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KeithA

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About KeithA

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    Cleveland Park, DC

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  1. Yes. Great quality ice cream with good standard flavors and some good creative flavors. Go ask for tastes and you'll probably find several you like. I like the brambleberry. Also there fresh waffle cones or waffle cone pieces are good.
  2. Best use of leftovers - knishes filled with mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, cranberry sauce and a bit of turkey. Second best use of leftovers - knishes filled with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a bit of turkey. Even better - add some dijon and spicy or whole grain mustard to left over cranberry sauce and use that to dip the knishes in. Knishes for the win. Not as good but quick alternative - instead of making knish dough (which is super easy, I use Smitten Kitchen recipe), use store bought puff pastry or empanada wrappers.
  3. Went back to Spices twice in the past two weeks - once for weekday dinner and for lunch yesterday. I think people including me to need to reassess their views. I had two rather good (worth it if in the area but not destination dining) meals. The rainbow salad was very good, the tofu "fries" are a bit addictive, and the pad see yew was the best I've had. I usually don't like pad see yew because it is way too sweet but here it was only lightly sweetened and very nice. Check it out again.
  4. Going to in-laws this year and so my cooking duties are limited - but I'll probably make those dishes they don't make that I like - homemade cranberry sauce and stuffing. I may turn the stuffing into a knishes as a way to sneak in my favorite part of thanksgiving. I figure they all like my potato knishes and so if I also happen to make a few stuffing knishes no one will mind. Always tough dealing with the cook who refuses to let anyone bring anything.
  5. Recently returned from a short visit to Prague and Kantyna is still a great spot for meat lovers. It is a butcher shop in front where you can pick out chartucherie or a steak for them to cook to order for you, then you head back and order food from a hot food counter with huge, good steak tartare, popular carpaccio (we didn't get it but saw lots of orders), brisket slices (really good), chopped beef (only ok), and a bunch of pork options I didn't try. Also key is here you can get a platter of roast vegetables that are very tasty. It is hard to find non-cabbage vegetables at traditional Czech places. They of course also have a good beer menu which you can order at the beer section or go sit and a waiter will bring you drinks. At the end after you are stuffed, you take your ticket which has been stamped for every order, and pay as you leave. Kantyna is one of over a dozen restaurants owned by the Ambiente group which have their own foodie map of all their places in Prague. We went to several and all were very good. You could easily stick solely to this map and eat/drink great the whole time in the city. We went to their micro-brewery for good beers, their coffee shop for nice coffee and tea plus good apricot cake by the slice, and got good strudel and pastries from Cafe Savoy their very popular breakfast sit down restaurant (which we did take away since we didn't know reservations were needed for weekend brunch). We also had really good but oddly described dinner at Cafe Imperial Next Door. I think the odd descriptions were less than perfect English translations. This is the more modern Cafe Imperial across the street from the famous original but with a more upscale vibe. My brother's roast duck was delicious and sliced beef in creamy sauce with bread dumplings (sounds boring but it was hearty and great with a thick brown sauce). Slices of cake were good too but I would say the savories were better than the sweets. We stayed in Mala Strana/Lesser Town and the front desk of our hotel told me to check out Beseda around the corner for my first meal in town. This bar restaurant was cheap and has interesting beer options - you pick your amount of foam from zero, quarter, half, or all foam and I had a great roast duck with sweet cabbage and both regular bread dumplings and the even better carlsbad-style bread dumplings. Also upstairs is an old school jazz club that has all different kinds of music now. I ended up at a pretty good blues rock show for $10 after i saw all of these people streaming in. In the Karlin neighborhood, we went to Bistro Nejen for drinks and appetizers. Great smallish wine bar with a small foodie menu. The smoked eggs and mushrooms were good and the potatos swimming in a cream sauce were excellent. The main tourist dessert here is the Treldnick - bready doughnut-like chimney cake. They are ok but make sure you get a fresh made one that is still steaming, much better than the stale-ish one we first tried at the bottom of the castle in a tourist carryout. We also went to the great outdoor farmer's market on Saturday morning along the river, south of the Old Town. It was huge with all kinds of produce, baked goods, some crafts, drinks, etc. We didn't get any but very interesting to see the homemade booze and wine being sold in reused soda bottles or growler-like refill your own. We ate some good strudels and excellent hot, spiced apple cider that was pressed onsite at the farmer's market.
  6. But good and fun. Recommend it after i was there on recent trip. Also recommend the Crack Shack - a fried chicken place that you enter from the strip (not inside a hotel). Had a nice lunch meal at the greek place in the Cosmopolitan which has an expensive but value deal for LV standards.
  7. We went a few weeks ago right when they opened. We also had the all green everything pizza and the four cheese pizza. I thought they were good solid pies with a sturdy, not soggy crust and very nice staff. The flavors were only good, not great. If I had a choice between them and 2 Amys, definitely go with 2 Amys. That being said, I welcome them to the neighborhood and plan to try to their other options to find something I like better. Not really in competition with Vace as it is different type of pizza, pricing, and restaurant.
