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  1. My brother works for them in Columbus. He's been sent to open/train the kitchen staff in many of the new cities: NYC, Philadelphia, Denver, LA, SF, Boston, Dallas, IIRC He told me the location of the DC spot at Christmas and I could only think it wasn't a great choice given all the other nearby steak houses. They seem to do ok with their model in other cities, though (at least they keep opening them!). Cameron Mitchell has some more unique offerings in Columbus that I like (The Pearl), but the OP location is in Columbus out in the burbs at a mall, so when I go back there, it doesn't make the list. He wasn't sure if they were going to send him here or not to open. He usually spends a month at the new location when he does.
  2. I would check Brabo. I wonder how many the rooftop would hold? Also my office is doing a formal event at the Mt Vernon Country club this fall. Usually we do more casual social events.
  3. Any updates? I'm headed there in a few weeks with my husband for his 50th birthday (he chose this over our dinner reservations at MiniBar). There is some Jeep Jam he wants to attend, and go off roading. Apparently there are trails somewhere out there. In any event, we'll have dinner Friday (it will be a "first Friday" in the downtown area), and there is a blues band he wants to see at Clementine. The Taco Truck sounds interesting for lunch on Saturday, although we may be eating from food trucks at the fairground, depending on how the Jeep thing goes. We have dinner reservations at the Local Chop House, which looks intersting. TIA. --- Cuban Burger (DaRiv18)
  4. There was a place in La Plata that used to get good reviews, but I haven't heard anything recent. Was it Casey Jones?
  5. We tried to go in late December but it was closed at that point. We favor the Fern Street location, although the Shirlington location has more space and a full bar if you don't want beer/wine.
  6. I have a place in southern Calvert - we generally don't stray from Solomon's Island for dinners (crossing the bridge to St. Mary's county is rarely worthwhile), although we'll boat to lunch to a few places along the Pax river. SInce we dine out so much during the week in Alexandria/DC, we mostly cook at home on the weekends down there. Our go to place is the CD Cafe in Solomons (have spotted a DC chef dining there). We have a friend who swears by the Belle Maison on the island. We went once, but found it a tad stuffy for island living. I've only been to the french place in Leonardtown once, and would not go back. The food seemed as if they opened a frozen box and heated it up. If you like Stoney's, you might want to try one of the two versions on the Island for your Christmas party - both have party rooms and the same basic menu. We've done retirement/going away parties at Stoney's Solomon's Pier in their upstairs room with fair success. The other is Stoney's Kingfisher, where we once held our office holiday party. As for ribs, my husband makes the best in his Big Steel Keg smoker. We stop at Nick's of Calvert on our way south to pick up weekend ingredients. Best butcher in Calvert county. We pick up seasonal produce at Chesapeake's Bounty. I had a post in an old southern Maryland thread a few years back. There are more options on the island these days, so perhaps I should update it. Tiki Bar opening is only a few weeks away. Not that you would want to combine that with trying to eat out on the island... Also, Stoney's is taking over the old Clark's Landing space. I don't think they've opened yet, but they had a nice party room as Clark's.
  7. I ended up at: Emporium Pies: Picked up a Drunken Nut pie (bourbon pecan w/ a shortbread crust) to take to the tailgate. Was a big hit. Smoke: Met friends for lunch on Monday here before the tailgate. The brisket sandwich was very good - and the cheesy grits/hominy side was very nice. My husband had the cabrito and loved it. Service was great. All 6 of us really enjoyed lunch, and the casual atmosphere was just perfect. The bread and butter pickles were quite tasty. Missed breakfast the next day - can't even really say we had Brunch, since we didn't get back to the hotel until 1:30 am. After being up since 4 am Dallas time, we slept late. Instead, we headed to Ft. Worth and had a really nice lunch at the Woodshed. We started w/ the crispy potatoes and the Brisket stuffed peppers w/ bone broth and cheese. Both were really tasty. My husband wanted something to dip in the bone broth, ended up using the crispy potatoes that he smashed. I had a plain old pulled pork sandwich, which was pretty good. He went on to have "Today's animal flesh", which was cabrito once again. Totally different dish than the one at Smoke, and he really enjoyed it. After lunch we went down to the historic area, wandered around a bit, then had a drink at the White Elephant Saloon. Pretty dead in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, but the drinks were exceptionally inexpensive. Last snack before our flight was at Dallas Love Field (DAL) - sat at the bar at the Sky Canyon. Husband had the brisket sandwich, I had the brisket tacos. Were not bad, especially for airport food. The bartended poured a generous Knob Creek for me. Thanks again to everyone for the advice. My friends always count on me to pick the restaurants, and I am glad I was able to deliver again. They are already talking about next year in Glendale, AZ. I won't go there just yet, don't want to jinx anything. Go Bucks!
