponymous lemongrass chicken banh mi.

There's a lot to like about this representation: a nice crusty roll, solid pickled vegetables.  What's curious is the lemongrass chicken, a little bland and thin. What ultimately makes it intriguing and enjoyable, a spicy mayo with hits of lime and hints of spice that bind the whole thing together.


The Verdict

Pretty solid.

Food Rating: ***
(out of 5)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bobby's Burger Palace

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: K Street/Foggy Bottom

The Setup


Needing a quick bite in the Foggy Bottom area, and with long lines all over the new Avenue compelx, I popped by Bobby's Burger Palace.

The Vibe


One of the more recent additions in the chain burger restaurants to land in D.C., Bobby's Burger Palace is brought to you by the eponymous Chef Bobby Flay's and offers a bright vibrant and borderline-amusement-parky vibe that you would expect from a celebrity chef's casual outpost. Maybe it's the whimsical S-shaped countertop that winds its way along one wall, striped in shades of brown with a complementary printer ribbon-esque lighting fixture above it. Maybe it's the preponderance of bright colors in the rainbow color scheme, taken from the colors of a clip art burger: fifty shade of brown, a lime green, a bright orange-red, and a dull orange-yellow. atmosphere. Maybe it's the series of modern floating orb light fixtures or the myriad tableaus of burger ingredients. But all of it combines to make the space feel like the midpoint between a mid-century modern/pop art installation and a restaurant at Disneyworld.

The Food


While the menu obviously lacks variety in dishes, you can't say the Burger Palace lacks variety in the type of burger you can consume. There are at least ten burgers with multiple milkshake choices, most of the former attaching themselves and their ingredients to an American city: Dallas, Philadelphia, L.A., Miami. On this trip, I sampled the Napa Valley, appropriately topped with goat cheese, watercress, and a lemon honey mustard, and ordered a vanilla caramel bourbon spiked milkshake.

There are a lot of jokes to make about Food Network stars and their restaurants these days (see: Wells, Pete and Fieri, Guy). But this burger was actually pretty decent, with a nice portion of goat cheese on top of it, and a nice match of tart and mellow and juiciness. It almost made me feel a little bit guilty that I liked this burger, from a celebrity chef with scores of restaurants pressed into obligatory "grill guy" service, as much as I have liked other burgers from more local restaurateurs. Though, on the other hand, the milkshake was just okay, since more punch would have been nice (if that comes with more bourbon, that'd be okay by me).

The Verdict


Not bad, Bobby Flay, Not bad.

Food Rating:
** 1/2 (out of 5)
Date Rating: 2.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
Frat House
Vibe:
Chatty
Cost:
$
(out of 5) (less than $25 for two)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Munchies: Orange Cow

With the sun rapidly setting on the NoMa summer screen green, Official Co-Writer/Girlfriend Texas and I ventured over to the four food trucks providing that week's refreshments, deciding ultimately on Orange Cow, a purveyor of homemade ice cream (mostly because well, it's ice cream).

For my cup, I chose a scoop each of banana cream pie and peanut butter cup, figuring that the combination of banana and peanut butter never goes wrong; in this case, I struck gold. The ice cream was smooth and creamy, with just enough flavor to be substantial, but not so much that it was overpowering or overly saccharine. Certainly better than your average soft-serve.

Taste Test:
3 Forks (out of 5)
Perfect for
: Summer treat on the go.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Munchies: Sinplicity Ice Cream Truck

This week's Monday Munchies focuses on a new food truck in town, Sinplicity Ice Cream. Starting as a side product of a catering company, and then a local gelato and ice cream brand, Sinplicity pasteurizes and flavors the ice cream themselves.

