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Tom Sietsema Hails Sweetgreen for Nailing ‘the Best Part of the Food Pyramid’

What the critics are saying this week

Photo: Sweetgreen
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.


Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema dropped by the new Sweetgreen in Georgetown, where he immediately encounters a swift-moving line and the “best part of the food pyramid”: chopped peaches, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, chicken, sesame tofu, and more. Enjoy the spoils of the season, he suggests, by combining sweet crab, diced watermelon, and raw corn before summer ends. A “heartier” pick is the Shroomami, a warm mix of “fleshy” portobellos, shredded kale, wild rice, earthy beets, roasted tofu, and sunflower seeds. Sietsema congratulates the homegrown brand continuing to champion local ingredients (kale comes from Richardson Farms in Maryland, for example). For drinks, cucumber juice with lime and ginger was refreshing; watermelon fresca with cilantro, however, tastes “watered down.”


Van Ness eatery Sfoglina lands in the number 10 spot on Sietsema’s latest fall dining guide. The kickoff to his seasonal roundup gets three stars (“excellent”) for its indulgent details, from the “oh-so-smooth staff” to the “short but exquisite” menu. The “most creative and delicious” pasta he’s had as of late is a wide ribbon stained black with squid ink and stuffed with salt cod. And “no restaurant makes short ribs look more alluring than this one,” Sietsema says.


Tyler Cowen sizes up Incredibowl on his eponymous Ethnic Dining Guide, deciding that the new restaurant in Chantilly provides “a considerably above average take” on all the usual Sichuan classics. He especially enjoyed the fish in hot chili oil and the shredded potatoes with peppers. Be warned: the place is small and fills up fast.


Washington Post food writer Tim Carman visits this tiny Thai eatery in McLean, Virginia. One of the things he adores about it is its ability to customize heat levels to customers’ palates, ranging from “mild” all the way to “Kim Jong Un” (sticky rice, he says, helps act as a “salve” for scorched tongues). His own palate tells him that the “owners and chefs at Esaan have a deep respect for the foodways that contributed to their featured cuisine, an organic fusion of Lao, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai influences.” Its version of green papaya salad, a staple throughout Southeast Asia, is “hot and flavorful,” but most salads are for built for carnivores, he points out. One highlight is the moo nam tok, a grilled pork shoulder salad. Starters and desserts are a bit all over the map, he finds.

FROM THE BLOGS: Brightest Young Things gives Rye Street Tavern in Baltimore a first look, while Hungry Lobbyist heads to Sally’s Middle Name.


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