  8. Thanks. I'm not certain I could talk my husband into a nominal donut place on principle. He is just that way. CBD provisions looks to have a nice breakfast although there is a classic diner place crossroads we are thinking of. Thinking about Smoke for lunch one day then the Woodshed on Tuesay even if Ft Worth is out of the way. Thoughts? Thank you for the recs though. I will look at it closer later today.
  9. Headed to Dallas for the National Championship game. Flying in Monday, tailgating all day most likely (may need lunch), but mostly need a big late breakfast place recommendation for Tuesday morning. Since our flight doesn't leave until 6 pm, a late lunch/early dinner rec would be great too. Casual attire, as we will still be wearing our Buckeye gear. We are staying downtown at the Crowne Plaza and will have a car. Flying in/out of Love field. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Go Bucks!
  10. If you are reading Yelp for Columbus reviews, keep an eye out for this guy - sounds like an interesting man. Local Yelp legend Paul F. posts last review By Lori Kurtzman Paul G. Ferrara, 70, was a prolific Yelp reviewer. The Columbus Yelp community will hold a memorial gathering for him on Tuesday. Paul F. once gave a gas station a five-star review for its hot dogs. He tore into a breakfast restaurant for charging him a quarter for jelly. He wrote of an enjoyable lunch at an Indian buffet, though he noted, "I don't have the foggiest idea of what I ate." He reviewed hospitals and auto repair shops, tailors and bakers. He ate pan-seared foie gras ("If I had it to do over I'd have skipped this one") and fast-food dollar burgers ("And they weren't too bad"). He reviewed a lunchtime trip to Kohl's: "I was looking for underwear believe (it) or not. And they had just what I was looking for and the price was okay." Paul F. had opinions. He didn't keep them to himself. Among the online review community Yelp "” a site where users are referred to by their first names and last initials "” Paul F. was a local legend, a pioneer. In nearly six years, he wrote 929 reviews. He visited new restaurants before most people knew they existed, determined to be the first to judge. Often, he was: Paul F. wrote the inaugural Yelp review of 188 separate places. Paul G. Ferrara, 70, of North Columbus, died on Aug. 23. The Pittsburgh native, a former computer programmer, left behind two sons and a handful of grandchildren. And all those opinions. Local Yelpers will gather Tuesday to remember Paul F., the man who despised plastic utensils and dirty windows and loved submarine sandwiches and exclamation points. They'll meet at Fortune Chinese Restaurant on Olentangy River Road, his favorite, and eat the spicy wontons he always raved about ("You get a dozen of them and boy are they good! And spicy!"). They'll mourn their friend, the grump, the sweetheart, the unexpected champion of local businesses who nevertheless once reviewed a restaurant thusly: "I went in, took a look around and left." Paul F. stood out on Yelp, and not just because of his prolific writing. He was an early adopter of a forum seemingly overrun by 20-something amateur critics. Paul F. was the loud, grumpy old guy, one with a swoop of thick white hair, one who quoted Garrison Keillor in his profile: "Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn." His reviews were short and to the point, never flashy. His first entry gave Easton steakhouse Smith & Wollensky a single star for its "overpriced food and snooty waiters." "Paul was hilarious," said Bryant Miller, the Yelp Columbus community manager who delighted in reading Paul F. reviews. "I think that the big redeeming thing with Paul is you always knew what he meant." Paul F. noted dirty countertops and rude teenagers. If something was wrong with the meal, he'd announce it to the waitress in the booming voice of a man whose own hearing was faltering. "That was just Paul," said Mike Greene, a Yelper who befriended Paul F. after he