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Found 19 results

  1. I feel like I am on a mission to find really good, fast, and tasty lunch places while working downtown near Metro Center for this month. Today's find was based on a recent post for quick lunch ideas near Metro Center (see post #12 for original suggestion), specifically, a recommendation for Mayur Kabab House. Having driven past there numerous times, but not brave enough to go in until today, I was quite pleased with the results. For lunch, the best option is their Lunch Buffet for $8.00 (tax included). The buffet, which can be dine-in or carry out (I chose the latter) includes four vegetable dishes, chicken curry (bone-in), chicken kabab (also bone-in) and rice and baked naan. The portions were HUGE, to the extent that I now have dinner too. The vegetable dishes for today were: daal, paneer with peas, an eggplant dish, and a cauliflower dish. The eggplant was very soft and flavorful and the chicken kabob and curry chicken both very moist and not dried out from the burners. Would definitely go back.
  2. I posted this on Facebook (FB) after reading the list that DC eater put together. I know there are many wonderful places around the DMV but this initial list consists of places that I thought help make up the landscape of the DMV. This list is fluid and will be updated as time goes on. I hope people enjoy it. Recently DC eater put out a list on identifying some of the best Halal restaurants in the DMV. I applaud DC Eater on taking on this challenge but their list could use some work. The DC Eater list focused primarily on locations within DC and did not highlight the best of the best that the DC area as whole has to offer. Here is my attempt at the list. Feel free to share the post. Ravi Kabob: I am homer to this place. It holds a special place in my heart. The karahi and choley are Punjabi soul food of the highest order. If Trump were to get elected and brown people are sent to internment camps, I hope they serve Ravi's choley and naan as part of our daily meals. Ravi is unapologetic in its personification of being the best hole in the wall in the DC area for over 15+ years. Afghan Bistro: This family run restaurant is the new kid on the block for the DC area. This establishment has been open for less than year but is already receiving acclaim from foodies and critics alike (check out their review in Washingtonian Magazine and upcoming review in Washington Post is scheduled for publication). Make sure to check out the daily specials, which contains a lot of gems, from lamb chops, lamb shank, and chicken lawaan. Tooso Pakistani Kitchen: Located in the heart of Sterling Virginia, this restaurant serves one of the better weekend brunches in the area. Families line up for the halva puri brunch, the nehari, and chicken tandoori are dishes that lead the way. Tooso serves one of the better version of Falooda a cold dessert consisting of rose syrup and vermicelli noodles. The service will transport you back to Pakistan. Simply chaotic. Marib Restaurant: Yemini cuisine has recently taken off in the Washington DC area and Marib is the current gold standard for Yemini cuisine. Restaurant is named after the capital city of the Ma'rib Governorate, Yemen and was the capital of the Sabaean kingdom, which some scholars believe to be the ancient Sheba of biblical fame. Succulent tender pieces of slow roasted lamb served with rice and sahawiq. Amina Thai: First thing. Virginians do not like to travel cross the Potomac River into Maryland or be associated with the state of Maryland in any shape or form. Now one of the few reason to ever cross the Potomac, is going to Amina Thai in Silver Spring Maryland. Authentic spicy Kaprow, drunken noodles, and panang curry lead the way at this Thai Muslim restaurant. Curry Mantra: Located in Fairfax, VA from owner, director, producer Asad Sheikh (I think he secretly wanted to be a bollywood director growing up) who likes to compare himself to Ashok Bajaj (the restrauntuer behind the nationally acclaimed Rasika and Rasika West End in DC). With that said, Curry Mantra is a great lunch spot. Their daily buffet is one of the better lunch buffets in the region. Usually between 15-20 items available daily during lunch. Now, if you venture over during dinner time, Asad and his team serve one of the better goat biryanis in the DMV. Ya Hala: Located in Vienna, Virginia, this authentic Lebanese cafe serves fresh middle eastern dishes ranging from shawarma, kefta meshwi, and other lebanese classics. All the meat that used comes fro their halal meat market, which is conveniently located next door. Ya Hala also caters and they have very reasonable prices. Punjabi By Nature: I love hole in the walls. They serve some of the best food and this place is no exception. Located inside at the food court of Lotte