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saxdrop

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About saxdrop

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  • Birthday June 2

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  1. What's your early take? Esp. now we know he didn't direct or write any of the episodes.
  2. Re: BALLSTON QUARTER [Initial impression/snap judgment] My bold prediction: In a year or so from now, the food hall will suffer from the Yogi Berra problem ("no one goes there anymore; it's too crowded"). Thursday for lunch, tried Turu's by Timber Pizza Co. and Hot Lola's. Both were pretty good food court options but disappointing given their pedigree. Turu has already said they're intentionally straying from the Neopolitan-ish style at Timber, but neither was it in anyway the New York-style slices claimed in this article from just two weeks ago -- and I'm not being precious about the genre here, I mean literally there weren't slices available, only whole 10" pies (four total plus a Caesar salad and some bottled beverage options). Growing pains and some adjustments are inevitable but I'm a little surprised they didn't at least have the concept down, esp. since this isn't their first go round. And they've got one of those beautiful ceramic wood-fired ovens. The ingredients were top notch, but the dough lacked any defining characteristic. It was like the person at a party that doesn't say anything . It wasn't offensive but offers nothing. They were on-boarding a new employee while I was there so they clearly expect to grow. At Hot Lola's they have four chicken sandwich options ranging from mild to "table-flipping" heat, as well as chicken tenders and hot dogs. I had the "O.G." which is the 2nd hottest options and the one they say is the basis for the restaurant. The texture, fry, sauce and bun were all really excellent. But "hot + spicy" it wasn't at all. Next time I'll just go full monty. I did appreciate that the flavor, such as it was, combined traditional cayenne and szechuan peppers (just not enough of it apparently). Got there as some of the spots were opening around 11am, finished around noon. It was starting to buzz a little as I left, but with still plenty of room to grow. I assume the pitch from the developer to tenants was something like "we're putting a bunch of money into this, so you know we're committed, but it'll be a process to get people in here." I wandered around the mall for a bit after, by Punch Bowl Social and where the new Ted's Bulletin will be. It's a really impressive design but eerily empty. Also caught an afternoon movie at the theater and was the only one in my showing (to be fair, it was 4:30pm on a weekday). Overall it's clear Ballston Quarter is a big swing (ed. Captain Obvious strikes again!) and the number of "Coming Soon" signage is promising. There's little doubt that in time the reward for visiting will be high, but it may require some kind of sunspotting change in the neighborhood's habits. [Unrelated: I saw Us. Anyone want to discuss?]
  3. Officially open: Jan 9, 2019 - "Old Dominion Pizza Company Opens along Lee Highway" by Alex Koma on arlnow.com Swung by for dinner on Monday. Available slices were limited to pepperoni and cheese, in both traditional slice and Grandma style (and gluten-free which I did not try). Summary judgment: this is decidedly a step down from Upper Crust, which was itself middling in quality but at least creative. That said, I won't write it off -- they just opened like a minute ago and they're calling it a soft launch. Also given the owner's restaurant experience, I'm optimistic it'll improve with time. I'm desperate for a decent (not expecting greatness) slice option in my neighborhood. It may be sacrilege to say, but The Italian Store's slice game is forgettable, in contrast to their whole pie ability.
  4. [Belated post from a mid-October overnight visit] Thank you thank you thank you all for this magnificent thread. Having only one day to try a sampling of spots, I pulled almost exclusively from here and it did not disappoint. We spent the afternoon cruising through a couple breweries and then did dinner and a couple drinks. Breweries: Hardywood Brewery, Veil Brewing Co., The Answer Brewpub, Buskey Cider, Blue Bee Cider Dinner: Brenner Pass Lodging: Clarion Hotel Central (<-- decidedly NOT recommended) I'm big on cider. Buskey's products are all fairly flavorless, and they seem averse to taking risks and embracing some of the funky, interesting heritage apples available -- though it is a cool space, pretty ideal for groups, and nearby other hangs. Blue Bee is decidedly a step up. Hardywood had my favorite beers of the day; Veil is seemingly the cool kids hang; Answer Brewpub isn't "pretty" but has the best selection. Brenner Pass was solid top-to-bottom (save a brief delay in taking our drink order after seating) and a remarkable value to boot...am I that jaded by DC prices?! If we get back, definitely want to hit ZZQ (obviously), L'opossum, Edo's, Metzger Bar and maybe try one of the cocktail-focused spots like Rogue or The Jasper.
