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Found 141 results

  1. Dal Grano is next to the former Bistro Vivant, now Masala. Bland is the key word here. I had fettuccine with seafood white wine sauce. The dish had some nicely cooked shrimp and calamari rings, and some mussels (not in shell). I think it was the mussels that made the dish fishy, otherwise it had little flavor. I also think the pasta is not firm enough.
  2. Enjoyed a good meal at this new fast casual place in Mosaic a few weeks ago. The three of us each got different meats with sides (lentils, etc). The Naan was well made and buttery. I don't recall all the details, but it was hearty and reasonable. Sauces were not too spicy but flavorful and unboring. I do recall this weird automatic hand wash contraption thing in the dining room. It was awesome.
  3. Had dinner last night at Samurai teppanyaki grill in the GMU shopping center. I had the chicken and shrimp combo, dining companion had the lobster-filet-shrimp, plus the typical miso soup, salad, fried rice, grilled veggies and noodles. It was clean, everything was cooked properly, not the best show by the chef but certainly adequate, and thankfully not oversalted (which is something that I find happens at a teppanyaki with chefs using the salt shakers in their show). A lot of food -- I took fully half of mine home even after eating until I was stuffed, so I think a fair value for the price, which I believe was about $24 for my choice, maybe about $31-$32 for my companion? Plus a sake appletini for me that balanced on the line between sweet and sour. I would have been happy with a tad more sour but was relieved that it wasn't too sweet. Not fine dining by any stretch, but I think a better choice than Kilroy's (which was the other option I was offered).
  4. So I stumbled on the website for this BBQ joint and I can't find any threads about it on DR. Anyone been to Black Hog?
  5. Met up with some friends on Friday night to try Smokehouse Live in Leesburg. No better way I can think of to describe this place than suburban Hill Country - same system, same basic theme, very similar menus. The good - The bar area here is bright and very open with friendly service, a limited bar menu and good happy hour prices. Nice selection of bourbons, some cocktails during happy hour for $5 and a tap selection that goes beyond the Shiner limitations of HC downtown. But then... The rest - Hill Country (normally I would say so many comparisons to HC would be unfair, but they don't seem to even be trying to hide the imitation, so...) somehow manages to pull off sticking a room full of bench tables together and have it not seem totally cold and impersonal. Smokehouse Live can't say the same - plywood walls, disjointed floor plan and an oddly cramped 'market' ordering area made me miss some cheap and tacky kitsch and finished hardwood. But hey, you're here for the barbeque, right? The pulled pork was ok - not awesome, but not bad - wished it had more bbq flavor. I will admit - I order lean brisket - and am used to this being a bit more on the dry side than the 'wet' orders, but this was so dry it was crumbling apart. The beef shoulder (crod) is just a hard cut to work with - even after trimming visible tough areas I still had trouble chewing (not sure this is as much the restaurants fault as just a tough cut). Texas Chainsaw sauce was ok, though could have used more heat for being the 'spicy' version; eastern carolina was a little close to being straight vinegar for me. Please, for the love of God, if you only read one sentence in this write up, read this one: A 16oz portion of collard greens will cost you $14.25. Just to make sure we didn't miss anyone there - A 16oz portion of greens will cost you $14.25. Now to be fair, your little order card does list the price for each side in tiny little numbers inside the bubbles. Generally being a person who is not so concerned with price that I thought a side order of collard greens for two people might break me, I didn't really pay attention - after all, its a side of greens and some turkey that was left over from the day before. I would love to see their food cost for this. Or for the $14.25 portion of macaroni and cheese. Or for the $14.25 portion of lima beans and corn. But moving on... It was our server's first day, or at least appeared to be, so I hold her completely blameless but when you are half way through your meal and still do not have someone take your drink order, AND when you have flagged down three different staff members begging for drinks and then a manager, AND when you give you drink order to all three of these staff members never to see said drinks, it gets old. I'll still never understand why, when the new server finally appeared, she made an Arnold Palmer using Mountain Dew, but at this point I was beyond questioning. Bottom line - would totally go back for happy hour at the bar and listen to some music, but the dinner experience was approaching 'one-and-done' levels of not good. P.s. didn't want to start a new topic for a restaurant so far out that wasn't good, but please feel free to move as needed
  6. Sthitch: have you tried Willard's in Chantilly? For a jack-of-all-trades place they do a good job. Don't miss the cobblers!
