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KeithA

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About KeithA

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    Cleveland Park, DC

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  1. Last night stopped by for a quick dinner and had basically the same meal as last year. The cemitas torta without ham - great sandwich - crispy on the outside from grilling or panini pressing the bread and rich, multilayered flavors on the inside with a really nice fresh crunchy chicken milanese. Chips and salsas are still good. No queso this time but per my prior note I don't think I was missing anything. My friend had 3 tacos for his first time there and thought they were really good. I saw a lot of people getting plates of various kinds of fajitas that looked and smelled very good. This is nice strip with two of my favorite Mexican places in DC just a few doors apart.
  2. I've been back several times in the last month to Tino's as it has become a close by favorite of my kids. They law the simple pie aka cheese pizza, which I think is pretty good too. I've enjoyed two of unique pizzas on a few occassions - Shrooming with lots of mushrooms for a savory dish with some sweet accents from roasted pear and the My Dear HoneyNut which is a really out there but good pie: " honeynut squash puree, charred honeynut, burrata, pickled delicata, pine nuts" It is very different and on the sweeter side but not with a nice balance from the nuts and extra rich creamy burrata. Last night we also got a cheese pizza with their pesto sauce instead of tomato - my wife and I really liked it. Lots of good but not overly strong flavor in the pesto. I'd get it again. We also had their endive, grapefruit, and hazelnut salad which was nice and light. So I think I recently wrote in the pizza forum, this is a great place to drop in or add to your local rotation but not destination dining. They also have a good rotating menu of desserts and a full bar. One night we got their smores rice crispy treat which was damn tasty (didn't see it last night but saw more sophisticated items like a pot de creme plus they always seem to have ice cream scoops).
  3. Don your bar is set too high. Good pizza like any good food makes you go wow. After writing the above post, I headed to Vace and got two slices of onion and Wow! it was good (probably not wow head across town for but I doubt almost any pizza place is like that unless you are hankering for a slice already). Full disclosure - I needed to eat my veggies so I also had a spinach empanada which has the same filling as their spinach pie and it was pretty tasty too
  4. Great article from Tim Carman of the Post on his 10 favorite DC metro pizza: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/food/best-pizza-dc/ Note Cleveland Park has 3 out of the 10 (hometown neighborhood pride). I haven't eaten at all 10 places but for the 3 in CP, I agree all 3 places deserve to be on the list but I personally would pick different pies at each. Vace - White with onions (hands down the best they make and one of my all time favs. Cheese is ok but Vace's white pizza is better - love the crisp crust either way) Tino's - Shroomin (although I don't eat octopus so Octopie from Carman's list isn't an option for me) 2 Amys - Magherita or Etna 2.0 (Calabrese is good but it was too salty last time I had it)
  5. I've been a few times to Archipelago and really like this place. Foremost, the food is rather good riff on chinese food. The ground beef dan dan noodles are very good, the eggplant is also a standout. The tiki drinks are tasty and just downright fun. The whole place is very chill. I was there last night while they have a Sippin Santa pop up which means a bunch more of tiki drink specials with goofy xmas names like Xmas Eve of Destruction and Sippi Santa (both were good, but the latter was really good). Worth checking out for a fun time on U St.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
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