Could these dan dan noodles be worth an hour-and-a-half wait?

Plus, stop stabbing garlic—and more food world news.

Dan dan noodles (left) at Fahrenheit Asian in McLean / Photo by Stefanie Gans
Dan dan noodles (left) at Fahrenheit Asian in McLean (Photo by Stefanie Gans)

The Tim Carman effect is real.

The Washington Post food writer dropped his first full dining guide, The 25 best casual restaurants in the DC area, and yes, people are paying attention.

I am also paying attention.

My friend and I met at Fahrenheit Asian, one of the many Virginia restaurants mapped out on Carman’s list, on Wednesday night.

We waited for 15 minutes, maybe longer, to get a table (there were open tables). We waited 10 minutes to get our order taken, maybe longer. These times are estimates. After we ordered an obscene amount of food for two people—onion cake, pot stickers, mapo tofu, dan dan noodles and a beef noodle soupy concoction that finished cooking at the table, where the server instructed us to stir the raw meat into the simmering broth, and keep stirring and stirring—I set a timer.

Mapo tofu dropped at the 51-minute mark. We waited another half hour or so for the last dish, maybe longer, because once the first dish arrived I forgot to keep a track of time because it was all so good. Especially the dan dan noodles. So rich and nutty (?) and a little spicy and meaty and just a really perfect comforting dish and probably the best version I’ve ever had.

I heard the table next to us ask the server something about The Washington Post. As we left, the server said she’d never seen a Wednesday like that. My advice, let the Carmen-induced hysteria calm down and then get to McLean’s Fahrenheit Asian for some noodles. It’ll be worth the wait. // Fahrenheit Asian: 1313 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean


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