Good food near College Park
Alright, I did this once before last year and I got a few good ideas but I like to eat a lot so I need more.
I'm looking for a good variety of things, I'd prefer if it wasn't actually in DC, as the title says near college park, so think hyattsville, silver spring, greenbelt, laurel, etc (dupont is ok but please don't make that the majority). I'm not looking for anything in particular but please, no more pho, that's the majority of what I got last time I posted this. If possible I'd love a variety of atmospheres, everything from a big fun lively joint to the quiet intimate romantic hidden spot. Much like with the atmospheres I'm looking for a variety of food just please no more pho, price ranges can be anywhere from $10.00 a person to $40.00 a person.
Here's a start:
La Sirenita, 4911 Edmonston Road, Hyattsville, MD, 301-864-0188, just a bit east of Kenilworth Avenue (Authentic Mexican)
El Tapatio, 4309 Kenilworth Avenue, Bladensburg, MD, 301-403-8882 (Authentic Mexican)
The Alamo 5510 Kenilworth Ave, Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 927-8787 (Tex-Mex)
Costa Alegre Restaurant 5815A Greenbelt Road College Park, MD 20740
(301) 850-2053 (Authentic Mexican)
Food Factory 8145 Baltimore Avenue College Park, MD Phone: (301) 345-8888(Afghan) (get the lamb chop kabob)
Ledo Restaurant 2420 University Blvd Adelphi, MD (301) 422-8122
The original not anything like the chain versions. Stick with the (fantastic) pizza. The minestrone is also good.
Franklin's General Store 5121 Baltimore Ave, Hyattsville - (301) 927-2740
GET THE BROILED MUSSELS!!
Udupi Palace 1329,University Blvd East Takoma Park,MD (301) 434-1531
Pollo Campero 1355 East University Boulevard Adelphi , MD
(Fried Chicken - a chain, yes but damn it's good!)
Pollo Fiesta 6408 Kenilworth Ave., Riverdale, MD (301) 277-0298
(Peruvian-style roasted chicken)
Sahara Oasis Restaurant 3010 Hamilton Street, Hyattsville, MD (301) 853-1280
(Pan African) (get the ox tail)
Chez Yonyon 834 Chillum Rd. Hyattsville, Maryland (301) 853-0404
(Haitian) (stick with seafood - prices are well within your budget but bring cash - it's not cheap)
You can eat in at any of these.
Here are the atmosphere descriptions you requested - hope this is what you meant:
sit down restaurant = real plates and cutlery
has seating = plastic cutlery & no tablecloths
"nice" = cloth napkins
La Sirenita - Sit down restaurant - VERY casual dress code - occasional live music - very little English spoken
El Tapatio - Sit down restaurant - VERY casual dress code - English OK
The Alamo - Sit down restaurant - casual dress code - occasional live music - perfect English
Costa Alegre Restaurant - has seating (it's NOT just take out). Good English. Very casual.
Food Factory - has seating (also take out). Perfect English. Very casual.
Ledo Restaurant - Sit down restaurant - casual
Franklin's General Store - Sit down restaurant - casual
Udupi Palace - Sit down restaurant - casual - "nice"
Pollo Campero - has seating - atmosphere similar to Popeyes
Pollo Fiesta - has seating - good English
Sahara Oasis Restaurant - Sit down restaurant - casual - "nice"
Chez Yonyon - Sit down restaurant - casual
If you're looking for NY Pizza in Ledo's, you're looking in the wrong place. Try Valentino's for something resembling what you'd find at Ray's. Ledo's has always been described as rectangular, sweet sauce, cracker crust.
As for the cutting, the thing's a rectangle. How are they supposed to cut it? Ledo's in Langley is definitely an acquired taste, and the servers can be tools, but it's still better than the franchise stores (think gradeschool cafeteria pizza with ketchup instead of sauce).
re: Mister Big
Not just suburban Maryland. NoVA has the Mario's/Marino's rectangular pies as well. There's a ridiculously long pizza thread at WTOPNEWS that covers a lot of interesting DC pizza places. They ultimately settled on Ledo's.
I think it's completely valid to measure Ledo's against NY slice/Chicago deep dish. All are regional variations on a standard bread/sauce/topping theme. One tends to prefer whatever you grew up eating. But to say it's nasty because the crust is pie-like or the sauce is really sweet is like saying New Haven pizza is nasty because it doesn't have tomato sauce and is covered with clams. They are what they are.
And anyway, I've met people from Naples who think ALL American pizza--NY/Chi/Cali-- is nasty. It's that built-in bias at work.
Then there's that most frightening of variations: "Japanese pizza."
The meatlover style does compliment the sweetness of the sauce. I recently tried one with "everything." Obscene amounts of toppings: big chunks of sausage (hand torn, none of those Sysco cryovaced nuggetized sausage like you get at Dominos), wedges of salami, and that big thick pepperoni they use. And the veggies were fresh. Like a deep dish but instead of two inches of bread, it was two inches of toppings.
I forgot about Caribbean:
4103 Baltimore Ave, Bladensburg, MD (301) 927-1056
The adjacent nightclub is a scene - where internationally famous bands draw huge crowds. Show up before 8pm before the crowds arrive for easy parking.
Jerk Pit (VERY casual or take-out
)8145 Baltimore Ave College Park, MD (301) 982-5375
I tried and enjoyed the Pepper Pot in Belltsville on Friday evening, grabbing a quick bite before seeing a show at UofM. Tried brown stew chicken, jerk chicken, and curried goat and particularly recommend the brown stew chicken. It was super moist falling off the bone and very flavorful. All entrees served with a heaping scoop of rice and veggies (that day it was cabbage and onions). You can get a big plate of food for dinner for less than $10. I didn't try the guyanese pepper pot (mmm...cow feet cooked with cassareep) so if someone tries that, please report back.
They advertise a $6.95 lunch buffet which I really wanted to try, but they said they discontinued it, but may start doing it again sometime soon). Their website and menu is up to date:
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College Park wasteland antidotes: Pasta Plus in Laurel--homemade pasta and zabalone for dessert.
Hanami Japanese Restaurant--try the screaming salmon, cherry blossom roll, golden salmon asparagus--yum!