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  1. Today
  2. La Formagerie is my top choice for Old Town, meals there always delighted me. I find it a better value than Hank's or Vermillion, I know that's not saying much.
  3. I am going to throw in some suggestions- Second Magnolia. What about Bastille? It might not be in the part of Old Town you wanted. Hummingbird has a nice view and is solid foodwise, not exciting, but solid. Hank's Pasta Bar is fine, it's pretty easy to find parking in North Old Town so that is a plus. I think the Regular Hank's is better, but mostly seafood. Virtue has a nice varied menu, I find it very stable in consistency with good options. I really like their salads. I haven't been to Urbano 116, but really want to try it out. Might be worth a gander. I like many items at Sunday in Saigon, it's not as good as some places in the Eden Center, or some other Vietnamese favorites of mine, but you can get some decent items. Skipping Japanese and seafood suggestions. If you don't want pricey, I will leave off La Fromagerie, Brabo, Landini Brothers, The Warehouse.
  4. I’ve used Main Event recently and had issues with getting food for our vegan guests that was actually vegan. If you don’t have special needs for the day of it is probably okay.
  5. I should add that I'm almost surely in the minority here - she's actually making money at the Hank's restaurants; 15 RIA was quite good under her tenure, but probably not sustainable given how empty it often was. Think, "A medium-sized step below Sfoglina, both in quality and price" - both restaurants feel like "concepts" to me; her "Meat and Three" specials at 15 RIA felt like they came from the heart (this is more a comment on restaurant economics and the reality of DC, than it is any type of criticism).
  6. Thank you. The only place of hers I have been to is Twisted Horn/Hank's Cocktail bar, and clearly that has been a while.
  7. Past six months? It was "okay," nothing special, very formulaic (but, I should add, I think Hank's Oyster Bar is pretty mediocre - I think Jamie Leeds' peak (thus far, and I'm talking in terms of producing good cuisine) was at 15 RIA).
  8. Has anyone been to Hank's Pasta bar lately? That's been highly recommended elsewhere.
  9. Don't know if this is still true or not, but it used to be that Silverado had the highest profit margin of any of them -- probably due to lower rents & smaller size for said wholly unattractive strip mall location.
  10. For Italian, A La Lucia, on Madison and? N. Royal, I think. A bit worn around the edges, but the food is consistently good, and the service warm and relaxed. And if you have room for dessert, excellent pistachio gelato. Also, parking is a bit easier up at that end of town. And Bastille for French, I think a little pricier. On the west side of Old Town, Oronoco or Princess and.....Fayette?
  11. Yesterday
  12. Cocktails These are going to almost all be in Miami Beach based on one ridiculous evening of drinking that got a bit out of hand. Keep in mind that cocktails in Miami beach will be $15+ so can get expensive quickly. On the other hand, there's some truly good cocktail places out there. Miami Beach Repour - Probably the cheapest drinks (don't lower your expectations too far, its still Miami Beach) and probably my favorite of the evening. Very laid back vibe next to the lobby of the Albion Hotel. Regent Cocktail Club - The smallest cocktail list of the places we visited (though still with a full bar), but well made drinks. There was also live music that was quite good and was nice to sit and relax and listen to some music with a couple cocktails. Sweet Liberty - Dimly lit, we sat at the far end of the bar and the bartender helped us immediately. Good cocktails, imaginative, and made well. Brickell Blackbird Ordinary - Solid place for a solid cocktail. Not sure what it's like on the weekends as some of the pictures definitely look different than what it was like during the week (very laid back) Things to Do I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Wynwood Walls. Most of Wynwood is adorned with graffiti that is amazingly interesting to walk around and look at. And then there's the art exhibit called Wynwood Walls. Absolutely amazing. Graffiti artistry at its highest in a curated exhibit. Entrance is free. You could easily spend a couple hours here if you were so inclined. I think we spent a bit over an hour and it's one of my favorite parts of the city.
  13. When I was a kid (50+ years ago) the family used to go to a German restaurant called Voorst's near the Bowery. I cant find any mention of it.
