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Kibbee Nayee

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Everything posted by Kibbee Nayee

  1. Being a little bit Springfield-minded, I vote for the lamb burger at Afghan Bistro, and Tom Sietsema agrees with me.
  2. By virtue of work location, I am occasionally find myself exploring the Food Court at Ballston Quarter. First general observation is that the Food Court at Ballston Quarter is not your father's food court. There are lots of very enticing options, and it's more of a Food Hall. Copa was our destination today, and it did not disappoint. I asked the server about other locations, and it turns out this is the only one, but there is an ownership connection with La Tasca. Makes sense, since there is a distinct Spanish flair to the dishes at Copa. I had the Serrano ham with Manchego cheese sandwich, and it was delicious. I would easily order it again. I chose the salad instead of the fries, and instead of the standard mixed greens grabbed out of the Sysco bag, the salad was a nicely composed Bibb lettuce with vinaigrette. Companion had the beef skewer cooked perfectly medium rare with a mound of Spanish rice and grilled eggplant. Copa was a pleasant surprise, inside a food court that itself is a pleasant surprise.
  3. My current favorite is Chef Feliciano in Springfield. It's only open for lunch, but he serves a very good rendition of a very good sandwich.
  4. For whatever reason, I feel compelled to provide input on the Springfield portion of the Dining Guide, but with the exception that "Multiple Locations" restaurants will be included in my list, because after all, they are in Springfield, and if you look at the Dining Guide for places in Springfield, the Multiple Locations restaurants need to appear in Springfield. Also, to the best of my knowledge, I included restaurants that are not in the Dining Guide (yet), and I rank-ordered the restaurants based on the Kibbee Nayee body of knowledge and experience. (CURRENT) DINING GUIDE LIST: Afghan Bistro - website - Twitter - Instagram - map - The best Afghan food I've ever eaten, extremely friendly and professional service, family-owned, open for lunch again as of Mar 1, 2018 with the original staff Cervantes Coffee Roasters - website - Instagram - map - Roaster-Owner Marialy Justiniano's single-origin coffees, fresh-roasted daily, a coffee gem in a warehouse setting Osteria Marzano - website - Twitter - Instagram - map - Chef Carmine Marzano used to head the kitchen at Luigino's downtown Marib - website - map - One of only 2-3 Yemeni restaurants in the DC area, open 10 AM 7 Days a week, I haven't yet been but reports are good Thai Ghang Waan - website - map Eleni's Greek Taverna - website - map *Flame Kabob - website Mike's American - website - @MikesAmerican - map 9 Pad Thai - website - map Le Bledo (Formerly Le Bledo Dalat) - Facebook - map Yindee Thai - website - Instagram - map Kana Sushi - website - map Kang Chon (formerly Oh Bok Jung) - website - map Yard House - website - Twitter - Instagram - map Hunan Taste - website - map Jacalito Rotisserie Chicken and Tex-Mex Grill - website - map Saigon Quan - Facebook - map Rivera's (703) 451-5344 Taiko Japanese Restaurant - website El Sabor Boliviano (703) 913-0617 Pho Hong Anh (703) 569-6060 Village Chicken - website Coco Rico (703) 822-0124 Sugar Palm Thai - website Kanjana Thai - website Saigon City - website Pho Saigon Quan - website Thai Cafe - website VN Cafe (703) 922-6228 RAWR Sushi - website Golden Hong Kong - website Asian Grill (703) 569-4800 Malek's Pizza Palace - website Karahi Kabob House - website - map Dining in Springfield see also: The Swiss Bakery (PROPOSED) KIBBEE NAYEE LIST: Afghan Bistro -- It deserves to be #1 by a good margin. Cervantes Coffee -- Best coffee around, but I'm not sure it's an apples-to-oranges comparison for this list. Coffee and a few pasties only, but oh, that coffee. Thai Ghang Waan -- Underrated Thai, and best Thai in Springfield by a lot. (Sugar Palm Thai should be moved to Alexandria.) 9 Pad Thai -- I've heard good things but haven't tried it yet. Eleni's Greek Taverna -- What suburban Greek food is meant to be, with outstanding service. Bozzelli's Flagship -- Best pizza in Springfield, Momma Bozzelli's specialties (since 1978!), large wine and beer assortment. Multiple locations, but this is the flagship. Marib -- I consider any place that doesn't serve alcohol to be carry-out only. Osteria Marzano -- I would move this restaurant under Franconia. I haven't been impressed by my visits here. Izumi Sushi -- Where Osaka Sushi used to be (behind Springfield Mall), and a bit better. Best sushi in Springfield, although that's faint praise. Della J's Delectables -- For some reason not in the Dining Guide. A mostly American menu, but the sides are all Southern, and the African-American draw to this place is noteworthy. Chef Feliciano -- Missing from the Dining Guide. Only open for lunch, but one of the best lunches in Springfield, and the best Cuban sandwich in Springfield. Outstanding catering