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Mark Dedrick

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About Mark Dedrick

  • Rank
    Member: H Street Overlords
  • Birthday May 20

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    I like to eat. And drink. And cook.
  • Location
    NE DC

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  1. Mark Dedrick

    Portland, ME

    We were visiting with a friend on this trip, so our dining wasn't as well planned as it normally is when we travel. That said, we still ate wonderfully in Portland, and really enjoyed it. Fore Street - We tried to get into a number of places that evening, but there were serious waits at both Street & Co and Central Provisions when we stopped by. So we ended up at Fore Street, which was able to get us in quicker. It was fantastic. The Portland Hunt & Alpine Club - Great cocktails downtown, we killed time here while waiting for our table to be available at Fore Street. Grace - This restaurant is in a former church, and we had a wonderful meal. The kitchen is where the pulpit would be at the front of the church, and it's a very visually striking restaurant. Eventide - It was awesome. I'm still dreaming about that lobster roll. Great oysters as well.
  2. Mark Dedrick

    Miami, FL

    I just realized that I've been to Miami a few times since I last posted in this thread. Taquiza unfortunately lost their lease and are closed. Earlier this year we had perhaps our finest meal in Miami at Alter in Wynnwood, which is a neighborhood I hadn't spent any time in before that visit. We also had a great time at the J Wakefield Brewery, who we've experienced before from their collaborations with 3 Stars here in DC. Also in Wynnwood, we had a fun lunch at 1-800-LUCKY, which is a food hall with a number of different vendors serving different types of Asian food, as well as a record store and two different bars. Habitat, which comes from the Pubbelly folks, is solid, but my favorite non-Pubbelly restaurant in Miami Beach these days is Stubborn Seed, from Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford. I've eaten there twice, and both time's it's been fantastic.
  3. Mark Dedrick

    Mid-Coast Maine

    We had a fantastic time in Maine last month, and did a ton of hiking around Acadia during our stay in Bar Harbor. I wouldn't say that it's a great food city, but it was far better than I was expecting given what friends had told me, and it's far better than most touristy beach towns I've been to elsewhere in the US. Maine Beer Company - We flew in and out of Portland, and hit this place up on the drive up to Acadia. It's a nice taproom, and their beers are killer. Thurston's Lobster Pound - In Bernard near Southwest Harbor. We paired lunch here with a visit to the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. It's right on the water, and the lobster was fantastic. Jordan Pond House - I think this is the only restaurant actually in the National Park. Parking here during the summer can be very scarce, as the first time we tried to go here we had to change plans as we couldn't find any parking. Our second attempt worked better, we arrived early, and then did the hike around Jordan Pond before grabbing lunch. It was good. I had a very nice oyster stew, along with the signature popover, which fueled our hike to the Bubbles immediately after. Mount Desert Ice Cream - Very good ice cream. Side Street Cafe - We ate lunch here twice, and they have a fantastic lobster roll. They claim that there are two entire lobsters in each roll, and given how overstuffed they are I believe it. Havana - This is a Spanish-style restaurant on the south side of town, and we quite enjoyed it. The seafood paella was enormous and delicious. Parilla - When dining at Havana we noticed their outdoor less formal restaurant, Parilla, and returned there later in the week. It was very good. The menu is smaller, and more tapas-style, with a lot of the food coming off of the grill. West Street Cafe - We did dinner here, and this is the sort of place I expect to find in tourist beach towns. But my fried clam bellies were good, as was my clam chowder, and they had a nice beer list. Mache Bistro - Probably our best meal in Bar Harbor. Wonderful food, great service. The closest thing to fine dining that we experienced. Reading Room Restaurant - My least favorite meal. The dining room was felt really stuffy, and while the food was good, it was good enough to justify the high prices. You can tell that you would have wonderful views, but that's not a feature when it's dark out. This is probably the one place that I wouldn't recommend. 2 Cats - Good for breakfast. Atlantic Brewing Company - Cool brewery, and worth a visit if you're into that sort of thing.
  4. Mark Dedrick

