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Kibbee Nayee

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Everything posted by Kibbee Nayee

  1. Maybe it was yesterday's spectacular weather on the waterfront, the al fresco dining, the wonderful company of my lovely wife, or the people-watching of (mostly) tourists, but the meal at Vola's was a really nice experience. Lady KN and I tore into 4 dozen oysters to start -- 2 dozen Chincoteague and 2 dozen James River -- and then followed with peel-and-eat shrimp for her and a lobster roll for me. All around very good eating. The oysters were shucked almost perfectly, with just a bit of shell shard on only 2 of the 48 oysters we devoured. In addition to the high quality of the oysters, plump and juicy and briny, the addition of fresh-grated horseradish next to the cocktail sauce was nice. My lobster roll was very good, with probably 6 ounces of lobster on the traditional roll, and some of the best fries I've eaten in the past year. The fries were hot out of the fryer, maybe even an air fryer, with a dusting of slightly spicy seasoning. Lady KN's shrimp were of the oxymoronish jumbo size, with a coating of spice that was nicely complementary. Old Town on a beautiful Sunday afternoon has many enjoyable sights and sounds, and we vowed to repeat the experience again in the near future before the weather takes away the pleasure of outdoor dining.
  2. Theirs was not always the best in the area, but it was good enough (for someone with the eponymous screen name). The Lebanese cuisine in this area is credible, compared to most metropolitan areas not named New York, Los Angeles, or Detroit/Dearborn. Our selection of Mama Ayesha's, Lebanese Taverna, Me Jana, Mediterranean Bakery, Mediterranean Gourmet Market, Albi's in the Navy Yard, among a few others, is an abundance of goodness.
  3. Springfield's hamburger competition has heated up over the past few months with the arrival of Dyfre's Burger on Fullerton Road near the Springfield Costco. Afghan Bistro still holds the top spot, but Dyfre's has probably supplanted BGR The Burger Joint and Mike's American Grill for the #2 spot. Uber Eats carried my order about a mile to my house. I enjoyed the $12 Elite Burger, a side salad, and the fried calamari with jalapeño slices. The quality was overall good, but perhaps the Sunday afternoon non-prime timeframe or the Uber Eats travel didn't do the items enough justice. The calamari was a bit salty and probably fried past optimal -- they were rubbery -- but the chipotle rioli dipping sauce was exceptional. The burger came in a dark brown bun, which was not called out on the menu. It was good, but a bit flimsy considering the half pound of Angus beef plus cheese, tomato, pickles, onions, and lettuce inside the bun. I ordered the burger medium, and it came closer to medium well, so I chalk that up to the Uber Eats ride. Nonetheless, this was a damned good burger. I mentioned in the title that a bit of Mexican influence was apparent on the menu -- Mexican Burger, Empanadas, Mexican Coke, Corona Extra, Frozen Margarita....the owner is Freddy Vargas, and the Dyfre's website links to La Taqueria DC, at the same Fullerton Road location and with the same phone number as Dyfre's, also owned by Freddy Vargas. Bella Vita Pizza is also part of Freddy's mini-empire. The Dyfre's menu also brags about its hot dogs, which is not all that common among the fast-casual establishments. The Dyfre's Hot Dog and the Classic Hot Dog both look like future menu options for me, and the cooler weather in the coming months would put the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup on my radar. More reports to come....I'm thinking of a progressive pig-out of Tacos Lengua (x2) at La Taqueria DC, and La Mexicana Pizza at Bella Vita Pizza, and then the Empanadas at Dyfre's would be a decent binge.
  4. Gonzalo and Melina Pardo met at Paradiso in 2003, and they dreamed of opening their own restaurant for over a decade. The Argentine family, joined by their two sons and a chef from New York, recently opened La Fiamma in the former Paradiso space. I plan on giving it a try, but the exterior is nicely refreshed, and the menu has some items like Seafood alla Veneziana, which Lady KN will devour, homemade black linguine and all....and count me in on the veal chop with Barolo reduction. Opening a family-owned single restaurant on the tail end of a pandemic -- with the Delta variant looming -- takes a special set of equipage. I'm rooting for them to succeed, and I applaud their fortitude. I'm thinking this is a cooler weather kind of restaurant, but it's on my list.
