Mochi doughnuts at Momo Mochi. Photo by Deb Lindsey

Editors' Pick

Food Hall Showstoppers

Stalls at food halls seem to come and go, no doubt exacerbated by the pandemic, but these three eye-popping and tantalizing treats merit a trip to The Spot in Rockville Town Square and The Block Foodhall & Bar in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development.

Little Miner Taco at The Block

The birria de res quesotacos platter (quesadilla + taco = quesotaco) at Little Miner Taco, which opened at The Block in July 2020, is a thing of beauty. Three deep-fried corn tortillas ($17) are griddled with loads of Jack cheese and birria de res, braised beef flavored with guajillo chiles, cloves and juniper berries. The tortillas are folded into tacos, topped with salsa roja, chopped scallions and cilantro, and served with lime wedges, pickled red onions and a cup of beef braising broth (consommé) for dunking and drinking. (Birria de res tacos not sold separately.)

Little Miner Taco at The Block, 967 Rose Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 240-600-1980, littleminertaco.com


Momo Mochi at The Spot Asian Food Hall

Mochi doughnuts (mochinuts), popularized by the Mister Donut chain in Japan, are Instagram darlings available at Momo Mochi, which opened at The Spot in July 2021. Dough made with glutinous rice flour is formed into a ring of eight bubblelike balls, deep fried, topped with various icing glazes (such as matcha, strawberry, mango, Oreo and black sesame) and finished with sprinkles or other decorations. These stunning doughnuts are chewier than American yeast or cake doughnuts, but just as appealing, especially the citrus-tangy yuzu doughnut topped with brightly colored Fruity Pebbles cereal ($3.50 each; six for $17.50).

Momo Mochi at The Spot Asian Food Hall, 255 N. Washington St., Rockville, 301-309-0853, momomochi.us


Kyoto Matcha at The Block

The display case at Kyoto Matcha is an art exhibit of exquisite confections—many of them matcha based—meant to provoke impulse buying and photo posting. Resisting them is futile. We are intrigued by the 22-layer crepe cake slices ($9), especially the bright green matcha variety and the neon purple ube offering, but the brown sugar boba milk cap cake blows us away. It’s a round of delicate sponge cake bathed in silken white milk foam, mounded with purple boba and drizzled with brown sugar syrup, plenty for two to share ($12).

Kyoto Matcha at The Block, 967 Rose Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, kyotomatcha.us