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eatruneat

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About eatruneat

  • Birthday 02/03/1982

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  1. We are finally back in DC after nearly a month in Ashburn. There were some rough stretches but we were able to have some enjoyable dining experiences during out time in the 'burbs. Ford's Fish Shack (Landsdowne): Some of the very best crab cakes I have had in a while. A lot of crab meat, very little filler. Shoe string fries were okay, wish I had substituted a side salad or vegetable instead. But the crab cakes were amazing. @MichaelBDC had the swordfish special which he liked a lot. Sister-in-law and niece had the chicken sandwich, which they thought was one of the best they've had in a while. King Street Oyster Bar: Decent, but limited, brunch, but stick to the lunch menu. Good selection of oysters and I enjoyed my half dozen. Oyster po'boy for me was good with three large oysters. Fries were fine, nothing special. @MichaelBDChad the steak breakfast burrito and said it was not good. Sense of Thai: Nice atmosphere, good food, if a touch too sweet. Som Tum was very good but super spicy. I had the Chumphon Pad Thai which included shrimp and crab meat. It had a good amount of shrimp, but a touch too sweet for my taste. The PAT Pad Thai @MichaelBDCordered was even sweeter than mine and he only ate half. I ate the other half for lunch the next day. First Watch: Decent brunch option for non brunch people like us. Would go again. Pho Nomenal: Got delivery from here one night. Pretty legit Vietnamese food although I think they hold back on the fish sauce a little too much for my taste. Bun Bo Hue for @MichaelBDC was very good. I had the Vermicelli with grilled pork and a spring roll. Grilled pork was super good, both flavorful and tender. As mentioned earlier, the nuoc cham needed more fish sauce, lime, and spice. Thanks all for the recommendations!
  2. The big caveat that I should have mentioned is that we are staying with family who are not particularly adventurous, though I think we can convince them to go to Ahso. We did take out from Parrando's Tex-Mex Grill which was bad across the board. We then did brunch at Blue Ridge Grill which was fine but not a place I would consider going back to. Thank you all for the recommendations. We will likely eat in more than out at restaurants, but want to have some places to recommend when the in-laws ask if there's anywhere we want to eat.
  3. Any recommendations for dining out in Ashburn or even Leesburg and elsewhere in Loudon County? @MichaelBDC and I have decamped to Ashburn for the month while our condo undergoes a bathroom/kitchen renovation. We have had two dining excursions -- one take out and one dine in -- and both were subpar. All recommendations are welcome!
  4. Izakaya re-opened after going into hibernation during the height of the COVID pandemic so we stopped by because we missed it so. Apparently a lot of people made reservations for the Izakaya thinking they could get ramen and then cancelled when they found out the second floor wasn't serving ramen, so we were able to walk in and get seated right away a little after 8pm. Fortunately, by the time we left the bar had filled up and more people had stopped by for dinner. The menu is more limited than pre-pandmic days, of course, but the food is still really good. We ordered our favorites: Rocky Balboa, fried garlic with kimchi miso sauce, tako wasabi, grilled avocado, and abura miso onigiri. We also also had the spicy tuna and crispy rice and the sliced short rib donburi bowl. Everything was just as good as we remembered, although the octopus in the tako wasabi was a little tough. @MichaelBDCdidn't care for the crispy rice part of the spicy tuna and crispy rice but I loved it so I got the third piece. We did miss some of the dishes that aren't on the current menu: chicken karaage, catfish karaage, brussels sprouts okonomiyaki, and the enoki mushrooms slathered in butter. Hoping these dishes come back soon. Glad to have the izakaya back.
