Well, it wasn't the best of first impressions for Tom Sietsema upon visiting 100° C Chinese Cuisine in Fairfax. There was a shouty owner, liquor license confusion and over-aggressive servers. But benevolent critic that he is, Sietsema gave the place another chance to prove itself and winds up liking the Hunan kitchen quite a bit, awarding it two stars and offering the following advice:
"To get the best of this newcomer, you want to focus on the Hunan dishes that inspired the establishment's name. 100° C Chinese Cuisine employs three chefs from the part of China revered for the judicious use of heat in its cooking but also for the mingling of sour, sweet and salty accents."
So there's the baby octopus with pickled red pepper, hot and sour chicken and other dishes that take the critic back to Beijing — and, as he writes, dishes that are "helping to fill a cuisine gap in Northern Virginia." [WaPo]
Also for the Washington Post, Rina Rapuano checks out College Park's Indian-Pakistani-Mexican fast-casual restaurant Krazi Kebob. Despite all the ideas thrown in there, the concept works: "We liked the paneer wrap ($6.59) and the chicken tikka wrap ($6.59), each using nan fresh from the in-house tandoor, and the steak nachos ($7.49), a heaping mound of fixings atop warm, house-spiced tortilla chips that also are spritzed with lime. Of those proteins, the chicken tikka was the standout." [WaPo]
The folks over at Serious Eats have tried every damn thing on the menu at Bryan Voltaggio's brand new Lunchbox. The conclusion is that Voltaggio does traditional sandwiches very well — the pressed Reuben, pressed peanut butter and banana and pressed portabella all get high marks — but there are some misses: "When he puts his own spin on other items—like the Pilgrim sandwich or the Caesar salad with a 63-degree hen egg—he misses what makes these classics a favorite in the first place." [SE]
THE BLOGS: Prince of Petworth's food truck reviewer recommends pizza truck DC Slices mostly for its tater tots; DMV Dining likes Napoleon for brunch; Mango & Tomato, meanwhile, recommends Zaytinya for brunch; DC-Wrapped Dates checks out all the hype over breakfast at Florida Avenue Grill.
100° C Chinese Cuisine [Photo: Norry H./Yelp]