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Found 476 results

  1. I think I'm going to like the concept. An accomplished foreign chef, like Jose Andres (or Jacques Pepin) comes to America and falls in love with our regional ingredients and traditions, and then gives them center stage with a slight uplifting from his culinary heritage. I'm going to like this a lot....
  2. Just wanted to get myself going. And what better way, than to sing the praises of my favorite spot. Thanks to Tom and his crew for a mgnificent evening of food and drink for our Rocks roast. That mushroom and crab(?) soup just added to my assertion that Chef Tom has the magic touch when it comes to that course. The steak was out of this world good. Someone mentioned elsewhere that it was in the same league as Ray's, and I agree. Spring rolls, Kit Kat bars and ice cream -- all excellent. But of course the piece de resistance was the company.
  3. I used teh Googlez and didn't see any threads on it, which kind of surprised me. Ahhh well. My parents saw an episode of "Divers, Dines, and Dry Cleaners" or whatever that Guy Fieri show is that featured Metro 29. Well, to be completely honest, I saw it too, though I usually try to scrub the memory of the bleach blonde spikes and sunglasses out of my head with copious amounts of alcohol. They had debated between La Carraquena and Metro 29, and decided since there was 5 of us to go to Metro 29. It helped that it's one of my sister-in-law's favorite restaurants, though she hadn't been there in a while - she's been going there since it opened. And honestly, on the show, it made me more interested in going to it, as before I'd always just thought "Silver Diner" which I can't stand. We called ahead of time and only had to wait a couple of minutes in the crowds. The sheer age diversity amused me - everything from high school kids to the elderly. It was one of the few times I wasn't immediately annoyed by a throng of high schoolers (I must've been distracted or something). We ordered appetizers of fried cheesesticks and chicken tenders. I had gotten soup and a salad with my entree so I only sampled a small bit of each (feeling kind of "na na na boo boo, I'm healthier than you" for once in my darn life). They weren't greasy and were actually quite tasty. My brother posited that the honey mustard was Ken's brand which is his favorite. My soup was solid though needed pepper badly. Lots of noodles and chicken, I could've used more broth but couldn't complain about the taste (after I added pepper). The salad was pretty straight forward but man, the cucumbers on it were delicious. Maybe it was just me yesterday. Usually I avoid cucumbers unless they're pickled or in gin. My brother and mom had reubens. They were huge, had some of the better onion rings I've ever had on the side, and made for two solid meals for any one of us at only $12.50. Dad had an open faced steak sandwich of some sort that he seemed to like a lot (same in terms of size). My sis-in-law had French toast. I tried a bite of it and I will say that it was FANTASTIC - and with about a half pound of bacon on the side. I got the Yankee Pot Roast. The meat was a bit touch but the potato pancakes and gravy were all delicious. I didn't try the cabbage as part of my "be nice to the family" campaign. I still have half of that in my fridge... At the next table some hungover college kids had milkshakes. OHMYGOD I NEEDS ONE. They looked fantastic. Imma gonna go back, and get a milkshake, and french toast, and cover it in syrup, then go bounce off the walls of my office for the rest of the day. I HAVE BIG PLANS FOR MY LIFE. Anyways. I'd always dismissed this place as a Silver Diner clone. The food here wasn't super spectacular, but it was good, it was plentiful, and it wasn't expensive. I understand now why the line goes out the door regularly. Not every meal needs to be super fancy - this food made us all happy, if a bit needing a nap.
  4. I had a chance to swing by Family Meal this past weekend for lunch. I was surprised to find it in a pretty industrial part of town and it's essentially a shiny glass island of a building on a huge blacktop so it's easily found if you're not familiar with Frederick. Even though the place is pretty expansive, there was a constant flow of traffic the whole time I was there. The lunch menu is littered with a lot of familiar American classics like deviled eggs, fried chicken, burgers and shakes. But, if you're looking for something a little more interesting, you can also find crispy pig ears and duck poutine. I ordered the heirloom tomato gazpacho, fried chicken and banana split. The gazpacho was a refreshing start which included two generous chunks of shrimp and a dollop of avocado. The fried chicken was nicely crispy on the outside and really moist on the inside. The side of hot sauce was something new for me when paired with fried chicken and gave it a nice additional flavor. The banana split is more like banana slices on top of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream. I liked the thinner spoon size slices of banana and the bourbon vanilla ice cream stood out in the dessert. I liked the overall experience of the restaurant but I don't know if I would recommend a road trip just to go there. However, if you're in the area or it's not too far out of the way, then it would be worth your while.
