Kibbee Nayee

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About Kibbee Nayee

  • Rank
    Mayor of Springfield Dining
  • Birthday 05/29/1954

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    bruce_brody@yahoo.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Eating, cooking, eating, drinking, watching Anthony Bourdain and eating.
  • Location
    Springfield, VA
  1. Drove past Darna today, and then checked its website. While I haven't stepped inside yet, a few things caught my eye.... First, the stylized "D" logo is actually "Darna" in Arabic, with the letter "D" accentuated to appear as a fancy letter "D" in Arabic, and "arna" in Arabic script inside it. Clever and artistic. Second, the place is apparently laid out like a house, bedroom and all. I can't wait to see the inside to see how they pulled it off. Third, this isn't a Muslim Halal place -- liquor is on the menu, including three different brands of Arak, wine by the glass including Ksara (Lebanon), and cocktails like "Beirut" (vodka, Frangelico, lime juice and simple syrup). Fourth, but most important, there is kibbee nayee on the menu -- spelled "kibbiniya"...!! Having performed reconnaissance, I now intend to tuck in and check it out.
  2. Mels Drive-in has been around since 1947, when it began as an actual San Francisco drive-in with spaces for 100+ cars. It has eight locations in California today, with four in San Francisco and four in the L.A. area. I went to the location at 4th and Mission twice for breakfast last month. Don't expect fine dining, but do expect an overflowing plate of darn good food. I had their omelettes, which were very good. Other people who attended the same conference at the Moscone Center (about two blocks away) raved about the hamburgers, especially "The Famous Melburger" ... but there's immediate competition in the area. Across the street in the Metreon there is Buckhorn Grill, a really good California mini-chain that specializes in grilled tri-tip subs, and has a hamburger to die for. And another California mini-chain, Super Duper Burger, has a place in the Metreon and also a few blocks down Market Street. (Alert -- if you like In-N-Out for whatever reason, you'll LOVE Super Duper Burger and Buckhorn Grill.) Mels had to be an influence on the people who created Silver Diner. They are eerily similar in appearance, right down to the folded 1950s-era cars all over the top of the counter area. Expect prime time lines out the front door, but if you're a party of one, scoring a seat at the counter is relatively easy.
  3. I have been a member of the Tower Club in the past, which counted the Franklin Club at 13th and I Sts NW (Franklin Square), as well as the City Club at 13th and F Sts NW (Columbia Square) as its other two properties. The Franklin Club has since closed because of falling memberships -- these clubs cater mostly to the Federal business development community, with the occasional law firm or lobby firm in the mix. The initiation fee for the Tower Club and City Club has dropped to $1000, probably in an attempt to lure more members. In addition, about $250 - $270 a month in membership fees are charged, which are typically covered by corporate expense accounts. And on top of those fees, each meal is charged -- although breakfast at the Tower Club is one of the best deals in town. It's a buffet with an omelette station, for something like $9.95. But overall quality is medium at best. I've eaten often at the Tower Club, the City Club, the Franklin Club, the Army-Navy Club, the University Club, the National Press Club, and heck, even the U.S. Senate Dining Room, and I can make the general blanket statement about all of them -- uninspired cooking for a seldom-changing clientele, with emphasis on atmosphere and trappings, and where no up-and-coming bad-ass chef will ever be in the kitchen. Sometimes they have a dead feeling, with very few people there, and sometimes they have a tired feeling, with both staff and clientele on the wrong side of their prime years. The best thing I can say about them is that conversation is easy, although on more than one occasion, I was concerned about being overheard a few tables away in the midst of a business conversation. A couple of years ago, the Washingtonian wrote about the inevitable demise of these clubs, noting that they can survive as long as people keep turning 60. I still enjoy the occasional invitation to one of these places, although it's certainly not for the food.
  4. John's Grill is a pretty good restaurant. The bar is small, and so is the rest of the place, but scoring a seat and settling in is one of the better ways to enjoy a feeling of old San Francisco. First, let's get some history out of the way. It was the backdrop of The Maltese Falcon, and its walls are covered by celebrity pictures of those who dined here over the past 110 years or so. Think of a place where the Postal Service rolled out its commemorative Humphrey Bogart stamp here, with Arnold Schwarzenegger joining a rendition of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the ceremony. I've eaten (and drank) at John's on every one of my annual visits over the years, and the food is quite good. This isn't fine-dining, but for those of us from the Washington DC area who enjoy the The Monocle on Capitol Hill, Martin's Tavern, Old Ebbitt Grill, or the Occidental Grill, it's somewhere in between all of these sorts of time-worn establishments. I've had an absolutely perfectly executed Negroni at the bar, and I've enjoyed some truly great Cioppino in the dining room. This is also a good restaurant for steaks and burgers, at a good price. And a club sandwich for lunch one day was worth ordering again, as was the perfect side of fries, hot out of the fryer. I'll continue to frequent John's whenever I'm in town. The ongoing subway construction is an impediment, but if you're on foot, it's not much of a problem.
  5. I pulled into the Rockville location today, but I was planning dinner with a friend up the road, so I didn't order anything. I took note that it looked like any of the places in the L.A. area from the outside and the inside, all neat and tidy, so if the burgers are as good, we have ourselves a worthy addition to the local burger scene. If, however, the quality does not travel well to these eastern outposts, I give them credit for representing themselves aesthetically.