recognized him one day at lunch. "You have to take Paul as he is." When it came to reviewing his own life, Paul F. wasn't one to mince words, either. In November, after his recliner of two decades gave out, he headed to Value City Furniture (four stars) for a replacement. The discount store wasn't his first choice. "But I knew at this stage of my life I didn't want to go high-end again," he wrote. "It's probably safe to say that I won't be around for another twenty years. Hard to admit that but it's true." Paul F. didn't post much in August, just three reviews on the first two days of the month. Yelpers noticed. Restaurants owners noticed. Greene sent him a message: "Hey Paul...I've been watching for a new review from you...it's been three weeks now. Very odd." Miller broke the news to Yelp on Monday. Paul F.'s profile is still up on the site, along with all of those reviews. His last one was Aug. 2, a five-star rave of The Market Italian Village. "It was a nice night and they had all the windows open and it was the perfect night for it," he wrote. "So the first thing I did was to roam around a bit. ...Then I grabbed a seat and ordered a (charcuterie) board and a glass of riesling and just ate and took it all in."
  11. I can't believe I forgot breakfast. This place is a must, get the sweet and spicy bacon bark or the slow roasted pork breakfast sandwich... There will be a line to order, you get a number, you find a table. Near campus in Victorian Village. http://www.katalinascolumbus.com/
  12. Just back from Chicago. Some pretty good chow. Very meat-centric, naturally. Side Door - classic little bar (part of Lawry's steak house) that has a separate menu - they call it a gastropub. Was out by myself with a big work meeting the next day, so I grabbed a bar stool and had a burger. It was a very nice burger, and they had a decent bourbon selection. I liked the atmosphere (low key) and the food. Fontera Grill - was told the wait would be an hour+, but was actually about 20 minutes. Wasn't bad, just wasn't as good as I remembered from last time. Started w/ the Guac, husband had the relenos special (liked it quite a bit) and I had the skirt steak. Would say it wasn't as good as I remember, but that was 10 years ago. Don't think it would make my list for the next trip. Berghoff: German lunch, classic, quite nice. Has the first liquor license granted after prohibition posted in the bar. We both had the schnitzel. Red cabbage was a better side than the gernam potato salad. Cafe Spiaggia: Great food. Really nice carpaccio and burratta appetizers, followed by the wild boar gnochhi for me. Loved it. Really beautiful gnocchi. Would get it again. Split a tiramisu for dessert - a little on the dry side for me, but I think mine is usually better than anyone elses out there. Tavern on Rush - Saturday breakfast. Not bad, but LuxBar next door was much better. Purple Pig: Highlight of the eating adventures. Granted, we lucked out and got seats at the bar immediately (there was a wait for tables, naturally). Was a late-afternoon refreshment stop after a history walking tour. Split the fried deviled eggs (need more) and the veal flank steak (yes, please). We were meeting friends for dinner (they picked the place) so we didn't get more. Piccolo Sogno Due: Had a very nice meal with our friends here. We lingered for hours (hadn't caught up with them in a while) and the staff was great. Did the antipasta for 4, I had the rib eye (average), the guys each had a whole bronzino or the whole flounder and our other friend had the ravioli, I think. Not the best meal of the trip, but the company, service and atmosphere made for a great evening. LuxBar - Sunday brunch - busy place, better breakfast between it and the place next door. Had the classic benedict (house made canadian bacon) and the husband had the breakfast skillet.
  13. Had a really tasty seared scallops with fresh corn/tomato risotto special last night at Bastille.
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