  5. Has anyone had an opportunity to visit Fireworks Wood Fired Pizza in Leesburg, Virginia? http://www.fireworkspizza.com/HOME2.htm My family and I have eaten at the restaurant once, and ordered take out twice. On our first visit, the first pie we ordered was the: quattro carni. The second (take out) was the: smokey blue, and the third (take out) was the: fire cracker. Our favorite pie thus far has been the: smokey blue, but felt that the service each time has been poor. During our first visit, the wait staff neglected to remember one-half of the order for my family. As a result causing the food delivery to be staggered. Each time we have called to place take out orders, the phone manners from the wait staff/bartender taking the order has been less than stellar.
  6. Linda's Cafe is out on Rt. 29, not far past the Glebe intersection and the Heidelberg Bakery, on the corner of Edison St. and Lee Hwy. This is what I saw outside that made me pull over: 1. A neon sign that said "The Best Burgers." 2. An exterior done in red paint that was so thick it looked sticky to the touch. 3. Limited parking in the sort of minimall that could earnestly include a stamp and coin collecting shop. Once inside, this is why I stayed: 1. The elderly black host/waiter/sometime cook who was wearing a huxtable sweater and baseball cap. 2. The latina waitress who sang softly to herself as she bussed tables. 3. The silver-haired Greek cook with the hair on his hands singed short from constant proximity to the grill. 4. The menagerie of customers you get at 10:30 on a Friday morning, which is too late for a respectable breakfast and too early for a respectable lunch. Bedraggled hipsters, mechanics, some elderly men reading the paper, a knight, the Pardoner, the wife of Bath, etc. Characters. People with stories worth eavesdropping on. Afterwards, this is why I'll be back: 1. The burger (the Linda Burger) with grilled onions and mushrooms could likely compete in the "best" category with Five Guys, In-n-Out, etc. Not Palena or other boutique burgers, of course, but this isn't the sort of place that uses brioche for a bun. I take burgers VERY seriously. Even the waitress stopped what she was doing to watch it cook, then turned to me and said, "doesn't that look delicious?" It really did and I said so. 2. A fairly comprehensive diner breakfast, reasonably priced, that looks like it's worth a shot. 3. Regulars actually send this place postcards from vacation. There are wedding photos on the wall by the cashier, plus graduation portraits, and a glamor shot of the waitress (could she be the eponymous Linda?) 4. The sort of food that McDonalds and Subway neutered and rendered safe, the American greasy spoon menu, still exists here. My wife will shy away from this place, say it's too greasy, and then we'll go get roti slathered with ghee in an Indian restaurant. No, honey, no more excuses. I like grease. I like my burger with a side of cheese grits. I want four, maybe five, different fried potato products and I'm going to put hot sauce on all of them and the healthy way we live our lives means that this is a more enjoyable eating adventure than Mexican/Asian fusion (screw you, Zengo, you're too hip for me) will ever be. 5. The Clarendon corridor has reached a saturation point. Some day, all of that will come marching down Lee Highway (four dollar gas might get metro stops in lots of unlikely places, you know) and then where will the dives and diners go in the face of property values that can't be stopped? Eat here, enjoy it, because there's a sense of permanence in a place like this that is actually very fragile. Detractions, of course, exist: 1. No desserts. The waitress said it was because she has a sweet tooth and wants to watch her figure. On the one hand, that's sensible. On the other hand, where's my damn apple pie? 2. If there were more than a half dozen people in Linda's at 10:30AM on a workday, I can't imagine the tiny parking lot working out very well during sensible dining hours. There, that's twelve good reasons minus two bad for a grand total of ten give this place a try points.
