The monthly munch: A year in review


Photo by Chris Castelli

Reviews such as Apna Pizza (top left), Raising Cane’s (top right), Wingstop chicken sandwich (bottom left) and the One Chip Challenge were some of the articles that left a lasting impression on me.

This past school year the Monthly Munch has served as a food guide to the community, from reviewing brand-new restaurants to new items from the classic spots. The articles attempted to hone in on the most popular food items on a restaurant’s menu and shine a positive light on local restaurants as well. The food was diverse and unique with the idea of introducing readers to a new palate. In this article, I will take a look back on all eight of the reviews and rank them.

The eighth spot is the Quickway Japanese Hibachi review, the seventh spot is the Bageltowne vs Bethesda Bagels and the sixth spot is the Isaac’s Poultry review. These will be grouped together because they are similar to other reviews I have already done and didn’t include anything unique. Starting off with Quickway, the food and service were good, but the review didn’t stand out because it was a chain restaurant. On the other hand, Isaac’s Poultry is a locally owned restaurant, but the review wasn’t special either. The overpriced menu items made it hard to write a completely honest positive review. Lastly, the Bageltowne vs Bethesda Bagel review was the second article comparing two similar local restaurants. This article did a good job of giving the history of both restaurants and laying out the facts for the reader, but in the end, the two restaurants were similar, making it hard to write a distinctive review of each.

Coming in at number five is the Wingtop Chicken sandwich review. Even though Wingstop is extremely popular, I was able to focus on their newly released chicken sandwich. This review was also well-timed because Wingstop had a national shortage of their chicken sandwiches right when the article was published, which means readers all around Montgomery County relied on my article for a comprehensive review of the sandwich.

The Raising Cane’s review holds the number four spot. Although there is no Raising Cane location in Montgomery County at the time of this writing, it was worth the trip to Virginia. This article did a good job of introducing the reader to a restaurant they potentially never had heard of before and compared the food to familiar fast-food chicken restaurants.

The number three spot belongs to the Tropical Smoothie vs Smoothie King article. Within this article, I gave all the facts about both restaurants and ended with an objective review comparing the two. This article holds the number three spot because it was the first time I compared two similar restaurants and gave a valid final decision at the end of the article.

Coming in at number two is my review of Apna Pizza, which at the time had its grand opening to the community. This review introduced me to traditional Indian foods and styles. Additionally, Apna Pizza is locally owned and with this article, I hoped to spread the word of a unique Indian pizza restaurant in the community.

Finally, number one is the Paqui One Chip Challenge. This review was the only food challenge I did and took the reader through the emotional rollercoaster that the chip put me through. Not only was this a fun experience and interesting article, but it also showed that food reviews don’t always have to be basic reviews of restaurants people are already familiar with.

Food reviews open minds to new not only new foods but new cultures and experiences. They are staples to the newspaper in my opinion and connect the community in a way other than politics or sports.