Well, after a brisk walk from my beloved Arlington, Virginia across the river to Georgetown, I decided to take a gander at the local Thai cuisine. The trip took me to Bangkok Joe’s Dumpling Bar and Cafe. Needless to say, the name piqud my interest. Dumplings are obviously one of the world’s most perfect foods, so a place that makes a specialty of them – let’s say my hopes were raised. Furthermore, when I went to the restaurant it was during its Thai New Year’s celebration – so more traditional special items. Hooray!
But alas, the edifice of hope I had built up, the giddy anticipation was crushed in a quick series of blows. First was the appetizer, Tri-Color Gems, three basic dumplings with minced pork in one, shrimp in the other, crabmeat in the third. All of the dumplings were tough and sticky. They all tasted rubbery and sinewy, like a Drunken Noodle Nightmare. Then came the entree, the Kao Kruk Kapi, a rice dish with pork belly, salted baby shrimp, mango, shallots and egg. This was better certainly, but the spice was modest compared to other Thai I have experienced, and for the price charged, not nearly enough. The drink though, the Ginger Lemon Iced Tea, was delicious and refreshing.
The final blow was the bill of $70 for two people without alcohol. While I cannot say anything too harsh about the restaurant, it was disappointing at any price, and for that price, even moreso. If you have a car, driving out to Culmore or Rockville is many times more productive.