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turbogrrl

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    dining, drinking, and thinking about (but never actually implementing) cooking.
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    Adams Morgan

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  1. In the former liquor store at Rhode Island and 11th, a new Eritrean coffee shop with a good number of comfortably distanced outdoor tables has opened. Unlike LaColombe, they are open for earlybirds; hours are 6am-8pm at present. It's pleasant, and I hope they can survive in this climate. https://dc.eater.com/2020/7/20/21331291/roasted-boon-cafe-coffee-shop-opening-shaw-d-c-rhode-island-ave-nw-wine-sangria-latte
  2. Spouse and I got the white squash and pepperoni pizza from Happy Gyro-- it *was* really good, and Spouse even ate a bunch of the squash rather than picking it all off. (Tangentially, the "steak" and cheese on a hoagie knocked my socks off.) But the pizza, while great, still doesn't compare to the margharita with intense basil microgreens that Komi served at lunch that first year they were open. The crust on the white pizza is pretty thin. Seylou is serving a pizza made with their more robust whole wheat flour-- much like their whole wheat croissants, if whole wheat isn't your bag, you aren't going to be particularly happy. The margharita is good. The mushroom is excellent. Sometimes their specials are amazing and sometimes not so much. I really miss the roman pizza pieces they used to do on the weekends, which is the thinnest crust they do. Sometimes the crust on their pies is too thick, and when that happens it means the tangy/dough whole wheat can overwhelm the pizza as a whole. Both pizzas are pretty time/distance critical. we live around the corner from seylou, but can't get back from komi any quicker than 10 minutes, and sometimes its more like 15-20. we heat the slices in a hot, dry cast-iron skillet to reanimate, but I will eat leftover pizza cold out of the fridge. The Happy Gyro pizza was inedible the next day, though I frequently will eat next-day Seylou pizza. In terms of local to me pizza, we are more likely to order a seylou pizza than an all-purpose pizza, though the latter is very good-- it's just that if I'm ordering from all-purpose I usually want their eggplant parm.
  3. From a neighborhood email I just got: For now we’ll be open Thursdays-Sundays from 8am to noon (or until we sell out of bagels).To keep contact to a minimum, we're asking all customers to place their orders on our websitepearlsbagels.com ortoasttab.com/pearls-bagels. Orders will be ready for contactless pick-up at the front door of the shop in about 10-30 minutes.We’re in the process of staffing up to be able to make sandwiches, but for now we’re selling just bagels, tubs of cream cheese, cold brew iced coffee, smoked salmon and whitefish salad from DC’s Ivy City Smokehouse, Epic Curing bacon (from the team behind Ivy and Coney), Little Wild Things microgreens and other sandwich fixings.On weekends we’re also offering build-your-own bagel sandwich boxes:The Lox Box includes 6 assorted bagels, 4 oz of novalox, 8 oz of cream cheese, pickled red onions, a tomato, capers and microgreens;and the BEC box includes 6 assorted bagels, a pound of epic curing bacon, 12 ounces of sliced tillamook cheddar, a half-dozen cage free eggs and little jar of ketchup.
  4. In the old Hogo spot, the long-awaited (Oliver and Allee and Pearl are our neighbors, we've been waiting very impatiently) Pearl's is finally open for same-day online ordering. I'm not a bagel expert, but these are some of the best bagels I've had in a long while. (not like I am getting back to NYC anytime soon, alas...) Good bite, good flavour, they toast up excellently and aren't too dense on the inside. RIP my waistline. https://www.pearlsbagels.com/
  5. So far my favorite things are: eggplant salad (smoky eggplant, shrimp, a dash of heat and citrus), the deep-fried asian pumpkin, khao soi gai, floating market noodle soup, and the mango and sticky purple rice. the eggplant, in particular, is very addictive. The fact that it will show up at my door is also addictive, although sipping a white lotus slushy while walking home is just a little bit naughty and therefor also enjoyable.
  6. I enjoyed momoyama and it was not very expensive, but it's been several years since I've been over there. gakyu was completely underwhelming and expensive at lunch. I hear that their omakase is good, but i can't say that i've been inspired to try it. i'm sure the sushi at nakazawa is excellent if expensive, but I refuse to go.
  7. Seylou is my local bakery/coffee shop. I'm just lucky that way They've really stepped up their weekend game this year. Weekend mornings are the only time to get a cinnamon roll with its topping of mascarpone icing, or bialy with cream cheese. (During the week you can get the plain raisin bun, or bialy with sauteed onion.) Weekend mid-mornings and afternoon brings Roman Pizza, which is a rectangle of thin whole wheat crust generously spread with tomato sauce and olive oil. Basically Pan Con Tomate gone super-sized. Friday and Saturday nights they do regular pizzas-- these vary, but the mushroom tends to knock my socks off. For bread, I'm happiest with the baguette and levain... I am pretty sure that one set of our friends only invite us over regularly because they know we will bring Seylou bread with us for dinner. They do not have uncaffeinated coffee, just full-strength. They do have butter coffee, and chai, and matcha lattes. It's a cute and welcoming spot.
  8. A pre-tax service fee is not subject to tipping regulations, and *can* be distributed to the kitchen staff. This is partly why alinea/next went to the service fee model. I suspect that is likely influencing Komi as well. I suppose it may also result in slightly higher tips; my suspicion is that it would be slightly lower net but guaranteed and stable and therefor better for all involved.
