Cheap Eats 2007: Mandalay
Comments () | Published July 13, 2007
Cheap Eats (2010)
Mandalay Restaurant & Café
Address: 930 Bonifant St., Silver Spring/Takoma Park, MD 20910
Phone: 301-585-0500
Neighborhood: Silver Spring/Takoma Park
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Burmese
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 to 2:30 and 5 9:30, Friday and Saturday 11:30 to 2:30 and 5 to 10, Sunday noon to 2:30 and 5 to 9:30.
Nearby Metro Stops: Silver Spring
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Squash fritters; spring roll salad; ginger salad; fermented tea leaf salad; sliced pork with sour mustard greens; LetThoke Sone, four styles of noodles; stirfry of broad noodles, egg, and shrimp; catfish in red sauce; ShweJi, a Cream of Wheat cake.

Thursday is a good day to head to this sprawling Burmese eatery. You beat the weekend crowds, and it’s the only day you can get ohnhta min, a dish of pure comfort that brings together coconut rice and tender chicken-on-the-bone in a fragrant onion curry.

There are myriad other attractions on Mandalay’s lengthy menu. Salads are a mainstay, and while cabbage, onion, shredded carrots, fried onions, and a chili-flecked sweet-spicy dressing are recurring motifs, the variations can be striking. Baya Gyaw Thoke features yellow split-pea fritters (Burma’s answer to the crouton), which amplify the crunch of the cabbage.

A toothsome pork-and-mango curry, along with a medley of chicken and crushed peanuts scented with lemon and soy and dabbed with sesame-seed sauce, are as bright as they are hearty. Shweji, a coconuty cream-of-wheat cake studded with raisins, is a keeper and even better with a scoop of house-made coconut-milk ice cream.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Posted at 10:57 AM/ET, 07/13/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews