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  2. Tom Sietsema's Reviews

    https://www.facebook.com/tom.sietsema/posts/10155605122626655?comment_id=10155605194016655&notif_id=1508212073724483&notif_t=feed_comment_reply Seitsema asking whether he should eavesdrop on a call after he supposedly hanged up. Is this guy for real? And are his “friends” for real?
  3. Today
  4. I went there. Had Chinese Bacon and Cauliflower with Black Beans from Tiger Fork. The mustard greens under the "bacon" were really salty. And I've never had cauliflower with black beans before. Nothing was bad but nothing was all that good. Ashak from Lapis. I forgot veggies were inside ( very bitter with no other balancing flavor). I threw this dish away after one bite. Dried Fried Noodles from Queen Ammanisa. I didn't realize the noodles would be fairly spicy. I was not amazed with the texture of the noodles - they were under tin foil so the steaming probably affected the texture. Vietnamese Salad from Himatsu. They it was a little spicy, but it was definitely Thai spicy based on the Bangkok Golden scale. Tasty cabbage salad but it wrecked my stomach later.
  5. Went here for lunch because my senior partner who pays for lunch wanted Korean. I figure Han Gang would still be good, if not the best in Annandale. I briefly thought about taking him to Tok So Jip but I decided he's not really looking for that kind of authenticity. We only order 2 dishes, which was more than enough for lunch. The seafood pancake was superb - wonderful texture (a little crispy outside, not at all dense inside) and seasoning, with a variety of seafood (mostly squid ). The galbi (short rib) was fatty in a good way - my boss was impressed with its tenderness. It's more expensive than other joints, but I wasn't paying.
  6. Yesterday
  7. The owner dumbed it down a few years ago in a cost-cutting move. He got rid of or forced out the excellent GM, Nancy, and the last chef who made the restaurant chef-driven. Others on the staff headed for the door. The menu then became nearly set in stone, with little variation. We had only dined there maybe 2 or 3 times since the massacre and, though I'm sad for folks who work there now, we won't miss it.
  8. Anybody been to the new DC spot? It got really good professional and amateur reviews. I thinking of going later this week and am especially interested in the Taste of South multi-course option that looks like a value deal at $42 person for tastes of multiple apps and entrees (I like variety :-). Anyone tried it?
  9. You're reading me wrong - between West End Bistro and Little Serow, it was absolutely the most popular restaurant in DC.
  10. coincidentally (ironically?) Carroll used to be the head chef at the Eric Ripert restaurant 10 Arts in the Philly Ritz, which she later left to venture out on her own after Top Chef. We did get to eat there while her original season was airing and quite enjoyed the food. I will disagree with your premise that Graffiato wasn't the hottest restaurant in DC at one point in time. When Isabella was a runner up on the All Stars season of Top Chef he made a pepperoni sauce for one of his finale meal dishes that had the judges (particularly Gail Simmons) swooning. And when it opened it was to considerable hype, particularly because the sauce was on the menu. It was very difficult to get a table for weeks/months.
  11. I've been meaning to check out Mike's latest in College Park. It will be interesting to see the level of quality. Has he expanded too fast? Who will take over the two high levels positions now immediately vacant?
  12. I guess Berlin, MD material is part of the Ocean City thread. On an overcast Saturday we swung by the Berlin, MD Oktoberfest. Much of the historic downtown area was shut down to street traffic. The main stage featured traditional German Oktoberfest music, a second tent had more contemporary bands. The streets were lined with various vendors, food stalls, and a couple of beer tents. Burley Oak Brewery had the main beer tent, their porter was decent. Gilbert's Provisions was serving homemade brats with mustard, kraut, and/or kimchi. Island Creamery was dishing up some tasty ice cream. The Oktoberfest isn't large, but Berlin is definitely quaint and it was a fun way to spend a couple hours. Street parking was a little tough, but we found plenty at the nearby Stephen Decatur Park, which has easy access to Rt. 113 and is a short 5 minute walk from the center of town.
