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B.A.R.

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    Fairfax, VA

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  1. So my daughter texted me about a new hot chicken joint in Fairfax and decided to check it out for lunch today. The name is stupid and appears to be unsettled, as the sign/website says (H)Angry Joes but some staff shirts and other collateral just says Angry Joes. At any rate, purchased three Chicken Sando's to go and was eager to get home because these things smelled fabulous. My sandwich was spectacular ($8.99) and enormous. Perfectly fried. Great bun. Delicious pickle and slaw. Also....hot as hell. Like super hot and significantly spicier than anticipated. I ordered all three "Medium" on the level of spice, as there were two options hotter and two options less spicy. I love spicy food and all three of these sandwiches were certifiably hot, and I can think of no reason to order a sandwich hotter than I received. My two dining companions were less effusive in their praise of the sandwich: Generally curmudgeonly father in-law: "Too hot....my esophagus is burned......grab me a banana and some milk.....can you wash this off?....they don't know what they are doing. You may have ordered it medium but they clearly made a mistake....glad you enjoyed yours. Mine was not an enjoyable experience. Won't be going back" 😀 Wife: "What the fuck?......I've had Nashville hot chicken. This was Chernobyl chicken.....Dad, grab me a banana.....You should have order the 'No Spice(may be spicy)' option.....I have to get on a zoom call and my eyes are watering. People are going to think I am crying" So, although the reviews were a mixed bag, ignore those fools and get this sandwich, just don't order anything hotter than medium. In Fairfax next door to the colossally over-rated and poor Duck Donuts. www.hangryjoes.com ETA: For context, Grumpy father-in-law has never complained about heat level of a single dish at Mama Chang's. Medium here is H-O-T, HOT!
  2. I would say his arguments are far from rational. Because of the byzantine and archaic structure of US wine distribution, a significant portion of wine distributors in the US are small businesses. And let's just assume that only 20% of all of these small business mix of sales is European wine. Once those wines get hit by a tariff of close to 100% those sales are gone. Even worse, many of these distributors have already paid for wines, or will pay for them prior to shipment. The value of their investment is now halved. Distribution is a clusterfuck of regulations from city/county/state to state. If you own the distribution rights in VA to 100 Italian wineries, and you want to replace that revenue stream with wines from CA, it's damn near impossible. Once a winery designates a distributor, the only way to change is if the distributor (a) loses license, (b) goes bankrupt, or (c) does not sell a set quantity of your wines for a period of time (like, 2 years). And, because of the same distribution structure, American wineries, in particular small American wineries, will suffer as their distribution may have negative cash flow, attempt to restructure, cut costs, cut payroll, or even worse, fold.
  3. This is potentially devastating to so many small businesses, importers, distributors, wine retailers, and restauranteurs - not to mention terrible for consumers. Absolutely unnecessary. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/dining/drinks/**Censored**-wine-tariff-eu.html Contact info here: https://account.votility.com/enterprise/NAWR/ec/698 and here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USTR-2019-0003-2518
  4. Congratulations to Jonathan and Jessica! Seylou took Best Overall and Best Whole Wheat in the Tiptree World Bread USA competition last evening. If you have not gone yet, go. Extraordinary bread and well deserved accolades. BEST IN THE COUNTRY!!!! http://www.worldbreadawardsusa.com/competition/winners/
  5. I am guessing it changed owners. I have not been in a year (or maybe two?) and the gentleman who was always behind the counter, and another who was almost always behind counter, were not there. The staff is all wearing t-shirts with a graphic blue ocean logo, also new. The dining room is quite literally plastered with copy paper color pictures and advertisements of dishes, and specials, and sake, and just an ocular onslaught of detritus. It strongly resembled Carrie's dining room wall in season two of "Homeland". Seriously. We ordered Octopus sushi, Horse Mackerel sushi, Fatty Tuna and Scallion roll, crunchy Yellowtail roll, Pickled Radish roll, ETA roll (eel/avocado/tobiko) and appetizer size veg tempura. The sushi was served on a little white square plate, and all the rolls were served on round, white salad plates. Never seen presentation like this at a sushi bar...it was very plain and odd. The fish itself tasted of nothing. Too cold. Zero flavor. The rice was average. If I were blindfolded, I would only be able to make out the crunch and tobiko. We never received our tempura. The two staff members who took care of us were very pleasant, attentive, and kind. They apologized for the forgotten tempura and offered to quickly make it, which we declined. I used to love this place, and I wish them only success moving forward, but my meal last evening was not good.