Plaza, the Korean super grocery store, this food court stalls serves mouth watering tandoori chicken, along with egg paratha, and daal makahni. Great for people who are doing some grocery shopping and want to grab a bite too. Kids can gallop freely around the food court area while parents eat. Aldeerah: This Saudi restaurant is the new kid on the block. it has been open for less than two years and makes this inaugural list because frankly it is literally the first Saudi restaurant to open in The DMV in the thirties years that I have lived in this area. Everyone knows that Saudi's love to eat and the furniture is very Saudiesque, over the top. Wide seats are accommodating to people with healthy appetites and who may have shunned working out for a few years. Now the food offered and served are mainly dishes from the central part of Saudi Arabia, known as “Najd." The Saudi version of samasa, potato kibba, and lamb mandi are some go to dishes. Creekstone Farms: I saved the last spot for fine dining and neighborhood restaurants that serve Creekstone Farms beef, which is halal. I plan on expanding this out and having a top 10 list of places in the DC area that carry Creekstone Farms beef.
  3. I've stopped going to any Lebanese Tavernas, except the "express" one in Congressional Plaza in Rockville (because my mother, who lives there, likes it). Instead, I'm now devoted to the consistently good and MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE Lebanese Butcher & Restaurant on Annandale Road in Falls Church: http://www.lebanesebutcher.com/ My only warning is that this place is very much a hole-in-the-wall haunt of Muslim men, which can be somewhat off-putting for a non-Muslim woman who wants to dine-in on her own. I always go in with a book and focus on the page as I eat, do my best to ignore the curious, sometimes hostile glances from men at the other tables. More often I just take away. The food is good enough to keep patronising the place despite the odd vibes. I'm not sure what troubles them more - a woman dining out alone, or a Western woman invading their space. Actually, since the place has been written up in the Post, Washingtonian, etc., the vibe has got somewhat less weird as the long-time patrons have had to get used to a diverse variety of interlopers. I guess I was just a pioneer, as I've been going there almost since it opened. And keep going back. Karen Mercedes
  4. Anil Kumar is now at Bethesda Curry Kitchen, right across the street from Grapeseed, which opened on Tuesday, February 11th. On this very cold evening, the nearly empty restaurant seemed like an eternity away from Gringos & Mariachis, just a few blocks down Cordell Avenue, and which also opened on February 11th. I have no doubt that on this evening, Gringos & Mariachis was packed. A liquor license is still a few weeks away, so for now, this restaurant is without alcohol. I started my dinner with a homemade Mango Lassi ($3.50) which reminded me that Kumar's former restaurant, Saveur India, had some of the best Kulfi I've ever tried - Bethesda Curry Kitchen also has homemade Kulfi on their dessert menu. Chef Kumar is from Hyderabad, a huge city in the South of India, and the south is very well-represented on the menu. The city of Coorg sits about 400 miles southwest of Hyderabad, nestled in the Western Ghats. When I go to India for the first time, my plan is to spend some time in Goa, but a detour to Coorg is also on the agenda. Coorgi Chicken ($15.99) isn't a dish you see very often in the DC area, but it was very well-executed here, and obviously long-cooked, containing 5-6 boneless, Halal thighs in a wonderful curry (the quality of this chicken was very high). Served with basmati rice, I also got a Mehti Paratha ($3.00) for the requisite sauce dunking. On a frigid Saturday night, there was only one other family of four dining in this somewhat stark, utilitarian restaurant. "Until you get your liquor license, weekend dinners during the winter are going to break your heart," I said to my server. I cannot think of an atmosphere that's more different from Gringos & Mariachis than Bethesda Curry Kitchen, but both restaurants are initialized in Italic in the Dining Guide which speaks volumes about the potential quality of cooking here. Also just down Cordell Avenue from Passage To India, I don't even see the two as competitors - one is a curry house; the other is fine dining. Bethesda Curry Kitchen is going to survive, not by weekend dinners, but by delivery and lunch buffets. I walked past the empty buffet - which had the signs up - and noticed that my Coorgi Chicken was on it, so you can enjoy this exact same dish for lunch, with many others to accompany it, for less money. In fact, until they get their liquor license, a lunch buffet would be the perfect way to initiate yourselves with this fine newcomer.
