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Republic's Danny Wells on Ginger Salad and Jerk

The DC area is home to a lot of restaurants, and among them are hidden gems that many Washingtonians aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share with us their under-the-radar recommendations for Dining Confidential. Are you a chef with a suggestion? Shoot us an email.

Republic chef and co-owner Danny Wells is definitely a good source when it comes to solid food near Silver Spring and Takoma Park. In fact, Wells couldn't name just one restaurant when asked to name his current, under-the-radar favorite. Here, Wells shares his favorite orders from such places as La Mano, Peaches Cafe and Mandalay.

"I met [La Mano owners] Javier and Anna at an Old Takoma Business Association meeting before La Mano or Republic had opened. They knew Molly (fabricator and millworker who worked on Republic) from when they were running Politics and Prose. I was going to La Mano frequently before Republic opened, to get macchiatos, but not as much now as I've had little time now that we're up and running.

My family and friends have been going to Silver Spring restaurants forever. From any of the restaurants in the 'other little Ethiopi'a, to Negril Jamaican, to Lotus Cafe to Big Greek Cafe to Jackie's and 8407. We've always liked the food and family staff at Mandalay and I could eat the ginger salad everyday for the rest of my life and not get tired of it.

I got introduced to Peaches Kitchen by some friends who had moved to Takoma Park a few years ago. We usually get carry-out from there. The jerk, brown stews and curries are all amazing. They do really spicy sauces and everything always tastes fresh. Plus they serve kingfish (mackerel) which you don't see in a lot of restaurants. It's seriously spicy though. Like seriously."
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Peaches Kitchen [Photo: Facebook]

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