El Sol Restaurante

El Sol Restaurante, web site, 1227 11th Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-815-4789 (there is another branch in DC at 3911 14th Street NW, 202-545-0081) (the 11th Street location is open mornings, there is conflicting information on exactly when, it is either 8 or 10 am maybe call ahead) (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google+ | WaPo | TripAdvisor | Zagat | Ylp]

The Washington Post said these were the best tacos around, so of course I tried them. The Washington Post is right! I especially liked the tacos del pastor. The pozole I thought was only so-so, and overall I am not entirely convinced by the notion that this is a serviceable full-scale Mexican restaurant with mole and the like. The atmosphere is more mom and pop than the web site might lead you to expect. Don’t get carried away here, but definitely recommended, cheap too.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in DC, Logan Circle, Mexican | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Distinct Taste

Distinct Taste, web site, another web site, 617 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, MD, 301-987-0800 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google+ | Ylp]

What a weird restaurant! No one seems to go here, and when I called for a reservation they were absolutely baffled, as if no one ever had done such a thing before. The restaurant is dedicated to regional Chinese cuisine, but it’s not like the other regional Chinese places around. The best thing to do is go here, order a bunch of dishes you’ve never heard of (and they do have quite a few of those), and then half of them will be excellent, half so-so. If you order your Sichuan favorites, and expect a version of the familiar, nope sorry that is not what will be delivered. Or maybe on another day it will be. My favorite item was the tofu skin in black bean sauce, very nice textures, the fish dishes are good too. Overall it’s like pressing the hyperspace button on one of those old video games. It’s recommended for the diner who has tried everything, all others you take your chances.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Chinese, Maryland, Rockville/Gaithersburg | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Where to dine in London

I recommend two Indian places, neither super cheap but each worth it:

Amaya, and

Gymkhana

Both are good for vegetarians, the former especially. Trishna is another good Indian place in London, though I won’t get to visit this time around.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Indian, London | Tagged | Leave a comment

Brussels bleg

I’ll be there next week, in fact just in time for the Brexit vote. Above and beyond the obvious guidebook sights, what do you all recommend that I do? And where should I eat?

Here is a good Ian Buruma survey of where Brussels the city is at right now.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Belgian, Belgium, Bleg, Travel, Outside DC | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Singapore

In any case, I am happy to be here once again. For dining, I recommend Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang, at Geylang Serai hawker centre, get the beef rendang. National Kitchen, in the new National Gallery is also very good for a more traditional kind of dining.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Singapore, Singaporean | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Notes from Changsha, Hunan province

Changsha is the ugliest and most ungainly Chinese city I have seen, which is saying something. Nonetheless for a food pilgrimage it is a serious rival for #1 spot in the world, perhaps surpassing Chengdu for the quality and novelty of its dishes. Very little effort is required to do well, and some of my best courses I had at the Hunan restaurant in the Sheraton [Feast Hunan Flavours], also the only time I saw an English-language menu.

Even at major hotels, hardly anyone speaks passable English, much less good English. But you can find many hanging portraits of Chairman Mao, who converted to communism in this city.

Carry an iPad, so you can look up and communicate the Chinese characters for “eggplant with orange chilies on top.”

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in China, Chinese | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Discussions about restaurants in the New York Times

The data start in 1880 and run through 2013. Based on my visual reading of the chart, discussion of Chinese restaurants appears to have peaked in the 1940s (!). German restaurants are the biggest loser over time, with plunges during each of the two World Wars; French falls more steadily. American and Japanese go up slowly but consistently. The big winner: Italian restaurants go up by far the most in discussions, starting in about 1940, and never stop rising.

The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune show broadly similar patterns, though the absolute level of discussion for Mexican is much higher in Los Angeles. For the Western world at least, Italian cuisine is the major winner from globalization.

It is in the 1890s by the way that restaurants are discussed more often in The New York Tribune/Herald than are saloons.

That is all from Krishnendu Ray, The Ethnic Restaurateur, which is intermittently quite interesting. Here is the Google Books page.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Books, General remarks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Evergreen Korean Cuisine, or Sang Rok Soo

Evergreen Korean Cuisine, or Sang Rok Soo, in the Lotte Plaza supermarket in the Ravensworth Shopping Center, Facebook, 5204 Port Royal Road, also facing Braddock Road, Springfield, VA, 571-395-8083 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Ylp]

(Other locations: in the H Mart at 10780 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030 [Ylp], and 13860 Braddock Rd, Ste B, Centreville, VA 20121 [Ylp].)

Since the Korean soup place at the Fairfax Lotte Plaza closed, we have been given this in return. It actually has a wider selection of soups and is a very clear first in the Korean soup category. The selection includes soups with dumplings, beef bones, kimchee, clams, fish roe and vegetables, beef ribs and radish, and the North Korean cold buckwheat noodle soups, among quite a few others. There is also bibim-bap, bul-gogi, and the sleeper dish of kimchee fried rice, simple but very effective. This isn’t quite an all-purpose Korean restaurant, but if you like Korean food at all it should definitely be in your repertoire.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Korean, Springfield, Virginia | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tacqueria Habanero

Tacqueria Habanero, web site, 3710 14th St., Washington, DC, 202-722-7700 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google+ | WaPo | Ylp]

This place is pretty good, Washington now has a tacqueria it doesn’t have to feel ashamed of. I liked best the tacos tinga poblana. The memelas also are excellent, if you don’t know a memela is a Oaxacan version of sopes, the memelas here are better than what the menu calls sopes. The mole is pretty good, though not to die for, a slight bit sour for my taste. The other dishes I tried were all at least pretty good, with no clunkers in the batch. Lines form, so it is best to get here early. Not up to this nation’s very best tacquerias, but definitely recommended, especially by the standards of the Washington, DC area.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in Adams Morgan/Mount Pleasant, DC, Mexican | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New edition of Tyler Cowen’s ethnic dining guide

Here is the one file, print it all out version, just revised. Here is the blog version, which is easier to follow in bits and pieces, looks nicer, works better, and accepts comments. Here are the links on Twitter.

The old trends were good hamburgers and pizza. Those haven’t gone away, but the new area trends are Yemeni, Filipino, and more more more Chinese of many different kinds. Good Mexican is on the way, finally. Vietnamese and El Salvadoran are fine but stagnant. Persian is growing, Ethiopian is robust, and will more African be next? The biggest growth in quality and interest has come in DC (!), not the suburbs, at least this time around. In Virginia, Chantilly has made the largest gains.

The good news, at least from a culinary point of view, is that the gentrification of northern Virginia — northern and central Arlington excepted — is proceeding at a much slower rate than people might have expected say ten years ago.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

Share

Related Posts:

Posted in General remarks | 1 Comment