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About genericeric

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    Ashburn, VA
  1. I suppose this could be good or bad depending on one's point of view. I was at Devil's Backbone over the weekend, and they're definitely experimenting with 'new', albeit less 'interesting' to me. I've never really gotten into the recent craze of smoked beers - this is a charity contribution for firefighters so the tie-in makes sense, I just don't care for the flavor. They have a sour IPA on tap - again, I understand that sours are all the rage these days (they had two sours and a gose on this weekend), but a sour IPA? Not my thing. A spruce IPA in August. An apricot dunkel. I'm sure some beer enthusiasts enjoy this variety of the new and trendy. I used to go to DB and have a hard time picking the few I could try because so many were appealing. Now I find myself ordering the Striped Bass or Eight Point every time and enjoying the setting more than the selection.
  2. Some places have certainly struggled (Voltaggio's two concepts and HH stand out), but it does seem that traffic has significantly increased over the last year. Eddie Merlot's, Matchbox and even Uncle Julio's are all pretty jammed on weekend nights. That being said, I always felt like Hail and Hog was a bad fit for the neighborhood. It was a downtown, tourist restaurant with prices to match that was located in a suburban location lacking many tourists. G3's other restaurants are located closer to the stadiums and can take advantage of the fan traffic. Of course even that fan traffic can't always save them, as one of G3's other restaurants, Colts Grille, also closed abruptly in July. They're now down to just two locations.
  3. We recently restarted our Plated service, which is the third time we've given it a whirl. I think we've finally reached the point where it works for us. Time 1 we were young and childless and I ended up throwing the ingredients away too often because... life. I also found the recipe selection limited. Time 2 my wife was pregnant and had too many specific food preferences/prohibitions. I also found the ingredients repeated too often - I could not LOOK at one more arugula salad, and there were too often critical ingredients missing with what I felt was a lack of appropriate response from Plated (partial refunds when missing a central ingredient... sure I'll have a chicken salad without the chicken). But this time I feel like Plated is more mature, and so are we. There are a number of recipes available each week, plus a monthly archive of previous recipes that have been scored highly by their customers. This gives enough options so that it's possible to avoid foods due to preferences or repetition. I also haven't had a missing ingredient for quite some time. We get the twice weekly plan, which is about how many times I find myself looking around the kitchen at 7:30 thinking hmmm, I don't know what to make for dinner so it works. Admittedly it isn't cheap, but I somehow am unable to make chili dogs without spending $75 at the grocery store so in the end, this works for us. But I am intrigued by all the above references to Home Chef...
  4. We visited Delirium for the first time last Thursday and really enjoyed ourselves. The bartenders were friendly and knowledgeable about the expansive beer list. We weren't really looking for a full menu, but the Caramelized Onion and Stilton Blue Crostini ($6.99) were far better than I was expecting - I love finding simple combinations that work surprisingly well like this. I'm not sure the menu would draw me back for dinner, but I could very much see this as a stop on a Loudoun brewery day. Side note - we were on a bit of a bar/restaurant crawl in dowtown Leesburg - starting at the Downtown Saloon (a true dive bar), hitting Delirium, the Wine Kitchen and Lightfoot. We had to stop before getting to the Oyster Bar since Leesburg shuts down at 10, but really enjoy this 2 block strip.
  5. Paid Parking Slowly Killing Reston Town Center?

    As of last week when I was there, the app was still accepting payments after 5 as well. Seems that for the time being, the proverbial tree has fallen in the empty forest.
  6. Agree - would also give a nod toward Rube's in Montour, though a completely different atmosphere (and cook-your-own should really be a separate category) Side note, any restaurant that has this disclaimer on its website is probably worth a visit: VACATION TIME AT ARCHIE'S WAESIDE! Closed July 2 through July 24 for our annual vacation.
  7. I know, I was just so aghast at the choices. Growing up in Iowa, I know Flemings is popular in Des Moines but I would be surprised if many would say its the best steak - its just a nice place to have dinner. Kansas City is still proud of its barbeque and beef (and recently, beer). The problem with Foursquare ratings is they confuse popularity with quality.
  8. No no no no no. Just... no. An indication of how off this is is that a number of places are duplicated across states. J. Gilberts in Missouri and Connecticut. Flemings in Iowa and Louisiana. Maybe I'm not up on the what the kids these days are doing, but didn't Foursquare peak some time ago?
  9. If you go in the evening, or stay less than an hour during the day, validation will no longer be necessary.
  10. Paid Parking Slowly Killing Reston Town Center?

    Sounds like Boston Properties has somewhat given in and is allowing free evening parking and an hour free during the day, according to this story.
  11. Were you at a cart in NYC or a restaurant location? My personal opinion is that Halal Guys works really well as a food truck, less well as a brick-and-mortar. As I noted up thread, the food trucks almost always have lines. Any time you go you are getting a hot, fresh meal - I've never had the gyro (always get the chicken) but I've never had a less than 'really good' meal from the truck. That hasn't been the case at some of the restaurant locations, where the food moves less quickly and expectations are somewhat different. I don't like to eat fast food for dinner, and I love that there are always so many new places to try in New York. But its not uncommon for me to grab HG for dinner one night when I'm there, usually when I get into town late or maybe after a show - it's pretty freaking good. The restaurant business model seems to rely on nostalgia from former New Yorkers and visiting devotees - its passable, but just not quite the same.
  12. Paid Parking Slowly Killing Reston Town Center?

    Visited RTC recently for the first time since the payment system was implemented. It was dead on a Thursday night at 5:30. Really, really dead. Most of the street traffic consisted of the security guards checking plates and writing tickets. My favorite part was when a security person was placing a parking ticket on a car and the woman came up screaming "NO! NO! I work for Boston Properites, don't give me a ticket!" The ticket was removed. I don't mind paying a nominal fee for parking. I mind the friction it causes in the retail experience - meaning if I can slide my cc in a meter and be done in 15 seconds, fine. If I have to download an app, create an account, store cc information, or go through a painful five minute phone call - not so fine. $6 for two hours also seems a bit rich in the suburbs when the garages and most of the street parking spots were vacant.
  13. I must be getting old because I'm having a really hard time with Clyde's pricing these days. Willow Creek is trying out what appears to be a new chophouse section with a $37 8oz filet - sides not included ('shareable' sides are 9$). Last June their monthly special was an 8oz filet, WITH sides, for $19.95. Not sure what justifies more than doubling the price over a 10 month time. And then there's the $76 tomahawk. If they can make the high end meat business work, great for them. But there used to also be more options in what I'll call 'The Tuesday Night' section when you just want to stop by the neighborhood bar on the way home but don't want a hamburger. At least The Hamilton still has half portions of pasta and sushi, you CAN get a halfway interesting (read: not a turkey sandwich) meal here without breaking the bank. Even the monthly specials at WCF seem to have gone by the wayside (missing for last 2 mos).