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  1. Today
  2. Good for you, @Steve R. good for many Knicks fans. I hate his game. I consider it a mixture of unwatchable at its worst, painful to watch when not at its worst, ugly to the flow of the game, and not ultimately conducive to winning. Over his long career the Denver and Knicks teams he played for probably averaged in the low to mid 40's wins/season. Good enough to get to the playoffs but mostly being a low seed. That is a little better than a 500 record. The playoffs involve 8 of 15 teams per conference these days. Its not an extraordinary bar. A bar; yes. But a not brutal bar to pass. He has been a great scorer but he is well recognized as an offensive ball hog. On the rebounding, defensive and passing side of things he is mediocre at best and is often guilty of visibly not putting out effort in those areas. His game is one dimensional and the dimension in which he has always starred is a tough mixture of stardom/talent and selfishness. He has been a lightening rod of controversy mixed with some notable and responsible acts. You can't dispute his scoring stats. OTOH the advanced stats geeks provide data that his entire game is less than the best and less than super stardom. From the data driven geeks encyclopedia of minute detail: His overall Similarity Scores, which is a record of Win Share puts him in company with a group of notable players who would mostly comprise a "Hall of Very Good", not a Hall of Fame. The exception in that group is Alex English, also a notable scorer, but I suppose played a one dimensional game. (yes I used to watch him, but no I don't recall much about his game). English is in the HOF. Another esoteric advanced geek stat is career Box/Plus Minus. An effort to analyze how many extra points over the opposition a player is worth during his time on the court. Anthony is ranked 186 in the NBA. Not star value. An additional Geek Stat is Career VORP (value over a replacement player). Anthony ranks 106. Not blow you out of the box high. But he has been a great scorer. Two of his former coaches had serious problems with him and publicly voiced it. One of those two, Mike D'Antoni also either wanted or agreed to want him for the current Houston Rockets. (can anyone really know his value, or that of most players???--its always guess work How will the whole team mesh? How the heck do 3 scorers mesh??) Whether he plays for the Knicks or plays for Oklahoma he is not a guy I enjoy watching and mostly won't, but for you Knicks fans, bravo. You'll get to live and die with other ball players.
  3. Mike Mushachio and family grow these. They vend at the Fall Church Farmers Market on Saturday and the Takoma Park Farmers Market on Sunday. Theirs are spectacular. If you're looking for big fruit flavor there are also paw paws / apple custards at markets. There's a fellow who reattached for USDA and new sells the best persimmons I've ever had. He's seasonal at the Takoma Park market.
  4. I couldn't figure out what to do for dinner so I ordered Doordash from here last night. It seems like it's just cheaper and easier to go to the actual restaurant, so I hadn't ordered from them before. The food arrived in about half an hour. It traveled well and arrived hot. I ate about half each of a meat shawarma and a shawafel sandwich and put the rest away for today. I also ate probably half of the fries I ordered (and ditto), but I always forget that I just don't care for the za'atar on them. It's not like they're bad. It just seems like there's an excessive amount of the dried spices and it just doesn't go together for me. Their food is generally solid (as was this order), and I miss their stand at Nats Park.
  5. Reading these posts convinced me it isn't likely I'll ever eat here. I lean toward fresh and different versus refined and rich. Once you get into this price range it quickly gets to high end NYC dining which seems to have no limits.
  6. Dessert - The Polyphonic Dessert Blog

    Not far from that restaurant is an established pawpaw orchard; the owner lets people come and pick by appointment. If you'd like his contact info send me a message.
  7. Dining in South-Central Pennsylvania

    I love to eat. This is no surprise. I also love to share spots that I enjoy with the masses, in hopes that they take my review, and visit said restaurant. York is where I grew up, and have returned to. There are plenty of some what good restaurants. The issue I have with spots in this town is that they make a great first impression, but when I return for another meal, not so much. Does this happen in the DMV as well? Consistency is not their strong suit here. I've been to a few pop- ups that I raved about, but it was short lived. Am I too picky? Is my palate high maintenance? Asking for a friend, kat
  8. K.T. Tunstall

