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The New Thai X-ing Gets Two Stars; Greek Food That's Worth a Drive

Plus where to brunch, vegan or otherwise.

Greek Islands Grill
Greek Islands Grill
Greek Islands Grill/Facebook

Tom Sietsema gives two stars to the new Thai X-ing near the 9:30 Club, and he loves that the corkage fee is just $5. Not so great is the fact that the online reservation service is buggy, but Sietsema spills the beans that just showing up at 6 p.m. can help diners score a table. He writes:

Not every course soars, but the ordinary eats aren’t anything a squeeze of lime or the next dish in the lineup can’t rescue. Here’s the place to go, relatively inexpensively, with a group, or to make the vegan in your party feel welcome, with meatless menus on Tuesdays and Sundays. Throw in the gentle corkage fee and you’ve got one accommodating restaurant — once you’re in, of course. [WaPo]

Sietsema doesn't miss the meat and eggs at Equinox's vegan Sunday brunch, a concept that the restaurant brought over from the Corcoran Gallery of Art's Muse Cafe. For First Bite, Sietsema writes:

What looks like scrambled egg is tofu tinted with turmeric, curry and (local) saffron and cooked with a choice of vegetable fillings, including eggplant tapenade and caramelized cauliflower. Other main dishes — pear-stuffed french toast crackling with a veneer of house-made granola, a cassoulet built with lentils, beets and Brussels sprouts — call from the bar counter. I found myself going back for seconds of the wrinkly string beans tossed with red pepper, toasted cashews and fragrant Thai basil, as well as a comforting squash soup made with almond milk and pecan bits. [WaPo]

Sietsema also filed an article with some global brunch inspiration, including brunches at Béarnaise, Boqueria, Daikaya, Ghibellina and Mandu. [WaPo]

For $20 Diner, Tim Carman thinks more diners need to try the Greek and Cypriot food at Greek Islands Grill in Silver Spring:

After a while, I stopped being surprised by anything that came out of the Greek Islands kitchen, which the owners oversee. Their souvlaki platters, whether pork or chicken, had a Spartan beauty on the plate and a simple Mediterranean focus on flavor: Charred chunks of meat, just lemony enough to brighten the oregano and garlic accents, reached their full potential with an application of the house-made tzatziki, a tart, cool counterpoint to the grilled morsels. When tucked into a pillowy pita, the combination of meat and condiment made an elegant argument for serving hand-held food off white china. [WaPo]

Tyler Cowen's going to publish a full review on Hunan Taste, a place he says "you all should be swarming to," but for now he recommends two dishes. "I did have two knockouts on the first visit, namely the Tea Tree Mushrooms with Pork Casserole, and Spicy Beef Steak Hunnan, which is more subtle than spicy." [TC]

THE BLOGS: Mama Rouge gives a B+ to Mama Rouge...Girl Meets Food goes for California wine and small plates at Bin 1301 and treats themselves at Hank's Oyster Bar in Capitol Hill...BYT taste tests Second State and goes for Meatless Monday at Table...