  7. [posted on eGullet 2003-2004] Buck's is an interesting, pleasant space that should do quite well in this location. The atmosphere is welcoming and warm, and the bar is a comfortable place to spend an evening. There's a canoe up in the rafters, if that hints at the motif, and there are no bottles on the wall behind the bar which makes it feel more homey, less like a business. The staff seemed competent and cool. James, one of the co-owners, is quite intelligent, a fine conversationalist, and apparently business-savvy (so why did he approve the name!?), Jamie behind the bar is low-key while at the same time being friendly, attentive and welcoming, and Carole Greenwood herself, about whom many vignettes fly, came across at utterly affable and charming to me. The receptionist was also quite cordial. The wine list is a brainchild of James, who is quite the oenophile, and it's esoteric, affordable, and a wine geek's dream considering it's relatively small size. There's no way a restaurant is going to feature wines such as this unless someone really knows what they're doing. But ultimately, I wonder if the list is more thoughtful than it is good (do I really want a Greek rosé as the only one on the list?) Still, it gets a solid B+ given its price-point, and given the knowledge of James, should quickly get even better. The mussels in a rosemary broth are truly great, as good as mussels get, and I think I went through about two baskets of bread (very good bread) sopping up the broth. I can't imagine liking mussels much more than this. Obligatoire. It's a mistake to go and not get these. Grilled quail with venison sausage needs to be rethought. The quail didn't sing, and it was served with a pear chutney which was overwhelming, the whole thing being in a teriyaki-like sauce. The two pieces of venison sausage in the dish were terrific, but lost in the saucing. By the way, the menu reads "Grilled quail and venison sausage," and I was expecting grilled sausage made of quail-and-venison. The steak is a price anomaly at $29.50 (I don't think any other entrée goes higher than the mid-teens). And it's worth it, too, dry-aged and prime. Meat-wise, it's as good as it gets. As good as Charlie Palmer. Where does she get this stuff? This was a remarkable steak. It comes with excellent sweet-potato fries that you might think are in need of sea-salt, but one bite of the steak will change your mind: the coating/saucing is seeringly salty, and unfortunately I think it detracts from the otherwise mind-bendingly good steak. Let me repeat: this is a world-class steak, but given the aggressive seasoning, the sweet-potato fries are rendered as impotent as taro chips. A bit of tweaking with the peripherals, and you have the best steak dish in the city. Jamie admirably kept his composure when I ordered the chocolate icebox cake ... and asked for a glass of milk. I haven't ordered a glass of milk in twenty years, but it just seemed so right at the moment (they didn't have any). What I was hoping for was something cakey, but what came instead was more of a ganache, and I don't think that seems appropriate for this restaurant. It was good, perfectly honest and well-executed, but probably not worth the calories for me. So in my mind, there were dazzling highs (steak, mussels, service, atmosphere, esoteric wine), troublesome lows (quail, sauces) and not much in the middle (the icebox cake). In summary, Buck's is a wonderful and formidable addition to the DC dining scene, and does certain things as well as anyone. I'm happily going back there soon. Cheers, Rocks.
  8. 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.
  9. Went to matchbox tonight "on a whim". Try the white pizza with prosciutto. But instead of prosciutto, have anchovies on the side. Mmmmmmmm.
  10. A quick intro to a great new neighbor of mine--Clare and Don's Beach Shack. This is exactly the kind of place I was searching for when I rushed over to Hank's on its opening day--cheap, fun, laid-back, quirky and for the most part really good (don't get fried clams until colder weather comes). Crab Cake Sandwich, Fried Oyster Po' Boy, Fish and Chips are all first rate, and they have a whole section of vegetarian/vegan options. No raw bar, but they do have desserts (a really good key lime pie). They are right up the street by the Clarendon Metro. Maybe it's not worth a trip all the way across town, but if you're in the area it's definitely worth it, especially after a day at the pool.
  11. From what I've read here, this is coming from the owners of the Limerick Pub, Squire's Rock Creek Chop House is opening just across the street on Price Ave in Wheaton. The concept reminds me of Ferdinands. I don't expect a destination restaurant, but perhaps a local watering hole where family can gather? Will be interesting to see how it is priced as well.
  12. Did you know that The Royal Restaurant is the third-oldest in the DC area, having first opened in 1904? 😲
  13. Has anyone stopped in at this new Neighborhood Restaurant Group restaurant yet (where Bookbinders used to be)? I saw an article that said they opened the main floor this week. I was looking through the lunch and dinner menus on their website, and the reuben eggroll caught my eye.
