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KeithA

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About KeithA

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    Cleveland Park, DC

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  1. I realized I haven't posted on Dino's in a long time. While we miss having them in our neighborhood, we usually still visit in their current location a few times a year and every time it continues to be great. Last time about a month ago, we started off with some great cocktails, then always good wines (love the small, medium, and large pour options). Appetizers really shine and great pastas. Also finished with a very well balanced asian pear-cello digestif. I don't recall all of the exact dishes, but wanted to bump this up again as this place deserves to be in your regular rotation as it is quality food and service, not too crowded, and so many options on the menu that you can go for a light bite, drinks, or a full multi-course feast.
  2. Sushi is ok but not the strongest items on the menu at Spices. Their salads and main dishes are usually better - still a fan of the Big (Peking) Duck. What Japanese Garden nearby are you referring to?
  3. Well Chipotle lost the burriot battle in Cleveland Park. After many years with both Chipotle and CalTort about a block a part, the Chipotle abruptly has closed. Luckily CalTort is our family go to since the kids didn't like the flavoring added to the Chipotle chips.
  4. Recently tried the Megastuff variety - seemed like 2.5-3 times the original or 1.5 double stuff filling ratio. They were good no doubt but seemed a bit much, I'll probably stick to double stuff. I like the original but double stuffed are more of a good thing. Also yes you have to eat at least one with pulling off the cream, but I like eating the cookie whole too so I tried to do both.
  5. Had a delicious lunch today during my first visit to Bom on 18th st in the heart of Adams Morgan. It has a rather large menu for a korean-fried chicken place with a similar menu to the BonChon chain plus a bunch of other appetizers and entrees and sides (sides may be identical to BonChon). The food is legit tasty. We started with pickled radish and kimchi. The friendly waiter asked whether we preferred fresh or old/sour kimichi and when we couldn't decide he brought both. Both were very good - I liked the fresh one better while my friend enjoyed the more sour/funky one better. Next we were served a large stone bowl of bibimbap while we waited for our wings. The bibimbap had a nice over easy egg in the middle surrounded by a mix of fresh veggies and our choice of protein - spicy chicken (there are 3-4 other choices including a vegetarian option). It was very flavorful served with gochujang spicy sauce on the side. It was ample for 2 to share or would make a whole hefty meal for one. Very fresh and well made - the stone bowl was great to get the crispy rice on the bottom. Finally our wings arrives - we got a mix of wings and 2 drumsticks - half spicy and half soy. Very similar to BonChon and equally yummy. The spicy had some real heat but an enjoyable amount, not melt your face spicy. They also have an ongoing 20% dine-in deal because I guess they get a lot of carryout. It was mostly empty during lunch. I will say the decor was an interesting mix - they have a clubbish bar, then a ton of TVs like a sports bar, and then a bunch of tables for more of a sitdown restaurant vibe. Regardless, we both thought the food was great and a good price for the neighborhood. We plan to add it to the lunch rotation.
  6. Sorry to hear about the pipe issue. A couple of weeks ago, I had the prettiest and probably tastiest pizza ever at 2Amys after having eaten here countless times in the past decade or so. It was perfection - squash blossoms, roasted baby zucchini, tomato puree, parsley, cherry tomatos and a big piece of burrata in the center drizzled with olive oil. I usually enjoy the pizza and love the other stuff but this was so seasonal and delicious. Hopefully, the repairs are quick.
  7. Finally got to Sababa last night with friends and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very nice cocktails to start - a bit on the sweet side (which I like) - I had the gin Phoenicians Frappe and tasted two of my friends. I noticed though that the cocktails are basically spiked versions of the house-made sodas and juices. Next time I may try the non-alcoholic versions. We also enjoyed their light white Georgian bottle that paired well with the food. Servers were friendly and knowledgeable about the dishes. The complimentary small dish of pickles was very nice with a variety of cucumber, carrot, and also radish I think. We started with the salatim which came with nice whole wheat pitas and also the hummus tahina which also comes with 2 pitas. Hummus was nice and passed the taste test of the 4 diners, all of who have lived in Israel at some point in our lives. The salatim were explained to be side dishes to eat along with other dishes and not really meant to serve as a separate app. I think you could do it either way, but were nice grab a bite of later in the meal so I'd probably order them again at the start to whet our appetite but only eat half and save some to eat throughout the meal. We then had the charred eggplant which was one of the standouts. Big rounds of charred outside, creamy inside that paired very well with the pomegranate seeds and herbed green sauce. I would definitely order this one again. Next was the hallomi which was good but not too excited (it may be that hallomi is just not my thing). We also got the Not for Faint of Heart - hot sauces and chili pepper dish which really is blow your mind hot. The green zhoug is very nice and the red harissa is pretty hot, but those chili peppers has us all tearing up and my dining companions are some chili heads. We were pretty stuffed at this point but gluttons that we are we also ordered the lamb shank and veggie coucous tagine big plates. These are both sizeable dishes that could be shared by 2 people as a sizeable meals or like us enjoyed by more. The lamb shank was really excellent - crispy in places on the outside, super tender inside - lots of great meaty flavor balanced with the sweetened red cabbage. The tagine was only so so - the charred veggies in it were charred a bit too much that a lot of their flavor was lost and overall the dish lacked flavor. Our friends had been once before and thought we ordered better this time as except for the above noted couple of less flavorful dishes, it was all really good. It is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood and now my tough choice will be whether to go to Bindaas or Sababa.
  8. I recently had this new sandwich and it was good, but not as good as other items I've had here in the past. A few weeks ago I ended up going there for back to back lunches with several work colleagues. Everyone was very satisfied. I still love their Shouk salad - perfect combo of fresh and cooked veggies with good crunch. Sweet potato fries and polenta fries were spot on. Also still great cardamom chocolate chip cookies. My real lament is that they seem to have taken the beet tahini dip off the menu when it was SO good. I hope they bring it back. I'm also excited that Doordash will now deliver to me in upper NW - stupid Ubereats said I was outside the deliver zone for a long time.
  9. I haven't been to Mama Ayesha's in a long time. I wasn't very impressed on my prior visits. What do you like there?
  10. All are good and slightly different. I recommend trying all and figuring out what you like. Naf has the most options, then Yafa, then Little Sesame (which is really hummus focused).
  11. Now this means that there will be three good quality eats casual places to get Israeli/Palestinian/Middle East food within 2 blocks when you add in Naf Naf and Yafa Grille. Lucky people who work downtown.
  12. KeithA

