Photo by Elenna Mach
Straying away from the standard fast-food chains in the area, 168 Asian Burrito offers unique fare that not many people have experienced before.
The atmosphere is unlike any other shop; it is located inside an Exxon gas station at 18000 Georgia Ave. Olney, Md, 17 minutes away from RHS. The establishment sells Asian-style and sushi-style burritos and poke bowls including teriyaki chicken and shrimp tempura. The most popular options are the beef bulgogi and the spicy salmon mayo eel sauce.
Each entree comes with carrots, avocado, lettuce, cucumber, tempura flakes, corn and edamame wrapped in seaweed and rice. Alternatively, the rice bowl option is served in a to-go box with the same ingredients for the same price.
“I feel like it’s underrated and not known about but the flavors are really different and unique,” senior Manar Anani said. “I would have never thought that it was in a gas station.”
Each of the entree menu items are fairly priced between $9.50-10.50 considering that each option is both flavorful and filling. The chicken teriyaki and shrimp tempura were well-made and stayed intact as they were eaten. The ingredients tasted fresh and each of the combinations of flavors compliment each other. The food is made right in front of customers and based on the portion sizes and unique flavors, the food is well worth what customers pay for.
Other sides include Taiwanese chicken nuggets, Korean chicken wings and fries. The fries tasted better compared to other establishments as they were well made and had the perfect balance between a crispy fried exterior, and soft, warm interior. They were topped with a unique Taiwanese seasoning and a special homemade garlic sweet chili sauce that gave a nice kick to a simple dish.
“168 Asian Burrito’s convenient location and affordable prices make our restaurant a natural choice for eat-in or take-out meals in the Olney community,” the restaurant’s website said. “Our restaurant is known for high-quality, fresh ingredients.”
The whole show is run by the owner, Peter Chen. Even though he is the only worker there most of the time, the food is still tasty and is typically ready in under 10 minutes. Chen worked in a Japanese restaurant in Bethesda for nine years before venturing out and opening his own business called Shanghai in Montgomery Mall for six months in 2016. As rent grew to be too expensive, Chen still wanted to work independently and opened 168 Asian Burrito eight months ago, he said. Since the shop is fairly new, there has not been much advertisement except through word of mouth.
Although the location is atypical, the food and the price for it are surprisingly well-worth it.