  7. Must give a shout-out to one of my favorite sandwich shops around. Generously-sized hand-carved sandwiches on fresh bread at very reasonable prices. Sounds very simple, but I'm always surprised about how few places successfully implement this concept. This is one of them. Last weekend: Roast Turkey sandwich piled with lots of veggies for $5.75 and my personal version of the Turkey Melt (hand-carved turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sprouts, swiss cheese and honey mustard on a wheat sub roll) for $6.75. One of the best values around, IMHO.
  8. I recently had a chance to visit Bottega Louie, a bright, cavernous space in The Brockman Building on South Grand that is both a gourmet market and restaurant. The large open floor and high ceilings plan gives the place a certain vibrancy, with an accompanying noise level that you might expect from such a large room. I took a seat at the 10 stool bar in the front closer to the market and quite enjoyed the Cioppino, which also cost $30. It was a full bowl of succulent seafood, that contained perhaps the most plump mussels I have ever been served. Truly satisfying.
  9. Anil Kumar is now at Bethesda Curry Kitchen, right across the street from Grapeseed, which opened on Tuesday, February 11th. On this very cold evening, the nearly empty restaurant seemed like an eternity away from Gringos & Mariachis, just a few blocks down Cordell Avenue, and which also opened on February 11th. I have no doubt that on this evening, Gringos & Mariachis was packed. A liquor license is still a few weeks away, so for now, this restaurant is without alcohol. I started my dinner with a homemade Mango Lassi ($3.50) which reminded me that Kumar's former restaurant, Saveur India, had some of the best Kulfi I've ever tried - Bethesda Curry Kitchen also has homemade Kulfi on their dessert menu. Chef Kumar is from Hyderabad, a huge city in the South of India, and the south is very well-represented on the menu. The city of Coorg sits about 400 miles southwest of Hyderabad, nestled in the Western Ghats. When I go to India for the first time, my plan is to spend some time in Goa, but a detour to Coorg is also on the agenda. Coorgi Chicken ($15.99) isn't a dish you see very often in the DC area, but it was very well-executed here, and obviously long-cooked, containing 5-6 boneless, Halal thighs in a wonderful curry (the quality of this chicken was very high). Served with basmati rice, I also got a Mehti Paratha ($3.00) for the requisite sauce dunking. On a frigid Saturday night, there was only one other family of four dining in this somewhat stark, utilitarian restaurant. "Until you get your liquor license, weekend dinners during the winter are going to break your heart," I said to my server. I cannot think of an atmosphere that's more different from Gringos & Mariachis than Bethesda Curry Kitchen, but both restaurants are initialized in Italic in the Dining Guide which speaks volumes about the potential quality of cooking here. Also just down Cordell Avenue from Passage To India, I don't even see the two as competitors - one is a curry house; the other is fine dining. Bethesda Curry Kitchen is going to survive, not by weekend dinners, but by delivery and lunch buffets. I walked past the empty buffet - which had the signs up - and noticed that my Coorgi Chicken was on it, so you can enjoy this exact same dish for lunch, with many others to accompany it, for less money. In fact, until they get their liquor license, a lunch buffet would be the perfect way to initiate yourselves with this fine newcomer.
  10. Enough of Etete, which is tired, boring and full of yuppies. Zenebech is the best Ethiopian in town, and the gored-gored is the best raw meat dish you will have this year.
  11. I wrote this up several weeks ago, but worth repeating. The Copper Crust Company is a god send to this carb addict. Its located right inside the Central Market in downtown York. The owners are originally from NY, city proper, I may add. They brought their skills to town. An everything bagel that a New Yawker would eat!! Although, I do believe the secret to NY bagels & pizza dough is the water. This should be on a list of MUST eat places while visiting the area, among many more. But rec needs to wait til my next review!! building suspense, kat
  12. Have seen the sandwich shop Local Foods show up on a few 'best in the country' lists for sandwiches lately. They lived up to the hype. If you need a lunch spot in Houston, this is it. Great local beer selection too.
  13. New Greek restaurant in Great Falls off Seneca Road at the corner of Route 193 and Route 7. Have not had the opportunity to try it yet, but from their website, the Chef has a great background. http://www.ourmomeugenia.com/
  14. Walked by at lunch and saw the Now Open sign out front. Turns out it was their opening day. Hope springs eternal when it comes to Bethesda delis, so I decided to give it a shot. It's pretty bare bones space, with a handful of tables inside and an outdoor space with a few plastic tables. But delis don't need to be fancy if the food is good. There the news is somewhat hopeful. The matzo ball soup is solid, with a big fluffy ball and broth that could have been a bit more flavorful but overall was very nice. My litmus test for delis is pastrami. Heckman's is solidly in the thick-cut pastrami camp and the good news is that it's undeniably juicy and well-balanced. But it's also uncomfortably fatty -- not the unctuous kind of fat that melts in your mouth but the kind that makes the sandwich hard to eat when it's stacked high. I ended up trimming some of the fat myself and then enjoyed the sandwich. Surprisingly, they didn't have pickles, which at a deli is unfathomable but presumably will be rectified soon. Service was somewhat confused, which is not surprising on day one. To be fair to the wait staff, I think the problems largely originated in the kitchen. Overall, I'm somewhat more hopeful than some of the other delis that have come and gone in Bethesda.
