Community chainlet gives climate-aware Israeli street food items

Shouk’s hummus plate with falafel (remaining) and mushroom shawarma pita. Picture by Lindsey Max

With their rapidly-relaxed restaurant chain Shouk, business associates Ran Nussbacher and chef Dennis Friedman are wanting to fight local weather adjust a person flavor-packed veggie burger at a time. The third place of Shouk, which specializes in kosher, halal, plant-centered, vegan Israeli street foods, opened in Rockville’s Montrose Buying Center in November (the other two are in D.C.). A fourth site, on Westbard Avenue in Bethesda, is due to open up imminently.

The 2,000-square-foot Rockville place seats 20 inside and 12 outside the house. The design—a weathered search with corrugated steel, reclaimed plank wooden and mismatched furniture—is meant to evoke meals stalls in Middle Eastern markets. (Shouk indicates “market” in Hebrew.) The menu functions stuffed pitas and bowl variations of them, hummus, salads, and cardamom chocolate cookies, baked or in dough type.

The Rockville site is extremely attractive to Friedman, 43, who determined it. He and his relatives reside in Bethesda, and Shouk is subsequent door to the MOM’s Organic Market exactly where they shop. Nussbacher, 45, who also lives in Bethesda, notes that there is a substantial degree of alignment between Montgomery County inhabitants and Shouk’s mission. “They are healthy-helpful, world-pleasant and rooted in ethnic cuisine,” he states.

Israeli-born Nussbacher is Shouk’s founder. He arrived to the D.C. place in 2008 to function for Opower, a tech corporation specializing in electrical power performance. There, he observed how making modest adjustments in domestic electrical power use could have a enormous affect on taking electricity vegetation off the grid. He applied that principle to his have lifestyle, heading from not considering about what he ate to turning out to be a vegetarian, and then a vegan, simply because of the negative result meat intake has on the local weather thanks to its carbon and drinking water footprint. He arrived up with the idea for Shouk as a way to do a little something about climate transform. “If I can get another person to eat plant-based foods after or twice a week who usually wouldn’t, I’m driving big influence,” he states.

Lacking cafe expertise, Nussbacher met Friedman, a chef, as a result of mutual good friends in 2014. Friedman did a tasting for him at Newton’s Desk, the Bethesda restaurant he owned at the time. The two clicked and invested a 12 months tests vegan dishes. Nussbacher was clear about possessing nothing imitation, nothing processed and no falafel on the menu. (He didn’t want the Israeli road foods restaurant to be pigeonholed as a falafel store, but they extra a pretty delicious version of it to the menu a pair of years ago.) Friedman, who was a carnivore at the onset of the enterprise and now eats a plant-dependent diet plan, rose to the obstacle.

The first Shouk opened in Washington in 2016. The Shouk burger ($12.50)—a baked then griddled patty built with chickpeas, flaxseeds, mushrooms, black beans, beets and other veggies and stuffed into a full wheat pita with roasted tomatoes, pickled turnips, arugula, charred onions and tahini—put them on the map. In 2018, it was touted by superstar chef Carla Hall on an episode of Meals Network’s The Most effective Factor I Ever Ate. MOM’s Organic and natural Marketplaces in the D.C. space now carry the burgers, marketed frozen in deals of four for $10.99. Shouk sells them online in a few offers of 4 for $48, plus $12 transport.

Other standout pitas include things like mushroom shawarma with pickled cabbage, cucumber and onion salad, tahini and arugula ($12.50) an eggplant patty burger with fries, pickled cabbage and amba, a pickled mango condiment ($12.50) and fried Shouk’n, breaded and fried oyster mushroom nuggets with harissa (purple pepper paste) mayo ($12.50). The hummus at Shouk is silken and creamy, all the superior as a plate topped with herb-loaded falafel and cucumber and tomato salad ($12).

Shouk, 5568 Randolph Road (Montrose Shopping Centre), Rockville, 202-945-4747,

Comings & goings

Jason Miskiri, who owns The Offended Jerk in Silver Spring, is organizing to open an all-working day breakfast notion termed The Breakfast Club in the Fenton Silver Spring residences this spring. Flip’d by IHOP, a new rapid-informal edition of the sit-down breakfast chain, is slated to open up in the former Asian Bistro house this summer months.

Thompson Hospitality, which owns D.C.-based mostly Matchbox, strategies to open up two shops in one particular Silver Spring storefront on Georgia Avenue near Seminary Road: Willie T’s Seafood Shack (po’ boys and fried or grilled seafood dishes) and Be Ideal Burger. No opening day has been offered.

In the downtown spot of Silver Spring, Valencia Wine Back garden is predicted to open in the previous Mandalay space on Bonifant Street and Guavaberry Dominican Cafe is slated to substitute The Greek Location, which shut in December, on Georgia Avenue. Neither declared an opening day nevertheless.

Hello Betty, a California-dependent seafood restaurant, is predicted to open up at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda this spring its bar manufactured out of a boat is slated to open up this summer.
Butter Me Up, a D.C.-based quickly-relaxed breakfast cafe, is organizing to open up in Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda. No opening day has been specified. It is an offshoot of HalfSmoke, whose proprietors declared in August 2020 that they would be opening in Rockville, then pushed the date to December 2021. They’re even now not open at push time.

December observed a ton of closures, such as Pollo Campero in Silver Spring, Nando’s Peri-Peri in Bethesda Row, Broadway Pizza in Cabin John Village, Amici Miei Ristorante in Rockville City Center (just after a 17-calendar year run, 13 of them in Potomac), and sandwich chain Taylor Connoisseur in North Bethesda.

Chef Francesco Ricchi shut Cesco Osteria at the stop of January after a 25-12 months run in Bethesda, 14 of them on Cordell Avenue and the past 11 on Woodmont Avenue.

French restaurant Normandie Farm in Potomac, which opened in 1931 and has been helmed by chef Cary Prokos considering that 1983, will shut on June 30. The cafe could open below new entrepreneurs as shortly as this summer months.