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Has anyone wondered why the outlandishly luxurious Indian restaurant, Punjab Grill (website), just ... appeared? Did you know this wasn't their first restaurant in the Washington, DC area? The corporation behind it also owns American Tandoor (website) in Tysons Corner, which just closed suddenly, and without explanation. Jan 23, 2020 - "American Tandoor Temporarily Closes in Tysons Corner Center" by Catherine Douglas Moran on tysonsreporter.com American Tandoor is owned by Lite Bite Foods (website), a huge corporation in India. Lite Bite Foods also owns Punjab Grill, which has numerous locations in India (website), and if you click on the "Locations" link (bottom-right), you'll be taken to the "Institutional Catering Outlets" section of their website (although they apparently feature "Bespoke Catering" (website)). Lite Bite Foods has, according to their website, "a scale of over passionate 3500 employees." (I don't know if that's missing a hypen, or two words need to be flipped). They're also in partnership with Subway, PVR Cinemas, etc. - they own or manage over 300 restaurants (if you mill around their Indian corporate website, you can find out a lot), and I doubt they're shedding too many tears over the "temporary" closure of American Tandoor. But, in case anyone was wondering how or why someone spent so much money on decorating Punjab Grill, here's your answer. The opening chef here is apparently quite talented, and it would be wise to go on an off-night when you know he's running the kitchen and not slammed. Is this the "game-changing restaurant" Food and Wine (website) declared it to be last year? This company appears to be about volume and making money (although you could say the same thing about LVMH (website), who owns some of the most revered brands in the world (take a look at them - they're a remarkable collection) so who knows).
Stopped by Street Kitchen, a new fast-casual concept for lunch at Tysons Corner Center (located near Panera and Panda Express on 2nd level). At first glace, this place looked like your typical short-order deli/sandwich but upon looking at the menu, I could see how flavor packed these dosas/naan wraps would be. I ordered the masala steak frankie, which was the most intense steak wrap that i have ever tasted. The naan bread was freshly fried, piping hot and crispy, and the meat was similarly packed with intensely marinated flavor that I cannot really describe (my vocabulary in describing indian cuisine is sadly lacking). Nothing here seems to be blandly flavored, and the wraps come with a side of chutney as well, in case you need additional flavor bombs. There was about a 5-10min wait for our food, but only because our food was cooked to order, so I do not mind. With that said, I can imagine the wait being longer if there were a line. If you want to try an exciting indian fast-casual concept that doesn't seem like glorified buffet fare, I highly recommend dropping by here.
So, I've been watching this spot at 910 17th Street, you know somewhere between Suntrust Bank and Firehook Bakery, two places not too far from my Metro stops that I visit with some frequency. The place is still under construction, but on the sign that covers the glass front there's a quote from someone I have never heard of raving about Chef Miguel Choy (and making reference to his restaurant Yuzu in London. Instead of being so cynical, I want to say that I hope this place is good! The fact that Mervis Diamonds and (sorry) Chevy Chase Bank are the other two businesses on the block worries me a bit. So, what's the dilio? <edited for fiction and grammar>