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infohunter

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  1. Just did lunch there today..... we ordered the pork/chive dumplings fried, spicy cucumbers, pork kidney, and the hunan pork lunch special (extra hot). After we ordered another waiter came back to check on what i ordered... did i really want the pork kidney... of course i replied as i love them I do love when I surprise wait staff with what I order.... Enjoyed everything.... everyone was helpful, friendly & attentive Food was yummy.... stars go to the pork kidneys which were in a brown sauce with slivers of garlic & peppers... all tossed with large chunks if cucumbers. The kidneys had that wok char mentioned in other posts.... great pairing if flavors! Looking forward to a return visit -Joann
  2. In my opinion a real Chicago hot dog must be a Natural Casing Vienna Beef Hot Dog. For those that are looking for Vienna Beef locations. VB has a locator on their web at http://www.viennabeef.com/dogfinder/index.asp Used the locator while on a trip to San Diego. Found a great place called "Chicago on a Bun" that we went to. For ordering I've used both: Vienna Beef http://www.givethegiftofchicago.com/ Lou Malnati's http://www.tastesofchicago.com/ Since I find the kit's expensive.... I tend to purchase bulk VB natural casing hotdogs from VB and my jars of sport peppers and neon relish either from VB or I have my sister send me a care package from Chicago as the jars are available at Jewel. For the bun.... no one has poppy seed buns around here. So what we have been doing is taking a plain bun doing a light egg wash and then a sprinkle of poppy seeds. Then we either pop in the oven for just a couple of minutes wrapped in foil with a touch of water... I'm trying to slight steam not toast. Or I use the lazy method and put mustard on the bun and then sprinkle on the poppy seeds. It messes up the order that things should be for that true "Chicago Dog" but sometimes one has to make sacrifices. We had tried to put the poppy seeds on top but then tend to fall off and make a mess when one is eating. We also have been to Zacks in Baltimore... YUMMMM! They will also sell you hotdogs in bulk and they have the neon green relish and sport peppers for puchase as well. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE... will someone open a VB location in NoVA!
  3. I'm waiting for more reviews... specifically on the "Chicago Dog". Of course as far as I'm concerned it isn't a "Chicago Dog" unless it is a Vienna Beef Hot Dog (Natural Casing) that is steamed, on a poppy seed roll, with (in this order) yellow mustard, fresh chopped onion, two tomato wedges, kosher pickle spear, two sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. Anything else isn't a "Chicago Dog" So far I've heard grilled, no neon green relish..... but don't know about everything else..... So far the only true "Chicago Dog" that I've found is Zack's in Baltimore, MD. We stopped in when we had gone to Baltimore about a month ago to visit the Aquarium. To far to drive normally..... For now I'll have to be content to order from Vienna Beef or Lou Malnati's directly.... and just do them at home myself;) Oh for a Vienna Beef stand in NoVA......
  4. Sorry all but no pizzas on the current menu. As to the relationship with other places called Mykonos have no idea, but I doubt that there is one. I'll try and remember to ask the next time I'm there. This is just around the corner from the house so the hubby and i will probably be there later in the week for lunch.
  5. Just wanted to alert everyone to a new Greek restaurant in Reston called Mykonos. They have been open for just over a week and are located where Peppers BBQ used to be at 1810 Michael Faraday Dr, Suite 11. off Sunset Hills just before and across from the Reston Post Office. I talked to Nikki Dimitriou who was acting as hostess and waitress when we were there this past weekend. Evidently her dad Andreas is one of the owners with Costas who used to be at Sylvanas (sp?) in Herndon. We first discussed the renovations of the space. For those of you that aren't familiar with the previous tenants this location was dark, brown, and to me just plain dirty and run down. It's now been transformed into a lovely space that is open and inviting. Evidently Andras and Costas did all the work themselves. It's a small space with about 40 seats (plus a couple at the bar that overlooks the kitchen). As to the food I ordered the Mykonos Combination and the hubby just did the salad bar and then we split everything. The Mykonos Combination was a wonderful combo of mousaka, pastichio, soutzoukaki (meatballs) and spanakopita. Also accompanying this was wonderful fasolakia (braised greenbeans), oven roasted potatoes, and real garlic bread. All of the main entries called house specialties come with a very nice salad bar. We ended up with a very satisfying feast. To end our meal we had bakalava. I like mine cold but Nikki also offered to warm it up if we prefered. We really enjoy the food and the friendlyness of everyone there. I think that this will be a nice little gem in Reston. They are open early for breakfast from 6:30 - 11am, and are open till 9pm Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. For those that are interested I'm typing in the most of the menu for you. If you need a description on something let me know and I'll add it, otherwise I'm just giving the titles.
