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  1. 13 points
    The night before, my five year old had demanded Chick-Fil-A (please bear with me) and for reasons only she understands, my spouse acquiesced. Ended up it was a thirty minute wait to get their meal there (not sure why), during which my child and my spouse went thru various stages of their relationship with each other as they waited impatiently. Cut to: last night as I headed home, I made the last-minute executive decision that the family meal would be at Sfloglina, just around 6:30pm. I walked in, found that there was an outside table available (inside tables were spoken for), was seated. The fam was across the street, getting a loaf of bread, and were about 5 minutes away. Still in executive decision mode, when our lovely Italian server promptly came over just to greet me, I ordered for the kids off the kids menu: pappardelle in tomato sauce and beef ribs over polenta. She returned a minute later to pour water, and I, feeling flush wielding all this executive power left and right, decided to order the rigatoni and the brazino for the parents. And an Aperol Spritz just for me, I clearly deserved it. Probably about three minutes later, the kids entrees arrive, followed by my cocktail a minute later, and the adult entrees 5 minutes after that, just as my family were arriving (later than I thought they would). Everything was delicious, I know fresh pasta cooks quicker than dried pasta, and the proteins were either cooked for 72 hours or were thin enough to not be cooked extensively. The kids drilled thru their noodles and "steak", thus avoiding making a hangry scene in public, and we enjoyed the rigatoni in an heirloom tomato arrabblata and the fish filet with faro. We did not do the dishes justice in terms of savoring every bite, but really just gratefully demolished it all. The humidity was a bit uncomfortable for us, so we opted against dessert, the family left for the car and I settled up. By my watch, my wife and kids were seated there for 25 minutes, thus beating their time at Chick-Fil-A the night before! I tried to share my story with our server, but due to my in-artful delivery as well as a slight language/cultural barrier, she did not laugh but actually wondered if we had enjoyed our meal here, or preferred our experience at Chick-Fil-A. Perhaps she even thought the kids didn't like the food here, so they went to Chick-Fil-A instead? I can only speculate, but we enjoyed our meal here.
  2. 12 points
    Not sure if this is a mini-review or a brag. I took a 4 yr old on girldate to sushi zen because when I offered ramen or sushi she said "shu-shi" so of course, I asked again. Yes, "shu-shi" she insisted. By the time we got to lunch it was about 1:30 on a Saturday and the place was doing a steady business about 1/3 full. For 14.95 we shared a lunch special of 3 rolls: california, tuna, and salmon. It came with a little salad and a little miso soup. It's fine, solid, good sushi from my perspective but her's is more interesting so this is the review from my 4 yr old: 1. Miso Soup: Mommy, don't eat all of my soup. It's good! (big eyes). What's this green stuff? (seaweed). I LOVE SeaWeed! (big eyes again, open mouth). What's this white thing? (tofu; H, L and S really like it). Sad voice: I don't like the white things (neither do I). Well then don't eat them! (for clarity, she said that to me.) 2. Salad: I gave my only daughter my only tomato and only cucumber and the least salad-dressing covered iceberg pieces: Gemme that one (asking for a drenched slice of lettuce). I did, she at it up along with quite a few others. 3. California Roll without roe: I like this. It is good because of avocado! (ate 3 of 6) 4. Tuna roll: What's that (tuna) Can I have one? (yes). It's yucky. I like that and that but not that. (likes the seaweed, rice, but not the tuna). 5. Salmon roll: What's that (salmon) Can I have ones (yes) YUMMY! (big eyes again. ate 2.) There is a children's menu so aside from the rolls mentioned above, there are some other mild variations on the adult menu. And sorbet; mango. Yum.
