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from the Washingtonian: “Scaling the Great Wall,” by Tyler Cowen

If you’ve lived in the DC metro area for any length of time, you’ve probably come across the name Tyler Cowen.

If not, I’ve got some good news for you.

Cowen’s an economics professor a George Mason U but is probably better known for his guide(s) to ethnic restaurants in the metro area, especially in Northern Virginia. He’s been ‘covering’ ethnic restaurants for more than two decades, and his articles and/or articles about him have appeared locally and nationally (Washingtonian, Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, etc.).

As I understand it, Cowen is a one man eating machine who simply loves finding and reporting on local restaurants and grocery stores.  I don’t think he earns any money from this love (his day job is at GMU where he’s the Director of the Mercatus Center for economic policy), but if you’re looking for the best, the most comprehensive guide to ethnic restaurants in this area, check him out:

Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide – August 2012, 29th edition

I’ve checked his views and ‘reviews’ against the ethnic restaurants I know, and I think he’s on target most of the time. He updates his Guide twice a year, tho I’ve found an occasional error in his information. So you might want to give a call to a restaurant before you go, especially if you’re living in MD or DC and following his recommendation for one of his Northern Virgina favorites.

Finally, I believe Cowen is open to feedback, suggestions, ideas, etc. You can get to him three ways:

Email: tcowen@gmu.edu

Personal web page: http://www.gmu.edu/centers/publicchoice/faculty%20pages/Tyler/

Twitter: @tylercowen

(Full Disclosure: I’ve never met Cowen, get no financial benefit from this post, but I do love ethnic food, and would gladly join him at a restaurant or two, if invited, as he continues his important work.)