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Everything posted by NolaCaine

  1. Dining in Ballston

    Decided to trust big buns and go with their designer burgers. I like the K-BBQ ...I've had it twice and I"m back to really liking Big Buns.
  2. Well I'll be. The outside silver had me totally fooled. If I typed my poster in lower case, technically, i would have still been correct. :-)
  3. Had breakfast on Lee Hwy today. Coffee sucks and waiter kept pushing extras. This half-assed breakfast set us back $50. Not worth $25!
  4. National Chains

    Sysco I was somewhere between Arlington and...North Carolina (can't remember where) when we stoped at a mom 'n' pop BBQ shop. My DH LOVES BBQ. This entire place was Sysco. Almost any national chain would have been better...or even WaWa.
  5. In the "I should have known better" category; I went to a group dinner at I ricci and regret going. I have a dairy allergy, told the server who was pushing a group meal. he told me it's be okay. Much to my surprise, everything had cheese all over it. I "ate around" the cheese but by the time the meal wrapped up, I could not swallow since I was having an allergic reaction to the meal. SO not only did I pay about $100 for food that wasn't very good, but I ended up having to leave early b/c I could not swallow. I realize that many, many people fake food allergies and that's a disservice to me but so is a server who pushes cheese on someone with a dairy allergy!
  6. National Chains

    Just read the WaPo article. I am a little embarrassed to agree that since the chain stoped its discriminatory practices, Cracker Barrel is my go-to road-trippin' spot. Here's what it's got going for it: clean bathrooms, veggies, kids menu, FRIED OCRA. Here's what I hate about it: Mom, can I have this, can I have this, can I have this. and that slab 'o' meat that my husband orders...covered in white goo.
  7. National Chains

    Y'all are missing out on some artery clogs. The wonderful Bloomin' Onion has about 2K calories and the sauce is another 200 per serving...I 'm assuming that's a tablespoon. And IHOP sucks. It's where my kids trick me into going when our house looses power or water at breakfast time. It just sucks.
  8. Tail-On Shrimp

    I might need a shrimp in sauce eating lesson. That said, I have had such lessons. I spent a summer in San Fransisco and was with a person of Chinese/Vietnamese descent and we ate everything that San Francisco had to offer. I did eat shrimp shells. I did learn how to de--shell a saucy shrimp with a knife (fail) and where to find the meat in very odd parts of various creatures. I'm at the point now that as long as I have some hand sanitizer and a near-by bathroom, I'm willing to get quite messy at a table. Especially when seafood is involved. My true gift is de-shelling shrimp and crab and crawfish once boiled. I easily work at double the speed of all my peeps in the DMV. Now I'm getting hungry again.
  9. Tail-On Shrimp

    In defense of Louisiana, the entire shell is only left on when the shrimp are boiled. Everything else is tailless...Jambalaya, Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Shrimp Etoufee, Shrimp and Grits...oh my, I am getting hungry. What bugs me is when there's a tail and sauce. There's no way to detail the shrimp without getting sauce under nails. That knife idea sounds good, but I am not sure I can pull it off. (pun intended)
  10. I'll have to admit that potbelly is on my regular lunch rotation. I get the wreck with no cheese, extra tomatoes and "everything'". It's pretty good as are the chocolate shakes which I now cannot enjoy. Also, the 17&L location downtown is quite friendly with the same staff, more or less, staying for quite some time.
  11. National Chains

    One up side to national chains is that they tend to be easy for those with food allergies and their drinks can be giant. Chili's is good enough food and Red Robin has the best kids menu ever.
  12. Instagram might help you dine for free