  5. Spoke with the owners of Banana Leaf, a new Sri Lankan restaurant opening next to Jakes on Connecticut Ave in Van Ness/Chevy Chase. I don't have a whole lot of information other than they tell me this will be the first Sri Lankan restaurant in the DC metro area. It is affiliated with Banana Leaf in NYC, but the primary day to day operation will be by two guys I met who live in DC. They expect the restaurant to open in the next few weeks with a liquor license to follow.
  6. 15521 New Hampshire Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20905 301-879-0044 It is open late, till 1am on Friday and Saturday. The food off the steam table, the sides mainly were a little tired looking but the two i tried were nicely flavored. I had a dish of greens with potatoes that really came to life with a little lemon juice. My main was 2 seekh kabobs that were well flavored but just a tad dry from over cooking, but nicely charred from an obviously hot tandoor. There were nice with the chutney but if they can dial in the cooking time, it will be really incredible, Indique level or better. $7.99 for both and a tandoor baked naan which was uneven, thin and crackery in parts, chewy and soft in others. It was stuck on the side of the tandoor a few seconds too long. The chutney was good once I asked for it. Also came with a little salad but it was undressed and needed something. I also had a chat samosa, the samosa, maybe a little greasy, was covered in nicely spiced, very soft garbanzos in a great sauce/gravy. Very rich.The grease may have come from either the frying or the steam table garbanzo beans dish. All in all, if they just tweak the cooking times a little and get the naan more even before putting it in the tandoor, this place will be a great stop for late night dinners. For just being open a short while, I think it is a great addition to the area and well worth repeat visits. $10 and change. Next time I will try the lamb kebab.
  7. "At Mas', Jonathan Gold Finds Hearty, Spicy Food Just Like Your Chinese Islamic Mother Used To Make" by Jonathan Gold on latimes.com --- For our Washington, DC contingent: It's coincidental that Jonathan Gold chose to review Mas' this week, because I was just moments away from reporting on a Halal Chinese restaurant on our side of the country: Kabab King, which is on Columbia Pike in Falls Church, directly across the highway from Meaza. Kabab King also serves what they call "Desi Chinese," Desi being an Indian term that means something close to "From Us." I walked into Kabab King, and it seems more Eastern Indian than Chinese, but more than anything else, it seems to be Bangladeshi (don't forget, Bangladesh used to be "East Pakistan" until 1971, when it became an independent nation). They have a lunch buffet, and I'm not going to necessarily recommend the restaurant from what I saw, but it does exist.
  8. I hadn't seen anything on them so I thought I would give them some press. They have been open since this summer and we've been twice. Both times we got the Donner and the Boregi and both times it was quite good. Service was also quick and helpful and the owners were willing to answer questions about the menu. If you are in the area give them a try. I don't see them that crowded and I want small places like that to succeed.
  9. Never did. I normally ordered the Gyro platter. Not bad, although I stopped going all that often once Reston Kabob opened.
  10. I made it over to Dell and Campbell's for lunch today. You can definitely tell they got written up yesterday. There was a fairly healthy line at 11:45. We got our orders (3 of us) by 12:20. Each of us got a Shawarma for $7 which comes with chicken and lamb sausage and a side of chips. Two of us split the hummus roll ($3). Overall it was a good lunch, albeit one you shouldn't plan on if you need to get back in the office quickly. The hummus roll is very light on filling to bread ratio and while the chicken on the shawarma was good and moist, the sausage was a bit dry. The way it works is that one of the owners takes orders (only 5 at a time) and the other does the cooking/assembling in the cart. You wait in another line until it's finished and delivered to you. Very limited menu with four items on it.
