Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Washingtonian Cheap Eats 2007: A Commentary

Here are the Washingtonian's 100 best cheap eats for the DC area in 2007. Thought I'd pull from their list in order to document, to date, places we've been and places we want to go. Will jot some notes down for a few and leave the others for embellishment later. I'm sure at least a few will turn up on this blog sooner or later in more tantalizing detail...'till then:


1. Malaysia Kopitiam -- Have been here many times, love the soup noodles (spicy coconut curry broth). They don't use the best cuts of meat, but we, seasoned China dwellers that we are, just take that as more "authentic."

2. Pasta Mia -- has been described elsewhere para mi--but I will repeat, don't get the meat sauce here, simple is better; order the Caesar and split it amongst your four selves.

3. Moby Dick's House of Kabob -- The swordfish kabob (I know, look at me going for the less sustainable ocean fish again) was very tasty but a little undercooked the only time I got it. We have been to both the one in Georgetown and also the 18th and N location (at that crazy Connecticut/18th intersecting area just south of Dupont circle). The kubideh kabob (ground beef) is probably the best. The flatbread is made in-house and is very good (not fluffy; very substantial).

4. Breadline -- Only went once for lunch with M; he ordered a Reuben and I got an Italian sausage sandwich on ciabatta I believe; the bread was great (fitting). I would like to return and try their salads.

5. Huong Que (aka Four Sisters) -- in the Eden Center just outside hellish Seven Corners (if you know N VA you know what I'm talking about). We only ate there once many months ago and embarassingly enough, I cannot recall what we ordered, but I remember it was good.

6. Pizzeria Paradiso - Georgetown -- great brick oven fired pizza. My favorite is the bottarga with a barely cooked egg in the center surrounded by anchovies (because I am a salt fiend). To be fair, though, I have not tried all of their pizzas yet, so let's just leave it as my current favorite.

7. Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant

8. Zaytinya

9. Zorba's Cafe - just went there last Friday for the first time. The taramosalata was very creamy and mild, a little much for two people (but with an extra order of pita bread it suited us just fine). Very Greek gyros (as opposed to the Lebanese ones that we loved and consumed often at Aladdin's on the Ave in Seattle) with *delicious* vibrantly tangy and thick tzatziki sauce. M's entree, a pastry-wrapped beef pie (the name eludes me at the moment) was so-so: our consensus? Get grilled items here. And sit outside with a half-carafe of the house wine.

10. Ceviche

** GASP ** Not on the list but should be: Our favorite Korean restaurant so far since moving to DC, Lighthouse Tofu (vit guhl) in Annandale (gam sahm im nida, Sook unni!), a sundubul*(tofu hotpot) restaurant that is fantastic and I'm getting a craving just writing about it (even though it's the middle of summer and piping hot and spicy tofu soup doesn't really suit, which says a lot). This place surprisingly does not have a website, but I guess there's an evil little part of me that is glad (it's mine, all mine!) But I guess I kinda spoiled it by writing about it here...oops...(sheepish).

That said, Tyler Cowen has also written about Lighthouse (briefly), here.
(April 30, 'Tofu Lighthouse Restaurant').

Hope to visit soon:
1. Domku -- a Polish (not Russian, as I originally posted; thanks, kwest!)/Scandanavian restaurant in Petworth not far from where we live; enough said.
2. Bob's Noodle 66
3. Bob's 88 Shabu Shabu
4. Joe's Noodle House
5. Myoung Dong -- Korean noodles! Bi bim naeng myun!!!
6. Bamian Afghan cuisine

Gee, maybe I should go to bed...zzz

*(Please, anyone who knows Hangul, forgive me for any inconsistencies in Romanization. Although, writing this, I am not really sure whether there is a standard romanization for Korean, considering how easy to learn the hangul is. Apologies from an ignorant hanja-writing outsider.)
** A nod to Clothilde (Chocolate and Zucchini) for the idea of utilizing playful asterisk "footnotes."


Jo said...

Sunflower in Vienna is awesome and I'm not a vegetarian. I was told to try the General Tso's Surprise (which truth be told, just the name scared me) and it was delicious. I swear it tasted just like chicken. I'd definitely go back.

Jaemus said...

Hi Jo, thanks for your comment/recommendation! I didn't include anything about Sunflower here because (embarassment) I couldn't recall exactly what we ordered; it was over 6 months ago. But I do remember that I ended up switching my order with that of my husband's great aunt, since they messed up her order and made it spicy and she can't tolerate super spicy food.

kwest said...

Cool post. Good suggestions. Given the tenor of your blog, Domku is an interesting place: it's full name is "v domku", Polish basically meaning "at our little house." It's actually Polish and Scandanavian food. I highly recommend it, and the Polish beer!

Jaemus said...

Thanks for the clarification, and recommendation, Kwest! Glad you enjoyed the post. I heard from a friend that you can order caraway or dill-flavored Aquavit as well. Do you have any other restaurants to add?


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