Every year, the culinary offerings in Washington, DC just seems to get better and better. It’s still nowhere near the caliber of cities like New York or Chicago, but it’s certainly improving and greatly I might add. Being a resident in our nation’s capital gives me the privilege to give many of these must try new Washington DC eateries a go and so far, here are two of my favorites.
Must Try New Washington DC Eateries
I’m not much for Asian fusion restaurants, likely because I’m Asian and a purist when it comes to Far East cuisines, but there’s just something about Tiger Fork, the newly opened Cantonese-inspired restaurant in Blagden Alley, that convinces me to add it to this list of must try new Washington DC eateries.
Firstly, despite its somewhat off the wall location in Blagden Alley’s Shaw neighborhood, there’s no mistaking which one it is. The exterior features one large octagon, with crisscrossing lines on a background of bright red paint. There’s also a giant picture of a fork. As you enter the foyer, the restaurant’s bar, also painted red with a shiny marble counter top and black bar stools, welcomes guests. The artwork on the walls depicts dragons and tigers, common themes among Chinese art. The lanterns the restaurant use to light the place also contributes to a somewhat authentic ambiance.
Fried Rice with Salted Fish and Prawns
Then there’s the food. Chef Nathan Beauchamp and business partner Greg Algie of the Fainting Goat opted for a menu that’s not extensive. It’s a departure from the usual Cantonese-style restaurants, but it provides enough variety and features more than a handful of regular items (some with a twist), that you’ll normally expect to see from a Hong Kong restaurant. On my first time here, my friend and I ordered just a few items on the menu that included cheung fun — wonton noodles stuffed with shrimp and cut into bite-sized pieces; fried rice with salted fish and prawns; and a BBQ plate that came with three different types of meat: crispy pork belly, char sui (barbecue dried pork) and soya chicken. Everything was good but the one dish that still haunts my palate is the fried rice.
If you’re going to order just one thing, let that be it. Dessert came in the form of an egg tart, classic Hong Kong style with its flaky crust and creamy custard. It was one of the better ones I’ve tried in Washington, DC.
Finally, as far as libations, we stuck with just tea this time around. Tiger Fork offers a couple of intriguing cocktails though, mixed with traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. It’s a bit pricey ($14 each) and since I’m not much of a big drinker, until they feature it on a happy hour menu somewhere, I’ll likely stay away from it. I will however, opt for the Hong Kong milk tea or the plum wine, next time around.
The food here is packed with flavor, though admittedly, certain items are an acquired taste even for a foodie like me. Despite that though, it still lands a spot as one of the must try new restaurants in Washington, DC.
Address: 922 N Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
Price Point: Average $25-$35 per person
Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ
There are certain cuisines that Washington does very well, but then there are others where you literally have to go and drive to the outskirts of the city to get a decent meal. Barbecue is one of them but thankfully, that changed with the addition of Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ, located conveniently just across the Potomac River in the quaint town of Alexandria. Tucked a couple of blocks away from King Street, the spacious eatery just opened earlier this year and has since lured a number of locals by the delicious scents of its smoked meats.
Beef Brisket Salad
What makes it a must try new restaurant in Washington (though technically it’s in Alexandria) is the beef brisket – moist, flavorful and tender; it almost falls apart when you try and cut the slices into smaller pieces. The restaurant also offers a trio of in-house barbecue sauces. The house one, aptly named “hog” is the classic — sweet, tangy and peppery all at the same time. For those who like a bit of a kick, try the spicy peach mustard; and for fans of the Carolina styles, a vinegar-based version is also available. As for sides, it’s hard to get a bad one, but since your plate limits you to two selections, I’d suggest the mac and cheese and loaded baked potato salad. If you still have room for dessert, try the bourbon chocolate pecan pie, also made in-house.
Mac and Cheese
Should you find yourself visiting and staying in Washington, DC this spring, seek these two must try new Washington DC eateries out and you won’t be sorry.
Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ
Address: 220 North Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Cuisine: Barbeque, Southern
Price Point: Average $15-$25 per person