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About genericeric

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    Ashburn, VA
  1. Clarendon has changed a lot in the last decade. Look at how many mediocre/poor restaurants there are now that attract the bar crawl crowd on weekends. I have a feeling HN1 found they could make more money by selling super mugs of beer to a packed crowd at 10pm than good chinese to a moderate crowd at 6pm. And I will admit, I smiled a little when I saw this thread get bumped up. And I've never eaten an entree at HN1 (and am now in my mid-30s, so its been that way for awhile)
  2. We stumbled across Stone Tower Winery a year or two ago after receiving a promo coupon from Belfort (Huber family owns both). Well, who am I kidding, no one 'stumbles' across Stone Tower which is accessible via a gravel road in need of some TLC a few miles south of Leesburg. Side note - most of the people driving on this road don't seem to have a good sense of how to drive on gravel... or maybe they've had too much wine. Stone Tower has two main areas - the Harvest Barn for those of us with dogs and kids, and what I can only refer to as the grown up section, as I've never had a chance to get over there. In between is a hillside with lovely views of the Virginia countryside and cutthroat competition for seats on weekends (bring a lawn chair - problem solved). They also have some of the nicer restrooms in an outbuilding I've come across - even better that they remain relatively clean after a busy Saturday. It does get quite busy but the property is also large - it doesn't often feel as swamped as some other nearby options. Bottom line is, it is a nice place to spend an afternoon. Stone Tower has two labels - the estate label from fruit grown on-site, and the Wild Boar label using fruit shipped in while they continue to expand the growing output of the vineyard. If I have quibbles with the wine (which I do), it is because I tend to view their product in a higher tier than many other NoVA wineries. They produce two very serviceable Bordeaux blends (left and right) and a nice blend. Their Cabernet is pleasant - Pinot in general isn't my jam but friends have enjoyed it. The Malbec was the real star of the previous release, but I feel they did themselves a disservice by including the latest Malbec in the wine club too early - it is definitely too young. And while I'm not normally a big sparkling rose fan, their Rose Cuvee has a nice balance of not being too sweet and a little complex, while still being a good drinker on a warm day. Their club is quite flexible - you're charged by the discounted bottle price that quarter, and can swap in and out as you want with the price difference charged or refunded. Edit: They ran out of the Rose Cuvee last Saturday, so going to be a few months before available. They do seem consistently behind in production, but so far I haven't seen them double clubs, reduce the count for tastings, etc.
  3. Yes - I apologize if my post appeared to be directed at you, it was intended to be about the article posted.
  4. This is one of those posts that bugs me, but I give it a few hours before I comment in case I'll regret it. It's been a few hours... This wasn't a campaign rally, it was an opportunity to meet with the President in his capacity to set policy, where it sounds like the gentleman advocated for the very positions that most of the people now boycotting him would have supported. The unfortunate part is that any blow back will hurt those 300 'family members' just as much as the owner. As a person who opposes Trump as much as the next guy, this seemed more policy than politics.
  5. If this movie hadn't been nominated, I probably would have really enjoyed it. If this movie had a different literal take away toward the end, I may have even loved it. But it was, and it didn't. Not to sound cliche, but they don't make movies like this anymore. I felt it had the right amount of whimsy and fantasy, along with a story line that was engaging and kept moving. Interestingly, my wife felt like Ryan Gosling was a star while Emma Stone was lacking - I thought the exact opposite. But these filmmakers aren't dumb, I will give them that. Take the nostalgia from a well done example of a dying genre, combined with the blatant love note to Hollywood, and you wind up with a best picture nominee in a year when options were light.
  6. E&C had a hard road to walk for me from the beginning. Due to no fault of its own, the 19th St location is where my then-g/f (now wife, thankyouverymuch) and I would meet on neutral ground when we needed to have 'a talk.' But then, it happened. I try not to publicly post things that could malign a business due to the actions of one bad apple. But this was that freaking bad. Sitting at the bar one Friday for lunch, I saw the bartender pour 3/4 of a draft beer, then pickup the plastic overflow tray and remove the cover, and proceed to pour in the contents to top off the pint. After mentioning to the manager without even giving time for a response, I left and have not been back to an E&C since. I don't see that changing.
  7. Per Se kept all three, eh? Would be interesting for Mr. Wells to return. As much as he seems to enjoy a good takedown, his reviews also seem fair (Senor Frogs being among my favorites). We're his issues isolated? Or did PS tighten the ship THAT much after his review? If so, bravo...
  8. I've wandered over to that Applebee's a few times when the Sunday madness at BWW gets to be too much. It is actually a perfectly fine place to sit and have a beer. The food is what you'd expect, though the table service has been sub par at times. I would imagine their daily business is tied somewhat heavily to the occupancy rates at the nearby Westin and Holiday Inn - I've noticed its rare to find an Applebee's more than a few hundred yards from a hotel these days.
  9. Along the happy hour theme, be up front with what is and is not on happy hour. I'm not sure why so many happy hour menus have gotten so complicated (chains seem to be the main culprit here), but if a guest has expressed interest in happy hour, and you then see them fall pray to the fine print, a friendly heads up is appreciated. For ex. - the 16oz beer is on special but the 20oz is not - it can save hard feelings later to flag that. While not expected, bonus points for something along the lines of "That is a nice IPA, though this other IPA is also nice and is on happy hour for $4 right now". Typically the beer costs me the same price, it just depends on whether you get the difference in tip, or the restaurant does in sales.
