They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.
However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.
Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Chevy Chase, MD is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.
Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.
Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.
The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Chevy Chase, MD. Always Best Care is here to help.
Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.
The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.
At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.
To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:
If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.
Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.
According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.
When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.
Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:
While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.
In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.
How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?
A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Chevy Chase, MD, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.
Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.
For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.
More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.
With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Chevy Chase, MD gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.
In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.
Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.
At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.
When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.
Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.
At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Chevy Chase,MD understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.
Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.
Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.
The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:
An assessment of your senior loved one
An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home
Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs
Stafford, Va. – The Middle Atlantic Section of the PGA of America (MAPGA) has announced that PGA Professional Steve Delmar, a native of Gaithersburg, Md., has been named Head Golf Professional at historic Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., replacing longtime Head Golf Professional Bob Dolan. The new appointment makes Delmar only the fourth individual to hold the position in the 125-year history of Columbia County Club.A graduate of Coastal Carolina University, where he was a member of the Men’s Golf Team, and the f...
Stafford, Va. – The Middle Atlantic Section of the PGA of America (MAPGA) has announced that PGA Professional Steve Delmar, a native of Gaithersburg, Md., has been named Head Golf Professional at historic Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., replacing longtime Head Golf Professional Bob Dolan. The new appointment makes Delmar only the fourth individual to hold the position in the 125-year history of Columbia County Club.
A graduate of Coastal Carolina University, where he was a member of the Men’s Golf Team, and the former Assistant Men’s Golf Coach at the University of Maryland, Delmar assumes the Head Golf Professional position at Columbia Country Club after serving as the Club’s Assistant Golf Professional for the past six years. In addition to his teaching and business acumen, Delmar is an accomplished player, having won four MAPGA Major titles, including the Section Championship in 2019, Assistant Championship in 2019 and 2020, and the Players Cup in 2021. He was also named the MAPGA Player of the Year in 2019.
In replacing Dolan, who served as Head Golf Professional at Columbia Country Club for the past 28 years, Delmar joins a short, but distinguished list of PGA Professionals who have held the position. This includes Fred McLeod who enjoyed a 55-year tenure and the late Coach Bill Strausbaugh, the legendary former Professional Emeritus at Columbia Country Club, whose efforts in the teaching and coaching arena were both ground-breaking and significant. Strausbaugh spent 31 years as Head Golf Professional at Columbia Country and following his death in 1999 the PGA of America established the “PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award,” which bestows special recognition on a PGA Golf Professional who personally displays outstanding integrity, character, and leadership through a commitment to mentoring and making significant impacts on the careers of PGA Professionals.
“I am honored to be named Head Golf Professional at Columbia Country Club, which is a tremendous accomplishment in my career journey as a PGA Professional,” said Delmar. “It’s equally humbling to succeed Bob Dolan and the late Bill Strausbaugh, two individuals who have done so much for the game of golf and PGA Professionals throughout the state of Maryland, and across the golf industry.”
“On behalf of the Middle Atlantic PGA Section, we congratulate Steve on achieving this historic position at Columbia Country Club and filling the shoes of legends in the teaching profession,” said Jon Guhl, Executive Director, Middle Atlantic PGA. “Steve is a tremendous teacher and player, and we expect that he will enjoy a long, successful tenure at Columbia Country Club.
The Middle Atlantic PGA Section (MAPGA), located in Stafford, Virginia, is one of 41 Sections of The Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA), headquartered in Frisco, Texas. The MAPGA has been a part of The PGA since 1925 and consists of over 1,100 members and apprentices in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and small portions of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. There are over 900,000 golfers playing more than 16.5 million rounds of golf a season in the Middle Atlantic region. As player development remains a driving force in the golf industry, the MAPGA provides a wide variety of programs and assistance to support its members who teach the game, promote goodwill and share the game’s values to their golfing customers and their communities in general. Locally, MAPGA Professionals assist in raising over $6 million annually for charities.
Forecasters anticipate rain across most of Maryland Friday will turn into a quick burst of snow, plus power outages, 45+mph winds.MARYLAND — Forecasters anticipate the rain falling across most of central Maryland Friday morning to turn into a quick burst of snow in some areas later in the morning as frigid air moves into the region, leading officials to caution drivers about icy spots quickly popping up.No significant accumulations are expected in the Baltimore area and the D.C. suburbs, but officials are concerned abou...