  6. Had the pleasure of being at Ray's for the first time on Sept 27th. It was a b-day celebration for me and I talked my other half into driving from NoVA at rush hour to make a 6pm dinner reservation at the last minute. He let me pick where..... we always tend to do asian/ethiopian/etc.... so I thought elegant classics was just the ticket this time. Things were great from the moment we stepped in till we left. I noticed that there was a camera guy doing setup for a photo shoot when we first got there but didn't ask till we left what that was all about. Evidently Washingtonian or was it Washington Post was there doing a shoot for an upcoming review. My mind at that point was so relaxed from great food and wine that well thinking back I'm not sure. What I am sure of was that we were treated great and the food was wonderful. It's been mentioned in past posts that when you sit down some treats are provided to you. We had a wonderful plate of vegetables, each cooked just a little differently and served chilled. There were beets, greenbeans, onions, and carrots. Also brought to the table was a wonderful rye bread as a backdrop to 4 spreads. I don't know if the spreads change or not. The first was a vidalia onion & apple, the second was a smooth chopped liver, the thirs was parsnip and duch schmaltz, and the last was carrot and chicken schmaltz. Our first course was the deviled eggs. The yolks of the hard cooked eggs were removed and replaced with steak tartar. The yolk was crumbled and scattered on the plate with garnishes of capers, pickles, onions, and a spicy mustard. They were terrific. Now I happen to love chopped liver with extra onion and egg so I used some of the extra onion and egg yolk from this to scatter on my liver. Yummmm. Since we knew we were going to treat ourselves we made the strategic decision to share the chateaubriand for 1 and a couple of sides. The meat was perfectly cooked. The sides we picked were corn pudding, and the creamed onions / crispy spaetzle. I really enjoyed the corn pudding. It was very light. The creamed onions was for me just okay. I think the issue was with me. I love spaetzle with butter (simple and plain) and well the crispy spaetzle was just not to my taste. I think the cream sauce might have also been a little thick for me. However this was just a minor dip in what was otherwise wonderful meal. Oh yeah I forgot.... For wine we decided to do a wine tasting.... Luckily this was already setup for us in that on the page of wines by the glass was a flight of a trio of wines from Western Australia. My mind is drawing a blank as I try to remember the wines. They were all wonderfull. We finished things off by having the cheescake with brandied cherries and the keylime pie. The keylime pie was served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Not too sweet, just perfect. The cheescake was sublime. I don't usually like cherries unless they are naked, not cooked.... just fresh. However these were a real surprise to me. Must have been the brandy. WOW! So glad that my other half shared. During all of this our waiter David was ther when we needed him and not there when we didn't. His timing seemed great throughout the evening. Eliot came by to check on our wine and was able to answer questions about everything. Both were pure delights to chat with. They really made us feel at home. While we were there due to a special occasion, if I lived closer I would be happy to go there at any time.
  7. Thought I might add that for those of you looking for Ethiopian and find that you are in the Reston/Herndon area you should head to Warka. Warka 275 Sunset Park Dr Herndon, VA 20170 (703) 435-2166 http://www.warkaethiopianrestaurant.com/ It's hidden in the back of a business park. From Spring Street you turn in where you see China King and then drive back and I think it is the third drive on the right. Just drive around and you will find it. The place is small but they are eager to please. Tell them if you like things spicy as they will adjust the seasonings for you. I've only been there at lunch but they do have music some evenings. The place is small so at times so sometimes you find that everyone is in the back just at the point you want or need something. Be patient and you will be rewarded.
