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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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Brunched here, and I found most everything to be mediocre.  I had some italian sausages, grilled with peppers but still fairly dry, and served on a plain bun (no butter, mustard, anything).  The pastas I tasted from other people's plates were fine and very standard.  My son ordered eggs, bacon, and potatoes - it was a huge plate, but a bit sterile.  I felt we were visiting a Bob Evans or other chain-type restaurant, not a local chef-driven spot.  

What's the local wisdom for brunch nowadays?  I am used to many (neighborhood) places still putting out really nice plates for brunch, does the A Team here just work evenings?  I could have gone to Al Volo in Union Market at the same time and paid less for much more depth of flavor.  
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Went here last night with the kids - great atmosphere, a world away from Max's. Loved the ambiance. The food was also very good - salads, pita, hummus and kebabs. I thought the lamb was much better than the beef, unfortunately they were out of the sweetbreads. Portions of the kebabs were a little small for the price, but overall I left very happy. It is very busy though, so come early and be prepared to wait.
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I remember meeting the Bhasins at a picnic and having a delightful conversation. I hope the non-restaurant issues are resolved and things turn around.
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Spent a couple of days in Richmond between Christmas and New Year's. A late lunch at Edo's Squid was tremendous. I love the laid back vibe, and the place was nearly empty at 1:30 on a weekday afternoon. I started with the broccolini with garlic and red pepper. It was drowning in olive oil but remained crisp and spicy. For a main, I ordered the spaghetti with clams. This was also covered in olive oil and contained an absurd (but absurdly delicious) amount of garlic. I couldn't finish it but came close. On our way out, three servers were gathered around a table hand peeling hundreds of cloves of garlic which went into a giant basket. I wish we had a place like this in DC.

On our way out of town, we finally went to ZZQ. I wondered if this would live up to the hype, but they managed to surpass it. Their brisket is second only to Franklin's in terms of the best I've ever had. It has a perfect amount of smoke. The turkey was extremely juicy, and I also loved their house made sausages. We tried the hot guts sausage, and a queso fuego which was their daily special. Both were loosely packed but with a good amount of fat. This is a special place, and I suspect it will get even more attention and acclaim over the next couple of years. If you're near Richmond, you owe yourself a chance to try it. (Sorry, the picture is a little bigger than I intended.)

 
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The Penn Quarter location closed (Washington City Paper).
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I will never use a plastic bottle of water or a straw again. —It’s at least a start and so simple
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Wandering down the aggressively hipster/crunchy Lower Main Road, the main stretch of Obs (Observatory), to the east of central Cape Town, we were starting to get nervous.  It was dinner time, the boys were exhausted, and yet every restaurant seemed closed.  Many until January 7 -- or just three days before we leave to explore the western and eastern Cape (d'oh.)  But lo and behold, just north of the KFC and McDo, there was the inappropriately named Timbuktu, an Ethiopian restaurant I had scoped out but had given up finding.  It's not at all obviously marked, like most of the other restaurants in this part of town.  Ironic that we picked Ethiopian for our first meal (as a family -- i've been here once for work) in SAfrica, and yet had (decent, but not amazing) Ethiopian at the Ramada in Addis Ababa on New Year's Eve, less than 20 hours earlier.

But this was better.  Dare I say it, probably the best Ethiopian I have ever had outside of the greater DC area.

We went all-in and got the "serengaya," the "everything on the menu except lamb" platter built for four.  Our eldest son was the trail blazer, trying everything on the plate and providing commentary for his little brothers ("yummy!", "a little spicy...", "try this! try this!")  Marisa and I dug in, though she worked a moat around the beautiful berbere spiked kitfo, leaving it all for me.  I take that back -- the eldest had that one too, but mixed with the stewed beets.  "The meat and the beets get in a fight in your mouth," he said, "and the spicy from the meat loses to the sweet from the beets, but then it comes back, but then it loses again, in that kind of pattern."  Couldn't have said it better myself.  The stewed collards were fantastic, in my opinion better than anything in DC because the vinegar/acid was upped by a bit.

The two younger ones (three and two) were more hesitant, but eventually both found dishes they liked, leaning towards the softer doro wot and all of the lentils.  The beef tibs was probably the loser (out of a platter of at least 12 different preparations!), because the pieces were cut a little too big.  The berbere was smoky and hot, some of the best I have had.

I haven't had Ethiopian in the States (DC or Seattle) in over two years.  My last two times were at the aforementioned Ramada, and at the Addis Ababa airport last summer (protip: don't do it.)  So maybe I don't remember exactly how good Zenebech at its heyday was.  All I know is that our family of five walked home happy, the youngest with a layer of doro wat sauce on his sleeve, the eldest saying "maybe [he doesn't] like Ethiopian, but maybe [he] loves it."  $45, including four freshly pressed lemonades and a sparkling water.
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Thanks to all for the recommendations.  I ended up doing a pre-game brunch at Rye Street Tavern, with a taste of the AC's Famous Fried Chicken (Classic Southern Style) and a Dockside Royale cocktail. Winner-winner chicken dinner?  Well, yes!  I don't make a habit of eating fried chicken, but if I did this would be my go-to place.  Note that the all-you-can eat chicken applies only to Sunday dinner.  It is suggested to call ahead because sometimes they run out of birds. The property is beautiful inside and outside - transporting.

Post-game meal went to Hersh's for a Miles Davis pizza pie with a side of Malfadine duck bolognese and a spot-on Boulevardier.  Everything was excellent and the cost was very reasonable.  Hersch's is a great neighborhood place - sadly not my neighborhood.  The on the corner ambiance was not in a silent way, but young, loud and boisterous. The polar opposite of the tranquil brunch at Rye Street. 

And the Ravens defeated the Browns in a must-win game to get in the playoffs for the first time since 2014.  All-in-all a perfect Baltimore day.
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Finally made it for "brunch" yesterday. The way to think about this is not as a very pricey brunch (albeit way cheaper than hotel brunches and the likes of Fiola Mare), but as an early, bargain Sunday supper.  A couple of the items are vaguely reminiscent of brunch food (e.g., the ricotta "pancake" pictured above), but in truth it's simply three excellent, delicious Jon Sybert dishes for less than you'd pay at dinner!  (I had the pork belly and tagliatelle, both fantastic, and a nice semolina custard.)

It's also really nice to be at TuG during the day, in the light--quiet, peaceful, and, as always, as welcoming as any place in DC this side of 2 Amys.

Disclosure:  My son works there occasionally.
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I have to give BRABO high marks for the meal we enjoyed with out of town guests this past week. 

The dining room was about half-full on a Thursday evening. The staff was gracious throughout. We were seated at a circular 6-top, and conversation was easy.

The appetizers that landed on the table were the grilled octopus, fois gras terrine, and the French radish dish. Not a flaw anywhere, and that radish dish blew me away.

My main was the perfect steak frites with the 8oz bravette, and Lady KN selected the sea bass. We emptied our plates, and we weren't all that hungry. 

We accompanied the meal with 4 bottles of their featured wines at about $54 a bottle, so the final bill of $630 all-in with tax and tip seemed like a bargain for 6 of us. That was a damn satisfying meal in a pleasant setting with a great deal of ambiance and comfort. And the food was really very good, perhaps some of the best food in Old Town.
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