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Critics Take on Mama Chuy, Le Caprice, Red Palace, More

There are no formal reviews this week from the area's major critics, but still plenty of mini-reviews to parse. Not to mention the blogs. So let's get into it.

Todd Kliman adds Columbia Heights restaurant Mama Chuy to his list of restaurants where he's eating now, writing that its owners "have delivered one of the great surprises of the season — a taqueria that aims not merely to be authentic, but to win your hungry heart with its commitment to exactitude and detail." Kliman also declares that the carnitas sopes "might just be the best three bites of Mexican food you're going to find within city limits." [The Washingtonian]

Rina Rapuano takes an early look at another Columbia Heights spot, the recently opened Le Caprice bakery — whose baguettes are apparently getting accolades from French expats. Blueberry scones, chocolate croissants, and almond-honey bars are among the bakery's offerings that Rapuano deems to be "outstanding." [WaPo]

Chris Shott visits H Street to try out the Red Palace's new Burporken sandwich, which is an unholy combination of beef, pork and chicken. His take? "The part that proved most puzzling was the Burporken's penultimate protein topping: a thin layer of seared chicken breast, which added virtually no flavor to the mix, only more bulk. Thankfully, the tricked-out burger also comes served with a side of spicy ketchup (likely Heinz infused with added spices) that helped ease the massive thing down the gullet. [WCP]

A Hamburger Today gets a field report from DC with a review of Black & Orange and its hormone-free burgers: "I'm glad, for the sake of the animals I'm eating, that there are more natural, hormone-free and generally humane offerings at restaurants these days, but could I taste a difference in the beef? No. It's better than McDonald's or Five Guys, but I probably wouldn't pay $10 for it again when I can get a burger on a better bun with tastier toppings down the block at Shake Shack for about the same price." [AHT]

THE BLOGS: New Columbia Heights liked Tegeste better, but likes the Ethiopian food at Dynasty well enough; DC-Wrapped Dates had a "sorely disappointing" dinner at District Commons; Mango & Tomato, however, had a satisfying brunch at District Commons; meanwhile, Bitches Who Brunch had "a roller coaster brunch filled with ups and downs" at Jaleo; DMV Dining loved the gnocchi at Cesco Osteria in Bethesda; and EatMore DrinkMore visited both Rice Paper at the Eden Center and 1905 Restaurant.

Black & Orange

1300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036-1746 202 296 2242

Mama Chuy

2620 Georgia Ave, NW, Washington, DC