One of the few good things about working out in Largo is that I am close to a fabulous Jamaican/Caribbean eatery called Negril. Now, I know that Negril is no secret, at least to those of us that have lived in DC for more than a year, but I figured I would write about it anyway for the few people out there who haven't tried it yet. Negril has been doing what they do for more than 18 years now and have four locations around the beltway. As a family owned business, they control the recipes and quality of the food served quite well.
Lunch is a must at Negril. If you're in a hurry, Negril might not be the place for you. The line can be kind of long and all of the food is made fresh to order. I've waited 20 minutes sometimes for my order, but it's definitely worth it. You wait in line, give your order and you'll get a number. The smart thing is to call ahead, and then pick up your order which you can then eat there or take back to the office.
For a couple years now, I've been going to Negril for lunch and only ordering one thing, the jerk chicken sandwich. I know, that's extremely boring, but have you had the jerk chicken sandwich??!! Think of moist, tender, and spicy jerk chicken topped with a lemony poppyseed sauce and served on their warm, fluffy fresh-made coco bread. Why do they call it coco bread? I have no idea. It's surely not made with coconuts.
The sandwich is fairly large, so it's enough by itself for lunch. However, I'll add one of the meat, vegetable, or chicken vegetable patties on the side. If your appetite isn't as large as mine, a quick lunch is one of these patties, with an order or coco bread. At $1.35 - $2.25 for the patty and $1 for the coco bread, it's about the cheapest lunch that I can think of around here. Just open up the coco bread by tearing it in half, put the patty in the middle, and close it. Voila! A Jamaican patty sandwich.
Recently, I've branching out a bit and trying some of the other dishes at Negril. My current favorite is the chicken or goat roti. When I saw the word roti in the name of the dish, the first thing I thought of was an Indian whole wheat roti, and that's really what this is. Of course the roti is stuffed with a ton of tender shredded curried chicken, but for those of you who a scared of curry, don't let this scare you. It's NOT hot or overly spicy. The next dish I want to try is the curried oxtail.
Negril is super cheap and you can get an incredible lunch for between $4 and $10 every time you go there. The portions are huge too, so you don't have to worry about needing a mid-afternoon snack. The only thing you do have to worry about is the afternoon food coma.
18509 N. Frederick Ave.
2301-G Georgia Ave. NW
12116 Central Ave.
965 Thayer Ave.
Silver Spring, MD
Today for lunch, I went to Jerry's Seafood with a co-worker named Ken and a contractor that was visiting us from India. Ken wanted to treat the contractor to a real local-style meal other than Micky-Ds or Unos (which is about as good as it gets when you work in Largo). So what else was there to try but Maryland crab! I had bever been to Jerry's and had only heard people talk about how incredible the crab cakes were there. The general message from everyone was that Jerry's was a little pricey, but well worth it.
Ken drove, cause I had no freakin clue how to get there. When we arrived, we looked around at the strip mall. We saw a drive-up liquor store, chinese takeout, and...wait for it...wait for it...a Taste Freeze? I didn't think any of them were around anymore. The place looked like a dive. No, wait, I mean a strip club. I litterally expected to start hearing thumping music as we approached. However, when we opened the front door, we saw a large, loud dining room full of people. EVERYONE had a crab cake in front of them.
We actually ended up being seated in the "overflow" room. In order to get there, we had to walk back outside the restaurant and next door. They had obviously just opened this section of the restaurant because you could still smell the fresh paint.
Now when people talk about an expensive lunch I think of around $15. When the waitress brought us the menus, I did a double take. The cheapest crab cake on the menu was $25. Who the hell do these guys think they are? Citronelle? We all pretty much looked at each other at the same time and went, "You OK with this?" We even threw around the idea of getting the contractor to expense it on his account. Eh, that would have been unethical. Anyway, ethics aside, we decided to stay despite the fact that it was the most any of us would ever spend on lunch.
As far as the crab cakes are concerned, there are three kinds available for lunch (I imagine the dinner menu is completely different, and even more expensive) - The Crab Bomb, The Baby Bomb, and the regular crab cake. The Crab Bomb is 10 oz. of lump crab meat mixed with mayo and Old Bay Seasoning. The Baby Bomb is the same, but only 6 oz. The regular crab cake is 4 oz. with a slightly lesser quality crab meat. I guess it is not 100% lump crab meat. You know, they must mix some of the crab guts in or something. Crab cakes aren't the only thing on the menu. They had some regular fish as well, but we didn't care much about that.
We all ordered the Baby Bomb. About 30 minutes later, our food came out. It seemed like a really long time to wait, but the wait ended up to be worth it. This was by far THE BOMB. I've never had a crab cake as good as the one I had today. They broil the crab cakes there and will fry them on request. The crab was ideal. It was very tender and juicy and there was no sign of shell anywhere in it. I don't know about you, but there is nothing worse than having to pick shell out of your mouth when eating a crab cake. I could go on all night, praising this crab cake, but you all might start to think I've lost my mind a little.
At the end of it all, the bill came to a little over $80 for the three of us. I'm still trying to figure out if it was worth it. However, I'd say that Jerry's Seafood is a "Got To At Least Try It Once" restaurant. Oh, and our contractor friend from India seemed to enjoy himself.
9364 Lanhan-Severn Rd
Seabrook, MD 20706
Dress Code: Casual
Five Guys is now in Largo!!! I've been waiting for this day for a while now. I used to work in Old-Town Alexandra and we would go to the Five Guys there all the time. Luckily, Magic Johnson is investing in PG County and we have the Largo Town Center. When I saw that Five Guys was moving in, I was sooooo excited. The people I work with even pulled an early April fools joke last week, telling me that Five Guys was open before it had actually opened. I had already eaten lunch, and I still almost grabbed my Jacket and ran out to get one of their burgers.
So what is so good about Five Guys burgers you ask? THE BEEF. I know this is not a good picture, but it is like the butcher is in the back room. FRESH, FRESH, FRESH.
Continue reading "Five Guys"
In case you've never heard of it, Qdoba is a Chipotle style, fast casual restaurant. One recently moved in by my office in Largo, I have eaten there a few times for lunch. (In case you are wondering where Largo is, it is in the middle of nowhere in PG County where south of where RT 50 intersects with the Beltway.) In some respects, I am impressed, and in others, eating there just makes me crave Chipotle.
First, let me talk about the positives. They have more variety than Chipotle. On top of burritos, Qdoba has quesadillas, soups, and salads. I ordered a Chicken Taco Salad today for lunch and I was pretty impressed. On the salad, they put a black bean corn salsa and a spicy ranch dressing. Add the extra hot salsa, and you have yourself a fantastic salad.
I have not ordered it yet, but the Grilled Vegetable Burrito sounds very appetizing. Unlike Chipotle's boring Vegitarian Burrito, this one has zucchini, scallions, eggplant and sweet red peppers. If I were a vegetarian, I would prefer Qdoba over Chipotle. However, I'm not a rabbit.
Now for the negatives. First of all, Qdoba's burritos are not nearly as flavorful as Chipotle's. The meats and rice are not seasoned well and the salsas are not as spicy (of course for some, that might be a positive). The "Extra Hot" salsa is about as hot as Chipotle's medium salsa. Also, the Guacamole is especially bland. If you order a burrito at Qdoba, expect a blander, but possibly more complex, version of what you will get at Chipotle.