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  3. Nov 13, 2014 - "Talking Holiday Wine with Vineyard Research" by Linni Kral and Caley Mahoney on americanprovisions.com David Raines was a co-founder of Vineyard Research. In the meantime: Jan 19, 2015 - "Gordon's Waltham Ain't the Wine Shop It Used To Be" by striperguy on chowhound.com
  4. I think restaurants also have sort of a minimum price for entrees. For example if you look at the menu online, that doesn't have cauliflower, the minimum entre price is Chicken Almondine at $30. I'd guess that the current menu price is probably more like $32, unless you are paying a premium for a "steak" of cauliflower. Also that menu had a side of cauliflower duet at $11, maybe that could be used as a substitute if you are going on the cheap....
  5. Bonito flakes

    I want to say I've seen them at Good Fortune Supermarket in Eden Center, but I'm not sure. I'll be heading there this weekend, so I can let you know for sure!
  6. Why isn't it relevant? Prime beef is expensive at a restaurant because prime beef is expensive to buy. Chicken is usually less expensive at a restaurant because it's less expensive to buy. Why should cauliflower be any different?
  7. Christmas, 2012

    Best Western Hotel in Rosslyn Now a Red Lion, by Chris Teale October 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm, on ARLnow.com. Conspicuously absent is any mention of their policies and practices with respect to hottles on a go forward basis.
  8. IMHO, Patton Oswalt is one of the funniest comics out there. His new stand-up special on Netflix, "Annihilation" is riotously funny and at the same time tremendously poignant. During the first third or so of the show, Oswalt lays down some jokes about the current POTUS that are freakin' hilarious. I have copied and pasted one of my favorite jokes below and whited it out so you can view it by highlighting. I don't want to offend anyone who doesn't appreciate humor regarding this topic. The rest of the show is devoted to his experience, over the last year, of dealing with the unexpected death of his wife and impact on his young son. Obviously a heavy and personal topic, but Oswalt pulls it off without being maudlin or undignified. I've never seen any stand-up routine quite like it. Actually, I feel bad about calling it a stand-up routine-- it's much more. I highly recommend it. A review from the AV Club Now the joke: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "And by the way, I feel bad — I feel bad for Trump.The poor guy — look. Here's what happened.They had that, that, uh, the journalist dinner, the correspondents dinner. Obama went up, made fun of Donald, very mean. And Donald said, "I'm takin' his job. You don't make fun of me. I'll take your job." Spent all this money. Now he has the job, and he's sittin' there, goin', "This job sucks. My life before this was amazing, it was golf and hookers and jets." Donald Trump taking Obama's job would be like if the head of linguistics at Rutgers made fun of David Lee Roth. And David Lee Roth was like, "I'm gonna take his job,zibbly-bobbly-boop." And then he spends 40 million dollars. And he goes into that first meeting like, "All right, I'm the head of linguistics at Rutgers! Bring on the hookers and the cocaine!" And they're like, "No, we're gonna talk about the lack of recursion in German Romantic poetry." And he's like, "Humaly-bebaly-zibbly-boobly? What just happened?"" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  9. Celebrating 25 years in business in November! That ain't nuthin'.
  10. It's a passable neighborhood place, but doesn't hold a candle (esp. on the Nam Khao) to Thip Khao, just a few blocks away.
  11. The bar program is still a big strength at Bistro 1521 - their beer selection is crammed full of "local" brews (enough to make this grizzled veteran wide-eyed), and their wine list is workable, with fairly priced wines by the glass. Our bartender, David, was a very nice person who offered to go back and get my friend a taste of Banana Ketchup, which he'd never before heard of (banana ketchup is a staple condiment in the Philippines, and is often sold under the label of, believe it or not, Heinz (aside - one of Australia's largest players in the Vegemite market is Kraft, who recently began selling a product that's Vegemite mixed with cheese, called Cheesybite!). I'll take banana ketchup over regular ketchup any day of the week). I have a relatively penetrating knowledge of Filipino cuisine, having studied it for years, and having taken part in numerous Filipino family functions among other things (you do not leave these things hungry, I assure you). One attribute about most Filipino foods is that they're generally quite mild; in fact, spiciness is the exception (although it is highly regional, and there are some spicy dishes) - another attribute is that the Filipina home cook will often have a massive jar of MSG crystals at the ready - they use MSG like we use antibiotics, but this is mostly for home cooking. I'm surprised the bar at Bistro 1521 didn't have bowls of Pulutan or Tenga ng Baboy, but this did used to be an Applebee's, and they know their Ballston clientele might not go for such tawdry things. I began my meal at Bistro 1521 with a 10-ounce snifter of Grapefruit Sculpin IPA ($9) made by Ballast Point Brewing Company - a San Diego, CA-based brewery with an outpost in Daleville, VA; but don't be fooled by the homey "small-town, craft brewery shtick" - Ballast Point was sold for over $1 billion to Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 company worth over $41 billion. I *really* hate that the consumer must research each individual beer to determine whether or not they're essentially buying Budweiser - someone should publish an annual guidebook to this that you can take to the supermarket; alternatively, retailers and restaurants should do the work for the consumer. This beer was as boring and soulless as you might imagine - yes, you could taste hints of citrus, but so what? My friend started with a glass of 2016 Trencalos Sauvignon Blanc ($8) from the Castilla region of Spain (there are numeros typos on the wine list at Bistro 1521, e.g., "Reisling," and there was one here, too). This was a generic Sauvignon Blanc with enough acidity to cut through the mildly zesty notes in the appetizers and her entree - you could tell it was a Sauvignon Blanc, but it would take someone like Gerry Dawes to know it was Spanish, much less Castilian. I'm grousing about both of these drinks, but they're really no different than what you find at 95% of restaurants, so don't blame Bistro 1521; the blame goes much further up the chain than this. Hell, the Original Sin lies with Procter & Gamble. Both drinks were served in good stemware and at the correct temperature, with friendly, prompt service, and there isn't a whole lot more this restaurant could have done. Our appetizer was an order of Lumpiang Shanghai ($5 at happy hour; normally $9) - two very good lumpia, halved, and nicely presented with appropriate dipping sauce (which worked much better than the banana ketchup). These were very good lumpia, arguably the highlight of the meal, and although I'd never pay $9 for two of them, they're worth getting at the $5 happy-hour price. I'd finished my glass of beer, and despite ordering a "red-wine" course, wanted to stick with white, so I got a glass of 2016 Domaine Bellevue Unoaked Chardonnay ($9) from Touraine, France. I've had this wine numerous times, and knew what I was getting in advance - compared with my friend's Sauvignon Blanc, I would recommend that others tend towards the Sauvignon Blanc due to its crispness, but I also knew that my dish was going to be somewhat stolid, and not needing any type of zing from my wine. With her Sauvignon Blanc, the classic Filipino dish with the funny name, Bicol Express ($17), specifically marked "spicy." This was a stir-fried dish of "sliced," pinkish pork, coconut milk, ginger, peppers, and shrimp paste, served with a small bowl of steamed, white rice. We both agreed that the dish had good flavors, and only the mildest hint of spice - and the Sauvignon was the wine of choice here. Up above, I said the lumpia was "arguably" the highlight of the meal; this was the other argument - although this dish won't win any awards, it tasted good, and was well within the spirit of Filipino home cooking. I can recommend this for people to try - not necessarily for Filipino nationals, but for people looking to transition into the cuisine. They say never to order an entree for one of the side dishes, but I did anyway. Mechado ($23) was presented a *lot* like an American pot roast, mashed potatoes, and greens dish, basking in a thick gravy - except this was braised short ribs, grilled asparagus, "Mechado sauce," and mashed purple yam. It had the feel (if not the look) of something you'd get at a hotel banquet, but was actually quite enjoyable, the one exception being when it cooled to room temperature: The Mechado sauce brown gravy, which had been thickened with corn starch, separated and clotted - there seemed to be a similar, but less dramatic effect, with the shrimp paste in the Bicol Express; however, the Mechado gravy became mildly disgusting once it broke. Nevertheless, it was a good dish, and every bite of food was finished on all the plates. I won't recommend this to people, and would urge the restaurant to stay closer to its roots, instead of trying to guess what Ballston residents might be looking for in a restaurant. Let them come to you: Word will get out, I promise.
  12. Bonito flakes

