Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ode to Adam Express

If you've been to Adam Express, you know that there are fading, but proud copies of Washington Post and WAMU reviews on the walls. I can't heap more praise on the place than those food critics, but I've tried before and am happy to try again. Simply, the best prepared, most satisfying food in Mt Pleasant. I love the no-cheese pizza of Radius, the vegetarian offerings of Dos Gringos and the fast and dirty of Mayflower, but Adam Express is all-encompassing goodness.

Let's start with the owners, who are the primary cooks and are apparently never on vacation or sick. Obviously that's not entirely true, but if there are any other Washingtonians more dedicated to their livelihoods, let me know because I'd be astonished. Two of the nicest people I've met in the neighborhood. Period. Talk them up about the family photos on the walls or see how many times you have to order the same dish before they know its your jam.

Offering a substantial menu of Korean, some Japanese and Chinese foods, this place is perfect for all those times when you don't want to compromise quality for convenience while ordering take out. On any given Saturday afternoon, I'll go and actually eat in, too. Adam Express is very small. There is "seating" for 4, maybe 5 if you squeeze, at a counter facing Mt Pleasant Street. They're happy to have you as an eat-in guest and if you're nice you may get some home brewed green tea on the house.

However, most of us get take-out. As a vegetarian, I can't vouch for everything on the menu, but all outside indications point to this place being one of the best Korean restaurants in the city. Reportedly Adam Express serves the best bibim bap, chap chae and bul go gi. I CAN attest to the steamed tofu with side salad, seaweed and red sauce. Mmmmmmm. And, what initially drew me to the place years ago was the sushi! The owners can roll some vegetarian maki with the best of 'em. Simple and delicious avocado and cucumber rolls. Fresh and consistently perfect.

Try bibim bap (marinated assorted vegetables, beef, an egg [ya, one egg] and steamed rice, with Korean hot sauce: $8.00). Vegetarians, simply ask for no egg, no meat, they are happy to oblige. Also, try any of the sushi, they have over 15 different rolls ($3.00 to $8.00) and you won't be disappointed. The best however, is the steamed tofu ($10). Trust me. It's worth the wait. You really can't beat that after a long day at the office or a lazy Saturday afternoon. Adam Express is located at 3211 Mt Pleasant St NW, just below Park Road. They're closed Sundays, but open until 10:30 every other night of the week. Here's to you Adam Express. Long live your tasty goodness.