  8. Having lived up the hill in CP for many years, we have regularly ventured down to Woodley Park to eat when we wanted something different. I agree with the general sentiment that Woodley is not a foodie destination, but it does have some good eats. Duke's Counter next to the zoo can be very good (especially the burger and drinks), Baked by Yael is a good grab and go dessert place, Lebanese Taverna has good food and since it was renovated a few years ago, very nice atmosphere inside (excellent baba ghanoush, ouzi lamb that comes with lamb-stuffed grape leaves, spinach fatayer, etc.), Tono Sushi while only ok sushi has rather good non-sushi Japanese items such as zaru soba (perfect on a hot day), tempura, etc., and Open City is what it is - I'm not a big fan but my wife and kids like going there - she likes the housemade veggie burger. I've been to Umi also a few times for a quick lunch and thought it was also a decent option - note it is a small restaurant. Afghan Grill was really good but I haven't been in a number of years since I had a lackluster meal - maybe time to try again. Also, it does have a real ice cream shop, not froyo, aka Baskin Robins, which while it is not artisanal gelato - it does have one of my all-time original, favorite flavors World Class Chocolate (a very creamy, not super rich chocolate blend available at every BR for last 30 years or so). So I get the complaint, but don't right it off completely. Also nando's isn't half bad for fast casual food. Also regarding the grass is greener comment about CP, I won't quibble that overall we have better restaurants but some of our "new" restaurants in the last few years include the not great Mr. Chen's Chinese that moved from Woodley to CP. So it is not all great.
  9. Really delicious lunch today for my first time at this restaurant at the Dupont location. Me and my buddy thought 3 dishes were excellent and the 4th good. The excellent were the half-a-cado salad (which a different friend had recommended as her go to dish that she gets every time she comes) - this was nice as a vegetable, lighter balance to the meatier/spicier other dishes. I agree though with my friend I could easily eat this by myself for a light lunch. Also excellent was the wok friend green beans with the best garlic ssamgjang sauce, and my other favorite was the cumin stir fried lamb noodles - good chewy noodles, lots of tasty lamb (some crispy bits and mostly soft braise) with nice slow creeping heat. The 4th only good was the smoked salmon rice bowl which comes with gochujang on the side. The ingredients were good quality but the flavors weren't as exciting as the other 3 dishes. Also the egg in the rice bowl looked good but wasn't very great - just tasted like hardboiled egg, not the soft soy poached egg I expected and it looked like. Can't wait to go back and try more. The people next to us ordered the huge fried chicken sandwiches - really thick pieces of chicken. Easily enough for 2 to share.
  10. I need to go to Vegas for a business trip in September and will be there for several days. Any recommendations for good food - pricey, but not outrageous is fine?
  11. Rather late to this topic but one thing I've brought to an annual potluck for a few years that got rave reviews was homemade banh mi sandwiches. I buy a few big baguettes, hollow them out a bit, whip up homemade mayo, toss on cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and some protein (usually grilled chicken), and then the only thing that takes real time to make - homemade vietnamese daikon/carrot pickles - (mostly inactive time). All of the above are super easy to make - it is mostly assembly. After I assemble them submarine sandwich style, I cut into individual portions with toothpicks. I riff on this reciple: https://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2009/06/banh-mi-sandwich-recipe.html People really like them.
  12. We go pretty regularly to the Cleveland Park location including a few days ago. Our favorites are the pesto fusilli with goat cheese, spinach agnolotti, meatball app (it is now rather good), and the ricotta cavatelli (more like super soft gnocchi) that come with the salmon are great, the gnocchi is also good, the big portion of branzino is good for the non-pasta eaters. They also often have a lamb shank special on mushroom risotto which is good. I also really like their house red wine. Lastly but not least their focaccia bread basket with roasted garlic hunks in the olive oil that they bring to your table is addictive. My kids could eat just this bread but they also like rigatoni with butter.
  13. I wrote awhile ago about Naf Naf here but couldn't find a separate topic for it. It is another great place for middle eastern food, in what I noted before is the downtown DC good pita triangle when you have Little Sesame and Yafa Grille all within 2 blocks of each other. I had Naf Naf again yesterday for the first time in a while and it was excellent. Great pillowy, soft pita made fresh in shop along with perfect falafel - crisp on the outside, soft inside and not at all dry. The hummus was good and even better when topped with a bit of tahini and schug. The vegetable sides were pretty good too - very fresh. Amsterdam Falafel still has some of the freshest falafel in the city with a great toppings bar but their pita bread sucks - not only is it store bought it is almost stale tasting - these 3 places have surpassed it by far in my opinion.
  14. I realized no one has posted much in this thread for a while except for the most recent post on the 3rd location opening. I've been to the Zoo location, Duke's Counter, several times in the past year and even ordered lunch delivery a few times. The best dish is still the Proper Burger with its messy, tasty mix of sweet and savory toppings. Second favorite is the Fried Eggplant (aubergine) sandwich which is spicy with jalapenos and very satisfying for a vegetarian sandwich. I will note that all of the sandwiches are large - easily enough for two people or two meals. Both of these sandwiches come on good bread. I haven't enjoyed as much the sandwiches on the naan or the pastrami on weck on marble rye - the pastrami meat was only ok. Its been a while but the brisket sandwiches were better tasting meat. The fries continue to be great. The quinoa salad is good for a hearty non-sandwich. I recently had the new-ish sockeye salmon rice bowl which was good for a lighter meal. Kids like the chicken fingers (big surprise). The cocktails are usually rather good and they have lots of extended happy hour discounts from noon to 7 vs, only after work hours. The avocado toast is only so so and too spicy. My main wish is that they included the full sandwich menu during their very long brunch hours on the weekend. My wife and I occasionally like eggs/breakfast for brunch, but we mainly go to Duke's for sandwiches and their brunch runs during all conceivable lunch hours on the weekend (10-3 Saturday AND Sunday) which is why it we don't go there more frequently.
  15. Eating hummus with a spoon is usually a sign of good hummus. However, I get that they should have a better hummus to pita ratio.
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