One of the greatest aspects of Washington D.C. is the variety of culture. Being the Nation’s capital, it’s full of travelers and residents from all over the globe. It’s a beautiful thing when you can walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and hear five different languages! Cities benefit greatly from having unique cultures influence their character and DC certainly isn’t lacking in that department.
While my heart wanted to try every unique restaurant in DC (I would’ve even settled for every one on 7th street!), our wallets and watches didn’t permit it… this time. The Prof, his brother, and I attempted to go to Rosa Mexicano first, but they had about an hour wait-time and we did not bring enough snacks to be that patient.
*Travel tip* – If you are spending the day in DC and don’t want to spend time waiting for open tables at sit-down restaurants, decide before-hand which ones you want to try and make a reservation! Especially if you go during regular lunch or dinner times.
I believe this was fate, however, because we found possibly one of my new favorite restaurants… China Chilcano. Located on 7th street is the perfect combination of Japanese, Chinese, and Peruvian cuisine. Though they didn’t have tables available, they sat us at the bar after only about 15 minutes of waiting (5 stars for service!).
*Travel Tip*- Check out the website Open Table to find restaurants in the DC area. You can even place reservations through the website, just select “find a table” and it will give you a list of restaurants with their available times.
No matter how I try to describe it, words cannot do this food justice. I will admit that I had to “google” most of the items on the menu, but we were still proud of ourselves for trying something so new to all of us.
Let’s start with the appetizer: Concha Dim Sum… basically heaven. I’d never had dim sum
before so I had no idea what to expect! It is difficult for me to describe, but it’s almost like little dumplings filled with pork, scallop, jicama, shiitake mushroom, and tobiko with a black vinegar chichi de jora dipping sauce (honest moment, I had to take this straight off of the menu because there’s no way I could remember that).
*Atmosphere highlight* Despite the amount of people in the restaurant, China Chilcano had a relaxing and low-key vibe. Some of the tables were on the ground and surrounded by plush cushions (next time we’ll definitely be getting reservations to sit there!). With all of the hustle of DC, this place was a mini-oasis.
We each got our own dinner, but obviously shared because how could we not?! Next was Tam Tam. This was my personal favorite. It was so basic, consisting only of wheat noodle (hand-cut, of course), spicy pork, peanut, and aju panca (very earthly-tasting sauce), but left me speechless. The peanut still stands out in my mind as I type this. I never thought I would say this, but the peanuts made the meal what it was (I am struggling to give justice of this meal’s scrumptiousness).
The brother-in-law ordered Concolon because it had the most meat in it… but it did not disappoint! It consisted of crispy fried rice, pot pork belly, egg, lap chong sausage (which gave the meal a spicy kick), shiitake mushroom, bok choy, and chi-racha. His was the most fun because it came in it’s own hot pot and was mixed together by the waiter (again, amazing service).
Finally, the Prof ordered Lomo Saltado which consisted of Hanger steak, tomato, soy sauce, shishito pepper, shoestring potato (amazing!), and rice with a fried egg on top.
This meal also had a very earthy taste, but we all agreed that the egg really made the flavor pop!
Meal Wrap Up:
Dim Sum: $12
Tam Tam: $12
Lomo Saltado: $18
Total (plus tip): $79 for 3 people
*Lesson from this foodie: be open to new experiences. On any day-trip you take, I encourage you to go to a restaurant that you haven’t been to before. It is worth it to step outside of your comfort zone because you could be pleasantly surprised by something amazing. You can see more of China Chilcano’s menu here!
As always, if you have a favorite restaurant or food truck (so many of those!) in DC, feel free to share, comment, or send us an article! We love hearing from fellow foodies.
– Wander freely, and may we meet on the road as friends.
*PC for feature image: http://dconheels.com/2015/04/06/joses-smaller-bites/