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About JimCo

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  1. Went as a Party of 3 and ordered the foie gras parfait with spiced donut, the crispy potato tortilla and the aged duck bomba. The foie gras gets an A+. The crispy potato tortilla fell a little flat for me. It wasn't very crispy and I thought it was bland. The bomba was outstanding, 'lick your pan' good. Several folks have mentioned that Arroz feels 'hotel-ish'. I had a similar feeling, but it had less to do with the lighting than the clientele. We ate at 8pm on a Friday night and it felt like most of the diners were hotel guests. We passed three infant carriers on the way to our table, and on our way out there were multiple families donning t-shirts and shorts who looked like they had spent the day touring the Mall. I don't view that as a knock on Arroz (and it won't keep me from going back), but it is something people should keep in mind if they're thinking of a romantic evening out. Also, it's LOUD.
  2. After a trip to Hill Country on Saturday, I agree with Tim Carman that their moist brisket makes them the #1 barbecue restaurant in the DC-area by a wide margin. This was truly great brisket -- juicy, infused with smoke that provided a mild tang, and a robust beefy flavor. My brother was in town from Houston, and he has sampled several of the places on the Texas Monthly Top 50. He was impressed and said that the brisket that day would be worthy of being on the Texas Monthly list. He and I also ate at Franklin's last year, and we agreed that Hill Country was not quite at Franklin's level. But it was still close enough for DC barbecue enthusiasts to be excited about. Where Frankin's bests everyone (in my opinion) is texture. Franklin's brisket has a melt-in-the-mouth quality akin to kobe beef that I haven't noticed elsewhere. Carman says Hill Country is now cooking with 100% wood, and it is noticeable. I think I'm going to become a weekend regular there this summer and enjoy it while it lasts. I'll also put in a plug for Hill Country's pork belly which they seem to have as a special on most weekends. They put a very salty rub on it and slice into 1/8 inch slices. It is now a must-order for me.
  3. I am in total agreement with this. Brisket gets all the attention at Killens, but I think their ribs are some of the best I've ever had. I've tried to create them at home, but can't find any interviews where he discusses his recipe or techniques for ribs.
  4. Barbecue

    Inspired by Tim Carman's updated top-10 list, I embarked on a three location tour of some of his top-rated barbecue restaurants. On Saturday evening, I hit Federalist Pig, Sloppy Mama's at Solly's, and DCity Smokehouse. My rules were to stick with brisket and ribs, no sides, and only one beer per location. Federalist Pig was stop one. I had eaten here once before and found the rib tips and the wings were the most memorable items. The rib tips were already sold out at 6pm, and this wasn't a wing expedition so we ordered a 1/2 lb of brisket and a half-rack of ribs. I found Carman's assessment to be correct. The barbecue was expertly made. The brisket was juicy and the ribs had just the right amount of pull. However, both were lacking in smoke. I also thought the rub on the ribs needs to be amplified in some way. It was good, but nothing stood out. I guess some could call it 'well-balanced' but I'd prefer something more memorable. Maybe a touch of heat. Sloppy Mama's at Solly's was next. It's obviously a bar with a very young group of patrons. You have to order from the bartender and then a runner brings you your food. Despite advertising ribs (on the weekends) on their menu, there were no ribs that day. They weren't even mentioned on the menu. So we called an audible and went with pulled pork. They also don't serve meat by the pound; there are only platters. I ordered the brisket and pork platter from the bartender and told her we didn't want the sides. She insisted that it had to come with sides or the kitchen staff would yell at her. Ooookay. Pickles and fries, please. The good news is that the brisket was juicy though it was also falling apart. The pulled pork was disgustingly dry. I took one bite and knew I didn't have to waste any more calories there. (And despite the 'no sides' rule, a taste of the sweet and spicy pickles proved to be the best thing on the tray). DCity Smokehouse was the final spot. I really liked their new location. It may be cramped in the winter, but in the summertime they have plenty of picnic tables set-up outside and they weren't very crowded at 7pm on Saturday. The brisket had really good flavor, a good bark, and great smoke. Unfortunately, it was a tad dry. A few hours earlier and I bet it would have been terrific. I was most impressed with their ribs. They're sweet at first but do have a little kick at the end. If I hadn't been to two other restaurants first, I could have easily polished off a half-rack. So overall, I'm inclined to agree with most of Carman's assessment including that Hill Country is currently the best in the area. (I ate there in June and the pork belly was the best barbecue I've had this summer.) I'm not sure about Sloppy Mama's. Maybe we should have tried it at Union Market. I'm sure it would be better removed from its current environment and I would have liked to try their ribs. Of these three, I'd give the nod to DCity Smokehouse.
  5. No, it was in DC. I suppose generic barbeque platters are too hard to discern. It was Sloppy Mama's at Solly's Tavern. And the pulled pork was barely edible. I'll write more soon.
  6. I left the area in 2013, but friends who work nearby say they've been gone for a few years. I heard they sold the truck. It's a shame. They were the first place I had bulgogi, and I've never found a place since where I thought it was as good.
