Tom Sietsema reviews the new Richard Sandoval steakhouse Toro Toro and awards it 1.5 stars. The critic has positive things to say about the fish, but is less entranced with the meat offerings.
The meat on those swords isn't prime eating. The chorizo is dry, lamb is stuck on mute and tongue tastes like leftover roast beef. The parade of cooked flesh begins with chicken; call me skeptical for thinking it's because chicken is cheap, compared with some of the other cuts, and the restaurant would prefer we fill up on it. Even so, chicken is the only protein any of us bothers asking for more of; cumin, oregano and miso give the bird heft.
Desserts are another weak link, he says. [WaPo]
Sietsema has a better time at Pizza Parts & Service, from the Taylor Gourmet team. There, he finds good pies and tempting garlic knots.
Look for a snappy pepperoni and a blistered cheese on a tan and tasty crust that's easy to fold over onto itself. Whole pizzas are not for the impatient. "Good pizza takes time," says co-owner Casey Patten. Ten minutes for a pie lavished with sausage, caramelized onions, garlic spread, basil and two molten cheeses proves worth the wait, I discovered on a recent weekday afternoon. [WaPo]
The $20 Diner reviews El Catrachito, which Tim Carman says is a good source for Honduran cuisine.
The star here is, in fact, the mild-mannered baleada, sort of a mashup of a burrito, a crepe and cryptic catracho alchemy. You have the option of steak or chicken, but neither is the source of the rich, raw animalism tucked inside this folded, half-moon tortilla. I had to lift the hood of my baleada to suss out the mystery, sampling each ingredient one by one...I finally singled out the crema, which Lopez says is a Honduran take on mantequilla, a funky cross between sour cream and butter. The red beans arrive from his country, too. The whole thing seems to speak of Honduras, where the cows and plants absorb the mountainous, sea-salt spirit of the place. [WaPo]
Todd Kliman files a capsule review of Cafe Rue in Beltsville.
The miniature crab cakes are hard to resist, and disappear quickly. Chicken and waffles are the heart of the menu, and the Cotton Club-derived combo comes in four varieties, including one with red velvet waffles and one with Sriracha-glazed chicken that calls to mind the sweet-spicy crunch of General Tso's. I like the "classic" — the boneless, white meat chicken has surprising juice, and the waffles are thick and fluffy. [Washingtonian]
Toro Toro [Photo: R. Lopez]