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  2. I'd love to go, but I've sworn off Jiffy Lubed. I went last year and the police and security presence was ridiculous. I guess they thought that a bunch of stoners were going to go on murderous rampages. Assholes.
  3. The location in Kingstowne just opened. The wait times have been crazy so if you plan to go in the next month or two, expect long lines.
  4. Today
  5. I've seen one before, and it's "worth the trip," although with the glasses you *must* wear, the experience is diminished - but it's better than damage to your eyes. I'm also guilty of looking without glasses for perhaps 1/10th of a second, but I sure wouldn't risk any more than, say, trying to catch a fly ball in baseball, or hit an overhead in tennis, while the sun is in your eyes - same level of damage, even though you may not feel it.
  6. This was Social Oyster, now converted to Essan. As mentioned in the thread about Social Oyster, I think it is owned by the Pasa Thai folks.
  7. The new Pollo Campero location in Downtown Silver Spring is getting close to a mid-July opening.
  8. I was there earlier this week getting a carry out order. I have only ever gotten the Chicken Tandoori kabab, and the one from the other night was as good or better than ever. I hope you are taking into account that Ramadan does not end until, I believe, Saturday. I went at 10:30 p.m. (they close at 11:00 during the week), and the place was slammed, with several additional parties waiting to be seated.
  9. I also read the article. I imagine Tweaked is well versed in this issue as the article describes the interaction of the listserve for the area, which has been running since 1999. From my perspective these folks have a significant awareness of the issues. The demographics of the city have changed. Neighborhoods, that weren't restaurant attractive years ago are now densely populated with consumers that could have dined at CP years ago and now have ample or more than ample alternatives. The competition is fierce and expansive and at a level now that wasn't in existence 20 years ago let alone 7 or 8 years ago. Demographics have changed. On that note one of the issues referenced in the area is that local citizens have debated whether to increase density in CP or not. Density being both residential and commercial. The group is evidently split, with age being a determinant. Not surprising. More on that note: The Washington DC Economic Partnership http://wdcep.com has an email they can send out with the type of demographic reports for each of the distinctive 54 neighborhoods in DC wherein they are trying to attract businesses. They are the types of demographic reports that tenants receive all the time when surveying and analyzing potential locations. The nice thing about the report is that they are all consistent in their preparation. They have similarly prepared reports for each commercial neighborhood; descriptions of populations in 1/2 mile, 1 mile, and 3 mile radii. Behind that is an enormous amount of data. I happened to glance at 4; Cleveland Park, Van Ness (because its a wee bit up the street), Columbia Hgts, because it was the neighborhood alphabetically after Cleveland Park, and H Street...(well just because). Cleveland Park (CP) and Van Ness (VN) have far thinner demographics than C Hgts, and H Street. Pretty dramatic. Lots more potential diners, lots more $$ spent on dining, etc. Somewhat striking. I didn't go beyond those 4 neighborhoods because this is an overwhelming amount of data even for a geeky data kind of person. The folks in CP know this. They've evidently known this for a while. The discussion about density has been going on for a good period of time. It could be the core of the issue, or at least one of the key points. In any case the letter published by the Nam Viet folks was poignant and touching. They thanked regular customers. That is sweet and about as neighborhoodly as it gets. It is also represented in the Post article. But changing demographics, changing habits, and competition are difficult for all businesses, let alone restaurants. That never changes. Tough tough tough nut. For a different neighborhood I noticed something and had a conversation with some restaurant owners I know. In the Courthouse Arlington neighborhood this week I was working late and around prime time happy hour passed Courthouse Social and Fireworks Arlington. Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Tuesday was a delightful evening, Thursday slightly less comfortable but not bad. Both places have outdoor patio's and were busy, one very dramatically crowded. I went back and did quick counts of folks eating and dining. Roughly about 200 diners and drinkers both nights, roughly about evenly distributed between the two places. Pretty good crowds to my uneducated eye. Both places had more capacity, maybe up to twice as much, but these were weekdays not weekend nights. Also I have no idea how many diners and drinkers populated those two places earlier or later in the evenings. Looked very active though. These are restaurant/bars. They aren't region wide foodie destination places or dramatically known for any particular element. I'd primarily call them neighborhood places. For the time being and the season they are doing the right things. Courthouse Social particularly is a restaurant taking over a space that was cursed for over a decade with different operations trying and ultimately failing. Meanwhile during the week I ran into two restaurant partners meeting with a friend of theirs. I know all of them. This last restaurant has upped its competitive game. Its "known" in the foodie world and has a good region wide reputation for food quality. But it may have grown stale and unchanged. Over the last several months they have modernized their website, expanded their social web reach and efforts, and done some things to attract more business. I'd noticed the changes. I asked one of the partners if it was working. He didn't give me a hard yes or no. I don't know. I hope it is working on their behalf. They know. They also hopefully realize that sometimes these efforts take time to bear fruit. Just to keep a place going in an ever changing environment is difficult. It requires different skill sets than being the best chef or the most engaging FOH person in the region. All that being said, if I were a long term resident of CP, I'd be crushed at the loss of all those restaurants in the last few years. In the Courthouse Arlington area I still mourn the closing of Minh's; mostly reasonably good food, some excellent dishes, a great place for lunch takeout and very very nice people.