    Anywhere near Alexandria/Arlington that you know of that has bonito flakes? Thanks S
  13. The answer is Yes, they will make vegetarian versions. Thanks to this thread, yesterday, I found this small hole in the wall and had a very delicious lunch of a new type of dish that I'd never tried before. It is a tiny place on the strip in Mt. Pleasant and you would likely miss it if you weren't looking for it. It is really small inside but bright and clean with 4-5 small tables crammed in around a large register counter. I had what the counter-lady described as one of their most popular Lao dishes on the actual menu (vs. the more extensive posterboard mentioned above) - Nam Kao/Khao - which is a traditional Lao dish of crispy coconut rice salad with herbs, peanuts, eggs and typically pork but they readily substituted crispy cubes of tofu. They serve it with a few lettuce leaves to make a lettuce wrap which was how it tasted best to me. I wish I had a few more leaves though as I used them up and still had half a plate of food (portion is ample but not huge - good value ). The crispy rice was new to me. I looked online and apparently, you mix rice with herbs, eggs, and seasoning then form a big ball which is fried. Then the ball is broken into chunks and the rest of the ingredients are added and mixed together. You end up with these nice bits of crispy rice mixed with chunks of seemingly normal steamed rice that was in the center of the ball. I'd recommend checking it out. They also do a good deal of delivery business but the lady mentioned that business is slow during weekdays - so that may be a good time to order.
  14. Brussels/Bruges, Belgium