On this trip, we sampled almost the full range of Sinplicity's products, from the eponymous ice creams and sorbets, to ice cream sandwich macarons and other sweet baked goods treats, to soft pretzels with wasabi dipping sauce. All were small delightful treats, though a few stood out as winners: for me, a cinnamon roll cookie, for Official Co-Writer/Girlfriend of DCWD Texas, the chocolate fleur de sel cookie. Among the frozen bites, a fig and goat cheese ice cream flavored with red wine and cinnamon is probably the most creative (battling for that title with a champagne-orange sorbet, and a blackberry/cabernet/lime offering), but even the simple classics sing; Texas's favorite was the 70 percent bittersweet chocolate. My winner is the black and white "Sinwich", an ice cream macaron with blackberry cookies, vanilla bean ice cream, and a berry compote. All the fun of childhood with some lovely adult ingredients.

Overall, a truck equally worth popping by as a midday stopover in the summer heat, or a nightcap to a dinner date.



Taste Test: 3 Forks (out of 5)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Munchies: Ben and Jerry's Greek Frozen Yogurt

This week’s Monday Munchies comes courtesy of the Ben and Jerry’sTruck and official Girlfriend/Co-writer of DCWD Texas’s amazing ability to bombard them on Twitter (@BenJerrysTruck) with requests to come to her office:

As part of Ben and Jerry’s marketing efforts for their new Greek Frozen Yogurt flavors, they’ve taken to the road in the Ben and Jerry’s Truck and are hitting four East Coast and four West Coast cities to give away free samples. On this trip to my office, they brought enough free fro-yo for the entire office of 200 employees! The flavors they scooped that day were Banana Greek Frozen Yogurt with Peanut Buttery Swirls and Blueberry and Vanilla Greek Frozen Yogurt with a Graham Cracker Swirl.
   
Solely for research purposes of course, I took it upon myself to sample both flavors. While originally entranced by the childhood throw back to banana peanut butter, with its rich, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth peanut butter swirls and prominent banana end notes, the real winner in my eyes ended up being the Blueberry and Vanilla with Graham Cracker Swirl. There was just something about the crunchy graham cracker swirl and the freshness of the blueberry that married a bit better with the tangy Greek yogurt. While it probably won't be a replacement for original Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for me (I’ve always been slightly averse to the tanginess of Greek Yogurt and just can’t wean myself off of Half Baked), both flavors were a lovely afternoon treat and definitely raised the spirits of the office on a Thursday afternoon. 

The Ben and Jerry’s truck will be dishing out free treats in DC until May 11th, but they are only making deliveries to office locations, so be sure to tweet at them incessantly until they stop by your office!

Taste Test: 3.5 Forks 
(out of 5)
Perfect For: An afternoon treat!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Munchies: Banh Xeo

In our second attempt at a Vietnamese staple, Official Girlfriend/Co-Writer of DCWD Texas and I attempted another favorite: banh xeo. Banh xeo is like a Vietnamese crepe, but with turmeric and more savory. We used some recipes we found online (along with some helpful tips from my mom), and the following is our attempt:

Batter:
2 cups rice flour
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 scallions, cut
Whisk together in a large bowl, and let rest for 30 minutes

The batter.

The fillings: sliced pork, halved shrimp, cilantro, bean sprouts, chilies.

Coat a small pan in some oil. Cook the pork/shrimp and then add a thin, thin layer of batter to the pan. Cover, and then let cook for 3-4 minutes. Afterwards, uncover and check for crispness. If so, fold over and cook slightly more. Then top with cilantro and enjoy.

Making the banh xeo.

The final product.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Munchies: Pho

The first time I attempted pho, I was using an online recipe that somebody else found. But sparked by some star anise in the grocery, this time I decided to go it alone, based solely on my own memory and some advice from my mom. Like the stern Vietnamese mother she is, she gave me the following quick notes:

 - Place the short ribs and a medium-size red onion in a roasting pan, drizzle canola oil over them and toss to coat.  Roast for 5-10 minutes in the oven (pre-heated to 375 degrees).
 - Skim the broth before adding any herb or spice (it's easier to skim that way).
 - Thoroughly wash the cilantro roots; there's more dirt hidden there than you think.  For a pot of broth that serves 10-12 bowls, I use 4-5 cilantro roots and 4-5 scallion roots.
 - Toast the star anise seeds (5-6), nutmeg seeds (2), and cinnamon stick before you throw them in the broth.
 - Add 2 cups of chicken broth
 - Leave the onion to roast longer until it's caramelized before you put it in the broth.  When you start the broth, throw in a pinch or two of sugar in addition to salt.