  15. So I'm sitting at Teatro Goldoni the other evening, watching someone eat the largest cheeseburger I've ever seen, and in walk couple-about-town Fellato Riminovich and Putana Harlotski. They ordered some bruschetta, wolfed it down hungrily, blew some air kisses, and then disappeared into the night. And I thought about a conversation I once had. "You're too much of a foodie," my friend once told me, shortly before heading to her shift at Cafe Milano. "I am not," I protested. "I just don't like things that suck." "Cafe Milano doesn't suck." "It does suck." "You need to understand: bars and restaurants aren't always about food." "How can a restaurant not be about food?" "It's no Tosca, but people enjoy it." "People enjoy Cheesecake Factory too." <glare> "Look: the customers at Cafe Milano might not know anything about food, but they know what they like." And I sat there, blinking. Then I came back into the moment, my thoughts turning toward the pizza in front of me at Teatro Goldoni, the uneaten pizza, the undercooked piece of dough with harsh dried herbs sprayed on top of it, seemingly from a firehose, and wondering to myself if I should just try and enjoy the pizza for what it was. And then I left and went to Palena.
  16. Couldn't find a post about this place so please move if I'm wrong. When my friend hosted book group, she got platters from here and they were delicious so I went with my son about a week ago. And it was just as good. They made a kid's plate for my boy with a kufta kabob, rice and a bit of carrots & potatoes in a sauce - he loved it but I ate the veggies. I had the chicken kabob platter with my chosen side of sauteed spinach and naan-type warm bread. Came with the yummy yogurt sauce too. I finished it - nuff said. Also had the baklava, a huge portion for $3.99. Really nice staff/owners, a few tables for eating in and a lot of people coming to pick up their called in orders. Website: http://www.arlingtonkabobva.com/
  17. Clementine is in a unique area of Baltimore that is unpopulated by the usual hip restaurants. This place has the feel of a general store, and they cure their own bacon and make other charcuterie. It's a great spot to bring kids; there's a cute play area off in the corner. Great assortment of sodas from rosemary lemon fizz, lime basil elixir, Cheerwine, and other drinks. We went for breakfast. The waffles are fantastic - almost fried and funnel cake like with strawberries and whipped cream. There's an Elvis version with bacon, bananas and nutella as well, which I did not get to try. We ordered catfish with grits, corned beef hash, and their regular scramble. Be sure to ask for their housemade hot sauces that come in both green and red. Catfish was cooked to the right texture so that it didn't end up tough with great grits. The corned beef hash is unlike any other hash - the meat was high quality and came in chunks, lovely chunks of squash and potato. And I'm not sure what they put in their scramble of eggs, potatoes, red cabbage, onion and duroc bacon, but yum. Definitely want to return to try their version of bi bim bap and charcuterie. This has definitely unseated Miss Shirley's as my favorite brunch spot in Baltimore.