  3. 12 points
    Hey all, the runner-up was Henry's Soul Cafe (my personal choice) and the overall winner was Eddie Leonard. Howard China and Full Yum were pretty good, Jerry's and Andy's less so. Yum's was in the middle of frying up a party order of 150 wings, so we had to skip them. We were surprised by the variation across mumbo sauces - at worst, it was glorified ketchup, and at best, something like traditional* American-Chinese sweet and sour sauce or Chick-fil-A's Polynesian sauce. Eddie Leonard's had an almost fermented "zing" that didn't necessarily taste great on its own, but complemented the chicken quite nicely. I admit that I expected some of these places to be pulling their chicken out from under a heat lamp, but every single one fried it up fresh. The quality of the meat varied (best hands-down was Henry's), but the only straight-up bad wings came from Andy's, which used no discernible seasoning and actually burned the meat. It was a very hot day, but I'm glad we walked the full 4+ mile route mapped above - got to know the District and a few neighborhoods a little better. Stopping at Anxo for a drink halfway through the taste test was like visiting another planet. *whatever that means in this context
  4. 9 points
    I went to the City Vista (and only remaining) location of Ray's Hell-Burger last night. We each got a large The Funky President ($10), one order of French Fries ($3.50, enough for two), and a Diet Cheerwine ($3). It had been quite awhile since I'd had a Hell-Burger, perhaps going on two years, and I'm happy to say that these burgers seem to be as good as ever. "The magic is in the meat," and these really taste like someone stuck a steak in a grinder, ground it, and cooked it up as a patty. "The Funky President" is served with aged Vermont Cheddar and a slice of tomato, and it's just a great combination of flavors. I used a little Gulden's mustard as dipping sauce for my fries (I know, I know), and the sandwich itself was terrific when dabbed in the Gulden's. The fries seemed like they were lightly dusted with Old Bay Seasoning, were long and thick - almost steak fries but not quite - and were served fresh from the fryer. My only "beef" with the meal is the aesthetics of how the burgers are served - in a little recycled-cardboard oyster-shell. The problem with this is that the substantial grease from the burger drips and pools, and is pretty unappealing. It's also partially absorbed by the paper, but if it were served on a plate - even a paper plate - the fries could pick up some of the juices from the burger. (Now that I'm typing this, I realize I could have put the fries underneath the burger in the oyster-shell and approximated the same result.) Anyway, the consensus is that this was a terrific burger-and-fries meal, and even though I'm sorry Ray's Hell-Burger is no longer in Arlington, you can still get there from the 14th Street Bridge in ten minutes without traffic. I would still recommend this to anyone coming in from out-of-town.
  5. 7 points
    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.
  6. 6 points
    I've only been to Mirabelle for a set menu wine dinner (noted above) so I won't venture an opinion on what it's like on a normal night. But why is price not a reasonable factor to consider when reviewing a restaurant? Personally I judge a restaurant differently if it's going to cost me $200+ or $300+ (wine always bumps up the cost for me) than if it's going to cost me $100+. I expect reviewers to do the same. If I'm paying significantly more, I definitely expect more. If not, why should I be paying more?
  7. 5 points
    I had no idea a simple inquiry to get to know the people of DC would span this long. It warms my heart everytime I read up on the thread, and see this thriving community engage in conversation that starts off with a common love for food, but flourishes into so much more. Welcome to the community, Yhippa! Feelin' the love, kat
  8. 5 points
    Hm, I don't think I posted in this thread. A few of you know me from eGullet and Mouthfulsfood. These days I spend most of my time on Facebook and Twitter. This board is the only food board I engage with, probably because the folks who are behind the scenes run a tight ship. My name is Stan (my friends call me Stash), I'm in my late 40s, and I live in San Francisco. I cook and I know things.
  9. 5 points
    I saw this photo in FB. The story connected to it stated that a customer/Iraq War vet gave the flag to the store. The flag had at one time flown over a section of the Pentagon. The Vet thought that the team at Brooklyn Bagel personify the American dream in working hard. I love it. I've probably been a customer for over 15 years or pretty soon after they opened. I know someone who knew the operators and was introduced to them early on. While not a high volume customer I've been there enough and from an early enough stage that the operators and I know one another and chat. I think these guys are from either Morocco or Tunisia. I forget which nation. They make good bagels and their bagels have been consistent over the period that they have been operating. I'm not a taste comparison/test bagel expert, but I have been eating them my entire life, have eaten bagels from some of the well known bagel places in the NY area. These are good IMHO. Among the better bagels in the DC region. Not the best but among the best. Referencing some comments above some bagels come out misshapen. hmmm I've eaten misshapen bagels going back to my earliest years. I find nothing wrong with that. I think of it as sort of "authentic". The operators do work hard. 7 days a week. I believe now 17 years in operation. That alone is an accomplishment. They are nice. Frankly I love the act and symbol connected with their team receiving a flag from a veteran of the war in Iraq. More so in this time and day with all of the culture war antagonism that floats around. The Brooklyn Bagel team immigrated to the US, got involved in a small business, work hard, produce a good product, have survived and maybe flourished...but mostly they have survived as a long term food business. That is an accomplishment. I frankly can't find anything more American.
  10. 3 points
    Why do places think they can charge these absurd prices for a cabbage? It's $2.50 at the grocery store. Perhaps it's artisinally grown and you lovingly execute two knife strokes to extract that perfect slice of cauliflower, but come on...
