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KeithA

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    Cleveland Park, DC

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  1. Uber has been consistently good for many years. A few years ago we tried the new local chain Shmagels Bagels - great name but lackluster bagels.
  2. OC area as noted above was a bit different this summer with lots of restaurants and stores short staffed and so their hours were unusual but the town was packed and business was brisk especially around July 4th. Call any place before going to check hours - even the venerable Candy Kitchen was odd. Their website said certain locations were closed or only open certain days which was only partly true - some are closed for the whole season and others are open every day. Luckily all of our family favorites survived and some even came out stronger after the pandemic. We stay on the north end so all of these places are 90th St or higher up to Fenwick. Quick reviews of everything we had: 1. Candy Kitchen - still the same except as noted above. Go for chocolate nonpareils, strawberry laces, kitsch, and ok other chocolates and fudge. 2. Country Store in Fenwick - great fudge with a huge selection of flavors. You can't get too much. My favorites are amaretto, dark chocolate caramel sea salt, and peanut butter chocolate. They also have a huge old school candy selection, other chocolates, and lots of tchotckes. Closed earlier than in past. 3. Dumser's Dairyland - we only had carryout but did so a few times. The hot fudge topping, peanut butter fudge and coconut chip ice creams are still great. Missed going inside for the old fashioned soda fountain counter and chilled dishes. Giant scoops still. However, my siblings revealed that they are heretics and don't think the ice cream is the best and really go for the ambience. They prefer newer addition Vanderwende's ice cream. They are wrong, but... 4. VanderWende's ice cream in the Fenwick Village - first time for me trying after not stopping at their farm shop along 404 in DE. Huge scoops of good ice cream - go for one scoop but ask for two flavors if you like variety. Mint Oreo was very good, Chocolate was so so, Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch was good, kids liked the cotton candy which wasn't horrible mixed with chocolate. MIL loves the cherry vanilla which is a fresher, less rich Cherry Garcia minus the chocolate. It was ok IMHO. I still like Dumser's better but if I have to continue the ice cream comparison in the future, I'm up for the challenge. The waffle cones are fresh made and smelled great, but I didn't taste. 5. OC Kabob - still great chicken kabob sandwiches on pita with tzatiki. Abdul the owner is still as friendly as ever and said they have been busy all through Covid. 6. Dollies - pretty good chocolates and taffy. Still one better than Candy Kitchen in that you can buy by the piece without a 1/4 Lb minimum. 7. Fisher's Popcorn (we got as usual from just south of Fenwick location) - still the real deal - best caramel corn on earth. You can now get it in some stores in the DC area and you should but, it is better fresh. 8. BlueFish - rather good American Chinese and sushi. They have more carryout now through their drive thru (it used to be a bank many years ago), long waits for tables in their renovated dining room and long wait for carryout so order or go early. They changed the menu slightly and so now have a few thai dishes too - drunken noodles were good. 9. Layton's donuts - still small, fresh donuts. Parking is a bit tougher because they added outside tables over part of their lot. Didn't get a chance to go to Best Donuts on Beach at the Exxon station around 136 or so for comparison. 10. Kohr Brothers frozen custard (one across street from fisher's in Fenwick) - still packed at night with long lines and some flavors like creamsicle swirl ran out. Supposedly (and likely) good as ever - but I can't say from personal experience. Somehow my wife and daughter managed to eat ice cream without me (I get no respect). 11. Uber Bagels - still large fluffy good bagels in lots of varieties. Totally packed with around 20 min wait for whole, unsliced bagels at 8am (they only open at 7) and they ran out of alot around 930am with 20 min wait for more plain. They do now have online ordering which was down one day and worked great the next. I highly recommend using it. You go to a second door and walk in and pick it right up if you online order. 12. Mionene Pizza at 67th st - still nice thin crust pizza by the slice (also some deep dish, strombolis, calzones available). Kids got very fresh and good chicken tender and good thick steak fries. As always here, they are slow (except for the pre-made slice reheating). They seem to be worst hit by short staffing as they are closed half the week and have lots of please be patient signs. 13. Lighthouse Sound in Bishopville (north of the Isle of Wight - little island with the dreaded stoplight in middle of Rt 90). Only a very short drive from Northern OC. I hadn't gone here in years but a group of adults wanted a night out and we wanted a reservation. That left only a handful of places, but plenty here at this a bit out of the way spot on a golf course but with a beautiful view of the marshlands. Made me want to take up golf, which is saying a lot. We had a great time - especially for first dine-in experience in forever. It is pricey like everything else in the area but slightly more elegant. We started with the burrata, sundried tomato salad special and house salads - fresh, good, nothing special but nice. Then, a complimentary mango sorbet palate cleanser. Main course was the rockfish with beurre blanc sauce, rice and asparagus special - very tasty and fresh. Desserts was a really nice not too heavy strawberry smith island cake slice. Everyone really enjoyed the food and service. Not your typical beach spot, but nice for a change of pace. We never made it to the boardwalk so I can't report on Thrashers, but I imagine the fries are still hot and salty.
