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About JimRice

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  • Birthday 02/11/1970

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    Alexandria, VA

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  1. News: Malaysia Kopitiam is back. Signs now call it Malaysian Kopitiam, and it is at 5085 Station Valley Dr, Centreville, VA 20120 . We found out about it from a tweet from someone, probably Northern Virginia magazine, Yesterday was their grand opening, after a soft opening for some time before. The flavors are spot on, as they were at the M Street location. More to come as I have time to write.
  2. From Business Insider: Chipotle is abandoning its Thai restaurant chain and betting on burgers and pizza instead Disappointing, it was still one of the more interesting places in Union Station to get carryout.
  3. Thaibox is no more. Their webpage is down and their Facebook page has several comments about the restaurant being closed and the signs are no longer there. One comment was a rumor that the owners were moving to Stafford and would be opening a place there. Something to keep in mind if you hear of a Thai-Cajun fusion restaurant down that way.
  4. I think the freezers are back. We stopped in tonight for a dinner out, just because I didn't want to cook and kind of wanted to go out. The 'cowgirl steak' is gone, replaced by 'steak frites' on the menu. It was a smaller strip steak, reasonable given the cheaper price, but it was served with fried potato wedges that looked like they came out of a plastic freezer bag. You know, the little wedges with the skin still on them. The steak itself was good, with a small dish of bernaise on the side. Having said that, the classic Irish dish Caesar salad was good, the small one big enough for two to share, with a large parmesan crisp. And the Tapas of the Sea appetizer was OK, with two very good scallops as the centerpiece, and a few calimari rings, one large buffalo shrimp, and a crab ball that may have also come from a frozen bag. I'm guessing that they're aiming the dishes at a price, and while I get that I kind of miss the food they were serving a year ago. Given the economy and the high rents of Old Town, those may have not been sustainable.
  5. Tom Brown is opening a new place. According to the article, it will be adult cocktails, no food, but complimentary bar snacks like nuts. ETA September or October.
  6. If my memory serves me correctly, this was a favorite place for the late Senator Strom Thurmond to have breakfast.
  7. Edit: Didn't realize there was already a Benton's thread. Please feel free to move this as needed. While visiting my ancestral homeland of Chattanooga this past weekend, I drove up to Benton's Country Hams in Madisonville. When you walk in, the smell of smoke hits you in the face and smacks you around a little bit. My mother talked about how it would be to come home and all of your family smelling you reek of hickory smoke and pork. It's not the kind of place for people sensitive to smells like that. But, getting through this, you're well rewarded. They smoke, age, and sell Allan Benton's famous hams, bacon, pre-trimmed packages of prosciutto, home-made pork breakfast sausage in both mild and hot, and various deli meats and cheeses bought from other places, including a few that you don't see anymore like pickle and pimento loaf. According to articles on the internet, he always keeps back some hams and other product for the local market, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, you can stop in and buy a ham even if it would take a month or more to have one shipped. The day we were there, one of the butchers said that they were trimming and boning 40 hams to ship to California. My needs were much more modest, a whole ham to share with my mom and some bacon. After talking to the butcher about the various ages of ham (Store bought packages of country ham slices come from hams aged 60 to 80 days. Don't get the aged ones unless you know what Benton's normal one tastes like. He actually prefers the younger hams.) we decided on an 8 month old 18 lb ham. They were happy to slice it and make two stacks, one for me, one for my mom, and alternate the slices. Total cost before tax was around $77, plus Tennessee sales tax of 9% or so. We added on a couple of packages of bacon, a couple of packs of prosciutto for me, and 2 pounds of the hot pork sausage for my mom. They don't ship the sausage, which is a shame because it is excellent. Mom fried up a couple of pieces to try when we got home. The ham is traditional, old school country ham. It has a little chew, but not particularly tough. Unlike store-bought country ham packs, I didn't need to poach the ham in water to take off saltiness. It has a lot more funkiness in the parts of the slice toward the skin, and less funk and salt toward the bone. The bacon is probably the most smoky bacon I've ever had, and I'm saving the fat. The bacon is as much a flavoring ingredient for recipes as a breakfast food. It would provide nice flavor for cooking greens or green beans, or fried rice, or fried rice noodles with some green onion and sesame seeds. (Going to the shop is good since you can pick out the perfect mix of lean and fat for you.) I flew back with ham and other pork in my carryon bag. Benton's is about 85 miles northeast of Chattanooga and about 45 miles south-southeast of Knoxville.
  8. You got it! And yes, it's a tasty dish. Nam prik ong. It makes for good bar snacking and sharing.
  9. Ours have changed in response to having our disposable income change, and also having an elderly dog. Joe's Noodle House, Kotobuki, and Corduroy have dropped off. It's become an all-Virginia list. These days our rotation includes: Frequent- Lighthouse Tofu A&J Dogfish Head Alehouse - Falls Church Pica Taco - Kingstowne Occasional- Rustico Alexandria Thaibox carryout Namaste Need to get there more often- Rabieng Hong Kong Palace
  10. Here's one that was very pleasant, and probably easy. Where did I dine?
  11. I've had a drain that has been giving me problems on and off for years. Finally, toward the end of last year I managed to clog it completely. I tried bleach, boiling water, other chemicals, and a gadget called a Drain King (a rubber bladder that expands and forces water down the train), all to no avail. I've had bad luck with plumbers working on it before. This time we got a good one. I found Willy Banks and his company, Cobra Sewer and Drain Cleaning Services, through Washington Consumer Checkbook. He was able to come out the next day and got the drain running well with his power snake. He was thorough, making sure that his work hadn't clogged other drains (it had but was quickly cleared), and that the snake hadn't broken the pipe and caused a leak (it hadn't). Snaking a drain was $185. Considering what I've paid before for unsuccessful efforts, I'm OK with that. He and his son are the company, and do full-line plumbing work. I'd use them again. Their phone number is 703-549-5761. Jim Rice
  12. The comment about the size is throwing me. I'm going to guess Mike's in Springfield, which is big, but I don't think it's that big. But the descriptions of the fresh catch of the day and the nightly special make me think it's that, or one of the other restaurnants in the GAR family.
  13. It looks familiar, and I'm guessing from your comment is that it's a restaurant that doesn't get a lot of love on here. Is that hangar steak with mashed potatoes and mushrooms? And a piece of fish with shredded potatoes or something else, and a sauce. There's also what looks like the corner of a wire basket with paper in the background, probably a bread basket. Those plates and the wood table top look very familiar to me, and dang it if I can't figure out why.
  14. Spices does a few unusual dishes for Chinese New Year. The Eight Treasure Fish Salad is what Malaysian Chinese call yee sang. It is thin-sliced fish, usually raw salmon, that is served with shredded vegetables and tossed at the table by the diners to celebrate and attract good fortune in the new year. It is sauced with a sweet, sour, and savory sauce. We enjoyed this greatly last year. Spices Chinese New Year specials Yusheng, yee sang or yuu sahng or Prosperity Toss
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