  11. 3 points
    We had yet another fantastic meal Saturday night (sashimi; ara; baby octopi; matsutake; tofu; sardines; croquettes). Seki is not only extremely consistent -- it's also the rare place that's conducive to easy conversation, and also very fairly priced. And it was not even full on a nice Saturday evening. (Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining--if it were a block further south, on U Street, there would always be waits of more than an hour. I only hope that it remains profitable for the Sekis at these price points, so that we can all continue to enjoy it.) The fact that Sietsema did not include Seki (or 2 Amys) among his top 43 or whatever is, frankly, absurd--inexplicable, in fact. It's one of DC's finest gems.
  12. 3 points
  13. 3 points
    I love Dino's Grotto. It continues to be an inviting, familiar, comforting, reliable standby for us (though we have used it for special occasions as well, which has always been a great time). Nothing like a few negronis and dinner in the grotto bar after getting home from a boring work trip.
  14. 3 points
    Fun article about Olive Garden on eater.com says the one thing you can't get at Olive Garden is........olives.
  15. 3 points
    We had sushi2go the other night- and I just didn't think it was as good as it was in the past. Not that it was ever stellar, but I found everything fairly bland. I think it was that the rice was too soft in a way, it just lacked a little texture. I need to remember to use my own soy sauce if I want any, their packets are super salty and I don't use a lot, but even a little bit was too much. We also had Zoe's Kitchen, which has altered their menu a little. I had my go to chicken kabobs. You can now choose your sides which is nice. They have some new bowls on the menu too. Went to Sweetgreen- had my normal Kale Caesar, I don't know I wasn't feeling it as much as usual, perhaps there was too much dressing, Hubby ordered it for me, and I don't know the dressing level he requested. But it did have a very good portion of chicken and parmesaen crisps which my dog and I appreciated. Matt got the fish taco salad/bowl. It looked very good. I had bulgogi over noodles at the hot bar in the building behind the Fedex, where I think there are still some INOVA offices. They give you more noodles than Mike's cafe, and the veggies are sauteed peppers and onions, but it doesn't feel like as much veggie as Mike's. But I thought the noodles, rice were just as good. I would give an edge to the bulgogi at Mike's slightly, but the sauteed veggies were better than the steamed. Next time I might ask for a double portion of veggie though. It was honestly enough for two lunches for me though, especially if I had added in more veggie. I would go back to this place when I was working from home. Honestly, I wish this or Mike's would stay open late enough for us to grab dinner. I had the hash breakfast sandwich at Earl's. I still am struggling to find a breakfast sandwich there that I like. I thought the egg was too much egg, it needed some spice and less salt in the hash.
  16. 3 points
    Well, the Nanking cherry liqueur was a success. I completely failed to put any spices in during the fermentation process because, well, newborn. But it has a lovely cherry flavor and makes a nice, if redder than normal, Aviation. I now have a batch of plum liqueur going. I harvested the last of the plums, which I think are Ruby Queen, two weeks ago. Some went into the fermentation jar, some got roasted and pureed into baby food, and the rest went into two pints of plum jam. I'm now trying to harvest the most useful of the pears (organic orcharding is a challenge when: a) you move into the place after fruiting has begun, b ) you don't know what you're doing, and c) did I mention the newborn?) before they turn. Those will also get split into baby food and canned stuff, probably another batch of crockpot pear butter.
  17. 3 points
    "Stephen Curry Says New Sports Illustrated Cover Is 'Terrible' for Leaving Off Colin Kaepernick" on bbc.com I agree with Stephen Curry - the "taking a knee" issue wouldn't even exist were it not for Colin Kaepernick. Aside from that, Kaepernick's original protest was about *police treatment of black people*, and yet the entire issue has morphed into "disrespecting servicemen and the American flag" - give me a break. On a related note (and it's absolutely related), this would be the funniest 1-2 Twitter war I've seen, if it didn't have such enormous repercussions: 1) Donald Trump 2) LeBron James My only problem with James' reply is that he felt the need to explain and justify his Tweet, which he did here. Regardless of what this symbolism becomes, It's important to remember that none of this was originally about disrespecting "the military" or "the flag," for Pete's sake. This also shows just how powerful the American Presidency is when it comes to being on the bully pulpit - my personal views of things should be obvious if you follow me outside this website, but I'm not going to use this venue for anything other than intelligent, respectful discourse (discussing the issue itself - regardless of your views - is encouraged; personal insults and partisan politics remain outside our scope). That said, is it correct for *any* U.S. President, regardless of party, to call a peacefully demonstrating NFL player a "son of a bitch?" I honestly wonder if he had an erection when he screamed, "He's fired!" - the sad thing is, for once, I'm not trying to be funny.