  3. First time trying Roaming Rooster today at their Tenleytown location. Overall, very fresh, tasty but not life altering like you would think from some of the reviews on Yelp or just in general the current overkill enthusiasm for fried chicken sandwiches. We got 3 types - 1) the regular with off-menu no heat (not sure why that isn't an explicit option - they ask you mild, medium, or hot) this came with vinegar slaw on a hamburger bun like roll. Pretty good for the plain jane. 2) nashville hot chicken - medium - comes with same vinegar slaw but also a few pickles. Good overall. I thought the medium heat was nice but not much - really more like a mild heat. 3) buffalo with blue cheese - mild heat. I didn't try this one but my friend liked it said it wasn't too hot. We also got a couple of orders of fries - which were fresh but only ok - could have been crispier (this was not due to lag time, I ordered in person, waited and then immediately ate a few fries from the bag before I got back to the car as one is expected to do). Two things I really did like is that they were made to order and the sandwich wasn't too big - the size was just right, you could eat the whole thing for a meal but not feel stuffed. Prices are pretty good too - $8-9 or so for each sandwich. A nice local addition to the food scene. However, I will say if you want a spicier, more unique and oversized fried chicken sandwich get the Chiko Sichuan Hot Fried Chicken (may be only available at lunch) - the 1/2 size is still rather large.
  4. They have been great throughout the pandemic with really good takeout and very specific reheating instructions. We live near the CP one and it has been packed for carryout/in person dining throughout and now with reopening, it has been hopping.
  5. Mother's Day dinner was whole grilled striped bass stuffed with lemon slices and parsley, fattoush salad, steamed broccoli, kale pesto pasta and pina coladas. Made some strawberry ice cream for dessert. The mother approved 😁
  6. I haven't had theirs in a while, but I've always enjoyed it. That being said, if you have a food processor - make your own. It is super easy and even if you used canned chickpeas, it is still rather good and ready in 10 mins.
  7. Got a new big grill so last night continued the grilling party - through on pretty much everything I had available: Burgers, onions, bell pepper, portabella mushrooms (to which I added some bbq sauce), bok choy, scallions, and celery. I've made grilled romaine salad before and loved it. Bok choy was a bit tough because these were smaller. Only lost one falling in the grates, but still probably would stick to larger leafy greens in the future. Also, I had a bunch of cilantro, thai basil and garlic - so through all of that with some scallions, lime juice, olive oil, dried oregano and pinch of chili flakes in the mini-food processor for a nice chimmichuri sauce for the veggies. It went best with the sweet pepper for a sweet/garlicky/sour balance.
  8. Mistake mushrooms is what my wife says every time I add them to a dish, but I agree they are tasty 😉
  9. Sabich salad - baked eggplant slices, hardboiled egg slices, israeli salad, tahini, amba, and zhug - with some baguette slices (because the local grocery had no pita)
  10. We ended up making Chicken Marbella too and using Halibut for the gefilte fish. Both turned out great. My brisket while cooked ok lacked some flavor (used Jewish Cooking in America - Joan Nathan's favorite brisket recipe). Need to try out some new recipes or go back to past winners like Smitten Kitchen's sweet and sour brisket. I did end up making 3 types of charoset - all winners: Ashkenazi, Kurdish (4 types of nuts, bunch of spices, dates, raisins and more), and Moroccan-style rolled into balls.