menu. Bob and Edith's Diner -- Multiple Locations, but the best breakfast in Springfield. Ham 'n Eggs with Hash Browns is the way to start (or finish) any day. Le Bledo -- Consistent quality Vietnamese, with excellent phở and the best bánh mi in Springfield. Hai Duong -- Missing from the Dining Guide. New-ish Vietnamese sit-down restaurant in Brookfield Plaza with very good entrees. Pho Hong Anh -- Probably the best phở in Springfield since Phở 495 closed. Saigon City -- Le Bledo, Hai Duong, Phở Hong Anh , and Saigon City are a dead heat for me. It depends on mood and what you want on any given day. Saigon City has the best chả giò. Rivera's -- Nice little Latin American restaurant across from JW's. Mike's -- I guess I would stick Mike's somewhere about here, but you have to like mediocre and unimaginative fare accompanied by ear-shattering noise. JW's and Friends -- Missing from the Dining Guide, good American fare, lively bar for locals. Jacalito Rotisserie -- Tied with Village Chicken for the best rotisserie chicken in Springfield, but don't miss the taco salad and the seafood soup. Village Chicken -- Succulent chicken with a wide variety of sides, including pita with hummus. Coco Rico -- Basically Jacalito or Village Chicken, but with Middle Eastern sides. Moe's Peyton Place -- Missing from the Dining Guide. Over 48 years of standard diner fare, kind of a dive, with the second-best breakfast in Springfield, served all day. Dos Amigos -- Missing from the Dining Guide. Lively bar and actually good Tex-Mex, next to Costco. Karahi Kabob House -- Any place that doesn't serve alcohol is take-out only for the Kibbee Nayee's of the world. Good food, bad service, bad vibe. Asian Grill -- Suburban Americanized Chinese, better than most others, and well above average. Darren and Maggie are very gracious hosts. Maggie has worked for Darren for 28 years, starting at Ho's Dynasty in Burke. They are not married. Afghan Kabob -- Missing from the Dining Guide, with surprisingly good kabob platters. El Sabor Boliviano -- Sprinfield's best salteña, or maybe Springfield's only salteñas! Golden Hong Kong -- Good Chinese food, somewhat Americanized, next to Trader Joe's. Kang Chon -- Springfield's best Korean restaurant, although Annandale is only a few miles north, so go to Annandale. Saratoga Family Restaurant -- Missing from the Dining Guide, recently renovated, solid neighborhood Greek-Italian fare with not-bad pizza and very good salads and subs. Malek's -- See Delia's. Average pizza. subs, and salads with a Greek-ish leaning menu. Delia's -- See Malek's. Average pizza, subs, and salads with a Greek-ish leaning menu. Rolling Cooking -- Above average suburban Americanized Chinese food on Rolling Road. Des Pardes -- Missing from Dining Guide. New Pakistani restaurant where Aabshaar used to be. I haven't tried it yet. Kanjana Thai -- Recent visits have been regrettable. Hunan Taste -- See Kanjana Thai, but supposedly under new management. Desi Bethak -- New restaurant in the old Uncle Charlie's Pizzeria place, missing from the Dining Guide. Not yet visited. All of the Springfield Mall chains -- Not interesting enough to venture to the Mall, but the hot chicken livers at Nando's Peri Peri and the tabbouli at Mezeh are not offensive. All the rest -- Saigon Quan is closed. Listed separately in the Dining Guide is Pho Saigon Quan or Phở Sài Gòn Ơi, at the same address, which may or may not be closed. RAWR sushi and Taiko Sushi are so-so. So is Sarku Teriyaki and Sushi in Brookfield Plaza.
  5. Went to the Ballston location for lunch today. I ordered the Cubano, because I have been on a continuous quest for the real deal in the Washington DC area -- so far, about two decades into my quest, the scorecard is about 5% hit, 95% miss. Rustico is another entry in the "miss" column, with shredded instead of sliced roasted pork, and a scant little pickle, on an overly greasy and uninteresting bun. Meh. Still searching for the perfect Cubano in the DC area. Closest to date were a lunchtime special at Acadiana about 5-6-7 years ago, and a version at Blue Iguana in Fair Lakes about two owners ago, when the menu tended towards Louisiana and Gulf fare. Otherwise, there are a lot of pretenders out there.
  6. Springfield is not a major dining mecca, but El Sabor Boliviano on Backlick Rd has some serious salteñas.
  7. For those of us challenged by the difference, can anyone explain the difference between the pupusa, the empanada, and the salteña?
  8. Slightly off topic, I remember in the 1980s when I had the occasional trip to Europe, and I marveled at how wonderful the local brews were. But back home, we had precious few places we could go for good beer. There was a brewpub in Charlottesville, and then the Capitol Brewery downtown near the Greyhound station, and a tap room like Union Street Public House in Alexandria....but I recall researching what it would take to start a brewpub and I recall that the ordinances at the time made the concept prohibitive. Now they're everywhere. What happened when I wasn't paying attention?
