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A few weeks back, I won tickets to see a speaker at National Geographic. I invited my Mom to come out with me, and we met beforehand to grab something to eat. One of her favorite places for an easy meal is Tonic in Foggy Bottom.

It looks to be a place where a lot of GW students hang out. As you walk in, there is a bar straight ahead and a flight of steps taking you up to a dining area. We sat upstairs, which was pretty empty as they had just opened for dinner. This place is huge! I thought it was cool that you can draw on the paper table cloths and they also had books for people to read.

My mom ordered tea and I tried to order the Bell’s Two Hearted IPA on draft. Unfortunately, they were out but the waiter suggested I try the Spiced IPA from Widmer Brothers. This is part of the Rotator series. I really liked the beer. It had a nice balance of hoppy and spicy.

We both ordered burgers. I ordered the Southern BBQ burger, which came with Bourbon BBQ sauce, aged cheddar, apple-wood bacon, and fire griddled onions. I got it with a side of tater tots. This was a great burger, and I liked that when I ordered it medium rare, it was actually medium rare. The tater tots were also awesome and are hugely popular here.

This is a great place to grab some food and a couple drinks. It’s a very casual atmosphere, the food is great, and the prices aren’t too bad.

Tonic at Quigley's Pharmacy on Urbanspoon

Last year, I reviewed Mineva in Gaithersburg, MD. That review can be found here.

Well, I went back with a couple friends for the weekend lunch buffet. When I was initially recommended this place for that reason but last time went for dinner. I liked it, but found that the portion wasn’t all that large for the price. I’m glad I went back for the lunch buffet, because the food was great and the price was just right.

We arrived mid afternoon on a Saturday and the place was packed. We were still seated right away and were told to grab a plate and begin eating. They had plenty of options to choose from. Some of our favorites were the goat curry, butter chicken, lamb biryani, and the tandoori chicken. The naan was also really good. They were very fast to refill the dishes that were running low and also refill the water.

All in all, this is a great lunch buffet and I’m glad to know it’s here.

When I first started working in Wheaton, the first thing my co-workers told me is that I need to eat lunch at Pollo Rico. They made sure that I had my cash ready (at the time, it was still cash only) and that I knew exactly what I was going to order so that I would not be intimidated. They told me to order a quarter chicken with double fries and extra sauce. Everything went without a hitch and I was hooked.

Fast forward to a present day.

Pollo Rico has long since moved to its new spot on University Boulevard. I’ve been to the one in Arlington a few times recently, but never to the new location in Wheaton. My buddy and I decided to meet there for lunch.

The parking lot is located behind the restaurant. It’s the first time I’ve ever parked in that lot.

We entered and headed down the steps to the restaurant. There was a pretty good crowd for a weekday at lunch time. The restaurant is small, but it’s still bigger then the old location.

The menu is pretty much the same, although they now serve a wider range of sides then before. It used to be just fries, yuca, or cole slaw but now you can get beans and rice or salad among other things.

Not much can be said about Pollo Rico that hasn’t already been said. The chicken is delicious, the sauces are great, and the prices are low. I ordered the half chicken with rice and beans. I’m not shy and I quickly dismantled it with my hands.

I don’t eat Pollo Rico often, but when I am in the mood for Peruvian chicken it still reigns supreme. If you haven’t gone yet, you are making a big mistake.

There are tons of options for Peruvian chicken, but Pollo Rico is definitely the gold standard. Even though Crisp and Juicy delivers.

El Pollo Rico on Urbanspoon

Recent Returns

Hi, everyone!

Been back to eat at a few places recently and I thought I would share my experiences.

Los Chorros

Los Chorros is still one of my favorite restaurants in Wheaton. My original review can be found here. This was only my second time eating in the restaurant. We went on a Friday night and it was pretty busy but there was no wait for a table. They brought out complimentary chips and salsa while we decided what to order. I decided on the Tacos al Carbon, which is three corn tortillas filled with steak and served with rice, beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Really good tacos, and a great portion for $11.95. I never leave this place hungry. My friends were very happy with their dishes as well. My buddy got the Especial Doña Reina, which came with steak, sausage, an egg, avocado, rice and beans. It was a huge portion and according to him, also delicious. My girlfriend got the Chef’s Taco’s, which is three corn tortillas filled with steak, chicken, and beef tongue. it comes with cilantro, pico de gallo, avocado, and rice and beans. I can personally testify that this dish is also delicious. For those who are hesitant about the tongue, give it a try. The meat is very tender and flavorful. This place remains one of my go to restaurants in Wheaton for the good food, good prices, and comfortable atmosphere. They also have great service.