    I really do not know how to classify her. See what you think. Some favorites.
  9. My first thought when I heard he'd be playing with Westbrook was: 'Is Anthony willing to give up his 20 ppg average (now 14-years running). and be the second-best offensive player on his team?' He might not dip under 20 the first year, but it's eventually going to become a reality unless he retires - I'm glad this happened for no other reason than that this will put any questions about his character to rest, one way or the other, and I don't know which way it's going to go. This article says it all: "Trade Grades: Carmelo Anthony Deal Yet Another Steal for Thunder" by Rohan Nadkarni on si.com If Anthony is willing to accept that he's aging, and that he's going to be their #2, possibly #3 scorer, and that his role will be to relieve Russell Westbrook and Paul George with some catch-and-shoots (another issue: Will they dish to him?), then this trade could really help Oklahoma City; if he's really so selfish that he needs to get his points with Westbrook and George next to him, then this trade could blow up in their faces. Even though Anthony has played for 14 years, I honestly don't know which way this will resolve itself.
  10. Yesterday
  11. Underbelly

    Since opening five years ago, Chris Shepherd's Underbelly has been a self-appointed beacon for the evolution of Houston food. The menu has a half-page thesis on why Houston is the most interesting culinary city in the country, there are dozens of celebratory links to *other* Houston restaurants on their main webpage, and Bun B is quoted on the wine list. From afar I've found the chest-beating a little too much, but I can appreciate a chef who wants to represent his city -- especially in a time where many owners are happy to replicate restaurants from other cities. And being such a vocal proponent certainly helped Shepherd win the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest. But hey, what about the food? Head-on Gulf shrimp with buttermilk dill panna cotta, pickled beans ($24). Plump and sweet, this was a great showing for Gulf seafood. The panna cotta was a nice compliment. Hand-torn cornbread pieces and pickled beans were both sort of throwaways. Seared soft-shell with eggplant curry ($24). Shepherd recently made a big PR announcement about getting away from beef and pork, which meant a larger focus on seafood. Soft-shells are among my personal favorite foods, and this was a very good one. The eggplant curry was nicely done with a touch of heat; Shepherd is a fan of moderate-to-significant spice (if you're not, be aware, as it permeates the entire menu). Vinegar pie with salt brittle ($9). Previous savory dishes were not coursed (nor labeled as appetizers or entrees; guess by price) so I was rather full after two. Still curious enough to try this dessert, which I believe has been on the menu since 2012. It's not scary at all; more key lime in flavor than sour or acidic. Overall, a quality showing by Shepherd and his team. I didn't fall in love with Underbelly, but it's worth visiting for anyone who appreciates loud flavors with global influences -- basically the "Houston creole" cuisine that the restaurants trumpets.
  12. Dining in Annandale

    Stopped for lunch at Taj ("authentic Desi cuisine") in the Lake Barcroft shopping center with my sister today. We had previously cruised 2-3 parking lots farther up Columbia Pike and couldn't find a spot except at Pollo Campero and we would have eaten there, except a family with a passel of young kids in full meltdown mode was entering the restaurant right ahead of us. At this point we were hangry and kept on moving and ended up at Lake Barcroft. We decided "let's try it" when we saw the Taj sign, and were pleasantly surprised. The restaurant was empty with a boy manning the register. Since we wanted fast, we both ordered the lunch combo special which came with chicken or lamb curry, rice, dal or chickpeas, and a small salad for $7. I got the chicken and sister got the lamb. It came out in partitioned styro containers. The owner popped his head out of the kitchen to see if we wanted the dal or chickpeas and we both got the dal, but he said "I'll give you a little taste of something else too" which turned out to be a black bean preparation. The dal was pleasant and typical. The black beans weren't very saucy and without a distinctive flavor. A lot of fluffy basmati rice. I really enjoyed the sauce on my curry. It had a couple of pieces of bone-in chicken, a drumstick and half a thigh and into the backbone area. Mildly spicy with a nice hit of coriander and not oily. the chicken was cooked til tender but not falling apart. I spoke with a young woman who came to man the register as we finished our lunch and invited her to come join DR.
  13. KN: Nice piece in a food forum that takes a nation and a topic that can be easily discussed on any one of many controversial topics but brings it back to food. The following is a re post of an event I described before: My friend and neighbor was a Lebanese immigrant who as a young man along with his parents and sisters came to the US as a result of the long brutal Lebanese Civil War. We were great friends. My friend's family was so representative of immigrants to the US with an extremely strong family connection. I had grown up in that environment the result of grandparents that were immigrants. He and I had a lot of similarities. He is Christian, the server at I Ricchi had to have been Muslim. Possibly they both shot at one another when they were kids. Here in the US they were very happy to have been removed from the endless wars. As couples my ex and I and this couple visited the original Lebanese Tavern in Arlington, driving from Bethesda. He introduced me to Middle Eastern markets in Maryland, various meals and cooking styles, etc. In fact we lived in a great cul de sac, wherein we used to cook out together with other families making meals from Morocco, Lebanon, Turkey, Italy, and Spain. It was a Mediterranean food fest. And since then, thanks to you I've had kibbeh nayeh. Thanks for the recommendation.
  14. Dessert - The Polyphonic Dessert Blog

