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  2. Just want to gauge the interest in a dinner here. Probably under $30 per person. The menu will be pre selected with a balance of spicy and milder dishes. But if you are not into hot, garlic etc, this is not the best place for you. If there is general interest I will post an event in the events section.
  3. Just want to gauge the interest in a dinner here. Probably under $30 per person. The menu will be pre selected with a balance of spicy and milder dishes. But if you are not into hot, garlic etc, this is not the best place for you. If there is general interest I will post an event in the events section
  4. Today
  5. Waldorf salad on a bed of red leaf lettuce Sweet Italian and sun-dried tomato chicken sausages Buttered (Canadian) organic wild rice Steamed and pan-grilled brussels sprouts dressed with Gochujang and toasted sesame oil The Asian seasoning for the sprouts was to make them more appealing to my husband, and it was a good variation from my usual preparations. I used Dean's idea (thanks, Dean!) of steaming them before finishing them on the stovetop. I steamed the sprouts for a few minutes in the microwave, cooled a bit, then halved them and put cut-side down on a scorching hot cast iron grill pan until they got some grill marks and crispy edges. The Canadian wild rice also came from North Bay Trading Co. It's longer and chewier than American (well, Minnesota, I guess) wild rice..and even more expensive! It was wonderful, though, dressed with just butter, salt, and pepper. And, Waldorf salad is one of my childhood favorites. My grandmother used to make it for me when I was little, just walnuts, celery, raisins, apples, and Hellman's mayo. I can't remember if she (or my mom, when she made it) used lemon juice, but I add a little, at least to keep the apples from browning once they've been chopped. My husband doesn't like mayonnaise very much, so I don't make this often, but it always makes me happy when I do.
  6. We are planning at trip to Southern Utah in April to hit the 5 national parks (Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion plus other national monuments, state parks and other amazing wilderness). The only recommendations on the board are for Moab near Arches/Canyonlands and they are rather old and mostly non-recommendations. Anyone been more recently and have suggestions? One place we were told to check out is Hell's Backbone in Boulder, UT. Thanks.
  7. Marshall Friends have a place near Marshall and so we've been through it a few times in the last year or so. It is a nice stop very close off 66 with a small strip of restaurants, thrift shops, grocery store and gas stations and a Tractor Supply & Co. We love Red Truck Bakery which has rightly received a lot of good press. We really like their large cakes - some of our favorites are the Orange and Kentucky Bourbon, the lemon is similar to the orange and also good. The Shenandoah Apple cake is well made but not as well-liked as the others. We haven't had any of their gorgeous pies but I bet they are winners too. The biscuits, granola, muffins, donuts, and cupcakes are very tasty too. I had a strawberry chocolate chip muffin over the weekend that a sweet and delicious. I haven't tried them yet but they also have ice cream pints with mixins from the bakery. A while ago we ate at Gentle Harvest and thought it was only so so for their dine in options. They do have a nice selection of market items but a bit high priced. We went for the first time to Whole Ox butchershop for lunch which was great for big, excellent fried chicken sandwiches and good burgers (great buns on both), the fries were ok but could have been crisper. It is a nice shop which is a meat lover's dream with all kinds of cuts to cook and other prepared foods including lots of good looking sausages. It has a small town feel but it is upscale with lots of gourmet goodies, nice small wine selections, and very nice service. We haven't tried it yet, but also on the little strip in Marshall is Field&Main which is a bit more upscale dining which I've heard good things about. Upperville A bit farther north of 66 (but really only 10-15 min drive) is Upperville with the very nice British pub, Hunter's Head Tavern. We went last year a couple of times and really enjoyed our meals. Nice selection for kids and grownups. When it is warm they setup a big tent on their patio which is nice too. I don't remember exactly what we got but think it was fish & chips, salads, fried chicken, burgers.
  8. The Eleanor will open its Downtown Silver Spring location this Monday, February 24: https://www.sourceofthespring.com/business/the-eleanor-open-silver-spring-location-monday/
  9. That's a fair assessment. It was a very good meal, but it should have been a great meal.
  10. Mirazur is the first restaurant in the world to be certified "plastic-free" by plasticfreecertification.org Click here for the details about the certification. Last year, Mirazur was voted the "#1 Restaurant in the World" by theworlds50best.com. I dined there not long after it won the award, and will review it if people are interested.
