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‘Resist’ the Barbecue at America Eats Tavern, Says Tom Sietsema

What the critics are saying this week

America Eats Tavern in Georgetown
Rey Lopez/America Eats Tavern

America Eats Tavern

The crab cakes at America Eats Tavern from José Andrés would make a great ambassador for American cuisine abroad according to Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema. He checked in at the new Georgetown location of the restaurant, which turns to U.S. culinary history for its menu inspiration.

Corn bread, buttermilk-brined fried chicken, and shrimp and grits get the nod. Sietsema isn’t a fan of the barbecue here, however. “A whiff of smoke in the air tempts you to order barbecue. Resist,” he writes. “Indeed, the preparation seems to have devolved from opening month. Recent encounters with pulled pork (dry) and spare ribs (ditto) were misadventures.”

Espita Mezcaleria

Wondering how a food critic scans a menu? Sietsema scribbled in the margins of a menu at Shaw Mexican restaurant Espita Mezcaleria for Washington Post Magazine’s alternative storytelling issue. He wrote things like: “Flashback to cafeteria fish sticks (in a good way). Calling all lunch ladies. Wish I had these fixings in school,” about the fish tacos.


“I’d be stupid-happy to have a Donburi in my ’hood.” That’s what Washington Post food critic Tim Carman says of the Japanese restaurant in Adams Morgan that recently opened a second location on 19th Street NW. The namesake dish is a must-order for him. “There is something inexplicably homey about these rice bowls, and they don’t even have to be topped with tonkotsu, those panko-flaked lengths of pork,” he said.

Fancy Radish

This vegetable-focused H Street restaurant’s decor has an “L.A. sensibility” to its decor, according to critic Nevin Martell in DC Modern Luxury. The halved avocado filled with pickled cauliflower yellowed with turmeric should be on diners’ radar, he says, as well as Chinese dan dan noodles. Martell writes: “Who needs pork, butter and eggs when the food is this good?”

Buena Vida

Bethesda magazine critic David Hagedorn opts for the $35 unlimited small plates at Buena Vida restaurant and Tacos, Tortas & Tequilas in Silver Spring, the new taqueria from restaurateur Ivan Iricanin. He likes cheesy apps like queso fundido and a chicken quesadilla, while the flautas are a miss.

The Blogs: BYT ordered steak frites at Brabo in Old Town, Been There Eaten That tries tandoori salmon and butter chicken at 14th Street’s Pappe.