    Wanted you to know that the paw paw bread we had last Saturday at Restaurant at Patowmack Farms was just about the best part of the meal! The paw paws were foraged on site. Where do you get yours?
  15. My Board moniker is a colloquial transliteration of the Lebanese national dish, and I also have Lebanon in my DNA, so why not start a topic on Lebanon? On the one hand, it's a beautiful country of 6 million people, with mountains and coastline and forests and valleys. On the other hand, it's in a relatively bad neighborhood, surrounded by Syria to the north and east, Israel to the south, and Cyprus across the water to the west. Its capital is Beirut, long known as the Paris of the Middle East. Lebanon's history is painful, not only to Lebanese, but also to Americans. For 400 years, under the Ottoman Empire, it was part of greater Syria along with what is now Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. When the Ottoman Turks joined with Germany in Word War I, the European allies began working behind the scenes to carve up the Middle East after the war. These colonial shenanigans, planned mostly in Paris and London, have given us today's map of the Middle East, with lines drawn in all the wrong places. Lebanon was one of those countries that was created by the European powers, and France was the nation that carved it out of Syria, drawing the borders such that 6 out of every 11 people within the borders were Christians. I could go into detail on the next century of pain and strife, including the bombings of our Marine barracks and two of our embassy complexes, but this is a food-related board. And Lebanon truly has a culinary history that may be second to none in the Middle East. The French influence was particularly responsible for the quality of today's Lebanese cuisine and wine. Chateau Musar is one of the world's great wines, and the national drink, arak (عرق), is an anise-flavored liqueur that compares with Turkish raki and Greek ouzo. It has found its perfect refinement in Lebanon's Al Massaya arak. For me, heaven is defined as kibbeh nayeh (كبة نيئة) accompanied by arak. Throw in some fresh-out-of-oven pita bread and a platter of fresh crunchy veggies and Lebanese pickles, and you have my final meal. If you're an American who loves good food, a few pieces of Lebanon's troubled history have conspired to bring us some delicious local meals. The French influence on the food, plus its Christian-mostly heritage, took the hardy fare of the Levant to a more delicate European finesse, along with delicious pairings of wines and cocktails. And the horrific civil war between Christians and Muslims in the mid-1970s brought us the like of Dory Abi-Najm, who, soon after his arrival, opened the little Lebanese Taverna in Arlington's Westover neighborhood in 1979. He has since doubled that little space by expanding into the next-door property, and there are now 6 sit-down restaurants, 4 cafes, and a market in the Lebanese Taverna empire. The arak tasting at Tysons Galleria is not to be missed. My signature picture on this site is the platter of kibbeh nayyeh that Gladys Abi-Najm prepared for Roberto Donna for his birthday. We are blessed in the Washington DC area to have some very good places to enjoy Lebanese cuisine. Lebanese Taverna is obviously one of them, and Me Jana in Arlington is at least its equal. Zaytinya also qualifies, although its menu blends most of the eastern Mediterranean, not just Lebanon. Mama Ayesha's downtown has faded a bit, but it has the best tradition of all. Bacchus in Bethesda is an honorable mention. Let us also not forget the impressive collection of Lebanese Americans who almost go unnoticed because they are truly Americans first and foremost. Helen Thomas, long the dean of the White House press corps, was a regular at Mama Ayesha's. Paul Anka, Danny Thomas, Casey Kasem, Ralph Nader, Joseph Abboud, Sammy Hagar, General John Abizaid, John Sununu, and hundreds of others who you know as Americans, and they derive their heritage from Lebanon.
  16. I think that is what anyone who is a food nerd wants. And I get that feeling pretty much every time I have food made by Frank Ruta (and Aggie Chin!!). But we all have our food itches that we need to scratch and it is different for everyone and evolves over time.
  17. What are peoples' interpretations of "The Cowboy," played by "Monty Montgomery?" Aug 29, 2013 - "The Truth behind The Cowboy" by pikeme on my.vanderbilt.edu "Cast: The Cowboy" on mulholland-drive.net "The Biggest Bullshit: David Lynch and the Cowboy" by Eric Wargo on thenightshirt.com Oct 24, 2001 - "Everything You Were Afraid To Ask about Mulholland Drive" by Bill Wyman on salon.com *** SPOILER ALERT *** (although I'm not sure what there is to spoil - it might be to your benefit to watch this twice)
  18. More of the salad in summer rolls with peanut dipping sauce. Very good (except I could be better at rolling the rolls...)
  19. Off the top of my head in two seconds, Mark Furstenburg. That said, I'm more likely to head into DC for Mirabelle than I was before this review. Been eating more in NY and Maine lately.
  20. Last week
  21. I bought...many bags. Lots of folks eyed my cart and asked about the jerky. Sale goes through Sunday! Found and tried the dark chocolate caramel sea salt poppers. The outer shell is a bit waxy and the caramel isn't the best, but the overall bite is quite good (with noticeably crunchy salt) and the packaging (2 lbs of unwrapped candy!) makes for easy gorging.
  22. SUV Recommendations

