They hit the mark at Mark's Kitchen

Nov. 4, 2003, midnight | By Josh Gottlieb-Miller | 20 years, 6 months ago

Eatery targets diverse crowd

It's not surprising that Mark's Kitchen is crowded. You might think that a tiny local eatery would be somewhat emptier 8:00 on a Tuesday night in sleepy Takoma Park. But you know otherwise because of the high quality food and atmosphere the large number of patrons scrambling for seats attests to it.

Be forewarned, though: If you don't like Takoma Park you're going to hate Mark's Kitchen. Very much a taste of Takoma Park in miniature, Mark's Kitchen has been called the eatery where vegetarians and meat-eaters can get along in peace. A pleasantly lazy atmosphere permeates the cozy little restaurant, which is littered with pictures of Takoma Park and smelling vaguely of Korean cuisine. The waiters are mostly quick and attentive, but on crowded nights you've got to be ready to flag down some service; waiters trade off tables, so you can get lost in the crowd.

Meals come in relatively moderate portions, but are uniformly tasty. Soups and starters stand out especially, featuring the great-tasting Mahn Doo: Korean dumplings that are a scrumptious steal at $2.75. Other highlights include the well-cooked veggie-burger ($5.50) and the tasty chicken teriyaki ($6.25). Balance is the key to Mark's Kitchen's success, as otherwise ordinary meals are spruced up by just the right sides (excellent fried rice and broccoli for the chicken teriyaki) or just the right amount of flavor in its meatier meals. The fruits and salads are only ordinary, though.

The drinks are unusual: Stuart's Cream Sodas and Virgil's Root Beer most notably, the Virgil's honey tempering its sharp bite. Deep, thickly flavored milkshakes (3.75) are the heart of the otherwise disappointing desserts (mostly Ben and Jerry's ice cream).

Prices mostly range between $5 and $9, and the crab cake the most costly at $13.45. Parking is easy at a lot right behind Mark's Kitchen.

Mark's Kitchen is located at 7006 Carroll Ave. Takoma Park, MD. Phone number: 301-270-1884. Mark's Kitchen is open Sunday through Saturday, until 9:00 PM.

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