Nava Thai

Nava Thai is still the most frequented restaurant by my family in Wheaton ever since Suporn closed. My original review of Nava Thai can be found here. I’ve been trying to order some different things. I usually go for the Duck Kaprow or Panang Curry, but I decided to try the Pineapple Curry with chicken. I liked this dish because of the sweet mixed with the savory. If the sauce is good enough to drink at the end, I’d say it’s a thumbs up. We also ordered the spring rolls which are consistently good here.

Silver Diner

Silver Diner is like a reliable friend that you don’t need to visit all the time to know that things are good. My original review was here. I ordered the chicken tenders (my food of choice as a kid) and a Tupper’s Hop Pocket Ale. The chicken tenders were pretty good but the beer was amazing. This beer is actually from Bethesda, MD. It’s an American Pale Ale with a 6% ABV. I can’t recommend this beer enough.

As Wheaton Calling reported earlier in the week, Royal Mile Pub is back with new owners as of Friday, the 16th. They have done a great job staying on top of the story. Their latest can be found here

Last night, my family and I went for a birthday dinner. My parents tried to stop by on Friday and said that it was so crowded that even Nava Thai was packed, presumably because of people being discouraged by the wait at Royal Mile. From the looks of it, people really missed it.

We went about 6:00 or so last night, and there was no wait for our party of five. The new owners were at the door, individually greeting each person and we were seated right away.

The menu seems to be pretty much the same as before, if not a little smaller. The beer list is also slightly smaller. I ordered the Goose Island IPA, which was delicious. My Dad tried to order the Baying Hound Pale Ale, but it was not available. Every time we come we try and order this beer and it’s never available. I’m unsure as to why they keep it on the menu.

The service was a little slow, but being that they just reopened, we were willing to cut them some slack. To their credit, the food actually came out really fast. I ordered the corned beef and cabbage, and was pretty underwhelmed with it. Their was a huge half a head of cabbage with only a little beef and a few potatoes. They may be still be ironing out some of the kinks in the kitchen, as well. I did try some of their buffalo wings, which were good and very meaty.

After we finished our meal, it took a very long time for our waitress to come back and give us the check. When we got the check, we waited for some time and nobody came back to collect it. We had to flag down another staff member in order to pay. Again, we realize they are just reopening but the service needs to improve, especially because it was not all that crowded.

I’m glad that Royal Mile is back, and think it’s an excellent part of the neighborhood, but I hope that they continue to improve.

Royal Mile Pub on Urbanspoon

It’s getting to be beautiful outside, so it’s the perfect weather for grilling and having a couple of beers. Here are a few I’ve tried over the last couple weeks:

Newcastle Founder’s Ale

This pale ale from Newcastle debuted back in January. I haven’t seen it around much. I believe it will be available through April 2012. It’s a good beer, if not lacking a little bite. However, it’s great cold and I think most would enjoy drinking this.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

This beer is fantastic! It’s the new Spring seasonal by Sierra Nevada. Although it has ruthless in the name, it’s a very drinkable IPA. There’s even a little taste of citrus in the beer, which makes it a good Spring time beer. Very impressed by this beer and I highly recommend it.

Harpoon Celtic Ale

Generally, I find Harpoon to be pretty good and I knew this was a new offering from Harpoon so I gave it a shot. Truthfully, I was pretty underwhelmed by this Irish red ale. It would probably pair well with some corned beef, but it didn’t do much for me on its own. I’d order it if I was out and in the mood for a red ale.

Magic Hat Vinyl

Magic Hat never really blows me away, but are usually pretty good. Their Spring seasonal, Vinyl, wasn’t bad but nothing about it really stood out to me. It’s am American Amber with a fairly low ABV which would make it good for a BBQ.