  18. I remember going into Saigon City a few years ago when it was mostly lunch-counter pho, where you place the order at the counter and wait for your number to be called, then take your tray to a set. I don't know why I haven't been back in a few years -- it wasn't bad but it wasn't great -- and I don't know what compelled me to try it again today. But I'm really glad I did. Saigon City Restaurant is now a real restaurant, with a full Vietnamese menu and table service. And on a Friday afternoon, of the 25-30 patrons in the place, at least two-thirds were Vietnamese. That's always a good sign when an ethnic restuarant draws its peeps. Although there are many dishes I want to return for on what appears to be the most complete Vietnamese menu in Springfield (yes, I realize that's not saying much, and you can throw in Burke, Lorton and Occoquan as well!), I went with the cha gio and the meat combo pho today. (Note to self -- whenever writing about pho, taste it before you squeeze in the lime, dump in the basil and sprouts, and squirt in the hoisin and sriracha...) Anyway, it was good enough to return for. The cha gio scored high on taste, but they were a little smaller than the many Falls Church versions I've had. I will return and sample my way through the menu -- Shaky Beef and Lemon Grass Chicken, here I come! -- but I wanted to post this so that those of you with a hankering for Vietnamese in the Springfield area would have this place on your radar. http://www.saigoncityrestaurant.com/
  19. I can't find a thread for Timber Pizza Co., so I'm starting a thread for the first time! The bf, two friends, and I tried Timber (in Petworth, on Upshur St.) about a month ago, shortly after it opened. For a place that had just made the brick-and-mortar leap from a truck-hauled oven, Timber was impressively strong out of the gate. It was crowded on that Sunday night, and we were wary when we saw that you order at the counter and then hope to find space at the communal picnic tables. (Unless you manage to grab seats at the small bar in the back, where you can apparently order from the bartender.) Luckily, our hovering paid off and we snagged a table before our pizzas arrived. (If we lived in the neighborhood, we'd be doing regular take-out.) Everyone was super friendly, and the woman at the counter was helpful in recommending how much to order. We went with empanadas, three pizzas, a sharing-sized salad, and two large-format cocktails. It turned out to be a pretty ideal amount of food; we ended up with a few leftover slices to take home. (Which definitely didn't make me sad.) I really enjoyed the corn, sweet red peppers, spring onions empanadas, because how can you go wrong with that vegi combination in a crisp pizza dough shell (especially with the spicy pineapple chups, which I used for my pizza crust as well). The friends like the pork ones too. The JMD salad (sugar snap peas, spearmint, salad greens, radishes, lemon-honey vinaigrette) was lovely, a bright, crisp contrast to all the dough we were consuming. With our friends deferring to our pescatarianism, we settled on the Asher (tomato sauce, smoked mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, roasted corn, hot peppers, smoked paprika, micro-cilantro), the Munday (olive oil, provolone, mozzarella, squash blossoms, sugar snap peas, honey ricotta, garlic chips, spicy honey), and the Ty Brady (crab, corn, potatoes, Old Bay). The crust had nice char and chewiness, and I loved the creative topping combinations. All were delicious, and we disagreed on how to rank our favorites, which is always a good sign. (I was particularly pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the spicy honey on the Munday.) We didn't linger so that others could have our seats, but luckily the Twisted Horn is just a few doors down and has excellent cocktails (if too many mosquitos on their outdoor patio that night!). But we'll be back.
  20. Please feel free to merge if there is an existing thread (I could not find it). Chicken on the Run...is it a micro-local chain or a stand alone joint? I really don't care. I'm now working in Bethesda again (woo-hoo!) and I noticed this place even before my first day yesterday and I knew I needed to try it. Wow. This is possibly the best peruvian chicken I have tasted, with Que Rico fighting for the title but losing by a hair (and it is way up in Owings Mills, MD). I think it must be the charcoal flavor/wood flavor I am tasting that makes me giddy. The mild sauce is very good, and the green hot sauce is nice, better than just pure pureed jalapenos, but still not up to the level of Que Rico in Owings Mills -- not 'creamy' enough while retaining heat (too watery). The rice is good, but not what I ordered but it was so busy I did not bother to try to get it fixed. The yuca was really nice and lightly treated in the fryer. I hope to go back and try the fries and salad next time. While I did not try the corn, it looked weak. My only real complaint about the place is that their chickens are, um, small. Or maybe that is just how they cut them. My quarter dark meat section was pretty small by my standard, which is OK since I am on a diet and this was and never will be diet food, but I thought I'd mention it for those who might care (like me when I really want to fall off the wagon, hard.)...
  21. 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).
  22. Raaga, in Bailey's Crossroads, is the original neo-Connaught, and you'll encounter a few familiar faces there.
  23. This place has a nice large patio (indoor seating as well) and is an interesting addition to the strip mall on Massachusetts in Spring Valley. It doesn't take reservations, and the wait was about half an hour on a nice Sunday evening. Parking can be tough along that strip although I bet there is plenty in nearby lots or side streets. The food is a bit of a mish-mash of New England and California themes. I had the Eel Point tacos, which were good - rare tuna with a creamy slaw thing in flour tortillas (I usually like corn tortillas for tacos but they aren't trying to be authentic Mexican so I'll let it go). My companions had the Smith Point tacos (we decided the Eel Point were better) and the 40th Pole quesadillas. Dessert is served out of a standalone ice cream stand on the patio - lots of fun for kids. Everything was good, although the atmosphere is the real calling card. If the weather is nice I anticipate it being a popular neighborhood destination.
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