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Best of Washington 2012: Great Tastes of Summer

If the season to you means lobster rolls, sausages on the grill, and ice cream, here are eight places not to miss.


Maybe you wouldn’t think of a place called Pearl Dive Oyster Palace for fried chicken, but it’s one of the best things on the menu. The bird is twice-cooked—braised, coated in flour and spices, and fried. Supremely tender inside, crunchy outside. 1612 14th St., NW; 202-319-1612.


Picking crabs is one of summer’s defining experiences, and Cantler’s Riverside Inn remains the best place to do it—especially if you snag a patio table. The hard-shells are meaty and perfectly spiced, the soft-shells delicate and sweet. 458 Forest Beach Rd., Annapolis; 410-757-1311.


Jamie Stachowski, whose terrific charcuterie has been featured for years at farmers markets and upscale restaurants, has opened Stachowski Brand, a shop in Georgetown. It’s a great gift to back-yard cooks looking for superlative sausages. 1425 28th St., NW; 202-413-7355.


Nothing says summer like frozen custard—a richer, eggier indulgence than ice cream—and Milwaukee Frozen Custard’s four Northern Virginia locations produce a velvety treat that conjures memories of state fairs and small-town carnivals.


Thanks to healthy doses of jalapeño and cilantro, the Vietnamese subs called bánh mì are among the most refreshing sandwiches out there. In warmer months, we like the charred flavor of the lemongrass-beef version at Song Que. 6769 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church; 703-536-7900.


You can’t drive five miles in Northern Virginia without spotting a kebab house. Most are good; Ravi Kabob House is great. The bone-in version, marinated 18 hours and cooked slowly over charcoal, is like an impromptu summer picnic. Two Arlington locations;


What endears us to Moorenko’s ice cream, available at Susan Soorenko’s Silver Spring shop plus retailers including Whole Foods, is that it’s so rich and satiny and the flavors—from chocolate peanut butter to crème fraîche—so pure. 8030-B Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-565-7804.


See that huge tank in the back of Freddy’s Lobster & Clams filled with rubber-banded critters? That tells you that, unlike most lobster rolls in the area, the meat here is never frozen. Makes a world of difference. See if you can resist ordering two. 4867 Cordell Ave., Bethesda; 240-743-4257.

Photographs by Scott Suchman.

Best of Washington 2012
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