  5. First visit! Essentially riffed off @eatruneat's order strategy but ate in. Last Fri, around 1130am. I'd say half dozen tables seated. Steam Dumpling in Red Hot Sauce / Dan Dan Noodles / Shaanxi Style Homemade Noodle / Grilled Lamb Skewers / Shredded Beef in Spicy Oil Broth (don't recall the name; my Chinese friend ordered off the printed menu and it came in a large white pot with choice of protein) The Shaanxi noodles and the skewers were my favorite. The dumplings and Dan Dan noodles made for pretty decent leftovers hours later. My one nitpick on the latter, these struck me as overcooked and slightly mushy, not the springiness and chew with which I was familiar. Having only really had them at Hong Kong Palace (Falls Church) and Mala Tang (Arlington), I'm wiling to concede my limited experience here - flavor was still great.
  6. Oh, I grabbed that one reservation before I even posted! Like I said, not really any other options for us. And knowing me, if I had your experience from a couple months ago,, it would've just ruined my night. Figured, worst case scenario, better satiated with mediocre food than hangry during the show. I know my show in the concert hall is sold out, and can safely assume Hamilton! in the Opera Hall will be as well.
  7. As far as I can tell, this was the most positive clause from @monavano's post! Any updates from more recent visitors? We're planning on going for dinner Friday before a show. Not our first choice, but with a forecast heat index of 101, we don't want to bother with hoofing it between locations or paying addtl parking/cab. The dinner menu looks more interesting than I assumed. Should I be surprised there was only one reservation time available, or is that primarily a function of having a captive "audience"? UDATE: Should I be surprised there was only one reservation time available[?] Oh right....Hamilton. Btw, there's some tickets left for Friday, but the cheapest are $399 (before fees).
  8. Been able to try a couple of the recs on this thread (thanks again gang!): Taqueria 3 Reyes -- I need to revisit to sample more of the menu, but of what I've tried so far the tacos (natch) are far superior to the tortas (which are nonetheless a big part of the menu, seemingly a feature) and the beef (ground, lengua, et al) better than other proteins. Great value; can make a very filling meal (or two) for less than $10. They seem to fire as much as possible to order but one can still get in and out fairy quickly if you don't hit a rush. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken - The two piece dark plate (thigh/leg + 2 sides; I did baked beans and slaw) is $8.45. It's a fair price for what you get - portions aren't skimpy nor plentiful. Chicken clearly being fried on-the-go. It came out at a perfect temp to eat, and as others have noted incredibly crispy, not an ounce of excess grease, and seemingly light. Excellent southern fried chicken. But....several folks noted it's a spicy chicken, so what did I miss? It wasn't the least bit spicy, and I don't mean in the "you call that HOT? That's not HOT!" one-upping way, I mean in that if someone had handed me the plate blind, I would have never thought to describe any spice. Which is not to say it wasn't flavorful bc it was. They even threw in packets of Crystal Hot Sauce. Am I crazy? Just Jerk is next on the list.
  9. Thanks guys for all the recs! Haven't had a chance to swing by Gus's but I definitely will in the next few weeks. I guess I should clarify the circumstances of my visits. I have a standing Wednesday evening and occasional Saturday midday/afternoon comitment at the stadium - in other words, NON game day whatnot. I'm familiar with the "FedEx consumes your life for hours before and after the show/game" scenario but fortunately that's not this. I'm typically coming from the Capitol Hill area and return to Arlington by car. Basically I generally have up to one hour (though often less) around the 630-730pm-ish window to kill for dinner. once/week in that area.
  10. Appreciate the gesture Don, but, uh.... The closest restaurant on this list of dining "near" FedEx is 11 miles away, easily over 30 mins drive. The furthest is over 20 miles! (in Bethesda). This isn't so much a list of dining around FedEx, by a "Washington local expert," as it's a grab bag of general "greater Washington area" spots.
  11. Hoping for you as well, but I can't think of any reason why it would be. But this prompts a good question: what are your best bets in that little corridor for a pre-theater (or pre-event) bite? I don't go to National Theatre often, but I do end up at JW Marriott for receptions and Warner Theatre is right there too - what are one's options? Occidental? Central? I'll quibble with @The Hersch's suggestion. Not the "Jaleo, with spectacular food" part, but it's just too far for this purpose - strictly speaking that's a full mile roundtrip. Am I being too precious? Maybe. But consider given the occassion(s), I'd be wearing a suit or at least a jacket, my companion likely in heels and a dress. And the sticky weather months are already upon us. Assuming we'd want to park once (and NOT drive to the theater + cab two ways), 0.3 mi. is probably the maximum walking radius. Thoughts?
  12. [Bumping this thread] It's been quite a few years since this anyone added on to this convo. I'm going to be at and around FedEx fairly often over the next several months, so hoping folks have some updated food options! Any improvement to the area's dining? I noticed, unfortunately, KBQ and Ray's at East River are closed. Jerry's Seafood still open but a little further out. There's a Wegman's very nearby now: is takeout from there my best option? I'd be okay with that. Ideally there's some other fast-casual/moderately-paced service places, but honestly I'd take anything promising.
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