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Joshua Grinnell

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  1. I like Jimmy's -- they dragged some upstate New York faves with them, such as a bizarre devotion to the Bills and the roast beef on weck. You can get the beef on weck with a side of poutine and the four pound bread pudding and then crawl over into the Herndon portion of the W&OD for someone to run you over with a bike and kill you before your heart does. No garbage plate, though! That's... for the best, actually. Website
  2. A hot cake donut, with dripping chocolate icing and peanuts on top... very good. If you wait too long, they can be revived on a hot car dashboard. Most mornings have out-the-door lines at the Herndon spot, since they're made to order, but on a weekday the line-order-eat took about 15 minutes.
  3. Also on the new secret menu is a variation of Hainanese chicken rice (on the Thai menu as chicken and rice with broth or you can ask for Khao Man Gai) which is poached chicken in rice that's been cooked with rendered chicken fat. I say variation because when I had it in Thailand the chicken was very tender but the Thai by Thai version was made maybe with an older bird, because it swapped tenderness for a really flavorful bite. I can see why it's on the secret menu, as fat-soaked rice with yard bird isn't an easy sell, but man that was tasty. Here's a page talking about the regional variation
  4. Oooooo even canned jackfruit and lychee are good if you've got condensed milk in the equation. Basically this fits into one of the foods that are just too hard to do at home for me because of technique -- look at how thin that roti gets.
  5. Ah nuts, she's looking for the sweet kind. But you're not far off -- the more complex Malay/Southern Thai stalls had savory versions; for example, sweetened poached chicken with nuts and cinnamon or paneer, potato, and caramelized onions. On the touristy islands there would be ham and swiss, even. The sunburned euros could pretend it was a crepe. So based on your finding (and I'm glad it was delicious) I may expand my googling to South Asian places. In this video, I don't know what the red things that get tossed in are (cherries?) but here's a master at work:
  6. My wife is craving the southeast asian banana pancakes and it's resisting easy googling. Does anyone recall finding them served in Northern Virginia? They're on Soi 38's menu as Kluay Roti, but downtown DC is a little too far away at the moment (two small kids in tow, sparse date nights to be had). This is the closest description I can find: Roti Canai However, the specific one that you get in major cities/tourist centers in Thailand is roti with egg and bananas mixed in, topped with sweetened condensed milk.
  7. Also, trying really hard to lay politics aside -- for all the things that the Vietnam War did, at least it very slowly created an opening in the US for Vietnamese food. Will we see that for Iraqi and Afghan food in a decade? Possibly not; one, in both deployment and on R&R, my understanding is that Americans were getting Halliburton/Bechtel DFAC food, with the only deviations from basic Army mac and cheese being what the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Filipino contractors could sneak on the menu. I saw chicken adobo on the menu suspiciously often, for example. But did US soldiers in Vietnam
  8. When my wife and I lived in Bangkok, we often staggered out of burger joints and BBQ places shaking our heads, thinking "ah, if only we could give these people the real thing, the REAL AMERICAN cuisine" but then we realized that sourcing the ingredients and building the smoking pits and convincing people, a la Hellburger, that some burgers are better a little less thoroughly cooked... Long way of saying, I'm still waiting for an Iraqi place to have the balls to put masgouf on the menu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masgouf "But... it doesn't have the fire altar! Or the apricot logs! This i
  9. It was in Sweifieh, in Amman. Down the street from this amazing bakery, it was in this open-air corner of a building. The only toppings were a pile of various pickles and some toum.
  10. Like the manufacture of the hot dog, this may be more than anyone wants to know, but I believe most commercial shawarma and gyro logs are formed from trimmings that are par-cooked and then high-pressure loaded into cylinders. The rotating spit doesn't cook the meat as much as it browns it, which is how you don't die from eating the hunks that they shave off that haven't browned. On the other hand, holding any meat in the sub-cooked danger zone for that long seems ill-advised, so maybe you're right. In Jordan I encountered one of the old-fashioned wood-fired shawarma places (they also did rot
  11. Still waiting for a Shesimmers khao soi recipe - my wife has really enjoyed tinkering with her others so far.
  12. Thai Luang in Herndon has it as one of their lunch specials, though I haven't tried it yet. It's on the list, because Khao Soi is a hard itch to scratch at home. Per Fishinnards post above, you can find a similar dish at Burmese restaurants as Kauk Shwe (which I think just means fried noodles). Khao Soi, Kauk Shwe, if you say it out loud you can kind of hear it. I've noticed in Thai places it's closer to a soup while the Burmese version is a thicker curry. Taste of Burma in Sterling has it - the curry broth is amazing, but the noodles are kind of unremarkable.
  13. I don't see a separate page for it, but Zeitoun is worth a visit, even if it is out in the Sterling sticks. They have some appetizers that you don't see in the usual Middle Eastern rota and they're all vegetarian. I've had the zaalouk, which is an eggplant dip that is very bracing and spicy where baba ghanoush is creamy, almost like a North African salsa. The bastilla and tagines (my wife has had the lamb and the cornish hen) are excellent, though they seem to sell out of bastilla after lunch. I also have enjoyed their kofta, which is sizable, tender, and has a harissa kick. Also of note -
  14. When we moved from Arlington to Herndon, I was afraid my wife's heart would break from losing Me Jana/Lebanese Taverna market and the other local places to get a quick shot of shawarma when needed. In one of Herndon's many strip malls of ethnic delights on Elden (this one has four Indian places of various styles and regions, a halal grocery store, a Russian deli, a German place where the owner's Thai wife snuck some things on the menu) is Granada Cafe, which beyond doing excellent Lebanese staples such as shawarma/fettoush/kibbeh etc. has some Syrian and Iraqi dishes, including something whi
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