Taqueria Cancun, web site, 7810-G Lee Highway, Rt. 29, Falls Church, VA 703-415-6582 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | WaPo | Reddit | Restaurant Guru | Arlington Mag]
A+ for authenticity, and excellent food too. The signature dish are the goat tacos, which I love. Make sure to use lots of lime and dipping sauce. The tortas look good, but I can’t bring myself to pass up the tacos. DC in the last few years has snagged some quite good Mexican places, but this is the suburbs catching up. Not a super-broad menu, but they do things right. Recommended.
Desi Breakfast Club, web site, Mclearn Square 3065 Centerville Rd, Suite G, Herndon, VA, 571-752-6612, opens at 8 a.m.! (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | zabihah | TripAdvisor | NoVA Mag]
Pakistani food remains on the rise in Virginia. This place has excellent Haleem and chicken biryani, and quite good everything else. A wonderful place to go with a group. And in the area’s top five for people-watching. Most notable is that it opens for breakfast, and I have heard it is packed at that time. Recommended, a fun and festival atmosphere, and you know that means good food, too.
The channel behind this operation is called AroundMeBD, and its success has created a whole new economy in Shimulia, which has since been dubbed the YouTube village of Bangladesh.
The YouTube village is a prominent example of a niche but is also part of a growing online trend across South Asia: As the internet reaches villages, rural societies are finding ways to showcase and monetize their unique food cultures to audiences across the world, using platforms like YouTube and Facebook. In India, Village Cooking Channel, which posts videos of large-scale traditional cooking, has over 15 million subscribers. In Pakistan, Village Food Secrets has 3.5 million subscribers. Villagers who previously had little presence in media are now using these platforms to take ownership of the way their culture is portrayed — and building businesses that support dozens, and occasionally hundreds, of individuals.
Here is the full story, via Zach Valenta. The article is interesting throughout, and yes YouTube remains underrated.
Bangladesh YouTube food facts of the day
Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.
Shi Miaodao Yunnan Rice Noodle, 819 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD, 240-386-8596 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | WaPo | Rest Guru]
Small, very mom and pop, though actually part of a much broader chain. This is basically a one-dish restaurant, a kind of spicy/sour Yunnan soup. Fortunately, the one dish is very good and I can attest, from significant time spent in Yunnan, it is pretty authentic. At the end of the day the meats you choose for your soup don’t matter much, as at least half the value is in the left over broth. Just don’t confuse this with a full-service Chinese restaurant. And I would say the portion is better for lunch than for dinner. I did try one of the few appetizers, a kind of sausage wrapped in egg and dipped in a sickly sweet sauce. It was super-authentic, representing what is to me the dark side of Chinese street food. Just keep in mind authentic isn’t usually good, but the authentic soup here is very good.
9292 Korean BBQ, Instagram, 7133 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA, 571-378-1440 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | TripAdvisor | Annandale Today]
The most popular place right now, an excellent young Korean social scene, and fun to go to. Large, and with the usual Korean “metallic” factory décor. Fills up pretty early, and they queue rather than taking reservations. I’ve been a few times and I like everything here. Maybe nothing here is exceptionally better than the competition, but it is also good enough to enjoy. Very good for larger groups and when you wish to have a high variety of bbq dishes. So it definitely has its place in the repertoire, though be ready for the noise and crowds if you go at peak hours.
Aboveground, web site, in Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE, Washington, DC (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Claire Handscombe | Ylp]
British food! Not much on the menu, but it is all truly British. Shepherd’s Pie and Tikka Masala. I had the fish and chips, which was quite good, most of all the chips. Worth a try if you are willing to eat British food. Mushy peas and red cabbage too. I would eat there again, admittedly it is not for everybody.
Cafe China, web site, 59 W.37th St. NY, NY, 212-213-2810 [Google | NYMag | TripAdvisor | Ylp]
Recently opened, still in “soft launch” phase. Sichuan, but fragrant rather than “knock your socks off hot.” The smoked tofu is amazing, the vegetables excellent. Beef with green chili another winner. For the subtle side of Sichuan cuisine, this is perhaps this best place I know outside of China?
Chit Chaat Café, web site, 200 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA, 703-378-0867 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Reddit | NoVA Mag | Ylp]
To be clear, this place is in the MobilExxon station right across from Whole Foods! Perhaps it is the most mom and pop place on this whole list, and indeed mom and pop are right there when you visit. Punjabi food, with a small number of menu items, but high quality and idiosyncratic in taste in just the way you might expect from a mom and pop. Maybe the best black lentils around? Very good spinach. I very much like the biryani and lamb curry, the samosa I thought was not great, not fresh enough. It is mostly take-out, though there is one table they will let you stand it, quite a comfortable arrangement in my view but YMMV. Definitely recommended, and they mentioned to me they might put another table in. There is a chair for the current table, but arguably it is too low?
Posted in Gas Station, Indian, Vienna/Tysons, Virginia
Tagged biryani, Chit Chaat, Chit Chaat Café, gas station, indian, lamb curry, mom and pop, Punjabi, samosa
Yanzi Noodle House and Taiwan Style, web site, 10955 Fairfax Blvd, Suite 108, Fairfax, VA (between T-Mobile and Red Wing), 301-777-8888 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [WaPo | Reddit | Ylp] They moved from Rockville, MD.
One of the most authentic Chinese places around. Their main dishes are the noodle soups from southwestern China, sour and spicy together, first-rate, but note for me they are not enough for a full meal. The rest of the menu has southwest Chinese influences, though not as far west as Yunnan province. Recently I had the tofu, pork, and mushrooms dish – a home run and again with authenticity off the charts. What they have varies wildly by day, so you can never quite be sure. They don’t seem to have the Taiwanese dishes at all any more. Highly recommended, this is not an “all purpose Chinese restaurant,” but a real Fairfax experience.
Posted in Chinese, Fairfax, Some Places You Must Try, Virginia
Tagged Chinese, Fairfax, Guangxi, luosifen, noodle soups, recommended, Yanzi Noodle House, Yanzi Noodle House and Taiwan Style
Thai Treasure, web site, 330 Maple Ave. West, Vienna, VA, 703-272-3683 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | TripAdvisor | Ylp]
A surprisingly good mom and pop right on Rt.123. Shows that Vienna dining is still vital and not overly homogenized. The soups are especially good, and the Thai Street Food and Street Food sections of the menu are 100% for real. And spice level is plausible, not pandering to the weakies and the wimps. Recommended.