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donk79

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About donk79

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  1. Post dinner follow-up! I had hesitated to come here earlier because of price and time commitment for a prix-fixe meal. Now, having been, I can say that the service was friendly and efficient and I would not be concerned about time in the future. Regarding price... That was a silly concern. My meal, which I ended up concluding with a desert, came in at $45 pre-tip. More than a casual dinner for me, but I usually don't have a drink or dessert. The entree was $21, which would not give me pause for a nice evening out. Conclusion? In the future I need to order the full prix-fixe meal and enjoy it. Because it was wonderful all the way around. There was no element of the meal that I can criticize. It is not the fanciest place, but that suits me just fine. Lastly, I cannot do justice to describing my entree. So I will do what I have never done. I will post a picture. This may be the first picture I have ever taken of a plate of food. But it was worth it!
  2. Finally stopped in tonight. Reservations appear to be the norm now, but there was no hesitation when I walked in at 5 and asked if they had room for a party of one. ordered a pasta dish and old fashioned a la carte. Both are fantastic, as has been the service.
  3. I grew up eating scrapple, and love it. Goetta is in the same family tree as scrapple. The grain in the goetta is very prominent. But I have to say, if I could get goetta regularly, I would abandon scrapple immediately! Of course, I believe they put goose (duck?)fat on the griddle before cooking the goetta. That may have something to do with why I liked it so much!
  4. Just to clarify, the closing of the Freeze was because the owners needed to be able to make transitions in their lives. The restaurant always operated on the grace and generosity of it's landlords, and the family (my family), never had anything to complain about there. The Freeze was a great run for our family, a place and community that will always be prominent in our hearts.
  5. I did not touch the fancier dining scene while I was there, but I can heartily recommend Taste of Belgium for solid and tasty fare (And a pretty decent beer selection as well!). Also, if I were back in Cincinatti, I would be at Maplewood Kitchen and Bar at every opportunity. In particular, the goetta is not to be missed!
  6. Sperryville, Staunton I had two great pizza's in the past couple of months. The first was at the Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen in Sperryville. The second was at Newtown Baking in Staunton. Both featured local ingredients. RPK was an unexpected gem in an area that in the past has had little to offer (excluding the Inn at Little Washington, less than 10 minutes away, but that is another category completely). Newtown Baking turned out to be the bakery that I knew Staunton should have somewhere, but had yet to be able to locate. In both places the pie I had included argula and mushrooms. Both vastly exceeded my expectations, even if the toppings at RPK seemed light. Each of them came in at the 12-13 dollar mark for a pie, which puts them in the same price range as McDonalds (In both cases, a pies should feed 2, though you may be tempted to order a pie to a person, just because they are so darn good!) but still put you in a whole 'nother world from any fast food. Newtown has very specific hours. RPK has very limited seating. Both are worth your trouble.
  7. Ha! That's what I remember of that area. Check out the pronunciation of the town of Versailles NW of Dayton. Then move on to Russia, pronounced Rue-see!
  8. Based on my memories of Cincinnati (more than a decade old) I thought it might pay to ask well ahead. I will be in Cincinnati in July of next year for a week and will be looking for reasonably priced meals worth eating. Last time I was in town, the best to be found was a Blimpie sub shop. I definitely hope to do better this time! Most of the dining will need to be within walking distance from the Duke Energy Convention Center, though we will have a car, and there will be at least one excursion to Jungle Jim's!
  9. Staunton, My wife and I had a lovely meal at Zynadoa last night. My largest critique was the spacing of the seating. We could not help but have our conversation interrupted my the server addressing the the table next to us. The good news was that the waitstaff was quite charming, helpful, and informative. In fact, I will say that the service was the best I have experienced, except for some slightly slow timing on our main courses. We had time to spend though, waiting on the show at the Blackfriar Playhouse, so no loss there. We started off with zuchinni fritters. Yeah, I know, can you get much more pedestrian? But my wife's tastes run to the less than adventuresome, and we wanted one starter to share. And i have to say, they changed my view of what fritters can be. They were crisped nicely, with a creamy interior, and were balanced by the greens and sauce on the plate. For mains, my wife order the braised chicken. The chicken was served with grits and (?). I did not sample her dish (I was focused on my own) but she said she enjoyed it and left little behind. I ordered the whole trout, despite my misgivings regarding farm raised trout. I am glad I did. This had none of the off-flavors that I associate with farm raised or stocked trout. Instead, it tasted clean, was well cooked, and I found myself chewing up a few of the bones to continue enjoying the flavor. The trout was served on great northern beans (nothign remarkable, but well suited to the rest of the dish) and topped by a red pepper and sausage stew that elevated the whole dish way beyond your typical trout plate. It was a combination that worked much better than I could have imagined, and I am glad I ordered it. Being our first real date night in 7 years, we splurged and both ordered dessert, instead of our usual of shairng one, if any. My wife had the tiramisu, i had the apple claffoutis. Both were pleasant. The apples in my clafoutis were helped along by a touch of brandy, that gave them a little more flavor than one might expect. The tiramisu was a pleasant reminder of what the dessert can be, with amarreto playing a real role balancing the espresso, sugar, and creaminess. So all of the above, after tax and tip (no wine), came in about $100. Significantly more than we usually go for, but definitely worth it. Those more accustomed to the decent class of dining around DC might be less impressed, but especially around Staunton, this could become a go-to special occasion spot for us. On a side note, King Lear at the Blackfriar: Fantastic!
  10. My exposure to Thai is not wide, but I will quickly second this recommendation. Rice & Noodles serves the best pho I have tasted. I think some of the other options (maybe a spring roll?) were less impressive, but they do not stick well in the memory. My last trip there was probably a good 18 months ago.
  11. Good, Bad or Indifferent, apparently this has now arrived in NoVa. I wish I were in a location I could try this this. 2-hour "Free" delivery, and the prices look pretty decent. For $10.99 a month, I do not think it would take too much to make this worth it. On the other hand, impulse buying would very easily become a way of life! http://www.housewivesinthecity.com/nova/amazons-prime-now-launches-today-in-northern-virginia
  12. Thank you, Don! And as a matter of coincidence, I am sitting just a few blocks away from The Shack right now. I had an appointment in downtown Staunton that was delayed, and am now killing time. In the process, I looked up The Shack on a map and discovered it was just around the corner. I have driven past it at least 3 or 4 times this summer and never noticed it. It does look to be a spot for another time.
  13. Staunton is local for us, so we will not need to worry about the room. Thank you for the recommendation, though! I wonder about the "shack" atmosphere though, with the communal dining. My wife is not, shall we say, culinarily oriented. So if the place is really rustic, and just has damned good food, I would probably be better off doing something else on this particular evening and hitting The Shack on my own another night.
  14. Has anyone here been to The Shack recently? My wife and I are hoping to get away for what I will call our first real date since our daughter was born almost 7 years ago. We have tickets for the American Shakespeare Center and are planning to make an evening of it. Any insights are appreciated!
  15. And "AMEN!" about the Old Bay!. I no longer live in Maryland so I can now safely say this. It is a crime to drown crabs in pounds of this stuff, which seems to be the standard practice. May be part of the reason that I rarely eat crabs that I have not prepared myself.
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