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San Luis Obispo

Novo Restaurant & Lounge is a wonderful place for brunch. I can't speak to any other time, but we really enjoyed our meal there.  The menu is a California-American with a few fusion (pan-Asian, Mexican) accents here and there.  The food doesn't sound particularly exciting, and it's not exactly reinventing the wheel (in fact, the fusion accents feel a bit dated), but what we had was fresh, pretty, well-prepared, and served by warm and friendly people. What takes the experience up several notches, however, is the setting. The inside is nice, upscale bar-ish, but back patio overlooks the creek from high up, is surrounded by trees and is far away from the street.  The patio also has ample umbrellas, heaters, and lights as appropriate.  There were families below, walking by and playing in the creek, and we were sitting in the fresh air on a warm, sunny deck, with a morning cocktail in hand. It was one of the more relaxing meals of my life (haha, sure it helped that I was sans kids for the first time in forever, but still...).  We had both the savory and sweet crepes, and they were both hearty portions with very tasty fillings (and it didn't feel at all repetitive that I had crepes twice! I don't recall the specific fillings but the change weekly anyway), and a salmon? I think? Benedict. I recall the overall experience quite fondly and would definitely go back (even with my kids!).
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On a recent trip to Charleston, in addition to breakfast at the Vicious Biscuit, I had a wonderful meal at a restaurant I had never heard of, the Coda del Pesce.  The restaurant in not actually in Charleston, but on the Isle of Palms, about a half hour drive from the city.  It was well worth the drive.  There is a nice view of the ocean from most of the tables in the restaurant.

They began by serving us some Italian bread with an olive oil and basil dip.  For the first course we shared  the “Local Flounder ‘Braciole.’”  It was delicious.  For my second course I had “Heritage Bone In Pork Chop.”  (In spite of this description in the menu there was no bone in the serving I received.)  It was excellent.  They have a good selection of wines to go with the meals—mostly Italian, as one would expect.  We had a bottle of J. Hofstätter 2016 Gewürztraminer which was very nice.

I was with a group of three and all of us were extremely happy with our meal.  If you are in the Charleston area, and have time to drive to the Isle of Palms, you should not miss having a meal at the Coda del Pesce.
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I was about to write up a post but I realized I got the exact same order as Rovers ^ and had mostly the same opinion of everything.  I'd note that I thought the beef tartare with the oyster sauce was great but if you got too much of the black garlic sauce in a bite it overwhelmed everything else.  

The only difference was we got a burger to split after the amazing duck - we were starving going into dinner and both have big appetites so this was somehow feasible fullness wise.  This was the best burger I've had in a while - the beef patty is made from trimmings from the aged dairy cow ribeye used in their large format steak course so it had a ton of flavor on it's own, and it was really well balanced with the quality cheddar, miso brined pickles and whatever the special sauce was (was a little tipsy at this point).  The duck would be my most recommended item but I enjoyed everything I tasted minus the mushrooms which weren't bad but underwhelming.  Will add my Instagram post pictures once I have that ready.
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Ponce de Leon Market Food Hall is new, new, new, but set in an old building that provides the automatic atmosphere. But what I had there was generally great. I was too late for lunch and too early for dinner at Root Baking (story of my life, I suppose), but had heard such good things that I grabbed one of their afternoon snacks; in this case the Labneh with GREAT olive oil, mint, and some nicely neutral wheat crackers. A perfect afternoon snack, if I had eaten lunch it would have been plenty. This place feels like an old grange hall, replete with the wooden folding chairs--if said grange hall was in the middle of San Francisco (or Atlanta, I guess).

Downstairs I sat down at Ton Ton Ramen (after wandering around indecisively with so many interesting choices) and had a nice tonkatsu ramen and a few yakitori (Japanese sausage and pork belly; both were just okay). This was good--the broth was creamy and filling.

I ended my adventure at Five Daughters bakery, with a nice selection of cupcakes and croissant donuts (one of which is sitting in my hotel room for later-night consumption.

I don't know how the local Atlantans feel about this place, very newly developed, but I enjoyed the food and would happily return. 
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Had dinner at Northside 10 last night.  Happy Hour runs from 4-7pm I believe.  Last night was .80 wings and half priced burgers, I believe.  And they also took a little off glasses of wine and etc.  I had a glass of wine, and the steak salad.  The steak came out medium rare, which is delightful for steak salad, I never get steak cooked right on that, it had dressing on the side, blue cheese and onion straws.  I could have gone with a few more veggies in the salad, they probably would have put some in on request, but I think I like more veggies than the average person eating out.  With the mist/rain parking was much appreciated.  Service at the bar was attentive, but I was also there to meet up with someone, and wasn't obtrusive.  Solid, I will be back.  I still haven't gone with Hubby.
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Tom and Ray’s, originally opened in 1960, has re-opened in Damascus after a 3 year hiatus.  