  5. Our first dine-in restaurant experience in almost a year and both of us didn't realize how much we had missed restaurant dining until we had done it. Between dealing with a spoiled COVID pup with a small case of separation anxiety and saving for a bathroom/kitchen renovation, @MichaelBDC and I were content with cooking, some neighborhood takeout, and the occasional delivery. But I really wanted soft shell crabs and I knew I really liked Tom Power's soft shell crabs so we went on Friday night and it was marvelous. The first floor dining room was mostly full when we arrived for our 8pm reservation. After we placed our orders, the server brought out the usual bread and butter with salt. I had forgotten how good that butter is and I am usually agnostic to butter. That butter is so good that the bread became a vehicle for the butter and we asked for a second pat. @MichaelBDC ordered the special of hamachi with shiso salad to start while I had a half dozen of raspberry point oysters. I hadn't had oysters on the half shell in too long and these were refreshing and lovely. However, the hamachi and shiso salad were the winners this round. The hamachi was melt in your mouth buttery and the shiso salad with daikon was better than we remembered. That is an amazing salad and we hope to enjoy it for years to come. For our main course, I had the softshell crab with wilted greens and ver jus that I had been seeking and they did not disappoint. You read the menu and might think, "is that all?" but it is a perfectly composed dish and is perfectly executed by the kitchen. @MichaelBDCwent with the Duck Confit Cassoulet Style and loved every bite, especially since the duck meat fell off bone. He actually declared that we should make it this winter which is funny because by "we," he knows it'll be "me," and I would rather not try to meet the great expectations of a Tom Power masterpiece, thank you very much. We also ordered a bottle of Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee for dinner, which was certainly not the perfect pairing with my seafood dishes, but was very nice. It also reminded me of when my cousin had a membership to the winery and I had a membership to Kenneth Volk and we would trade wines. A little nostalgia. We skipped dessert but left full and happy and realizing a proper date night is worth leaving the pup at home for longer than usual. She managed. Also, this was our first time NOT eating at the bar and while we did miss sitting at the bar, I would not wait for that bar special to enjoy Tom Power's phenomenal cooking.
  6. Little Serow is offering Khao Soi dinner kit to go for two next week. Some reheating will be required and instructions are included. https://serowtogo.square.site/khao-soi For $110, the package comes with: Nam Prik Num & Crispy Pork Skin Chayote & Peanut Salad Jackfruit & Pork Herbal Pork Sausage Chicken Khao Soi Sweet Rice Slice Bite We ordered a kit for Friday and can't wait to try it out.
  7. Continuing our love affair with Detroit-style pizza, @MichaelBDCtried Motown Square Pizza (delivery by DoorDash). The chef is from Detroit with roots in Ethiopia, so we were intrigued by and planned to order the special tibs pizza. However, in an incredible brain fart I ordered the Motor City pizza instead. No matter, because it allowed us to do a more apples to apples comparison with our favorite, Della Barba. The Motor City (available only on Fridays and Saturdays) comes with sausage, ricotta, hot honey, mozzarella, and parsley in addition to the standard crushed tomatoes and Wisconsin brick cheese. Unlike Della Barba which uses its own delivery drivers, Motown Square Pizza goes through Door Dash so our pizza arrived at room temperature and required some reheating. Still, the pizza was super good and we inhaled two squares each (half the pizza). The dough is lighter and airier than Della Barba, and while good, left the pizza a little flimsy and not as sturdy. The Wisconsin brick cheese melted into the crust more than create the crisp crust that we like so much, but I am really nitpicking here. We loved the pizza, are reheating a few squares for lunch, and will certainly order from Motown Square again.
  8. I read through the entirety of this thread the other day and it's quite interesting to see how Maketto has changed since it's opening and settled into its current iteration as it is one of our favorite places in the city right now. The Maketto of the first few posts is almost unrecognizable to the Maketto today, especially during COVID times. Reading about people packed together trying to order from the bar made do a double take. The puppy's groomer is a few blocks away so @MichaelBDCand I have made it a routine to drop the pup off and head to Maketto for a cup of coffee or tea and lunch. Maketto has instituted contactless ordering due to COVID and it's a pretty easy and efficient system. I ordered the duck noodle soup the past two times we stopped by because I love duck and it is a very good bowl of soup. The bowl comes with a whole confit duck leg, wonton noodles, and some greens. The confit doesn't add much to the soup, but I figure it is more to prevent the duck from becoming dry. The broth is really rich, can it be too rich? And wonton noodles are probably my favorite noodles of all time (please do not tell my Vietnamese ancestors). The soup hits all my food related pleasure points and I highly recommend it. Other highlights from Maketto include anything I have mentioned in the two posts above and the drunken shrimp fried rice that came with a very good amount of shrimp. It should be noted though that @MichaelBDC did not think the spicy beef and rice bowl was particularly good compared to the other things we have ordered. Maketto started out as a hot spot where you couldn't find a seat and now it's the place we stop by while waiting for our dog to get bathed and groomed.
