Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dining in D.C.: Merkado Kitchen.

This is the second in a series of reports on places I ate when I visited Washington D. C. recently. You can check my page of restaurant reviews to read others. Note to self: take better notes when you're going to write about a restaurant if you haven't been there before.

Before I tell you about this great restaurant, a reminder that this week Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by the amazing Ilva
from Lucullian Delights. Ilva will post the recap on Monday (in Italy) which means you need to send her your contribution by Sunday afternoon in the U.S. (Send your links to i_beretta AT yahoo DOT it). Also be sure to link to Ilva in your post with the words Weekend Herb Blogging so people can find the recap on Monday (http://lucullian DOT blogspot DOT com).

Merkado Kitchen was a restaurant my friend Tia picked from the description in a travel guide, something that could have been a risky venture, but in this case it proved to be a great choice. The restaurant was attractive, with a nice area for outside dining, and inside walls were decorated with candle sconces and silkscreened faces. The menu was a very interesting blend of Latin-Asian fusion cuisine, with very few items over $20.00, which meant the prices were very inexpensive by D.C. standards. Personally I found it hard to settle on something to order because so many things on the menu sounded good. I visited with a group of six people, and everyone was happy with their food.

Two of us ordered this nacho platter, described as Wonton Skins with Gingered Beef, Three Cheeses and Wasabi Cream. It was delicious, but enormous. It would have been nice if the server had warmed us how large it was, since we ordered this as an appetizer.

Shrimp Pad Thai was also enormous, but very attractively presented. I thought it was tasty, but not as good as some versions of this dish I've had at Thai restaurants. The person who ordered it had not eaten Pad Thai before and she enjoyed the dish.

Embarassingly enough, I took a bite of this before I realized I needed to take a photo! I thought this was the most interesting dish of the ones we ordered, and I loved the flavor of the filling in this Tempura Chili Relleno with Spicy Goat Cheese and Three Beans. This was something I would recommend as a "must try" if you visit this restaurant.

I didn't get to taste this appetizer of Crispy Tuna Tempura Roll, but it looked wonderful, and the person who ordered it gave it a good review.

Merkado Kitchen has gotten some good reviews in the D.C. press, and for good reason. The combination of creative, tasty, interesting dishes at very reasonable prices makes this a great place to sample some out of the ordinary food.

Merkado Kitchen - A Latin-Asian Bar & Grill
1443 P St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005

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  1. Mmmm, the nachos look delish!

  2. I have eaten at Merkado and it r-o-c-k-s!



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