  11. I drive Washington Blvd every day and just glanced over and noticed it this morning (same building as the marble and tile place). From what I can find it is a Persian take out spot. Does anyone have the scoop on this place? Why did they choose that name (is it a tribute to Timberlake and Samberg?!?!)? I consider myself a hardcore carnivore, but I can honestly say I didn't read the sign and think "Mmmmmmmmmm, meat in a box!" On the plus side, it is on the right side to make for an easy stop on the way home.
  12. I tried to go to this place a few weeks ago, but couldn't find it, so I re-doubled my efforts yesterday. I had spent a lovely morning with a friend and became quite hungry. I remembered I wanted to try here and was in the mood for something spicy and warm, due to the recent cold weather. On a side note, it's going to go down to 7 degrees tomorrow. I thought there was a reason I left Michigan. Oh, yeah, in my hometown it is going to be a high of -5. Anyway, this place is not hard to find if you know how to use a map. But, the problem is that they don't have a sign up yet (other than the poster in the window), so I missed it. It's in the Bangladeshi strip, where there are grocers and Gharer Khabar is. I parked in the back (the strip is mall is packed with cars, and it's kind of a pain exiting/entering, so maybe try the back. It's a simple place, looks sort of like a cafeteria. It smells good in there. There were two couples in there eating delicious looking curries and biryanis. I was eating alone, so I was a bit limited in what I could order. What immediately caught my eye was the 'kaachi biryani'. It is a biryani dish where the rice and meat are cooked raw together and layered with other ingredients (the spices, vegetables, yogurt). However, it is a special order dish and only available on Saturdays, if you call four hours in advance. I asked him details and if there was any left over that I could have, but he said that due to the weather, they couldn't get some of the suppliers to bring what they needed so it just wasn't available today. They have many curries (chicken, shrimp, lamb, goat). They have many biryanis. They have typical north Indian dishes (CTM, a few vegetarian dishes). The prices are lowish. I ordered the 'halim', which is stewed lentils with some pieces of goat and spicy. It is supposedly a weekend breakfast/brunch treat. He gave a lime and some chilis on the side with no instructions. It was spiced well, but I threw in some lime juice and a few cuts of the chili. It got fiery. I liked the taste. It's like dal makhni on steroids, much richer and less cream based, with a few small fatty cuts of goat. I could eat a large bowl of that a winter afternoon any time. The portion was smallish, but it also only costed $5. Then, I got the goat curry made extra spicy. It was served with basmati rice. This was bar none the best goat curry I have ever had. I have some reference, as I have had it at maybe 8 or 9 other places. It was rich, the coloring was perfect - dark deep brown. There were a lot of pieces of goat, some on bone and some off bone. It brought the heat. I absolutely loved the dish. The total with a Diet Coke was $17.67 and I saved exactly half for my lovely friend for her dinner tonight. I have to go again and try the seafood dishes, and call ahead for the Saturday dish. The young an that was serving and also the cashier was delightful to chat with, he just moved from Bangladesh 3 months ago, and it is his family friends that have hired him. They used to be located in Rockville, but said with the growth of the Bangla population on this strip of Lee Highway, it made sense to go. He very much suggested coming on Sunday, where there is "brunch buffet" with many dishes for just $8. $8, I had to have him repeat it to me. 10am - 5.30pm. The food is very delicious and authentic. I hope the owner works on the decor. With a little work, it could become Virginia destination dining like Bangkok Golden (my lunch treat for today). Probably a great spot for a group gathering. I'm curious to hear what the Don has to say about this. Tyler Cowen has spoken already. There is just one review on Yelp and it is about butter chicken. (Picture me as the guy in Sideways, "I'm not ordering the f-ckin' butter chicken!") Pic 1 is the halim, pic 2 is the goat curry, pic 3 is leftovers in a cute box. Simul
  13. Alright, got something delicious for y'all. I was running around all day doing errands and whatever and ended up hungry as hell in the Catonsville area, I've seen this brown and beige halal food truck parked in the same spot for years( in the Walmart parking lot up near route 40 and rolling.) but never stopped in. Decided what the heck, pulled up and hopped out into the rain and ordered up a lamb kabob which came with salad and that rice with the raisins an carrots which I have no idea what it's called. Nine bucks and I was told the best news ever from a food truck with no line, "be about 10-12 min" . So I get my styrofoam box and chow down, the rice is perfect, salad is crisp and the lamb is amazing, tender and charred and juicy, like 6 big chunks. It came with two cups of sauce, one raita and one I thought was a chutney of sorts, wrong guess. It was spicy as all hell, but made it that much better. You gotta check these dudes out, they have beef kabob chicken, butter chicken, gyros, and for the hell of it cheese steaks burger subs and ice cream treats. Although I didn't get one it was nice to see the good humor toasted almond.