  9. The Aji tataki has been on the specials menu most of the times I have been in recently; I know this because I can't resist ordering it each time I go. I suspect you could always call and ask before going? or just go to seki multiple times
  10. it's totally challenging without electronic devices, but fine as long as you have google maps! we rented a SIM (had it sent to the hotel, as I recall, because you can't just buy a temporary SIM like in hong kong); did not try wifi. And while my experience was likely tempered by when we went-- it was a couple months after fukushima, and tourists/americans were in short supply-- everyone seemed perfectly happy to cope with non-japanese speakers. We'd point, or pantomime, or try google translate, or they'd dig up a busboy that had a smattering of english, and somehow it all always worked out deliciously. And oh, god, the department stores. Apparently the way to get me into a department store is to put 20,000 sf of food on the ground floor. I mean, I don't usually leave the ground floor, but still.
  11. my elusive holy grail are the sheng jian bao. So if anyone knows where excellent pan-fried soup dumplings can be found, I am ALL ATTENTION. As for the other good eats-- I suspect my spouse will thank me if we don't eat all dumplings all the time the next time...
  12. aha! Clearly we should all coordinate a big NYC run sometime. We ended up walking by Tim Ho Wan last weekend and I was like-- oooh, now that's a name I recognize! But we were completely out of room for additional food this past trip, so no chance to investigate. Thanks for doing the hard work
  13. What can I say? I love dumplings. We went up to NYC for four days of dumplings and dumplings and general walking around. We had some excellent dumplings and some tragic ones. On the excellent side: Sheng jian bao: So far, I have not found any in the states better than the ones at 456 Shanghai at 69 Mott Street. The reality is that sheng jian bao are best from a standalone shop that is making 50 of these at once, and as far as I can tell I'm only going to get that in shanghai. but in the meantime... I can make it to 456 in nyc when I have a craving. Xiao long bao: for convenience and reliability, Shanghai Cafe at 100 Mott is pretty much my gold standard. Cash only. We did find a better xiao long bao... but it was a big trek. You have to balance your craving against the effort. Diverse Dim Sum, in the New York Food Court in Flushing, has much better XLB. But they only have disposable plastic spoons and forks. So if you trek out to Flushing, I'd advise bringing your own spoon and chopsticks and chili in oil (for the wonton below). Wonton in chili oil: White Bear, 135-02 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing. (the shop entrance is actually around the corner on Prince St.) Cash only. Three tables. There is a long menu but you want the #6. The wonton are pillowy and subtle. The chili is flavour, not heat-- if you go in expecting spicy, you will be disappointed. Although, there is usually some spicy chili on one of the tables, if you must. Or bring your own. We started and ended our Flushing trip here. Delicious. Pan-fried pork and vegetable dumpling: Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, 1 Doyers St. Cash-only. The dumpling were fabulous. So were the pan-fried knife peeled noodles, as were the hand-pulled noodles. No air conditioning, tiny, cramped, delicious. (Not a Dumpling): Roast pork sesame pancake sandwich, Milk tea boba: Vanessas Dumpling House, 118 Eldridge. They also had tasty pan-fried pork dumplings and wonton in chili oil, but while very good they were not as excellent as the examples above. ---- Calories I ate so you do not have to: Nan Xiang XLB in Flushing. Maybe it was a bad day. If so, it was a bad day for everything we ordered here. the XLB were inedible (meat was... stale.) The scallion pancake was fried well but I think may have started life as cardboard. And the sheng jian bao were essentially just taiwanese bao that had been soaked in oil and given a very little pan fry at the wrong heat. no soup, too doughy and oily. edible- but no reason to actually eat them. Lao jia, or old street dimsum in queens crossing mall, flushing. The sheng jian bao were utterly tragic. They had been sitting under a heat lamp, they hadn't been fried enough, and the meat was not good. The guo tie otoh had just come off the stove and were pretty good, but not sure why you would otherwise find yourself in queens crossing mall. --- The New York Food Court and the New World Mall were both hopping shanghai-style food court malls, with tons of great smells. If I hadn't been on a dumpling mission, I know I would have found a lot more to inhale. There are also a couple of cute asian bakeries around town. I can definitely make the case for taking the 7 train out to flushing, starting at white bear, and then just eating your way through those two food courts before stumbling home.. possibly with a final stop at white bear before you go. Also the bathrooms at New World are some of the best public bathrooms I've been in. --- other note: Yes, we went to Joe's on our previous trip. Huge tourist trap, long waits, and the XLB were... fine? I like 100 mott better, and it's cheaper, and much less crazy. Joe's did have the best scallion pancake I'd had in years, though, so I might try to figure out how to just get one to go? Maybe.
  14. It had been a year or two, but we interrupted our four-day dumpling extravaganza last weekend for some Spotted Pig. Where, of course, we immediately ordered the gnudi. (dumplings! ahahah.) We also ordered and inhaled the Devils on Horseback as well as Deviled Eggs. We valiantly held onto the gnudi bowl and defended it against all service staff until my rillettes and toasted bread showed up... and our server volunteered to get us more toasted bread, for which I could have kissed her. and then the burrata and squash showed up, along with Nick's sage shoestring fries. We rounded it all out with homemade ice cream and a couple cocktails. It's less crowded than it used to be (although, NYC on a fairly empty holiday weekend is perhaps not the best metric), but, the food and the drinks and the service were excellent as always.
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