  11. 1. Dry-Fried Cauliflower x2 very nice dish if a little stark. Caulifower with a spice coating and the first use of green onion, hot chiles topping. Cumin based spice rub 2. Wuhan Sesame Noodles x2 Good. The noodles themselves were nothing special. Sesame paste sauce. 3. Salt and Pepper Lotus Root Sandwich x2 Never got this 4. Chang’s Roast Duck x1 Spectacular. Nothing unexpected, but a great roast duck 5. Chinese BBQ Pigs Feet x2 To me this was the disappointment of the night. Over cooked, dry. Hot but bland 6. Fresh Chili Flounder Fish x1 another disapointment. Cumin fish, not crispy, soggy, not great fish, boring. I remember his fish under a basket from the old China Boy days and wonder what happened? 7. Jingzhou-style Fish Cake Stew x1 Nice. Some others liked the broth more than I did, perhaps because it was soothing. I personally did not find the meal that spicy so the soothingness was not a big feature. The fish cake itself was stunning and I would like to have seen it in a stir fry with a more prounounced sauce. A really good dish. 8. Red Pepper Fried Chicken with Sesame x2 Spicy chicken, over cooked. The same chile & green onion topping as on the trotters and the cauliflower. Three dises very similar: they should have made the dishes differ more. 9. Yangtze River Beef x1 This was a soupy dish,excellent with a good mala tang to the soup. 10. Farmers Stir Fry x1 bean curd skin, bamboo shoots, egg, other stuff. Nice soothing dish. 11. Garden Duo x1 Cauliflower and eggplant simply stirfried. Good. Some raved. 12. Smoked Pork Belly with Chinese Leek and Smoked Tofu x1 This one left me cold because if how I like the more traditional smoked, cured Chinese bacon leek and pressed tofu. This dish had a great element: the smoked tofu. 6 good to really good dishes. 5 dishes that were forgettable. Not bad, just forgettable. None of the dishes was elevated like the Peter Chang of old, with the exception of the duck and the beef. Those two really sang. But all in, I'd much rather go to Panda Express, Xian Gourmet, Joe's Noodle house {which really doesn't get the love it deserves,} or retry Sichuan Jin River. There are also a slew of northern and eastern places opening and I'd rather explore them.
  12. I’m not gonna talk about the food, but the service was appalling bad. 1. I made reservation for 12, but the table they led us to was initially only set for 10. 2. I preset the menu but they forgot about it. 3. They started delivering food before our table was complete (food that was meant for another table was delivered to us). 4. They never offered to change plates when we ate 11 courses. 5. They forgot a course but kept asking are we sure we didn’t get the food. They even brought out a picture of the dish to show us. 6. They didn’t portion out the soup into bowls until I asked, and then they said they’re too busy to portion out our second soup dish. At any Chinese restaurant I've been to where soup is brought out in a big bowl, it is the server who ladles out the soup. You may serve yourself any soup that is leftover but they don't just leave you to your own devices.
  13. After a lot of snacking today, dinner was very simple. I made a soup with lacinato kale and leeks from last week's farmer's market using water & half and half that we had around the house. Then I pureed it in the Blendtec. I seasoned it with Japanese soy, Double Golden Fish brand Sriracha, salt, pepper, a ton of black pepper, a little spice rub {the one we uesed all the time at the Grotto, and a warm spice mix {cinnamon, allspice, black cumin, cloves, Aleppo.} No cocktails tonight. But a shot of Burroughs Bourbon is coming soon.
