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Chipotle travels East

October 24, 2011

The folks behind Chipotle, to whom I owe many a good burrito bowl, have come up with something new: Southeast Asian fare in the just-safe-enough-an-American-will-eat-it variety.

People, it’s good. Really good.

They’ve opened just one location, ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen (lucky for me, it’s in DC) and in my three trips thus far, the lines have been just bearably long. My first time there I ordered two entrees. Couldn’t help myself. Thank goodness for friends who don’t judge…

The thing to order at Shophouse: a Banh Mi sandwich. These Vietnamese sandwiches are typically filled with meat and pickled veggies, then topped with a spicy chili sauce.

The good people at Shophouse have stayed pretty close to the real-deal, offering hearty sandwiches with assorted meat fillings, the very best being their Pork & Chicken meatballs. These babies are lightly fried, perfectly seasoned, & deservedly moist. The signature Shophouse Green Papaya Slaw is a fantastic accompaniment, lightening up the dish & adding tons of color.










Banh Mi, meet French Dip: I’ve taken to ordering a side of Green Curry for the sandwich, which makes for an awesome dipping sauce.










My other order — a noodle “bowl,” filled to the brim with a bunch of good stuff I selected from dozens of food-filled stainless steel containers (you can really see the Chipotle-roots here). Ordered mine with the popular chilled rice noodles, a mix of grilled chicken & steak, long beans, & green curry (they also make a Spicy Red Curry that truly is SPICY, even for jabanero-afiscionados). Topped my bowl with a handful of herbs & a dash of Toasted Rice.

The bowl is good enough. It is a solid meal, all at once filling & flavorful. Still, not a show stopper. That dash of toasted rice, however, is a fantastic; it’s texture crisp while vaguely nut-like. A very cool condiment. If anyone reading knows where I can buy a whole bag of the stuff, do tell!

Toasted Rice (on far left

If you’re in the DC area, I recommend giving this place a shot. If you’re anywhere else, perhaps you’ll be luck & the DC Guinea Pig will take off to a Location Near You.

Thanks for stopping by!


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