  18. 3 points
    Much of what we see today at sporting events with regard to the national flag and the military, including NFL players being on the field hands over hearts, stems from a Dept of Defense program which paid NFL and other sports leagues to hold patriotic "events" including giant flags on the field, re-enlistment ceremonies, military appreciation days, military bands, even families being reunited with their service member returning home. It was a program that was dubbed "paid patriotism" and DoD spent milions of dollars on it. edited to add: in 2015 Sens. McCain and Flake released a report identifying $53 million in contracts between DoD and various sports leagues/teams.
  19. 3 points
    Dine for Puerto Rico at Rappahannock Oyster Bar this Friday, September 29, 2017, from 6pm to 10pm. All proceeds (this sounds like gross revenue not net profits) from a special menu and 10% of the proceeds from the regular menu will benefit those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico.
  20. 3 points
    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.
  21. 3 points
    I enjoyed a lovely meal at Himitsu the weekend before last. We put our names in shortly after they opened, and we had about a 25-minute wait. To pass the time, we popped over to the bar at Taqueria del Barrio, where I thoroughly enjoyed my "Miggie Goes to Mejico," a refreshing cocktail made with Milagro Anejo tequila, grapefruit, lime and chocolate. It was happy hour, and my dinner companion ordered a $5 glass of Charles de Fere Cuvee Jean Louis sparkling rose. Both were delicious and the time passed quickly. The menu at Himitsu is divided into three sections: snacks, raw plates and hot plates. Dishes recommended by owner and executive chef Kevin Tien are marked with a cartoon of a fox, while owner and beverage director Carlie Steiner's picks have a depiction of a unicorn beside them. We ordered the five dishes recommended by the pair, plus the chef's choice shiromi. Kevin and Carlie used their animal icons on the flip side of the menu to recommend drinks. I had one of Carlie's cocktail pick, "Honey Pipe," with mezcal, yellow chartreuse, honey and orange bitters. It was interesting and good. I would order it again. We started with "Play on Pate," chicken liver mousse, lime zest, herbs, Thai chili, peanut and french baguette. This dish was quite good (but not nearly as good as Kinship's play on foie gras, Torchon of White Mushroom, which remains one of the best dishes I have ever ordered in a restaurant). Our first raw plate was hamachi. This fish was sublime, but overwhelmed by the fish sauce vinaigrette with Thai chili, orange and Tobiko. The sauce was not bad, in fact, it was extremely tasty, but it took away from the delicate flavor of the yellowtail. The heirloom tomatoes and strawberries were a hit. With parsley-tarragon puree, pickled strawberries, crispy quinoa, black pepper and Shisho, it is a delightful combination of fresh, seasonal flavors, and the quinoa gave it an unexpected and delightful crunch. The crispy quinoa again made an appearance in our second raw plate, the "Chef's Choice Shiromi," which featured (Tsukji) white fish, cucumber, ponzu, extra virgin olive oil, pickled fresnos and crispy quinoa. The sauce in this dish nicely complemented the fish. Our first hot dish was Nasu Dengaku, Japanese eggplant, Szechuan, chili fermented black bean, peanuts, basil, cilantro and pickled red onions. This was good, but not nearly as good as our final hot dish, "The Benihana." I didn't want to order this, as it was the most expensive item on the menu and sounded like something I could make at home. Boy, was I wrong. This was by far the best dish of the evening. It featured "Kobe" beef, tri-tip steak from Snake River Farms served with umami butter rice, Napa white kimchee and garlic-soy sauce. The meat was so tender and full of flavor, and the rice--I can't adequately describe how wonderfully decadent rice can taste when hot, flavored butter is melting into it. My only complaint is that I was eating this rice with a pair of chopsticks, instead of a very large spoon.
  22. 3 points
    When TS does his first review (I think "First Bites"?) it's after just one visit, but the full on 'starred' review is after several, right? Maybe his first time, he had all hits, and the next few times, not so much. Some people include value in their review and some don't. I agree, at the higher end, he seems to put a premium on it, but the restaurants he thinks are the best are not inexpensive by any means. I like Sietsema's writing and passion for DC restaurants, but I find the reviews to be inconsistent. Just never know what he's going to like and why he's going to like, or vice versa, and whether I'll come close to agreeing. It's a 50/50 shot. The recent hyping up of a trio of seafood restaurants was interesting - Salt Line, Fish, and Millie's - none are great, Fish is straight up dismal in terms of service and value, yet he loves them. I still have no idea why All Purpose is considered great, I'm totally confounded. But, he also loves high value/high quality places, too, like Little Serow and many other. The dude at the New York Times, seems much more consistent, but who likes reading that LOSER rag anyway.
  23. 3 points
    I also am essentially guaranteed to order this if I see it on the menu, although I doubt I eat out often enough to influence purchasing decisions. So the increase in population is probably a better bet.
