If you like playing with your dinner and stuffing your face for under $15, try the Graywolf Grill. Open for about three years (the last year under new ownership), the Mongolian-style grill encourages you to create your own culinary faux pas until you get it right.
Located in the Willow Lawn shopping center next to the Barksdale Theatre, the spacious Graywolf Grill resurrects a Mongolian barbecue tradition of allowing diners to create their own dishes from a variety of ingredients. Bowl in hand, diners begin at one end of the ingredients bar to choose their meat or fish, vegetables, flavored oil, herbs and sauce. The last stage is to pass off your culinary catastrophe to a cook overseeing a large circular, cast-iron grill. Here, the ends of two long wooden sticks are used to tear and shred your choice ingredients into a small melee. The slightly mangled final product is often better than it looks, though, especially when the large bowl of rice and steamed flour tortillas waiting at the table are brought into the mix.
The unlimited dinner buffet ($13.95) includes a modest salad and soup bar. If you have not eaten yourself into a coma, the changing dessert menu offers an array of pre-made desserts such as key lime pie, chocolate torte, strawberry cheesecake, and a Nutty Buddy cake ($3.95) worth breaking a belt buckle for. Kevin Finucane
La Milpa doesn't call itself "authentic," but rather "real." Located on Hull Street Road just west of the Chippenham overpass, La Milpa is part market and part truck stop.
But La Milpa also is part eat-in and carryout tacoria and home to the freshest tacos in town. Handmade, these soft corn or flour tortillas come three to an order with pork, grilled steak, barbecue or marinated steak ($6.49), and topped with fresh onions and cilantro. La Milpa is more than just a taco stand; its extensive menu includes taco de lengua and camaronesy plantains.
Its prices make La Milpa not only good but a good deal, and a welcome change from the same Mexican-American food found elsewhere.
6925 Hull Street Road 276-3391 Open every day 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
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