MARYLAND — Forecasters anticipate the rain falling across most of central Maryland Friday morning to turn into a quick burst of snow in some areas later in the morning as frigid air moves into the region, leading officials to caution drivers about icy spots quickly popping up.
No significant accumulations are expected in the Baltimore area and the D.C. suburbs, but officials are concerned about the potential for a flash freeze. Residents should plan for slick streets and sidewalks because any lingering moisture will likely freeze due to the rapid drop in temperatures.
Complicating the wild weather are scattered power outages across the state caused by strong winds, with about 15,971 customers in the dark Friday morning, according to PowerOutage.US.
The rain showers Thursday morning may be accompanied by thunder before changing to snow by late morning. Some areas may get a dusting. Drivers should keep an eye out for wet spots that may flash-freeze as skies trend clearer in the afternoon.
Current morning temperatures started Friday morning in the low 40s. By 1 p.m., temperatures in central Maryland are expected to plunge into the teens and 20s, according to the National Weather Service.
Transportation officials in Maryland say they are monitoring the weather and sending crews to respond to the expected icy conditions. They recommend travelers keep an emergency kit in their cars, plus travel with fully-charged phones in case of a breakdown or emergency.
The clearing skies later Friday morning and gusty winds could help dry some roads, but any surface that is still wet and untreated will turn icy as temperatures quickly drop below freezing, WBAL-TV reported.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he activated the state's emergency response operations in anticipation of the winter weather. He called for Marylanders to be prepared and adjust their plans as necessary.
The NWS has issued a wind chill advisory from 4 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday for central Maryland, with wind chills as low as 10 below zero possible.
Garrett County and far western Allegany County are under a wind chill warning because it could feel as low as 45 degrees below 0 there. Drivers also should expect icy conditions in Western Maryland, particularly at higher elevations, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Based on the weather forecast and the timing anticipated to create unsafe travel conditions in the afternoon, Harford County Public Schools and offices will be closed Friday. All schools and offices at Howard County Public Schools will also be closed Friday. Schools in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties and Baltimore City were already closed Friday as part of the approved calendar for winter break.
Here is the National Weather Service's central Maryland and D.C. area suburbs weather forecast for the next few days.
Friday: Rain showers, possibly mixing with snow after 9 a.m., then gradually ending. Temperature falling to around 15 by 5 p.m. Wind chill values as low as -2. Breezy, with a south wind 16 to 24 mph becoming west in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 48 mph.
Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 8. Wind chill values as low as -8. West wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 21. Wind chill values as low as -8. West wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.
Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 15. West wind around 8 mph.
Christmas Day: Sunny, with a high near 26. West wind 6 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
Sunday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 16.
Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 30.
Monday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21.
Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.
The pandemic did something strange to our sense of time.For Ruth Ogden, lockdown spent confined to her 3-bedroom duplex in Manchester, England, with a newborn and two boys home from school, "was like climbing a mountain that never ended." Time stood still, she says, filled with children moaning of boredom, and her yearning for bedtime."It was absolute hell," Ogden says. "I could not believe there were 24 hours in the day; it dragged like a massive concrete block behind me."And yet, with the ...
The pandemic did something strange to our sense of time.
For Ruth Ogden, lockdown spent confined to her 3-bedroom duplex in Manchester, England, with a newborn and two boys home from school, "was like climbing a mountain that never ended." Time stood still, she says, filled with children moaning of boredom, and her yearning for bedtime.
"It was absolute hell," Ogden says. "I could not believe there were 24 hours in the day; it dragged like a massive concrete block behind me."
And yet, with the pandemic receding a bit, Ogden says the distortion of that time feels different. "It seems like it didn't really happen," she says. "Like: I can't really remember anything about it, so in some ways it seems quite short."
Ogden is a psychologist at Liverpool John Moores University, and her experience of distorted time led her to conduct a series of surveys around the world throughout the pandemic.
The results underscore just how variable our sense of time can be. It can be altered by emotion, social satisfaction, stress, mental engagement and even our culture.
"Time is incredibly flexible and we all experience it in different ways," Ogden explains.
In Iraq, for example, people she surveyed almost universally felt that time slowed. But half of U.K. respondents who experienced time distortion felt it moved faster than in what we've come to think of as "the before times." In Argentina, younger, physically active women felt time passed faster than older men. Ogden says it's hard to pinpoint the root cause of those differences, because there are so many different variables. Living in a war-torn area, or under strict lockdown policies, could help explain the differences in each country. "When life changes, time changes," Ogden says.
