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Found 188 results

  1. It is truly amazing how much the area of S. Van Dorn Street, S. Pickett Street, and Edsall Road - all part of Alexandria near the Van Dorn Street Metro station - has been built up in the past few years - I had absolutely no idea a Red Lobster had opened up on S. Van Dorn Street, which shows just how long it has been since I've been here. In one of the self-contained complexes rests the Portner Brewhouse, opened by the descendents of Robert Portner. Having tried three different beers here, I wish I could say that the beer lived up to the romance, but both the atmosphere - which is cold and corporate-feeling (this brewery was obviously very well-funded) - and more importantly, the beers themselves, looked and tasted full-on industrial, even though the fermentation tanks are easily seen through windows behind the bar. I wanted to try the house staples and standards, so my friend and I had the following (we arrived during Social Hour, so prices were a dollar off): Hoffbrau Pilsner (20-ounce draft, $5) - despite it's 5.9% ABV, this was a glass of generic nothingness. Vienna Cabinet Lager (16-ounce draft, $4) - the word "copper" in the menu description caught my eye, as this is often a sign of an Amber Ale, a Scotch Ale, or a Red Ale - at 5% ABV, this was marginally my favorite beer of the three, (remember, my palate has a preference for malt over most hops), but I wouldn't return just for this. My friend didn't care for either beer, so I was "forced" to drink the above two - however, the words "orange peel" and "coriander" intrigued her enough to try this: Jaxson's Wheat (16-ounce draft, $4.25) - cloudy, and with more citrus and resin than the first two beers, but still with a palate presence of Anywheat from the grocery store. The problem with all three beers is that there was very little nose, virtually no depth, and a clipped finish - this was a forgettable experience in a forgettable atmosphere that felt like something you'd find inside a shopping mall. If I lived here, then maybe, but I just can't see making an effort, and I'm really sorry to say this, too, as this is the type of place I pull for.
  2. Baytna means "our home" in Arabic. I stumbled upon this little lunch counter while picking up a barbecue order at Mission BBQ in the same plaza. I noticed the pictures on the front of Baytna Mediterranean Kitchen and it conjured up the recent thread on hand-pressed shawarma. And they claim their chicken shawarma is "famous" but I haven't tried it yet. They serve no alcohol, but I intend to check it out in the near future...
  3. I'm surprised there's not a post yet about Hummingbird. As far as I know, it's not quite open, but should be soon. It's the latest from Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong, Todd Thrasher, and the Eat Good Food Group: the restaurant/bar at the new Hotel Indigo on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. The bright and airy interior space looks really nice and there is a great patio area, as well. The menus are still in progress, but it sounds like there may be a seafood slant, with the occasional Irish touch, too. Some additional info at Zagat.
  4. I tried out Meggrolls last night. It's in the former Five Guys space at 107 N. Fayette Street in Old Town. The space is pleasant -- navy and white, with a touch of dusty orange in the dining area, blond wood tables and chairs, and a bunch of framed '80s album covers in the dining area. Right now, they're open for dinner hours only, at 5:00, so they can get a feel for the flow. The menu is small, about a half dozen Meggrolls offered, plus some cole slaw variations, french fries, and chili, and the chalkboard advertises that pies are coming soon. The chalkboard also says that 1 roll is a good snack and 2 is a meal. Well, 1 roll and a side of slaw would be more than plenty of food for me; I did the 2 rolls (no sides) and it was a stretch -- remember, it's all deep fried. At $6.75+ per roll (sides are a la carte), taking the chalkboard's advice gets pricey pretty fast for what is, at its heart, tasty craft junkfood. The rolls are a cheeseburger, buffalo chicken, gyro, mac-n-cheese, and chicken parm. The rolls are expertly fried, and fried to order. I could see into the frying area and each chamber of the fryer was labeled for each type of roll so none of the flavors mingle. They're using some sort of iPad register system and it looks cute but I wonder how it's going to hold up over the medium term, let alone long term. Because it's done to order, and a small kitchen (one fry cook/roll splitter and one dressing the rolls at the pass, it can get backed up quickly and one even small order gone wrong can throw the whole thing into the weeds. Case in point, I was in a mini-rush of folks getting off work and arriving about 5:45, and was 3rd or 4th to order and 10th or 11th to get my 2 rolls, one of which was done many minutes (and several intervening pick-ups) before the other. The rolls were dark brown, crunchy, not greasy, and held up well to a 30 minute car ride home, but I certainly wouldn't recommend that sort of holding time. I tried the spicy buffalo chicken roll and the gyro roll. The chicken was a mild-to-medium spicy piece of chicken that appeared to have been pre-cooked in the spiced coating, then egg roll wrapped with a little something else inside the roll, deep fried and then split lengthwise and topped with a small celery stick and dressed with bleu or ranch dressing (I had the bleu on the side since it was a to-go order). I would have liked it a bit spicier and with more of a celery kick to it. The gyro was a spiced lamb patty, sort of like kofta, deep fried, split lengthwise and topped with (a very bland) tzatziki, shredded lettuce and halved grape tomatoes. I liked this one a little better than the buffalo chicken, but felt it was a bit out of balance with too much yogurt/not enough herbs compared to the lamb. The flavor of the lamb was good. I scraped off most of the tzatziki and ate it with the tomatoes instead, and a punch of fresh herbs and garlic would have done it good. Overall, it was a fun meal but I'd really put it in the category of a well-made junky treat and not something I'll eat very often.
