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Monthly archive - September 2013

College Park’s Top Restaurants: Krazi Kebob Edition

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our look at six of College Park’s top restaurants over the past few weeks. If haven’t tried them all it’s never too late to join in on the deliciousness. Of course, there are plenty of other great meals to be found around town so click over to the dining link and take a look at all of the options.

Our final meal takes us to an addictive fusion of Indian, Pakistani, and Mexican flavors at Krazi Kebob (4.0 stars on Yelp), which is located just steps from the University of Maryland in downtown College Park.  There is almost a spiritual anticipation in watching the preparation that goes into creating the delicious menu items.   Full of fresh ingredients, customers can pick and choose how best to combine these exotic flavors to perfectly fit their cravign.  While there are many options from quesadillas to nachos, each with their own unique twists, a popular quick and tasty option is the assembly-line styled naan wrap.  There is almost certainly nothing that beats the made to order, freshly pit-fired naan bread wraps.  These generously portioned meals are filled with the customer’s choice of tasty meats, veggies and sauces.

Owner Naumaan “Nomie” Hamid’s enthusiasm for his food is infectious as is the friendly mood and excellent service provided every day.  With good reason, Krazi Kebob has earned itself a loyal following of regulars who visit so often, no words are necessary as their food is prepared just the way they like it.  Tuesday night’s student deal of a buy one get one free naan wrap (with purchase of drinks) is the perfect way to share a meal with friends.  After consuming one of the many delicious options, customers are sure to waddle happily away knowing they made the right choice in meals today.

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Michael – As soon as I walk in the door they know what I’m ordering: Naan Wrap with spicy chicken. Add in the flavorful sauces, veggies, and a handful of cheese and I’m good to go. Although recently Nomie finally convinced me to order the quesadilla and I think he might be on to something.

Jessica – Naan Wrap with spicy chicken and all of the fixings.

Let us know your favorite dishes or your take on Krazi Kebob in the comments below.

 

College Park’s Top Restaurants: Pho D’Lite Edition

Moving on to our penultimate stop in this culinary tour of College Park’s finest establishments (as established by a rating threshold of 4 stars or higher on Yelp.com), we slurp our way through a giant bowl of Vietnamese perfection.

As pho (pronounced “fuh”) establishments grow in popularity around the region, it is easy to see why Pho D’Lite (4.0 stars on Yelp)  fits the bill for satisfying anyone’s cravings.  Appreciated not only for their great food, but also the attentive customer service guests receive, Pho D’lite is a good choice for food that is filling but not too heavy.  The service in the sit down restaurant is fast but never pushy, while the décor is pleasant and makes this midtown restaurant an option even for a date night.  As a bonus, it’s fun to watch preparations in the open kitchen and guess which dish popping up is yours.

For patrons who know their pho, there is a lot of excitement around the different offerings of ingredients served in a rich and flavorful broth, including hard to find tripe and tendon.   No one can deny that the presentation of their signature dishes in massive bowls can excite anyone, but there are other menu options worth sampling including an assortment of Thai options like Pad Thai.  For large groups, Pho D’lite is a good option to satisfy everyone’s opinionated taste buds.

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Michael – Just like the restaurant name, I’ll take an order of Pho D’Lite every time (extra jalapenos please). The portion is large enough to make me consider napping under my desk after lunch.

Jessica – The works!  Pho D’lite (Tai, Nam Gau, Sach)

Let us know your favorite dishes or your take on Pho D’Lite in the comments below.

College Park’s Top Restaurants: Aroy Thai Edition

We’re past the halfway point in our tour of local restaurants currently earning a rating of 4 stars or higher on the popular website, Yelp.com, and this stop brings us to the delicious flavors of Thailand in the heart of downtown College Park.

