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Burma Road, Co-Owner Win Myint's Authentic Burmese at 617 S. Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg - Closed


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I really do not want to post this. The service at Burma Road was so nice that I do not want to post anything negative. I also hesitated because they have only been open two days.

If I hadn't had the nanje thoke at Mandalay or the salads at Myanmar I would not have had such high hopes for a local restaurant. The menu is mostly chinese with and with the exception of the appetizers there were few Burmese dishes. We started with four appetizers. The tea leaf salad was the best dish of the evening - although it was not spicy as was indicated on the menu. The papaya salad tasted like raw cabbage. A tofu and chickpea paste appetizer was tasteless fried squares served with a sweet melted red lollipop dipping sauce. The hot and sour soup - our only Chinese dish - was neither hot nor sour.

We then had two entrees and two side dishes. The pork with pickled vegetable(?) was quite good - slow cooked fatty pork in a thick salty gravy. Nanje thoke with chicken had gluey noodles and a fairly tasteless sauce. The young tamarind turned out to be a dish whose taste and texture reminded me too much of pure shrimp paste. The eggplant dish was flavorful but a bit too oily and shrimp pasty for me.

This meal left me feeling sad. Most of the staff stopped by to offer help with ordering and to ask us how everything was. Their earnestness and concern was palpable. I could not bring myself to tell them how I felt about the food. I am hoping that others will try Burma Road and have a better experience.

Toby

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I was born and raised in Rangoon, Burma and settled in U.S in early 80's. So I will let to you guys know how I felt about Burma Road Restaurant.

One thing that I want to know my reader, I am not a typical guy, I also a good cook (Mostly I cook hard to find Burmese dishes and Goat curry is my signature dish) as well.

I went to the restaurant a couple of days ago and I am happy to see that they offer authentic Burmese dishes.

I have to say that the restaurant deliver so Burmese dishes. I felt like I have been back to my own town.
The one that you mentioned about fried Chick Pea (tofu) is very typical fried that you normally get in Burma.
They make that fried what you get in Burma. No question about that. I like the Nangyi Thoke as well. They are good.
Since I get older, I don't really want spicy dishes. (Don't want any heart burn)

I agree with you on something, they have a lot of Chinese dishes that I didn't care for.
Comparing to another restaurant in Silver Spring, I will say this Restaurant offer 100% authentic Burmese for me.
I hope them to stay for long. I will be proud to bring my friends and coworkers to the Restaurant that this is what Burmese food is.
If you want authentic Burmese dishes, this is it folks. They don't tailor for American taste, like most Chinese Restaurants do

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I'd been looking forward to my first visit to Burma Road since reading Sietsema's First Bite and their website. The planets aligned last night and I was able to bring a first generation Burmese-American friend to check the cuisine.

James M. Thresher's photo of co-owner Win "Charlie" Myint:

PH2009011300761.jpg

The restaurant has a calm interior [unlike New Fortune located a block away] with comfortable booths and a separate section where tabletop burners and makings for Hotpot kept passing by our booth. On another visit, I'll look at the separate menu describing the different dunkin'Hotpot options [if you miss Shabu-Shabu!]. There's also a Burmese-language only menu, but we greatly enjoyed totally authentic food from the bilingual menu. My +1 pronounced the food ready for a Burmese Mom/Aunties' test. 

We shared [bold & italics copied from menu]:

Mohinga: Rice noodle served w/slowly cooked fresh fish broth and lemongrass, ginger roots, onions, eggs and served w/wedged lime, and fresh cilantro. This an all-time favorite Burmese dish.

This soup is usually eaten as an early lunch meal. The broth with a few pearl onions [substituting for bamboo stalk] is served separately from the rice noodle, crunchies, sliced hard-boiled egg, cilantro and lime. It's really filling due to the noodles and served two comfortably.


Spicy Pork w/ Pickle Mango: Marinated and chunk tender pork belly sautéed with pickled mango gravy. This a very popular & tasty Burmese dish.

My +1 said this is very traditional with boneless chunks of hearty, spiced pork and stands up well against the dishes prepared by the matriarchs of their family. We had leftovers of the entrees and I was glad I got this dish to take home.


Lamb Vanderlon: Lamb cooked with black mustard seeds.

This dish is very similar to Lamb Vinadoo served in India. This makes sense because many Burmese fleeing the invasion during WWII took the Burma Road to shelter in India. The lamb is served on the bone and tasty. Next time, I'll try the other Lamb dishes for comparison.


Coconut Rice w/Beef [available weekends only]

A large plate of fragrant coconut scented rice - mildly sweet and well-paired with richly spiced beef served in a separate bowl . This was tied with the Spicy Pork as my favorite dish. It's not spicy-hot and would be a good choice to share with non-chowhounds.


