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About lion

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  1. lion

    Paid Parking Slowly Killing Reston Town Center?

    That's good to hear. Amazing that near the Reston US Post Office you now have smaller business area with Beloved Yoga, Chef on Wheels and now a loft building goin up next to Akamai! It use to just be low level offices. --- Mezeh Mediterranean Grill (Ferris Bueller)
  2. lion

    Balducci's, Several Area Locations

    We've gone many times as the parking spaces are easy to use and not an issue. Agree that it is a smaller store in many ways and unfortunately the quality at the hot bar is not up to the standards at the McLean or Bethesda stores. However the sushi counter is still very good and in a way probably is the best sushi in Reston! I'm not sure but it seems like Balducci's is lowering the quality some of the meats and seafood to bring down the costs to be more competitive with the other local grocery chains.
  3. We also have been there a couple of times. Nunu is the brother of the sister (owner) at Thai Luang and unfortunately they had a falling out many years ago now. His new place is good for Thai food and locally, he's one of the most friendly restauranteurs in the area.
  4. lion

    In Honor of Herschel Browne

    Sorry to hear that. Godspeed Herschel.
  5. lion

    Road trip to Chicago

    Second on The Pine Club and Young's Jersey Dairy. There are better tasting stuffed pizzas in Chicago but still fond of Giordano's.
  6. lion

    Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

    A very fortuitous trip and a great experience! Checking the back of the fridge yesterday during the World Cup and my 2016 120's are finally finished, need to stock up again the next round.
  7. Obviously heard about his drug history but didn’t know about the depression. Surprising to say the least. RIP.
  8. lion

    The Northern Lights

    Thanks for all the replies, great ideas to consider. Washingtony, thanks for writing your travel experience out, Norway sounds like a good place to experience them.
  9. We finally made it to Rasa about a month ago and forgot to write it up. I think the Vinod Brothers are trying to bring a high level of quality food down into the fast casual restaurant scene. It many ways they have succeeded bringing more flavorful tastes to the masses. Their approach to reinventing Indian style cuisine reminded me of Banyan Tree South Asian Grill in Fairfax, VA. Unfortunately Banyan Tree has closed down and basically was operating as an Indian Chipotle. Rasa definitely is more ambitious in the scope of their agenda and brings more sharpness to the flavors and a higher quality of ingredients. They have a diversity of items in their menu which is pretty remarkable for fast casual as everything is made fresh. Service was very good and the space is warm and inviting. It was a little on the expensive for fast casual but good value for the quality. Rasa and Indigo are pretty good for eating Indian food outside the house in DC.
  10. lion

    Paid Parking Slowly Killing Reston Town Center?

    Never was a fan of Busara in RTC, but losing The Bike Lane was their loss.
  11. Thinking of potential upcoming trips and wondered if anyone has seen the Northern Lights in a setting where there is a unique culinary experience. It doesn't have to be the 'best' meal but rather an experience which would match with the light show. Thanks!
  12. lion


    Wow, that looks and sounds like an incredible experience. Definitely have to keep that in mind if we get to Scotland.
  13. Amex Platinum I think it's worth it if you travel more than once a year internationally. We're still just starting to get out our trips being short quick driving excursions outside of DC with our young son but think next year if we go to New Zealand or Japan will get it beforehand.
  14. lion


    Definitely get a local wifi modem or if possible a SIM card. Using a local SIM card in India with my iPhone made it very easy on many fronts such as coordinating with private drivers, Uber and Ola when there was a traffic jam on the road which can add hours to trips. The Japanese don't really eat spicy food in the Indian sense even though there are plenty of standing curry fast food places. During one trip I cooked Indian food at Japanese friend's house for a small gathering. I purposely made it as mild as possible while still retaining some flavor and still some of the guests broke out in a sweat! They finished the seafood dish though. 😊
  15. lion


    There is significant issue for local restaurants and non-English speaking sushi chefs which is that it is difficult with getting an accurate impression how much you are willing to spend. It is important to keep in mind that a lot of places that you will 'find' have already been visited by foreigners and unfortunately sometimes there have been issues with them complaining about the bill. Again a lot of places don't have a menu or written out price list so the bill is when you find out how much things cost and it is easy to go from $100 to $300 per person. Once I traveled to a local sushi place in northern Tokyo that was highly rated. Even the review spoke of it's unique status as it was more a local neighborhood place that had grown over the years in stature. I actually walked past the door 2-3 times before finding it. Once inside, the owner and kitchen staff were surprised to see a foreigner and actually thru broken communication asked how I heard about it. As I sat down at the counter, they communicated to me the price of the box lunch which was reasonable for such a high end place. I thought I would be able to order more pieces. That was not the case. This establishment didn't take credit cards so I had traveled there with yen in the amount of $500 US dollars. The lunch was only $40. This place was old school and the sushi chef even at the time 15 years ago was in his late 60s so plainly he ran his establishment in that vein. The two men next to me having lunch clearly were regulars and were eating the most interesting pieces of sushi right off the counter. Also they didn't make any payment when leaving so they must have had a monthly bill arriving in the mail or by some other means. I'm not saying this as warning but rather to acknowledge some difficulty that exists when going off the beaten path. Keep in mind, the younger generation of chefs will most likely have someone on staff who can speak rudimentary English if not fluent but it would be helpful to have some learned or written phrases with how much you would like to spend if the restaurant does not take credit cards. We're hoping to make a trip to Japan next year and I plan to use Tablelog as it looks a great resource.