Mandalay Restaurant & Café
930 Bonifant St.
Silver Spring/Takoma Park, MD 20910
Neighborhood: Silver Spring/Takoma Park
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Burmese
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
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
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.
Why go: At its best, Burmese cooking is a riot of color, texture, and flavor, a mixing and matching of Indian and Chinese cooking that tastes like neither. This family-style restaurant manages to make the exotic feel familiar.
What to get: Crunchy ginger-and-shredded-cabbage salad; garlicky tea-leaf salad; salmon and green peppers in tomato-based curry sauce; sliced pork sautéed with sour mustard greens and cilantro; ShweJi, a sweet custard dessert of Cream of Wheat, coconut, and milk.
Best for: A satisfying meatless meal. Servers ask if fish sauce is okay with certain preparations, plus there are vegetarian and vegan designations on the menu.
Insider tip: Children are warmly welcomed—a Sesame Street floor mat is placed under a high chair, and paper plates and plastic utensils are furnished.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
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