  10. I find myself at Devil's Backbone a lot. My mother-in-law lives at Wintergreen, so one could call this place my home-away-from-my-home-away-from-my-home (wow that made me sound like an ass). My wife and I headed up to the house for a getaway on our first anniversary of dating, too many years ago. It was late, I was grumpy/tired/hungry/thirsty. We turned the corner from 151 and I saw the giant copper tanks and my mood changed in a hurry. I'm a mug club guy. What I'm saying is I like the place. While I don't know Steve Crandall, I've gotten to know some of the bartenders over the years - all good people from what I can tell. Now, Devil's Backbone is no longer a craft brewer. There are clear definitions of craft brewery, and they no longer meet those definitions. But good God, the reaction... from customers. From the craft brewers association and some of their member breweries. From some in the media. Whenever someone mentions A/B you can see the staff visibly withdraw - having been the subject of so much verbal abuse over the last few months based on a decision they had nothing to do with. All of this against a company that did a great deal of good for their industry. The Backbone always participated in collaboration projects with other breweries - often times breweries that were far less successful and needed DB more than DB needed them. Hosting events at their facility, participating as board members, etc. Even after all that happened this year, someone mentioned that Crandall still hosted the brewers dinner the night before the event. A/B didn't buy them because they liked Nelson County, or because they liked the venue. They bought them because DB brews several specific, quality beers that fit well into A/B's portfolio of offerings. They didn't buy Wild Wolf or Blue Mountain. Devil's Backbone's beer is better (again, in my opinion, but sales and production seem to back this up). So let's take A/B out of the picture for a moment. Two weeks ago I was there on a random Saturday afternoon. I stopped by for an early lunch, then again on my way back up the mountain before dinner. There were easily 500+ people there at any given time throughout the day. There is zero chance they had less than $100,000 in sales that day, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was three times that. They had an offsite production facility brewing large quantities of product for regional distribution. They had moved beyond the days of having supply chain and distribution challenges already. So what has changed? When the truck pulls up to their Lexington production facility, the side of it says Budweiser. They are still brewing a lot of small batch, experimental beers - almost all of which are quite good. They are still employing hundreds of people in an area of the state that needs more jobs. I don't like the fact that they sold to A/B. But local company makes it big, puts out good product, employs a lot of good people, gets bought out, and still offers solid, innovative beers... Would the people at the CBA have turned down the check? It smells a little of sour hops to me (sorry, I couldn't resist). P.s. They are opening a distillery on site at the Basecamp, appears to be branded as Devil's Backbone. I would love to see the contractual gymnastics that had to be performed for A/B to sign off on allowing a distillery into their portfolio, with the same branding as one of their beers P.s.s. The ironic thing is I actually find the Vienna to be one of their least solid offerings. P.s.s.s. If you haven't visited the 151 trail, its beautiful this time of year. Find a chair next to the fire pit at the Basecamp and breathe - craft beer isn't dying, more will come along.
  11. I don't love Chipotle, but my wife does (even after the aforementioned raw chicken incident up thread), and sometimes it's easier to just shove it in rather than go two places. So I stop in a few weeks back and think 'Huh. Chorizo. Maybe this is my Chipotle jam.' I threw the burrito away. I have never been one to salt food at the table, but as I eat out a majority of my meals, my salt tolerance is not low. But whoa, this was a sodium bomb that I just couldn't get down - and couldn't believe this passed what I'm sure is extensive market testing by a company of this size before launching a new offering. Back to my standard kids meal - they aren't bad and are perfectly sized for lunch.
  12. I do like the tempura green beans here - makes me feel more virtuous than my typical side order of fries though they're probably just as bad. I like the concept of the grilled tuna, but in the 4-5 times I've ordered it at the Ashburn location, it is consistently cooked below the requested temp. A decent sear is fine, but I find the completely (or nearly so) raw doesn't work as well on the sandwich.
  13. Which Wich is the closest food offering to my office, which sits in a bit of a food desert. Most of us will occasionally visit if its raining and we don't want to walk further or if we don't have much time, but I try to avoid if possible. Toppings tend to be glopped on, and unlike Subway, its hard to say 'a little of this' or 'not too much of that' if they are heavy handed. The cold cuts I've had seems to be pretty low quality, though to be fair I haven't tried the cheesesteak mentioned above. The location on E St NW doesn't have the fun coke machine, but I do like their refillable, large plastic soda cups. Their breakfast sandwiches are actually not bad, but the E St location tends to open at various hours in the morning and often they 'forget' to take down the closed sign, so more often than not I end up with a bagel from Greenberry's next door. P.s. I think the thread title needs a spell check on the second 'wich'
  14. Your point is not lost, but I think to be fair, David Chang is generally known as a talented chef - not that this was necessarily reflected in your ramen, but seems to be in its associated price. Fieri's 'talent' is not as widely recognized... It's a bit hard to compare prices internationally between Japan and America, but this is a celebrity chef-driven restaurant in one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the city. I'm not meaning to argue that the ramen was or was not 'worth' it - but it's going to be hard to pay that rent and other overhead costs with a $12 lunch.
  15. It isn't the crabs - it's everything else. I lived less than 50 feet away from this restaurant for 4 years and ate there twice. And as a person who enjoys a good dive bar, I may have had a beer here another two times. Of course, it IS a crab shack, and I would venture to say that Cantlers isn't worth going out of your way for in January either. But man, everything else there is pretty bad, and I would say far worse than Piola (which gets no love from me, see my rant against the frozen broccoli in that thread). Compared to the now closed Cappys, which was putting out some really solid Nashville fried chicken last week, not to mention the hushpuppies - I'd gladly drive to NE DC over the walk to QD. Perhaps waking up to the smell of hot, rotting crab trash every summer morning for so long caused a bias. Some of column a, some of column b....