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Ok, here goes....after going here every Summer for the past 20 years....feedback welcomed, I will try to save you some heartache, and $.  Parking in Stone Harbor is metered, but Avalon has free parking.  Take a few rolls of quarters with you so you do not get a ticket.  25 MPH speed limit is strictly enforced in both towns.

Stone Harbor

Yvettes Cafe - the original owner passed several years ago, however the guys who purchased it improved service and kept the eclectic menu intact.  Lunch is busy, place is small, but always clean and very good.  Get your subs here. $$

Fred's Tavern - atmosphere is bar all the way.  Decent kids menu and food is fresh, reasonably priced for what you get.  Service is beach typical.  Since this is adjacent to their liquor store and they sell both wine and liquor, remember this is a seasonal area and their wines do not always age well in the off-season.  Stock up and home and bring your own beverages, save yourselves the disappointment. $

Watering Hull - opened last Summer and is upstairs in the promenade of downtown.  Seems to be a new local's hangout, but food and drinks are good - service is fine. $$

Stone Harbor Pizza - beers on tap and nice pies.  Expect a long wait time for food once ordered, as their kitchen is small. $

Spiaggetta - the best Italian food at the shore.  Atmosphere is ok, dress can be casual, they are maybe the only place with parking out back, which is really nice.  Service always on, and specials great.  Owner is there every night and treats you like an old friend. $$

Donna's Place - off the beaten path outside of town, but their wraps, bagels, donuts and sandwiches are very good.  They are reasonably priced and being one who hates to wait in line for 20 minutes for bfast, you don't have to here.  Everything is made to order.  Fresh seafood store next door if you want to cook at home.  The place has been there since 1979 and the owner is sincere and appreciative of the business. $

Reed's at Shelter Haven - new within the past few years, they did it right.  Nice hotel, and excellent restaurant(s), from breakfast/brunch/lunch and dinner.  Place is dressier than I care to be at the beach - if I cannot wear nice flip-flops (yea, I know a contradiction, but when I am at the beach, I dress like I am at the beach), I tend to go someplace else. If you eat outside, the seagulls will get you - they are very smart.  $$$$


The Diving Horse - new place, high-end but comfortable.  Specials were fine, a little pricey.  Since it is new, many people flock here nightly. $$$$

Kudos - new name for an old restaurant (and new owners) several years ago - location is downtown Avalon, but often missed for breakfast which is good, reasonable and service always fine.  Open for lunch and dinner as well.  Have specials, decent salads, burgers etc. $$

Tortilla Flats - if you are looking for Mexican food at the beach, choices are limited.  This place is ok. $

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Cape May

Over this last beautiful weekend, I escaped responsibility to read lots of books and walked around Cape May.

Exit Zero: Usually, I love this place. This weekend the food servings seemed smaller than usual and my curry soup was so salty and thick, it was almost inedible (and I love salt). Pro Tip: They now have a liquor license and their whites by the glass are not that good (pinot gris and sauvignon blanc)

Black Duck: I love this place and it delivered on Saturday night. For the first time the table ordered the pupu platter and while I liked and enjoyed the appetizers, I loved the salads/veggie slaw stuff that was under the actual appetizers. At $32, it's a high price to pay for apps but then again, they BYOB so maybe it's okay in the end. I also think my wonderful delicious scallops were $32. On other nights I've enjoyed duck and lamb dishes, especially if they are on special. 

Shamone: $35 tasting and BYOB? Yes, thank you. Run by the guy who runs George's (yummy breakfast, big fresh salads...everything's good), this is a weird little place. I love the tasting menu but of the 15 courses, 14 were quite small. Twice I have been and they've dealt with my food allergies without complaint which is impressive for a tasting menu.  

Blue Pig: No. Don't go eat at Congress Hall. Just don't. 

George's: Love for breakfast and lunch. Pro Tip: Get there at odd times like 11am for lunch or 2pm. It's tiny and busy.
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The Whole Foods Spring Rosé Sale Is Back by Bridget Hallinan of Food and Wine

Here's the lineup:

Orlana Vinho Verde Rosé - $7.99

King Rabbit Rosé - $9.99

Mr. Pink Rosé - $13.99

Angels & Cowboys Rosé - $14.99

Pool Boy Rosé (1L) - $11.99

French Blue Bordeaux Rosé - $12.99

Ste. Venture Aix en Provence Rosé by Charles Bieler - $13.99

AIX Coteaux d’ Aix en Provence Rosé - $18.99

De Chanceny Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé - $13.99

Presto Sparkling Rosé (canned rosé) - $11.99
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Windy City Red Hots is closing both locations (Leesburg & Frederick) this month - posted on their website - and reported locally.