  14. Yesterday
  15. OK here's my report (sorry no photos this time). We were going pre-theater ('A Thousand Splendid Suns' - very much recommended) but gave ourselves plenty of time. It's the Wharf and parking is ridiculously expensive (yes, we'd tried to reserve parking at Arena Stage when we bought the tickets but they were sold out) - $38 for the 4+ hours we were surely going to be there for dinner and the performance. But you are paying for the Wharf. Interesting space. Open and catches the light. Our seats were along one of the expanses of windows and the banquet had a higher seating level than the chair opposite - a little odd but I got over it. Before I get to the food, I'll get to the prices - they are high for what you get it is true. But it s the Wharf and you have to know going in that it is going to be expensive because anyplace in the Wharf has got to pay the rent. We had good service throughout and no issues with any questions we had or anything. Food came out as they explained (whenever it was ready) - it worked out just fine. We had some cocktails which were just ok. Given the current prices of DC cocktails and having a list of your own concoctions you sort of expect more (and more effort). Next time I think I'll pass. Had a glass of Valpolicella later which was forgettable, especially given the price. Crispy Shrimp and Pork Fried rolls - delicious - I could eat a lot of this, but at five bucks a pop....hmm. Korean Style Steak Tartare - this was enjoyable mostly for the spice. The puffed crispy tendon was fun. But the knife work on the beef was horrifyingly bad - someone needs to brush up on their knife skills (unless if is supposed to be very poorly shredded with very long spindly bits that is). The taste was good though! Crispy duck confit with Garlic, Bay Leaf and Lemon (and garlic) - this was quite good, but the skin was very salty (and I *love* salt). Fortunately, the saltiness did not permeate the flesh that much and, in eating with a bit of rice, you could balance it out. Maybe the cook is a smoker? Heritage Pork Belly, Gochujang, Caramelized Onions - I really enjoyed this dish a lot. I would gladly order it again. There was also this really delicious hand cut noodle dish with shrimp and sausage that was the dish of the night - really, really good. Summary - We will be back (ideally when we do not have to park at the Wharf garage to save the $$), if only to try some of the Thai dishes. But we will not be running back or going out of our way to get there ASAP. It is expensive for what it is. There were arguable two dishes that were worth the cost, while the others did not meet that criteria. If I were going on someone else's nickel I'd be happy to go.
  16. We were running errands Saturday and needed a late afternoon snack. After Google Maps lest us clueless we managed to find it. Very pleasant open space with the kitchen to the right with an order counter in the front. You can sit at either high tops of banquette seating and they bring you the food. We ordered a cold cut and a BBQ pork bahn mi plus a large iced coffee. The coffee was super. Bracing, not too sweet, it was a superior cup. Not cheap at $ for the not-so-large large size. The bahn mi comes on a crackly loaf, but a little fluffier than that of Bahn Mi DC. Despite the fluffiness, it has the perfect crackly vs chewiness to make a great bahn mi. The mixed cold cuts came slathered with pate, slightly strong and bitter, and loads of various meats. They load it up with veggies and sauces but it is a civilized eaat. Really delicious. The BBQ Pork was crispy, juicy, very porky. If I got a plate of that pork on a bed of noodle or rice, I would be a happy camper indeed. On the bahn mi it made for a spectacularly good one. Seriously the best bahn mi I can remember having in a long time. At $5 and $5.50, they aren't the cheapest but if you have enough people you can get 6 for the price of 5. The tables next to us got soup noodles of various types that looked really good. We will return to try them. But in any case, this is our new favorite bahn mi stop.
  17. Whole wheat naan Pork cutlets Cauliflower in cheese sauce Buttered peas
  18. I bought this Travelzoo deal on a whim. It's basically gives you a free glass of bubbly with the afternoon tea. As time went on, I kept being too lazy to go but since the coupon was expiring soon, I had to get off my butt and use it. I'm glad I did. It's good for me to get out of my Northern VA rut and see what is going on elsewhere, especially in the world of trendy gourmet food. I don't think I got as much food as guanabana, but it was pretty filling. My favorite parts were the milk bread and the slice of orange pound cake (wow!). I was too full to eat the cookies (took them home) so can't weigh in on those yet. The pastry chef Pichet Ong is very inventive and, from Googling, turns out he is well-known in the food world. I also got veggie eggroll (pretty good), some mushroom thing (blah), good quality brie, apple slices, gravlax (tasty), prosciutto (yawn), some avocado veggie thing (ok), large crispy thing (good), fruit cup. I was eating solo and the service from the waiter, the host, and another guy who was lighting the candles on the table, couldn't be nicer. I felt very welcomed in this "hip" environment and I am the opposite of hip. It is located in a hotel converted from a church in Adams Morgan. Here is the Travelzoo deal if you are interested: https://www.travelzoo.com/local-deals/Washington-DC/Restaurant/330437/
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