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Found 6 results

  1. For me and my dear aged mother, the main casualty of Friday night's storm was the cancellation of today's matinee performance of Don Giovanni at the Barns at Wolf Trap (well, actually, my mother's house in Fairfax was without electricity from 10:30 pm Friday to 4:00 pm Saturday; I suffered no such tribulation in the Kalorama Triangle). We had planned to have lunch before the opera at Plaka Grill in Vienna, which is right on the way. When we learned of the cancellation, we decided to have the lunch as planned. Plaka Grill is in a dreary little strip mall on Lawyers' Road just off Maple Ave, next door to a Papa John's. It's quite a bare-bones sort of place. You place your order at the counter, and they give you a little stand with a number on it to put on your formica-top table so they'll know where to deliver your food. You fetch your own plastic forks and knives and paper napkins. But the service is friendly, cheerful, and efficient, and the food is delicious and inexpensive. We split an appetizer of dolmadakia, which was five grape-leaf rolls with a filling of lamb, beef, and rice, drizzled with a lemony sauce, served hot. They were actually very hot, and tasty beyond my expectation. Then we had "Chicago Gyros", which resemble every gyro you've ever had, but taken to a higher level. The pita wrapper was chewy but tender, the pressed meat stuff was tender, moist, and flavorful. The gyros were rounded out with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki, and I'd have to say that these were the best gyros I've ever encountered. The one order of dolmades, two gyros, and two bottles of Bass ale came to just over $29. No wonder this place is popular. I wouldn't go a very long way out of my way to eat here, but gosh, what a good lunch I had at such a trivial cost.
  2. Al Saray, a short-lived attempt at Egyptian fare, is no longer with us. In its place in Springfield Plaza will be The Halal Guys, which began as a food truck in Manhattan and is now "going global," with locations in our area coming to Springfield Plaza, University Mall in Fairfax, Dunn Loring, and H Street NE. I wish them well, and I hope they checked their sales projections. That stretch of Baklick Road in Springfield will deliver direct competition from Karahi Kabob House, Afghan Bistro and Flame Kabob, not to mention Eleni's for solid gyros and a handful of downright good char-broiled pollo places. I would have thought the market was saturated for grilled proteins, but what do I know?
  3. GRK Fresh Greek, described by some as a "Greek Chipotle", opened recently on 19th between M and L in South Dupont. Looks like an offshoot of a NYC place. Yes, they have salads, and a nice Greek yogurt bar, but essentially this is a gyro place. The kitchen is dominated by the gyro spits, grilling up chicken, pork, portabellos, and a beef/lamb combo. You pick one, decide if you want it on a pita or on a platter with a side, and pick one of three tzatzikis. I went with the lamb/beef on pita, with the traditional tzatziki (Grk). They also have a spicy one and a garlicky one. The gyro comes with red onion and tomato. To put it simply, it was excellent. Real meat, not the spam-like gyro stuff you see at most places. Nice flavor and a little char, juicy and satisfying. I would have preferred more topping choices...some chopped cucumber and feta crumbles would have been nice...but stressing the meat certainly isn't a bad idea. Decent sized sandwich, but not huge...about right for lunch. A little slow getting the food, but it just opened. I'll be going back.
  4. Oh the great Doner Kebab search. I wrote a little bit about it a while ago here on DCist. Meyhane's is okay, especially when paired with half price wine on Saturdays. K
  5. Cafe Nessma changed ownership last year, and reopened as Pita Wraps. I got another Falafel Sandwich ($5.99) today, and although I missed my turnip, it's still a pretty good lunchtime option. I adore fresh-squeezed juices, and I'm making a mental note that a pint (or so) of Carrot Juice ($3.95) is cheaper than spending $1.50 on a Coke (I'm being a bit philosophical here). Next door to Pita Wraps is Z Lounge, a hookah bar. It seemed like it was under construction forever, but is apparently open now. The owner here is Ezzat Zein, who ran Samadi Sweets Cafe for ten years. Does anyone here remember Samadi's lavish dessert buffet? It was one of my favorite "unknown" culinary thrill-spots.
  6. I saw a food cart tonight in Clarendon across the street from the Clarendon metro on the block with the bank (diagonally across from Hard Times Cafe). It's called Metro Halal food cart. It had chicken and lamb dishes and gyros. I had just come from dinner so didn't try it.
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