  5. It's hard to believe Teaism closed a year ago. The new tenant - Sunday in Saigon - is still in the slow/soft opening phase, but we had a very pleasant and flavorful meal at the bar last Friday. They were quite busy and it was on the later side, so an item or two wasn't available. They currently have a short but interesting beer menu - including several Hitachino selections and a rice beer from Colorado on draft, along with a few specialty cocktails and wines by the glass. There is also a several-bottle Enomatic station, for which wines were still being selected at the time of our visit. We were told customers will be able to purchase a card and make their own selections shortly. There is nothing on the menu from Caphe Banh Mi (they share the same owners). We started with the Chinese sausage and shrimp roll with egg, jicama, and carrot - a nice change from the standard rolls you find a lot of places. We were quite happy with the Huế noodle soup ( Bún bò Huế) and the grilled eggplant stir-fried with pork and shrimp (cà tím nướng). The noodle soup included pork hock which had been soaked in coconut milk and cooked separately with a variety of spices (I hope I'm getting the details right). I'm not normally one to gnaw on skin/rinds, but was very glad that I was encouraged to do so - the flavor was incredible. If you prefer, you can order the soup without the hocks. The eggplant was generous, well-prepared and seasoned, if a touch oily for me. A nearby diner ordered the deep-fried whole red snapper - it was an attention-getter, but also looked like something I'd order next time out. The menu has a variety of dishes, with prices ranging from $8 for a few smaller dishes to $28 for the snapper, with lots of options in between. The space has been somewhat reconfigured from the previous Teaism layout (bar moved, some interior features removed, fun custom wallpaper installed, entrance shifted). The room has a nice ambiance (as it did before). My - the owner and chef - is very much involved in every aspect of the operation, from the interior design (and exterior - the umbrellas over the patio tables are stunning!) to the recipes. They will be serving brunch soon, too. I hope they see crowds at Sunday in Saigon similar to their other business, which is always packed. I'm not a Vietnamese food expert but the care and attention that have gone into both places is evident. I'm happy to support another tasty, local, woman-owned business in the former location of one of my other favorites that fits that description!
  6. They decided not to open in that location and instead will be opening soon at 7305 Richmond Highway. The building is next door to a Shell station and has been home to several other restaurants over the years.
  7. I previously mentioned that there may be some culinary transitions at the Lorien Hotel, and if you enjoy the cuisine at Brabo, you may want to go today. However, I've also heard that even bigger changes may be in the works. I've never been inside "the gate" at The Lorien (thus, I will not give it any "star ratings"); I've only been to the restaurants, which I have always loved - I'd really appreciate hearing from someone who has stayed in the hotel itself. This goes for any hotel in the DC area, actually. This is about two blocks from the King Street Metro Station. Not sure how they're going to handle the restaurant changes (Brabo is on the far left; Brabo Tasting Room is on the far right):
  8. Northside 10 opened up this weekend, it took over the Chez Andree space on Glebe Rd. Brought to you by the Southside 815 folks. Drove by and saw that it looked open, and wanted to watch football. So, instead of packing into Pork Barrel, stopped by here. It was pretty crowded. Decent draft list, including Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA. They had a bunch of TVs playing the playoff games (go Packers!) and a lot of the crew were familiar faces from other Del Ray restaurants, as were many of the guests. Lady got the burger, asked for medium, probably more medium well, but she loved it. I got some pretty darn good wings. Found out we had accidentally stumbled into Friends and Family soft opening, so they didn't charge us for the food. Oops! Paid for it anyway with a big tip. Although kind of a weird location, I think it's going to do well. Very residential area, lots of family's can easily walk to it.
