ShopHouse

24 Sep

Been putting off writing this. I don’t know why exactly, and yet I know exactly why. It was boring. And I never became invested enough to really care how this was gonna do anyhow. Basically I was in DC and looked out my window and it was right there. Literally a block away. It was just screaming for an easy blog post. Not that I do things purely based on how easy it would be but I pretty much do things based on how easy it is.

ShopHouse: Southeast Asian Kitchen is Steve Ells latest venture, and with his success with Chipotle, it seems like a good enough concept.

I love Chipotle. But if I get a burrito craving, it isn’t the first place I think about going. Between living in NY and LA, I literally see a clean burrito establishment and immediately assume it. is. shit. I prefer B/C ratings only. I don’t even think you are legally allowed to open with a C in your window, but if you could, you can trust that you are my first choice.

The trickery began early. I mean…look at it. Sriracha in the window? It’s practically trying to mousetrap me.

So there are bowls….you choose white rice, brown rice, or noodles, all of which are just sitting in a tub at the beginning of the line. Can we get some rice cooker action going here or what? The noodles are immediately unappetizing because no one should be okay with cooked noodles sitting in individual glob balls just waiting to dry out. YES I’M VERY PARTICULAR ABOUT MY NOODLES! Anyhow, pick your rice/noodle, add a protein (chicken, pork/chicken meatballs/steak/tofu) then head down the line to add the veggies / curry options.

See now…this is where I’m thrown off. I appreciate options, I really do. But I actually wanted to do a fair review of the place. So what do I do? Do I order a bowl with everything on it? Seems like a good idea, but it can also just be totally overwhelming with a place like this, where I wanna be able to taste everything in a scenario where it isn’t just…tons of shit in a bowl. Know what I’m saying? How should I go about this in the future? Because this time around, I had them put everything in the bowl, which I don’t think was a good idea.

Wishing there was a “ShopHouse Bowl” ¬†of some sort. Something that summed up the place in one bowl but yeah yeah I get it. I create my own mess, that way I can’t reallllly complain when it sucks.

And it did.

My bowl sucked.

It was just…too much. Was this my fault? Yes. I asked for everything on the damned menu — corn, cilantro, green papaya, and the hottest curry sauce they had.

I also ordered a meatball banh mi, a “vietnamese sandwich” in the LIGHTEST of terms. Seriously have no idea what made this a banh mi in any way. It’s like Ke$ha. If we are told Ke$ha is a singer, she’s a singer, whether we personally accept her or not. Cringe. This place calls this a banh mi so whatever, guess it’s a banh mi.

I chose a meatball banh mi, with some sort of faux papaya salad garnish (this was kind of a cool option, as I freaking love papaya salad) and a spicy mayo. What? You have never seen the tiny revolving dish of spicy mayo in your favorite “southeast asian” spot, right next to the fish sauce, sugar and vinegar? Yeah me neither, but it still made the sandwich pretty tasty and I can appreciate an inauthentic condiment if it is just plain delicious.

“Shut up you dumb, rambling, money-grubbing, beard, good-for-nothing, trophy-wife, soul-sucking, piece of shit. HOW DID IT TASTE?”, you are probably saying. Well geez settle down, Mr. Anger McManagement. I will tell you.

Happy now? I hope you Ms. Anger McManagements will at least appreciate this chesty photo of John eating a banh mi with his thinking cap face on.

Anyhoo. The sandwich, it was pretty good. The meatballs were pretty flavorful, but also slightly dry because ummmmm they were sitting out behind a sneeze guard for what I assume was the entire morning. But it’s not a 5 star restaurant, this is Fauxpotle we are talking about. It was tasty and I could imagine grabbing one again someday, granted there was truly nothing else around, I didn’t own a car and was banned from all forms of public transportation. God what is wrong with me why am I so mean I’m sorry please don’t leave me.

The bowl was a different story. It was…paste. But did I make this paste? I have no idea. I guess I did. Maybe that’s how ShopHouse thinks it will make all their money. Us, the consumer, going back 6 or 7 times just to see if we get the right combo of veggies, meat and rice or noodles to make it a winning dish. Then I get it.

I would honestly give Chipotle an A, for what it is. ShopHouse gets a C. And only because the meatballs were kinda yummy and didn’t taste like cat at all. (Don’t ask). I feel like we can all figure out how to make a good burrito. But honestly, I’m not sure how to make a delicious southeast asian bowl and banh mi sandwich…and I am southeast asian.

