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baczkowski

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About baczkowski

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  1. Stopped by here at a non-busy morning time and was blown away by the quality of everything I had. Along with Baked and Wired, this already ranks as the only other great bakery in the DC Metro area (and please tell me if I'm missing somewhere b/c I long to try it). What these two share in common are great ingredients and strong technique. Other than the types of products both sell, one difference (and this is not a criticism of either) is that Bread Furst is much more subtle in flavoring its sweets whereas Baked and Wired tends bake wonderful sugar and fat flavor bombs. I think Bread Furst
  2. I didn't know anything about this place until the founder, Steve Salis, came to talk about being an entrepreneur to a Quantitative Literacy math class at the Bethesda high school where I work. I sat in the audience and listened. The founder is quite young but very cool with lots of energy and passion. It's impressive that he's opened so many locations so quickly (he off-handedly said to the students that "capital was not a problem" for his restaurant idea but the kids didn't have the guts to ask him where he got his investors). He says that the company's number one goal is to create a posit
  3. Sorry for the Beard winners, but I stand by my earlier post that a great trip would be hitting Craigie on Main, Hungry Mother, and Oleana. I think Hungry Mother's chef is the only one that hasn't one the Northeast award but it's probably the one I'd go to first. It's been a few years since Oleana won but we found it delicious and different with a lot of respect for vegetables. I'd go there second if "value" plays into your decision making as it often does with me. We went to Coppa the first year it opened and I think it's still gets great pub and I think Bissonnette has only been nominated f
  4. When we are without our two kids, my wife and I usually scour the DMV for new places to try. Friday I found myself driving solo on my way from Bethesda to Colesville where we're staying until our renovations are done and totally on a whim I pulled in to the Wildwood shopping center to head to Wildwood Kitchen for only the second time. I felt as though I were cheating on my wife since she was at my in-laws eating Ledo's Pizza and putting the kids to bed, but I felt as though I had "earned" a decent dinner since I've handled every aspect of the construction process. After I left even more sat
  5. Though Dean's explanation trumps anything I could come up with, my rationale was that I wanted the lighter course first to stop my stomach from rumbling but not overfill me and wanted the meatball to feel more like an entree, which it did. Not sure if you were seriously curious or if you were hoping for a response similar to Dean's. If it matters, the waiter asked me which I wanted first so I got what I wanted. Pax, Brian
  6. My in-laws went with friends a week ago and had the exact same to as Porcupine. My father-in-law of late has been especially stingy with praise for expensive places since he more fully retired (he especially trashed Marcel's before Christmas b/c of the expense to volume ratio, which is often his greatest criterion), but he loved Wildwood Kitchen. I went for lunch last week and had the sardines followed by the meatball. The sardines were delicious with no strong flavor (even saltiness) that I reflexively associate with sardines. It's a truly great appetizer b/c it wasn't too filling and
  7. I went to high school with Brian Pekarcik and played sports with him (he was a year older and much better than I). I've been impressed with the positive pub he's received in the Pittsburgh media and do know other Murrysvillians who have enjoyed meals at his restaurants. I hope all works out for everyone. Pax, Brian
  8. A few quick experiences from this summer and past week: If you're going to the Boston Children's Museum, consider Flour Bakery + Café. Not just a great bakery but also great sandwiches. I had the best lamb sandwich of my life there. It's a half block from this great museum. I think there are 2 or 3 other locations in the city. JParrot mentioned Island Creek Oyster Bar for drinks, but it's also a great seafood restaurant. Amazing oysters (the most flavorful that I've ever had) and a good place to go the small plates approach. The only thing that I didn't like was my wife's chowder, whi
  9. I've only eaten at Boston area branches and the pizza was actually pretty good but it's expensive. We got it a couple of times with Groupons. Here's an earlier article about how some franchisees got screwed by corporate for their Groupon deals. Pax, Brian
  10. I'd also like to point out that Jeff stepped up and donated a wonderful and bountiful meal to my school's lunchtime tutoring program when I reached out to the DR Bethesda community a couple months back. He came into work early, made a delicious and very accessible paella for 30 kids (though it could have fed 50), and didn't want anything in return for his donation. The kids loved it. Thank you, Jeff, for al the communities that you support! Pax, Brian
  11. I like this place. I've been 4 times and have had a different dog/sausage each time. They've all been tasty, but I have to say that I'm surprised most have been boiled (at least once it was boiled and then fried on the griddle) and none have had any snap to their skin, which I kinda expected in a small gourmet dog operation. Though the hot dogs/sausages have been good, the fries are truly great. They're almost the perfect thickness and doneness for me. A meal can be close to $10 per person (or more) so that's somewhat surprising each time I go b/c I think of hot dogs and sausages to be mu
  12. Raphine (between Staunton and Lexington) We headed down to Smith Mountain Lake this past weekend and by accident took 81 most of the way despite the recommendation to take 29. Right when my son decided to drop a deuce in his diaper, we passed a sign that said, "Smiley's Fuel City: Best Dang BBQ in VA," so we were required to stop at the next exit. Even if you've had better luck potty training your two year old than I have, I'd say it's worth a stop in Raphine, VA. The barbecue was very good and I thought the brisket pushed into great. They serve both "Carolina" (i.e. vinegar based) and "Texas
  13. I've eaten at Shamrock once. 13 years ago. I liked the rueben, which is what they're best known for. It wasn't amazing enough, though, that I had to get back there within the last 13 years. Pax, Brian If I was being perfectly honest, the main reason I didn't go back was b/c of the owner's pretty well-known extreme politics, but I can understand that that's irrelevant to most people. Heck, it's much less important to ME 10 years later, even though my personal politics haven't changed. I'd probably stop in and try the rueben again if I were driving through and hungry.
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