At an individual level, though, the perception of time has a great deal to do with one's emotional state. And, of course, the pandemic caused lots of upheaval in that department — including for Arthur Wade Young III, a veteran mail carrier in Chevy Chase, Md.
Normally, Young keeps to a schedule: Every weekday, for the past 12 years, he's walked a delivery route of 530 homes, with a navy blue satchel slung across his chest — except in 2020. That first year of the pandemic dealt Young multiple blows.
It started with an emergency appendectomy, followed by surgery on a torn knee ligament that kept him sidelined from work. He and his wife separated, and he worried constantly for his two school-aged daughters. Then, Young had three bouts with COVID. The first time it happened, he feared for his life.
What made all that worse, the customarily happy-go-lucky Young says, was having too much time to ponder his anguish: "Worrying about stuff every day — I think that kind of slowed things down for me. You know, fear takes control of our lives."
How our emotions such as fear influence our sense of time is a complex process that science only partially understands, says Ed Miyawaki, a Harvard neurologist; there is not a single place in the brain involved in timekeeping, but several. One place near the optic nerve tracks time, for example, which is how people sense time of day by daylight. Dopamine-rich networks in the brain teach us to anticipate rewards, he says, and the cerebellum, which allows us to time our movements, also has its own kind of clock.
"There's an emotional clock, there's a memory clock, there are all these kinds of clocks," Miyawaki says. However, they aren't particularly synchronized; the brain has no master clock. There's just complex interplay among our senses that act on our sense of time. That's partly what gives variability to our sense of time — why new experiences, like traveling to a foreign land, seem to stretch the day out, or why hours seem to vaporize for a kid engrossed in a video game.
Miyawaki, who is also a psychiatrist, says sometimes you can even see the differences in someone's internal sense of time. He's treated severely depressed patients who move extremely slowly, almost like sloths, because their emotional state has so altered their timing. "The idea that time is just one monolithic thing is just wrong," says Miyawaki.
After decades of research, he says, he concludes our sense of time comes from something beyond the brain. "The question is not just one of science, but also one of psychology, sociology, philosophy," he says. "It has to do with so much more than what dopamine neurons are doing."
That resonates with Ruth Ogden, the psychology professor in the U.K. She says the pandemic alerted many of us to time's relationship to our sense of health and wellbeing. In fact, it seemed to call our attention to time itself.
"We're aware of time. We're aware of the fragility of time. We're aware of what happens when your time to do the things you want is taken away from you," she says. "And that's the real thing that will have changed, is how people value time."
That holds true for Arthur Wade Young, the mail carrier, who says he got through recent difficult times by becoming more spiritual. He also stopped eating meat, fish and dairy products and start working out, transforming his body and his health.
He resumed working a year ago, and got his rhythm and his paychecks back, he says, and that's made time feel like it's moving swiftly again. "Way quicker than the beginning of that pandemic," Young says.
Yet he also says he now looks at his life differently, having brushed up against his emotional rock bottom, then resurfacing. "I appreciate things more," he says; he makes sure he has a sense of spirituality and purpose every day.
"I try to put my time into my kids. I try to put more time into reading and stuff like that," he says, and all that that makes him savor every moment.
This story is part of our periodic science series "Finding Time — a journey through the fourth dimension to learn what makes us tick."
Freezing rain and sleet are expected in Maryland Thursday morning, with the highest ice accumulations in the western and northern areas.MARYLAND — Freezing rain and sleet are expected in Maryland Thursday morning, with the highest ice accumulations in the northern and western suburbs of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., according to the National Weather Service.A ...
MARYLAND — Freezing rain and sleet are expected in Maryland Thursday morning, with the highest ice accumulations in the northern and western suburbs of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., according to the National Weather Service.
A winter weather advisory issued by the NWS will remain in effect until 1 p.m. Thursday. Meteorologists are calling for total ice accumulations somewhere between a glaze and 0.1 inches in the Baltimore and D.C. suburbs.
Western Maryland, on the other hand, could see an ice storm that could cause very slick roads and power outages due to ice accumulating on trees, according to forecasters.
"As freezing rain continues to overspread the area along and NW of I-95, take it slow if traveling this morning. We already have reports of treacherous driving conditions west of the Blue Ridge with trees down in Garrett County, MD due to ice accretion," the NWS said Thursday morning.