    You could buy a pretty big refrigerator truck for $100K.
  23. Benin and elsewhere in West Africa

    If you're in Benin, you must find your way to the Palaces of Abomey, a UNESCO world heritage site and the ancient capitol of the Fon people. It's a long-ish drive from Cotonou, about 2.5 hours, but it's easy and practically required for those with time to venture north of the coast. Sadly, the town of Abomey has seen better days, clearly having gone from the abode of kings to a mostly run-down, mostly empty village. There's nothing to see beyond the palaces and the one statue, and there's nowhere to eat. Based on two experiences, it's better to dine in neighboring Bohicon, about 30 minutes west of Abomey. You have to turn left at Bohicon to get to Abomey anyway, so why not stop to eat? Today we stopped at La Palmeraie, oddly listed on Facebook as a Lebanese restaurant even though nothing on the menu resembled Lebanese food. It's just before the main carrefour of Bohicon, on your left before the gas station. You'll see a sign for the restaurant, and also a sign for the mysterious Hotel le Tennessee, a place I sadly did not have time to visit. Le Palmeraie is clean, the service is attentive (though meals come out slooooowly), and the bathrooms are great. We were a group of five and were in a hurry, so everyone ordered the tasty, if not very meaty, chicken. I had mine with amiwo, a variation of a dish called pâte in the sense of paste, not pasta. Other varieties of pâte are kind of ehh, but amiwo has spice, salt, and stock to make it a tasty side for simple dishes. It's made of cornmeal, and you can definitely see how it (and frankly, all the other types of pâte) have influenced the cuisine of the American South. With a bit of smashed pepper (piment, never spicy enough) the meal hit the spot. If you're not in the mood for chicken, there were a number of pizzas on the menu, and the wood-fired oven was ready and waiting for an order.
  24. Seriously. He rated Mirabelle as the best new restaurant in the Spring Dining Guide (cost notwithstanding); he was obviously well disposed to giving it a stellar review. I found it particularly telling that he didn't rate it higher after his excellent initial view. I agree with the sentiment that his reviews can be inconsistent with my personal preferences/impressions -- I disagree heartily with him about as often as I completely agree -- but Mirabelle clearly had the makings of a place that he would love. We had our first dinner there last night, and it turns out I'm in agreement with Sietsema's rating this time. I arrived before the rest of our group, so I enjoyed an excellent Le Papillon cocktail, with mezcal, Cocchi Americano, Yellow Chartreuse -- boozy but balanced, complex and herbal. We started well with an enjoyable amuse of salmon triangles (cured?) topped with a thin layer salmon mousse (a bit weird in texture) with ceps sliced and diced (and pickled?). Pleasant brininess and good acid. The bf and I agreed that our favorite appetizer (probably our favorite dish of the meal) was the salad of northern neck beans (soft cooked hen egg, Marcona almonds, shaved Lagoto truffle and pickled cherry tomatoes). A lovely salad: appropriately lightly dressed, good acid, a bit of richness from the egg and earthiness