Flying Dog Garde Dog

I really like this beer! It’s Flying Dog’s Spring seasonal. It’s a French farm house ale, not too malty and not too hoppy. This would be a great beer for people new to craft beer. It would pair well with seafood, bread, and cheese. It’s a refreshing beer, and it’s a nice change from all the heavy winter beers I’ve been drinking in the last few months.

Breckenridge Pandora’s Bock

This is a seasonal offering from Breckenridge. It’s only offered January through March. This is a good beer, with notes of coffee and chocolate. It packs a high ABV (7.5%), but it doesn’t taste too strong. This would be a great after-dinner beer.

Goose Island Honker’s Ale

Last Friday, I was going to a party to try crickets for the first time. I decided I needed a delicious beer by my side in case they tasted terrible. I stopped at Wheaton Winery and saw they had Honker’s Ale, which is an absolutely delicious beer. I think I may have tried it before when I was just starting to drink nicer beer. It’s an English Bitter with a low ABV, but this beer was a hit with everybody. Now that I know Wheaton Winery has it, I’ll be back to pick up more.

Dogfish Head Aprihop

I don’t like very fruity beers, but I was intrigued by Aprihop. It’s an IPA brewed with Apricots. The brewer Sam Calagione was quoted as saying this is a fruity beer for people who don’t like them. I definitely agree with that. It’s a nice balance of citrus, fruit, and hops and has a 7% ABV. This is a great Spring time beer.

Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Tröegs has quickly become one of my favorite breweries. Everything I taste from them is delicious. I plan on visiting the brewery since it is not all that far away. I’ve heard a lot about Nugget Nectar but this was the first that I’ve been able to try it. It’s an American Amber with a 7.5% ABV. The key word here is nectar. If you like hops, this is your beer. This stuff sells fast, so if you see it, grab it!

More to come!

Odds and Ends

Just a few odds and ends today.

Wheaton Calling are back from vacation with good news: Royal Mile has found a new owner! Wheaton Calling have done a great job of keeping on top of that story. Their post is here.

Thayer Avenue posted the menu for Silver Spring’s new State Burger Lounge. Haven’t read any reviews yet, but I’m interested to see how it will compare with Ray’s and Quarry House. The post can be found here.

Cutting Edge Creativity had a good meal at Woomi Garden. I’m yet to try this place, but I intend to do so soon. Her review can be found here.

She also reviewed Color Music Studio, located on University Avenue. I went once during the week just to check it out. The place was pretty empty, but it looked like it could be a lot of fun. There were two people sitting at the bar talking and the karaoke was all set up in the main bar area. They also had a couple karaoke rooms for rent. The drinks were EXPENSIVE and the bartender did not know how to make a Jack and Coke. I asked about the karaoke and they tried to charge me to sing a song. I declined, but then they changed their mind and let me sing. I finally settled on a song and the man told me that they only have older songs. Like 80’s and older. I chose “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions. The private karaoke rooms look great, however. You pay $30/hour and you can order food and drinks. They serve Korean fried chicken, which definitely interests me. I think if you were to pregame before hand at Limerick and then walk over and sing karaoke, that would be an amazing night. Cutting Edge Creativity’s review is here.

Wheaton got some love from Eater DC a few weeks back, Jonathon Copeland, former chef at Palena Cafe, revealed that his favorite place for El Salvadorian food is Juanita’s Kitchen. I think I walked inside once and was intimidated because at the time I was still new to the area. I’m going to check this place out. The review is here.

Wheaton Patch reported that Tastee Diner won the award for best late night meal in Silver Spring, Wheaton, Kensington, and Takoma Park. I like Tastee Diner, but for a late night meal I’d rather head over to Hollywood East Cafe. That story can be found here.

In addition, Wheaton Patch recently wrote a great post about Irene’s Pupusas III. We are very lucky to have such good pupusas in the area. That post can be found here.

Been There, Eaten That enjoyed the food at Jewel of India. I’ve been hearing really great things about the place. The review is here.

FoodiePop had a great time revisiting Ren’s Ramen. Read the review and see the great pictures here.

More to come soon!