If you crave a true Chicago Dawg before they close, move quickly.
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First, I think they own the building and seem to do decent carryout/delivery business. Second, the food is decent and they still manage to always have some customers whether it is weekday lunch or weekend. Nevertheless, I agree the sushi is only so so. Raku, close by, is leagues better. The pan-Asian dishes are hit or miss. I like the teriyaki chicken, Big Duck, honey sea bass (although it has been a while since i ordered this one), scallion pancake, and shaky beef. Mee goreng a few months ago was rather good too. The ginger salad is ok but too much of similar flavor. The bul gogi buns on a recent trip were ok. I wasn't a fan of the bulgogi kimchi fried rice - pretty bland - the one time I had it last year. I live nearby though so I will continue to go on occassion but the dedicated single Asian cuisine in the area tends to be better - Raku for Japanese or Siam House for thai (and sadly no more Nam Viet for vietnamese. Pho 14 up the street is only ok and the non-pho soup dishes are not as good). But it is a good option for a group who can't decide. 
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Hey Don - big picture - the "community" has spoken in a semi-boycott of the parking debacle.  Boston Properties continues to push ahead, as one would expect (I guess), with some new leases taking up a little of the vacant space(s) created from the exodus.  

RTC has lost its initial charm as a vibrant area people used to go and hang out, walk around, shop, eat and play.  On a nice Spring day you will see people out walking around, but it used to be significantly more consistently busy.  The amended parking FREE in the evenings, may have had a little affect, but I do not think it significant. 

The more recent closure of the large retails spaces, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn, has left the main street of RTC barren.  If one or two of the other original (or almost original) mainstays (Clyde's, Bow-Tie Movie Theater - opened as another brand - Mortons, McCormick & Schmick's, Big Bowl, Jackson's) - that place will be a ghost town center.  I do not have any dog in this fight, and really hope it does not happen.  When RTC was thriving, it was a cool place to go for most.  

There are many who invested in business, condos and THs in the immediate area who may likely see their property/investment values decline(ing), and although there are no guarantees in life, it is hard to believe a ~$20B company like BPX could or would make a decision with only negative consequences.  
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Bump. Reminder that tomorrow is the day. If you're going to dine out tomorrow, please go to one of the supporting restaurants.
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1 chicken cut into 12 pieces (either do it yourself or have your butcher do it for you)
75 ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
a sprig of rosemary
250 ml pinot grigio
freshly ground black pepper
15 ml red wine vinegar
pitted green and black olives

I have done this with chicken and rabbit, and prefer chicken by far.

Warm olive oil in a pot over medium heat, then add chicken skin side down. Brown meat until a golden crust forms, then turn over. Time is your friend here since the color will wash out in the braise if you don't brown the meat sufficiently.

While the chicken is browning, mince the garlic and the rosemary leaves together. When the meat has browned sufficiently, sprinkle the garlic and rosemary over the chicken. Pour over the wine. Season with salt and black pepper. Raise heat and bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Braise chicken for anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour, 15 minutes depending on the age of the chicken.

When the chicken is done, scatter olives on top and stir in vinegar. Serve immediately.
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As someone who no longer lives in DC but comes back “home” to visit quite a bit...I agree 100% with all of this. Seylou was the only place I wanted to/cared to/and did visit upon my last trip home. The bread, the pastries, everything was top notch. And their passion, talent and commitment are worthy of our support.
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I started going to I Ricchi about 10 years ago, when I started seeing their Groupons. At the time, it was a pretty good deal...a good price for a decent meal. But that was about it...decent. I never would have paid the menu prices for the food we got. 

But a few years back, (this is going to be vague) I remember seeing signs out front advertising a new chef, or maybe just a new menu concept. Whatever they did worked, and the food got significantly better. Luckily, they've kept the Groupons coming steadily, and it's gone from being a good price for a decent meal to a great price for a very good meal. 

Still wouldn't pay full price, but at least it's close. 

In fact, right now it looks like you can get a 3 course dinner for 2 with a glass of house wine for $91, (there were a few upcharges, but not many last I went) or a 2 course lunch for 2 for $38. 


