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Shouk, Fast-Casual, 100% Plant-Based, Modern Israeli Street Food on 6th and K Street in Mount Vernon Triangle


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I made my introduction with Shouk's Falafel Bowl with add-on Schug, Harrisa and Hummus (not in photo). Crazy good especially with the Hummus, which takes it over the top. I can't go back to pita!  Next, I look forward to trying out the Falafel Bowl with 1/2 mixed greens and 1/2 rice & lentils.  Eating my veggies has never tasted so good.

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On January 17, 2019, Shouk debuted BASTA, an Israeli street food stand in Union Market.  BASTA is offering 2 menu items:  Shawarma and Falafel.  Both can be served in a pita or in a bowl with rice & lentils or mixed greens.

Shawarma is a NEW menu item and a true game changer.  So crazy delicious that it surpasses the meat version.  I could eat this every day.  The photo below shows how It is brilliantly composed of Oyster Mushrooms, Pickled Green Cabbage, Cucumber & Onion Salad, Arugula, Tahini in a bowl with my choice of fresh mixed greens + add-on Schug.  Chef Dennis Friedman is genius!

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1 hour ago, dslee said:

UPDATE:  SHOUK's Oyster Mushroom Shawarma is no longer available at BASTA in Union Market, but currently available at both SHOUK locations.

We went to Mount Vernon last Saturday, looking for the Shawarma, but they didn't have it (it wasn't on the menu, and the cashier said they had it only at Union Market).

However, the Falafel (both in a bowl, on rice-and-lentils, and in a pita) and the Hummus were terrific.

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59 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

We went to Mount Vernon last Saturday, looking for the Shawarma, but they didn't have it (it wasn't on the menu, and the cashier said they had it only at Union Market).

However, the Falafel (both in a bowl, on rice-and-lentils, and in a pita) and the Hummus were terrific.

The Shawarma is NOW available at BOTH Shouk locations:  Mt Vernon Triangle and Union Market District.

BASTA by Shouk inside Union Market is currently serving ONLY Falafel.

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On 2/1/2019 at 3:28 PM, DonRocks said:

Emphasis on NOW - got it, thanks.

I'd have a tough time choosing between Shouk and Chaia.

You are welcome.

For me, I choose Shouk every time. 

For Mexican and with vegetarian options, I'm waiting for Amparo Fondita from Christian Irabién Gamboa to open at La Cosecha, the new Latin American Market in Union Market District.  Article by PoP:  La Cosecha “mercado. arte. cultura | Opening Summer 2019” in Union Market.  Last Summer, I visited Christian Irabién Gamboa's insanely delicious pop-up 9 times in a 8-week period at District Space.  Lots of Seafood and Vegetarian offerings.  Tortillas made with nixtamalized organic heritage corn by Manos de Maíz is a revelation.  The BEST and only Mexican food I will eat in DC to date!

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In awe of how Shouk keeps innovating! 2 new TASTY dishes debut on the menu: 

  • GOLDA'S SALAD
    mixed greens, cherry tomato, cucumber, carrot, radish, red cabbage, potato, chickpeas, dried cranberries, pickled turnip, za’atar-tahina vinaigrette
  • HUMMUS SALAD
    hummus, cherry tomato, cucumber, radish, sweet potato, roasted cauliflower, pickled red cabbage, chickpeas, tahina, olive oil & lemon

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I went there yesterday between sessions at the National Book Festival. I had a side order of falafel and fries. The falafel was excellent it had a crunchy exterior and a creamy, soft interior. I liked the tahina sauce and harissa. The vegan labneh wasn't as great. 

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On 2/1/2019 at 2:27 PM, DonRocks said:

We went to Mount Vernon last Saturday, looking for the Shawarma, but they didn't have it (it wasn't on the menu, and the cashier said they had it only at Union Market).

However, the Falafel (both in a bowl, on rice-and-lentils, and in a pita) and the Hummus were terrific.

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We went back to Shouk today, and it wasn't merely disappointing compared to our previous visit; it was bad on absolute terms. 