  13. Driving back from Ocean City we stopped off in Cambridge to visit RAR Brewing, in the historic downtown area. Vibe is hipster, craft brewer: the tasting room/brewery is a re-purposed pool hall and bowling alley, open garage door in front, painted murals on the walls (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), in the back is their production facility with a ten barrel system. There's a bar with about 15 seats and two long communal tables down the middle. It was quiet on a Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately the beer we were interested in buying to-go was sold out in cans. They do offer growlers and oil cans, but only on their main beers, not their limited production brews. So we struck out there as well. But not willing to let a side trip go to waste, we saddled up to the bar and ordered half pints of the Slip On, an unfiltered American Pale Ale, with lots of grapefruit and pineapple flavors up front. It had the floral flavors without the hoppy slap in the face of many IPAs. Really smooth drinking. The two guys working the bar were very friendly and ready to answer any questions about their beer. The bar menu is pub grub with Chesapeake influences. We went with the Waterman Nachos - Old Bay potato chips with crab and melted cheese sauce. Disgustingly delicious in a I'm-going-to-pay-for-this-later kind-of-way. I definitely recommend, especially if you have a crowd. If you are looking for a quick pit-stop to-or-from the beach, RAR is worth the 3 minute drive off Rt. 50.
  14. This is an hour-long video of Noah being interviewed at Northwestern University about race, South Africa, and his identity in America. I'd heard thatTrevor doesn't "Noah lot" about American politics, and in this video, you can see why - he is South African, through-and-through, and his take on "race and identity" is absolutely fascinating. "Trevor Noah Speaks with the Times Tonight about Race and Identity" on nytimes.com I just did this (using Chromebook, it took about 20 seconds to download and activate the extension). It isn't so much about "the style they deserve"; it's about preserving my own sanity, and now being able to look at things through a lens of humor - it's really very funny, and can be removed at any time. Highly recommended, and has the same, calming effect as blocking an annoying person on Facebook or Twitter.
  15. Human interaction, both individual & societal, has always included coerced & forced dominance by those with power over those with less juice. The relevant question, to me at least, is what expressions of this are considered acceptable to individuals, communities & societies at any given point. And I have to admit that, as with most things these days, I’m thoroughly confused and bewildered by our current situation. Polarization seems to be the word of the day in this realm as well, at least from what I read, hear & see. I see no behavioral guidelines that wouldn’t be applauded by some while reviled by others.
  16. After IlluminAsia, had cravings for anything Asian and kids wanted to try something new. Kids, girl4 and boy7 ordered mini dumplings from appetizer menu and a lemonade. After eating 6 of the 8 dumplings, they declared that they didn't like them. Ahem. Lemonade seemed never empty. Wonton soup = bland. Duck = great. Kids ate lots of duck, and also cucumbers. They tried the rest but weren't that into the duck sauce and pancakes...or scallions. Towards the end of the meal, my 4 yr old girl said: Mommy: May I have only the skin please? Then she said it very slowly so I would not be confused: Only. The. Skin...please? Hot tip: If asked, the kitchen will package duck bones to bring home. I did and when we left our bones were warm so it was obviously fresh. Made duck broth...assuming I"m going to make squash soup with it early this week. Smelled good simmering..
  17. Awesome dish alert: I forget what they called it, but it's two large sage leaves sandwiching house-made sausage, the whole thing batter-dipped and fried like tempura. It's been on the specials menu for a week now iirc. Apparently I was not the first person to have enthusiastically asked for it to become a regular menu item.
  18. Nashville, TN