    FYI: Del Mar has a drink in a large brass pineapple. DaveO: I think they are calling you...
  13. I went to Vermeer on the day after Thanksgiving along with my in-laws, a couple of cute kids, and about 587,998 other people. I mention the other people because a crowded art gallery can really detract from a magical experience. that said, I wasn't that impressed. The works of art are very small and...a bit blurry. Also, they are curated so that all of the parrot pictures were together, all of the backs of people were together, ect. While this may seem very organized to some, it made me realize that these guys all worked in one studio and copied, I mean, drew inspiration from, one image they they replicated...and I found that distracting. I did enjoy spending time watching tourists see the big blue rooster for the first time. I am not a fan of that bird, but LOVE reactions to it. If you ever feel like people watching, I recommend a cold stone bench on top of an east building tower. That is magical.
  14. For my birthday yesterday, My dear darling (DD) husband planned a day where I didn't have to make a decision which is the very best present ever. Vermeer, (too many people) followed by lunch at Del Mar (brunch menu) and Pajama Game (enjoyable) where we were in an almost full house. Del Mar: 3 tapas followed by a main. See below. DD started with Las Olas ( $8) which is a mocktail that was quite refreshing and I'd like him to try to replicate it. In all the food was good and good looking. From the list below, our favorite was the salmon tapas because it was generous, interesting, and tasted really good as created. While beautiful, the escalivada lacks the flavor that the dish should have imported. I was looking for that classic eggplant creaminess and it was lacking. That said, it was the best looking of them all. Another highlight was Cazuela de Bogovante which did not need the eggs. In fact, eggs detracted from what was otherwise a wonderful dish. Now for the trite complaint: We asked for a side of bread since gambas tapa did not come with it and that lobster stew had to be sopped up. $3.50. Not a big deal but for a restaurant to sell a $50 ounce of ham, the least they can do is provide bread with the food that cries for it. Many dishes served to other diners looked marvelous and the view is very nice. Yet since there are so many choices down there, I am not sure we'll be back any time soon. Andalusian Gambas al Ajillo $18 Pink Key West Shrimp, Garlic, Arbol Chile, Parsley Salmon Ahumado Y Pan De Cristal $22 Chesapeake Smoked Salmon & Tomato On Crisp Catalan Bread Escalivada $16 Catalan-Style Char-Roasted Eggplant, Onions, Red Bell Peppers, Tomatoes ~ *V Cazuela de Bogovante $24 Mallorcan Style Lobster, Charcoal Baked Potatoes, Fried Local Farm Egg
  15. Thanksgiving

    So glad y'all are posting. If I had more technical skill, I'd post pics. I"m roasting veggies for what will be orange soup tomorrow and they look down right picturesque.
  16. I survived. The space is beautiful and our service was not rushed. Because of food allergies (to milk, cream, butter, nuts) I ordered the one dish that didn't have those things; the dixie rice bowl with salmon poke on top. There is absolutely nothing southern about this dish but it is the most healthy item on the menu with a close second being the salmon with edamame grits. One of diners asked for a salad to be altered and the waiter basically said, order two of the dishes, so not sure the chef is a fan of altering his masterpieces. We were all new to the restaurant and ordered shrimp and grits, fried green tomato salad, and fried chicken salad with bacon jam as well as the two items above. I think the bowl was great and clearly the most healthy. Aside from rice and kimchi, it has non-spicy eggplant, warm blueberries (the one off note), and some other little things in it; really good. The fried green tomato salad is laden with breadcrumbs and stinky cheese. The fried chicken salad with bacon jam has a very unreasonable amount of bacon jam on top of the chicken. It basically looked like fried chicken with BBQ sauce poured all over it. Miss according to the eater although he at it all. While I didn't get to try the shrimp and grits, it looked all runny and lovely and the other 4 shared the mac 'n' cheese side and felt very pleased with their two spoonfuls (apparently, wonderful rich). I'd like to summarize by saying, there is almost nothing healthy on the menu and Succatash seems to be very dedicated to the menu as it is. The space is beautiful and service nice.
  17. Forgive me for a little vent but here goes: I have food allergies and when I'm having trouble swallowing yet must dine out for business purposes, I call the restaurant and ask about menu choices and easy alterations. It is never a problem. Here's my vent: While the lunch menu says to call about allergies; there is not a phone number. Clicking on "contact us" on the web site home page got me a web form. Of course google had the number. I called. The hostess (A) seemed annoyed that I wanted to talk about food allergies and (b) didn't really seem to know a lot about the menu and (c) doesn't understand that cream is basically milk. Vent over. I hope I survive this lunch. Something tells me that they don't really take food allergies very seriously. Edited to include link to lunch menu in case I missed something. http://succotashrestaurant.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lunch_DC-10.24.pdf
  18. American Cheese