  9. Ten months later, we finally got that fried chicken dinner. Pickup is even more seamless than before. You go in one door, the host walks you to your order on the bar, hands it to you, and you exit through another door. The food stayed warm and the chicken remained crisp after our 15 minute walk back to the apartment. The order consisted of a whole chicken broken into parts, mashed potatoes & gravy, biscuits & bacon jam, and coleslaw. Everything was fantastic, especially the chicken, and we still have half of the meal left over for another meal. A truly excellent meal. The cost is $45 now and with extra charges, tax, and tip the bill ended up totaling closer to $64. Those charges add up fast! Overall, still a pretty good deal with a generous amount of very good food, and worth supporting restaurants during this seemingly unending pandemic.
  10. Try Haikan. Website says they are continuing outdoor seating, but not sure if it's heated or not.
  11. After a series of pepperoni Detroit pizza, we branched out and ordered the Detroit Hottie, a special with Habaneros, Jalapenos, & Calabrian Chili Oil. We added pepperoni as well. Unfortunately, it was way too spicy for me, but we still managed to enjoy it enough to finish off the pie in multiple rounds. Additionally, Washingtonian reports that Della Barba will go from a takeout/delivery kitchen in Ivy City to a cafe on Capitol Hill around Lincoln Park. The address is 1382 E. Capitol St. NE, currently an Al's Pizza. There is promise of housemade bacon, baguettes, and pastries. Looking forward to it.
  12. Christmas Eve dinner from Convivial, our second Convivial to go dinner during the time of COVID and this dinner was phenomenal. Chestnut & Foie Gras soup and the Duck & Armagnac Country Pate to start and both were very very good. The soup was the best soup I have had in a while and the pate came with a generously large and tasty baguette. It didn't seem like a generous portion but after our appetizers, @MichaelBDC and I were so full we ended up splitting the cassoulet. There was a lot of pork and sausage to go with the perfectly al dente beans. After all that food, I managed a bite of my dessert, the Paris-Brest, a hazelnut praline mousse in a pate a choux. Perfect ending to a great dinner. Our second entree, the coq au vin de champagne sat in the fridge for two days and we dug in yesterday. This freaking blew away my Julia Child copy of coq au vin. That was good stuff. Hoping to polish off the rest of my Paris-Brest and the key lime pie tonight.
  13. So jealous! We had wanted to do Kinship for our Christmas Eve Dinner too, but decided too late and they were sold out, so we went with Convivial instead. Walked by Kinship on our way to and from Convivial and saw that they were doing brisk to-go service. I am going to pretend we passed each other on 7th St.
  14. This is so sad. I had some of the best times at Big Hunt and two of my favorite bar stories took place here. The first is when I got to talking to some friends of the owner and they covered my tab and then some. The second was when I finally got to use this line on some douche bro, "You know what they say about people who wear sunglasses inside? You're either blind or an asshole."
  15. @Bart, we had to cancel our annual Christmas trip to San Diego this year because of COVID. I will note that there is a stay at home order in San Diego right now and restaurants are only open for delivery and takeout. That being said, I would advise against a nice dinner in Little Italy. We stayed in Little Italy the last few times we've been in San Diego and I think the places are not as good as they once were with the exception of Crack Shack, but that is very casual. If you really had to do NYE dinner at (or from) a place in Little Italy, look to Juniper & Ivy, Herb& Wood, and Kettner Exchange. The first two were started by chefs from Top Chef (Richard Blais and Brian Malarkey) and the third is a carbon copy but with more of a night club atmosphere. Our absolute favorite place in San Diego is Trust, but it is closed. Its sister restaurant, Fort Oak, is doing takeout/delivery and is not too far away from Little Italy in Mission Hills. You didn't ask, but had we gone to San Diego our itinerary would have been: Huntress Steakhouse, Trust/Fort Oak, and Born & Raised. Jasmine for dim sum, Pho Hoa in City Heights (or wherever my family wants to go for pho) and its neighbor Minh Ky for egg noodle soups, Taco Stand (for tacos), and Oscar's (fish tacos).
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