Sadly, instead of a weekend afternoon soaking short rib into the broth, it turned out I made the pho on a weekday, so the broth was a little lighter than I wanted it. Still, here are photos of the process:

 Starting the beef broth with short ribs

Toasting the cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise.

We made a separate vegetable pho, with vegetable broth/stock.

Adding everything into the beef broth.

Adding in the carved up short rib and beef and noodles.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Munchies: Pepe Food Truck

Here at DCWD, we quite love hyperbole. But sometimes it's deserved, and sometimes we can do nothing but report it. So for this Monday Munchies visit to Jose Andres's new food truck, we'll hand it over to our friends for write-ins about their experiences. In short, some love letters to Pepe:

"My dear Spanish Grilled Cheese. Where do I start…You were extremely cheesy, but that didn’t stop you from being sweeter than anyone could have expected. You may have had a crispy, difficult to crack exterior, but we all knew you were melty and gooey on the inside. Though your existence was shorter than I would have liked, I’m ultimately satisfied to have had you, if only briefly. Spanish Grilled Cheese, you are missed." - Official Co-Writer/Girlfriend of DCWD Texas

"My dear Futbol Barcelona Club: You knew just how to entice me to “join the club”. You had everything a girl could want, and even more! You inspired a sense of giving, motivating me to give away your tomatoes. You also exhibited a hard and crisp exterior, and were a bit lukewarm at times, but your tastiness won me over. You certainly left your mark (in the form of oil all over my desk) that will be hard to get rid of for quite some time." - Lovely Bird

"Oh pollo frito, how I wish I still had your crispy goodness and occasional pepper to spice up the mix. I saved you from truck to office so I could spend just a little more time with you, but now you have perished and I have to wait till that fruitful day where your truck, Pepe, graces us with his presence once again. Yum." -Kickball 

"Oh Pepito Ternero. Do you remember the first time we met? You instantly brought me tears of joy, I knew at that moment I would never meet anyone like you. You with you’re tangy blue cheese, just oozing. I bet you thought I didn’t notice the your delicate caramelized onions, but I did. Although our time together was brief, I will never be the same. Oh mi amor…." - Luke Chi Walker

"O pollo frito, judging by the other requiems, you got around. I will not let that sour the joy I experienced with you. The fullness of my belly will remain with me for the next 2.5 hours, but the memory of your spunky peppers will be with me always." - Carrie

"Hola mi amigo, Pepe.  Tu autocamion de comido fue muy bueno y delicioso.  Your pollo frito was had by many, but really truly admired by only one – me.  The flavor profile you exhibited was superb.  I was honored that you graced me with your presence.  The perfect marriage of the brava sauce with the occasional pepper along with the chicken made my taste buds dance, although, I will admit I was not fist pumping due to the shortage of club music AKA peppers.  The crunchy texture of the bread paired with the not too over-fried nor under fried (and greasy) breading of the chicken made the perfect ratio of crispy to not-so-crispy.  All of this made me finish your sandwich well ahead of the other Pepe “Lovers.”  For the few seconds that you were alive I had completely forgotten that you were somehow related to the overrated, over priced Jose Andreas.  But I was quickly jettisoned back to reality after I was done with my amuse bouche of a sandwich with $9 less dollars than I previously had AND still hungry." - Mr. Magoo 


The Verdict

Good sandwiches, but small and gone in a flash.

