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The Majestic Bar and Grille

3 May

7141 Wisconsin Avenue has hosted many restaurants throughout the years. Located next to the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market, this address has seen a handful of venues open and close, Vegas Bar & Grill and Gaffney’s being the latest causalities. The Majestic, which opened a few months ago, hopes to buck that trend.

Rachel and I met up with The Bethesda Foodie and her husband in what was to be our first blogger meal together. The Majestic bills itself as a “gastropub”, but when looking over the menu, it’s a mish-mosh of pub fare, small plates, and even ramen. With the Caps game broadcast on the restaurant’s two flat screen TVs above the bar, the guys kept things simple with burgers and beers while the wives both ordered crab cake sandwiches.

Chopped sirloin burger

Speaking of beers, The Majestic has a pretty good beer selection, with local breweries Heavy Seas and Flying Dog on-tap. I asked for the chopped sirloin burger to be cooked medium and topped with bacon (of course). When the plate arrived, it was nearly overflowing with the kitchen’s delicious hand cut fries. The burger itself wasn’t bad, although it was cooked more on the well side. Thankfully, the nicely-seasoned patty gave it enough flavor that it wasn’t much to make a fuss about. Oh, and the thick slabs of bacon helped, too.

Crab cake sandwich

Rachel liked the crab cake overall, but while the waitress said there was little filler, there was definitely some extra seasoning or binding that made it fall apart and took away from the crab itself. All she could taste was mustard, and after starting to eat it with the bun, Rachel wound up picking at the crabcake itself since the bun overpowered it.

Overall, The Majestic seems like a nice place to meet for happy hour or if you’re looking for some traditional pub fare. The oxtail wontons and ramen seem a bit out of place when you’re also serving up poutine and chicken wings, but we’ll have to come back and eventually try those dishes out. Either way, it seems like a nice, low-key spot in a very good location. Hopefully it sticks around.

Majestic Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

Lunch at Jetties

18 Apr

Given that my office is a stone’s throw from Bethesda Row, it’s no wonder that I don’t venture as often as I’d like to the other side of Woodmont Avenue. There are lots of great places to choose from, but it involves a ten to fifteen minute walk, so you have to factor that (as well as the weather) into your plans. Today was a perfect day for a walk, so I met a friend over at Jetties for lunch.

Less than a year old, Jetties has quickly gained popularity as another sandwich and salad option for the lunch crowd in Bethesda. They offer a dinner menu too, but you could tell that lunch really draws the crowds. Between the beach decor and signs on the wall, there is some sensory overload when you walk in. We walked in and were a little confused by the line as there were several areas of people gathered, whether it was to write down their order, order at the counter, or wait for their order to be called. There is also a separate line for ordered desserts from Something Sweet as well as ice cream from Gifford’s.

We made our way to the cashier and quickly decided on one of the specialty sandwiches. I decided on the Nobadeer… essentially thanksgiving dinner on bread. The sandwich came with fresh-carved turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce with some mayo on sourdough bread. Given that I can’t have regular deli meat (damn nitrates), this was right up my alley. My friend Todd got the Cisco which also looked delicious. I went for my own Arnold Palmer version of their fresh lemonade and fresh brewed tea as it was great to sip on while sitting outside.

Nobadeer

There aren’t a lot of tables inside Jetties itself, but there is a lot of seating outside between their own tables in addition to the public ones around Woodmont Triangle. We sat outside and enjoyed our sandwiches while taking part in some great people watching. My sandwich was delicious and huge. I only ate half but was skeptical how the rest would hold up for later. I loved how everything tasted together, but expected the turkey itself to be hot. Instead, it was a little warm because of the layer of stuffing, but it still tasted great. The only thing I will say is the cranberry sauce made the bread a little soggy, and maybe heartier bread would have held up better with all the ingredients.

At $8.95, this was by no means a cheap sandwich, but then again, it’s pretty hard these days to find a lunch option in Bethesda for less than $10 unless you want Subway, which obviously pales in comparison to anything you’ll find at Jetties.

Jetties (Bethesda) on Urbanspoon

A Taste of Portugal at Tavira

13 Apr

Living in Bethesda, we have always passed Tavira while driving along Connecticut Avenue, but you wouldn’t know it’s there because of its unassuming location. Situated in the ground floor of an office building, we soon realized that it was a rather charming and intimate restaurant.

