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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Raaga, in Bailey's Crossroads, is the original neo-Connaught, and you'll encounter a few familiar faces there.
  4. 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.
  5. 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/
  6. Alley Cat is now doing Sunday Brunch Our local okay not great place to eat (walking distance makes up for a lot of things) is now doing a great brunch on Sundays, we have been 4 times now and the quality and diversity is consistently good, They cover the pool tables as the serving area and have a staffed area along the side. The staffed area is a standard omelet station also does waffles and eggs Benedict and roast beef. On the chaffing tables are scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, biscuits and gravy, grits, and crepes. Then there is a more lunch type of table with pasta and usually a chicken dish and a potatoes dish. The other trays seem to vary week to week. Another area next to this (I think a 3rd pool table) is fruit, chocolate fondue, breads/bagles (with a toaster) and a dessert or two. Coffee is good and filled quickly, staff is polite and they have room for a large group. Conversation is easy (not to loud which is a plus when taking Grandma), easy parking, clean restrooms. They even handle special requests (They had apple pie and Grandma had to have ice cream with hers) All you can eat Sunday 10am - 2pm $13.99/person and $8.99 kids under 10 Location: 2 S Whiting St, Alexandria, VA 22304
  7. 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).
  8. Greetings Rockwellers, Just got off the phone with Patrick Bazin, the former executive chef at Occidental in D.C., who is poised to welcome guests to his new namesake restaurant tomorrow evening. Bazin has about two dozen dishes on his debut menu, including items like a Southwestern chicken soup with black beans and grilled radicchio, ricotta ravioli in a Meyer lemon sauce and a "double thick" Iowa pork chop served with vanilla sweet potatoes and braised Swiss chard. Most appetizers appear to be under $10 and the entrees top out at $26 for the crab cakes. The restaurant is located at 111 Church Street NW in Old Town Vienna and doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner. Just thought you'd like to know.....
  9. Tried Dera Restaurant today after a previous visit earlier in the week to Thai Ghang Waan which I liked albiet I don't know if it was a clear first in the DMV. Nevertheless, I digress, the mall Thai is in is mostly South Asian and boy is it huge. Out of all the strip malls I've visited this is one of the biggest conflagrations. I knew I had to come back and do more work on some of these restos which I finally got to tonight! I went to Dera Restaurant as I had previously read about it and it seems to be the most "renowned" of the Pakistani fare at this mall. It's a funny place as the dining room is cavernous but doesn't have quite enough tables. Next door they have a wedding hall party place kinda thing. Anyway, I had a nice meal here, not quite as good as Khan Kabob but still worth a visit as I expand my restaurant holdings (I'm at 120 as of now). I got the Chicken Karahi and the Beef Boti Kabob. Both were respectable indeed the kabobs were better then I thought they would be being nicely spiced with a good flavor. Usually I find ordering kabobs at a non dedicated kabob Pakistani restaurant isn't the best move as an aside. The Karahi was not the absolute best I've had but also a respectable attempt. I would recommend coming here especially if your in the area but if your not I would trek to Khan Kabob over Dera.
  10. [posted on eGullet 2003-2004] Tom's April, 2003 review is here. I finally made it to Bambu for a light lunch, and while I found it edible, my meal was very ordinary. The sushi-sashimi lunch special ($8.50) included a pretty good miso soup, with finely cubed, custardy tofu, scallions and a fair amount of dark-green seaweed. The pickled ginger on the fish plank was distressingly pink, and the blandish, powdered wasabi had the texture of thick mashed potatoes. The sashimi consisted of six chunks of good, fresh medium-fatty tuna, presented atop a typically boring pile of seaweed (with sesame seeds/oil and hot pepper flakes); the sushi was one piece of flounder and two pieces of very thick-cut salmon, all fresh, but inexplicably served with no wasabi, and sitting atop poorly vinegared rice; and then there was the unfortunate California Roll, with the usual shreds of pollock, decent avocado and a bit of curiously cranberry-colored fish roe. Nothing was so terribly bad, but there's no reason to go here for sushi when Kotobuki and Makoto are just down the street unless you're driving by and want a quick, low-calorie carryout lunch. The menu also has an odd blend of Chinese and Thai dishes interspersed with the Japanese fare. Cheers, Rocks.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. I couldn't find a thread about Logan Tavern on DR.com, just Merkado it's ugly stepsister. I have had a few pretty good dinners at LT - not fine dining, for sure, but pleasant. Today a few friends and I tried it for brunch. We were pretty happy with the results. The scene is slightly more diverse at brunch. Still a heavy guppy presence, but also families, straight folks, etc. When we arrived around noon, the friendly hostess told us it would be a fifteen minute wait. Three barstools quickly opened up so we opted to to eat there. I wanted breakfast and had the french toast with caramelized pecan sauce and bacon. We also ordered a side of scrambled eggs when we saw a platter of them go by; they looked REAL GOOD! Hangover food. The french toast, two large thick pieces of it, was delicious, and also came with potatoes (not noted on the menu) which were good but with everything else, maybe overkill. The bacon was a little sad - just two skinny strips - but tasted good. My friends had the steak and cheese with grilled onions and mushrooms, and grilled cheese with tomato and slab bacon, both with fries (our kind bartender steered them away from the cole slaw). The grilled cheese came with horseradish mayo or something to that effect, but it was much better paired with the steak and cheese. By the time we finished, the joint was jumpin'. Everyone was stuffed and sated, and the bill for three of us (no drinks) was about $32.
