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About Nadya

  • Birthday 08/19/1973

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    Who's Your Trinidaddy?

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hammerhead (76/123)

  1. Thanks for the zabhiah tip, that's helpful.
  2. I am an immigrant married to an immigrant, and a mother of two children with weird names so they are as good as immigrants. So trust me when I tell you that I have nothing but respect for immigrants, for those who work three jobs, and bust ass to create better lives for their family by opening businesses in a tried-and-true mold. This isn't the point. How the cuisine isn't inclusive: Say I'm someone who only eats halal. Where can I get a fancy French meal? A well-made pizza? Awesome Chinese? A damn burger? A steak? Why must I be limited to kabobs and karahis? Halal isn't a cuisine. Muslim isn't a cuisine. But the facts on the ground are that those who opt for halal-only diet must necessarily, more often than not, limit themselves to a set of restaurants of a particular origin. And that doesn't have to be the case. There's nothing wrong with styrofoam containers, and with two small kids, I need all the paper napkins I can get. All I'm saying is that I once in a while want to go to a restaurant that has actual cloth napkins and good silverware. There are very few restaurants that use halal meat and fit this description, compared to other types of restaurants. I don't see how acknowledging this is in any way controversial.
  3. Here is the dialogue I have with my DH on a biweekly basis that illustrates two main problems with the halal restaurants. "Let's go out for dinner tonight". "Not the fucking kabob or chicken karahi again." "Oh come on. It's a restaurant." "But are the napkins made of cloth?" I will break it down for you. The first problem with halal restaurants is that they operate in a ghetto of their own making, confining themselves to the known. This is typically the Indopak and the Middle Eastern variety, with little imagination or effort to get creative with other cuisines or thoughts. That's not to say that one doesn't ache for a good karahi at some point, just that it doesn't HAVE to be that way. The second problem with halal restaurants is that they are *typically* lowbrow, with the majority making ample use of styrofoam containers and paper napkins. There is again nothing wrong with that, but it pigeonholes them into a box where they really have to be. I don't always want to eat in strip malls for the sake of keepin' it zabihah. Now the bright sides and happy exceptions, in no particular order: - the Iranian-owned restaurants offer *usually* a more refined tradition and approach to dining where one is more likely to find well-composed menus, able service and real utensils - the same is sometimes true of the Iraqi restaurants but there's fewer of them - some dishes are worth it. As are some holes in the wall. Jerusalem in Falls Church. Khan Kabob near Dulles does awesome karahi and lamb brain curry. Kabob Corner in Tysons does dependable Afghan, with vegetable standouts. I'll have some more names tonight. - random fact that the goat thing at Komi turned out to be halal It's not the clientele. The cuisine isn't inclusive. Halal is just a way to butcher meat. It doesn't HAVE to come with a particular way of preparing it. The alcohol thing doesn't help, either, but Iranian restaurants are usually a happy, civilized exception.
  4. I think you Americans might have a saying about that, no? About you. And the horse you rode in on.
  5. Darlings! I can't believe this resurfaced. What fun! AGM, my seven-year absence didn't make me any less lovable. I am rather hurt you'd deny me admirers over that!
  6. And after three pages of attitude and platitude, the best and single most useful piece of information is: The joint is now open for lunch. Because ever since me evenings were hijacked by an 8-pound creature, lunch is well, the new dinner. And I will climb that mountain next week and report. 'Till later.
  7. The food at RH has as much resemblance to a true Russian fare as average American Tex-Mex to true Mexican cooking. Good, yes, authentically Russian, nyet.
  8. Had dinner with two girlies the weekend of Memorial Day. Very easy, comfy bar stools, serviceable food at reasonable prices. Considering the location, it's a solid B.
  9. And that's the reason some of us are freaking DELIRIOUS to be done with this, from both sides, done, jamais de ma vie, khalas!
  10. Central, which is now the place that gets a full half of my dining dollars. Food and service and everyone there from GM to busboys. Delicious, amenable and lovely.
  11. That place is cursed, I tell ya. Cursed. In my eight years here, this is the fourth business to move in. It was unmemorable Italian in Red Tomato in 1999 to my fresh off the boat palate. It was Shelly's West End three years later when I was into martinis and mingling. It was David Greggory when a foodie wannabe was born. And now, driving past a new marquee, I barely turn my head. Hudson, eh? I wish you the best. The history argues against it at the moment.
  12. Well, I've never experienced a "call to confirm or we'll cancel" policy, but it's pretty standard procedure to call large parties to confirm. And like everything else in the restaurant biz, it's a matter of gray, not black and white. Suppose a large party did not confirm, or is unreachable. The restaurant would still hold the table, but with a discernibly lesser degree of zeal than for a party that took pains to confirm. This is rarely an issue for parties under 4 people on a non-special day. Sample conversation: Walk-in party: "Can you accommodate six people?" Hostess: "Not right now...but I do have an unconfirmed reservation, and if they don't show up in fifteen minutes, I will be happy to seat you." This also assumes the original reservation party does not respond to phone calls.
  13. On my only visit to Shamshiry a few weeks ago I found it to be wholly pedestrian. I have wanted to like it very much, and it generally takes some work for anything Persian or Middle Eastern to disappoint me. Chicken kabobs were only marginally moister than beef jerky, bread unremarkable, rice alright but undistinguishable from a handful of other area mom-and-pop operations, and ambience nonexistent. I'm all for hole-in-the-wall delights but food has to be good, and grown-up restaurants ambitions, if entertained, have to be supported by reality on the floor. They have failed to deliver (to me) on both counts.
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