Totally worth it at those prices. 
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The Virginia Kitchen in Herndon (formerly named The Waffle King)- 1977 (per website)
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Stopped in this morning before the pasta making class at Sfoglina.  They're trying a new experiment -- they have a worker out front with plain and chocolate croissants, french loaves, and two ginormous thermos carafes of reg & decaf coffee, so if all you're after is coffee & croissant, you dont' have to deal with the line, you can get it there on the patio.
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apparently jaleo is a finalist for the "outstanding restaurant" beard award, which strikes me as . . . a publicity coup for the brand?  an appreciative nod for jose andres's humanitarian efforts?  i like jaleo well enough, and i realize that this award turns into a bit of a process of elimination as truly great restaurants are weeded out by winning (or great new restaurants wait to hit the ten-year mark), but come on.
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Blueberry in pot in zone 8 means figuring out a winter storage solution and also she doesn't want netting, so definite bird and rodent concerns.  They don't get much leaf disease, but are vulnerable to spotted wing fruit flies after midsummer, finicky about drainage and moisture, and need soil acidity maintenance ( though pot culture is easier in that respect).  It also takes 2-4 years to really establish a productive plant structure and then you need to maintenance prune for production. it's easy compared to growing a fire blight magnet pear or a sweet cherry, but I think pretty daunting for a beginner.  If I wanted one in a pot, a dwarf southern high bush is probably the way to go, since they are more tolerant of nonacidic soil and better fit for the climate.

She specifically said she didn't want to start plants from seeds, so it has to be commercially available varieties and I haven't seen any DTP plant options yet.  The Patio series might work as they are also dwarf indeterminate with wider distribution.  I'd offer her my extra starts, but it sounds like she was happy with 1 Sungold.  I have used DTP seeds from Sample Seeds, Heritage Seed Market, and Victory Seeds (all of the owners are closely associated with the project).  They are all good vendors with true to name seeds.  HSM is probably the best option since they have some $1 sample packs available

Bear Creek is hit and miss for me.  The varieties are interesting but not well tested and I get enough off types and poor germination that I can't wholeheartedly recommend them.
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My kids are big fans of El Paso in Springfield.  When we go, I order the El Diablo.  It's no longer on the menu, but they will still make it for you.  It's a steak burrito stuffed with grilled jalapenos, rice, and beans and topped with a habenero sauce finished with two grilled jalapenos sticking out of it like horns.  It's huge and muy caliente!  I usually eat about 1/3 and take the rest home.  I've also had their carnitas, which are very good.  My kids and husband go for the tacos or the enchilada and are always pleased with their entrees.

They have a special for taco tuesday - 20 street tacos, rice, and beans for $20.  Think we might try this tonight.
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Yes.  It's amazing how they've transformed the La Tasca space.  

This Washingtonian article describes how the menu and background for the Clarendon location is different than the Silver Spring location.

I had a couple of dishes (there's a link to the dinner menu in the Washingtonian article).  I had the dry soup with three chiles which was fried vermicelli in ancho, guajillo and chipotle chiles with cheese, avocado, and cilantro, and I had the ribeye aguachile, which was a rare, sliced ribeye, served cold, with radish and onion and a light burnt chile sauce.  I enjoyed both dishes.  I also received chips and salsas and warm corn tortillas.

Very friendly staff, like the staff at Ambar/Baba Bar.

I forgot to add -- they're offering at 25% discount for the first two weeks for reservations made through their website (though they gave me the discount without a reservation).  Facebook post with offer. 
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I encourage others to visit and see if they agree or not -- there may be a new king of dim sum in MD, and it's...Far East?!?

Yes, not a typo.  The one that's been around for 45 years and whose website says that it specializes in "Szechuan and Mandarin" cuisine.  My family and I moved to Montgomery County 40 years ago and I don't recall having been here more than a few times before.

But on the recommendation of their friends, we went with my parents yesterday and (pardon the cliche) it was a revelation.  There's a certain richness and freshness in the shumai and the shrimp dumplings that aren't present anymore at Silver Fountain or Hollywood East.  The radish cakes actually taste like radish, and the taro dumplings have way more filling than fried outer shell.  The items tend to cost $1 more here than at the other dim sum joints, but I suspect that's a function of better ingredients, portion size, and execution.

The place was packed at opening, and when we left around 12:30, there were still tons of folks waiting in the lobby.

This is our family's new dim sum destination in the foreseeable future.
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Also totally fair.  I haven't posted in this thread but I've had overall great experiences at Bresca but I will say the experience tends to be more of like 3 or 4 out of 5 dishes are great with 1/2 being underwhelming, but the highs for me have been superlative (the various foie dishes, duck a la presse, chestnut agnolotti on the original menu, beef tartarlets come to mind) which makes up for the lows (for me) especially since they're very creative.  However I'd definitely be a little more "whelmed" on the whole if the dud dishes were entrees, which is always unfortunate.
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four of us had dinner last night at punjab grill.  service wasn't great, but the service kinks seem like the newly opened kind that hopefully will be worked out.  dinner came out to around $90/person, which was definitely expensive but not quite as brutal as i'd feared from a maharaja-inspired restaurant that offers "market price" caviar and truffle supplements.  while we agreed that the food is more interesting than rasika's and most of it quite good,  the overall experience wasn't one that will have any of us rushing back.  i'm guessing this place will live or die based on the amount of expense account business it draws.
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Had a great time catching up with a friend at Bresca last night. He captured the restaurant perfectly - "kind of under the radar now, but still full". That was the case last night, as the room was full for the majority of the evening.