    It wasn't a bad meal at Josephine, but I had high expectations that weren't met. I forgot to mention one thing I liked there. On our way out, the hostess handed us a small bag containing four or five Grandma Hartman's Molasses Cookies. They were crispy and delicious, and there was a little tag attached to the bag with the recipe for making them. I am looking forward to baking some.
  19. Nashville, TN

    Hey sorry Josephine was a disappointment. That sucks. I have fond memories of my meal there. Husk is great! mmmm.
  20. In retrospect, isn't the signage for these two restaurants a lot alike? Block-like ivory-yellow letters in all-caps?
  21. Dining at Airports

    A fascinating Tweet by our own Jon Karl, who would know as well as anyone about the traffic situation at DCA: Question for @dcairports: are the now common massive traffic backups at @Reagan_Airport because of all the trolling @uber & @lyft drivers?
  22. Last week
  23. Leftover chilaquile casserole Roasted poblanos stuffed with leftover meatloaf and white rice topped with leftover polenta and sautéed mushrooms
  24. Huh, didn't realize they had the same owners. East Chateau is closed permanently.
  25. Seb, Unfortunately, the only award you're really eligible for is "Best Chef ...." - to win an "Outstanding ...." award, you have to either have already won a "Best Chef ...." award, or have been in business for ten years. America's Classics almost always go to dive-type places that have been around for decades, so that would be a tough one for Amoo's. (For the "Best Chef ...." awards, you need to have been cooking in the region (not necessarily at your current restaurant) for five years.)
  26. From the minute I realized that cooking was my calling, I’ve dreamed about the James Beard Foundation award. I have worked so hard in the last decade trying to get on a national stage and finally with the help of my amazing wife, I finally have an opportunity to get people to vote for my cuisine. Friends, I think about this award all day, everyday, I try and try harder everyday, and I have used every strength in my body, mind, and soul to reach the stars, but I need your support! You’ve all know my cuisine and have gotten to fall in love with the restaurant and the food truck, so now I only humbly ask that you vote for me using the link provided. When you click on the link, you need to scroll down and you will see “Submit Entry” in bold letters. Click on it and you will be asked to register which doesn’t take more than 2 minutes. Then you can fill in the entries as you see below; 1) Outstanding Chef - Sebastian Oveysi 2) Outstanding Restaurant - Amoo's Restaurant 3) Outstanding Service - Amoo's Restaurant 4) Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic Region - Sebastian Oveysi 5) America's Classics - Amoo's Restaurant Thank you all so much for the love and support you have shown over the years, now, let's win this! -Chef Seb and The Oveysi Family
  27. Nashville, TN

    I visited Nashville last week and enjoyed a delicious Southern-style lunch at Husk. My lunch companion and I sat at the bar, where we shared an order of Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs ($8). These might be the best deviled eggs I have ever tasted. For my main course, I had the Shrimp and Grits ($16) which featured perfectly seasoned shrimp atop creamy grits. My friend opted for the Husk Fried Chicken, with secret spices ($14). It wasn't Nashville Hot Chicken hot, but it was spicy, with a vinegary, Tabasco flavor. It was a little too hot for me, but the chicken was juicy and well fried. His dish came with two sides: very flavorful Southern-style green beans and steel-cut oats. Both were delicious. I was less impressed with Josephine, where we dined that evening. I ordered a drink called The French Lick, with vodka, gin, St. Germain and sparkling wine {$11). While I am a big fan of French 75s, I didn't care for this drink. Fortunately, my friend ordered the wonderfully refreshing Lowslider, with gin, aloe lime and mint ($12), and he chivalrously offered to swap beverages with me. We started with the Beef Tongue, with grilled bread, caramelized onion and horseradish cream ($11). This dish was my favorite of the evening. My only complaint is that is was a little light on the horseradish cream. We also shared an order of Nashville Hot Scrapple, with frisee and chive ($12). Since this was my first time trying scrapple, I have nothing to compare it to, but it was tasty and not at all too hot. My main course, Rabbit, with dumpling, mushroom, apple cider, country ham and sage ($24) was a disappointment. The ingredients in this dish are among my favorites, but somehow they didn't come together on the plate. The rabbit was bland and the dumplings were forgettable.
  28. "The trend is clear: Most elite high school QBs think they’re going to beat out whoever is front of them."" If you're good enough to be considered one of, if not the best quarterback in HS, you don't think about losing a competition. Call it hubris or naivete or that alpha dog mentality so treasured in football, but these guys only see themselves as competition. If I grew up loving Clemson and Clemson loves me, and I've outperformed every other quarterback I've ever been put up against, I'm not going to my second choice because somebody else with a high star ranking is already there. Of course, as anyone who follows college football regularly can tell you, there are plenty of times that these highly ranked recruits turn out to be not that good. Especially at quarterback. So an abundance of riches ends up being one viable starter. That reminds me of USC's 2006-2007 recruiting classes, at the height of the Carroll dynasty. In 2006 they signed four of the top 13 running backs in the class. In 2007 they signed the top 1 and 2 running backs in the class, the former being the number one overall player in the country. None of them turned into an All-American, a few transferred out, only one was drafted by the NFL and at the end of their careers it just turned into the familiar recruiting tale that the next big thing may never come -- even if you have a bunch of them.
  29. Tom Sietsema's Reviews

    The review in the print magazine is quite a bit longer than the early online piece, and focuses more on the food. The online version basically was the first and last paragraphs.
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