Tucked away from the main strip on College Avenue, Aroy Thai has steadily made a name for themselves as one of the best new restaurants in town (4.0 stars on Yelp). Offering mouthwatering authentic Thai food paired with service that is always friendly and attentive, Aroy Thai is simply a gem. Meals come with a choice of veggie, tofu, shrimp, chicken, pork or beef to pair with lots of different curries and sauces allowing guests to always satisfy whatever they are in the mood for.  For anyone who normally shies from spicy foods, Aroy Thai knows its craft, bringing sizzling flavors to life rather than just providing the heat.  Fresh ingredients abound in these authentic Thai meals and hearty serving sizes mean no one will walk away hungry.  If you still have room after the meal (unlikely) try some of the most original dessert College Park has to offer with crispy banana or mango with sweet sticky rice.

The seating area is small but welcoming with interesting décor and a quiet atmosphere that is perfect for catching up with friends.  Aroy’s lunch deal is one of the best values in town combining a choice between two appetizer s and drink included with select entrées.

The Thai iced tea is addictive and firmly recommended with every meal.  As Aroy grows in popularity, it might be difficult to snag a seat during prime times of the day; luckily Aroy offers takeout and delivery in the College Park area.

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Michael – I’d like to consider myself a Drunken Noodle enthusiast and Aroy Thai hits just the right combination of spice and flavor. Usually opt for pork, but you can’t go wrong with any other choice.

Jessica – Pad See Ewe – fantastically chewy noodles in a delicate sauce.  But I routinely sample all the other options which are equally good.

Let us know your favorite dishes or your take on Aroy Thai in the comments below.

 

College Park Development Update – September 2013 Edition

Each month the City of College Park’s Department of Planning, Community, and Economic Development publishes a newsletter to update residents and interested parties on the latest development projects, local business happenings, and community events. The newsletters alternate between Development Update and Business Beat editions.

This month’s newsletter is the Development Update, which details the status of several significant development projects that are set to change the City’s landscape over the next few years. The September edition features news on the revival of two stalled projects in North College Park (Monument Village and Metropolitan), the latest plans to redevelop the Knox Boxes, and several developments looking to break ground in the coming months.

Let us know which of these developments you’re most looking forward to in the comments section below.

If you’d like to sign up for the newsletter please use the contact link at the top or bottom of the page.

College Park’s Top Restaurants: Fishnet Edition

The next stop on our tour of local restaurants currently earning a rating of 4 stars or higher on the popular website, Yelp.com, brings us to the Turkish coast… err the quaint Berwyn commercial district just off Route 1.

A few blocks from the noise and commotion of Route 1, Fishnet is a neighborhood gem set in the serene Berwyn neighborhood. Owned and managed by Ferhat Yalcin, the casual seafood restaurant opened in the fall of 2011 to rave reviews (rated 4.0 stars on Yelp) including a place on the Washingtonian’s Best New Restaurants of 2011 list. The concept is based off the traditional Turkish fish sandwich of Ferhat’s home country with a rotating choice of three fish sandwiches along with a variety of other options like fish tacos, falafel, hand cut French fries, fish sticks, and some fantastic desserts. In late 2013, the restaurant expects to add a liquor license allowing them to sell beer and wine to wash down your delicious meal.

Fishnet focuses on locally-grown ingredients as they purchase produce, bread, and other items from inside the DC region. They even started their own garden in the rear of the property to reinforce their commitment to locally-grown ingredients. Be sure to check their Facebook page each day for the latest menu offerings.

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Michael – This is a tough call, but for the perfect lunch here I’d go with the fish tacos, fries, and an Ale 81, which is a ginger ale from the best state around – Kentucky (ok I might be a bit biased there). In the colder months, I’d highly recommend trying one of their soups – fish or asparagus being my favorites.

Let us know your favorite dishes or your take on Fishnet in the comments below.

Farmers Market Recipes:
Spicy Salsa with Watermelon

At the Downtown College Park Farmers Market this past weekend, nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge stopped by to make a delicious and refreshing variation of traditional salsa. Katherine used primarily fresh ingredients from the market’s two produce vendors, Larry’s Produce and Miller Farms, so stop by the market this weekend and give the recipe a try yourself.