  10. Thanks Don. Go see art, people - most of it in DC is admission-free.
  11. And yet another closure on King Street - Nickels & Scheffler closed their doors on June 9 according to a post on their website. There are signs on the door saying "Coming Soon - Lori's Table" or maybe it's "Lori's Place", as according to this article from the Old Town Patch a transition has been in the works for a few months. Gary's wish above may come true: later hours (until 10 pm) are mentioned in the article.
  12. Wondering if anyone is planning a trip to view the full solar eclipse this summer. Our travel plans will probably be dictated by the previous day's weather forecast.
  13. Chef Feliciano in Springfield was a catering business until about a month and half ago, when it opened a weekday lunch counter. I'm thankful for that decision, because these are the best sandwiches in our area. The first thing you see when you walk in the door are empanadas, and trays of fresh baked goods....so one empanada and 3 chocolate chip cookies went home with me. I haven't tried the chocolate chip cookies yet, but they are large and dotted with half-inch chunks of chocolate all over. The empanada was delicious, just as I would imagine a good empanada to be. On to the sandwiches, and I took home the triple club and the Cubano. I only ate half of each one so far, but they were both excellent. The slabs of sliced pork on the Cubano made the sandwich almost perfect. The club sandwich on a sub roll was really good. Chef Feliciano tells me he orders his buns fresh-baked every day from the International Gourmet baker, about a mile away. They were indeed very fresh. Bread snobs would be impressed. He also showed me the beef for the special sandwich today -- beautiful slices of raw sirloin steak in a tub, marinating in herbs and garlic, to be blackened on the flat top and served on a fresh bun. Can't wait to try that one sometime soon. Oh, and sandwiches come with rice and beans (or chips). The bad news is that it's only open from Monday through Friday for lunch. The good news is that we have a genuine family-run business serving up very nice quality sandwiches (with a few salads and soups thrown in).
  14. We thought Troeg's is pretty good and likely is a great choice for Hershey. However, since Millworks (which has a similar ambiance but superior food) in Harrisburg is between our house and Hershey, we don't foresee a lot of future revisits.
  15. Do you have any recommendations for tour companies and/or guides for travelling in Peru, for two people with no Spanish language ability? I am contemplating a trip to Peru (possibly also Ecuador or Bolivia) this winter. I was watching Netflix's Chef's Table episode on Central and it looked quite interesting.
  16. I want to say "thank you" to Tweaked for single-handedly running our Art Forum. Although it doesn't get a lot of visitors (yet), this is an extremely important forum to me, as art is an extremely important part of my life. When (or, "If") I get through my injury, I will be taking a much more active role in this, and hopefully getting Tweaked some help as well. Until then, please buy him a drink when you see him - he is solely responsible for everything you see there.
  17. Big on the CP list serve as well.
  18. I am planning on heading here tonight. Has anyone been recently? Is it still holding up? I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread, but are there any must-haves, or anything to stay away from?
  19. I was passing by Mclean on Dolley Madison Boulevard and saw this restaurant while stuck in traffic. It looked interesting because I've been to Little Serow and enjoyed the flavors, so a Thai restaurant closer to me with those similar flavors would be great. Searching online, I only found a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/esaandc, and it looks like they had a soft opening on June 18. Does anyone know more about this place or has visited? Thanks for any info!
  20. That was my initial reaction as well.
  21. I never tried haskaps. My impression from years of online forum reading is that the yields are low even in optimal conditions. They seem to be a poor substitute for northern people who can't grow blueberries. Black currants and gooseberries are frequently recommended for shady areas. The yield would be lower and they probably still need a decent amount of dappled light or some sun to do okay. Ditto with rabbiteye blueberries, which i have seen yield okay in a rather shady spot.
  22. I think the writer, and half the commenters, read this thread first...
  23. Restaurant closings energize debate about Cleveland Park’s future, By Rachel Chason, June 22 at 5:12 PM, on washingtonpost.com
  24. Fish tacos: corn tortillas, leftover red snapper, chopped napa cabbage, diced red onion, cilantro, lime, guacamole, and sour cream. Extremely good. I wanted to eat more but I was pretty full so I stopped myself.
  25. I'm so happy to know about the Ukrainian Festival seeing as I live in Silver Spring and I have a 3-year-old and friends from Ukraine! I'm surprised I didn't know about it before now. It's now on the calendar for September.
  26. Yesterday
  27. We love the Ukranian festival on New Hampshire Ave. every year in mid-September! We have pictures of the very dancers featured in the YouTube video you posted! Near the church end of the grounds they set up a little grocery store and we always get kielbasa etc. Parking on NH Ave. and at the mosque next door. Home made sweets (and Ukranian beer). We always get the church ladies' cabbage rolls and pierogis under the big tent, but I think I used to enjoy them more in past years than lately. The priest is cool. Last year there were some long bearded bishops or something like that from the old country visiting. People were getting their pictures taken with them. Petting zoo for the kids. One reason why New Hampshire Avenue is known as the Highway to Heaven! Count the churches as you go by. If you see a lot for sale you almost hope it's going to go to a church, else it'll fall in Devil's Land!
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