Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eating Out - Iranian

Once again, I forgot our camera.

Kabob Bazaar (Iranian/Persian) - January 22

This is a place I've been excited to try since I found out we were moving to DC. A good friend from grad school and current coworker has been telling me about this place for a couple of years now. He vehemently claims it's the best Iranian food you can get at any restaurant (I should mention that his parents are Iranian, and they also vouch for the place). Also, he likes to talk about the former revolutionaries who hang out there and a waitress that recognized him after having moved away from DC for seven years. We've had a lot of kabobs at fairly generic Turkish, Greek, and Middle Eastern places in the past, so we thought we had a good idea of what was coming. However, we were completely blown away.

  • This place was also incredibly cheap. 1 appetizer, 1 desert, 3 entrees all for about $50. Not bad for a Friday night on the town.
  • I could have made a meal of just the bread and must-o moseer dip.
  • We all fought over the onions on Kathryn's shish kabob.
  • I really messed up by ordering us the baghlava desert. My friend quickly noted that we should have had the rice pudding. The only problem is that each of us had just eaten about a pound of rice.
  • Speaking of the rice, they also bring out big chunks of rice that fries on the side of the pot while cooking. Wow!
  • Finally had a chance to walk around Arlington after dinner. It seemed like a pretty nice area, and if you judge a neighborhood by the number of Irish bars that were clearly ordered from those Irish bar catalogs, then that's the neighborhood for you. Well, if you like those kind of places. (Side note: I was thinking of opening one of those bars, but it's like ironically Irish. I would name it "Patty McWhatever's" or "John O'Lame's" I don't know if people would really get the concept of an auteur bar.)

Eating Out - Caribbean

We forgot to bring our camera, but what we had looked exactly like this.

Sweet Mango Cafe (Caribbean/Jamaican) - January 16

If there is one thing that spans cultural divides, it's quality barbecued chicken. All you need is a chicken, some hot coals, and a spice rub and/or sauce. We went to Sweet Mango Cafe because of the reviews of the jerk chicken, and this is a town where roast chicken is a big deal (especially Peruvian style). Plus, it gave us an excuse to check out a part of the city we had never visited (Petworth).

  • The jerk chicken is ridiculous! Kathryn claimed she didn't like jerk seasoning before going there, but Sweet Mango Cafe turned her around.
  • There wasn't really anything sweet on the menu. There also wasn't any mango.
  • We didn't realize that the chicken comes with a large side of rice and some sort of green bean and cabbage stew, so we didn't really need the side of plantains (just ok) or the coco bread (amazing).
  • If I were a little more adventurous, I would have gotten the curry goat, but I just had goat like a week ago and I don't like curry.
  • This place had a poster up that featured Obama, MLK, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, and, of course, Bob Marley.

Eating Out

Checking out restaurants has become one of our favorite hobbies since moving to DC, especially moving through all of the different countries, regions, and cultures represented in DC eateries. We usually eat at home during the week and venture out to try new restaurants on the weekends, and as a result, we made a pledge to try a different ethnic food each weekend. We're a little behind in starting this blog (and making our pledge), but this should bring us all up to speed.

We will hopefully do a better job of documenting our trips with pictures and observations and what-have-yous. Most of these places warrant a trip back, so we'll fill in the missing spots next time.

In the last couple of months, here's what we've tried so far:
  • Peruvian style grilled chicken (El Pollo Rico - Arlington)
  • Peruvian (El Chalan - Foggy Bottom)
  • Ethiopian (Zed's - Georgetown)
  • Vietnamese (A few places around town, most notably Huong Viet in Eden Center - Falls Church)
  • Thai (A few places around Foggy Bottom, nothing to write home about)
  • Chinese (Chinatown Express, $5 for homemade noodles and roast duck!)