Read More…

College Park’s Top Restaurants: Marathon Deli Edition

For the second of six looks at local restaurants currently earning a rating of 4 stars or higher on the popular website, Yelp.com, we stop by longtime College Park favorite Marathon Deli.

In a town that has seen numerous restaurants come and go over the years it’s not hard to see why Marathon Deli (rated 4.5 stars on Yelp) remains a beloved staple in the heart of Downtown.  Since opening in 1972, this family owned business has offered hearty and memorable authentic Greek food that easily wins the hearts and stomachs of students and residents alike.  The menu boasts an abundant supply of traditional meals like ouvlaki, loukaniko and turnovers and great subs like the eggplant parmesan.  Marathon’s fries offer something special with great spices and the homemade rice pudding dessert is beyond addictive.  There are a lot of great options for lunch and dinner, but the shining star of this restaurant has to be their gyros.  With traditional style lamb that is  roasted on the traditional spit then shaved thin and topped with feta, tomatoes, onions and homemade tzatziki all held together with a warm, fresh pita, it’s easy to see why people line up for these made to order treats.

Beyond the food, you simply cannot beat the welcoming atmosphere.  The open kitchen, counter and small space create a homey feel. This family restaurant is led by owner Sharon Galanakos who greets guests like old friends and close family.  Since Marathon has earned a loyal flock of regulars over the last forty years, there’s a good chance they actually are. The mood continues behind and the counter with employees routinely razzing each other as they work in perfect concert and the friendly banter spills over to include customers.  It is easy to understand why so many have such a great affection for Marathon.  With the combination of great food and a lively atmosphere at value prices, Marathon is a must for anyone visiting the College Park area.

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Michael – Gyro (nothing else needs to be added here)

Jessica – Gyro, with the works and if you think your stomach can handle it: fries, delicious fries.

Let us know your favorite dishes or your take on Marathon Deli in the comments below.

College Park’s Top Restaurants: Ovo Simply Veggie Edition

Beginning today Shop College Park is taking a look at the six locally-owned restaurants that currently have a rating of 4 stars or higher on the popular website, Yelp.com, which compiles user reviews into a search database for businesses. While there are plenty of other great restaurants in town, we’re narrowing it down to the very best according to patrons. As for other types of businesses, we’ll be putting together a similar feature in the near future for those.

As one of two College Park restaurants earning a 4.5 star rating on Yelp, we’ll begin our feature with a relative newcomer to the City’s restaurant scene, Ovo Simply Veggie. Hitting the ground running, Ovo Simply Veggie has quickly become one of the best places to dine in College Park.  Regardless of your status as a vegan, vegetarian or carnivore extraordinaire, Ovo has offerings that are sure to satisfy anyone’s taste buds.  Mixing the convenience of a quick service restaurant with the quality of a dine-in establishment, Ovo’s made to order menu items come out hot and full of exotic flavors.  This is a great place to get your feet wet and sample a variety of generously portioned, innovative vegan and vegetarian dishes without sacrificing flavor.

The menu design encourages guests to explore many different dish possibilities mixing and matching their choice of sauce and proteins.  Excellence in food extends beyond the entrees to enoki fries and vegan dumplings, which are so popular Ovo is pressed to keep up with demand.  The agave organic soda is a must try and the set up allows you to sample all available flavors.  Ovo continues to provide the best with a variety of loose leaf tea options.  The modern aesthetic and food presentation is classy enough for a date night setting but relaxed enough for anyone to feel comfortable stopping in.  With so many dishes to try, all of them boasting unique flavors and ingredients, Ovo is certainly an establishment to visit again and again.

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Michael – If you like spicy food I can’t recommend the Fiery Kungpao soy protein dish enough. Whenever I order takeout from here I make a few trips back and forth between my desk and the water cooler, which is a compliment I promise.

Jessica – For anyone who can’t get enough of them, Ovo’s dumplings earn an A+.  My favorite entrée is the ginger scallion mushroom protein.

Let us know your favorite dishes or your take on Ovo Simply Veggie in the comments below.