    Oh my dear friends, I'm about to come out of the closet. I was raised poor; so poor that not only did I live on food stamp food as a child, but at the end of the month received USDA government food. "American cheese" is a USDA recipe which is why Kraft singles taste exactly like "government cheese." How do I know this? When I started dating my husband, he told me that I should talk to strangers on Metro b/c they have good stories. One day I saw a woman with a tote bag from a dairy conference so I asked her the question. Why does government cheese taste exactly like Kraft. Does kraft have the contract? She laughed and said there are 5-7 contracts to make "government cheese" and Kraft might have one but it doesn't matter b/c USDA publishes the recipe and it is EXACTLY THE SAME. Here's a link: "WTF Happened to Government Cheese?" by Myles Karp on munchies.vice.com I have made entire meals out of government cheese, powered milk, flour, and peanut butter. (Unrelated story): I also met an MD and FBI agent brother set who were Jewish. I have a couple of friends who only date within their faith so I invited the brothers to a happy hour to meet them. The men in my social group behaved like apes and even tried to (figuratively) pee on the FBI agents shoes. My now husband asked why I invited two single guys to a happy hour full of single guys and i told him "because YOU suggested I speak to strangers on metro". (My friends and these two tilted different ways politically so, it didn't work out).
  19. Full Story: "'The Good Lord Couldn't Get Rid of Them'": Louisiana's Quest To Hunt the Swamp Rat" by Amanda Holpuch on theguardian.com Highlights: Metzler and his fellow documentarians Jeff Springer and Quinn Costello traveled to southern Louisiana, primarily during the November-to-April hunting season. They stomped through the marshes and dined on nutria. “We were able to get over the ick factor because Louisianans know how to cook,” Metzler said. That taste test was inspired by the state wilderness department’s Nutria for Human Consumption Campaign, an initiative formed in response to the overabundance of nutria. It saw celebrated chefs, including the James Beard award winner Susan Spicer, prepare the rat in barbecue, jambalaya and jerky meals. In the film, Spicer insists the rodent does not have a swampy taste. “With rabbit, there is a stigma they are too cute. That’s not a problem with nutria,” he says. The battle against the nutria, and the destruction of southern Louisiana, is felt intimately by Thomas Gonzalez, who informs viewers at the film’s onset: “Hurricane Katrina took my house, but we still have plenty of nutria.”
  20. snake, garfish, squirrel, alligator I've eaten them all in La. and all were good; but never a rat. Yet. I've also eaten chicken feet and duck tongue. Never, ever again.
  21. Oh My Yum. Lettuce Starter: Perfect medium-hard egg on top of crispy lettuce. Dressed perfectly well. Cod Main: Just right wild rice, cod, lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower. Some sort of lemon-y sauce. Included: Light sauvignon blanc $27. Was louder than expected and completely packed. People were turned away.
  22. John Besh Resigns Due to Sexual Harrassment

    We are all focusing our national rage on the famous but I"m going out on a limb here; most women experience sexual harassment at some point in their career. I'm thinking of my list right now. Assholes.
  23. I would like to add a note of confusion. I was informed of this restaurant TODAY. But here's the thing: I work in the neighborhood; maybe 2 blocks away. I don't think there has been advertisement or direct marketing, or even sign on Ct or 17th. Or maybe the people at Edgar keep stealing it. I hear it is very good, very nice, and conducive to an actual conversation.