Ginger Salad: Shredded fresh ginger, cabbage & onion tossed with special Burmese salad dressing. Very popular snack in Burma

This is more flavorful than the version at Mandalay and is served usually as a course at the end of the meal with Port as a digestif. Lots of flavor.


Sour Leaf Soup - made with Sorrel and sipped during the meal

Condiments included:


Balachaung - (Ngapi-gyaw) dried shrimp blended until fluffy with fish paste, tamarind and chili.

Panroasted chili seeds in a small covered dish - very much like a similar spice condiment served with Thai cuisine

Pickled Mango

Burma Road is a better, more authentic restaurant than Mandalay. Does anyone know if the owners of the two restaurants are closely related?

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I feel like a heel writing this, because I've been a regular customer at Mandalay for years and I love the place, but based on (only) one visit I have to agree with Lydia: Burma Road is better (I wouldn't know about authenticity).

Four of us ordered two appetizers, four salads, and four main courses at a recent dinner. In general I can say that each dish at Burma Road was superior to its equivalent at Mandalay. The ginger salad, for example, was very bright and clean tasting; each of the ingredients stood out just a little and yet blended together in a nice way. Ginger salad at Mandalay comes across as a bit muddied, and as one friend said, with a bit of a chalky texture. In general the salads at Mandalay all taste kinda the same with their cabbage base and similar seasonings, while the ones we tried at Burma Road (tea leaf, noodle, green papaya) tasted distinct from each other.

Likewise the main courses were brighter and more distinct than their Mandalay counterparts.

Mandalay does, however, have a clearly superior shweji; Burma Road's was very dense and dry.

This feast came out to about $27 per person with tax and a 20%+ tip. I think it would be a great place for a $20 Tuesday.

We didn't try anything from the Chinese side of the menu.

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Very pleasant meal at Burma Road last night. We had never been, so we ordered more than we should have but now we have some great leftovers for lunch today. The pickled tea leaf salad and the tofu kyaw were amply-portioned and very different. The salad, in particular, was very flavorful. The tofu kyaw was five blocks of fried tofu served with a peppery-spicy sauce. I ordered the Coconut noodle soup, and really enjoyed the consistency of the noodles. We also ordered two entrees--Mr. M noodles, thick noodles in a sauce that was difficult for us to figure out, and which totally changed character when a bit of the white pepper-rich chicken broth was sipped. The other entree was the pork with vegetables, which while listed on the Burmese side of the menu was very reminiscent of a typical Chinese stir-fry (but was still good--the spicy pork and crunchy vegetables combining nicely).

All in all, a great meal and we look forward to returning. It was striking to both of us how we encountered new flavors in this meal--the pickled tea leaf, the sauce in the Mr. M noodles. I'm old enough that I don't get to say that much anymore, so it's a real treat to find something different.

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A second, very good meal at Burma Road. This time we better understood how substantial the portions were, and ordered more appropriately. The mandalay pae kyaw was a nice starter, fried kidney bean paste patties that paired nicely with the chili sauce. The green mango salad was also good, though generally similar based on my memory to the pickled tea leaf salad.

We did two sour mustard entrees--the pork with sour mustard and the shrimp with sour mustard, and both were very worthwhile and very hearty. Service was cordial and attentive. We'll happily be back--we were there very early, and by the time we left at 7 they had a decent crowd (but the restaurant is huge and still feels pretty empty).

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Had a wonderful lunch today with a former co-worker at Burma Road, bucking the trend of lunch at your favorite CPK/Corner Bakery/Potbelly, the Gaithersburg trifecta.

Started with Ginger Salad - crunchy, spicy and yummy. And we just had to order the Donut Fritters, which came with a dipping sauce that was quite tasty. Fried dough = good.

Split an entree and two side dishes - the Curry Meatballs, the Lima Bean Curry and Simmer Eggplant. All tasty and really like the lima beans and meatballs. Nothing left at the end.

Total bill was $25 without tip - a great deal too. Looking forward to going back soon.

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With the wealth of solid Asian dining options in the Rockville area, we don't go here enough. Great, great meal last night: green mango salad, tangy wontons, roti with vadana beans, lamb with potatoes, and stir fried chicken with sour mustard. Everything was absolutely delicious, nicely flavored, and well-spiced. Service was great as always.

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With the wealth of solid Asian dining options in the Rockville area, we don't go here enough. Great, great meal last night: green mango salad, tangy wontons, roti with vadana beans, lamb with potatoes, and stir fried chicken with sour mustard. Everything was absolutely delicious, nicely flavored, and well-spiced. Service was great as always.

Thanks for the Burma Road update. Recent reviews indicate that it may have turned the corner. Note that they deliver until 9 PM for a $1.50 charge within a 3-mile radius (I didn't see any minimum order). They also have an online ordering system.

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