On Saturday I stopped by the Ritchie Center for the first time, principally to check out the Persian gelato at Sam's. It was, truly, very good, the best I've had in the D.C. area, even if not approaching the heights of some gelaterias in NYC. (I haven't been to Italy.) My daughter relished her chocolate, and I really enjoyed the lime, which I later learned was made without any dairy products at all -- a very worthy low(er)-fat dessert. Sam makes a couple of dozen flavors a week, all in-shop. The rest of the shop is a veritable cornucopia of Persian and other international goods, teeming with temptations.
Sam encouraged us to try the resturant for lunch. There are specials each day, including (listen up, Steve) a chicken ta-deeg dish on Thursdays. (What do folks here think of the restaurant? The specials?)
Next to Sam's is an Indian market with a freezer-full of interesting frozen fish from India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, none of which sounded familiar to me. I purhased some sardine-looking fish, which apparently one should fry and then top with salt and turmeric (or is it that I'm supposed to spice it *before* frying?). I tried the fresh samosa they were selling, made at the Indian restaurant in the mall (India Grill). Not recommended, unfortunately. But many of the pre-packaged items were intriguing.
Also in the mall, in addition to Chinese, Tex-Mex and IHOP -- none of which looked very tantalizing -- is a Persian bakery that had very good cookies and pistachio/cardamom little things, and appeared to have a thriving business selling cakes.
Finally, I popped into Rockville Sushi and Sashimi, which looked perhaps most tempting of all. A couple of large families were there, all digging little snails out of shells. Snails and other little seafood items apparently are the standard appetizer accompaniments to the sushi and sashimi dinners. The whole place looked like it just *might* be an undiscovered, fairly "authentic" gem. Anyone eaten there?
Perhaps spots such as Sam's and RS&S would be good choices (along with, e.g., Bob's 66 Noodle) for our long-rumored Montgomery County Chow-lunches. (What do you say, Smokey? Aren't you up there, too, Terrie H.?))
If responses to this e-mail are restaurant-specific, I'd encourage the posters to make slight amendments to the subject heading in order to start separate subthreads (e.g., "Ritchie Center -- Sam's").