The wintry mix began in western Maryland Wednesday night and transitioned into central Maryland by the pre-dawn hours Thursday. Temperatures started Thursday in the 30s and are expected to reach the mid-40s by this afternoon.
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, main roads in central Maryland and Montgomery and Prince George's counties were mainly wet and conditions were soggy, but drivers were urged to be careful as roads could turn icy, especially on untreated road surfaces and bridges and overpasses.
Maryland State Highway Administration crews have put salt brine on state roads, like Maryland Route 140 in Owings Mills, since early Wednesday morning. Their advice to drivers is to try and avoid rush-hour Thursday morning, if possible.
"For folks that don't have to go in, we want you to delay travel until it changes over to rain, but that's going to linger out to the west," SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar told WBAL TV.
Maryland's real-time road conditions can be checked online.
West of Montgomery County, the pavement was freezing near the Frederick-Washington County line along Interstate 70 as of 7 a.m., according to the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang.
An ice storm warning is in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday for Allegany, Garrett, Frederick and Washington counties, Maryland, due to the major ice accumulations that are expected.
By 9 a.m., temperatures are expected to start warming up, with the precipitation changing to all rain by 1 p.m. In the afternoon and early evening, Marylanders should expect heavy rain and windier conditions.
Rain showers are expected to continue overnight and end early Friday morning, according to the NWS.
Here's the latest NWS forecast for central Maryland and the D.C. suburbs for the next few days:
Thursday: Rain or freezing rain, becoming all rain after 10 a.m. High near 43. East wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Little or no ice accumulation expected.
Thursday night: Rain, mainly before 2 a.m. Low around 38. Northeast wind 8 to 13 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Northwest wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.
Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 30. West wind 5 to 9 mph becoming light after midnight.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Light west wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the morning.
Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 27.
Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 37.
Sunday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 26.
Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.
The most memorable dish at the youthful Little Vietnam in Washington isn’t printed on the menu. You have to know about it, be told about it, be a regular or get lucky to tap into the splendor of the newcomer’s chicken Caesar wrap, created by Jafar Umarov.The notion originated at Bantam King,...
The most memorable dish at the youthful Little Vietnam in Washington isn’t printed on the menu. You have to know about it, be told about it, be a regular or get lucky to tap into the splendor of the newcomer’s chicken Caesar wrap, created by Jafar Umarov.
The notion originated at Bantam King, where the chef, a native of Tajikistan, once worked and the dish appeared as a special. For the launch of Little Vietnam, which crept into Petworth on little cat feet in December, Umarov reprised the appetizer. After some finessing, he believes this to be the best version yet.
If you like Caesar salads and spring rolls, you’re going to love their union here. Its success starts with a whole roasted chicken, seasoned with turmeric and lemongrass, whose meat is pulled into bite-size slivers and whose skin is fried and sometimes dehydrated. The ingredients are bundled with whole red lettuce, fresh rice noodles and a single silvery Spanish anchovy in a sheet of rice paper, then rolled into fat, see-through cigars. Refreshing by themselves, the wraps swell with flavor after a plunge in the accompanying dish of tahini, miso and fish sauce. Every bite gives you something to cheer: velvety chicken, downy greens, sass from boquerones and crackle courtesy of the fried chicken skin. Noisy as chicharron, the skin fills the role typically played by croutons in a Caesar salad.
The sublime $10 concert goes unannounced on the menu because it’s labor-intensive, there isn’t always enough chicken skin to go around and the staff thinks it’s best when prepared a la minute, says Umarov, who figures no more than 10 orders are offered on any given night. “If you know, you know,” he says of the secret.
Little Vietnam fills the shoe box last occupied by the Korean-themed Magpie and the Tiger and, before that, Pom Pom and the late, great Himitsu starring Kevin Tien in the kitchen and Carlie Steiner in the dining room. Twenty-two diners is maximum capacity, a number that includes a handful of stools at the semicircular bar looking into the open kitchen. I imagine steam facials for those closest to the action. Claustrophobes need not apply. On the plus side, even guests in the dining room get to see their meals go from raw to ready for their close-ups. The proximity to your neighbors means getting previews of some dishes as they’re dropped off inches away, as well as catching snatches of conversation that place customers firmly in Washington. (“When I worked for Obama…”)
The venture features a clutch of talent who worked for the Washington-based Daikaya Group: chef and co-owner Kevin Robles; his girlfriend and business partner, Christy Vo; and beverage director and co-owner Joshua Davis, who mixes tequila, apple cider, lemon and more to create an Apple Bottom Jeans whose menu description fits it to a T: “Warm like boots with the fur.” (Oh, yeah, and make me another.) The partners’ familiarity with one another — Robles and Davis also punched the clock at Tien’s modern Vietnamese Moon Rabbit at the Wharf — translates to an easy alliance, where everyone seems to credit everyone else for what gets done and “chef” is just another word for pretty much everyone in the kitchen, regardless of rank. Robles, a native of El Salvador, credits Vo, whose family is Vietnamese, with making sure the food is “as close to authentic as we can get.” The broth for the soups doesn’t leave the kitchen without her tasting it.