from the truffle (all too often I find truffles to be disappointingly flavorless, but not here). (But the bf thought it felt like dishes we'd enjoyed at prior Ruta meals. There's nothing wrong with playing to your strengths and keeping your classics on the menu, but personally, I like a little more surprise out of my special occasion meals.) Sadly, they were out of the soft shell crab that had been my first choice (and which Sietsema loved). I liked the slow cooked ora king salmon (zucchini, roasted corn and small variety tomato fondue) more than the bf; I like the texture of sous vide salmon and the vegetables were a nice last gasp of summer. He preferred the veloute of locally foraged chanterelles and pennsylvania zucchini (herb blossoms, small variety tomatoes and pickled chanterelles), but while I liked it (especially the chanterelles), overall it tasted just a bit flat (not enough salt for my taste?). The navarin of Block Island cod (little neck clam and Bouchot mussel broth, new potato and sweet garlic confit, brandade) was surprisingly bland. Much better was the striped bass (pan roasted with anise hyssop stewed filet beans with savory and figs, sauce xeres); the sauce was buttery and sweet-acidic from the sherry and very tasty. It was just a little too classically French to really wow me. (Of course, the fish was very well cooked.) The one classical French touch that never tires me is a cheese course, and Mirabelle's list is deliciously varied. For dessert we had the plum & coconut "vacherin" (plum sorbet, labneh ice cream, black pepper meringue, coconut) and figgy pudding (goat cheese sponge cake, fresh and cooked figs, pistachio ice cream). I quite liked the meringue curls broken up into what quickly turned into a plum soup, and the fig and pistachio combo was delicious (although I found the cake a bit dry and not as cheesy as I'd have liked), but neither dessert tasted "new" to me. Pool Boy is right that we have to decide for ourselves: for me, I liked (but did not love) Mirabelle, and it isn't worth it. Everything was beautiful and other than the cod, I enjoyed it all. But I walked away thinking that while dinner was tasty, I won't remember anything specific for very long, and likely won't be back. (My favorite restaurants are my favorites because I still think longingly of dishes I ate years ago.) There's already been a lot of talk upthread about the cost and corresponding expectations. "Value" is inherently subjective. I know that quality ingredients and skilled staff to prepare them and lovely spaces in which to serve them are all expensive. I know plenty of people who (perfectly reasonably) value refined service and impeccable classicism more than I do. I am more than willing to spend on meals amounts that would horrify many people (including my dad!); in exchange, I hope to be surprised and maybe challenged and definitely tempted to lick my plate. (But I'm a lady, and a lady doesn't lick her plate; she licks the fingers that she ran over the plate, obviously.) That didn't happen last night.
  25. Lucky Peach

    How Much Is Your ‘Lucky Peach’ Set Worth? by Jesse Sparks, Sept. 22, 2017, 2:48pm EDT, on eater.com. I've got a complete set on my shelf! Maybe I should test the waters.
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