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Rufo Tabayoyong

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  1. Looking for a local NOVA/DC/MD place to get full Irish breakfast meats (rashers, bangers, black and white pudding). With Society Fair closed in Alexandria, I lost my source. Can go online and ship, but would prefer more direct. Appreciate any leads, thanks!
  2. Went Saturday and arrived to a partially filled dining room at about 8:45 PM. They had just finished a packed dinner service. The space can get noisy at full capacity, but this was a great time to go. I had been before for a drink or a desert and had one meal previously closer to when it opened. It is very close to my house and while I liked it before, I wasn't enthusiastic. My opinion has changed since Saturday. It was one of the better dining experiences I have had in a while. The server, Antonio, was exceptional. Great recommendations, happy to do a half order of something my wife wanted to try and when we asked for a glass of wine to go with our entrees, he left and brought back two samples each of wines he thought would go well with our respective dishes. I would have been happy with the room and service, but, bonus, the food was great as well. The new point oysters, which as told are farmed and supplied by a friend of the owner/chef, were quite goo . They were plump and extremely fresh with a nice firmness. (As a note, they were more of a clean tasting oyster and not very briny for those that prefer that.) I thoroughly enjoyed the lamb shank with gorgonzola polenta and wife enjoyed the risotto special. She also had a monkfish which was cooked perfectly with the only complaint of the evening being she thought the Dijon in the sauce was a bit aggressive. It has moved up on my list (crested over the nice neighborhood spot designation), and I will happily return (probably for the oyster roasts special event around my birthday.) Hope they can repeat the performance.
  3. Went there first time on Saturday morning for brunch with a toddler and newborn. Rugby was on which drew a good crowd in the front, but they reserved a great booth/couch spot in the slower back area which served us well. The server was really accommodating and the food was surprisingly good. I had an on point Irish full breakfast, something I have been looking to find for a little while. The only thing missing was the tomato (would just ask the next time), but the potato cake was a nice addition to the usually suspects. Wife had their Benedict variant with the potato pancakes and the smoked salmon and nothing but good things to say. It was a little bit of a drive, but we both vowed to make it part of the rotation.
  4. Agree with many of the above, and I reserve the right to post about something I remember later. I do have to give a strong mention for Tango Pastry on Rt 1. It's An Argentinian bakery cafe on the first floor of a Days Inn just south of Old Town. The facturas pastries on the weekends are a stand out, and I think she does great Argentinian empanadas (my favorite being the chicken with the olives and eggs.) I have had one pasta dish and it was quite good, a bolognese, but haven't explored much beyond (yet). Sandra the owner is very friendly and after using her twice for parties can't recommend her catering strongly enough. In this area, this should be on the list of places to try (especially a fresh facturas).
  5. I am glad to see RT's getting some mentions. About a month or so ago, my wife and I, on an all too rare babysitter night, got to out to a restaurant. We had an array of "top" whatever lists of restaurants, hip and hot places, heat maps and the like to choose from, and in the end went to RT's. We used to go there regularly when we lived closer, and while we could of gotten more cool points for some other choices, I don't know if we would have enjoyed the meal much more. It is nice to have a place that solid to go to. After I left, I meant to post to the RT's thread and just let it slip- I don't appreciate places like this enough.
  6. Enat has been my go to as well lately. For me, it is hands down the best vegetarian combo to be had in terms of both variety and quality. Eyo and Meaza were my previous favorites and I believe still quite good. I would give Eyo a slight nod on their awaze tibs over Enat, and if I was taking someone out and required nicer ambiance, I would go Meaza. Enat's food is great but servers can be hard to flag down at times (the register across the bar seems to gather them). I have also had a few strange seating situations (I felt like I was in the musical act performing), but the food makes up for it.
  7. Bread and Water followed by a trip to neighboring Unwined just a few doors down is one of my favorite combos in the neighborhood. I'd be interested to hear some of the negatives on Bread and Water, but I'll give my pros and cons. As far as the bread goes, it is delicious, the offerings are varied, and for anyone near, there is no better bread to be had. I have had a couple desserts and a dip which were also quite good. Further, my wife once brought home a porketta they made which was a herby hunk of pork with nicely browned skin about the size of dinner plate. It was designed for more portions than it ended up being. On the more critical side, while I have had a really good sandwich, I also had one, a sausage sandwich, that I think they just overreached on. Construction made it hard to eat and it just didn't come together well. My wife had a similar comment about a sandwich of hers. (I am a very into the balance of sandwich's build). However, my biggest gripe is that it takes an astoundingly long time to get a sandwich. They warn you and say everything is made fresh, but outside of baking the bread for each sandwich, I just can't explain what occurs between ordering and delivery. Lastly, they are at times just quirky. I arrived at 1115 once looking for a sandwich for the road and was told I had to wait 15 minutes for lunch to start. I was the only one there and I guess the rules are the rules, but it was strange customer service at best. Last quirky thing: They serve breakfast, and I once asked if they make an egg breakfast sandwich. I was told they only have one sandwich, which is some French toast contraption, but they that they make omelets. I don't design menus, but if serving breakfast and you run a bakery with amazing bread around AND you already make eggs and have cheese in the cooler, I just don't understand stand why they wouldn't lash those things together. Quirks aside, I like the place, my neighbors say good things about it and I'd be sad to lose it.