  7. Sucks. I worked across the corner there for five years and was a regular, but that was four years ago and now I'm in Alexandria. I'm sure the proliferation of food trucks at Franklin Square played a big role. For a long while, Pedro & Vinny's and the Yellow Food Truck (Korean) were the only options in that area and they were both superior to what came afterwards. But now they're both gone. Such is progress I guess, but I wish we could have better supported the stalwarts while enjoying the new ones.
  8. He did, and was great. The man obviously knows a lot, but also differentiates between competitions and backyard cooks -- as well as what is just a matter of personal preference.
  9. I took the Brisket class at Dizzy Pig this weekend in Manassas and would strongly recommend to Egg owners. I've had my Egg for nearly 3 years, and learned some new ways of doing things, and more importantly learned some things I've been doing the wrong way. Their classes are laid back, interesting, and relatively brief running from just 10am to 2pm. I'm already eyeing the schedule to do another one later this year: http://dizzypigbbq.com/dizzcovery/
  10. Ha! We actually went to Ray's on Sunday night. It was my first trip there in over a year. Not much has changed, and I mean that in the best way possible. I had the aged rib-eye medium rare which had great char, and the kids enjoyed their kids' sirloin. Thanks for all the ideas!
  11. The Publican? I adore that place, but have no idea what that dish is.
  12. Thank you for the suggestions. We wound up at Myron's BBQ because a friend asked us to join him (and I'm weak-willed). But we get a fair amount of "guys time" in this family so I will keep this all in mind.
  13. I've eaten here four times now, which is not an intentional act but when friends say, "Lets grab some barbecue," I say "great" and now... here we are. A few thoughts upon multiple visits... Get the dry wings. They fry them perfectly and they allow you to try all the different sauces. I love the sweet "Hog" sauce on the wings and the vinegar sauce on the pork. I don't care for their mustard sauce, but two companions have told me it's their favorite so I guess that's a sign I need better companions. 😀 The pulled pork remains the best thing going and that has been confirmed by multiple dinner partners. They pull it to just the right texture and manage to impart enough smoke without masking the pork flavors. The ribs keep changing. My first visit, they were cut individually and super sweet. My next visit they were uncut (mini-rack of 4) with very little sauce and had great texture (clean bite but not fall-off-the-bone). And my third visit they were an uncut rack of 4 ribs that were over-sauced and over-cooked. The meat all fell off the bones when I tried to cut them apart. Similarly, the brisket has been hit or miss -- thin and dry my first visit, then moist and delicious my second visit. Then 'good but not great' on my third try -- the flavor was smoky and beefy but they trimmed the fat off and that left it a little dry. Twice, they've had burnt ends as a special They were good but... they weren't burnt ends. They were cubed pieces of the point end of a brisket and very juicy, but they hadn't been applied with more rub and smoked again. Tonight I tried the pork belly for the first time. Long strips of fatty (obviously), juicy pork. It was good, but I'll stick with the pulled pork in the future, which is the same flavors but less fatty. The sides and desserts are more consistent and very good. The potato salad is the best, and I like the baked beans. The beans are sweet and have chunks of peaches in them so the may not be for everyone. I think it takes some time for a BBQ restaurant (and any restaurant really...) to develop consistency. I hope Myron's does, because we need it. Especially with the recent news about Texas Jack's 😩.
  14. Enjoyed brunch here today, though be forewarned that the brunch menu is small, particularly for a 'small plate' restaurant. I enjoyed the Avocado Golgappa, which others have described. My wife remarked that it was like an Indian nacho, which I thought was a good description. The avocado does get overwhelmed (like it does in TexMex nachos) and probably shouldn't be the featured ingredient, but ignoring that, it's a damn good bite The Bhel Puri was spicier than the version at Bombay Curry Company, but the flavors were nearly identical. I appreciated the spice, but it wasn't as crunchy as BCC so I'd give the nod to Bombay Curry Company based on the texture. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with cumin, chili and yogurt was enjoyable. It was a cooling contrast to the spicier dishes. Our server said the Pao Bhaji was her favorite dish and compared it to an Indian sloppy joe. I don't like sloppy joes, but I loved this. It came with two buttery buns, and the Bhaji was a complex curry with a lot of flavors that melded well together. Finally, we shared the Egg Uttapam, sort of an Indian omelet. It was good, but I think my taste buds were fried by this point. It was my least favorite dish, but my wife thought it was the best. My first- and second- graders shared the lamb and chicken khati rolls and loved them. The wrap around the meat was a thin egg crepe. I only managed a small bite of the lamb filling but it was good. The only disappointment was that I saw a bacon cheese naan online that I know my kids (and okay... me) would have loved, but they don't have naan at brunch. Overall, I thought the restaurant was great. I don't think I would make a special trip to Cleveland Park for the brunch, but would certainly go again if I was nearby. It also made me more appreciative of Bombay Curry Company, which doesn't change it's menu or experiment much, but I think can stand on its own with some of the better Indian food in this area.