Thanks to (yeah, you guessed it) Groupon, it turned out to be a great venue to go out for dinner when Rachel’s parents were in town a few weeks ago. While the entrance is in the parking garage of the office building, don’t let its initial appearance deceive you. Once you step inside, you’re transported to the old country where painted murals adorn the walls with an interior design that looks like it has not changed since day one. Honestly, it was a nice change of pace from the modern interiors you see at the majority of restaurants these days.

Cod fritters

Turns out that Friday is live music night, so we were treated to a jazz quartet just inches from our table. Featuring Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine, we started the evening off with Pasteis de Bacalhau, or salt-cod fritters. Delicately fried, this traditional dish had some nice consistency and plenty of flavor.

Stuffed ravioli

We also shared a plate of stuffed ravioli with ricotta cheese, which was served with a tomato cream sauce. While it’s not necessarily a Portuguese-themed appetizer, the pasta tasted like it was prepared in-house while the sauce was creamy yet not too heavy.

Veal marsala

For our entrees, I went with the veal marsala. Served with shitake mushrooms and a marsala wine sauce, the sautéed veal was tender and savory.

Pan-seared beef medallions

Rachel ordered the pan-seared beef medallions, which were served with mushrooms in a reduction of red wine sauce. For a place that doesn’t bill themselves as a steakhouse, these were some exceptional pieces of beef – just incredibly tender and flavorful. As per usual, I was eyeing her dish more than my own… not that mine wasn’t good, I just liked Rachel’s entrée better.

Upside-down apple tart

For dessert, the four of us split a warm upside-down apple tart which was accompanied with vanilla ice cream. Delightfully rich, it was a sweet ending to a very good dinner.

Tavira might not boast vaulted ceilings or funky typeface menus, but it was a warm and inviting atmosphere that had great food and attentive service. And while people occasionally tend to knock Groupon, we probably would not have tried this place otherwise. It’s a great spot for a romantic dinner or for family dining, and we’re so glad we finally had the opportunity to visit after driving past it countless times.

Tavira on Urbanspoon

The DMV Dining Guide to Passover: 2012 Edition

4 Apr

No Chametz!Now that we are officially two days away from Passover, we thought we would take the time to compile a list of DC area restaurants that will be offering Pesach-friendly menus.

After all, just because it’s Passover doesn’t mean you can’t go out for dinner! So put down that box of matzo meal and start reading…

Dino: The Cleveland Park restaurant continues its time-honored tradition of offering a Passover menu starting Friday, April 6 through Friday, April 13. Not only will Dino be opening early the first two days of Passover to allow diners enough time to get to services, but they will also lend you a Seder plate as well! The prix-fixe menu features four courses which include a choice of entrees served family-style.

$59 for adults and $25 for children. Flight of four glasses of wine(non-kosher)  is an additional $24 per person. Call 202-686-2966 to make a reservation.

Hudson: Chef Demetrio Zavala has prepared a special Passover menu for Hudson that will be available this Friday and Saturday night. Entrees include roasted chicken, leg of lamb, grilled Atlantic salmon filet, and braised brisket.

Call 202-872-8700 to make a reservation

Rosa Mexicano: It’s Mexican Passover over at Rosa Mexicano from Friday, April 6 to Friday, April 13. Part of the restaurant’s Flavors of Mexico calendar, their Penn Quarter, Chevy Chase, and National Harbor locations will feature a “Passover a la Mexicana” menu for both lunch and dinner which puts a south of the border twist on traditional favorites. From red snapper gefilte fish to duck & beet borscht, Rosa Mexicano offers perhaps the most eclectic selection of Passover dishes thus far. Menu is a la carte.

Call 202-783-5522 (Penn Quarter), 202-777-9959 (Chevy Chase) or 301-567-1005 (National Harbor) to make a reservation.

Mon Ami Gabi: The French bistro located in downtown Bethesda will be offering a prix-fixe Seder menu on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7. Dinner will feature classic Passover dishes such as matzo ball soup, chopped liver with egg and onions, and beef brisket. Rachel and I went a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.

$36.95 for adults and $15.95 for children under 12. Call 301-654-1234 to make a reservation.

Casa Nonna: Chef Amy Brandwein will be featuring several Passover-themed dishes at the Dupont Circle restaurant. From April 6 to 14, the Italian eatery will offer items such as Sfoglietti, a type of pasta made from matzo flour and eggs that is baked before boiling. Diners have the option of ordering items a la carte as well as a tasting menu for $40.