  8. Have tried it twice and liked it very much. Haven't tried it enough to give a thorough review, but I look forward to going back. Uniqueness of this cuisine in this area alone gets it some points. I have only done takeout and lunch, so can't comment much on the service. For lunch, service was family run business relaxed (which means don't get upset if you have to remind the server about the diet coke you ordered.) My short take on the food: the rice, kebab, shawarma stuff was good enough, but that's not what I am going to order when I go back. The nicely cooked lamb shank served over their homemade Iraqi bread that is soaked in a delicious tomato sauce like a torta ahogado, that's the stuff I am zeroing in on. My wife also swore by a stewed eggplant dish in the same tomato sauce. Thus, my current ordering advice is this: think bread, sauced and stewed.
  9. Thanks for the update. I stopped by Saturday night and was happy to see all were well. Got the chicken with black velvet based on a recommendation above and enjoyed it. The always ordered Cheetons were good as ever. Agree with general consensus about the duck; its quite good and there is no wait/hassle. Duck bone soup is strongly recommended to go along with it. Normally, for me the food is THE driver for a restaurant. Over the years, I have endured some awesomely bad service and settings for the right dishes. While I am a big fan of the duck here, a service episode instilled a genuine fondness for the folks here (and they are the hardest working people in the business). In short, my Mom has some serious and difficult food allergies. She tries not to be a drag and will go out, but its hard for her to find things at many restaurants. Many servers, while well intentioned, often are of little help. We brought my Mom here and in her overly nice way asked the waitress the first of what can be a punishing list of questions. The waitress said she'd grab the Chef. He came out, was beyond friendly and accommodating. Answered every question. Explained that he makes all the stocks from scratch. He went over her issues, ensured her the would take care of her and made her a few custom, off-menu items. She had a great time. There have been other chefs that have come close, but it was the best treatment she has ever gotten. I'll never forget that and try to support the people here whenever I can.
  10. I have been meaning to add to this thread for some time, but the Post did a better job than I would have. Nice review for them, they deserve it. I have been getting take out and enjoying their delivery since I saw the restaurant mentioned here (Thanks to the above posters). I was dining in for the first time on Saturday and my wife and I noticed it was busier than usual. A set of regulars sit next to us and we here them congratulate one of the staff on the Post's very recent write up; busy-ness explained. Early in the evening, they seemed to be handling the larger crowd just fine, and I hope they benefit from the write up. Service was very friendly and we were happy. I drive about 15-20 minutes to get there and it is by far the best Indian (Nepalese) in my S. Alexandria radius. The menu is large, but they handle it well. The Nepalese and Indian dishes excel. The one Indo-Chinese dish I had was the sole dish I didn't strongly enjoy. It may have been a poor delivery choice or I got spoiled in Queens on rock solid Indo-Chinese. Based on those two factors, I may give that side of the menu another chance. The goat curry as others have mentioned is really nice. I am a fan of goat and this is done well. It is tender, clearly goat but not gamey and it is a good mix of pieces on and off the bone. (Lamb dishes have also been done well) If you like spicy, the stock goat curry is on the mild-medium side so you may want to ask for it with a little more heat. Last thing I will mention, I normally order the very spicy dishes, my wife the mild dishes. In many places, we find mild dishes to be often one note. There is deep and subtle spicing here even with their milder dishes. The ones I have had shared have been tasty enough for me not to long for my overdriven peppery dishes (lamb pasanda and shai baingain).
  11. Blue and White is near the top of the list of places I frequent on random non-holiday weekday off. I don't know of a fried chicken meal I enjoy more. My go to is a dark meat chicken sandwich and great northern bean soup. Hot sauce, S&P on the chicken; the same plus onions in the bean soup. Grabbing my food and heading down to the water on a nice day makes for a fine lunch. As others have said, it's a steal. I don't know if I have ever spent more than five dollars. It's also one of those places every town should have more of. In a restaurant scene flooded with fried chicken, others can easily cost more in money and hassle without approaching the legitimacy. To be fair, I've had the odd greasy piece or a too strongly salted bean soup, but over the years, these have been the exceptions. This is not fine dining obviously, but very solid if you are in the area.
  12. Went to MoMo last night for dinner. Left very happy. I had the goat curry with rice naan and a side of palak paneer. The goat curry was delicious. Goat was well prepared (a couple of tough peices but most were very tender, something I dont always find with many goat dishes) and the curry itself was spot on. Palak paneer was a very creamy more pureed (not large pieced of spinach) version and was a nice compliment. The salad you get is a throw away, nothing more more than the undressed iceberg, but the naan was excellent; buttery and thin but in a good way- like a paratha-naan hybrid. Had some nice char on it. Wife had chicken momos, solid, solid, soild. Very well taken care of place, but looks on the inside like many kebab places around- big menu board, steam table, sparse decor, styrofoam plates, etc... but the food demands more attention. From similar set-ups, I have almost come to expect broken, oily curries, but not here. This was a nice surprise. (Its cheap too). Granted it was a Wednesday, but from 7:00- 7:45 PM it was us, one solo diner and a take out order. Hope lunch is their moneymaker and they make it. I will be back.
  13. I am going to second Su Pollo. The chicken is really quite good and the best to be found anywhere near Alexandria. Its of the more heavily seasoned variety (which I prefer). Its a good sized bird, but is still moist. Also, as the previous poster mentioned, it is cooked over charcoal and that comes through. Yucca is I want from it. Not too big (right crunch to interior ratio), freshly fried and crispy, not stringy or too dry/starchy on the inside. Sauces do the job; good standard represenation.
  14. Hello everybody. I have been lurking and enjoying the site without signing up for far too long. Hopefully, I can contribute and give a little back. My wife and I love knowing and learning where those little spots are where ever we land. (We also really enjoy eating at those spots too). We are currently in the Alexandria area on a quest for our favorite: the fun, the cheap, and the really good.
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