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Everything posted by hillvalley

  1. To the third anniversary of first dates, which we celebrated without even realizing.
  2. A huge thank you to Andrew, Mike, and the rest of the Rose's team. They went above and beyond tonight for one of their neighbors who used to be a semi regular back when the locals could just walk in for dinner. A much needed special night was had by all and for that I am grateful. Also, the steak tartar is one of, if not the best, in the city right now.
  3. I've seen photographic evidence that Ray's Hell Burger Too is in the middle of a soft opening in City Vista.
  4. I brought back tinned fish from Lisbon and canned foie gras from France without a problem. Meats that were not in tins or cans are another story. It is worth finding shops in touristy areas that are selling tinned fish; they will have a better idea of what will and will not get through. I declared both, had to go through a second layer of screenings and was fine. I know people who have gotten amazing charcuterie from all over Europe through customs without a problem while others have had their goods confiscated.
  5. If you've never been to Paris you deserve to give yourself more than 2-3 days. As I've posted elsewhere, it's a magical place. Save it for the end of your trip but give yourself at least 3-4 days. You're eating up a good chunk of time by taking the train to Barcelona; it's about a 6 hour ride Instead, I would fly to Paris and then get a direct flight to Barcelona, which is less than two hours. Check EasyJet, Veuling, Ryan Air, etc. for cheap flights. Then train it to San Sebastian, which is supposed to be lovely. I would add Switzerland to your list. The Alps are like nothing else you will see in Europe and this is coming from someone who is not a huge hiker, skier, etc. Bern is lovely and often overlooked. If you want a taste of Italy without going there, Ticino, the Italian section of Switzerland, is stunning.
  6. Your theory does not hold true for the location at Nats stadium where, at least in the rush before a game, the burgers are premade. The one I had a couple of weeks ago was still excellent.
  7. Today at the stadium I had the best Shake Shack burger I've ever had, and there have been a few. It was not made to order but was still warm and the cheese gooey when I took my first bite about 10 minutes later in my seat; the lettuce was crispy and the tomato firm yet juicy. It almost made up for the crappy lost against the Rockies.
  8. I was craving kitfo and didn't feel like schlepping over to Zenebech, my usual go to for take away Ethiopian, so I gave Adis a try. It was a good decision. The kitfo is buttery, unctuous deliciousness. I got the Addis kitfo, which comes with ibe (Ethiopian cottage cheese) and some chopped greens that do not resemble gomen. My meal was fantastic and I am now eager to try the rest of the menu. H street needed a legit Ethiopian alternative to Ethiopic, which to me is yuppified American Ethiopian. Adis appears to be the real deal.
  9. Tipping my hat to Carli Lloyd's first 16 minutes in the World Cup.
  10. Based on the information on the website and their locations I think it is a fare to assume that Pinch uses higher quality ingredients than China Bistro, hence the higher price. Also, rent isn't cheap at FreshFarm markets. They also don't have any other dishes to offset the cost of labor. A friend who works near one of their markets raves about the dumplings and this is someone who schleps out to Bob's for the usual dumpling fix.
  11. I agree that the last thing 8th street needs is another mediocre restaurant with the same menu as three other places in two blocks or a local chain eating up long timers (I'm looking at you Matchbox). But we know that a high quality chef is moving in so I have hope that it will be a worthy replacement.
  12. I'll take Rob Weland over Tash any day of the week. Tash was fine but just fine. We experienced bad service from an indifferent staff one time too many to keep it in the rotation.
  13. If you would like to borrow my tree killing copy let me know. I know nothing about French law but I drank out of open bottles in a number of places in Paris. In Europe alcohol laws are less restrictive in general. I know it is legal in Spain and Switzerland.
  14. A vegan, a vegetarian, a gluten free freak (their phrase, not mine), a meat eater, a picky eater, and three others needed a place to dine with a reservation at 8:15 on a Friday in Logan Circle. Logan Tavern came through and everyone was able to find something to their liking. I had the handmade papperdelle with meat ragu and it was better than expected. The highlight were the drinks though. My basil watermelon slushy was the perfect relief after having to sit through a ceremony that was too long. At $8 it was a steal considering the price of some drinks in the area. The only complaint would be the table. It is the large one when you first walk in and has an uneven surface. I'm not sure why you would choose a table where plates don't lie flat. My friend put down his shot of something or another and it immediately spilled because it could not lay flat. I have a feeling this happens often because the waitress did not blink when she saw it happen. Our waitress was fantastic, dealing with a group of tired, hungry people. The table got individual checks, which made our lives a lot easier. While I wouldn't necessarily rush back on my own given what else is in the neighborhood, if I needed to eat with a group that was large in numbers and eating demands I would head here first.