Call 202-629-2505 to make a reservation.

Perry’s Restaurant: Chef Mark Furstenberg will be serving a Passover menu starting Saturday, April 7th through the following Saturday. Diners will have a choice of sautéed chicken livers or tsimmis with flanken for their entrée, in addition to gefilte fish served with homemade horseradish. The most appealing part, however, is the matzo ball soup featuring chicken stuffed matzo balls! The meal even includes a glass of kosher wine.

$45 per guest (entire table must participate). Call 202-234-6218 to make a reservation.

Tragara: The Italian restaurant located in Bethesda offers a Passover-friendly menu throughout the holiday. While classics like homemade gefilte fish and matzo ball soup will be available, Tragara also offers some unique entrees such as matzo-crusted rack of lamb.

Call 301-951-4935 to make a reservation.

Vince & Dominic’s Pizzeria: Just beacuse it’s Passover doesn’t mean you can’t eat pizza. The Bethesda-based pizzeria will be serving up unleavened pies all throughout Passover. Make sure to place your orders ahead of time as demand will be high during the holiday.

Call 301-365-4190 to place your order.

Crumbs: Keeping with the tradition of their NYC stores, the DC location will also serve up flourless cupcakes during Passover. Flavors include the Holy Moses (chocolate cake, fudge filling, chocolate cream cheese frosting covered in chocolate fondant and sprinkles) and Raspberry Red Sea (nut cake filled with raspberry preserve, raspberry vanilla cream cheese frosting, sliced almonds and raspberry drizzle). Please note that while they are kosher, they are not kosher for Passover.

Georgetown Cupcake: DC’s most famous cupcake outpost will be selling a variety of Passover Macaroon cupcakes at both their Georgetown and Bethesda locations. These flourless coconut macaroon cupcakes will be available in plain, chocolate drizzle, and caramel drizzle.

Sprinkles: The latest cupcake import from Beverly Hills will be selling flourless chocolate cupcakes, topped with a blue Star of David naturally, from April 6-14.

Fancy Cakes by Leslie: The Bethesda bakery will be offering an extensive list of Passover desserts, ranging from French macarons to almond-crusted lemon tarts.

If you know of any area restaurants not listed above that are offering Passover menu options, please let us know by either leaving a comment or emailing us at dmvdining AT gmail DOT com.

First Look: Haven Pizzeria Napoletana

24 Feb

In what has nearly been a year in the making, Haven Pizzeria Napoletana finally opened in downtown Bethesda last week. Influenced by New Haven pizzerias such as the famous Frank Pepe’s, Haven is the latest entrant in a town that has suddenly seen an influx of pizza joints.

Haven, however, was a massive undertaking. With construction that had started last summer, the pizzeria features a large dining space lined with oak floors that were originally from the Maker’s Mark distillery. The two anthracite coal ovens can reach a temperature of up to 2200 degrees and collectively weigh 100 tons. Yeah, this isn’t your typical pizza parlor.

The menu keeps things simple: appetizers range from salads to meat and cheese boards (“peels”) to an enticing coal-oven tomato. Pizza pies can be ordered in small or large sizes with additional toppings that will cost an extra $1.50 to $13 (fresh clams on a large pizza, in regards to the latter).

Tomato pie with mozzarella

Rachel and I decided to split a small tomato pie with mozzarella as well as a white clam pie. The charred crust is the most distinctive part of Haven’s pizza — thin and crispy with a hint of smokiness. While the cheese pizza was nothing extraordinary, the white clam pie really stood out. The blend of olive oil, garlic, oregano, grated cheese, and fresh clams pays homage to New Haven in splendid fashion.

White clam pie

The housemade gelato, which is made every morning, is a must-get. We opted for a bowl of the vanilla bean and loved every spoonful. You can even bring home a quart to-go, though $13 is sort of steep.

Housemade gelato

One thing the restaurant needs to work on is their sound insulation – it was extremely noisy inside. Another qualm is their lackluster beer offerings. For a place that calls its bar area “Bar Haven”, there is not much of a selection to choose from. The most exotic brew they had was a bottle of Fat Tire. Meanwhile, Pete’s has an always-rotating draft list that features some terrific breweries. Of course, both of these issues can be remedied, and given that it was Haven’s first day, I’m sure that they are still working out the kinks.