  14. Similar as above, these are roughly in order of my preference within their group. I've starred those that I'd seek out. Restaurants Wynwood * Kush - Great burgers, great beer list. If you're out drinking in Wynwood, this is a great place to end (or start) the evening. * Coyo Taco - Great taco place right near J Wakefield. Everything I've had here has been great. Has Nopales (grilled cactus) and Hongos (with huitlacoche as well) tacos, which I haven't seen a ton of places. They also have a ton of other options like Al Pastor, Carne Asada, Cochinita Pibil, etc. Beaker & Gray - Shared plate concept with really good cocktails. Really enjoyed the food here. The cheeseburger croquettes were quite good, really everything we had was but those are what I remember the best. Enriqueta's - Not really Wynwood (its between Wynwood and the bay), but close enough. Cuban diner that we had to wait to get a table for. Simple, homestyle Cuban food. Really enjoyed this place. Only open for breakfast and lunch. BND Burger - The burger was quite good (not as good as Kush's). There's a bouncer to get by, which isn't awesome. But its also connected to a club (separate entrance) which can be either good or bad based on your preference Little Havana * Old's Havana - Great option for Cuban. Ropa Vieja was the best I've had, and the black beans were great as well. * Azucar - Great place for ice cream with cuban-inspired flavors (and some non-cuban inspired flavors as well). Across the street from Old's. El Pub - Mostly a sandwich place, they make a perfectly serviceable cubano and its derivatives (medianoche, croquetta preperada, especial, etc). Its a block away from Old's, so unless you want a sandwich, go to Old's (which might also have better sandwiches, but I haven't had a sandwich at Old's) Miami Beach ** Stubborn Seed - Best restaurant I've been to in Miami. By a pretty long way. We had the 8 course tasting menu as well as the wine pairing and cocktails. My wife wasn't inspired by anything on the cocktail menu so asked for the bartender to come up with something gin-based and he did a great job. We were able to get a reservation day of, but I'm not sure that's normal and this was during the week not the weekend. I don't remember a ton of what was on the menu, but I remember every single course being very good and also not being hungry after dinner. It's certainly not cheap, but the skill and quality is absolutely showcased. * OLA - Latin place in north South Beach (some might even call in Mid Beach). If you go here, make sure you're going to the right place (in the Gates Hotel) as its moved somewhat recently and something list its old address. The Fire & Ice ceviche really showed off the Cobia, which was nice as it wasn't a fish I'm overly familiar with. I don't remember exactly what we had for entrees (pretty sure at least one was a special), but remember thinking they were quite good. For dessert we had the Chocolate Cigar (which they're known for), which was cute while still being tasty. Seating out back is outside and right on the river/canal. Azabu - In the Stanton. Yes, a hotel restaurant. Though, its a Miami Beach outpost of a NY Michelin star restaurant. I tried the fish collar (a new experience for me), maki, and robata. All very good. Pubbelly - Sushi with a solid sake and beer list. There's another one in Brickell City Center. Had a roll or two (including the butter krab roll) and some robata. I bit expensive for what it is... But its Miami Beach. La Sandwicherie - A walk-up counter sandwich place that's open until 4am. Had to check it out myself. Very good sandwiches (I had the Italian) and milkshakes. There's another one in Brickell. Lobster Shack - Casual place for lobster rolls. If you're in the area, its a solid option. Wouldn't go out of my way for it. Brickell * La Centrale - This is really three (or more?) restaurants in City Center. The bottom floor is Mercato, the second floor is Osteria (I think, can't remember), and the top floor is Enoteca. The first floor is further split into a Cafe and a Pizza & Pasta place while the second floor is further split into Stagniole, Pesce, and Carne, with a gelateria (Venchi) right outside. Enoteca is 1 restaurant, a wine bar. So there's somewhere between 3 and 7 restaurants, plus 3 bars. I've barely scratched the surface here having only eaten here once. The Papperdelle in the Pizza & Pasta area was quite good with a Tuscan sausage (the sausage itself in the sauce was a bit overcooked). Tacology - Top floor of City Center. Really solid tacos and options for mezcal/tequila. The line can be kind of a problem, but as a singleton I had no problem being seated immediately. Boulud Sud Miami - Went here for a happy hours picked up by work. Everything was very good, but I wasn't picking up the bill, so that might have tempered my opinion. * B Bistro & Bakery - We went here right after getting off a cruise and actually got here before the bistro was open (but the bakery was open). We started with a couple bakery items and a coffee and then ordered a couple brunch items. Can't remember what exactly they were (and the menu online isn't jogging my memory), but they weren't the 'typical' brunch items and showed some imagination and were quite good. Unfortunately the service here got nonexistent at the end of the meal and it took a solid 30 minutes to get the bill after we were done. I'm hoping that was just a waiter have an off day as opposed to a systemic issue. Graziano's - Argentinian steak restaurant. Definitely good. I went with work people after a happy hour... so don't remember a ton about it other than the steaks were cooked well and of good quality. * Crazy About You - The food is perfectly fine (even quite good). But the reason you go here is because its one of the few restaurants directly on the bay. The views are pretty awesome Truluck's - Steak and seafood. Its good, but it didn't strike me as 'Miami', whatever that means. Perfectly good option for an upscale place for those that live in Miami, wouldn't be my choice if I were visiting. Various La Carreta - Local chain of cuban food. Exactly what you'd think it is. Maybe not as good as some places, but I've quite enjoyed every time I've been and have tried a the chicken chicharrones, ropa vieja, meatloaf, and croquettes. Solid option. Other options (solid options, but not as good as those above, but still worth looking at potentially) Alter (Wynwood) - Only in the 'Other' section as I haven't personally been there. Heard really good things though! Melinda's (Wynwood) - Another place I haven't been but really want to. Have heard awesome reviews of the mezcal selection. They aren't open Mon-Wed though which are the nights I'm in town... Butcher Shop (Wynwood) SuViche (various) CVI.CHE 105 (various) American Social (Brickell) - Fine, just kinda not special