  9. As of Dec 20, 2016, the Hotel Monaco and Jackson 20 has transferred ownership from Clarion Partners to AllianceBernstein and Fulcrum Hospitality, and the management company has changed from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to Marriott's Autograph Collection, which also runs the upscale Morrison House, just down the street. This will leave Kimpton with the Lorien (home to Brabo and Brabo Tasting Room) as the only hotel they're operating in Old Town. "Hotel Monaco Sold, To Become The Alexandrian" by Mary Ann Barton on patch.com
  10. Although it's been there for more than two years, I have yet to try the offerings at Nicecream Factory's Clarendon location (former home of Red Mango). They must be doing something right, as they are opening a second location in Old Town, at 726 King Street, right next door to Eammon's: A Dublin Chipper. Yogi Castle closed a year ago, so that section of King Street hasn't had a frozen dessert option for a while. With Five Guys opening across the street in the near future, there should be plenty of casual diners looking for something sweet to follow their burger. They use liquid nitrogen to flash freeze ice cream to order, supposedly making a denser and creamier finished product, with custom, fresh ingredients. Anybody tried it?
  11. A friend and I stopped for a quick look around today, hoping they had dine-in. They do some carryout sandwiches and the place smelled absolutely terrific, but there's no indoor seating. A few bistro tables outside, but it was a tad too chilly to sit on metal chairs on a cloudy afternoon. They advertise fresh bread brought in daily, and there's a selection of wines, gelato, pasta and similar. And the red sauce smells like I'd want to drink a gallon of it.
  12. We finally made it to the new Ethiopian place on East Glebe just off Rt 1 in Alexandria (I guess I'd call it east Arlandria). Very quiet on a weekday lunch. I hope they get more customers, because we thought it was very good. We had lamb tibs and the veggie combo. Both were good, nicely spiced - I like Ethiopian a lot, but I don't think I can call myself well informed, so I'm not exactly sure how to describe why I thought it was good. I guess I'd say that everything tasted distinct, not muddy flavors like I've had at Ethiopian places I like less. Service was quick and friendly. Good place to have close by.
  13. Shoppes at FoxChase is manged by KLNB Retail - it's now the primary retail center on Duke Street, between I-395 and Alexandria, now that Landmark Mall is a shadow of its former shadowy self (which I expect to change, given its prime location). Harris-Teeter is the hub of this modern shopping center, which has added several new restaurants in recent years. Some of you may recognize this center as the home of La Casa, the pizzeria owned by the family of Komi's Johnny Monis: Of particular note is that a large Cava Grill opened on the Eastern corner of the center a month ago: A note to the owners of Cava Grill and Cava Mezze: Whether you know it or not, you're in the middle of an identity crisis. It's difficult for Joe Average to distinguish between the two, and you'll be saving yourselves a lot of long-term pain if you suck it up and merge the brands, or more clearly delineate the brands, *now*, instead of waiting until you're nationally known, which is coming sooner than later. There's also a third pizza house going up within about a one-hundred-yard strip, which (according to the permits) is spending some pretty hefty dollars getting itself ready to compete with its next-door neighbor - Pie 360, a Baltimore operation opening three outlets in the DC area (here, Rockville, and DC). Pie 360 has a sister pizza chain, Coal Fire, also expanding to the DC area, and apparently using ovens actually fired by anthracite (however, Pie 360's picture in their link clearly shows a gas-fired oven). Folks, please feel free to post about either of these chains, and I'll start separate threads for them: Many of us remember when Burger 7 opened in Falls Church near Whole Foods - it really wasn't bad - then, a surprising second location in that dumpy little Chickpeas space on Lee Highway between Spout Run and Rosslyn, and the third location is here: That about does it for the places of culinary interest, but you'll also notice a Samurai Hibachi & Sushi Bar: If I'm going to mention Samurai, I should direct your attention back up to the first picture, of La Casa, and point out Hong Kong Express (when you go to allmenus.com for your link, that means you're desperate) - it serves chicken wings with mumbo sauce, and may (or may not) deliver. Finally, there's a Subway, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and a Papa John's, which I won't waste digital pictures on (plus, you'll be better off at Harris-Teeter's deli). And that's the way it is on this Monday, Jul 4, 2016.