  24. 3 points
    I sort of can't describe how good that breakfast was and how it snuck up on me. Having not been to SD in a very long time, and not being familiar with the updated modernized menu with local fresh ingredients and more stylish items, I was completely unprepared. On top of that I had always treated meal meetings of this type wherein we are trying to accomplish something as 90-95% business and a little bit food. In the course of the meal it hit me hard: This is good. Its not good its really great. It was the bison huevos rancheros. What stood out was the minced bison somewhat spiced but tremendously tasty in a minced meaty way I haven't had in a long time. Trying to pin it down I note something the great Zora wrote a while back about the bison at Silver Diner: Yes, a cut and treatment of the meat that is reminiscent of the formerly great hellburgers at their best. That description does it justice. So now I'll return. The modernized updated, locally fresh Silver Diner now offers drinks, Mimosas, etc. Nice place to brunch with the "Bitches who Brunch" in my book, if not particularly stylish or faddish as many of their other choices. But a terrific dish none the less.
  25. 2 points
    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.
  26. 2 points
    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.
  27. 2 points
    Syracuse deserved it - they came out with unbridled fury, and played to win. They ran a no-huddle offense the entire game, and caught Clemson's defense completely off-guard. "Week 7s Top 10: Multiple Major Upsets Bring a Plethora of Changes" by Bruce Feldman on si.com The truth is that Clemson's best quarterback, IMO, is playing third-string, and their starting quarterback twisted an ankle in the second quarter and sat out the entire second half - Clemson chose to play their backup (Zerrick Cooper), who I think is a very poor choice. Also, they lost their field-goal kicker for the season a few weeks ago, leaving their special teams in a shambles. Their backup kicker, Alex Spence, missed FGs from 35 and 38 yards, and simply isn't good enough to play at this level (he's a 4.0 student, and won't have any trouble finding a job after his college career is over). Unlike, for example, quarterback, great college teams generally don't have more than one great kicker - they almost never get injured, and no good high-school kicker wants to ride the bench for their entire career: It doesn't matter if they play for Alabama, or George Mason - they just want to play and be noticed. Clemson's first-string kicker, two-time All-ACC Greg Huegel, got injured in an unlikely practice situation, and is out for the season. Clemson's special teams are below average, and that right there is enough to kill a top-level team. Sep 21, 2017 - "Clemson Kicker Greg Huegel Out for Season after Tearing ACL on Final Play of Practice" by Jeremy Woo on si.com Obviously, I'm a huge Clemson fan, but I'm also a realist: In order to reach the playoffs this year, Clemson must win out, and hope for a little help from the Football Gods (which they'll probably get). However, due to their unsettled quarterback situation, and their desperate situation with special teams, I don't expect them to win the rest of their games. They could have done it if they were healthy, but they aren't healthy, and being healthy is every bit as important as having, for example, a great defensive line - it's part of the game. All this to repeat my first sentence: Syracuse was the better team Friday night.
  28. 2 points
    Just a side note: This chain has been universally praised so far - that is extremely rare.
  29. 2 points
  30. 2 points
    Tri-tip meal this week! We've been having this quite often since about midway in my pregnancy, when I needed low-carb meals I actually wanted to eat and we discovered the beauty of at-home tri-tip. I buy a whole, untrimmed tri-tip and only take of the silverskin and some of the fat if it is over a half-inch thick. We use a Santa Maria-style dry rub and grill it till the big part is medium rare. At that point, the skinny part of the meat is medium-well to well done, which is perfect for a pregnant lady who doesn't want to be a bother to others (and is so great for guests with a variety of meat done-ness preferences!). We usually serve it with creamed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed zucchini, and bread and/or potatoes of some kind. Leftovers are great as-is but also wonderful in sandwiches. Inspired by a dish at the Avofest, we've been eating this round of leftover meat as sandwiches on French bread with a lot of guacamole and and a little salsa.
  31. 2 points
    Went again recently - great Ric Flair cocktails, a nice Valpolicella, two pastas (served IMHO way too damn hot - but otherwise very good!), some of those cheesy potatoes to start (along with excellent olives). And at the bar with the comfy seats. Nice.
  32. 2 points
    No surprise there. As a kid, I remember Pizza Hut being the ultimate...servers would come out with the pizza in the thick, cast iron pans, serve you our first piece, and it was crispy, buttery and delicious. The last time I had it, it has slipped into Cici's territory...almost inedible. Sad.
  33. 2 points
    Our visiting friend from Maryland requested "actual New Mexican food." So I made: Tacos filled with ground beef, potatoes, and carrots, the way my Mexican grandmother made them Calabacitas -- sauteed zucchini mixed with corn Whole pinto beans
  34. 2 points
    When the second amendment was written, guns held exactly one bullet. How is there equivalency with machine guns?