  15. I've been travelling to Miami for the last couple months, so figured I'd at least stop by and give some recommendations. All are listed in general order of 'goodness' within their group. Breweries Wynwood J Wakefield - The grand daddy of breweries in the area. The owner is renowed for being a bit of an ass, but I don't think I've ever seen him there and the bartenders are generally very nice. Pretty easily the best brewery in Miami proper. They'll have flights of most of their beers (they'll usually have a stout or two that are 10oz pours only, no flights). The inside is Star Wars themed and on Wednesday nights (when I tend to be there) they alternate between boardgame nights and arcade fighter nights. They'll almost always have a mix of sours, stouts, IPAs, and a mix of other styles. Concrete Beach - Fine alternative to J Wakefield if you want to go somewhere else but don't want to hit up an ABInBev brewery. They have a fairly wide range of beers, but don't remember seeing anyhing particularly dark on my visit. Doral M.I.A. - A pretty varied beer list, with multiple sour, IPA, stout, brown, and pale options with other styles as well. Solid all around brewery, definitely worth hitting up if you're in the Doral area. The food is really solid as well. Tripping Animals - Another brewery that's worth hitting if you're around Doral. Focuses mostly on Berliner Weisse (a light sour, typically fruity) and IPAs. Ft Lauderdale 3 Sons - On part with J Wakefield. Focuses mainly on IPAs, stouts, and sours. Puts out some really awesome beer (particularly if those are styles you prefer). Also has great pizza. Invasive Species - Wide range of beers including a couple lagers on my visit (including a Japanese rice lager) and a saison (a style not all that common in South Florida for some reason). Funky Buddha - They produce a number of 'off-the-wall' beers, like a maple bacon porter and a french toast stout. They also are distributed probably the most of anyone in Miami/Ft Lauderdale. Solid food options available as well. Other breweries Maybe visit these if you're looking for something to do and happen to be standing right next door? Wynwood (in Wynwood) Veza Sur (Wynwood) The Tank (Doral) Biscayne Bay (Doral) Beer Stores Boxelder - Great draft list in Wynwood that offers a number of hard-to-find beers typically and is well curated. Union - Another place with a great draft list in Little Havanna.
  16. Jianbing and roujiamo from Master Kong on SE Division. It's a small, cozy place with excellent options (I wanted to try so many more things) and apparently a terrible wait on the weekends, but at open on a weekday (9:30 AM) it was deserted...for a few minutes. Go go go.
  17. Apparently, they closed with no notice to employees - the Philadelphia branch also closed recently, which leaves New York City ... Think the employees in NYC are feeling secure? Look at the Jobs tab on their New York City website: People are hauling ass - you sow what you reap. This place is toast, and the employees know it.
  18. Agree with above. It's been super popular in the SGV and beyond and they continue to build stores in the states (dozens of shops in CA urban areas, one coming soon in Portland, OR, big presence in TX) so thought I'd give it its own thread. Although they have some typical Chinese bakery options, mostly the sweeter breads and pastries (no meat buns, curry puffs, etc.), I wouldn't call them a Chinese or Taiwanese bakery, per se, as they have quite a few Euro-centric bready options. I've been to 3-4 stores and they are usually quite large, brightly lit, with lots of seating, inviting (young!) people to stay and sip/chew/chat. Their website offers lots of modern accouterments, like an app, a rewards program, nutrition facts, newsletter...It's a nice place to stop if you know what to expect.
  19. Donovan's Pub in Woodside, Queens - since 1966. Their hamburger is still a strong offering.
  20. Welp, was planning to go with some colleagues for drinks tomorrow and saw the place has closed. I had a very good if pricey lunch there soon after it opened with my brother (a trencherman of some repute) and our camp friend Josh Hahn, one of the original folks behind the highly successful Logan Tavern group. Never made it back and never heard much about the place so can't say I'm overly shocked. Guess it never found its groove like similar downtown spots such as Woodward Table. BTW, if any of you know Josh and are curious what he's been up to since he stepped back from the resto biz, he's now one of the co-directors of Camp Somerset, a very nice girls camp in Maine that reopened after a 30 year hiatus (website). I'm sure the camp food is quite good! Yeah, I'd say it looks good:
  21. LOL possibly. Open for debate. Only a music dork would seriously say the Beatles peaked in 61. What I posted was a common theme on music boards -- "You should have heard them [before they got the big record contract] [before they got any record contract] [before they got recorded] [before their first drummer quit] [etc etc]"🤣🤣
  22. I read there is a spot in Port Richmond that serves up a cheesesteak with a twist. I will be heading to said place this weekend to try this polish cheesesteak. This is how I honor the memory of Tony Bourdain by taking every opportunity to try something different, and hopefully connect with the people who make it as well as share their story. I have no idea what I am in for, but there lies the beauty of adventure.
  23. This is an odd one: A Potatom is a single plant that produces both potatoes and tomatoes. Vreugdenhil Young Plants (the corporate owner (?) of Pick-&-Joy) is based in The Netherlands.
  24. My favorite flavor to date is the ice cream sandwich, although the recent running of Thiakry is taking that spot. The unusual mix is composed of couscous , sour cream, raisins, and spices. It comes across as carrot cake delivered as ice cream. With 3 locations around Baltimore, its hard not make a stop here while in the area. Delish.
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