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Kibbee Nayee

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Everything posted by Kibbee Nayee

  1. What the Greeks and many of my Middle Eastern cronies tend to do is add beef broth, garlic, and lemon to the roasted potatoes.
  2. The Air Force landed me in the DC area in 1980, and my first fine dining experience here was Vincenzo's -- the Italian seafood restaurant in Adams Morgan. Maybe a notch below but quite excellent was New Orleans Emporium in Adams Morgan. Growing up in Lancaster, PA, fine dining was scrapple WITH ketchup....but Haydn Zug's in East Petersburg was as good as it got.
  3. There aren't many competitors to the Mick in history. No switch hitter had his power. Yogi Berra used to say that if Mantle only batted left-handed, he would hit .400 with 60 HRs, but Mantle was a phenomenal switch-hitter. The guy in today's game that reminds me most of Mantle is Mike Trout. Now imagine how amazing Trout would be if he could bat 67% of the time from the batter's box that is a step and a half closer to first base?
  4. Almost every Middle Eastern restaurant offers a plethora of vegan mezze appetizers -- hummus, baba ghanouj, tabbouli, pickled turnips, olives, you-name-it. You can cover the entire table with small vegan plates, tuck in with hot-out-of-the-oven pita bread, and gorge yourself. I've done it often, and I'm a devout carnivore.
  5. Big fan of Habit Burger here. No visit out west is complete without a Habit Burger meal. While it’s trickling eastward, the Habit Burger outposts around LA are the best of the California fast food burger experiences. Yes, I have eaten at In-N-Out in many occasions. But give me a choice and it’s Habit every time.
  6. Carry out from Raouche yesterday was very good. If this place served alcohol, it would be in my regular rotation. But nonetheless, this is quite good food. We enjoyed the Tuesday okra special -- a stew of okra, beef, tomato, garlic, cumin, coriander -- plus the Raouche platter, plus the chicken kabseh, plus the hummus special and tabbouli. All were quite good, even after travel time from Merrifield to Springfield. The Raouche platter is a skewer of lamb kabob, a skewer of chicken kabob, and a skewer of kafta, over a bed of rice, with grilled onion and tomato. Their rice is delicious, a nice pilaf cooked with cardamom and cumin. I should add that Lady KN and I both agree that the hummus topped with shawarma was about the best we have tasted in this area. Their concept of the daily special is a good one. One of mama's special dishes, prepared each day. Tuesday is the okra stew, which was excellent. On Wednesday there is stuffed grape leaves (warak enab) and stuffed squash, and on Saturdays there is stuffed cabbage (malfouf). Markers are on my calendar for these days. Where does it rank in Kibbee Nayee's notional Middle Eastern rankings in the DC area? Well, I still have Me Jana at no. 1, and Lebanese Taverna (tie between the original location in Arlington and the Tysons Galleria outpost) at no. 2, but it might be in my top 5. It compares favorably with Mediterranean Gourmet Market in Franconia.
  7. Trout has a "solid, albeit unspectacular arm," according to his scouting report. As centerfielders, they could give a little in the throwing department, more so than in right field. In my man cave, I have a picture of Mantle wearing no. 6, and it is autographed. I tracked him down at a card show in Atlantic City in the mid-90s. Over my fireplace, I have this picture of Mantle with DiMaggio and Williams, autographed by all three. Mantle was my hero growing up. The only game I ever attended at old Yankee Stadium was when he was about ready to retire. He hit HRs #530 and #531 off Jim Merritt of the Twins, and the Yankees lost the game 3-2. In the Old TImers Game prior to the regular game, I saw DiMaggio with his picture-perfect swing hit a single up the middle against Bob Feller. After Mantle retired, and before my new hero Thurman Munson arrived on the scene, Brooks Robinson stood in as my hero. I still and always will love Brooksie.
  8. Haha! One of my high school flames, and my high school baseball coach, lived on State Street. I spent the first 23 years of my life in Lancaster. Local delicacies like pickled red beet eggs, scrapple, and head cheese were second nature to me. I had no idea the rest of the world treated these dishes as novelties. When I first went into the Air Force, in San Antonio, I went with a southern fellow for a fried chicken lunch off base. My friend ordered his meal and then added a pickled jalapeño pepper for a nickel. OK, so I bought one too. I watched as he bit into his chicken and then took a bite of pepper. So I did the same. Having grown up in Lancaster, I thought my head exploded and a lightning bolt went down my throat. I turned red and my head was pouring sweat. He couldn't stop laughing. Nowadays I eat jalapeños like candy, but back then, I was a kid from Lancaster. I couldn't believe that the rest of the country really didn't have liverwurst, or Lebanon Balogna, or sweet balogna, or hard pretzels, or Gibbles potato chips. But I had also never eaten a taco before I left Lancaster, or real ethnic food for that matter, other than my mother's Middle Eastern food. Lancaster did a lot of things before they were cool, like head cheese. Or bacon on everything. Or pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day. Or putting a pot of water on the stove to boil, then heading to the roadside stand for sweet corn picked within the last 20 minutes, and heading home to cook the 15 ears you just bought for a dollar. The Lancaster I miss is still there, but you have to swat away the yuppie gentrification to get at it.
  9. Mantle had the tools to be the greatest of all time. And from 1956 to 1962, he was probably close to being the greatest of all time. His career was marred by injuries, and more than that, he let Billy Martin turn him into an alcoholic. If the yankees had traded Billy Martin a few years sooner, Mantle would have undoubtedly had better performance through the 1960s. The closest comparable to Mantle in today's game is Mike Trout. Their tools are basically the same.