  35. 2 points
    Took the fam there last night for the first time, a last minute 8pm Saturday reservation for four. We were given the option of sitting deep in the dining room, or at a less sparsely populated area that turned out to be the bar area. We chose the latter, and the hostess said that if it didn't work out due to being so close to the front door, that she would move us. We had about three different servers approach us in the first 3 minutes, bringing either menus, water, or a description of today's soup. With the last one, we were still getting situated, but I ordered two apps to start, my kids were pretty hungry. Soon, they were delivered, the fried calamari and the crab beignets. They were both fine, the calamari a little bit more interesting with a green aoili side. The crab tasted more like a tuna salad to me, was not so much lump crab than something that much denser. I much prefer a pan fried than this battered deep fried version. We tore thru the apps, and then sat around for another ten minutes or so. Two of our servers seemed to be busy slinging drinks behind the bar, and the other server was doing other things. At this point, we had no check-up on our apps, no offer for an informed drink decision, no further order for entrees. Kids were getting restless, I was getting irritated that I didn't have a cocktail order in, so I took the hostess up on her previous offer, settled up our check in the bar, and moved to the dining area. Experience improved vastly from thereon. The entrees were straightforward yet delicious. My daughter loved her lamb bolognese, the son and spouse shared a steak frites with a wonderful red wine reduction, and I followed our new server's suggestion and went for the pan fried trout. On point. This is some of the better upscale comfort food I've had in awhile, and one of the few places where the entrees outshined the apps by a wide margin. My blood orange margarita was delicious too.
  36. 2 points
    No longer working in Bethesda makes getting their chicken somewhat difficult. I half jokingly mentioned to my wife that sometimes Waze takes me up through the city almost due north and that I could stop by Chicken on the Run - and she latched on to that like a great white shark does on some big prey. So let it be written, so let it be done. It is as good as a I remember - so juicy and so woodsy/charcoaly. Just fantastic. Recommended. Somewhat shocking, as I drove around Bethesda looking for parking and so on, was that the pace of tear downs, and more specifically, urban towers replacing old 1-3 story buildings has increased in speed. Time marches on for sure, and it's probably not all bad. Just fascinating.
  37. 2 points
    I picked up Hardywood Cuvee Gold Belgian Style Golden Ale at the Pentagon City Costco. They had a display of local seasonal beers, and I bought three different .750s. Many of the offerings on this display were too seasonal for me, featuring pumpkin and pie flavors. Two of the three I bought were forgettable, but the Hardywood Cuvee Gold was not. In fact, it is one of the best beers I have had in a very long time. Fruity and fresh, it had a wine-like essence that I found very smooth and drinkable. At a price point below $11, I will be going back for more.
  38. 2 points
    It seems that the sacrifices service members make aren't for protecting our 1st Amendment freedoms. The NFL uses the flag as a marketing tool. The people who proudly display the Confederate flag and lose their shit over taking a knee, are completely blind to the irony. Someone once tweeted, "Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail." That's some serious totalitarian horseshit right there. Given our president's grasp of history, he probably couldn't tell you what the 13 stripes represent. I'm trying to be careful of what I say, but the phony indignation of certain politicians is nothing but a dog-whistle for the nationalist element of American voters. It disgusts me.
  39. 2 points
    The kneeling was actually the result of him being told that sitting during the anthem was disrespectful to the military. The kneeling was suggested by a former Green Beret as a way of showing respect for military members while still getting his point across.
  40. 2 points
    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.
  41. 2 points
    Yes. I took advantage of weekday happy hour (1/2 off wines by the glass) and was recommended a Pierre Henri Morel Laudun Blanc ($5!) that went over well with both my dishes. I have an infantile understanding of wine, but it was just what I asked for.
