Cheap Eats 2011: Burma Road
Comments () | Published August 16, 2011
Cheap Eats 2011 Cheap Eats (2010)
Burma Road
Address: 617 South Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Phone: 301-963-1429
Neighborhood: Gaithersburg
Cuisines: Chinese, Burmese
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11 AM to 10 PM, Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 10:30 PM, and Sunday 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Pickled-tea-leaf-and-ginger salad; coconut noodle soup with chicken; mohinga (fish soup); shrimp with onion/tomato curry; fried shrimp over batter-fried greens; stir-fried pork with mustard greens; noodles with chili sauce, chicken, onions, and cilantro.
Price Details: seafood & meat dishes below $15; appetizers between $1.25 and $5.50

"Soup and salad" is often regarded in penitential terms--what you order if you're counting calories. But here the combo amounts to a mini-feast. You could walk out the door happy if you order nothing else.

The Burmese regard salad-making as an art, and while the best of these salads--whether a version with pickled tea leaves or one featuring shredded green mango--may look like nothing so much as coleslaw, they're intricately layered creations, alive with crunch and tang and heat. The soups--such as the mohingar, a fish broth shot through with ginger and lime, or a creamy coconut-chicken soup--are as rib-sticking as stews.

The kitchen excels across the board. Its noodle dishes, stir-fries, and curries are amply rewarding. Bypass the separate Chinese menu--a sop to the less adventurous--and don't bother sticking around for dessert, which features a disappointingly crumbly version of shweji, the coconut-custard cake that Burmese home cooks trot out for special occasions.

Also good: Ginger salad; green-papaya salad; rice noodles with chicken and chili sauce; spicy pork with pickled mango.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 08/16/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews