Restaurant Review: El Pollo Rico

August 10th, 2010 by adam

Wheaton, MD is a melting pot of ethnicities and cuisines, and thankfully one of the best Peruvian chicken places in DC.  My previous favorite Peruvian chicken place – El Pollo Rico of Arlington, VA – is now closed.  It’s not so much that it was better, but that it had rice and beans – a favorite of mine.  However, on my most recent trip to El Pollo Rico in Wheaton they had rice and beans!  After waiting in line among the bustling dining room, they take your order and quickly butcher your bird with a huge cleaver.  Hot sauce, mild sauce, fries, and cole slaw are included.  We sometimes add empanadas, plaintains, and now rice and beans.  We normally take it to go, enjoying it at home with a few beers.  We always order a few extra mid sauces and normally make dinner and lunch the next day out of one chicken.  Very yummie!

El Pollo Rico

-Adam

El Pollo Rico on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Ledo Pizza

August 9th, 2010 by adam

Some nights we just don’t feel like cooking.  Some nights we feel like a cheesy pizza with a sweet sauce and zesty pepperoni.  And that’s when we call Ledo.  A small pizza for two people is one meal, a medium two, and a large three.  Each square of pizza get its own slice of pepperoni.  And its even better cold, a sweeter sauce then most pizzas.  But enough with the words, stare at this for a bit, and you too will order a Ledo Pizza – they have locations all over MD, VA, and DC.

Ledo's Pizza

-Adam

Ledo Pizza on Urbanspoon

$7.99 Whole Foods – Chevy Chase, MD

May 17th, 2010 by adam

Earlier this evening, Val and I got a sneak peek of the new Whole Foods in Chevy Chase, MD with a group of fellow DC bloggers.  The store officially opens at 10am tomorrow morning (check out their Twitter feed for more events), Tuesday May 18, 2010, with a the apparently Whole Foods tradition of breaking bread.  This new Whole Foods is located in the lower level of the Wisconsin Place development in the heat of Chevy Chase and on the same block as the Friendship Heights Metro stop on the Red Line.  As someone who works in Chevy Chase less then once block from this new Whole Foods, I’ve been waiting for years!  And let me tell you, I certainly won’t be disappointed…

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

Before I digress into details and nuances, I should mention the Fill ‘Em Up For Only $7.99 deal.  Augmenting the normal pay by the pound approach, this Whole Foods is the first to offer a all you can fit into carryout container for $7.99.  The container is normally sized with a main and two side compartments, and oh yes, its made from recycled materials.  As someone who frequents Chevy Chase eateries, $7.99 is a fairly competitive price, especially considering it could be 2+ meals.  And the prepared foods section is huge, larger then I’ve ever seen in a Whole Foods (at least Bethesda and Silver Spring).

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

Located at the entrance to the store, the coffee bar, open at 6:00am, also offers prepacked meals, geltato, and popsicles.

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

The produce section is well stocked with lovely fruits.

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

The cheese section has a variety of local cheeses.

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

Quail eggs!

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

The Pasta to Order station provides a varies of fresh made pastas cooked and sauced to order.
The Severino family has been making pasta for decades, and are  bringing this concept of fresh cut pasta from Italy to the US.  Stop by, see Pete, and try the multigrain cheese ravioli and orecchiette.

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

Wide isles.  Yea!

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

Competing with the local cupcake bakeries in the DC area, Whole Foods offers theirs for only $1.99.  I’ll be returning for a taste test.

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

Even candy…the jellybeans were delicious

Whole Foods - Chevy Chase, MD

Other not to be overlooked highlights:

  • Underground parking with 1 hour validation, complete with shopping cart escalator.
  • Lots of cheese, both local and domestic.  Local vendors will be there during the next couple weeks, and their packaging states the distance from the store to the farm.
  • 45,000 sq feet of retail space.  That’s huge!  It almost feels like a Wegmans
  • A bulk salt department, with special seasons, such as smoked, truffled, and merlot
  • Lots of produce!
  • 42 different products at the olive and antipasti bar
  • Sustainably certified seafood.
  • Dynamic checkout lanes change based on volume and flow.

See the full set of photos on Flickr.

Thanks to the staff at Whole Foods for the sneak peak!  I’ll be back.  Tomorrow :)

-Adam and Val

Restaurant Review: Tackle Box

April 22nd, 2010 by val

With all the cafes, bars, restaurants, and lounges in Georgetown, what does another eating establishment bring to the table?  Why, well prepared seafood at reasonable prices in a no frills maybe-I’m-in-New-England setting – that’s what.

Located in the hustle and bustle of M Street in Georgetown, Tackle Box is a great place to grab a good meal in under an hour.  Former Hook chef Barton Seaver opened Tackle Box in the space next door to his formal restaurant in 2008.  Like Hook, this small, casual, counter service establishment focuses on fresh, sustainable ingredients.

While there isn’t sand or the sound of water lapping at the docks, Tackle Box tries its best to place you in New England.  Go in the summer, and the buoys hanging from the ceiling, the picnic tables, and the smell of grilled seafood may have you forget about the traffic jam outside.

Tacklebox
Front of Tackle Box from M Street
Tacklebox

A favorite dish of ours is the Lobster Roll.  The meat is sweet, and is complimented nicely by the well seasoned dressing.  Although, if they just handed out the rolls, buttered and grilled to a crispy finish, I’d imagine diners would be just as happy.  All the rolls (lobster, fried clams, shrimp and often oysters) come with a side of fries.  While there is seasoned salt and ketchup on the tables, I would like to see a little more seasoning while there is still some oil on the fries, and maybe a dipping sauce added?  We’ve tried the sweet potato fries with the lemon aioli from the grilled fish dinner, and it was delightful.

Tacklebox

Grilled Bluefish with mac and cheese, sweet potato fries, and basil pesto sauce

Tacklebox
Seating area, a rare empty moment before the dinner rush

While it’s hard to outshine lobster, a hardwood grilled piece of fresh fish with 2 sides for $13 does the trick.  You can choose from around 4 different fillets that each pairs nicely with a wide range of sauces.  While the sides may seem more at home at a BBQ joint than seafood shack, they’re well prepared and when you’re eating, taste is all that matters.

Sweet tea and fountain drinks round out the meal, and while some diners may want a beer or glass of wine, I’ve found the free refills of Stewart’s  root beer to be enough.

Tacklebox

Fork and knife ready, waiting for the food

07.10.2009 Lobster Roll @ Tacklebox

Lobster roll with regular fries

Tacklebox

Fried clam roll with sweet potato fries

Tackle Box on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: 8407

April 21st, 2010 by adam

Well I think the flurry of local Silver Spring bloggers have provided enough reviews of Silver Spring’s newest restaurant 8407@8407 for you Tweeters - so I decided to keep the words succinct and the pictures abundant.  Enjoy the eye candy…

8407 Restaurant

Yep. that's the name...

8407 Restaurant

8407 is located across from the in progress Silver Spring Transit Center and Silver Spring Metro. Prime location once the construction is complete.

8407 Restaurant

While most seating are tables for two or four, its nice to see seating for 10. And nice lighting. We photographers love our lighting :)

8407 Restaurant

Pickled shrimp with wild ramps and cracker baked on premises.

8407 Restaurant

Pickled shrimp being enjoyed - very much!

8407 Restaurant

Cuban sandwich with rosemary duck fat fries.

8407 Restaurant

Chicken Monterey Jack sandwich with rosemary duck fat fries.

Pictures aside, I’ve been to 8407 twice so far, and both times have been satisfying.  Prices are reasonable and the food is well prepared, well seasoned, and flavorful.  It’s certainly a wonderful addition to Silver Spring, and Val and I will be back.

-Adam’s Canon S90

8407 Kitchen Bar on Urbanspoon

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