Tim Carman compares ballpark concessions at Nationals Park and Camden Yards in Baltimore for this week's $20 Diner in the Washington Post. Here in D.C., Carman begrudgingly admits New Yorker Danny Meyer's tacos and Shake Shack burgers are superior to their Baltimore counterparts. Nats Park also gets points for Ben's Chili Bowl's half-smokes and G by Mike Isabella’s sandwiches.
Camden Yards gets recognition for its crab offerings and the pork buns at Tako Asian Bistro. Carman actually calls them "practically Momofuku-grade snacks compared with the Mongolian beef at Intentional Wok at Nats Park." He concludes:
"As Charlie Slowes would say: Put a curly W in the books. Nationals Park takes the concessions series from Camden Yards, 7-4. Nats fans win, in other words, even in those rare instances when the home team doesn’t." [WaPo]
North Carolina newcomer Tupelo Honey Cafe in Arlington is a hit with Yelpers so far, but not so much with Tom Sietsema. In his First Bite review for the Washington Post, he’s skeptical of the restaurant's Southern cooking. He writes:
"Nothing else would compel me to return or suggests I’m eating below the Mason-Dixon line. What the menu calls "classic" shrimp and grits would go unrecognized in Charleston, S.C…Buttermilk fried chicken is a yawn, not to mention a waste of calories…" [WaPo]
In lieu of his full review, Sietsema visited Portland, Ore. as part of his search for the country's best food city. He's impressed by the culinary diversity and writes, "Name a cuisine or dish, and chances are good that a Portland cart has it covered." [WaPo]
David Hagedorn files a review of Kapnos Taverna in Ballston for Arlington Magazine and finds some hits and a few misses. But he especially enjoys the whole roasted lamb shoulder; the aroma greets him as soon as he walks in the door. He writes:
"I return to the whole lamb shoulder. Get some friends together and partake...Then, behold a wooden plank the width of your table, loaded with crusty, juicy chunks of melt-in-your-mouth lamb, resting atop a bed of couscous and wild rice. Tear off some garlicky flatbread, fill it with meat, top it with the accompanying tzatziki and house-made harissa and repeat." [Arlington]
Don Rockwell visited three more restaurants this week. At Mussel Bar & Grille in Ballston, the runner gives him the wrong order, but he still ends up loving the White Wine Mussels. He writes:
"For $10, this was a fantastic thing to order – a plate of about 5 slices of freshly heated bread showed up about ten minutes into my meal, and I immediately placed them into the broth to begin saturation, then flipped them after several minutes – they served as oyster crackers, and they served me well."
His only complaint is about the noise level, which affected the service.
He also reviews all three breakfast sandwiches at Bod & Edith's Diner in South Arlington (the sausage and the ham sandwiches are the best), and he thoroughly enjoyed the sundae at The Dairy Godmother in Del Ray. [DR]
THE BLOGGERS: Girl Meets Food recommends five things to try at MET Bethesda...DC Wrapped Dates calls Bistro Bohem's portobello mushroom burger a nothingburger...Capital Cooking says newcomer Fig & Olive is breathtaking.