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Silk Road Choyhona, Chef Name Name's (Yes, That's His Name) Uzbeki Cuisine In Four Different Rooms On Bureau Drive In Gaithersburg

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So I was driving through the plaza on Bureau Drive (the one with the really tiny Giant) and noticed there is a new Uzbeck place. I'm not familiar with the cuisine though I noted the Washingtonian reviews one in Virginia this month.

Unclear if it is connected to Choyhona in Baltimore.

I'm not sure when I can check it out but I'm curious!

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bookluvingbabe:  Thanks for the tip about the new restaurant!  I'm adding it to my restaurant openings list (giving credit to you) :).

Here's their website.

Their address is 28 Bureau Dr, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Phone: 301 330 5262

I called the restaurant, and the person who answered said they opened about a month ago.  I asked if the Gaithersburg restaurant had a connection to the Baltimore Choyhona, and the person said that one of the partners who used to own the Baltimore restaurant has opened this one.

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I was driving around Gaithersburg this morning, just having left part of my soul at the MVA, and wondering where in the hell Jo-Ann Fabric was (don't ask) and I saw a marquee in a strip mall that said "Uzbek Cuisine." I thought, "where have I heard that before?"    :)

It was early. I was the first one in the door.


Note the disco ball. I bet this place gets CRAZY on the weekends!

I ordered a lunch-special plov (a rice pilaf dish with braised cuts of beef), which came with a small garden salad, a slice of Uzbek bread (non), and a soda. I also got a samsa, which the menu described as chopped beef, onion, spices baked in a pastry. Sounds good to me.

The non came out first, warm and crispy outside, doughy and filling (in a good way) with a faint hint of coriander.


The salad came out next - nothing to write home about, but it did have nice pickled onions and a dill dressing. The plov followed; I should have asked for it to come out last, but no big deal. The long-grain rice was big (like, orzo-sized) and starchy, full of chickpeas and raisins, and a bed of braised shredded carrots followed. There were only a few cubes of beef. Good enough for one at lunch, I guess.


Note the pepper on the left. It was nicely roasted and slipped right out of its skin. Important safety tip: do NOT eat the pepper all at once, even though you skinned it.

The samsa came out, and HEY will you look at that--it's a dead ringer for a baked char siu bao.


Let's cut this guy open and see what treasures lurk within.

Cubed beef, onions, mildly spiced. I got one or two chewy pieces in mine. The tomato-oregano dipping sauce was a nice complement. I noticed unlike char siu bao, the pastry was assembled in two pieces - a round bottom and dome top, so it came apart after a few minutes of my cutting and chomping.

This is my first experience with Uzbek cuisine, and I thought it was tasty and fascinating. I don't typically get to experience foods from the middle of the silk road - most of my experiences are Western or far Eastern, and it's very cool to see influences from cultures going west AND east. Also cool to be followed in the door by a good sized lunch crowd, many of whom were speaking Russian or Uzbek.

From what I can tell, the menu in the restaurant is nearly identical to that of the Reistertown location.


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Heard about this place via Tyler Cowen's blog and decided to give it a spin tonight. I was by myself unfortunately so I couldn't try as much as I wanted, but I did get to try all of these things:

Plov - Pretty good. It's a big plate (for a very reasonable price) full of Beef, rice, carrots, chickpeas, and a nice pepper, all things I love. Only complaint I have about this is that about half of the beef was really dry. The other half was very good though, so maybe a little inconsistant there.

Lamb Kebab - Came out pretty much perfectly the way I like my lamb. Super juicy and well spiced.

Kutabi w/meat - My favorite thing I ordered actually. Really love the combination of flavors of this, and I definitely will have to get another one next time I go.

I also got a Turkish Coffee (don't know why, I had already had 3 cups today), and some Baklava and Cookies & Jam to take home for dessert. All together with tax + tip it only came out to about $30, so the value here seems really darn good. Now I just need to convince some people to come out with me next time so I can try the rest of the menu.

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Alright, ending up going back here with a couple of friends and tried another set of things. Nobody took pictures, so just assume it all looked delicious. :I

Samsa - rockcreek covered the details on this one pretty well, though mine didn't have any trouble holding together. I thought it was pretty good overall, but honestly I will probably give it a pass in the future because I liked the Manti much better.

Manti w/Meat - Noodley dumplings stuffed with meat, onions, spices. Same idea as the Samsa in a different package, basically. Very good, I could easily make a meal out of these. I actually did have considerable trouble keeping them from falling apart, which made them a little tricky to eat. These also can be made Crispy, which I'm assuming is pan fried as opposed to steamed, so I'll probably try that next time and see if they stay in once piece better (though the waiter actually recommended them non-crispy when I asked which was better). And you can also get them stuffed with Potatoes or Pumpkin, which I will certainly have to give a try as well.

Turkish style liver - Believe this is what my friend ordered. I'm not a huge fan of liver but I thought this was very good. I would describe the liver as being "not too livery" if that makes any sense to you, fairly mild in flavor but still good. It comes with a vinegary(?) sauce on the bottom of the plate which went really well with it. I was kind of surprised I liked this as much as I did.

Kutabi w/Greens - It's the same as the Kutabi w/meat except it's stuff with <something green> instead. I'm picky about things colored green so this wasn't my kind of thing, but both of my friends (who are less picky about things on that part of the color spectrum) said they liked it. So if you are into crispy things stuffed with leaves and covered in spices, give this a spin and see what you think.

Quails - I didn't catch the name of this dish, it was on the separate Chef's specials menu. It's two quails (which might have been brined?) and a side of potatoes & mushrooms. My friend who ordered it thought the whole thing was really great, and later said he wished he had gotten another order to go (lol). I only took a couple of bites of it myself, I thought it was decent but wasn't super into it, thinking it might be one of those things where the more you eat of it the more you like it.

Again, all of this stuff, plus 3 more sides and drinks, only cost us around $50. Everything we've had here has been anywhere from solid (if not super exciting) to excellent, and the price being so fantastic means we'll probably be back here again soon enough!

Overall favorites so far: Lamb Kebob, Manti, and Kutabi.

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Based on the reviews here, we ventured up for dinner early Saturday evening. No reservation, which we didn't assume would be a problem, but would have been if we'd arrived an hour later--they were essentially fully booked, so far as we could tell, for later Saturday evening, with several large tables set and ready for crowds.

Service was fine--an offer of a nice pot of tea on a cold day ($1.95 for a very nicely brewed pot) was a nice way to start. My wife started with the chuchvarra dumplings in broth, which was really delicious. I did the rassolnik soup--a special for the night--and absolutely loved it. It was a creamy barley soup with pickles, beef, potatoes, carrots, and would have alone solved most people's hunger. But I hadn't eaten too much that day, so...

The kutabi (one greens, one meat) were very nice, as was the samsa. But for us the star of the show, besides the soups, were the pumpkin manti. These stuffed pillows of fried dough would do well in any bakery, from Bouchon to Bread Corner, where attention is paid to and pride is taken for preparation. If we hadn't been so sated at that point, I would have ordered more. Really.

We look forward to going back, perhaps next time with a crowd and a reservation, to explore more of the menu--the kebabs looked good, and the variety of dumplings and other dough-based goodies are already calling my name.

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