  9. This little gem caught our eye -- Benny Vitali's -- packed on a Friday mid-afternoon, with large and luscious-looking pizzas being consumed with abandon. Home of the "Virginia Slice." It's a mid-Atlantic chain, but the crowd was worth noticing. And because each Benny's location has its own name, like Benny Vitali's in Fredericksburg and Benny Marzanos' in Blacksburg, each location can be listed separately in the Dining Guide! I'm thinking Fredericksburg as a whole needs a refresh in the Dining Guide.
  10. We were downtown -- which, by the way, is quaint and nice -- and it was around 2:00pm. We noted that Foode closes at 3:00pm and re-opens at 4:00pm, so not wanting to intrude on family meal or transition to dinner service, we ended up at Peter Chang. It was a solid meal, led off by delicious scallion puff cakes and dry-fried eggplant. (I'm not a fan of the Dining Guide clumping all the Peter Chang restaurants into Multiple Locations, while restaurants like GARG get broken out separately....)
  11. Heading to Fredericksburg with LadyKN on Friday or Saturday, July 5-6. Any updates to this list?
  12. Aabshaar closed earlier this year, and the location is now Des Pardes Restaurant and Sweets. It's apparently a Pakistani restaurant, with no website. The Facebook page is linked.
  13. Lititz is the gem of Lancaster County. My sister-in-law grew up there and I spent many memorable times there. The Wilbur Chocolate retail store is right in the middle of town -- Wilbur Chocolate was made there before Cargill bought them. The Lititz arts and craft show in August is well attended by local artists and craftsmen. The town is as quaint as it gets. I would consider retiring there if the road to Lancaster wasn't a horrible one-lane mess known as Rt 501.
  14. I don't know why these restaurants are treated as separate entities. The only things that are really different are the names. Try to order a salad without sun-dried cranberries. I know, I've asked. Sorry, that's the way it comes. I say I don't like gummy bears or ju-ju-bes in my salad, and I'm told I can pick them out. Try to figure out what a short-smoked salmon is. Every GARG restaurant has it on the menu. Jambalaya pasta? I prefer my jambalaya with rice. Drunken rib-eye? It's prepared in salt-forward sludge masquerading as marinade. There's no real difference in these restaurants, even down to the deafening din that characterizes the ambience. Why do we even break them out separately in the Dining Guide, while clumping all of the Clyde's restaurants together?
  15. Better part of this decade and no updates on one of my favorite little gems in Vienna? They are having an afternoon tea this week, and if anyone hasn't tried Cafe Renaissance, or if you enjoy afternoon tea, please go for it.
  16. I agree, and I always support the locals. I'm not a fan of chains, and when I see a menu with so many items, and knowing that a real chef isn't in the kitchen, who thinks of these concepts and why do they (seem to) succeed? Shipments of corporate supplies, supplemented by Sysco, assembled by barely-over-minimum-pay kitchen staff, with a heightened sense of disinterest and lifelessness. Why even bother? Can anyone really convince me that it's better than Applebee's, Olive Garden, Chili's, TGI Friday's, or similar...?
  17. Chicken corn soup is one of the more delicious and defining dishes that Lancaster has gifted our world. (If you try making it at home, a good substitute for the rivels would be spaetzle.) Think of those autumn festivals, which are designed to be mini-Octoberfests in that they showcase the finest ingredients from the harvest season, and also as fundraisers for the local volunteer fire companies. The best of best of the corn, and the best of the best of the chickens, are brought together for a celebratory feast. I typically buy at least two gallons of chicken corn soup from the Lampeter fire hall festival, and freeze one gallon. The other gallon is devoured the same day.
  18. Katt -- As a former Lancastrian who assiduously avoided the tourist throngs, my suggestion is to hit the volunteer fire halls in the autumn. Tourist traffic tends to wane after the school year begins, and the volunteer fire halls usually have the best food in the autumn, with or without a mud sale. The chicken corn soup on the eastern side of Lancaster County is absolutely spectacular, and the shoo-fly pies are homemade.
  19. I believe Wee Willie Keeler of your beloved Orioles hit .434 in the 1890s, but those were dead baseball slap hitters who “hit ‘em where they ain’t” and benefited from fielders gloves that were more like paper plates. Didn’t Hornsby hit .424 one year? And he was right handed so that was amazing. And yes, Joltin’ Joe was a swordsman. When he was later married to Marilyn Monroe, and they did a USO tour of the troops in Korea, she got a huge ovation from thousands of troops. She asked him if he knew how it felt to get cheered by thousands of fans, he responded “Yes I do.”
  20. I know there's a following for GARG restaurants here, but when I see "neo-industrial space" in the comments, I think of the typical ear-splitting din of GARG restaurants and why they are so unappealing to me. I also assume with the Tex-Mex egg rolls, the Charleston salad, and the Louisiana pasta, they are also pushing the same menu at all of their differently-named outposts. Short-smoked salmon, where are you?
  21. I'm hopeful that the Amish and Mennonite communities will continue to get along as they always have, despite what goes on in Lancaster city....
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