  10. I grew up in Lancaster, born and raised. Graduated from Lancaster McCaskey High School and Franklin and Marshall College. I left to "avoid the military by joining the Air Force" and have been in the DC area for 4 decades. My memories of Lancaster are as it was, not as it is. And it was a quaint and simple place, before gentrification. The only neck beards when I lived there were on Amish or Mennonites. I still love Lancaster, but for me, it's primarily because of the legacies that are still in place. Stouffer's of Kissel Hill was one of many local family-owned markets. It wasn't a grocery store or a supermarket, it was a market. The meat counter had a butcher who would cut anything you wanted, or slice your cold cuts fresh. The bakery had shoo-fly pie and sticky buns made that day or that hour. The produce in the summer was grown within a mile or two. Stouffer's is still there, with the best celery on the planet every autumn, and John Herr's in Millersville and Shady Maple in East Earl are still bringing it. I can't understand why Wegman's would want to expand into this market. For me, true Lancaster these days are the weekend runs for produce in late summer and early autumn, and if you time it right, the fire halls in September will be serving tubs of chicken corn soup that will change your life. Drive the eastern side of the county and get off the main roads -- be careful, buggies are everywhere and they move slowly -- but stop at the furniture barns where the furniture is made by hand, and without power tools. If you're lucky, you'll come upon an Amish barbecue raising money for someone's medical bills because they don't carry medical insurance but, boy oh boy, is that chicken goooood! And that home made ice cream from their own cows is a dream. To me, Lancaster is the land that time forgot. I hope it stays that way.
  11. Each run was a single sheet of 12x12 cards = 144. Some runs were 11x12 cards = 132 cards. Current card value includes centering and sharp edges, which relate to the production process.
  12. I agree about the ‘51 Bowman. Part of the attraction of the ‘52 Topps Mantle is that it’s a high number card. High numbers were short runs, as the company prepared to run the football sets.
  13. Maddux always faced 8-hitter lineups, and he knew how to work those lineups so he could play soft-toss with the catcher for 2 or 3 innings of every start. He turned down more money from AL teams like the Yankees so he could sign with the Braves when he was a free agent. He feared what 9-hitter lineups would do to his humbers.
  14. Yeah, today was brutal. I walked across the terrace from Tysons 1, and the wind was bitter. Are you in 1800 Tysons Blvd? If so, I also work in that building on occasion....
  15. Lunch today at Earl's Kitchen + Bar in Tysons was surprisingly good for a Tysons lunch spot. The place is large, bar-forward, sort of like a GAR place. Instead of a food-for-the-masses kind of menu, it has some interesting wrinkles like a truly good sushi roll menu and a poke bowl that my companions both raved about. I had the swordfish tacos, which were delicious if slightly messy to eat. The burgers coming out of the kitchen looked substantial. The heritage is Canadian but the menu is anything but. Definitely worth a try among the wasteland of lunch options in Tysons proper.
  16. Mantle had an error card in that set that is worth a lot of money -- some $40K if professionally graded at NM-MT. The Johnny Bench and Nolan Ryan rookie cards are in the 1968 Topps set. I know that because I have put together that set, plus the 1967 set. In both sets I also have the errors and variations. Plus the insert sets. My eldest son is trying to get me to put together the 1966 and 1969 sets now, and I'm going along with it. It's a fun hobby, but the expensive cards make it more than a hobby.
  17. That's it! Atami! Some of the best sushi in our area 25-30 years ago! And I remember the Chinese place, but I can't recall its name.
  18. Bringing back memories....that tall pyramid-esque building over the Clarendon Metro once housed part of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the 1980s and 1990s. Whitey's bar down Clarendon Blvd was a true "spook bar" of which we have a few in the Washington DC area. [NOTE -- "Spook" refers to "spy"] Please jog my memory -- on the same side of Wilson as Queen Bee was once my favorite sushi restaurant, some 30 years ago. It was on a par with Tachibana, which at that time was on Lee Highway in Arlington. Can anyone remember the name of that sushi place?
  19. Queen Bee and Nam Viet were my go-to restaurants back in the '80s. I knew people who knew people who claimed that these Vietnamese restaurants, plus a few Clarendon stores, were fronts for Asian crime activities and money laundering. No matter, the food there introduced me to the flavors of Vietnam before I knew anything about the Eden Center.
  20. I say again, Mussina is a Greg Maddux who pitched his entire career in the AL East. Maddux was smart enough to realize that working 8-hitter lineups was far easier than trying to pitch in AL East bandboxes in the steroids era against 9-hitter lineups. I remember watching Mussina's near-perfect game in Boston on September 2, 2001. It was Sunday night baseball, so the entire nation was watching. Mussina retired the first 26 batters effortlessly, and then ran the count to 0-2 on the 27th batter, Carl Everett. But instead of the knee-buckling knuckle curve that had Boston fooled all game, Mussina climbed the ladder with a high fastball and Everett slapped it into the opposite field for a single. It was a flawless game until that point, and instead of letting it get to him, Mussina recovered and got the next out for a one-hit shutout. On the road. At Fenway Park. Against a 9-hitter lineup. Take every lineup that Greg Maddux faced, and then add David Ortiz. Or Edgar Martinez. Or Frank Thomas. Or Harold Baines. Or Jason Giambi. Only then would he be accomplishing what Mussina accomplished.
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