Haven Pizzeria Napoletana is located on 7137 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda.

 

Kraze Burgers: From Korea to Bethesda

16 Feb

Rachel and I finally ventured out to the recently-opened Kraze Burgers in downtown Bethesda last weekend. The Korean-based chain decided to open its very first United States location in the Washington suburb, but is also planning to open several more stores in DC as well as Virginia.

The addition of Kraze Burgers would make this Bethesda’s fourth burger-focused outpost, following in the footsteps of BGR, Fresh Grill, and Five Guys. And that doesn’t even include all of the full-service restaurants that offer burgers on their menu, but we’re way too lazy to list all of those (though Freddy’s deserves some props for their patties).

Kraze Burgers

So what differentiates Kraze from the rest of the pack? Well, they certainly offer one of the most extensive menus compared to their competitors. Their ordering is broken down into five components: 1) bread, 2) protein, 3) cheese, 4) free toppings, and 5) additional toppings. Kraze offers three different types of fresh-baked buns, even offering a “bowl of greens” option for those who decide to go bunless (for a nominal fee of 95 cents).

As for proteins, they offer all-natural hormone-free beef, turkey, grilled tofu, and vegetarian patties. Cheeses consist of the usual suspects (American, provolone, bleu, Swiss, mozzarella, and cheddar) while additional toppings range from grilled pineapple to a fried egg.

The Matiz

And while you can build your own burger, Kraze offers more than a dozen of its own concoctions. I happened to order their best-selling burger, The Matiz. It featured grilled onions marinated in their house BBQ sauce, American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and pickles, all stacked on a freshly-baked bun.

The burger was juicy and flavorful, but it was the grilled onions that really stood out thanks in part to the BBQ sauce. It gave the patty a hint of Asian flavor due to its tanginess. The bun was also noteworthy as it kept the burger intact without getting soggy, yet was soft and even had a little bit of sweetness to it.

Build Your Own with Multi-Grain Bun

Rachel did a build-your-own option since none of the combinations really appealed to her. She ordered a beef patty on a multigrain bun, lettuce, tomato, pickles, sweet onions, grilled mushrooms, and ketchup. She enjoyed her burger and thought that the multigrain bun added some texture but felt that the bun would have probably gone better with a veggie or turkey burger. The mushrooms were a nice added topping, and maybe she’ll be more a little more adventurous next time.

We also shared an order of fries as well as a side of grilled asparagus. Kraze certainly offers some of the most health-conscious items for a burger joint. Despite eating a burger, I didn’t feel bogged down the next few hours as the grease was kept to a minimum.

Hawaiian Burger with Turkey

The prices are also fair. Burgers are around $7 each, and while that’s not Five Guys pricing, you’re also paying for better quality. It was certainly evident in the ingredients. While Bethesda now has a plethora of burger options, Kraze is a nice change of pace from your typical cheeseburger.

Kraze Burger on Urbanspoon

Cesco Osteria: Familiar Name, New Location

19 Jan

A few weeks ago, I was able to visit the new and improved Cesco Osteria and Co2 Lounge on Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda. Most people would be familiar with this locale from its predecessor, McCormick and Schmick’s, known for their fresh seafood and famously good happy hour. Unfortunately, their lease was up and they decided not to renew, so Cesco decided to jump into the space.

Cesco has for years lived on a corner block on Cordell Avenue, and earned a reputation over the years for quality Italian food from head chef Francesco Ricci. Brett and I have always wanted to try their food but never had the opportunity. So when I went to lunch with a few coworkers and vendors we do business with, this was one of the first places that came to mind.

Lobster bisque with angel hair pasta

Walking in, the space was huge. It seemed even bigger than when McCormick was there. We were seated right away and I immediately recognized our waiter from Mussel Bar. I guess they had recruited him over to the new digs. For lunch, there are essentially two menus to choose from — the main menu has more formal signature dishes from the chef, while the casual menus (which were also our placemats) included pizza and build-your-own pasta or salad with different ingredients.

I ordered the soup of the day, which was lobster bisque with angel hair pasta. It wasn’t cream-based so I didn’t find it very heavy, and it served as a nice starter. I tried not to consume all of the pasta in the soup since I knew I wanted pasta for my entrée.

