Dish: A New American Bistro

I was hooked on the idea of Dish after reading their menu; a restaurant in West Virginia that has bahn mi on the menu.

It was an unseasonably warm early Mach day that I decided to try out Dish, so I decided to ride the bike out there. It was fairly easy to find right in the heart of downtown Charles Town with its clean simplistic exterior.

This trend carried on inside with a dining area that wasn’t cluttered by excess filler. There was a chalk board on the wall with specials and upcoming events and a nicely stocked bar right at the interior.

It was right around opening time, so the restaurant was pretty empty and I was greeted and sat instantly. I decided to go with the pasta fagioli soup and the chicken bahn mi sandwich.

Bahn mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that contains meat, some of which is only for the more adventurous at authentic Vietnamese delis, daikon, pickled vegetables, cilantro and sliced jalapenos on a baguette, which is crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. The flavor combination is a wonderful thing that just melts in your mouth and has to be experienced firsthand, In fact, I think I may stop and pick up several sandwiches to bring home with me next time I’m around Baltimore or DC.

The soup was out first and didn’t take any time at all. It had a nice flavorful broth and was filling. It was a nice appetizer; I’m a soup person though, so it usually takes something really special to wow me.

Next up was the chicken bahn mi sandwich. It looked just like a regular bahn mi should and came with homemade potato chips. The sandwich was very good. The bread had the perfect texture of a nice crisp outside and soft interior. The pickled vegetables were good, but not as crisp as some of the best authentic bahn mi sandwiches I’ve had. Everything did meld together nicely for an enjoyable sandwich that I would otherwise have to had driven over an hour to get elsewhere.

I’d also like to point out the diversity at Dish. Their menu goes far beyond one sandwich and includes offerings ranging from Asian, to European, to American, and back again. It’s a very diverse menu and it’s not a static one at that. Dish’s menu is season and is subject to change. In fact, since writing this, they no longer have the chicken bahn mi sandwich and have moved on to a Spring menu which includes a dashi-braised pork belly served of udon appetizer that I can’t wait to try. The best part is, they use local ingredients.

Dish also hosts events which included beer and wine dinners with dishes paired to specific types of beer or wine and live music. It’s a great place with a really cool laid back atmosphere that I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again to enjoy any of the bands that play here or to try some of their wide range of offerings on their rotating menu.

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