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Restaurants & Bars 3

The Block (Annandale)

MikeR | Feb 25, 2017 06:04 PM

Anyone else checked it out yet? This is a hole in the wall on John Marr Drive between Columbia Pike and Little River Turnpike at the other end of the strip with the K-Mart. It had a writeup in the Washington Post in the past week or so, nominally as Asian street fookd, so I thought I'd give it a spin for lunch.

Now if you bother to read my posts, you'll know that I'm forever in search of the cheap lunch and, as a "street food" place, I thought I'd find it here. Not so, or maybe I just haven't been paying much attention to inflation. It's a sort of food court with, at present, four places open, with at least one announced and yet to come:

Snocream - shaved-fine-as-snow ice with toppings
Pokeworks - bowls with salad and toppings of fish, chicken, or tofu
Roots Thai - mostly bowls, boat noodle soup
Balo Kitchen - closest to what I'd call street food
Then there's a bar and a place with ice cream filled donuts that's yet to open.

Being just one appetite, I had only one thing, and settled on the grilled bread with stuff on top. It was really tasty, but while I, for some reason I expected a piece of flat bread, the bread, served in a bowl, was toasted slices of a good quality baugette topped with a garlic mayonaise and a thick fish sauce, with bits of sausage, scallions, and "pork floss" as a topping. While I liked the taste of the topping, it was mostly bread. I didn't go away hungry, though after scraping it clean, I left most of the bread behind. It took quite a bit of time, almost 15 minutes, to get my order, and in that time I saw a few other orders dribble out of their kitchen. They give you one of those vibrating coasters to tell you when your order is ready.

Window shopping, I was a bit put off by the prices. My grilled street bread was $5.50, and there's more to eat from a $4 bahn mi sandwich most any place in the area. But the Pokeworks bowls were 9 bucks and upward - admittedly for a larger portion than I'd want for lunch. And the Snocream starts at $4, again for a pretty large portion. It was pretty noisy even at 2 PM, and I expect that it might be hoppin' at happy hour with the bar going full tilt.

There's a fair variety here so it seems like a good place for a group to go and maybe share their orders. My sense, from looking at what others were eating, is that the quality is pretty good, though I'm not sure (nor do I really care) about the authenticity. It was a pretty young "phones out" crowd.

Tired of Union Market? Explore this cool new food hall in Annandale.

Inside the 5,000-square-foot space, you'll find poke, Taiwanese desserts and more.
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