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BklynBoy

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  1. The butcher at Plaza Latina (next door to Taco Bamba) in Falls Church/Tysons makes very good morcilla along with about 6 varieties of chorizo. Balducci's also has frozen boudin noir (ask the butcher). Sometimes we like to do an English style fry up that would typically include a black pudding. I've used both the Balducci's and Plaza Latina as a source for that. The Balducci product is a bit finer ground/more refined while the morcilla is more robust with more piquant spicing. Of the two, I prefer the fresh morcilla.
  2. I make my mine 5:1 Sapphire: Noilly Prat. If in doubt, or previously disappointed with a bartender's efforts, I just tell them the proportions and ingredients I desire.
  3. I had never really focused on how critical a factor real estate ownership is for NYC restaurants until I saw one of Bourdain's NYC shows a few years ago about old iconic NYC restaurants and markets. It turned out that every one of them owned their own properties. Looking at the wave of redevelopment in Washington and close in VA and MD, I suspect that ownership is now a critical factor here as well.
  4. Thanks Don, I'll try Curry Mantra 2 delivery. Alas, I am out of delivery range for HKP, but it is worth the drive for takeout
  5. I don't know why it took me so long to try Curry Mantra, but I finally did yesterday after reading about the opening of London Curry House. I needed a better choice for a quick, close to the house, Indian lunch place than Taj Mahal in Mclean, so I went to Curry Mantra 2 in Falls Church for the buffet. I think the crispy spinach had been sitting around too long on the buffet and ended up being spinach crumbs. Besides, I have been spoiled for this dish by the version at Rasika. The samosa was excellent, as were cauliflower. The BIryani showed promise and I suspect if ordered off the menu where the protein had not been picked out of it, it would be much better than what was on the buffet. The tandoori chicken was perfect - crispy skin and juicy interior. The chicken was made even better by the fact that the green Raita sauce was spicier and had more cilantro than most I've tried around here. Finally, the absolute killer, the goat curry, one of the best I've ever had - juicy chunks of meat and a nicely spiced curry sauce. On top of what I thought was an excellent meal, the service was terrific. The waitress shared with me what she thought each of the Curry Manta branches did best. She said the one in Falls Church does the best Biryani, but she has not yet tried the London Curry House version. I'm definitely going back to Curry Mantra to eat off the menu; a Biryani and goat vindaloo await. I live inside the delivery area, but based on the reviews above, I think I will hold off on trying delivery.
  6. I keep a jar of them in vinegar and use them when I need a hot pepper and do not have any fresh ones in the house
  7. America Seafood in the same Lee Heights strip mall as Arrowine. AS's owners are from Key West and seem to have personal relationships with fisherman from the eastern shore down to the Keys. They buy whole fish and break them down in the store. They also make excellent fish platters, sandwiches and chowders that they sell to eat on their back deck - - and the best key lime pie I've tasted since I lived in Miami. BTW, they do not have an ABC license but they do not mind if you go next door to Arrowine for wine or beer to consume with your meal
  8. My regular neighborhood Italian take out joint. (I haven't eaten in there in years) The closest thing in the area to the southern Italian places I grew up on in Brooklyn. The pizza is not great, but ok, especially if I tell them to blacken the crust. The veal cannelloni and lasagne are both pretty good too.
  9. The menu at the one in New York was much more extensive and the ambiance - down to the communal tables and brusque waiters - was obviously more authentically New York than the one in Tysons. (duh!) But, as time went on, the Carnegie felt more touristy than authentically NY deli. The Carnegie I always want to go to is the one that Broadway Danny Rose went to, but it no longer exists. BTW, I always preferred (in order) 2nd Ave Deli, Katz's and Pastrami Queen in Queens. The reason I ate so often at the Carnegie is that it was down the street from my office and we had a house account there. I can't even imagine how many TV and record deals at CBS (where I worked) were sealed over take out from the Carnegie
  10. I used to work on West 52 street and we regularly ordered from the Carnegie. We would order a sandwich and a 'side' of rye bread converting what was one tourist sandwich into four 'normal' sandwiches. When the Carnegie opened in Tysons a few years after I moved from NY to NOVA, i became a regular, but it was funny dealing with the wait staff who had obviously never eaten deli; orders for kiska, kasha varnishkes or anything other than pastrami/corned beef were met with a vacant look and a request that they would check with the kitchen to see if they had it. Once when I ordered tongue, the waitress said "are you sure you want that" - with the same disbelieving look I get from the Chinese waitress when I order jelly fish salad. Not to derail the thread, I have tried Altmans and agree that Brooklyn's is better. I have not tried DGS yet (yes, I know its a shonda :-)
  11. I tried Victors once a few years ago and was not impressed. Big portions of tough meat. I too am an offal lover. Lately I have been getting my fix at Taco Bamba. Sweetbreads frequently show up on the menu, deep fried outside, custardy inside. Also great is the El baso, with pork and beef tongue dressed with grilled scallion and aioli. Strangely enough, another good place for sweetbreads is Cafe Tatti in Mclean. It is a bit like stepping back into a 1950's American version of an French bistro, but they always have sweetbreads on the menu or available to order off the menu
  12. I like blue cheese, but as you say Don, generally in small doses. Once a year or so I do get in the mood for a retro "wedge salad" with my dressing. I did it just last week in fact with a grilled steak: Bleu d'Auvergne Real sour cream from the Russian Gourmet (smetna) (enough artery clogging for a whole year) celery powder white pepper Champagne Vinegar
  13. I tried the one in Reston once. Suffice it to say that the new one is less than 5 minutes from my house, but the Italian Store does not need to worry about losing my business.
  14. OMG, I'm gonna plotz...Three herring platter, pastrami smoked lox. But here in the vast wasteland of NOVA (pun intended), no such luck.
  15. Bourdain is a habit I just can't kick. For the past few years he seems to want to talk about everything BUT food. Fortunately, I like Tony's taste in -- French New Wave Cinema, Punk and Alt Rock, classic French Bisto cooking, fast cars, street food, Film Noir, literature, pot and guns -- so I tolerate him and fast forward a lot. A couple of weeks ago, I was rewarded with the first show from Tony in a long time that was just about food. The show was based in Lyon and his show fixer was none other than Daniel Boulud. No spoilers here ! Watch the show and be amazed at who cooks and what they eat. One of the parts of the show that I found fascinating was when Boulud took Tony to the school outside Lyon that he attended. The menu that day included: Pumpkin soup from scratch, made with in house produced chicken stock Chicken stew and cous-cous with wine added to the pot Fresh bagette House made fromage blanc with orange segments The entire meal seemed to be made by the cooks from scratch. The Cook served the children at their tables, where they ate with real plates, silverware and glasses (and where they drank plain old water, thank you very much) Now for the topper. According to the show transcript, the cost of a French school lunch is $1.50/head compared a US average of $2.75/head. Just what does that $2.75 buy? frozen pizza? chocolate milk? frozen mac & cheese? Wow, we should fire MIchelle Obama and hire the nice French lady who produced that meal Seriously, maybe its time to fire all of the US school cooks and outsource our lunches to France.
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