Washington, DC New Menu Report: 05/07/15

Dine like a suomo wrestler in training, salute Pierre L’Enfant with a cocktail, and order lunch on the go

Scott O'Rouke

D.C. diners have lots of unique food and drink options to try this week from Latin-Asian fare to cool, creamy punch drinks, and Guadalajara cuisine. 

On the go but don’t know where to lunch? Consider a bento box. Or maybe you’re interested in a lifestyle change and want to live large? We show you where you can channel your inner suomo rikishi. This week’s menus offer a range of cultural experiences designed to satisfy even the most adventurous eaters. We uncovered some imaginative new cocktails for you try because we know you know a good stiff drink is just as essential to civilized living as a delicious meal.

Burger, Tap & Shake
It’s that time again. You know; the announcement of this month’s burger and shake special at Burger, Tap & Shake. May’s offerings include the Book ‘em Danno Burger for only $8, made with a juicy beef patty, Swiss cheese, grilled pineapple, crispy fried spam, and teriyaki aioli. Get into a Pacific island groove and pair your burger with May’s shake: a creamy Asian-inspired milkshake called the Yuzu that’s made with yuzu green tea and vanilla ice cream.

Daikaya
Live large and dine like a champion at Daikaya, or in this case like a suomo rikishi, or wrestler. Beginning Sunday, May 10, and running through Sunday, May 24 the izakaya’s dinner service will include broadcasts of suomo wrestling matches along with executive chef Katsuya Fukushima’s mini version of chanko-nabe. This fortifying Japanese hot pot is made with dashi, sake, mirin, chicken, fish, and fresh vegetables and is traditionally consumed in copious quantities, along with Sapporo beer, during suomo wrestlers’ grueling training regimens. They’ve made it affordable, too, with the chanko-nabe priced at $18 and a 22-ounce can of Sapporo just $7.

El Centro D.F.
Want to go to Mexico without packing a bag? Head to El Centro at 14th Street and Georgetown through September 30 for their new menu called Destination: Guadalajara. Lunch standouts include tacos made with shrimp, hangar steak, and fried chicken; and there’s a classic torta made with crispy shrimp, tomatoes, guacamole, and cabbage slaw. The dinner menu includes stars from the lunch menu with the addition of pork chicharrons; lamb skirt steak, beef cheek, and vegetarian tacos; and chipotle barbecue pork ribs with Mexican slaw and French fries. Satisfy your sweet tooth at lunch and dinner with empanadas made with plantains, queso fresco, plum mole sauce, crema fresca, and almonds.

Their new lunch special, priced below $13 dollars, feature three trios of Mexican comfort food if you’re in a hurry at noon time. One combo includes a three cheese enchilada, a chicken tinga taco, and a taco soup; combo number two features chicken tinga tamale, a steak taco, and tortilla soup; and combo three includes a choice of torta with tortilla soup and a chopped salad.

Stanton & Greene
Stanton & Greene, Capitol Hill’s newest cocktail destination, pays homage to classic 1930s- and 1940s-style dining traditions with a stunning interior as a backdrop. Original craft cocktails like the L’Enfant martini, which is a riff on a French martini, are nods to historic figures. This tasty libation is made with Armagnac de Montal VS, Giffard Crème de Framboise liqueur, Passoa passion fruit liqueur, pineapple juice, and cardamom bitters. But the Rochambeau, a French version of a Negroni, sounds tempting, too. It’s made with Bluecoat barrel-aged gin, Aperol, and Maurin Quina. The white bourbon punch is a throwback to a bygone era when summertime heat called for something creamy to cool you down quickly. Made with Four Roses bourbon, Leopold Bros. Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur, Bols yogurt liqueur, almond milk, and nutmeg, this is a smooth alternative for front porch sipping. If you’re hungry, top quality ingredients govern the food offerings in dishes like brick roasted chicken or the popular Greene burger made with two 6-ounce bacon-infused beef patties, smoked Gouda, crispy bacon, onion rings, and bacon aîoli.

Zengo
Just like their sister restaurant Toro Toro, Zengo is offering an express lunch service, for take away or dine in, that is a tasty break from humdrum fast food. Monday through Friday, choose from four different bento boxes that range in price from $7.50 to $15.50, plus tax and gratuity. Each of the four bento boxes offers a choice of several menu options, including a rotating special, that include dishes like crispy catfish, tandoori chicken, crispy tofu, achiote pork arepas, yellow fin tuna rolls, and grilled chicken torta. Just call them to place your order.

Summer Whitford is the D.C. City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and the DC Wine Examiner. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva.

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