Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ShopHouse is Veg Friendly, Very Good

All the hype over ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen kept me away until recently. But I'm glad I finally visited! Two words that are near and dear to my heart: vegan, affordable. And perhaps another: fast. ShopHouse is all three.

Dupont is a long, long way from Bangkok, and faithfully replicating Asian dishes for hurried, cost conscious Washingtonians might be near impossible. But, I'm less concerned with whether or not ShopHouse dishes have an authentic taste as much as I was with whether they have a GOOD taste. 

They pretty much delivered. The elongated space on Connecticut Ave opens at 11AM each day and closes at 10PM. Yes, it was founded by the same folks who operate Chipotle, the fast causal Mexican restaurant that seems to be in every NW neighborhood at this point (ShopHouse has just one location in DC). 

The serving station is similar to Chipotle. You choose the base, protein, main vegetable, other toppings and sauce in a conveyor-belt type of assembly. Get your drink, pay and take your food to the seating area. Choose banh mi sandwich or a bowl (rice or noodle). The menu is simple --I love that-- and veg/vegan friendly! Organic tofu was just great. The Chinese broccoli was fresh and the flavors really came out alongside the brown rice, pickled veggies and tamarind vinaigrette (hot-hot-hot) that were also in the bowl. 

My meal of rice bowl, plus drink was under $10, a lunch WIN-WIN. I will be back to ShopHouse hitting up another combination of veg friendly lunch soon. I'm be curious to see if another store opens in DC or elsewhere and if the concept is proven a success via expansion or produces this one small store in Dupont.

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is located at 1516 Connecticut Ave NW, near BGR Burger and Sweetgreen.