Taste Test:
4 Forks (out of 5)
Perfect for: A small but expensive bite of Spain.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Munchies: BONMi

Our search for good banh mi variations obviously brought us to new Foggy Bottom lunch place: BONMi, which takes its name from the Anglicized pronunciation of the now ubiquitous Vietnamese sandwich. And in some ways, the banh mi itself is pretty Anglicized.

The menu consists of sandwiches, lettuce wraps, salads, and summer rolls, but the focus is the eponymous banh mi. There are eight or so choices, almost none of which exist in actuality for Vietnamese people. Five spice chicken? Chile garlic tofu? Butternut squash? Where are the Eden Center shops that do anything like this? The variations wouldn't be such a bother if there was a decided lack of the meats that are the most common (pork belly, cha lua, pate). As is my pet peeve, just putting it in a crusty baguette and putting some jalapenos and pickled vegetables and cilantro on it does not make it banh mi; it's the equivalent of putting whipped cream and sprinkles on some pudding, and calling it an ice cream sundae.

As for the sandwich itself, it was pretty bland. I ordered the regular chicken, thinking that if I couldn't have anything I was used to, I'd try something out there. What I got tasted like steamed chicken, like something that came out of a frozen dinner. At its very best, I can't imagine it being any better than the Potbelly's next door, which is perfectly fine for the lunch-hour crowd that frequents that area. Still, I just hope nobody walks in there thinking it's more authentic than it actually is. Which is to say, that it could be way better.

Taste Test: 2 Forks (out of 5)
Perfect for
: Faking it.

BONMi on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Munchies: Dickson Wine Bar

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: U Street

The Setup


Needing a quick bite around the neighborhood, Official Friend of DCWD Talia and I headed over to Dickson Wine Bar.

The Vibe

If you didn't know it was there, you'd think Dickson was just an office building. But behind the brick facade is a wonderfully put-together space. The set-up is two floors, with the upper one a balcony that looks over the lower. Seating is all bars, from the actual two-seat bar, to the rails along the windows, to a few six seat communal tables in the middle. All told, there are only about 20 seats tops, many of which don't face each other, so you'll have to get there early to snag any sort of dateworthy seat.

The decor is almost entirely wine bottles, which gleam a little bit in the dim light. Otherwise, the space is dark, a little loud, but definitely cozy.

The Food


For all of it, the menu is actually and unsurprisingly fairly limited. Looking only for a small bite, I decided to try the restaurant's take on banh mi, while Talia had her some tuna tartare.

For all the banh mi we've tried in our quest, this was one of the truer recreations I've had of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich. A little heavy on the pickling, but otherwise a nice crusty baguette with solid fillings. Maybe not worth the superlatives that seem to heaped onto it, but still captured the essence of it all.

On Talia's tuna tartare, it came served with a nice piece of sourdough-esque toast and some microgreens. The tuna was nice, with just enough acid to provide contrast (and you know, make it not super raw). Unlike the best tartares, it didn't provide any strong flavor contrast or interesting accompaniment, but unlike the worst tartares, it wasn't mushy or mish-mosh.

The Verdict


Some good stuff going, and we can't wait to see what else they can come up with.

Food Rating: **
1/2 (out of 5)
Date Rating: 3.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
Hipster Hangout
Vibe:
Chatty
Cost:
$$
(out of 5) ($25-$50 for two)

Dickson Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Munchies: Sticky Fingers

This week's Monday Munchies sees me finally jump back into the world of cupcakery with a visit to Sticky Fingers, the wittily named vegan bakeshop that sits in Columbia Heights across from the Giant on Park. For anyone who doesn't know by now, I am not by any means veggie-this or vegan-that, but Sticky Fingers was the closest place to buy a presumably decent celebratory cupcake in the area.

On this trip, I ordered a carrot cake cupcake and a pumpkin cheesecake. I'll be honest; it's entirely possible I already had preconceived notions about the gluten-free desserts. In a habitually re-told story, I once changed my entire mind about the deliciousness of a friend's lasagna when informed of its use of protein crumble. But to me these were a little dry, missing this je ne sais quoi component that keeps cupcakes together (generally known as the cake portion of cupcakes). The pumpkin cheesecake was better, though still with that underlying taste of oatey starch.

