Sushi, Rock? Yes! Sushi Rock!

There are very few places in Northern Virginia where you can find Rock and Sushi in one place, and that’s Sushi Rock in Arlington. Nestled at the base of an apartment complex and next to the Arlington Courthouse this restaurant is a staple for residents and workers daily.

The restaurant is comprised of two floors, and has dim lighting, though in the day time ample sunlight comes in from the windows that make up 2 of it’s walls. There is ample seating and the red and black interior give the space an edgy feel.

The menu offered here covers a wide array of foods from the Sushi, as expected, to Ramen, Fried Chicken, and Steak. I normally order the Vegetarian Shoyu Ramen which consists of Kombu broth, menma, scallion, mushroom, seaweed and vegetables. The first time I ordered this I was blown away by how many veggies it contained. But on a chilly days this is just what I need.

For times when I’m feeling more adventurous I’ll enjoy the Stairway to Heaven which is made up of Yellowtail, white tuna, jalapeno, scallion, cilantro, pickled ginger, drizzled in a habanero balsamic sauce. A flavor combination that is refreshing and hard to beat. The Tornado roll comes in at a close second, and contains Yellowtail and snapper with the addition of jalapeno and cream cheese, which is then deep-fried and baked with sweet miso sauce. Can I say YUM!

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As I said before, Sushi Rock has many more items to offer so if you are ever in the NoVa area be sure to check it out. 😀

Swahili Village

Of all the ethnic restaurant that are readily available in the D.C. area I haven’t really had the opportunity to come across one dedicated to Kenyan food until now. Swahili Village offered just that. When I stepped in I wont lie, I was taken aback normally African restaurants in this area have a mom and pop feel but this space was extremely contemporary.

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The concept was open and the lights dim. African music could be heard playing through out the restaurant.  And a large bar dominating the space in the back. Once seated the wait staff immediately came to take my order and offered insight to items on the menu. I was a part of a group so the combinations of food were endless.

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There was the chapati, a flatbread that is common to Kenya and many other nations in that region. Then the Pilau, a seasoned Basmati rice that was someone claimed was similar to West African Jollof Rice (it wasn’t. 😦 nothing is ever close). Then the Nyama Choma, or grilled cubed Beef Steak and the Fried Tilapia. Some folks ordered onions and collard greens aka Sukuma Wiki; Pan fried cabbage and onions, Kabeji; Sauteed spinach and onionsh onions, and the Kachumbari, a tomato salad with onions, cilantro, andhabanero tossed in lemon juice.

Honestly the menu had so many great things to try and I plan to visit again in the near future. So if you are ever in the Washington D.C. area make sure to stop by the Swahili Village.

Judy’s Island Grill II

If you are craving quality Jamacain food Judy’s Island Grill is the place to go, especially the second location in Glen Burnie, MD. The menu is pretty straight forward with the normal fare you would expect to see offered; beef patties, ox tail, jerk chicken, etc. But what really makes the restuarant is the staff. I have been to the location several times and each experience has been great. The wait staff always offers a warm greeting and are quick to recognize you and strike up a conversation.

For this trip I went with friends, so we were able to order a variety of dishes. From Oxtail with Mac and Cheese, Rice and Beans, and Cabbage Medley; to Veggie Roti with Coconut Cream of Spinach and Green Beans.

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But the show stopper, in my personal opinion is the fried Red Snapper in Spinach Cream Sauce with Rice and Beans on the side. I am addicted to this dish. It is so good that I have no problems driving the 30 odd minutes from my house to the restuarant in order to have it to eat. It is just that good!

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So if you are in the greater Baltimore area and have a hankering for Jamacain just stop by Judy’s Island Grill.

El Golfo

El Golfo is a Mexican Restaurant nestled on the outskirts of Silver Spring offering traditional and vegan fare. The unassuming exterior leads to a pleasant surprise once you enter the restaurant and realize how relaxing and colorful it actually is.