  6. I may be gushing a bit too much about this place, but I just got my first wine club shipment. For $200, plus shipping, I received these six bottles. L'Angevin 2013 Chardonnay "Three Squares" Russian River Valley -- 110 cases produced Capiaux Cellars 2014 Pinto Noir "Chimera" Russian River Valley -- 1540 cases produced Branham 2014 Zinfandel Rockpile Sonoma Valley -- 90 cases produced Vina Gandolini 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon "Las 3 Marias" Maipo Valley Chile -- 300 cases produced, only 140 imported to the U.S. Eponymous 2012 "McAllister Red" Sonoma Valley -- 620 cases produced Robert Biale 2013 "Like Father Like Son" Napa Valley -- 325 cases produced Now, where's that corkscrew!
  7. The California Wine Merchant is Showcasing a Tasting with De Martino Wines This Monday from 5-8pm Monday March 6th 5-8pm $20 CWM Wine Club Members - FREE! Join the CWM Wine Club and receive FREE tastings for all tasting events for you and a friend!! De Martino Founded in 1934, the De Martino family has specialized, for four generations, in creating wines that are a faithful reflection of their origin, coming from selected parcels throughout Chile. Wines of great purity, with a sense of place and balance, are a consequence of sustainable agriculture and traditional fermentation techniques. The fourth generation headed by Marco Antonio and Sebastián De Martino, along with their team, continue with their constant search for exciting terroirs same as polishing their house style. The Gandolini 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile's tiny Maipo Andes appellation is among a handful of world-class wines coming from this area. We were so impressed with its quality that we included it in our CWM Wine Club selection for Q1 2017. We will be tasting this wine along with the wines from De Martino. Wines To Be Tasted: De Martino 2016 Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca, Chile De Martino 2015 Legado Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo, Chile De Martino 2014 Gallardia Cinsault, Itata, Chile De Martino 2013 Alto de Piedras Carmenere (single vineyard) Maipo, Chile De Martino 2013 Las Cruces 'Old Bush Vines' Malbec, Cachapoal Valley, Chile De Martino 2011 Alto Los Toros Syrah, Elqui, Chile Gandolini 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Andes, Chile About The California Wine Merchant Don't forget that during the tasting you receive an additional 10-15% off of all wines purchased to go! If you are unable to attend just call or email Greg at (415) 567 0646 or Greg@Californiawinemerchant.com Upcoming Tastings Capiaux Tasting - April 3rd Branham Tasting - March 27th The California Wine Merchant 2113 Chestnut st San Francisco, California 94123 The California Wine Merchant, 2113 Chestnut st, San Francisco, CA 94123
  8. When he moved to the current location, he brought with him from the previous location his hand-made wooden racks for the wine on display around the walls -- hand-made, as in he made them himself. He has been in this career since 1973, he said, and over the past 40+ years he really got to know the vineyards and personalities throughout California wine country. He's a real resource.
  9. That little plaza on Alban Rd has three really good eating options -- Jacalito, Bozzelli's flagship, and Afghan Bistro. My solution is to grab takeout from Jacalito, order delivery from Bozzelli's, and dine in at Afghan Bistro. So far, this system is working just fine for me....
  10. It has table seating along the windows, maybe enough seats for 30-40 people. Of course, the office buildings all around there make for a very good carry-out business.
  11. It was Thursday afternoon, and I was heading to a corporate dinner at Cuba Libre, but I was early and nursing a cold. So I stumbled upon Fig and Olive and stopped in for a spot of hot tea at the bar. Directly across the bar from me was Betsy DeVos, our new Education Secretary, having a white wine and a small snack with a female companion with whom she was engaged in conversation. I was surprised to see a cabinet secretary so visible, but what the heck, it was only Education. And no one was bothering her for selfies or autographs....
  12. I've eaten at Booey's many times. It is convenient for a coffee meeting, but the sandwich counter isn't anything special. At the risk of criticism, I prefer the Korean buffet on the first floor of 4601 N. Fairfax Dr. to Booey's. I believe it's called Ballston Cafe, and it is among the many Korean-run buffets in our busy working area that includes many positive features -- (1) the buffet itself is immaculate, down to perfect presentation for each dish, (2) you can make your own dish, with plenty of variety and changing options all the time, and (3) the sandwich counter at the back is at least as good as Booey's, and even more meticulous in terms of presentation. These Korean-run buffets -- and I've eaten at dozens of them -- only have breakfast and lunch service, and the presentation down to the cut of the vegetables demonstrates a kitchen with some degree of discipline. All of that said, I'm merely voicing a convenient option that doesn't suck on that side of Glebe.
  13. SER is so-so for lunch, better for HH and dinner. That's not an exciting territory for lunch options, sad to say....
  14. I was impressed with Kokkari Estiatorio, and I didn't walk in with Komi-like expectations. When I saw the two roasted whole-carcass lambs at the rotisserie pit to the right of the bar area, I was hooked. Although I only tried one dish, it was a winner. Bib Gourmand 2017 includes Kokkari Estiatorio in its list of 75 for the Bay Area, and it's easily the best Greek restaurant in the area. Is it Komi? Well, probably not quite, but it's San Francisco's distant equivalent.
  15. EPIC Steakhouse is easily one of the best San Francisco steak houses, and most of the "Best of" lists confirm that. Even better, it's not a chain! We waited in the upstairs bar until our table was ready, and I can attest to a large wine list and solid spirits program. I had the Dungeness Crab Cocktail, which was outstanding, and the Prime Dry Aged Bone-in 20 oz. New York Strip. Wow, what a meal. Everything was perfect, and then some. This is not a place for the financially timid - the crab was $21 and the steak was $61, but I was happy to pay for such a high quality meal.