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Rhone1998

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About Rhone1998

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    hammerhead
  • Birthday 04/11/1972

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    Washington, DC

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  1. Portimão The best meal we had in Portugal was in the South, at the 1 Michelin star Vista restaurant in a town on the Atlantic called Portimao. We had eaten at Alma in Lisbon 3 days earlier and though both were excellent, we thought Vista was superior in every way save for the wine service. It featured uncommon ingredients (think locally foraged seaweed) and beautiful, unusual presentations (chocolate oranges you pluck from a tree). Dining on their large patio while the sun sets over the ocean in front of you was amazing. Interestingly, not that we cared much either way, but service was much more correct/formal at Vista than Alma - choreographed waitstaff simultaneously lifting lids off platters with a nod to each other, that sort of thing. Alma, though with an additional star, was more relaxed. At the end of the day, though, I am nitpicking we are lucky to have experienced both these amazing places. I probably gained 10 lbs in Portugal from eating pastais de nata alone. They are everywhere and mostly very good. I think the locals expect a high standard. Try to get them warm. The ones at Manteigaria were very good. We followed a taxi driver's advice to take local roads near the coast on our drive from Lisbon south to the Algarve, skipping the highways, and we're glad we did. Stop by the small town of Sines on the way. There's a steep curved road down to the beach. Park at the top, walk down, dip your toes in the Atlantic long enough to realize it's too freezing cold to swim in, work up a bit of an appetite on your climb back up the hill, and stop at the little seafood restaurant on your right before you get to the parking area. The locals inside will be watching soccer, no one speaks English, but everyone is happy and friendly, drinking beer and eating freshly prepared seafood from the display case at the entrance. It's cheap, too. Lagos was pretty touristy but we enjoyed a place there called O Mexilhao. Standouts, as usual, were fresh seafood (fresh grilled sardines were the highlight). I'd say that was generally the trick to finding a good meal -- stick to seafood, go places where you can see it before you order it, and hang outside a few minutes before heading in to see whether it's mostly tourists or locals entering. After your meal, get a gelato, then walk to the next block and get another gelato so you can see which is better. Try to resist the temptation to stop at the nata place between the two. Honestly, does anyone love sweets more than the Portuguese?
  2. Sen Khao in the Tysons Galleria. First trip, kinda forgot about this place now that the hype has died down a bit, but WOW so good. I had the eggplant with spicy tamarind sauce, onion, herbs, puffed rice, fried garlic, and the beef curry, and I was blown away by both in terms of freshness and quality of preparation.
  3. I've been to Amoo's three times for lunch in the past few months. The first two times I had absolutely sublime kubideh. Best kabob I've ever had. Today after agonizing over my decision I decided to try something else -- a lamb stew on top of tahdig, Persian crispy rice. The stew was pretty good but the tahdig tasted stale -- I'm no expert on this dish and I don't know if this was the case at all but if I had to guess it was made over the weekend and reheated today. For those who are more regular visitors to Amoo's than I am, is the kitchen usually inconsistent? Maybe my experience today was a product of showing up early on a Monday.
  4. That they would serve laab gai and edamame together suggests a pan-Asian restaurant rather than a more traditional Thai or Lao place I would say, but that probably doesn’t narrow it down too much.
  5. Just placed an order for them for delivery to me in DC, and it went through fine.
  6. Wait, what? I don't see anything to that effect on their web site and when I start to process a shipping order to me in DC, it all seems to work as it usually has.
  7. Oh dear, that's got to be the oreo pizza at &Pizza, right? I'm afraid to ask how it was. Apparently they'll make you a Cheeto pizza, too.
  8. I think the Billy Goat Trail and the huge parking lot are the big benefits of the Maryland side. I wouldn't write off the Billy Goat Trail Section A (the most rigorous part, the the part closest to the parking by the visitor's center) for kids...I think it's really kid dependent. I took my son on it when he was 7 and he did great. And there's an exit back to the towpath right before the most difficult climb if it looks too daunting.
  9. Has anyone tried the new Sonny's Pizza on Georgia Ave, near Howard? I've only been once, not sure what my verdict is quite yet because the pizza itself is quite unusual and feels like it's in a category by itself in the area. The best way I can describe it is an elevated version of elementary school cafeteria pizza -- baked in a pan, Sonny's pizza is definitely not about the crust. But the toppings on the two pizzas we got our one visit were super high quality. Here's their menu.
  10. I love the brisket here, but I always ask for it moist. Maybe that helps? My go to order is always brisket and brussel sprouts...
  11. La Preferida has moved a bit further south on New Hampshire, in the parking lot of a Sunoco gas station. An order of Pastelitos de Carne was 3 fried empanada-like creations -- expertly fried, great texture and not greasy at all, and stuffed with savory ground beef. Accompaniments included a forgettable coleslaw, a moderately spicy red salsa, and a much tastier but very spicy green sauce. The chicken sandwich looked pretty boring on the menu -- a subway roll with shredded chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado and cheese -- but the chicken itself was moist and really tasty. It had obviously been long-stewed and was very nicely spiced. Three tacos, one each pork, beef, and tongue, were a huge disappointment -- the tongue was very tender and nicely flavored but the meat in the other two was miserably tough. All three were served on a single, doughy, thick tortilla, with oversized hunks of dried out cucumber and radish that looked like they'd been hacked with a dull cleaver by a blind person, and no cheese or avocado. So overall a pretty mixed bag.
  12. And we will be there in August - Lisbon and the South, near Lagos. Already have reservations for Alma in Lisbon, which looks amazing, and the Vista Restaurant in Portimao. Any other recommendations appreciated (including for kid-friendly places we might visit during the day). Also spending a few days in Nerja, Spain.
  13. An impromptu lunch of grilled chicken hearts and catfish laab this afternoon was delicious. I've seen no quality decline here over the years, especially notable given the chef's frequent travels and the recent expansion. One thing I have definitely noticed is a 180 change in their spicing policy, from opt-out to opt-in -- if you want it hot now, you've got to ask for it.
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