2016: The Leftovers

At the end of every year, most food writers and bloggers publish summaries: favorite chefs, restaurants, dishes, trends, events, etc.  I was planning to do the same.  But who needs another wrap up extolling the virtues of Pineapple and Pearls, Bad Saint, All Purpose, Tail Up Goat, Convivial, Hazel, Kinship, etc. etc.?  You can read the year in review stories published by DC’s most prolific food writers from Tom Sietsema at Washington Post, Laura Hayes at City Paper, Lani Furbank at Thrillist, Rina Rapuano at Zagat, and compilations posted on Brightest Young Things, Eater DC,  and Washingtonian.

Instead of a year-end wrap-up, this post is about my leftovers.  Here are some of the memorable meals that never made it on the blog this year, either because I was too busy, too tired, or the details were just too darn fuzzy.

Shanghai Taste, 1121 Nelson St, Rockville, MD 20850

I’ve been here twice in the last week since my office moved nearby, and plan to make this restaurant my lunchtime go-to. Tim Carman of The Washington Post just included it in “The $20 Diner’s Favorite Cheap Eats of 2016,” so getting a table in the relatively small restaurant could be a challenge.  Curry beef noodle soup and noodle soup with spiced pork leave an indelible impression on my taste buds. Even if you’re here for soup, make sure to order the house specialty- soup dumplings. A soft dumpling filled with minced pork oozes forth with a surprising squirt of liquid when you bite into it.  Tip:  The dumplings are made to order, so let it cool a bit or you may end up burning your tongue. This may have happened to someone I know. Rookie mistake.

shanghai-taste-soup

Shanghai Taste noodle soup with spicy pork

Duke’s Grocery, 1513 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Duke’s Grocery is a self-described neighborhood pub that elevates sandwiches to new heights. Its Proper Burger is often cited as one of the best burgers in DC.  I’m no burger expert but damn, this is good. It’s thick (double patties!!) and juicy, layered with smoky Gouda, charred red onions, dill pickles, arugula, garlic aioli, and sweet chili sauce. Quality meat matters, and the Proper Burger made from Creekstone Farm Angus beef, is a case in point.  Tip:  Be sure to accessorize with some of Duke’s excellent seasonal sides.

dukes-proper-burger

Duke’s Grocery Proper Burger

Panda Gourmet, 2700 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Panda Gourmet is located off the lobby of a Day’s Inn in Northeast DC. It’s not the most intuitive location for great food, but once you dig into the Sichuan and Shaanxi delights, you are transported. We’re armed with a list of recommendations, but are swayed by dishes handed off to nearby tables. Prices are so reasonable, you can’t help but over-order. You may or may not have leftovers. Our party of four fills the table with steaming plates of sliced beef and vegetables in fiery pot, flounder and vegetables in fiery pot, garlic chicken, scallion pancakes, dan dan noodles, and stir fried string beans. Spices are bold, but not overwhelming. Tip: Many of the servers don’t speak English, which is challenging if you have questions or want modifications to your food. Best to just go with the flow if you can.

panda-gourmet

Panda Gourmet flounder and vegetables in fiery pot, chicken with hot and spicy garlic sauce

Chez Billy Sud, 1039 31st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007

I love the understated elegance of this French bistro in the heart of Georgetown. Duck confit is a perfect entree to fit the setting. The crisp duck leg is served with pommes lyonnaise, shitakes, and spinach.  Steak frites are also deeply satisfying. This restaurant lingered on my to-do list for far too long.  It’s now on my list for return visits. Tip: Don’t skip dessert.  J’adore the apple galette.

chez-billy-sud-duck-confit

Chez Billy Sud duck confit

Whaley’s,  301 Water St SE #115, Washington, DC 20003

Whaley’s is a seafood restaurant on Water Street.  I dined here before seeing the play “Moby Dick,” because sometimes you just need a night with a focused theme. I really like the cruise ship feel to Whaley’s, which compliments delicious whole fried fish with lentils and green curry.  Our over-eager server introduces himself, asks for our names, and proceeds to shake our hands. This move leaves us shaking our heads. Nice try though.   Tip: Whaley’s shellfish towers and crudos appear on many year-end favorites lists.

whaleys

Whaley’s whole fish

 

In 2016 I had some exceptional meals in other cities around the country.  Here are highlights from my Instagram feed.  Follow me @beenthereeatenthat.

 

Boka, 1729 North Halsted Street, Chicago, Il 60614

boka-scallops

Boka seared scallops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aldine1901 Chestnut St 2nd FloorPhiladelphia, Pa 19103

aldine

Aldine fennel custard; pork with smoked apple butter and kale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roister, (from Chef Grant Achatz) 951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, Illinois 60607

roister-clams

Roister pasta with clams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alley Cat Oyster Bar1056 Old River Road • Cleveland, OH 44113

alley-cat-oyster-bar-octopus

Alley Cat Oyster Bar grilled octopus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talde, 4041 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140

talde-fried-chicken

Talde, Korean fried chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sidney Street Cafe,  2000 Sidney Street, St. Louis, MO 63104

sidney-street-cafe

Sidney Street Cafe, pan seared scallops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s to fantastic feasting in 2017!

 

The Dabney: A Tribute to the Mid-Atlantic

When I created Been There, Eaten That 6 1/2 years ago, it was because I had a deep and yes, obsessive love for DC dining. This is long before “Bon Appetit” names DC “Restaurant City of the Year.”  In fact, at the time only a handful of restaurants were considered destinations for a truly exceptional […]

Indique: A Worthy Competitor

When you meet K.N. Vinod, co-owner and Executive Chef of Indique, it’s hard to imagine him as a fierce competitor. He’s a mild mannered man, who smiles easily and radiates with well-deserved pride about his restaurants, which also include Bombay Bistro in Rockville.  Chef Vinod appears on the Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay in an episode titled […]

All-Purpose: Crispy in Shaw

When my daughter got married recently, I was given the opportunity to say a few words at a pre-wedding dinner.  I was paralyzed at first, not knowing quite how to express my feelings.  Once I decide to capture my sentiments in the form of a food review, the words come to me more easily.  I […]

Preserve: Savoring Summer in Annapolis

As summer winds down, I feel a need to preserve precious moments from a season that has been far too fleeting.  A visit to Annapolis and the restaurant Preserve seems like the appropriate homage. The small restaurant with a window onto Main Street has a focus on “pickling, preserving and fermenting,” a concept that sustains itself […]

Kyirisan: Been There, Eaten That. Want More.

There are restaurants where I dine once, enjoy the meal, and then happily check the box.  I’ve been there, eaten that.  Others capture my attention and leap to mind when I respond to the frequently asked question:  “What restaurants do you like these days?” My newest response is Kyirisan in DC’s growing food mecca, Shaw. […]

Momofuku CCDC: The Heat is On

There was a lot of hububb when the well-known David Chang brought his highly-regarded Momofuku from New York to DC.  Momofuku CCDC, along with it’s bakery Milk Bar, attracted lines with hours-long waits for its renowned pork buns, ramen, and crack pie. Somewhat to my own surprise, I resist the hordes, telling myself I’ll wait […]

Questions or comments?
Send an email to lorisue6@gmail.com