  14. Hi all, Reaching out for some ideas after I've done some fairly extensive research. My best guess so far is that we'll have at least 50 people for a Friday night wedding rehearsal dinner. Mostly I've run into the issue of a restaurant's space not being large enough and another issue of the cost just being too expensive. 2 places that I'm considering are Carluccio's and Theismann's. I'm a bit wary of Carluccio's since they are new-ish and I'm not sure they have had much experience with private events. Though we have eaten there before and enjoyed our meals there. We are going to try Theismann's for the first time sometime this week. I'm leaning towards them because private events are something they seem more than comfortable with, to the point that they have a rehearsal dinner section on their website. It is also incredibly close to both hotels I have room blocks at. Any thoughts would be appreciated - thanks!
  15. Yeap it finally happened - after 21 years of being together Pooch and I are engaged! So just starting to think out options but since we like food we have thought of doing a short ceremony at a restaurant and then have a wonderful meal with our friends and family. So far I've found Chart House in Old Town can host 80 Clyde's Marc Center can host 150 Jaleo in Crystal City can host 200 Ruth Chris in Crystal City can host 100 Has anyone done a big group event somewhere in Alexandria / Arlington / National Harbor or close? Pros/Cons? Other places?
  16. Old Town Alexandria Patch states that Hank's Pasta Bar is opening on Feb. 4, 2016. The address is 600 Montgomery St, Alexandria, VA. Here is the Washington Post article from last May about this upcoming restaurant from Jamie Leeds.
  17. Replacing the BBQ Delight outpost in Hechinger Plaza (next to Saigon Quan), is a new Yemeni restaurant: Marib Restaurant. I think it's been open a couple of months now. After waiting for the Verizon tech to fix a screeching box in my closet, I decided to head on over and get some lunch. Seeing as my entire knowledge of Yemeni cuisine is saltah and chicken mandi, and I've had neither, I figured now is as good a time to try it! I picked saltah and paired it with a Vimto...mainly because I'd never actually tried Vimto as well. I must say, it was quite good. The saltah was pretty much every vegetable in a roiling stew with some sahawiq (spicy condiment, it seems) and a very yummy fenugreek foam around the edge. Couple that with some just perfect bread for dipping and a great lunch was had. And, lucky me, I couldn't eat it all so I have some leftovers tonight/tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be back to get some chicken mandi and, maybe someday when I'm with about 7 others, get the bint al-sahn. The picture of it on Yelp helps one understand why it's $40. Not a slice...the whole thing!
  18. Is this the Seoul that took over the old Gamasot space? I tried it recently...and it's quite good.
  19. Christmas Day in Old Town

    Recommendations for dining on Christmas Day in Old Town? Have been unsatisfied with everything apart from Charthouse past years.
  20. Mamma's Kitchen is 5 minutes away from me and pretty much what the OP describes Mamma's Kitchen has been our family spot for years. It's close by and they're very consistent. It's been run by the same Greek family since it opened. It's casual, family friendly comfort food. The menu is made up of various cliches like fettuccine alfredo and lasagna, but also a smattering of Greek dishes like mousakka. Nothing very adventurous, but the food is good, everything is made fresh and there's zero chance you'll leave hungry. And the gyros are great.
  21. This Sunday at Port City, my good friend Chad (Mason Social) and I (Reserve) are having a chili cook off. Portion of the proceeds are going to Feed It Forward. The two of us will be serving different chili as well as bbq offerings and other sides. Logan Sausages is donating 1/2 smokes. We have a large tow behind smoker grill coming with us. Tickets are on sale here for $20. And more info about the event can be found at this one. We've received some excellent media pickups from DC101, Washingtonian and DCBeer, amongst others. Weather is calling for sunny and 57. The brawl is inside the brewery and the tasting room will also be open. Hope to see y'all out there!
  22. I don't see a thread for Lena's Wood-Fired Pizzas & Tap at 401 E Braddock Rd, near Braddock Metro Station. Friends and family opening was this weekend, and soft opening reported for today. This is said to be a partnership between management of The Majestic/Virtue and the Yates family. The space looks great. Large bar. Extensive outdoor patio with fire pit and gas heaters.