Taste Test:
2 Forks (out of 5)
Perfect For: People allergic to gluten

Sticky Fingers Bakery on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Munchies: ACKC

This Monday Munchies brings us to the small but cute coffee shop/chocolatier ACKC, the 14th St shop that has lately been decorated with a banner that proclaims it the Small Business of the Year.

ACKC's vibe is eccentric, a near riot of color favoring fire engine red. It's part chocolate counter and part laid-back coffee house (replete with local artwork on the wall), with a soft spot for leading ladies. Case in point: all the chocolate drinks are named after famous women celebrities, as famous as Marilyn Monroe to as obscure as Carmen Miranda. On this trip, I had the Lucy: semi-sweet chocolate with chipotle and a dusting of cinnamon. Boy, was this one a hit to the taste buds. The chipotle had a nice kick to it that really surprised me, and was a nice departure from the normal hot chocolate.

Overall, a fun cute place for a pop-by.

Taste Test: 3 Forks
Perfect for: Cold days you want a hot chocolate

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Munchies: Rolling Ficelle

Finding ourselves right smack dab in the middle of a food truck gathering the night of the annual Dupont Drag Race, Official Girlfriend of DCWD Texas and I needed to find a truck that suited both of our needs: veggie friendly but with meat options, and most importantly delicious. So we went with Rolling Ficelle.

Rolling Ficelle sells a variety of sandwiches in long baguettes. I'll admit that I had no idea what a ficelle was before this moment, and I'm not entirely sure what it is now (The Google tells me it actually is the bread, not the sandwich). Rolling Ficelle sandwiches are all named after modern artists, from Rothko to Frida Kahlo (an interesting choice), and in this instance I ordered the Davis: chicken breast, parsley, lemon aioli, almonds, avocado, and romaine. The bread was okay, neither as soft or as toasted as I would want it to be. At best, the fillings were like a decent chicken salad, with the almond an okay addition but the avocado almost nonexistent.

For her part, Texas ordered the Klee: hummus, piquillo peppers, Swiss, tomato, and baby spinach. Her sandwich was desperately lacking, with too much spinach and no real filling; all the ingredients were complementary pieces and not star attractions, so it felt like it was missing the key piece that tied the whole thing together. So, at $6, not exactly a steal.

Taste Test: **
(out of 5)
Perfect for
: Lots of sandwich for a decent price.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Munchies: Fast Gourmet

Plaudits: Washington City Paper Best of DC 2011
Neighborhood: U Street

The Setup


I have been hearing people preach the gospel of Fast Gourmet almost as long as I've lived in the neighborhood. With Official Roommates of DCWD Rajistan and Talia on hand, along with Official Friend of DCWD Chill, we decided to venture off to this hidden gem.

The Vibe

Rajistan and I get into disagreements about this from time to time, so let's just make this plain right here: Fast Gourmet is in a gas station. Yes, it's a separate entity from the gas station, but when you have to walk through the convenience store part of the station to get there, it's basically part of it. That being said, it certainly cleans up nice for its less-than-refined setting. The color scheme is that of black and electric green, with a wall of coolers to one side, and bar seating alongside the outside window to the other. Between you and the lunch counter is a set of plain black two-tops and a high table. On the scale of comfort and decor, it's somewhere higher than a greasy spoon (or compare another way, a little bit better than contemporary Ray's Hell Burger).

The Food


I asked the man at the counter what his preference was, and he led me to the Chivito: a pressed sandwich of pork tenderloin, mozzarella, black forest ham, bacon, green olives, egg, and escabeche marinade. And they came with a side of shoestring fries. Phew, that's a lot of ingredients.