Anyhow. Try it. Because I think I literally just did it wrong. Let me know your winning combos :)

And let’s face it. This review was all over the place. 1, I’m on vacation, 2, I just missed you guys and I am trying to get back into the passion of cooking and eating after what was kind of a stressful work period.

Here’s the plus side! I am eating WELL here in Lake Como and have SO much to share. Can’t wait for you to see. Sunday is our last night here and we are gonna try and see if it is actually possible to eat so much that it is so highly packed into your esophagus that you can’t even shovel anymore food in. Will let you know.

Xx

18 Responses to “ShopHouse”

  1. Patricia September 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m reading the blog, looking at the pics & then BAM! Holy shit! John Legend’s chest is banging! Who knew he was ripped like he just got out of the pen? He should go Bobby Brown style & perform topless all the time. Hahaha!!

  2. Lo September 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Looking forward to the “Lake Como” posts! I truely(sp?) look forward to Sodelushious posts!!!

    • Ella September 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      I second that! Woo lake Como.

  3. twheetybird September 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Haha!! Love it!!
    Great pics (the food) ;-) of course.
    Right now its 21h00.. And well Chrissy you are the reason I got up to eat!! enjoy the rest of your break!! Thx for sharing – I am making a list of what to see and where to go. You should get paid for these reviews!!
    oxo

  4. Johan September 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Ok.. You are brilliant. This is how a food blog should be! And who would have guessed it would take a supermodel to write one! They only drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and do a shit load of coke to stay that thin!! (yeah that was irony if you could’nt tell).
    With all the foodshows making their round on tv, you should get your own show. Anthony Bourdain style.. I know i would watch it, especially since your a bit more attractive then Bourdain too. Anyway update more often and get that damn show!

  5. M Dog September 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Who gives a shit about your review, I want more of Chesty McChesterson. RAWRRRRR

  6. Jewel at Eat.Drink.Shop.Love September 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    If you ever come to Atlanta go to Buford Highway and you can taste authentic banh mi. There are tons of Vietnamese restaurants here that specialize in banh mi.

  7. Jacob September 25, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    the set-up looks a lot like panda express, almost a copy

  8. Sara September 25, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    The noodles completely gross me out! Hopefully they will work out these kinks before (if) they go nationwide. Can’t wait to Lake Como food!! Enjoy your vacation

  9. Vicky September 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Thank you very much for that pic of John shirtless how generous of you! I love your wittiness. Anywho It sounds like it was basically a fancy Mongolian BBQ joint. I stick to what I know, rice some veggies, chicken or shrimp, etc…. I agree you should have your own show and when you do please don’t lose your raw honesty to appeal to the sensitive ones.

  10. AMBER September 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    shophouse is a stupid name. chophouse is more suitable. shophous sounds like a pottery barnish store.

  11. Gabby U. September 26, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Thank you for the wonderful yummy pic of Mr. Legend opps I meant to say thank you for the wonderful yummy pic of the sandwich………..
    My co-worker and i very much enjoy reading your blog. No matter where you are don’t forget about us! :)))))))

  12. Becky C September 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    John legend photo much appreciated. Lucky girl!

  13. M & R September 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    So bummed about the not so great review. I will have to try it for myself – next time I get to a big enough city that has one..

  14. Tiffany October 1, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    There was just a write up in USA today about Shop House. Mixed reviews. Dang nabbed.

  15. Alexis October 1, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Thank you for this. I live three blocks away and almost tried it. Went to the burger joint instead. :) I am no expert on Vietnamese but Pho 14 in Columbia heights is a local fave, the Pho is onnnn Point, it cures the plague in Winter times. The Banh Min(may have fucked up the spelling) was the first I ever had, but sooo delish. Oh yeah, they deliver.

  16. laura November 4, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Chrissy, I know I am a little late to the posting game with this, and I don’t know if you ever go back and look at comments, but IF you do, and IF you are ever in Columbus, Ohio (which I would assume you never would be but for the fact that John’s from the area…not a stalker, I swear…) I highly suggest going to a new restaurant called Piada. It’s the same concept but with Italian food, and it’s pretty darn good. Lots of fresh veggies, and, they’ll actually cook some of the stuff to order (like salmon because let’s be honest that would be nasty to just have sitting on a line).

  17. Keisha Sirgiovanni February 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    You guys are a beautiful couple! I hope one day i have what you have. I swear i like food more than people

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