Gnocchi with roasted vegetables, ricotta, and a light tomato sauce

I decided to try a homemade pasta dish and went with the gnocchi with roasted vegetables, ricotta, and a light tomato sauce. I have to say, this might have been one of the better gnocchi dishes I have had recently. The potato dumplings themselves were light and fluffy and paired really well with the roasted vegetables that seemed almost like a ratatouille. There was just enough sauce to bind everything together but it wasn’t too much where that was all you tasted. I really loved my entree and could have easily finished the very large portion but somehow made it home with enough to share with Brett. He agreed that it was a great gnocchi preparation and expressed his eagerness to try Cesco as well.

Overall, everyone was happy with their dishes and enjoyed the service and atmosphere. I would come again to try one of their build-your-own pasta dishes and see what their happy hour is like.

I should state that this review is solely for Cesco Osteria and not its new counterpart lounge, Co2 Lounge. There are many things I could say about that, but I’ll just let the press release speak for itself. One bit of advice for the restaurant: we know you want to be exclusive for your club, but just having a sign-up form on your website is not an inviting way to get to know a restaurant. It would be helpful to also post information on the restaurant, the chef, and the menus. In the world of Yelp and Facebook, no one wants to be surprised with menus or prices before eating somewhere.

Cesco Osteria on Urbanspoon

Mia's Pizzas

17 Nov

While there are several pizza parlors in Bethesda, there are only three we would definitely recommend: Vace, Pizzeria Da Marco, and Mia’s Pizzas. We have been to Mia’s several times and it has been solidly consistent on each and every visit.

Located on Cordell Avenue next to the brahness of Caddie’s, Mia’s features a simple interior with an open kitchen in the back, complete with wood-burning oven. The menu features a dozen or so small plates, bruschetta, salads, pasta, calzones, and of course, pizza. They also have nightly specials that range from roast pork loin to Italian-style pot roast.

Meatball Pie

I went with a known commodity, their Meatball Pie. Featuring homemade meatballs, meat tomato sauce, parmesan, and mozzarella, it’s one of my favorites. That’s attributed mostly to the house-prepared meatballs – they’re full of flavor, nicely seasoned, and most importantly, not dried out during the cooking process.

Arugula and Pear Salad

Since we had eaten all day at home for our “indoor tailgate” during Octobergedden, Rachel wasn’t too hungry and decided to order two kinds of bruschetta and a salad. One came with an eggplant spread and roasted red peppers, and the other was prepared with butternut squash bits, goat cheese, and balsamic. Her salad consisted of arugula, pear, and gorgonzola.

Portobello mushroom and butternut squash bruschetta

Needless to say, she should have gone with pizza. It’s not to say they weren’t good dishes, but they fell flat in her mind. The cheese with the salad didn’t pair will with the arugula as it stuck together. The bruschetta with squash was actually small squash bits with cheese crumbles and fell apart as she tried to pick up the pieces. She liked the eggplant one better, but it was a little salty in her opinion. Like we said, your best bet is to stick with the pizza. She did eye some of the other small plates, and I’m sure the mac and cheese or deviled eggs would have been tasty too.

Eggplant Bruschetta

Mia’s is even more worth it if you’re with a party of four or more. That way, you can share and sample a variety of their small plates as well as their pies. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a casual night out in an unpretentious setting, Mia’s Pizzas is definitely the way to go.

Mia's Pizzas on Urbanspoon

Persimmon: A Bethesda Bistro

26 Oct

I am very fortunate that my parents live only a few hours away up in New Jersey, and whenever they come to visit, they like to see new things in the DC area and go out to fun restaurants. Last week, they visited for my mom’s birthday and I decided that we should go somewhere in Bethesda that has a great reputation for quality food: Persimmon.

We have eaten at Persimmon several times for lunch but only during Restaurant Week. This was our first dinner experience off the regular menu, and we have to admit, we had some high expectations. Tucked away on the edge of Bethesda along Wisconsin Avenue, it is easy to miss this unassuming restaurant. However, year after year, it earns high marks both from critics and diners, so off we went to see for ourselves.

Smoked trout spring rolls

The only tricky thing about eating out with my parents is that my mom is strictly kosher and only eats fish when dining out, so I always make sure beforehand that there is enough on the menu for her to choose from. Unfortunately, there weren’t as many options as I had hoped for, but in the end, my mom enjoyed her meal as we all did.

