October 26, 2006
Photo via DCist.
Believe it or not, suburban strip malls are increasingly the place to find cheap, good ethnic food. Within a 5-minute drive of my house I have Afghan, Cuban, Peruvian, Brazilian, Indian, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, tons of Mexican and tons of Chinese. All in strip malls, some nestled right in with the chains we have come to expect of suburbia, like Outback, Macaroni Grill, and Applebees. But most of them are in nowhere strip malls like the one pictured–cheap rent in a bad location with little traffic and a bunch of questionable stores for neighbors. It’s the suburban equivalent of a ghetto.
Not a good slice of pizza to be had for miles and miles, though.
UPDATE: A blog has been keeping track of the Washington area’s strip mall ethnic eats. Scroll down for his pics.
UPDATE 2: There’s actually an interesting Washington Post article on the subject as well.
…the good ethnic restaurants downtown are either trendy (think Rasika and Indique, both of which reinterpret Indian for upmarket American eaters), or cater to the wealthy international crowd (such as the Spanish Taberna del Alabardero near the International Monetary Fund and World Bank). For the best buys, though, you have to get in the car and head out to the sprawl. These days, the most authentic, spiciest food comes at cheap, ugly strip malls, far from the District and miles from the Metro.
On a drive to Arlington yesterday I saw these freaky giant spears sticking up in the air near the Pentagon (sans crane) and wondered what they were. I tried to get a pic but it’s rather dangerous to try to take pictures while driving 60 mph on a 6-lane highway, it seems. (I also tried to get pics of the huge blackhawk-type helicopter flying very low over the highway but all I managed to capture was sky. Welcome to Washington.) So I did a little research and found out that the spear formation is the new Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., which was just completed and there’s a dedication ceremony this weekend. I can’t say that when I first saw it I thought of the “Bomb Burst Formation”, which is what it’s supposed to look like:
But I do like it. It’s a really freaky sight from the highway.
My carriage for the time being. Perhaps I’ll drive it to Florida and buy a condo.
I promise to do better on the Picture A Day project.
That’s my nephew’s new friend Junior. Junior and his family just moved in next door. Junior doesn’t speak English, only Spanish.