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Once seated a complimentary basket of Tortilla Chips and Salsa is brought to the table while you go through the menu looking at the options.EG3-min

I decided to to start off with Yucca Fries, cassava chips, and a creamy Chipotle dip. The appetizer alone could have made my meal complete but being my fat self, I wanted more.

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I followed with Beef Tamales with a Tomato and Onion Salsa. The tamales were wonderfully flavored. And met my craving, seriously I’ve been looking for a good place for tamales for the longest time! If you have any spots I should check out just put it in the comments. My stomach thanks you in advance.

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To finish it all off I had Tres Leche Cake for dessert. As soon as it hit my tongue it was an out of body experience. I just had to order some for the road.

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So you are ever in the Silver Spring make sure to stop by El Golfo. It will be an experience you wont forget.

Rice Paper

July has been a bittersweet month, especially as friends and family transition to new phases and places in life. Luckily Rice Paper is the type of restaurant that forces time to stop and makes you focus on the meal and those you are sharing it with.

Located in Falls Church, VA, Eden Center. Rice Paper is a Vietnamese restaurant that offers traditional fare. The restaurant layout is beautiful and calming with hanging lanterns above the center and a large bar taking up the back wall.

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The menu offered has an extensive list of selections. With clear delicious descriptions of every item shown. Each item on the menu was large enough to shared and that is definitely what we did.

We ordered  Cơm Bò Lúc Lắc, a Cubed Beef dish sauteed with onions,tomatoes,and oyster sauce served on a bed of greens; Lẩu Đuôi Bò a spicy oxtail soup that came with rice; and Bánh Hỏi Con Điệp & Tôm Nướng, Grilled Scallop & Shrimp served with steamed thin Vermicelli noodles, meant to be wrapped and eaten in rice paper.

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So if you are ever in Falls Church, Va make sure to stop by Eden Center and catch a meal at Rice Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toki Underground

What do you do when you are in D.C. and get a hankering for ramen that wont go away? You go to TOKI UNDERGROUND! Located in Northeast D.C. this restaurant is a hole in the wall that can be a bit hard to find. contrary to it’s name, Toki Underground is actually nestled above a pub. Blasting hip hop on it’s speakers, manga on the walls, skateboards as railings,  28 bar stools for seating, this is truly an urban hipster paradise.

 

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There was a wait to be seated due to the high demand. Once we were we started with kimchi and pan fried vegetarian dumplings.

And then moved onto the Taipei Curry Chicken Ramen which consisted of a curry infusion broth with fried chicken, greens, soft egg, and pickled ginger; and the Vegetarian Ramen, with tofu, daikon, seasonal pickles, shiitake, greens, and marinated kombu.

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I can definitely say that I left feeling satisfied. So if you are in Northeast and get a hankering for ramen make sure to stop by Toki Underground!

Riverside Hot Pot

For those of you in the DMV, I’m sure you understand when I say this area has been going through some things. We are in May, but the weather has been unusually nippy and the sun has been on hiatus for, what feels like, months. Because being outside wasn’t a top choice a friend and decided to try Chinese hot pot at Riverside Hot Pot.

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Located in Gaithersburg, the restaurant has a casual intimate feel that immeadiately makes you feel welcome. Once seated the waiter presents you with a checklist for your selection of the broth base (for the soup), meats, veggies, and add-ins. While the soup add-ins are shared, each diner has an individual hot pot. Allowing for personalized soups with endless choices from the menu of more than 24 items. That and the fact that the restaurant is all you can eat (Yayyyy!!!!) made it amazing!

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Once we made our selections it was a matter of waiting. But it was definitely worth it! Initially the two of us were overwhelmed the amount of food, because we ordered pretty much everything on the menu. But once we started eating it was a wrap.

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So if you’re looking for a great place to eat and a new experience to try. Stop over at Riverside Hot Pot.
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