  14. Anyone else tried out the Tonic that recently opened at the former Quigley's Pharmacy on 21st Street? No liquor license yet (the hostess said they might hear today -- right), but four of my colleagues and I had a good lunch. I had a really good burger and there are several versions on the menu. Hand-made patty with good quality bun. I had the guacamole burger which was pretty messy but delicious with housemade guac and cheese. There is a bar (and the beer taps are in place though still dry) that seats about 15 and downstairs as well as upstairs table seating. There is also a third floor lounge with what looks like a conference room where a private party could be accommodated. Nice space and efficient service. If you go for lunch and don't want to sit at the bar best to make a reservation.
  15. Something I once had to say about Chef Geoff's which still is the worse place/meal I've ever had in DC: In most cases, I alert restaurant staff when I'm unhappy about something and see how it's handled and that often paves the way for a future return. But in some cases that's impractical: "Those curtains are vile. You must change them!" Or it's not even worth the bother because of a combination of things. Or the complaints are about things that are so basic that if they can't get them right without you mentioning it to them they've got serious issues. Or you just don't feel like it, because you shouldn't have to. Today I visited Chef Geoff's Downtown for lunch, and it falls into the latter categories. The hostess looked befuddled when I, as a party of one, requested to be seated for lunch today at nearly 1:30 p.m. Plenty of available space. For some reason though, the welcome was less than welcoming. Music. They were blasting Bruce Springsteen. I'd expect that in a bar/tavern, or even some restaurants without tablecloths! Sometimes music in the restaurant can set a mood, particularly if it's light and in the background. Or sometimes, District Chophouse as an example with its '40s music, it's trying to set a scene. But this was none of that. I ordered Snow Pea Fusilli: Defined on the menu as tomatoes, onions, summer sprouts, asiago, and pea coulis. The quantity of things wrong with this dish probably exceeded the quantity of ingredients. To name a few, the pasta was overdone, boiled to death. The vegetables (save for the grape tomatoes) were over done, sautéed to death. There were cucumber slices (or were they zucchini? I couldn't tell) that were just shy of wilted mush. They had only enough structural integrity left to allow me to tell that it had been a green vegetable at one time. The dish was sauced to death with a cloying sweet and acidic vinegar mixture that overwhelmed and overpowered everything (save the grape tomatoes which had enough of its own flavorful acid to fight through this mess). The asiago cheese on this dish looked like it had come from one of those plastic containers of shredded (as opposed to grated) parmesan at the supermarket. The closest approximation I can suggest for this dish is: Visit your local supermarket. Go to the prepared foods section. Get the plastic container of "Pasta Primavera" or something similar. Nuke it until just warm. This is a true approximation and not an exaggeration. This is where I should have spoken up. But my server came to ask how everything was only one forkful after another server delivered it to my table. Only enough time for me to say, "I don't like it" and not explain why I don't like it, which is essential for me to send something back. So I nodded while I chewed. She didn't return again until it was clear that I had eaten all I was going to eat. I declined the coffee and dessert offer. When it came time for the check ($19.47 including tax and an iced tea), and I left $30 so I can have proper change to leave a tip. She brought $10 back to me instead of $10.53. I would understand this (rather small) oversight if the place was busy and she was swamped, but at this time I was the only customer there. Your mileage may vary, but I can't think of any redeeming qualities that would make me want to return or consider another chance for them. After all, I paid $20 for that experience and boy do I feel taken. Perhaps it's because I'm spoiled knowing what a $9 chicken can taste like! The place gave me an "aura of bad feeling." I can safely say I will not return there.