To start, we ordered a bottle of Bex Riesling. I had first learned about this label from my friend Lisa and we really enjoyed it as a light and crisp wine. We all shared the smoked trout spring rolls and the roasted beet salad as starters.

Roasted beet salad

The spring rolls were accompanied with hoisin barbecue and peanut sauce and paired well with the trout due to the appetizer’s smokiness. It was a dish that I wasn’t sure would work from the description, but it definitely did. Meanwhile, the beet salad consisted of roasted beets, arugula, blue cheese, apples, walnuts and a lemon poppy seed vinaigrette. It was a beautiful fall salad and a nice starter to the meal.

Seared Beef Tenderloin

For our entrees, my mom ordered the salmon, which was served with artichokes, mushrooms, and a basil risotto. The salmon was perfectly cooked while the risotto was so delicious that it could have been a meal in itself. My dad got the beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes, spinach, and fried onions. It seemed like a very conventional dish on paper but that didn’t mean my dad did not devour his plate.

Pan-seared rockfish

I went with the pan-seared rockfish, which was accompanied with shrimp, zucchini, exotic mushrooms, crispy polenta cake, and a lobster beurre blanc sauce. There was a lot going on in this dish, but somehow it all worked. I really enjoyed the rockfish and it was fun mixing all the flavors together in the dish. The sauce was very salty, but overall, I really liked all the components both apart as well as together.

Sautéed lump crab cakes

Brett went with the sautéed lump crab cakes with bacon mashed potatoes, roasted corn hash and a sweet corn sauce. While it was an adequately-sized portion, the crab cakes were rather ordinary as they had a bland flavor and lacked the lump meat consistency that we’ve found at other restaurants (see Jerry’s Seafood). On the flipside, he really liked the roasted corn hash and sauce as it was a nice complement to the crab meat.

While we were very stuffed at this point, my dad ordered a crème brulee for my mom, which we all happily shared. All in all, it was a terrific meal that did not disappoint. We also noticed that Persimmon offers a sunset dinner special that features a three-course menu for only $30. The only caveat? It’s offered Sunday through Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm. We’ll definitely have to take advantage of that deal at some point. We have also been eying their brunch for some time, and if our dinner was any indication, it will definitely be on our list to visit again soon.

Persimmon on Urbanspoon

Panas Gourmet Empanadas Opens in Bethesda

4 Oct

I work a block away from the new Panas Gourmet Empanadas on Elm Street in downtown Bethesda, and have been waiting for its arrival all summer. It looked like a great new lunch option to add to a mix of choices near me.

Once it opened, I went with my friend Aileen to check it out and was immediately impressed with the decor and menu. The design was sleek and modern, along the lines of mainstays Cava Grill and Sweetgreen on Bethesda Row.

Interior of Panas Bethesda

If you were going to order just for yourself, your have a choice of four combinations: an order of three empanadas, three empanadas plus a salad, and then four or six empanadas. You can also choose “canoas” (platters to share) or make a meal out of salads and sides. Each meal also comes with choice of dipping sauces and plantain chips.

Aileen and I each decided to get a combo of three empanadas while selecting different sauces so we could compare them. My empanada order included the smoked eggplant (eggplant, onions, red peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and mozzarella), Popeye (sautéed spinach and onions, golden raisins, cream, and goat cheese), and chicken pesto (grilled chicken with fresh pesto, tomatoes, and onions).

CanoasPanas MenuEmpanadas

I definitely liked the flavors I choose, and we both agreed that the veggie empanadas tasted slightly better than the ones with meat, but with so many options to choose from, we would have to go back to try the other varieties. I think my favorite was the smoked eggplant. The Popeye was great too and tasted a little like Spanakopita.

We tried all the sauces offered: Salsa Verde, Aji, Chimi, and Pimentón. They ranged from mild to spicy to smoky, and it was fun to taste all the different combinations. The empanadas themselves are small, so you can easily eat three and not feel stuffed while four would do the trick if you are especially hungry.

Panas Empanadas

All this plus fresh plantain chips came out to only $7. Not bad for a filling meal that isn’t a salad or sandwich. I hope Panas does well in the area both during the day and as a convenient dinner option. They also have a location in Dupont Circle next to the soon-to-open Tasti D-Lite (which I may or may not be counting down the days till it opens…)

Bottom line: check out Panas. Julia’s Empanadas might be the queen of empanadas in this town, but Panas may give it a run for its money.

Panas on Urbanspoon