A Look at 2012 Cheap Eats

At Thai/Laotian restaurant Bangkok Golden, delicate, crisp-skinned quail is marinated in lemongrass, ginger, and black pepper. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Louisiana native David Guas turns out fluffy buttermilk biscuits—served with a jar of cream cheese and pepper jelly—at Bayou Bakery. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The dining room at modern Indian spot Bollywood Bistro is lined with oversized stills from Bollywood movies. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

You’ll find excellent sandwiches at Bon Fresco in Columbia. Among them is the Venice, a ciabatta roll piled with mortadella, prosciutto, Genoa salami, provolone, and roasted peppers. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The European sweets at Cafe Assorti include this decadent honey-drenched sponge cake. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Charcoal-broiled rotisserie chicken is one of the hits at Rockville’s Carbon Peruvian Chicken & Grille. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Gourmet shop and wine bar Cheesetique specializes in all things fromage, with seven kinds of mac and cheese and six grilled cheeses. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At Comet Ping Pong, these nicely blistered wood-fired pizzas come topped with meatballs. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Among the Bosnian specialties at Cosmopolitan Grill are cevapcici—grilled housemade beef sausages—served on freshly baked bread. Kick it up with ajvar, a smoky pepper relish. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

DaMoim in Annandale puts unexpected twists on Korean food. Here, a quesadilla is layered with kimchee, cheddar, and monterey jack and served with kimchee-chili sauce for dipping. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The Codwich—a glorious pileup of hot, battered cod, lettuce, and tartar sauce—is one of the best reasons to visit Dublin-style chip shop Eamonn’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Ethiopic’s superlative lega tibs stands out for its high quality lamb. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The Istanbul-inspired fish sandwiches at Fishnet in College Park include a thick filet of fried hake on ciabatta. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At Freddy’s Lobster & Clams in Bethesda, the cold lobster rolls are bound with just enough mayo. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Roast duck and pork sport lacquered skins at the Hong Kong-style Wheaton restaurant Full Key. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Gom Ba Woo’s generous array of panchan—gratis snacks that kick off a Korean meal—is one of the best around. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Guajillo marinates its refreshing, slightly spicy shrimp ceviche with lime juice and serrano chilies. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Dim sum at Falls Church’s Hong Kong Pearl is a feast of dumplings, buns, and noodles. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

La Sirenita’s Mexican-style seafood soup is loaded with shrimp, clams, squid, and cilantro. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

These terrific tacos at Mama Chuy are stuffed with chorizo, marinated pork, and carne asada. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Masala Art’s skewers of tandoori-cooked chicken tikka get a dunk in a tangy, creamy sauce. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The wood-burning oven at Moroni & Brothers gives its pizza an excellent crust. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The area’s best tacos can be found in a surprising spot—R&R Taqueria, housed in a gas station. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Among the dim sum pleasures at Red Pearl are har gow—delicate, rice-paper-wrapped shrimp dumplings. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The kitchen at Vietnamese newcomer Rice Paper does many things well, including this grilled lemon chicken with coconut rice. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Juicy, Peruvian-style rotisserie chickens get a turn over the charcoals at Sardi’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Shake Shack pays homage to the midwest with thick frozen custard. Here, vanilla custard is scattered with crepe bits. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Persian restaurant Shamshiry turns out many a good grilled kebab. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Dinner at Szechuan place Sichuan Jin River is a balancing act of flavors both fiery and comforting. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The area’s best hot dog can be found at Sidebar, a cocktail hangout in Silver Spring. It’s done up with traditional Chicago fixings and set inside a griddled bun. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Server Blessing Jasi shows off a tandoori-cooked pineapple at Spice Xing. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fabulous pulled pork elevates Sundevich’s take on a Cuban sandwich. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Toki Underground’s soothing, flavorful Hakata ramen includes pork loin, pickled ginger, scallions, and a runny egg yolk. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

We the Pizza’s Jaime Montellano stretches pizza dough in the air. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

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