  11. Excited we'll have another brick & mortar space filled in CP and with a business that already has a following (that always have people waiting for sandwiches on Saturday morning), but I don't get this part of the article: "A second fast-casual restaurant—open for lunch and dinner, though not 3 AM cravings—is slated for Cleveland Park this spring" - why would you not open a place known for egg breakfast sandwiches during breakfast time? Seems really odd. They do say that the restaurant menus may vary more so maybe it will be a slightly different concept. I have never tried their stuff as I usually just make my own eggs, but I was intrigued by some of their menu choices - like which sandwiches come with scrambled vs. fried eggs. Anyone know if they'll customize and let you pick which type of egg for your sandwich?
  12. My Passover seder menu is coming together: So far already made herbed gefilte fish from the Gefilte Manifesto cookbook but with 2 TBs of added matzo meal (they say they leave it out of this one for a lighter texture, but when I made it that way in the past, it kind of fell apart) and 1 quart each of golden beet horseradish and carrot citrus horseradish relish from same cookbook. We also plan to make: -matzo ball chicken soup - hardboiled eggs, which in my wife's family tradition, you chop up some and serve with salt water in kind of a quasi-soup which get topped with crunchy farfel made by cooking farfel with eggs and salt and pepper. Each person get a small bowl of chopped eggs and each decides how soupy to make it by pouring on their own amount of salt water and how crunchy by choosing how much farfel to add. - a braised chicken, recipe TBD for first night for the non-beef eaters, and brisket, likely traditional tomato, onion, carrot style, for second night. - Charoset of course. We always make traditional Ashkenazi-style since that is our heritage (apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and wine/juice). I usually make another middle-eastern Mizrahi style too (dates, raisins, more spices, and walnuts or almonds that less chunky and more of a paste that you roll into balls). This year I may make 3-4 varieties like Ethiopian where you add spicy Berbere seasoning and maybe Persian with cardamon since I love that spice. - Carrots - either tzimmes or roasted with spices. We still have 4 lbs or so from our CSA so they're on the menu - Not sure maybe another green vegetable. We'll see what the CSA brings this week. - Dessert will be the always traditional - fruit slice gels, various passover chocolates and homemade coconut macaroons. We use the family-passed down recipe for macaroons from my wife's grandmother. Who we always said made the best ones (especially compared to the dense, flavorless ones you get in a can). The first time we made them using a bag of Baker's brand sweetened coconut, we realized the recipe is the same as the one on the bag. So much for family secret recipes, but they do taste great.
  13. Roasted salmon with S&P with lemon wedge on the side and fish sticks for the kids Buttered, salted pasta (added roasted garlic and italian seasoning to mine) Cauliflower 2 ways - kids ate plain steamed, adults had roasted with montreal steak seasoning and tumeric, which turned out great). I relish the days when I can cook ONE flavorful meal for the whole family. This was not one of those nights. 😉
  14. Chicken and Whiskey continues to be our favorite pollo a la brasa place. One thing we like for white meat lovers is that they will sell you a 2 breast (1/2 white chicken only) deal which works well for us. In other good news, they are expanding to Navy yard: https://dc.eater.com/2021/3/19/22340034/chicken-whiskey-latin-rotisserie-bar-expanding-navy-yard-southeast-dc
  15. Friday night, I wanted to use up lots of winter veggies from our CSA so we had combo sheet pan of roasted Jerusalem artichokes, purple potatoes, rutabagas, red onion, and watermelon radishes. It was very colorful, but I think the potatoes got undercooked so were the least favorite but the radishes and rutabagas were great. All tossed with some olive oil and montreal steak seasoning. I also had a bag of brussel sprouts that I halved roasted in a separate pan with olive, salt and pepper then when done drizzled some good balsamic vinegar and more oil and S&P on them. For main course I made turkey meatballs with fresh challah breadcrumbs, parsley and dried oregano. They turned out great. I minimally handled them, lightly fried them on two sides for 3 mins each in a deep sided skillet and then added Rao's marinara sauce and simmered for about 7-10 minutes. Great and soft and flavorful with some spaghetti. Ultimate success was when one of the kids opted for meatball leftovers over chicken nuggets for dinner Sat night :-)
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