  8. Okay have to add my thoughts on the event. First off gnatharobed... you are awesome. Did you ever get anything to eat that evening? Everytime I looked around you seemed to be up and about checking on all of us. Secondly I need to say again that your parents, family, and the staff at A&J were just terrific. The flow of food was wonderful. Well timed. I was concerned we would get everything at once. Everyone was so attentive. Now in reading all the posts I don't think anyone mentioned drinks, although there is a pic of the honeydew bubble drink in the photo album that was posted. At our table we not only had bubble drinks but Gary had a plum drink which if I remember correctly he thought tasted similar to a bbq sauce. Gary will have to comment on his thoughts. All I know is that he finished it off so it couldn't have been too bad. As for me I had coffee bubble drink. Think iced coffee with milk that then has tapioca pearls at the bottom. You sip and get some of the pearls which have a slightly chewy consistancy. Quite yummy. Two of the other folks at our table got just a milk based bubble drink as they didn't want the fruit ones or get the coffee due to caffeine. I believed they were enjoying them but wasn't really paying attention. Sorry I forgot your names ;( It's hard to pay attention with a drink in one hand and a pastry in the other. Although it is a great problem to have. Finally I want to say that I'm sorry I didn't meet everyone. With A&J's so busy it didn't seem the right thing to do to go from the last table to the first just to say hello. I was the weird one in the hat So please consider this a virtual hello! I've eaten at A&J's in the past (both locations) and because everything is so tasty and inexpensive the hubby and I always seem to have leftovers. That was the only problem with this event. I had no leftovers to bring home with me. Guess I should have done an order to go....
  9. One of my favorites is Pasta Bella at 454 Elden St, Herndon, VA. The dining area is very small so weekends can get quite busy. They do take reservations on the weekend which I would stress. The don't serve everything at lunch, like soup as an example, which is unfortunate as they have some awesome soups. Here is the local review written March 24, 2006. http://www.observernews.com/stories/curren...astabella.shtml
  10. The hubby and I will be there. You will know us as we both wear usually have a hat and shades on See you all there!
  11. My general dim sum strategy to get the fresh and hot is to watch the carts and not order when they first come around unless it is a steam cart. I want to see when that cart came out so I can determine if it will be hot or not. Now some things it doesn't matter but when it does..... Marks is our fav all around. We live in Reston but we don't do the Fortune in Reston for Dim Sum as nothing ever seems to be very fresh there. I've heard reports that the Reston location gets their dim sum from the 7-Corners location. Not enough traffic there to warrant things to be the way they should. We used to really love Fortune when it was in its old location (the site of Lucky Three) but the quality did change a little when it moved. Then we found Marks just after they moved to their current location and well it has been our location since. We never seemed to have a reason to try the Lucky Three location and well the reviews I have read.... just never wanted to drive past Marks to go anywhere else. So this will be a good time to try it. As to when to go we are one of those folks that go about 11am. I remember we hit Marks once just after 10 as we were in the area. When we walked in the place was surprisingly about 1/2 full. Lots of folks having Congee. Anyways the wait staff were all gathered around the back table making shark fin dumplings. It was great fun to watch. Amazing to see how fast they all were at it. We have noticed over the last couple of years that Marks has changed a little. The variety has declined. They don't seem to do as many specials as they once did. We also have noticed that the ethnic mix has changed somewhat. It seems that the population is less asian. Which begs me to ask the question where did everyone go? Part of the reason we like Marks is that the husband likes to order a main dish to go with his dim sum. As for me I'm a fan of the BBQ pork bun and Shark fin dumplings. I also like the hot tofu that comes around but don't remember what it is called. Sweet and gingery it makes a great end to a meal. Now you all have gotten me hungry.... Marks does dim sum during the week. Maybe I'll have to see if the husband is up to some right now. Looking forward to meeting everyone at the end of the month. By the way if you are ever out and about and see a strange woman wearing a hat you will know it is me The husband looks like Santa on vacation with his white beard. (LOL). I'm checking our calendar for the 30th but at the moment sounds like a great plan.
  12. High Everyone..... My hubby and I would like to join you all the for the future dim sum runs We do Marks a lot. We sometimes go to Fortune but agree that sometimes their stuff is cold a lot. Really have to watch the carts and when they have come out... On the other hnd...Fortune does have my favorite shrimp and bananna roll (they have bananna if the black sesame seeds are on top) and my favorite egg custard tarts I'll keep my eye on this thread.... but please let me know what else I need to do to be included. As for my two cents we tend to prefer Sundays.
  13. I agree that the Mikes Mexolina is the best filling! Of course I always forget what it's called but since you can see the options as you order you just need to remember that what you want is the the shredded beef As to what to order.... The hubby prefers doing a fajita burrito with the shredded beef (Mexolina), blackbeans, and chipotle sauce (nice and spicy). As for me Mexolina soft flour tacos with chipotle..... Don't forget to get a side of guacomole. Really nice and fresh. We've been popping there for lunch since they opened as this is just around the corner for us for a quick lunch during the work week. By the way this is my first post...... Just getting my feet wet.
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