  16. WARNING: Shameless plug for Evening Star Cafe & The Wild Grape (JParrot)... This Monday, April 24th, the Evening Star Cafe is hosting Richard Weiss of The Wild Grape at our monthly wine dinner. If you like small production wines from South Africa, this is most definitely a not-to-be-missed dinner. Chef Matt Cordes and his staff are pairing their creations with seven wines from The Wild Grape. Menu Vischysoisse with Parsley Froth paired with a 2005 Louisvale Unwooded Chardonnay (Western Cape) Seared Scallops with Farmer Greens, Fennel & Articoke and a Lavender Vinaigrette paired with a 2005 Monteroso de Franchi Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc Pan-Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast with Savory Sour Cherry Bread Pudding, Minted Duck Jus and Micro Greens paired with a 2003 Avondale "Amira" Syrah (Coastal Region) and a 2003 Hartenberg "Ecurie" Cab, Shiraz, Pinotage, Merlot Blend (Stellenbosch) Caraway & Herb Crusted Lamb Round with Red Onion, Parsley & Black Pepper Creme paired with a 2003 Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Blend and a 2001 Vergenoegd Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch) Raisin Tart with Port & Muscat Drizzle paired with a 2005 Vriesenhof Melelo Muscat d'Alexandrie, Tinta Touriga (Stellenbosch) Price is $85 per person (includes tax & gratuity). RSVP by calling Planet Wine at 703.549.3444.
  17. John's Grill is a pretty good restaurant. The bar is small, and so is the rest of the place, but scoring a seat and settling in is one of the better ways to enjoy a feeling of old San Francisco. First, let's get some history out of the way. It was the backdrop of The Maltese Falcon, and its walls are covered by celebrity pictures of those who dined here over the past 110 years or so. Think of a place where the Postal Service rolled out its commemorative Humphrey Bogart stamp here, with Arnold Schwarzenegger joining a rendition of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the ceremony. I've eaten (and drank) at John's on every one of my annual visits over the years, and the food is quite good. This isn't fine-dining, but for those of us from the Washington DC area who enjoy the The Monocle on Capitol Hill, Martin's Tavern, Old Ebbitt Grill, or the Occidental Grill, it's somewhere in between all of these sorts of time-worn establishments. I've had an absolutely perfectly executed Negroni at the bar, and I've enjoyed some truly great Cioppino in the dining room. This is also a good restaurant for steaks and burgers, at a good price. And a club sandwich for lunch one day was worth ordering again, as was the perfect side of fries, hot out of the fryer. I'll continue to frequent John's whenever I'm in town. The ongoing subway construction is an impediment, but if you're on foot, it's not much of a problem.
  18. Yes, it's going in the former veterinary clinic near the Belga; it will be called Senart's Oyster House, after an old ghost mural that is painted on the outside wall of the building.
  19. I've kept this quiet for weeks out of professional courtesy, but you'll hear about it very soon anyway, so you may as well hear it here first. Breaking News: Brian Zipin will be GM (and a partner) of Medium Rare, a sub-$20 American-style steak frites restaurant opening in late February in the old Yanni's space. Behind the operation? Mark Bucher of BGR was one of the creators, and none other than Michel Richard was (quietly) involved with developing sauces and desserts, but Brian and Tom Gregg (past President of Cuisine Solutions) are involved as non-silent partners. Cheers, Rocks PS Don't ever underestimate Michael Landrum - the guy gets around. But I've been told ... no sous vide (and I asked "are you sure? about ten times). So you weren't quite right, Michael!
  20. It looks like Agraria's second location will be Founding Farmers, at the IMF building. See links here and here.
  21. We used to go pretty regularly to the Chadwick's in Friendship Heights, and just recently went back for the first time in a couple of years. It's remarkable only in it's consistency in providing decent food at a very fair price. I usually get a burger or a sliced pork sandwich. In addition to the burgers, which are decent, J is fond of their ribs and small sirloin steak. We both like the fried calamari and the draft beer. For us it was a place to go, close to home, when I didn't feel like cooking and didn't want pizza or cheap Chinese, my husband didn't want to get dressed up or spend a lot of money, and our entertainment for the evening was going to be browsing in the book store afterwards. There are other places we've been going to in recent years, newer, trendier--Chadwick's is easy, cheaper. Rarely ever a wait for a table, parking isn't a hassle, etc. And when Veggie-teen was younger, she liked the big sheets of white paper on the tables and the crayons.
  22. The Philadelphia food critic is not a fan. "Founding Farmers May Have a Good Story and a Good Mission. But the Food ..." by Craig LaBan on philly.com --- See the extensive Washington, DC thread here.
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