Locals in Takoma DC have a fresh place for sitting at the bar with friends. Cedar Crossing Tavern and Wine Bar stands near the Takoma Metro station at the Maryland/DC border. The tiny spot is full of quirks, some more appealing than others. It shares space with a free-trade store, the inadequate ventilation system may make your eyes water, and the tavern’s owner might plop down at your table—uninvited—to shoot the breeze. But we’ve always left feeling charmed.
That’s probably because the kitchen is gifted when it comes to cooking meat and seafood. We’ve had enough dry kebabs to last a lifetime, but one recent visit turned up a sandwich of juicy sirloin nuggets on warm pita with horseradish mayo ($10). Even better was a plate of shrimp sliders ($12)—more like a pita sandwich—spilling poached shrimp and paired with a tartar-sauce-inspired dressing. A bowl of broccoli soup ($8) was a disappointment when it arrived without its promised pastrami-cured salmon, but it was beautifully seasoned. The cured-salmon-topped latkes ($10) and a plate of samosas ($6) have been taken off the menu for now, but we hope for their return.
The wine list is less intriguing than the draft-beer lineup, which includes the Belgian Kasteel Rouge and Brigand as well as an Austrian Eggenberg. Desserts are skippable. But who has room after all those stellar sandwiches?