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Found 5 results

  1. Just realized that there was no thread for Ekiben, which was an oversight on my part. Though I haven't actually visited their brick and mortar, I have partaken of their bao sandwiches at the Charm City Cross cyclocross race (excellent post-race refuel), Hampdenfest, and at the 83 farmers market. The baos are reliably tasty, though frequently overstuffed and unwieldy; I wouldn't be mad if they split one bao into two smaller bites and sold them as a pair. In some ways, Ekiben reminds me of my beloved late Shophouse---similar spice level, flavor, and relative level of accessibility. I do need to stop into the brick and mortar location at some point soon to scratch the itch, but I'm glad that the 83 market has reopened for the season so I can visit them there if I don't make it all the way to Fells!
  2. I haven't done that but I've had his food At Union Mkt, Maketto pop-up and Toki. His "genius" continues to intrigue me but leave me confounded. My point though is that we all sometimes have no basis to judge a foreign cuisine. And I've admitted as much in my own write-ups. Rest assured, your input will be put to good use. Let me share a recent example. David Chang introduced the pork belly bun to New York. It was greeted enthusiastically by many non-Chinese/Taiwanese Manhattanites but the Chinese/Taiwanese knew that he had just introduced traditional Chinese/Taiwanses food to a new audience. He didn't create it or perfect it, he just presented it to a new audience, like he introduced ramen. Now ramen and buns are everywhere. Are Chang's ramen and buns still world class? In my opinion, no and never were. And Bruner-Yang isn't iron chef Taiwan. He's just another opportunist. Good for him but don't mistake him for anything more than that. And I've heard from many Chinese that they wouldn't eat at Peter Chang's because they think he's making American Chinese food. Misinformation obviously goes both ways.
  3. Hi all - if you're readers of Tom Sietsema's chat, you may have noticed that I asked a similar question today. I wanted to edit/expand because I trust you all immensely. My friend's family is coming to visit in late summer, and will be staying downtown and doing a lot of the traditional "tourist" things since my friend just moved to the area last year and this is their first visit. She mentioned that they would be interested in good value "ethnic" restaurants, particularly Afghan and Middle Eastern type places - and all of the ones we know are in the suburbs (we both live in Silver Spring, and I've lived in Northern Virginia so I'm familiar with a lot of the spots in that area). As they are from Miami, they're less inclined to try Latin/Caribbean places or other cuisines which have extensive representation in South Florida, and perhaps more interested in Asian/Pacific and African cuisines. What are some good ones that you all can recommend? FWIW, and I will look at the threads here, but restaurants that were mentioned in responses were Mitsitam Cafe, Teaism, Greek Deli, Ambar, and Lapis (and Bamian in the burbs). If I was steered wrong on those, please let me know.
  4. So the H&A market in the old Hechinger building at Riggs & 193 in Langley Park (across 193 from Tick Tock Liquors) is now a "New Grand Mart". The changes include a half-aisle of Indian products, another half-aisle of Jamaican/Caribbean products, and a re-organization of the produce section. The store is still about 50% Asian, maybe 30% Latin, and the rest mixed ethnicity products, organized loosely by region. I think this is a much nicer store than the Grand Mart in Laurel, although it doesn't have the "modern" feel of newer H-marts. Pretty much everything that used to be in H&A is still there, although some of the refrigerated items have been moved around. The fish counter is the same, although they were now additionally offering some prepackaged seafood, like salmon steaks and fish roe. If my freezer wasn't full of blackberries, I'd have taken home a box of cuttlefish tentacles. The meat section is still small but I think it may be a bit nicer/cleaner - there was a decent selection of pork and beef, plus a counter where they had a few large cuts of goat available. The produce area now has better labeling, and there were some new things I hadn't seen before, like snake gourds and two kinds of enormous foot-long "okra". Lots of the usual fruits, rambutan, mangosteen, dragonfruit, etc. Another new item was Megachef premium fish sauce (blue label) - I picked up a bottle to compare with my regular standbys of Squid brand and Golden Boy. I have felt in the past that H&A had a good balance of Asian products - Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Chinese, but not a lot of Japanese items. This balance is about the same as before. Some of the other Grand Marts that I have been to in northern PG county have very little Asian food - maybe a half aisle of ramen. I hope they keep this mix of a wide range of products, especially the Asian ones, because Lotte and H-Mart are a much further drive and I have been able to find 99% of the items I want here.
  5. I wonder, with people like Robert Dahni and others around in the industry, why it is still cool to throw a bunch of Asian ingredients together and call it a Thai dish. Can't we stick with "Asian" or is that not exotic enough. It bothers me because at places like the Cheesecake Factory in less cosmopolitan parts of the country, it may be someone's only experience with "Thai" food. Yet what is being presented is not, in fact , Thai food at all. Thai food does not (traditionally) use Mirin, for example. And what is "Thai Chicken", there are hundreds (if not thousands) of ways to cook chicken in the Thai tradition. The worst offenders, besides chain restaurants, are recipes in newspaper food sections and magazines, even the Washington Post. Telltale signs are recipes that include ginger (Thai cooking uses ginger, but not in the way that you think, and not very often), and sesame oil. OTOH, Thai food is a "fusion" food and Thai cooks are quick to adopt new techniques and ingredients ( e.g. satay, custard, stir frying, condensed milk, actually the list is endless). Plus, Thai people did this to American food before we did it to them. Witness, American Fried Rice. (Here's how to make it... yum?). They also do terrible things to pizza. I just needed to rant, please forgive me, and eat anything you want and call it whatever you like. Everybody does it.
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