  15. We have Mr. Trump to thank for taking it away. It will reopen as a hotel. Another option is Gravelly Point Park is next to National Airport. It's a great place for a picnic while you watch the planes land. I imagine if you are going for the 4th you need to get there early. The monument are 100 times better at night and not just because the crowds are smaller. Lacrosse coaches liked to use them as forms as torture as well. On the 4th of July across the city there are a number of local, community based parades. The one held on Barracks Row (8th street SE) could easily be in small town America and not next to the only ungated US military base in the world. If you do go to a parade at 8th and I, and you should, see if you have any connections to get you tickets in the center. You are closer to the action and the silent drill team will be right in front of you. The drill team alone makes sitting out in the hot weather worth while. Has anyone recommended listening to the National Symphony Orchestra rehearse July 3rd on the grounds of the Capital? Same concert you'll hear the next night with only half the people. No fireworks though. While at The Kennedy Center for Millenium Stage be sure to take a free tour of the Kennedy Center itself. There are rooms where events are held that the you only get to see if you know the right person or have enough money. There is also magnificent art that most people walk right past and depending on what's playing or in rehearsal you'll get to see the three different theaters. Finally, if you hit Eastern Market keep in mind things are a bit wonky right now while the school is torn down and new construction begins. The number of vendors at the flea market has shrunk and is in a different location.
  16. It's actually only half a block. A word of warning about parking: DC's finest parking enforcement is out in full force in the neighborhood. Also, avoid driving down on Friday nights at all cost. Now that the Marines are putting on their parades every Friday night through Labor Day, 8th street moves at a slow snail's pace, 9th is blocked off to all traffic (even to residents), and you will not be able to find parking anywhere near the restaurant. Add the cluster fuck of a Friday night Nat's game almost every other week and Barracks Row becomes busier than ________ /insert clever comparison I can't think of here/.
  17. Exit 19 in Lumberton, North Carolina is home to some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. El Zarape De Antonio opened earlier this year and is a welcome respite on the vast wasteland that is fast food eating on 95. I have no idea why it is so good, it just is. Go, get the enchiladas or tacos or tamales and then thank me you aren't eating more hideous fast food.
  18. Papier+ has magnificent journals. I dare you to walk in and not buy one. A few blocks away at Studio des Parfums you can create your own perfume. I saved a crappy day in Paris by working with Sophie to create my scent. Perfume was never my thing until now and I smell great. Across the street is Mariage Freres, a tea house that is over 150 years old. They've become a chain and the tea selection can be overwhelming but I spent an enchanting afternoon here sipping tea and reading. The garden at Musee Rodin is my favorite, which is saying something in a city full of spectacular gardens. After walking through the museum enjoy a glass of sancerre in the little restaurant and then relax in the back on one of the wooden loungers. From there walk a few blocks over to Rue Babylon and check out the public garden that has full vegetable garden in the middle. Continue on Babylon to Rue du Bac and make a right. A block or two away is Le Bon Marche; check out the wall of water, among other delectables. It is Dean and Deluca on French crack in the best way possible. Spend 2 euros and bring a cloth bag back to use at home. Or take a left and check out the little shops and patisseries. Go to Shakespeare and Company and soak it in. If you are lucky you will stumble across a young prodigy playing the piano and you can enjoy a free concert while sitting on a seat/bed of the staff. Check the calendar before you go and sign up to participate in their monthly podcast readings of different plays. If you go up the Tower, which you should, purchase your ticket ahead of time to cut down on waiting in line. And pay to go all the way to the top; it's a waste to get that close and not go all the way. Go near sunset or make sure you get over there at night to see the lights in action. If you are staying near Marche Raspail, on Sundays, go to the last vendor closest to Metro Babylon and enjoy the best potato cheese gallette you will ever enjoy. Yeah, that's a lot of hyperbole but it is true. When I am an old woman I will dream of these gallettes. Also on Sunday, at Marche Mouffetard, a block or two over from Rue Mouffetard, you'll find a vendor who sells mini salamis. Buy a few bags full to munch on throughout your time in Paris. I dream of these salamis and couldn't find them elsewhere in the city or most of Europe for that matter. Then go over to Rue Mouffetard, which is closed to traffic on Sundays, and wander down. Somewhere on the right is a bakery that sells eclairs with goat cheese and fig. You're welcome. If that doesn't make you want to go then I don't know what will.
  19. Every dessert I have there from here on out will be compared to this dish. This dish makes up for having to be Rose's neighbor.
  20. The Italian Kitchen, which is off of 295 right before you get on the Turnpike, has the best pizza steak I have ever had. The combination of chopped steak, mozzarella, and tomato sauce creates an umami concoction that will make you weep. The small is big enough to feed two but it is so good I managed to down the whole thing myself.
  21. Paris is magic. If you have never been you need to go. With to dollar so low Europe is essentially on sale right now. Seattle will always be there and will never be on sale the way Paris is right now. It is possible to go to Paris and eat to your hearts content on a budget. Use Air bnb to find an apartment so you have access to a kitchen. With a bit of research ahead of time (Patricia Well's Food Lover's Guide to Paris app is incredibly useful) you can find breathtaking but still affordable meals. Lunch at cafes with prix fix menus will have you around $25 without wine. Memorable dinners can be had for $50 a person. At least one meal should be a picnic in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower of baguette, cheese, charcuterie, and a bottle of wine, all picked up on Rue Cler a few blocks away; if you go in the fall replace the charcuterie with a dozen oysters. I've never been to Seattle and it is at the top of my list of places to go in the US but Paris is Paris for a reason. Paris will change you, refuel you, invigorate you in ways you can't understand until you have been there.
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