Little Vietnam’s menu is small, fewer than a dozen dishes. But most of the efforts are the type you want to repeat, including dumplings filled with ground lamb that’s warm with black cumin, sharp with lemongrass and subtly nutty with sesame oil. The wontons, with their ghostlike tails, are available fried or steamed (my preference) and arrive with a carpet of pungent cilantro on an under-liner of chili-spiked soy vinaigrette.
Just as high on the pleasure chart as the chicken Caesar roll is banh xeo, the crisp stuffed crepe common to street food stalls in Vietnam. Turmeric gives the rice-flour batter its golden color; a filling of shrimp, ground pork, mung beans and bean sprouts is smoky from some time in the wok for the sprouts. Cool lettuce leaves are used to bundle hot bites of the crepe, which diners then dip in the nearby nuoc cham. The shareable dish gets its name from the sizzle it makes when the batter hits the hot grill.
It helps if you eat meat here, but there’s no requirement. The kitchen has vegetarians covered with puffs of fried tofu, gently crisp from their seasoning and paired with a sauce that illustrates the kitchen’s freedom to mix and match cultures. Count me a fan of ranch dressing brightened with Thai basil. (If the tofu seasoning rings some bells, it could be the housemade riff on shrimp-flavored instant-ramen noodles, a youthful snack Robles says he and Vo both enjoyed.) Hold the fried egg on the fried egg salad if you prefer something vegan, in this case a garland of watercress, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs strewn with fried shallots and dressed with a nuoc cham made without fish sauce.
This is an intimate and chill place to spend an hour or so. Little Vietnam seems not to have changed much, design-wise, from its immediate predecessor with its wood floors, green-tiled bar and front windows facing Upshur Street. Diners enter via a handsome wooden door followed by a cat-print curtain to the familiar sounds of “New York, New York” or “I Say a Little Prayer.”
A few dishes taste out of place, foremost the hamburger, dramatically stabbed in its dry bun with a steak knife, just like the extravagant short rib sandwich at Joy by Seven Reasons in Chevy Chase, Md. The presentation is the most memorable aspect of the sandwich at Little Vietnam, its ordinariness compounded by a thatch of french fries that smack of the frozen bagged variety. News that the opening month’s (chicken) meatballs — a covid-era staple on seemingly every other menu — are history is no loss; they were pretty unremarkable, save for a loose texture that made plucking them from their bowl, intact, a challenge. (The chicken wings, another ubiquitous presence on menus of all stripes, are superior in every way.) And for such a small space, you’d think someone would remember to brush crumbs from previous visitors seated on the benches in the dining room. I prefer crunch on the plate, not when my hands touch my chair.
Quibbles fade at the sight of most dishes, say, a strapping bowl of red coconut curry with a meaty duck leg poking out from what looks like lava and pulses with lemongrass. Crushed peanuts yield crunch, and ginger-scallion oil ties the package together. Will Little Vietnam prevail in a storefront that earlier restaurants haven’t called home for very long? Dishes including this one, vit ca ri, make chowhounds hopeful.
The principals are continually tweaking the details. Down the road, they may add a phone line and reservations. (On behalf of fans: Yes, please!) One of the owners’ concerns is the rush of customers around 6 p.m. They’d love it if business were more spread out throughout the night. Allow me to tip the scales and suggest that more people visit when the doors open at 5 p.m., if only to improve their odds of securing my favorite dish.
828 Upshur St. NW. No phone. No website. Open for indoor dining 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Prices: appetizers $9 to $14, soups and main courses $16 to $22. Sound check: 74 decibels/Must speak with raised voice. Accessibility: The snug space is not conducive to wheelchair use. Pandemic protocols: Staff are not required to be masked, but the entire staff is vaccinated.