MEHAK Indian Cuisine
817 7Th Street
Washington DC 2001
Date of visit: 3/17/2011
On this trip, we were staying at National Harbor, in Prince-George’s County Maryland. The area is a recently developed Hotel Haven (I believe there were 5), several restaurants and specialty shops all located on a waterfront touristy trap area sitting on the Potomac River. The shops are small, touting one of a kind kitchen items to bakery goods. They do have a token “Harley Shop” which of course, is only a clothing store in disguise -no real bikers in there. (At least I didn’t see any motorcycles the entire two weeks). There is a marina, you can escape or visit by boat. And there are no fast food joints in sight!
As far as eateries go, the only issue we had eating out at the Harbor, with maybe an exception of two, all had some type of dress code. A dress code eliminates “colors” and even without them, the dress code eliminated us. Additionally, the restaurants expected their diners to make reservations for dinner. I guess there’s no spur of the moment eating allowed.
And National Harbor area does not have convenient parking. The street parking, designed for smaller vehicles, like Smart Cars or Motorcycles, is all metered at $0.25 per 8 minutes with a two-hour limit. Just long enough to park, eat and run!
There are four or five parking areas attached to Hotels. To park it’s $3-$5 an hour. However if you’re staying at the Harbor in your hotel of choice, each has valet parking for $20-$24 a day. Our Hotel would not let us park our own vehicle, I’m so glad we didn’t ride, I just can’t imagine how that would have worked if we did.
There is another attraction besides restaurants and shops. National Harbor is home to the National Resort and Convention Center. During our stay, there was a cheerleader competition/convention going on during the weekend. For two days, the place was overrun by screeching cheerleaders with an average age of nine and the majority of them were staying at the Wyndham.
We were staying in the Wyndham Vacation Resort. There is no onsite restaurant, but we did have a kitchen in the room(s) and of course, there are no “real grocery stores” in National Harbor, so the kitchen stayed pretty clean. We did purchase our soda and ground coffee in the CVS Pharmacy and a couple of small items at the Potomac Gourmet Market across the street. The Potomac Gourmet delivers and you can shop online. They carry a huge variety of groceries, at very reasonable prices. But why food shop because truthfully, we are not disciplined enough to cook in the Condo consequentially we eat out–a lot.
Today was St Patrick’s Day. That morning we had just toured the Spy Museum in downtown DC. It was a very long morning: the women in front of us found it necessary to read, out loud, every notation on each display to nobody in particular. After the museum, we decided to walk the streets to find a meal of corned beef and cabbage. Easier said than done, somehow (I found out later) we walked to Chinatown. Only those who live there, must know where to go for great food, we did not.
The streets were crowded; it was a hot day and lunchtime. We found ourselves walking up 7th street passing crowded restaurants each with long outside lines.
As we crossed a street, we ran into some police standing around chatting, so I asked one of them “Who serves corned beef and cabbage today?”
They conferred as cops do and came up with Clyde’s. We did find it but needed reservations; next in line was Jaleo, a Spanish eatery and then Fado, with standing room only, and a long line to go inside just to stand. We continued walking. As we walked, we stopped at every bar and restaurant and by that time I thinking McDonald’s?
We crossed the street starting to head back to the parking garage. Along that side were several Chinese stores selling all sorts of stuff that you would think might be illegal even for DC. In between one of the storefronts was a sign: Indian Cuisine, okay, this was our St. Patrick’s corned beef and cabbage-Indian style.
Mehak Indian Cuisine was not crowded, no one waiting to get in. Once we enter; we’re in the dining room, a long hallway with tables arranged for maximum capacity. Bright yellow walls and few decorations. The tables were dressed with real linen tablecloths and fitted with hard wooden chairs like it. Each table was set with a full place setting including a water goblet with a napkin folded inside the glass with the top part of the napkin sticking out like a fan. Sort of fancy. We were seated immediately. The waiter then removed the extra place settings, filled our water glasses and took our drink order. Hmm, not sure what to drink, we both asked for Diet Cokes.
The menu had some interesting food choices. At the waiters suggestion I order a chicken dish, and my husband ordered a lamb dish. We also had a side of Spinach Nan (Bread). Each dish had a little bit of everything, including (more) bread, yogurt, lentils and some type of potato. It was great, the best Indian Cuisine I ever have eaten. It was the only Indian Cuisine I have ever eaten.
I had no idea what anything was really suppose to taste like, but it was good. The food was hot, the place was clean, the atmosphere was friendly. Anyone who likes sauces and different tastes would enjoy this. I think everything was cooked to perfection and for lunch it was more food than either of us could eat.
As for Bikers, this is DC, no parking, but lots of tolerance.
We left satisfied, still looking for the traditional corned beef and cabbage meal for later that night. Our next stop, Harrington’s (Irish) Pub, right inside National Harbor. If we only knew…
Total cost for lunch (before tip) $32.89