From Spanish to Asian

There was a stat a few years ago that Bethesda has the most restaurants per capita in the country.  Not surprising.  And, as mentioned on a recent post, new places are opening all the time.  What can also be great about living right here is that these new restaurants send you coupons for FREE food.  Ahh, that lovely, rarely heard word.  Love it.  So, recently, another new place that opened its doors is Shophouse.  Ever heard of a place called Chipotle?  Yeah, thought so.  Owned by the same people, Shophouse just took inspiration from another continent.  So, the Asian flair is coming into play now and it’s pretty cool.  You (only) get a bowl (as in no burritos, my friends), pick your rice, meats, veggies, sauces, toppings, check out, eat.  They also note that the entire menu is dairy free and gluten free.


To start, you get brown or  jasmine rice, noodles or salad.

Then you pick meat — grilled chicken satay, grilled steak laab, chicken & pork meatballs or tofu.

Next veggies — broccoli, charred corn, eggplant and thai basil or green beans.

Then sauces — tamarind vinaigrette, green curry, spicy red curry.

To be followed by garnishes — green papaya slaw, pickles, herb salad.

And rounded out by toppings — toasted rice, crispy garlic, crushed peanuts, thai chilis.

You can get samples of everything so it’s a great way to get a taste of things.  They have fires/flames next to options that indicate levels of heat.  As in the green beans, hello!  You can also divide ingredients, as in get half/half.  So, say get corn and broccoli.  But, you can’t go three ways without paying extra.

I opted for a brown rice and lettuce with grilled chicken satay.  Then topped it with broccoli, corn and eggplant (yes, went extra), papaya slaw and herb salad and peanuts.  Then handed them my nice FREE coupon so the price was great (got the 3rd veggie for free because it was my first time there, so nice!). The regular cost for the chicken bowl was about $6.80, and it was huge.  I easily got 2 meals out of it.  So, another place to check out if you want to add to your list.


Tired of Mashed Potatoes?

As I was going for new dishes this weekend, I came across a recipe that sounded delicious that I had to try.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, I like testing recipes and/because my family definitely doesn’t stick to conventional dishes during the holiday.  This recipe could definitely replace mashed potatoes!  I found a Cooking Light recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberry-Chipotle Dressing.  What a blend of flavors.  From a little sweet to a bit of heat.

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons honey
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkinseeds) — I used almonds because I couldn’t easily get pepitas
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves


1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Place sweet potatoes on a large jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until tender, turning after 15 minutes.


3. Place remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cranberries, water, and honey in a saucepan. Remove 1 or 2 chiles from can; finely chop to equal 1 tablespoon. Add chopped chipotle and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce to pan (reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use). Place pan over medium-low heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes or until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Mash with a potato masher or fork until chunky.

4. Place pepitas in a medium skillet; cook over medium heat 4 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently.

5. Combine potatoes, pepitas, onions, and cilantro in a bowl. Add cranberry mixture to bowl; toss gently to coat.


Great, great recipe!  Will totally make this again and it will likely be on Turkey Day.