    Had an opportunity for a few dinners in Brussels last week. From okay to best: --Le Quincaillerie: in an old hardware store, this seafood specialty spot held us for a large group dinner and did a nice job. Nothing was particularly spectacular, but the building is special and the food solid enough. --Le Joue de Vache: This was a comfortable Brasserie just a few blocks from Place Leopold. Very nice, solid brasserie food--my veal mignon with Frites was nice; the marrow starter with toast points was just okay (not a fair comparison, but not nearly as garlicky, salty and delicious as most marrow preparations that I've had over the last few years. --Le Mess: in an old prison building (though it must have been the administrative offices, or the warden's home), we had a nice 3-course dinner. The dessert course was molten chocolate cake, served with an enthusiasm suggesting that they were at the cutting edge of pastry culture. The main course of fish was beautiful, though. --Brasserie Bozar: This Michelin-starred restaurant was fantastic, the dishes exacting, somewhat mysterious, and delicious. The beef tartare starter was a perfect appetizer before moving on to a second course of mackerel (perhaps prepared sous vide before being torched to crisp the skin) served over a not clearly identifiable vegetable/fruit preparation (a Chinese colleague thought that it was radish; I think that it may have been some sort of citrus peel that had been pickled/cured--something. The texture was mildly crunchy and exquisitely well-paired with the fish. The entree of chicken breast was also mysterious and the topic of major discussion; it appeared that they had inserted a pouch (of mushroom pate/ragout wrapped in spinach leaves) underneath the skin, then roasted the breast. It was served with a beautiful, mild sauce and roasted root vegetables. The dessert course was, for me, almost a riff on the Michel Richard kit kat, except it was almost the Snickers version. It was delicious. Beyond meals, I also had nice frites at the food truck (temporary) at Maison Antoine, and some nice lambics/krieks at Moeder Lambic.
  15. I pretty much agree with what you said in the second post, zgast, but my point is that the fact that it's cauliflower is irrelevant, and I wish people would stop insinuating that the prices of the dish should be proportional (in the mathematical sense) to the cost of the ingredients. How much are they charging for beef? I'm guessing significantly more than $32. If you object to the quality for the price (I.e. line cooks doing an inferior job), that's a real problem. But the price of a head of cauliflower at the grocery store (which I'm pretty sure is more like $4 even at Shoppers) isn't really relevant.
  16. Nobody is arguing that they don't need to cover their staff and fixed costs. I think most of us - but perhaps I'm just speaking for myself - believe that a lower price point on a product they're selling for 88% gross margins would induce more buyers and volumes that would more than compensate for the lower price. Would you rather earn $28 before FOH staffing and fixed costs and sell 2 or earn $20 and sell 5 or 6? As far as the math - you come out better in the latter scenario. They can charge whatever they want - I'm not going regardless as I'd rather make my own steak (meat or otherwise) at home. I'll pay top dollar for quality chefs making great food, not line cooks doing an inferior grill to what I can do.
  17. Also, landlords charge much lower rent for the space to store and serve cauliflower, and waiters and chefs are happy to be paid much less for serving it. Do I need an explicit sarcasm tag for this?
  18. "Chef Gusteau does...Sushi!" All joking aside, though - a friend of mine tried Nobu DC and his reaction was less than stellar.
  19. How about raw? 6-inch Dover sole fish leaps into British man's mouth; man goes into cardiac arrest, by Alex Winter, (Bournemouth, England) Daily Echo Published 4:11 a.m. ET Oct. 13, 2017, on usatoday.com.
  20. The Michelin Guide

    I think it is HILARIOUS that he is taking issue with how Michelin is handling/covering/rating DC restaurants. HILARIOUS.
  21. Why do places think they can charge these absurd prices for a cabbage? It's $2.50 at the grocery store. Perhaps it's artisinally grown and you lovingly execute two knife strokes to extract that perfect slice of cauliflower, but come on...
  22. Saw that story. I cannot overstate how nice both of them were yay and how stunned I was to learn of the scam. Last time I was there Clark recognized me and by name and we chatted. I hadn't been there for a good period and had forgotten his name ....and their products were mostly great. Shit. Sad story. Sad that they were charming scammers.
  23. Yesterday
  24. the issues were so many and in so many places. The lending and real estate side were two areas. Oversight on lending was a third area. While that was occurring Wall Street was intimately involved buying loans, breaking them up, reselling them, placing bets on the loans, etc. Nobody saw all of it in one fell swoop. In the 80's. I saw the lending, I saw the structure of the loans and their worthiness or not, I witnessed the overview that was seeing the market conditions that satisfied the loans, and while there wasn't a wall street element like in the 80's the lenders were flush with cash. I'd like to hear some of the insights from some of the players.
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