We're all familiar with places that are very good with dishes that fit neatly in their genre. One expects to get a great steak in a steakhouse, and would not be surprised at getting a good pork or lamb chop or even a lobster tail, for example.
Every once in a while, though, one comes across a dish that is terrific, but which falls under the heading of "I'd NEVER have expected to eat at a place like and have it be so good!". Sometimes it's due to an odd combination of cuisines on the menu - Chinese/Salvadoran and Cajun/Indian (as in vindaloo, not Native American) are two such that I've come across.
Other times, it's just that a restaurant known for one thing happens to also do something else really well. As an example, Mandalay, our much-beloved Burmese restaurant formerly in College Park (now moved to Silver Spring), started out as a donut shop that happened to also serve Burmese food for lunch. Who woulda thunk it?
And so, fellow Chowhounds - what's your favorite incongruous gem of a menu item?
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