New location, same folks:

"Tom & Ray's Family Restaurant Reopens in Damascus" by Sam Merrill on mymcmedia.org
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My wife and I enjoyed ourselves at Reverie last night.  Its a funny little space - but I liked the quirkiness of the location and the informality of the place in general.  I also would say that you can get the entire menu sitting at their bar which was relatively empty at about 8pm last night (we had reservations - and sat looking into the kitchen which was fun).

We ordered:

- Scallop crudo - this was a very good dish - though the "sauce" could overwhelm the scallop if you weren't careful in terms of loading up a spoon / fork.  Refreshing and light.

- Beef Tartare - I really like beef tartare and this rendition, while not mind blowing, was solid.  The oyster sauce was interesting as were the black garlic chips.

- Mushroom - pictured in the post above, its a beautifully constructed dish and the mushrooms were really tasty - that said, I feel like 26 dollars was a bit excessive for what you get on this front.  Additionally, I think "yolk fudge" isn't totally the way I'd frame that component of the dish.  While delicious - I thought it a bit of a curious classification.

- Duck - Order this.  I thought it one of the better renditions of duck that I've ever enjoyed.  Its also a LOT of duck - my wife and I were pretty stuffed after making our way through it.  

- Bay Ice Cream - for whatever reason, I seem to like Bay leaf in cream components (I've enjoyed Bay whipped cream as well) - who knew.  This was fine - but I probably didn't need more food at this point since I was relatively stuffed.

We paired the meal with a really nice "winter" rose that was balanced with the food we ordered and rang up for about 60 bucks.  I had a glass of a nice italian orange wine at the bar (which had some nice funk to it) - and their by the glass list ranged from 14-20 a glass which seems to be the norm these days.  

All in all - I'd recommend going here.  Reservations were easy to come by, the staff was gracious (though our waiter seemed to be on the greener side?  There was a pretty long gap from when we received menus and when he returned to get us drinks - but serve was fine from there on out) and as I said above - I liked the refined food in a casual setting vibe.
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I went a few nights ago hoping that Joe's improved since my last visit. It hasn't.

Entrees came out 30 seconds after the appetizers. I hate that.

The Mapo Tofu was a greasy mess and the flavors just didn't have that Szechuan peppercorn zing that it had in Joe's heyday. Dan Dan Noodles were overcooked to the point where they fell apart when I tried lifting them with chopsticks. The beef in the Pad Thai (I know, I know, but my 9 year old wanted it) tasted and smelled gamey. Even the freakin' tea put me off.

Joe's Noodle House could challenge and reward my taste buds in the past and I'd often push beyond my comfort zone for a taste of intestine, kidneys, and blood. That stuff is still on the menu, but I can't possibly order it. I don't trust that kitchen anymore. 

The italics gotta go!
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Carry out from Raouche yesterday was very good. If this place served alcohol, it would be in my regular rotation. But nonetheless, this is quite good food.

We enjoyed the Tuesday okra special -- a stew of okra, beef, tomato, garlic, cumin, coriander -- plus the Raouche platter, plus the chicken kabseh, plus the hummus special and tabbouli. All were quite good, even after travel time from Merrifield to Springfield. The Raouche platter is a skewer of lamb kabob, a skewer of chicken kabob, and a skewer of kafta, over a bed of rice, with grilled onion and tomato. Their rice is delicious, a nice pilaf cooked with cardamom and cumin.

Their concept of the daily special is a good one. One of mama's special dishes, prepared each day. Tuesday is the okra stew, which was excellent. On Wednesday there is stuffed grape leaves (warak enab) and stuffed squash, and on Saturdays there is stuffed cabbage (malfouf). Markers are on my calendar for these days.

Where does it rank in Kibbee Nayee's notional Middle Eastern rankings in the DC area? Well, I still have Me Jana at no. 1, and Lebanese Taverna (tie between the original location in Arlington and the Tysons Galleria outpost) at no. 2, but it might be in my top 5. It compares favorably with Mediterranean Gourmet Market in Franconia.
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Hi Kibbee Nayee.

We turned off our lights at West Springfield on Jan. 12, 2019. Thank you and everyone who helped Monty's serve our wonderful community for the past seven years. Our decision to close was not taken lightly but the business was no longer sustainable (for personal as well as professional reasons). We are working on Phase II and will keep you posted with our progress.

Once again, thank you, Don Rockwell, and the greater Springfield/Burke community and friends who supported us even before we officially opened in 2012.We will miss you greatly.

Khash, Donna, Chef Marco, and the Monty's Ambassadors.  
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The CGT Happy Hour Pricing Bill passed the Va House 90 - 04. 
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Westminster today considered 7 amendments to  T. May's proposal that was roundly defeated two weeks ago. Only one passed, a conservative proposal to send May back to Brussels to reopen negotiations on the Irish border backstop.



The purpose of the backstop is to prevent a hard border in Ireland for fear of reigniting violence.



The first car bomb in about 20 years exploded at night in front of a courthouse close to the border on Jan 19.