  42. 2 points
    In contrast to funkyfood's experience the night before, our group of four went on Saturday night and were all pleasantly surprised. I'd enjoyed a meal or two at Ripple under Ratino (a bit of a step up from the end of Marjorie Meek-Bradley's tenure, although we still pine for the Logan Cox days), but Bresca ups the creativity a bit, in a good way. First, cocktails: the menu is a bit confusingly organized around a hexagon (a recurring decorative motif in the restaurant), requiring rotation to read them all. (The menu isn't online, so I'm not going to remember all the names/ingredients.) There are a mix of classic variations and more original drinks, and all were excellent with one glaring exception: a cocktail featuring oyster shell-infused vodka that tasted strongly (and not particularly pleasantly) of oyster (not brine, just oyster) and surprisingly little else. Despite listing a reasonable-sounding array of ingredients, the drink was otherwise so flat that we were debating whether an ingredient had been left out. My first order of the Vice Versa was excellent -- we all loved it -- and yet I can't remember more specifics than it was red, nicely tart, a bit floral, flecked with bee pollen for a hint of sweetness. (It contained bergamot?) The other couple with us loved the Viens Avec Moi (and ended up ordering a second one), but from my one sip, all I remember is that it was light and fruity (pineapple?) and definitely the sort of thing you'd happily drink for hours on a sunny day. The Bee's Knees contained truffle honey that added a pleasant earthiness to a classic drink that can sometimes veer a little sweet, plus it was served in an awesome (and kind of hilarious) bee glass. Variations on the Adonis and Old Fashioned and a rum drink I'm forgetting were all also delicious. The Old Fashioned was a bit sweet/floral thanks to the creme de Yvette, without being cloying and maintaining its spirit-forwardness. We started with the radish crudite (seaweed brown butter, fleur de sel, green goddess) and the pastrami beets (feta, rye toast, flowering cress), both of which we thought were excellent snacks. The radishes were more umami than your typical radishes-and-butter combo, and the green goddess dressing on the side (with little bundles of micro greens to dip) was delicious. (Although the bundles were a bit confusing: too large to really be one bite, only two so a bit awkward for sharing, and tied with a tiny string that had to be detached. It's entirely possible that we weren't supposed to just dunk them in the dressing, but if so, no one explained it.) As pescatarians who acknowledge that meat tastes delicious, the bf and I are the target audience for vegetarian dishes that lean heavily on meaty techniques, so we very much enjoyed the smoky-sweet-sour-salty combination of beets and feta. (I disagree with funkyfood on the cost of the beets; for $10, it was a long, thin slice of toast that could be easily cut into 2-3 bite strips to share. Not a huge portion, but about what I would have expected given the overall prices at the restaurant.) The bf and I also really enjoyed the ocean trout crudo (verjus, shiso, labneh, black lime); apply all the usually adjectives to good crudo (fresh, good salt and acid, etc.), and the shiso in particular is a flavor that I love and am not used to seeing in crudo. The late summer melons and tomato (burrata, tomato jam, puffed grains, rooftop greens) was a surprise hit. (Not because I didn't expect to like it, but because the composition was more interesting than I'd expected.) Don't expect a ball of burrata to take center stage; there were a few scattered bites of cheese to add richness, but the fruit is the star. Excellent quality produce (as expected for the end of a hot September), well dressed to balance the sweetness and pull out the tomato flavor with salt and acidity, speckles of puffed grain for texture. I wasn't sure what I was going to make of the pineapple carrot salad (grains, curry oil, spicy greens, date), but the pineapple was (contrary to my fears) just an accent to a plate starring delicious roasted carrots. The sea urchin linguini (truffle, chili, yeast butter, porcini) was the dish on the menu that I gravitated to first and disappointed me most. Despite listing a number of great ingredients, funkyfood is right that it was basically just buttery and kind of boring. I didn't pick up on truffle, yeast, or porcini. Nice chew to the pasta and tasty, but unexciting. The only carnivore of our group really liked the chestnut agnolotti (rabbit, sunchoce, pear, mustard seeds). Service overall was friendly without over-explaining -- no long spiels on dishes. Generally service was reasonably paced and appropriately attentive, with two small exceptions: We waited a bit long for our first round of cocktails -- which arrived shortly after our snacks despite having been ordered first -- but not overly so given their complexity and how busy the bar seemed to be. Our waitress disappeared for a bit after delivering the dessert menus (we ended up just requesting the check). But neither hiccup was egregious, and overall we were impressed with how well everything seemed to be running both in front and back of house, given that it was their second night. Bresca is a food-focused addition to the upper part of 14th (which can skew a bit scene-y at the expense of the food); we will definitely keep an eye on their menu and happily return.
  43. 2 points
    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.
  44. 2 points
    Oh, come on...if you've read his reviews and his chats for a while, you know that there's no one in DC that TS has more respect for than Ruta. To think that he has an axe to grind because he didn't like the food as much as you did, and may have slightly understated the fanciness of Palena? It constantly amazes me that people get so offended by completely subjective reviews.
  45. 2 points
    I stopped by the new Rosslyn high-tech McDonald's. I was surprised to see them offering mini-pastries. I ordered a mini chocolate croissant via kiosk. I have to say, it really hit the spot. Not too big to feel guilty about, but enough bites to get chocolatey satisfaction. It was 79 cents!!! It is called a chocolatine. My husband says I'm probably the only person praising its smallness.