  23. Ate here once, and ordered once. It's really good for what it is - white carton Chinese. I'd passed by it a million times, and had never been interested, but I figured I'd give it a go. I think they have beer? I don't remember. I went with a friend and got the Hunan Chicken, that was pretty tasty and they are able to make it a little spicy. I wasn't that hungry, and was leaving for a trip, so couldn't evaluate how it held up on day 2. Yesterday, me and little sis decided to aggressively pursue leisure, so we camped out on the couch and watched "Episodes" and "House of Lies" for about 6 hours until her flight. The rigorous nature of our hard core chilling required nourishment, so we decided to order in. Got 1) Vegetable Lo Mein - as good a version as any. Not too heavy/oily. Some vegetables were seen in there. 2) Ma Po Tofu - nothing at all like the Sichuan variety found at HKP and Joe's and other places, but surprisingly really good. They used a lot of mushrooms and it was earthy and good. I don't think they used shitty white plain mushrooms, either. These were good ones. The tofu wasn't too mushy. The sauce was spicy. 3) Kung Pao Chicken - as good version as you can get in the area. Not overloaded with peanuts. No dried red chiles, though, I usually want a few of those in the mix. 4) Shredded Pork With Garlic Sauce - like I say when I pass the preserves section at the supermarket, "This is my jam!". Really good! Tasty, not too "mystery-meat"-ish. This and a second plate of it sustained us through a very dynamic TV watching session... And I didn't feel sick the next day. $42 with tax and delivery and tip (Eat 24). Got there in 45 min. Plenty of food leftover. Try it hungover or an a Netflix day. I don't think you'll be too disappointed. -S
  24. I hesitate to write this, because I can't even begin to describe how ordinary this restaurant is, but the Dining Guide has no reference to a Joe Theismann's restaurant? Here, in the Washington DC area? Unthinkable. A friend was visiting from out of town and suggested we meet at Theismann's. Silly me, I recall when it was a good place to grab a hamburger in Seven Corners....I had no idea that the only Theismann's remaining in our area was at the far end of Old Town near the King Street Metro. I had no expectations, and they were met....maybe I was thinking that a self-absorbed, overly talkative quarterback would greet us at the door, and I would ask him why there were so many 3rd-and-25 situations when he was the Redskins QB? Anyway, the place is nicely appointed, more or less a sports bar up front and a restaurant farther back. My impression was part GAR, part Glory Days, part Dave and Busters, and part sports-star-named-steakhouse-without-a-lot-of-steaks. We were treated to an affable but overly chatty waiter who had a not very good joke for everything, like when asked where the men's room was, he would answer "Outside, by that line of trees." Service was a little slow and a lot tedious. The menu was uninteresting. It wasn't bad, but nothing really stood out. Standard grub mostly, from the fried calamari appetizer to the filet with mashed potatoes or salmon with basmati rice for mains. (Yawn...) Like I mentioned at the beginning, it's hard to describe how ordinary this place is, but the location is nice. If you're looking for a place at the end of Old Town for beers with friends and flat screens to watch the games, here you go. If you're looking for anything else, you're in the wrong place.
  25. Sonoma Cellar (website) has recently opened up in Old Town Alexandria at 207 King Street The downstairs is a wine tasting bar and the upstairs is a restaurant (the kitchen is part way upstairs and you pass on your way up) They had just been opened a week when we went there and I'll take that into consideration. The owners and chef are very enthusiastic about the new place and that energy shows. The wine menu is divided up into standard and select, you can order 5 one oz pour flights or a two ounce tasting pour or a glass of any of the wines. We each had a flight and you can pick which of the wines you want in your flight. All was average, and hopefully they will improve to good in the future. Wines were pretty middle of the road, food needs to even out, staffing is still learning. Tables are very close together and the accoustics make it so you can hear every table (we actually joined in conversations with everyone else there) We started with the Brie and Fig Jam Crostini which was yummy, I had the Beef Estouffade which parts of the beef were dry and parts were good, the noodles also had parts that were under and over cooked, sweetie had the Petaluma Chicken au Jus which was okay but nothing special. Next table had pork chop that was to dry but enjoyed their Bodega bay Shrimp (and were amazed with their spaghetti-cut zucchini and I told them they can often buy them pre-cut at Whole Foods). The dessert wines and the Lavender Crème Brí»lée were the high spot - very smooth with a lavender taste that was not overpowering. OverAll we left feeling 'meh' as there is so much better in the area, but maybe a good lunch spot to take a break when we have someone there as a tourist or someone really wants to do some wine tasting of california wines. Grandma review: Nope - restaurant is upstairs and stairs up to restaurant so not an option for her, the wine tasting is all at tall stools/tables/bar so not an option either.
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