Tom Sietsema gives 2 stars to Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, the latest from Passion Food Hospitality, and gets his ass kicked by ghost peppers.
For the uninitiated, ghost peppers, or Bhut Jolokia, are some of the fiercest on earth, more than 100 times hotter than Tabasco. To ingest even a speck of the stuff is to kiss a welding torch. For sure, you will sweat. Si, you are also likely to cry. This diner couldn't stop hiccupping.
That may sound like a gimmick, but Sietsema assures his readers that the food at Fuego is solid. High marks go to the homemade tortillas, queso fundido and pozole, though he's less enamored with some of the entrees, such as the chicken mole. [WaPo]
For his First Bite column, Sietsema stops at Jeff Buben's Woodward Table, and the sibling restaurant with everyone's favorite acronym, WTF.
With my eyes closed at dinner, I could be at Vidalia. Shrimp and grits fuel the feeling, except the seafood here is barbecue-flavored. Woodward Table's crisp sweetbreads remind me of the restaurant's sibling as well, although the dish downtown comes not with golden waffles but with salsify puree and red cabbage marmalade.
Lamb ribs, flatbreads and an unlikely bleu cheese ice cream all draw raves; lunch dishes are less successful. [WaPo]
Bethesda Magazine's Carole Sugarman finds plenty that she likes to drink at Quench in Rockville, but thinks the decor is trying too hard.
First, Holstein's shot at cool and urban hasn't quite hit the mark. The dark décor lacks sophistication; the music, loud even during the dinner hour, is an unsoothing mix of newer artists and alternative music; and the drink menu headings ("ourz," "theirz," "soft drinkz") and drink names (Thai Me Up, Metro-Textural, Wyatt Slurp) are a tad too cute. I haven't been there late on a weekend night, but at least during dinner (even on a Friday evening) the place just doesn't have a buzz.
Not a ton of the food is remarkable, but she does acknowledge the kitchen knows how to fry. [Bethesda Mag]
For Good to Go, Nevin Martell visits Pho Factory in Alexandria and likes the variety of soups.
The steaming soup's aroma hints at a melange of exotic spices regularly used in pho -- perhaps clove, star anise and cinnamon? When I ask Phan about the particulars, he just laughs. "That's top secret," he says. "Only family can know that." [WaPo]
THE BLOGS: Bitches Who Brunch find a great deal at Pulpo, which has an unlimited deal for $25...DC-Wrapped Dates likes the chicken taco best at TaKorean at Union Market...Eat More Drink More loves the corned beef at DGS Deli...Brett at DMV Dining has "the best pastrami sandwich of my life" at Stachowski Market & Deli.
[Photo: R. Lopez]