I have learned that it is best to write about food experiences “in the moment”. And despite the fact that I am driving, I had to jot down the sensations going on in my mouth. Sorry Oprah!
I remember the excitement of Chipotle; the novelty of enjoying being pushed and herded through the line like cattle. But the “Next Great American Restaurant” made me anti-Steve Ells. Maybe it was his face. All I knew was I was upset that I loved Chipotle after I found out who owned it.
I suppose I am “eating” (literally) my words as I chomp down on the mad scientist latest creation, Shop House. Of course South East Asian cuisine is not new. It is as ancient as its culture. But Ells managed to “Americanize” the experience.
FOOD TANGENT – so I am staring at this last meatball wondering how I can have my cake and eat it too. Rest in peace you delicious morsel…num, num, num. Back to the review!
Every now and then Washington DC gets something special. And one of them has to be Shop House, an “experiment” in food landed in Dupont Circle of all places.
I cannot be sure the decor or set-up will be how future locals will look put I imagine Ells derived Shop House from the increasingly popular “Banh Mi” sandwich. The “hip” South East Asian sandwich is like a synopsis of the entire cuisine: spice and refreshing.
My freshman meal was a bowl of brown rice, Pork and Chicken meatballs, red curry and papaya slaw. I skipped the “crunch” garnish of toasted rice.
I feel a little funny taking the time to review a take-out place but when the stomach talks, I listen. A perfection of spice surrounds the perfect sphere of ground meat and literally melts with every bite. Admittedly after the first one, I had to resist the temptation of swallowing them whole. The freshly-made curry coated the earthy brown rice, while the mango slaw helped cleanse the enjoyable after burn of the meatballs. Brilliant!
Hopefully this concept will not become an unrealized actuality. Sign me up for another bowl and another and another.