Rather than a review this week, Tom Sietsema is giving readers a peek into his inbox. But, never fear. Justin Rude and Martha Thomas checked out two local restaurants with the Washington Post's critical eye instead.
Rude visits one of the few spots on H Street that's actually opening for dining during the day, Star and Shamrock. The Irish/Jewish restaurant offers some innovative menu items and some of them work — a Reuben egg roll, shepherd's fries — but others don't: "Both the aforementioned Latke Madness and the Clogger (beef brisket, provolone, bacon, gravy and mayonnaise on a kaiser roll) are exactly as heavy and imposing as you would imagine, and the myriad flavors end up getting in one another's way. It's a shame, too, because the restaurant's simpler, more traditional sandwiches reveal house-made brisket, corned beef and pastrami worth showcasing."
Thomas looks into sliced meat in Leesburg, where the Doner Bistro offers up a German version of the Middle Eastern sandwich: "Although many of the menu items might not seem a great departure from the fare at your local Turkish carryout, Winkel swears by their particular authenticity. The meat and tzatziki are seasoned the German way: milder, though more garlicky. And currywurst is so common in his home country that a museum honoring the dish opened in Berlin two years ago." [WaPo]
Todd Kliman goes all the way to Charlottesville for some good Chinese food at Peter Chang's recently opened China Grill. The meal was a feast featuring cumin fish, cilantro fish rolls, dan dan noodles, scallion bubble pancakes and more. And when a reader in his online chat mentioned looking forward to visiting, Kliman replied: "Looking forward" — that's the problem phrase. You can't "look forward" to anything where Peter Chang is concerned. You receive notice, you change your schedule around, you hop in the car and you go. Either that, or curse yourself for having waited."
Kate Nerenberg takes an early look at 14th Street's new beer garden, Standard. Lines are long, but worth it: "The patio buzzes with the feel of a German beer garden, and the barbecue is, at least in the context of Washington’s barbecue options, very good. The pulled pork stuffed in a sandwich was full of mustard and acid, a he-man-size beef rib was full of smoky flavor, and a bratwurst had a great snap and vinegary kraut." [Washingtonian]
THE BLOGS: We Love DC visits newly opened Khan's Bar & Grill on H Street and says the the neighborhood really makes the restaurant; EatMore DrinkMore says Masa 14's bottomless brunch is a must; Capitol Cooking was pleasantly surprised by the Kababji Grill; DC-Wrapped Dates reports that everything about Bourbon Steak's lounge is high-class; New Columbia Heights recommends gas station restaurant wonder Fast Gourmet and its sandwiches; Florida Girl in DC had her socks knocked right off her by the new brunch menu at Ba Bay.
Star and Shamrock [Photo: Brent B./Yelp]