When we're on the road, we're big fans of the food over at Chipotle Mexican Grill. It's fast without compromising flavor, and it's reasonably healthy. We both love the vegetarian burritos (in case you ever want to take us out for a cheap date). When we heard that the masterminds behind Chipotle were experimenting with a new concept in Washington D.C., we couldn't wait to try it out during our visit.
The folks who brought us Chipotle have now entered the Asian food arena with: ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen. Currently there's one location in the uber-cool Dupont Circle area of our nation's capital city.
As is the case with Chipotle, the menu is refreshingly slim. You can choose either a bowl or a banh mi (at budget-friendly prices). That's it. Simple.
You order at the counter and can choose from a selection of ingredients. The bowls start with a base of rice or rice noodles along with meat (chicken, steak, meatballs) or tofu. We especially liked the choice of specialty vegetables and fell in love with the green beans, which are blistered and mixed with caramelized shallots. The bowls are rounded out with your choice of sauces (tamarind vinaigrette, green curry, red curry), garnishes and crispy toppings.
Our favorite bowl included tofu, green curry, a garnish of papaya slaw and crispy garlic.
The banh mi we had was also scrumptious. They, too, come with your choice of meat or tofu along with slaw, pickles, peanuts, chili and mayo. The best part, though, is definitely the fresh bread – perfectly soft with a bit of crunch.
No doubt about it, we'll be back every time we're in the D.C. area. Our only complaint is that the portions are on the small side for two foodaholics like us. Never fear – ice cream from the Shake Shack down the street (hint hint) more than made up for any remnants of hunger.
Is your mouth watering?