  46. 2 points
    Finally made it back, with my ski buddy from Chile trip who works in DC but lives in Park City (I cannot think of a better life situation) and my .. fiancee... I don't like that. Let's go with .. lifelong slam piece. That works much better! The side dishes are really good. The suppli were divine. Burrata was on point and not ludicrously priced. Cantabrian anchovies were very tasty. Should have had more than 3 small slices of bread for the burratta and fishies. The dehydrated bread thing with heirloom tomatoes didn't work. The juice from the tomato is supposed to rehydrate the bread, but it doesn't and ends up being amazing heirloom tomatoes on a cracker. This pizza is not for me. I don't get it. The toppings are too inconsistent and patchy. You can see a lot of bread in between. It really annoys me when you try to separate/slice pizza, and at the point of cut-through, the cheese slides to either one slice completely or the other. The crust is pretty good, and they have a hot ass oven, because that blistering/char is pretty sweet. One of my pieces had a straight up tumor bubble, like a neglected head and neck caner (in a good way). I did like that. We got a Margharita Extra and Puttanesca. The Margharita was the one that really shit the proverbial bed with the cheese. It just came apart too easy. Also, I didn't order that one, but the only reason it's "extra" is the cherry tomatoes. That's not an extra I need, but maybe it's the one I deserve. The puttanesca ... this one straight up angered me ... This is my favorite type of pasta sauce. Mine is probably the best you'll ever taste and I'm merely being objective, but I'm always willing to try other's (in pasta form, pizza form, whatever - olives, capers, anchovies, red pepper, and tomatoes together are a heavenly construct). It came with broccoli rabe on top. I swore it was the wrong pizza, flagged the waiter down, and was like - "We ordered the puttanesca". He said, yah, that's the one. "Yeah, but what's this green stuff?" He said, the menu says broccoli rabe. I couldn't fathom this to be true. I got a menu back, and bam, rapini listed as one of the toppings. Bob's your uncle! It tasted like broccoli pizza. That should tell you how I felt about it. I could spend another paragraph about what puttanesca is to me, what it should contain, how it should taste, the origins (was it really the hookers tempting clients with their "tasty sauce"?). Not the point. They can't call that pizza puttanesca. They cannot. It's a crime against humanity. If not humanity, then at least me. Yet, after all that. I loved the place. It is just so darn cute. I'm going to go back soon, and not get pizza. Or maybe just one. But not that one.
  47. 2 points
    9 Surprisingly good food citie you need to visit! Lancaster, Pa made the cut!
  48. 2 points
    Chef Brittanny Anderson was a 2017 Semifinalist for a Mid-Atlantic James Beard Award. Given that this was the only restaurant in Richmond up for a mid-Atlantic award in 2017, I have to gently disagree with the nomination. Don't get me wrong: Metzger Bar and Butchery is a *great* neighborhood restaurant - and it has absolutely broken ground in its Union Hill neighborhood - but I'm not quite comfortable with it being nominated for a Beard Award, and the halibut - which was brazenly overcooked - is as good a reason as any. I agree with DIShGo both about the German-oriented dishes, and also the cocktails - if I lived anywhere near here, I'd come often: It's worth a visit if you're in Richmond. Perhaps most significantly, the two Pierogies we had were the single finest Pierogies I've ever eaten, anywhere (I realize this may be considered more Polish than German, but it doesn't matter - they were sensational). The Schweinhaxe was, literally, a chicken-fried pork shank - the first I've ever seen. Looking back at these pictures, I'm remembering the dinner more fondly than I did after we left the restaurant - we should have quit before the entrees because we were *stuffed* - we over-ordered on purpose because neither of us had ever tried Metzger before. This restaurant has great potential, and if only the entrees could have been lightened somehow - and I'm not sure how - I'd already be itching to visit again (I'm not being critical of the entrees because we were full; they really were quite heavy, and the pork shank - good as it looks - was actually somewhat bland, albeit masterfully fried). The crudo was flat-out *beautiful*, but it, too, didn't come across as well on the palate as it did on the eye. And yes, those gnocchi with the halibut were *great*. Truth is, if the purpose of the nomination was to call attention to this little gem-of-a-restaurant, then I'm all for it. Metzger deserves your business. Apr 11, 2016 - "Owners of Metzger Bar & Butchery Opening New Restaurant in Scott's Addition" by Karri Peifer on richmond.com
  49. 2 points
    I grew up in Maplewood and in all of my trips back have not made it to Verjus. Maybe this is the year. After all, there's only so much Roman Gourmet pizza I can eat.
  50. 2 points
    On first blush this does not make me very happy. I do think it's been a bit uneven the past three months or so, but otherwise we've been extremely happy with Granville's for the past five to seven years consistently. Our experience with the Vic has been much less consistent.