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    We had a great time in Toronto last weekend. Extremely pleasant and walkable city. Our hotel, the Bisha, was very nice, and in a great location. Here are a few of our dining and drinking experiences: Dandylion - Absolutely loved this spot. It's a tiny restaurant, with a very small (focused?) menu, but everything we had was outstanding. There are only three appetizers and three entrees to chose from, which means that you can make your way through most of the menu without really straining yourself. There menu is not online, so I'm having trouble remembering exactly what we ate, but they had a grilled squid "steak" with piquillo peppers which was outstanding, and a pork with chanterelle mushrooms which was also great. DaiLo - Asian-Fusion in a very trendy-feeling setting. We liked it a lot. We were seated at the bar, and if I remember correctly at the time I made my reservations a regular table was not available, I was given the option of the bar or a high top table. Service was fantastic. There was a lot on this menu that looked great, and we ended up going with the tasting menu ($65 Canadian) primarily to avoid having to make any tough decisions. For us, it was the right decision. We were able to actually try more of the menu this way, and it was the correct volume of food. Highlights, for us, were the Crispy Octopus "Tacos" (the tortillas were actually slices of jicama), Torched Tamari Glazed Beef Carpaccio (served with a Vietnamese-style salad on top), and Sweet and Sour Pork Hock. Bar Raval - I loved this place. As mentioned above, it's not appreciably better than other tapas/pinxto places I've been, but it's also exactly the style of food that I like to eat, and I also just loved both the look and the feel of the restaurant. This is the place that we went that I most wanted to move to H Street. It's actually right next door to DaiLo, and it's pretty tiny. The menu is relatively small, but everything we had was good. They have a canned section which we did not explore. The Squid with Artichokes and Romesco was awesome, as was the Octopus a la Planxa. I was also a big fan of the Bay Scallops from the Raw Bar section. They were incredibly sweet and delicious. Good and relatively inexpensive wine list, and very good cocktails as well. Dumpling House - We had dumplings at this Chinatown spot (of course). It's a pretty small spot on Spadina. I'm not an expert in this type of food, but I thought it was delicious. The fried pork and chive dumplings were my favorite. Assembly Chef's Hall - We hit this place up for lunch, and it's a pretty large food hall with 18 different vendors. I think it's probably a better bet during the week, as a majority of the options were closed on a Saturday. We got ramen from Ramen Isshin and tacos from Colibri, and both were quite good. I'd definitely recommend this for lunch if you're in this part of Toronto. Torteria San Cosme - Really good tortas in the Kensington Market neighborhood. The esquites were also great. NU B├╝gel - I don't think I'd ever had a Montreal-style bagel before. Given that, it's hard for me to rank these bagels within that category, but we did enjoy them a great deal. BarChef - This is a very cool cocktail bar that comes very close to bordering on obnoxious, but they save themselves by having outstanding bartenders and really well made and creative drinks. They get into molecular mixology a bit, and have a "Modernist" section of their menu where they get into this. These drinks are more expensive (the Vanilla Hickory Smoked Manhattan is $50, although most of the drinks in this section of the menu are in the $25 range). We went with one from this section because we thought we needed to have that experience, and it was a whole ordeal. There were tree branches and smoke, but also a very good drink. The rest of the drinks are more normally priced ($16 Canadian), and fantastic. Our bartender was wonderful, and I'd definitely return. El Rey Mezcal Bar - This place was actually recommended to us by Alvin, our mezcal guide in Oaxaca. They don't have a huge mezcal selection, but it is a good and thoughtful list, and it's a cool space. Craft Beer Market - A friend had recommended this spot. While it's not the best atmosphere, in that it's cavernous with no personality, they do have 97 beers on draft from Ontario alone, so it's a good spot to sample some local beers, and worked well for us as we wanted to rest our feet for a bit during the middle of the day. Kensington Brewing Company - Very cool brewery, and they make some wonderful beers. Amsterdam BrewHouse - I didn't enjoy this brewery as much. It's also enormous, as I think I read they have seating for more than 500 people. The beers were fine. I also had to respect the fact that, on a Sunday afternoon, they weren't showing any football, and instead had every single television in the place tuned to the Blue Jays-Yankees game. Horseshoe Tavern - We went to a show here, and it's not a bad rock club. Pretty tiny, but good sound and sightlines. It's also insanely hot.
  5. Mark Dedrick

