Tom Sietsema visits the philanthropic Cause and awards it two stars this week, praising its General Tso's wings and hush puppies but warning against its vegetarian fare.
More originality comes by way of an African stew created from lots of shredded chicken and ground peanuts. The shout-out to Vilelle and his time in the Peace Corps is my favorite meal; each spoonful pulses with ginger, garlic and chilies, a one-two-three punch softened with sesame oil. The thick toast alongside comes in handy for cleaning the bowl. Cause's chefs should put out more like this. [WaPo]
The critic also heads to Bryan Voltaggio's Range for his First Bite column, Sietsema likes Range's ambition and bakery program, though thinks the chef has some kinks to work out when it comes to desserts and service timing.
Among the dishes that most catch my interest are lamb breast stuffed with zesty merguez sausage and served on buttery braised cabbage and Range's super-buttery "everything" mashed potatoes that take their cue from "everything" bagels seasoned with poppy seeds, garlic and onion powders and such. I like the idea of rindswurst as part of the charcuterie program, although the all-beef sausage, made with emulsified heart, liver and tongue, could use more assertive seasoning. Oysters from the raw bar reveal good shucking. [WaPo]
Tyler Cowen writes up Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in his Ethnic Dining Guide and thinks it's...ok.
The tacos I found OK but uninspired. It is just a wee bit yuppified. It is still better than most Mexican places around. [TC]
WaPo's Good to Go column is all about Woodward Takeout Food's sandwiches and flatbreads. From Nevin Martell:
The duck Reuben is playful ($11): confit dressed with a cider shallot dressing instead of Thousand Island and vinegared red cabbage as a sauerkraut substitute. Melted Gruyere -- for a touch of nuttiness -- and the traditional Swiss top it off, then it's pressed between slices of sourdough rye. A fair amount oozes out the sides, so make sure you ask for a fork and plenty of napkins. [WaPo]
FROM THE BLOGS: DC Wrapped Dates hits up Vermillion again and likes its mix of traditional and creative dishes...Capital Cooking has nothing but good things to say about the food at Epic Smokehouse...the Food Crave Blog calls Izakaya Seki a "Japanese gem."
Range [Photo: R. Lopez]