Highlights: Scallop Mi Cuit - one of the better ceviche-ish dishes I have had in a while. The beef tendon with puffed rice was also excellent.

Oddities: The "welcome cocktail" was a nice touch, but a bit too much Shrub for my taste. Hadn't seen this before, especially a gratis pour, which is a nice touch. The cocktail list still follows that ridiculous octagonal map thing, which makes reading the cocktails more challenging, nevermind understanding if they were laid out according to some rhyme or reason.

Challenges: Our mains were the buckwheat linguine and the tuna. Both were overly salty - and we both enjoy salt! Not salty enough to send back necessarily, but both discernibly out of balance.

Overall: Very nice and accommodating service. Well priced, interesting menu and great atmosphere. I found the food somewhat at odds with the glowing reviews above - there was a definite lack of finesse in the mains at odds with the nuance found in the small plates. Seems like better QC is needed.
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What is the Impact of a Player

11 games ago the Wizards "blew up their roster".   John Wall was diagnosed with a second injury that will probably wipe him out of not only the remainder of this season but possibly all of next season.  Additionally the scope of the injury is such it puts his future "stardom" at question.   The Wiz were tied into enormous salaries for Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter going forward (3 former high draft choices).   The injury forced the Wiz to reverse course on a pledge to keep their 3 high priced "stars" going forward.

The Wiz traded Porter to the Chicago Bulls for two forwards.  Since then the Wiz are 4-7, and Chicago is 6-5.   The Wiz are losing ground on their effort to get to the playoffs, losing some winnable games.  Chicago's record has improved and Porter is playing better and more vitally on behalf of the Bulls than he showed for the Wiz this season.

All that being said I agree with the effort.  The most recent team had a "big 3" in Wall, Beal, and Porter that wasn't big or good enough.  At best they were a mid level candidate for the playoffs.  Not that different from the former "Big 3" of the earlier 2000's with Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antwan Jamison--a trio that was good but not good enough.

Porter, at his best, was a complementary player;  he developed into a fine 3 point shooter, he filled many roles, but he never took over.  His role was limited. Interestingly though, since that trade, admittedly a move to "blow up" the roster and restart, they are simply not as good.   Porter, a middling player seemed to add wins. 

In any case as a long term fan of the Wiz/Bullets, I muddle along as with other long term Wiz fans.  They have never been as despicable as the SnyderSkins.  They just can't rise above mediocrity, and for most of the time since the end of the 70's they have been worse than mediocre.

Its more fun to eat well and drink.
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Their fish dumplings have haunted me for five years and I live near flippin' LA! Granted I'm 1.5 hours from the San Gabriel Valley, aka both the self-proclaimed and possibly actual center of all Chinese food in this country, and I don't exactly order fish dumplings every time I'm in the area / they are on the menu, but the times I have ordered them it has always been a disappointment by comparison.  The reason is very simple - none have them have been filled with sliced fish.  While a ground / mashed / fish meatball filling makes a lot of sense and can even be quite good (as long as they aren't packed too tight), it's not even in the same ballpark as tender, mild, flaky fish.  I'm not sure why fish dumplings have caught my imagination so - I actually prefer pork / pork and chive / beef / lamb dumplings - but maybe the fact that they are so unusual and I haven't had the like since...that's probably why I can't stop myself from trying them every so often, only to have my hopes dashed time and again. Anyway, this all is to say that y'all are lucky to have China Bistro, I wish them a long and prosperous restaurant life, and I hope to return someday.  Eat some Lenten dumplings for me!!!
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Two weeks ago, Bread Furst remodeled a bit, and now the in-store traffic flow has been changed. The register is towards the back instead of in the middle. 

Havent been there during core weekend hours yet so don’t know how it has impacted the ordering experience.  
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Had dinner at Sushi Capitol last night with some friends. Scrolling through this thread, I noticed that before our last visit mid-February, my last review of Sushi Capitol was April 2017. It's not that we hadn't gone there since, it was just that there was not much to write home about. The fish, while good, had stopped being as exciting and we felt like we were getting the same nigiri each time. After two visits, I can say that Can's ownership of Sushi Capitol has breathed new life into the place. 

Under the new chef, Chef B, we enjoyed some creative nigiri such as red snapper with grated egg yolk on top, Maine uni with some grapefruit, and tuna marinated in citrus/soy sauce. We also had some traditional nigiri (o-toro and mackerel), and experienced some new and/or interesting fish like needlefish and gizzard shad. The fish was amazing and we had a great time. Can't wait to go back.
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