    Dining on U Street

    It's actually quite good. The tiki drinks are obviously the draw, but the food is also quite good. It's not destination dining, but I really like the chicken buns and the dan dan noodles. They have a fantastic happy hour as well, and it's usually easy to get a seat.
  6. Mark Dedrick

    Dining on U Street

    My go-tos before shows at Lincoln Theater or U Street Music Hall tend to be Seki or Archipelago. Ranging slightly further afield, other pre-show favorites for us at 930 Club, DC9 and Black Cat include Hazel, Haikan, Kyirisan, Bar Pilar, Lupo Verde and Doi Moi.
  7. Mark Dedrick

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Anybody have any recent recommendations?
  8. I've been here a few times this year, and I'm a fan. The menu appears to have turned over a fair amount since I was last in, but the Pan-Seared Scallops with Coconut Risotto are fantastic, and the wings are always a winner. I don't think you can really go wrong, I've enjoyed every meal I've eaten here, and I'm always surprised it isn't busier.
  9. Good tip on happy hour, I'll have to give that a shot. We were there last night for dinner, and ordered all over the menu, although hit the sashimi section hard. I agree with Don on the sashimi in general, and the prawn in particular. It was all spectacular. In addition to our sashimi we got the tempura soft shell crab roll, and it was good, although I wouldn't feel the need to order it on a return visit. And we ordered the "Steak" which is different than the hangar steaks ordered above. It's shaved ribeye wrapped around shishito pepper and pearl onion, fired on the robata grill, which was recommended by our server. I'd probably just do the hangar next time which is significantly cheaper. The ribeye was challenging to eat with chopsticks, and I don't think the shaved and wrapped preparation really added anything. But it was still very good. From the "Raw" section we got the hamachi, which was basically pieces of hamachi sashimi with a gochujang sauce. I would have rather just ordered hamachi sashimi. Service was weird. I didn't feel like our server had a good handle on the menu, and as a result wasn't able to really answer rather basic questions. And when I attempted to order a glass of red later in the meal and tried to order the Gamay I was told they didn't have it because it wasn't the correct season for gamay. On the whole, however, I'm glad it's there, and I'll definitely go back. Didn't get the chance to check out the roofdeck, but I look forward to doing so.
  10. FWIW, last year I had a rather complex flight itinerary I was trying to use CSR points for. Customer service on the phone was friendly and efficient, and the price they quoted exactly matched the cheapest airfare I could find online. Of course, YMMV.
  11. Mark Dedrick

    Malaysia and Singapore

    Glad to see Burnt Ends get recognized here, I still dream about that meal.
  12. Mark Dedrick

    Oaxaca, Mexico

    I've now been twice in the summer and the weather has been pretty great both times. It's pretty high above sea level in the capital (over 5,000 feet), and that moderates the temperature pretty well. Last week we had highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 60s. Quite pleasant to walk around.
  13. We ate at Poca Madre a couple of weeks ago and it was absolutely fantastic. Everything we ordered was delicious, in particular the Pato al Pastor. Strongly recommend it.
  14. Mark Dedrick

    Oaxaca, Mexico

    I ate everything I was served, as did my wife, and we had no issues at all. That included lettuce and tomatoes on top of our tlayudas, onions and cilantro on tacos, and several different salsas. Oh, and your lodging is probably already sorted, but if not we stayed at La Quinta Real, and it was fantastic. I'd strongly recommend it. It's a very cool space, a former convent, and the location couldn't be better.
  15. Mark Dedrick

    Oaxaca, Mexico

    One other thing I'll mention about our trip was our mezcal tour we did on Friday, which was one of the coolest things we did on the entire trip. We booked with Alvin, who operates under the name Mezcal Educational Tours. We traveled throughout the Oaxacan countryside and visited five different palanques, and saw every single aspect of mezcal production happen. We also saw different types of production, including crushing by hand and by horse, clay pot distillation and copper still distillation. We also tasted an incredible variety of mezcals poured for us by the mezcaleros, and learned so much. Very cool experience, and if anyone is interested I can send you Alvin's information.
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