The EU said to May tonight, don't bother, no chance, and the Irish government is not as they say "best pleased".



 



Westminster today voted down amendments that would have sought an extension of time for negotiations, and would have prevented a no deal crashout, which everyone says they are against. Go Figya.
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How do you deal with the hot/cold temperature thing? Packing lunch still is a challenge with that. 
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With a hankering for Peking Duck and bored of going to the same 4-5 places that we always go, my wife and I decided to venture out to Bethesda for a late dinner on Saturday.  Wary about what we might come upon based on the reviews we read here, we decided to order "wide" in the hopes that at least two of the things, and most importantly the duck, would be hits.  Lucky for us, everything we ordered we loved, and we will certainly be moving this place firmly into our rotation.

To start, we got one of our favorite dishes from Arlington, the Dry-fried Eggplant and the Half Duck.  The eggplant was fried and spiced to perfection, this would be an awesome snack to have at my Super Bowl party this weekend.  The duck was what we were hoping it would be and far superior to the one that I had at Peking Gourmet Inn.  Well prepared and plated, this was unctuous without being fatty and greasy, served with lovely light pancakes and fresh, crisp cucumbers and green onions alongside 2 sauces.  This is up there with Proof's preparation, leaning more to the traditional, and really delicious if a bit expensive.

Already feeling a bit full and satisfied, we realized we overordered even prior to the Double Cooked Pork Belly, Grandma's Country Style Chili Chicken, and Stir Fried Snow Pea Tips.  The pork belly has been a favorite in the past in visits to Arlington, and while this version didn't disappoint, it didn't have the level of heat that it has had in the past.  I would still order this again, but it was the least popular dish at the table.  My wife loved the chicken, which came with a 4 pepper rating on the menu and was way too spicy for my taste.  The snow peas tips were initially as just a way to add some green to the table, might have my favorite dish all night.  Garlicky, bitter, and well cooked, these were soft but still had bite in their spines and complemented everything that we had perfectly.  A lovely dish that I left wanting to make for myself at home.

This wasn't a cheap meal and has to be one of, if not the most, expensive Chinese restaurants in the area, but it was right in our wheelhouse. 
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Many thanks to those who posted above about how good the takeout at Haandi is. We were craving Indian food the other night and infant bedtimes meant takeout was in the cards. After some quick searching through the forums it was an easy decision. Lamb vindaloo, chicken biryani and a stuffed naan. All great! We even had leftovers for the next day.
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I understand that Jake’s closed yesterday. 
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I don't think Eater is competition for anyone, much less this forum. 
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I'm with Eric here.  I went today and got the 3 meat platter and went with the brisket, pork belly, and spare ribs.  I'm always amazed when people can take fatty meat and make it relatively flavorless.  The brisket was impossibly dry; it had the texture of something that sat out for an hour after cooking. Only a very thin ring of fat around the outside, and no discernible seasoning or flavor outside of black pepper.  Where is the smoke?  The ribs were better and definitely the best thing on the platter, very moist but again no smoke and too light on the seasoning.  The pork belly was incredibly moist, but completely devoid of flavor and needed to be dipped in the spicy barbecue sauce they had on the table for any taste.  It was unbelievable that a place that only does barbecue would not season their meats before or after cooking them, but that clearly happened here.
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Just happened to walk by the place today. It's not Pho Hai Duong, it's Pho Han Duong, with an n. In Vietnamese, the one in Eden is Hải Dương - a city in North Vietnam. The one in Loehmann is Hân Dương - most likely a name of a person. So to a Vietnamese person, it doesn't at all sound related. 
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answer

also this  [excerpt:  "The geographical title “Dover” was tacked on to the true sole because the English town of Dover could supply more fish for London’s Billingsgate market than any other fishing village. But, despite its name, Dover sole is caught in other places. This flatfish ranges from the Mediterranean to the North Sea and is usually found in shallow waters."]
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Pigged out here last night.  I've been hitting the gym hard and thought I needed a treat, so I ate for 2(maybe 3).  The Salmon Jaw was a meal by itself.  The Edaname I shouldn't have ordered, not fuzz but meh.  Had 3 rolls, another 10 piece of Nigri and a beer.   Normally would have had a few beers but the diet is keeping me in check.

Great value at Happy Hour, will come back.
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I've only been to Van Ness.  The tortellini was the best of the pastas I've had recently.  In general, I've found that the sauces / proteins are not treated with anywhere near the care and refinement you'd expect at Fiola or Fiola Mare: the lobster in the squid ink linguine was tough and overcooked, the lamb ragu over salty.  

Given what I expect the margins are on these pastas, I can see why they converted Casa Luca to another Sfoglina...
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Had lunch at Yume. I will go again for dinner but without my dining companions (2 of the 3). 
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Sad news, but not all together surprising: Garrison Will Close Saturday.
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To my mother who passed away a little more than a month ago at an age of slightly more than 101 and 1/2.   
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