    Bagels

    I agree that in finding a good bagel to one's taste you need to consider the size and hole/bread ratio. However, I've found all types of NY style bagels that vary on these parameters. The key difference IMHO is that a real Montreal bagel from Montreal is sweeter - it has honey water as part of its baking process vs. NY bagels do not. The few times I had bagels from the classic Montreal bagel shops, I thought eww that is so sweet. Whereas I know others love that style. It is a matter of personal taste. I will say though that many Montreal-style bagels in the US don't seem as sweet but without that sweetness, there isn't much difference in general regional style. The differences then fall to the particular bagel shop. In DC, you can get smaller, bigger hole bagels at Baked by Yael or Breadfurst or you can get good big chewy on the outside, but fluffier/thicker bagels at Bethesda Bagel in Dupont. For medium sized but really nice chew, Timber Pizza is a good option (not sure when the bagels are available, maybe not be all the time). Oh and the NY water thing is BS! I lived in NY and DC and it is such a blown out of proportion myth.
  13. So I see there hasn't been a lot of posts on Le Diplomate in recent years and I too have made the mistake of not going there in a long time. I fixed that problem last weekend and you should too. The place is still packed but for good reason - great quality food, service, and huge portions. I was lucky and noticed a last minute opening for a reservation for an early dinner and we jumped on it and rushed over. Really excellent experience. The staff was very friendly and nice to our 2 young kids. Cocktails were good but leaned toward more classic then innovative. I had their riff on a French 75 and my wife had the vodka based one - hers was better. The bread basket is still really great - I loved that nut and cranberry bread. The good bread continued with a really nice cheese course appetizer - the goat with the spiced honey and marcona almonds went especially well with the blueberry nut toasts that came with it. The applesauce like spread in the middle of the cheese plate was ok but all 3 cheeses we had were very nice. The kids shared the half roasted chicken which is not only cooked nicely with moist meat and crisp skin but has a really flavorful pan sauce (went great with fries dipped in it). We subbed the mash potatoes that come with it for the excellent haricot vertes coated in butter. Perfectly crisp flavorful beans indulgent with butter - hmmm. My wife's main was the huge steak frite. The steak was charred nicely and cooked to a perfect medium rare. She really enjoyed it. It comes with a whole huge plate of fries enough for 4 people. I opted for 2 appetizers for my entree which was completely over-ordering. The apps are really large and depending on which one you get, 1 could be an entree. My luck - I ordered 2 large ones. The salt cod brandade whipped with mashed potatoes and served warm in a skillet with a baguette was very good. I saved the best for last and really loved the mushroom tart. It is basically a mini-pizza but on flaky tart crust spread with truffles, topped with small rustic mushrooms and heavily sprinkled with cheese. It was divine. I could eat this once a week. We were stuffed and skipped dessert but it was tempting. It was a pretty reasonable price too since I had the most amazing leftover lunch of the second half of my 2 apps the next day. So if you haven't been or haven't been in a while and like French bistro - head back again soon. The only word of caution is be prepared to have an awkward conversation with your kids when they see the naked lady photos in the bathroom.
  14. I read through the thread but have never been to Convivial and now am bringing a large group of 17 for a business dinner in a couple of weeks. What are the best dishes/drinks/desserts to not be missed?
  15. Lebanese Taverna is very consistent across their many restaurants. It is a shame the Bethesda spot is closing - it was a go to midway meeting spot for meals with family who live in upper MoCo and us in NW DC. The baba is still my favorite of anywhere in the area and the lamb dish with the lamb stuffed grape leaves is killer.
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