The nation’s capital is pretty familiar with voting so it goes without saying that our Inspectors would have a few candidates for their favorite D.C. dishes this year. From ramped up street food and inventive slants on classics to elegant curries, here are their favorite dishes discovered this year.
Served in a small paper bag these potato cubes were tossed with Shawarma spices that were layered, then cut, and fried so the outside was beautifully golden brown, and inside the potatoes were tender. It was served with urfa, a spiced mayo, which was a perfect accompaniment. These were simply fantastic, well-executed with great flavor.
Pork Belly Vindaloo
This is surely the most elegantly presented curry I've ever seen. A dark vindaloo with deep spices—aanise, cinnamon, fragrant to the point of perfumed and everything toasted nicely—it’s a good texture and in the very middle of the curry, two slices of pork belly on their sides, with tender flesh, melted fat, and crisp skin.
The stalks are briefly grilled, then paired with a black garlic Caesar dressing, shaved Parmesan, and grilled bread rubbed with a garlic clove. The dressing is loaded with umami and the broccoli themselves are tender and not at all bitter. A clever idea.
A house-made “chorizo” made from shrimp and mahi mahi studded with vegetables, served on a fluffy shokupan bun made with winter squash. The snappy, juicy, flavorful sausage is contrasted by the delicate, lightly sweet bread, with a pop of acidity and heat from the relish on top making for a dish that combines the unpretentious appeal of street food with an air of sophistication.