  6. I'm not that smart! If I am being honest, the reason I have not been to Thai by Thai in years is because my last few meals sucked....like just shitty strip mall Thai. I was only planning on getting a lunch Pad Thai because I didn't want to spend more than $10 and had a craving. Since I have become a stay-at-home Dad, my days of Omakase at Sushi Taro and leisurely lunches at Fiola Mare are OVER! I read through the entire menu because no one was at the counter to order, and just decided to take a flyer on these two dishes and spend a little more than anticipated. I am still thinking about them. I am by no means a Thai food expert, but I do prefer Thai, Vietnamese, Malay and other SE Asian cuisines. Three days later I am still thinking about these two dishes and hope to go back in the next few weeks and order them again, although the Khao Sol (!!!) was on a piece of paper at the register, like a daily special, so who knows.
  7. I have not had a more enjoyable meal since the old "secret" Lao menu at Bangkok Golden when Seng Luangrath was at the helm. Two dishes, both sublime. Running errands through Fairfax and had a craving for something other than Bun Cha from Viet House or the Bibimbap Hot Pot at Super H. Remembered that Thai by Thai started advertising their "secret" menu a few years ago so popped in. Parking and access to the little shopping center continues to be a shit show. I walked ina little after 1 and only one 3-top was in the small, sterile dining room. From the Street Food menu: Kao Tod Nam Sod - fried rice balls, crumbled atop romaine lettuce, tossed with pickled pork, red onion, peanuts, chilis, fish sauce, lemongrass, etc, etc. HOLY SHIT. Soooo good, each bite encompassing all the spicy/sweet/salty and sour flavor with the sour coming from the pickled pork. I have had maybe 10 versions of Nam Sod and this was better than all. From The Regional Special Menu : Khao Sol - the most enjoyable Thai dish I have ever had. Egg noodles, chili, sour cabbage, fried wonton flakes, pork, red onions, red curry. The blend of textures and depth of flavors were really, really impressive. A tour de force. These two dishes ($22 total) were enormous and this was the BEST Thai meal I have had since maybe the second year of Little Serow. Can't vouch for other locations....but the TWO people who were working on Tuesday lunch were just KILLING IT.
  8. WTF was amazing. WT was "meh". I actually like CCF, and the loss between WT and CCF isnt nearly as great as the loss of WTF
  9. Seylou is one of the most important food service operations in the DC area. I've been on this board since its inception, and before that eGullet, and before that Chowhound, and almost everything that has been discussed in those 18+ years about what may be "lacking" in DC, or whether or not DC is truly a world-class food city, is represented in Seylou. It's success and future depends on DR.com and other like minded and passionate people to support it, either monetarily or on social media. Seylou literally checks all the boxes: local, organic, sustainable, free-standing, independent, world-class quality, unique, community, I could go on and on. The owners, Jonathan Bethony and Jessica Azeez, work tirelessly and uncompromisingly to put out some of the best breads and pastries in the world. Yes, I said world. Jonathan, who ran the Washington State Bread Lab and started the bread program at Blue Hill for Dan Barber (started as in did everything from selecting the specific wheat, growing, harvest, mill, bake) is doing the same out of Seylou. Nothing here is inexpensive, but it is all reasonably priced. A loaf of bread made from freshly harvested grains from a local Amish farm, milled in full the day of baking, does not come cheaply. But that $11 loaf of pain au levain will last two weeks and is massive, not to mention delicious. So certainly price point is a barrier to entry for most, and Seylou knows this. If you are on SNAP, the discount for bread at Seylou is 50%. Another challenge is the physical appearance of the breads and pastries, specifically the color. Everything is brown to dark brown. It looks burned beyond all hope. The croissants appear as if a single bite will cause the pastry to crumble into dust. There is no "golden" colored anything. The color comes from the whole grains and oils from the entire wheat kernel. That deep brown croissant that looks dry is "OMG this is the best crossant I have ever tasted" as my lovely wife stated oafter her first bite. Cut one in half and it is extraordinary in its lightness, with hundred of airy pockets in between buttery (Trickling Springs) rich dough. Just amazing. You can say the same about the cookies, bialy's, financiers, foccacia, etc. The District is incredibly lucky to have Seylou, and it is a bakery worth a special trip into DC, just as Metier or Komi are. Go. Buy a loaf of bread or as much as you can afford. This place should be a landmark in DC for years to come.* *Climbs down from soapbox.
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