Let's also make something clear here: the main conceit of Fast Gourmet is that its setting and its name belie the quality of its sandwiches. This was delicious. With that many ingredients, there are places where it could go wrong, and certainly if you're afraid of salt, then this might not be for you. But this was a bundle of classic Latino flavors in one savory hulking bite. Honestly, it hit a lot of great notes for me. Plus, the shoestring fries were a nice touch. And they're open late, meaning I am definitely wandering my way back here again.

The Verdict


A very, very good sandwich, for a gas station or otherwise.

Food Rating: ****
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 1.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
N/A
Vibe:
Calm
Cost:
$
(out of 5) (less than $25 for two)

Fast Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Munchies: Point Chaud

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: Two locations, both on 14th Street: one near McPherson Square area, one near U Street/Logan Circle.

The Setup


Official Mother of DCWD MV was craving crepes. I can't explain why, or how she got onto this kick, only that it was the middle of the day on a Tuesday, and she just wanted crepes. So off we (Official Father of DCWD DV, as well as Official Siblings of DCWD Caribou and NAM) went to Point Chaud in Logan Circle.

The Vibe


Point Chaud is like a lackadaisical French cafe. It has some of the hallmarks: bright blue and white tiles with bright marigold yellow walls, those ubiquitous art deco/nouveau posters, and two small cafe tables outside. Still, it always seems dim and dusty no matter the time of day, a fact probably owing to the relatively few lights hanging from the exposed black ceiling above. The rest of the seating is wicker basket-weave two-top after two-top, except for one full booth in the back. It's something that makes you say, "I see where you're going here, but I wish you would just try a little harder."

The Food


Despite the fact there were five of us, we ordered only two crepes, one savory and one sweet. To start we had the tuna, which came with jack cheese, olives, tomatoes, and onions. I had low expectations for this one, mostly because I couldn't imagine how a fish crepe could be any good. That being said, the tuna was actually pretty well done, escaping the fishy-tasting mush that it come sometimes be (see: tuna salad, supermarket). In combination with the included vegetables, it actually was fairly refreshing, more like a summer salad than a crepe.



For our sweet crepe, MV chose the nutella, blackberry, and strawberry. It's hard to see how you can mess up fruits and nutella (short of putting old fruit in there), so I'll take this opportunity to talk about the crepe itself. These particular ones were fairly fluffy, which was a comfort; on the spectrum of crepes, they were more like injera than tortillas. This made for an altogether pleasant bite.

The Verdict


Good crepes, in a nice neighborhood sort-of place.

Food Rating: ***
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 2.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
N/A
Vibe:
Calm
Cost:
$
(out of 5) (less than $25 for two)

Point Chaud Café and Crêpes on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Munchies: Greek Deli

This week's Monday Munchies takes us to one of the "best little takeout places that no one but also everyone knows about" in Greek Deli. Sandwiched in a skinny storefront next to Nooshi, the Greek Deli is most notable for its daily weekday line out the door.

Inside is a simple takeout counter in the back, with some coolers and shelving on one side, and a frame wall of reviews and the obligatory presidential portraits on the others (they, like every customer, are referred to by the collective term "my friends"). On this trip, I ordered the gyro platter: a gyro, orzo, and the vegetable of the day (on this day, some lovely stewed green beans and peas. To say this was delicious would be an understatement. Scrumptious meat on the gyro, with a generally refreshing feeling to it, and the orzo was definitely can't-get-enough.

Taste Test:
4 Forks (out of 5)
Perfect for: Workday lunch... if you have time to wait.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Munchies: Sol Mexican Grill

This week's Monday Munchies brings us back to the world of food trucks, with the Sol Mexican Grill. In terms of menu, think Chipotle on wheels: tacos, burritos, and burrito bowls.

On this trip, I ordered the steak tacos, a trio of soft tacos with a variety of topping options. The long version is that it was a decent meal, fairly tender with fresh ingredients. The short version? I mean, it was basically Chipotle. But mobile.

Taste Test: 2 Forks (out of 5)
Perfect for: When Chipotle is just too far away.