  14. 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.
  15. New York Express Food Cart in front of Courthouse in Arlington On Clarendon Boulevard: Actually I agree with Yelpers on this one: http://www.yelp.com/biz/new-york-express-food-cart-arlington and its good they have it referenced on the web. not the best ever NY styled sandwiches....but pretty darn good!!! and yes the two guys who operate it are quite nice . We are adding a piece on our website about places to eat around our little business (referenced below) (corner of Wilson and Barton Street in Arlington) on the recommendations of our staff. They are here early to late and do everything from breakfast to dinner...and definitely drinks. Since we get way way more than 10,000 visits a year from folks and we do make food recommendations to students and visitors it makes sense. New York Express made the recommendation list on the advice of one staffer. Frankly we sporadically bring in lunches from various nearby places and that is one of them and it does get kudo's. The staff is not a "big bucks group" but they have a keen sense for value...and it turns out some of the suggestions are completely in keeping with the accumulated wisdom of DR.com......
  16. Desii Wok website. This is a new place in the Backlick Plaze shopping center. This is the same shopping center as Gamasot, in front of the El Grande/Fresh World Asian-Latino supermarket. We were over there picking up some groceries, and saw the 'Grand Opening' sign. I haven't been yet, but I'm curious as to see what Indo-Pak style Chinese is like.
  17. I had lunch today at this recently opened Halal-meat hamlet, in the same shopping center as Caribbean Grill, Yorktown Bistro, Saran, etc. on Lee Highway and George Mason Drive. Just look what $6.95 bought me ... A lunch buffet, served 11-3 M-F, with four different Halal meats: Tandoori chicken tikka Goat curry with squash Paya (trotters cooked overnight on low heat) Dal Gosht curry with beef as well as pure vegan options: Chana Masala (chickpeas) Aloo Gobi with fresh carrots Saag (spinach) Biryani and the charming Ms. Khan even brought me out a fresh-baked round of naan. Weekend specials include Mukta Gosht (lamb or goat shank cooked overnight), Degi Cherga (a whole chicken, deep-fried and steamed), and Nehari (beef shank cooked overnight). As much as I love a good hamburger, let's maintain some perspective: This is a husband and wife team, trying to eek out a living in a busy, but somewhat blighted strip of Lee Highway. $6.95 for all-you-can-eat high-quality meat and fresh vegetables, well-cooked, and backed by friendly family owners who couldn't even conceive of hiring marketing agents, and have probably never heard of this website. I'm HAPPY to support them. Open until 10 PM, seven nights a week, with carryout menu and catering available. I was the only person in the restaurant the entire time I was there, and that should not be the case. I realize this place isn't trendy or buzzy, and never will be, but come on. Cheers, Rocks.
  18. I posed this question to George at Mediterranean Gourmet Market, and he suggested Cairo Cafe at 6244 Little River Tpke. (703-750-3551). I have not tried it, but it's somewhere on my long list....
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