We ordered independently, and very poorly, as both main items had the exact same ingredients. A Mushroom Shawarma ($11) in a bowl, with rice and lentils, was visually indistinguishable from a Shawarma Hummus ($12), to the point where we couldn't tell which was which - they're pretty much the same dish. Aside from that, they were gloppy and sloppy, and neither of us finished half of our food.

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A side order of Falafel Balls ($4.75) was slightly overcooked and very salty, but otherwise very good, and the pita that came with the hummus was excellent.

I asked my dining companion if she thought the food was merely "not very good," or "bad," and she said it was right on the border of "bad" - her litmus test being that if this was the first time she'd ever eaten here, she wouldn't give a second thought to returning (and we both really enjoyed our previous visit here). I whispered quietly, shortly after getting our food, "If I had to eat this every meal, I'd kill myself" - other than dipping the pita in a bit of hummus, there was nowhere to turn.

The restaurant was humming, the kitchen was fully staffed, and everyone was quite tuned-in and friendly, so I'm not sure why today was such a miss. I love what Shouk is trying to do, and I hope this was just an off-moment for them - even though this is fast-casual dining, the food still needs to be cleaner and more delineated than what it was this afternoon (at least if it's going to attract diners from Virginia, which surely isn't their target audience (unless they end up opening in Virginia)).

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6 hours ago, DonRocks said:

We went back to Shouk today, and it wasn't merely disappointing compared to our previous visit; it was bad on absolute terms. 

...

The restaurant was humming, the kitchen was fully staffed, and everyone was quite tuned-in and friendly, so I'm not sure why today was such a miss. I love what Shouk is trying to do, and I hope this was just an off-moment for them - even though this is fast-casual dining, the food still needs to be cleaner and more delineated than what it was this afternoon (at least if it's going to attract diners from Virginia, which surely isn't their target audience (unless they end up opening in Virginia)).

I got the burger yesterday and it was better than other things I've had there--but not exceptional.  I, too, love what they're trying to do, and DSLee and Tim Carman are to be trusted, but perhaps it's simply not to my taste.

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Since it's debut, I have enjoyed Dennis Friedman's genius creation the Fried Shouk'n many times.  Finally had the patience to take a photo of this Fried Shouk'n w/ extra Harissa Mayo.   I ordered a 5-ounce container of the Harissa Mayo + 8-ounce container of Tahina from the Shouk Pantry online so I could keep in the refrigerator as go-to condiments.  Since then, Shouk has added more delicious and convenient pantry items online for purchase. 

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Had food delivered through their hood drop, with a drop off location a few doors down from my house.  Wife and I each had the oyster mushroom schwarma, daughter had falafel.  Everyone was very happy with our selections.  I thought the flavors were very good and bright.  The pita is amazing.  The sandwiches are definitely overstuffed and a full meal.

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4 hours ago, Bob Wells said:

Is Fried Shouk'n still on the menu? As soon as I get back downtown, I want to try that!

Yes, both Shouk locations are offering the Fried Shouk’n.  I recommend it in the pita with harissa mayo if you are good with spicy.  Also the Shouk’n nuggets are amazing with harissa mayo!  Better than chicken.

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12 hours ago, Deborah Lee said:

Yes, both Shouk locations are offering the Fried Shouk’n.  I recommend it in the pita with harissa mayo if you are good with spicy.  Also the Shouk’n nuggets are amazing with harissa mayo!  Better than chicken.

Thanks, harissa mayo sounds great!

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I took a walk today and saw a sign on the window of the store next to Mom's Organic Market in Rockville (Nebel St. and Randolph Rd.) that said Shouk is opening a location there.  Also on their website https://shouk.com/pages/location

This is a nice development for me- when I worked downtown, I would go to the location on K St.  Now that I'll likely be teleworking most days till I retire, I  will be able to walk less than a mile for their tasty food.  Besides Mom's, there's a good Mediterranean store (Asadur's Market) in that shopping ctr., a hot pot place, and across the street, Dana Bazaar (Indian and Sri Lankan groceries- they may still have moringa seedlings, the miracle tree  http://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/moringa/en/).

Cheers

 

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