  15. 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.
  16. Great news for University of Maryland students: our own Ferhat Yalcin, ex-GM of Corduroy, is opening Fishnet at 5010 Berwyn Road in College Park. For many years, Ferhat and I have kicked around concepts, and he has finally found his perfect location. Fishnet is planning to serve about four types of grilled (or deep-fried) fish with 4-5 homemade sauces to choose from. Most of these will come as sandwiches, and there will be some other things such as calamari, mussels, and yep - a lobster roll. He's planning to run specials such as soft-shell crab sandwich and a whole grilled dorade platter (influenced from Corduroy). Maybe fish tacos in the future, and there will also be side dishes offered. No alcohol because he's too close to the school, but homemade lemonade, small-batch sodas, and the best news of all: delivery. Look for an August opening, in time for the 2011-2012 school year. Congratulations, Ferhat! You've worked hard to get this going, and it's finally coming into place. Nobody deserves this more than you do. Cheers, Rocks
  17. I went to check out the Thai street food shop in Saigon West, just down the corridor from Pho Hai Duong. It's a small space, operated by 2 individuals (one front, one kitchen). There are 4 tables and some counter space. Their website is Kaosarnthai.com. They were playing some mellow downtempo lounge music when I was there. The only thing I ordered is their beef floating market boat noodle soup. It was a very pretty dish but it didn't taste as good as it looked. The pork rinds were stale, the soup was not only not spicy, but pretty bland (compared to Nava Thai, iThai (in Tysons), and Sisters Thai (Mosaic)). They topped with noodles with some rare slices of beef (like Pho) which were also bland. The credit card minimum is $15, so I had to spring some straight cash. And I incurred a dry cleaning bill after somehow getting soup on my pants.
  18. Former Hill Country pitmaster opened up his own place in Bloomingdale. Overall, I think it's very welcome addition to DC's mostly weak bbq scene. Hill Country style prices - not a $20 slab kind of place. But the meat delivered on my first visit. The brisket was delicious (requested the fattier side) and the pork ribs were very good. The meat stood on its own, all the better since the sauces (served on the side) were underwhelming. Baked beans were so so. Hush puppies were really good. Be prepared to wait while they get the operation humming. I went shortly after opening when it was empty and it took almost ten minutes to get my food. And I've heard they get really backed up during peak hours. It's primarily carryout but they have four stools for eating there. All in all, good bbq and worthy of a return visit. "Chopped Brisket and Pork Ribs at DCity Smokehouse, Now Open in Bloomingdale" (with menu) by Jessica Sidman on washingtoncitypaper.com
  19. On the advice of my Vietnamese barber, who knows a thing or two about Vietnamese food, I tried Pho 495 today for lunch. Emblazoned on the menu is "Best Vietnamese Noodle Soup in Northern Virginia' (or words to that effect) and I am inclined to accept that assertion. I had the No. 1 beef combo with added meatballs, and I was very impressed. This was a deeply rich and hearty broth, easily simmered for a very long time based on how much deep flavor and complexity it displayed. It was loaded with all the basic bits and pieces -- tripe, tendon, cartilage, beef pieces and the added meatballs. I can't say that I've had any better at all the various places I've tasted pho in northern Virginia, and I'm not stretching the truth. Too bad we're nearing the kind of weather where I tend to avoid hot soups, but I know I'll be back often in the autumn, or the next time we have a raw, rainy day. 7215 Commerce Street, Springfield www.pho495.com
  20. 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.
  21. I had dinner here two nights ago. They'd only been open for three days at the time, and though the service sometimes showed some inexperience (it took a while for the food to come out), the food most certainly did not. I don't know if I was in a particularly good mood, or if the restaurant was somehow perfectly suited to my taste, but I thought the food, from entrees to dessert, was excellent. The menu was unusual for an Indian restaurant, no familiar chicken korma or chicken tikka masala that I saw, so we just ordered using the descriptions. Nothing disappointed. Someone in the kitchen seems to really care about flavors and texture, and it showed. And even the dessert, which I usually find uninspiring at Indian restaurants, was absolutely delicious. The bread pudding was amazing. I really hope this place stays around. If you're around Tenleytown, be sure to check it out. It's at 4441 Wisconsin Ave.
  22. 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
  23. Scottish Highland Creamery located in Oxford Maryland (314 Tilghman Street, Oxford, MD 21654) on the Eastern shore has quite possibly the BEST ice cream I have ever had. Run by Husband and Wife, Victor (a legit Scott) and Susan Barlow. It has been several years since I have been back, but from what I hear it has not diminished in quality. They also make really good fudge. If you are ever in St. Michaels, you can take the ferry, which is also fun. If you haven't been to Oxford, it is a charming town, nice for spring or fall day, or a quiet weekend.
  24. Didn't want to head down to the Village, so stuck with Da Tommaso. Very happy with it...baked clams, veal parm, linguini with white clam sauce...all exactly what I was looking for. Short walk to the theater, so that worked out well too. I'll have to try Piccolo Angolo when I have a bit more time in the city to compare.
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