The area’s restaurant scene continues to attract national attention and accolades due to its quality and diversity.
Food critic Tom Sietsema wrote in his April review of Parkway Deli that, despite some miscues, the restaurant “still nails the comfort”:
The menu gathers a lot of wishes spanning breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you go for just one dish, make it chicken soup. Tender chunks of chicken pack the golden broth, gently herby and crammed with a fistful of carrots, celery, onion and egg noodles. (Matzoh balls are optional.) Every spoonful has the power of a hug. As for sandwiches, the reuben hits pleasure points with tangy sauerkraut, sweet Russian dressing and half a pound of thinly shaved corned beef. The best of the pastry case is a warm-spiced slab of carrot cake that can easily satisfy three forks.
Also included in the Fall Dining Guide, Shalla Restaurant & Bar was named by Sietsema as one of his 7 Favorite Places to Eat Right Now for August:
Clouds of incense, part of Shalla’s coffee ceremony, greeted me on my first visit to the restaurant that once housed the groovy Jackie’s and where I splurged on an upgraded version of kitfo, Ethiopia’s steak tartare. The surface of the minced raw beef, glossed with butter infused with cardamom, mitmita and other spices, was sculpted into little red ripples. Similarly wavy scoops of housemade cottage cheese — one green with collards, another orange with cayenne — helped fill out the platter. Wedges of kocho, made with the grated and fermented root of the enset plant, a member of the banana family, accompanied the raw beef and served as a starchy alternate to the scrolls of injera.
Shalla Restaurant & Bar opened last year at 8081 Georgia Ave., the former location of Balagger Lounge and Jackie’s Restaurant. Belete Weletaw, Mekonnen Eshete, both of Washington, D.C., and Temesgen Gebeyehu, of Silver Spring’s Hillandale neighborhood, are the principals. According to Sietsema, Shalla was named after Lake Shala in south-central Ethiopia, where Gebeyehu was previously employed as a surveyor.
Photo: Parkway Deli/Facebook (h/t Silver Spring Urban District)