  5. The restaurant turnover continues in Springfield, and other places as well. Hot Peppercorn appears to be worth a try. The menu doesn't look to be overly Americanized, and some interesting dishes like duck blood, beef, and tripe in spicy broth, or pork intestine and fish filet in spicy broth, caught my eye. I will give it a try and report within the coming weeks.
  6. My mistake. Still open when I drove past it today. Whatever was next door was closed.
  7. Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of this Springfield gem: https://www.facebook.com/events/564886621313398?ref=newsfeed Come one, come all!
  8. I like the Lorton Station little faux town center because you can put together a progressive meal. In the former Fireside Grill space will be coming the anticipated locavore stylings of Home Town Grill and Bar. In the former Pane e Vino space just a stone's throw away is Casa Tequila, a not too bad Americanized Mexican restaurant with only four local outposts -- Purcellville, Alexandria, Sterling, and Lorton. The latter has a tequila list that is among the more extensive in northern Virginia.
  9. Interesting development here....in the (hopefully) last stage of a pandemic, a non-chain specializing in "Modern American food from a fresh seasonal menu served along side craft cocktails and local brews" sounds like an adventure. The previous tenant was the very good Fireside Grill, so expectations will be moderately high. Home Town Bar and Grill appears to be not a chain, so it will be fun to watch it sort through its growing pains in a just-reemerging market. Stay tuned for updates.
  10. I don't think Dera has closed. It is right next door to the two empty spaces that will soon be filled by Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken and Makchang Dodook.
  11. I have driven back and forth past The Block on many occasions without stopping in. Today I stopped in, and I'm not likely to pass it by so frequently in the future. My previous go-to (and carry out) banh mi sandwiches were always DC Sandwich in Falls Church and Le Bledo in Springfield. Both are very good. But the char siu pork banh mi with added egg and a side of fries from Balo today was spectacular. I will return many times for that sandwich. It survived about an 8-mile trip home while retaining its deliciousness and texture, and Lady Kibbee devoured the near-perfect fries when I arrived home. Let me repeat, those fries traveled about 8 miles and were absolutely delicious upon arrival at my home. As if that wasn't enough, the combination dumplings from Bold Dumpling at the next stall over also survived the trip and was a nice treat. A lovely meal all around. Worth the detour to Annandale.
  12. Catching up on the restaurant scene post-pandemic is a daily process, and too many updates involve closings. But there are some openings to report! Two new restaurants are preparing to open on a strip of Brookfield Plaza that already has the best Thai restaurant in Springfield -- Thai Ghang Waan -- and the best Korean restaurant south of Annandale -- Kang Chon -- as well as my favorite Halal butcher and second-favorite butcher in Springfield. The new restaurants will be Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken and Makchang Dodook. Bonchon is a national chain, but brings Korean fried chicken to Springfield for the first time. Makchong Doddok is a Korean BBQ restaurant whose only other outpost appears to be in Ho Chi Minh City. To both of these establishments, welcome to Springfield!
  13. Four years since the last post? The wife and I were passing through the Merrifield area around lunchtime on a recent Saturday, and Merrifield has plenty of nice dining options. I was open to any suggestions, but having received none, I wanted to see if Four Sisters had survived the pandemic. I figured any restaurant coming up on two decades would be fading, and the pandemic would probably push it over the edge, so as much for curiosity as for serious eating, we ended up there. My expectations were in check. Some normal precautions were in place. Plastic covered menus, cleansed after each use, were passed to us at the door. We were seated but instructed to order our food at the bar, and it would be served to our table number. Reasonable spacing was observed. We decided to order lunch to be eaten in the restaurant, and takeout to be eaten at home for dinner. For lunch, I had the shaking beef, and Lady Kibbee ordered the shrimp with broccoli. Both dishes were very good to excellent. Portions were generous, flavors were delicious, and value was exceptional. For takeout, I had the vermicelli with grilled pork and chả giò, and spouse had another shrimp dish. All in, tax plus tip, four covers, just about $100. It's rare for any restaurant to be bringing it for multiple decades, but Four Sisters still has what it takes to be a satisfying dining destination.
  14. Drove by Sea Pearl a week ago after another wonderful meal at Four Sisters and noticed that Sea Pearl is deader than a doornail. Neon signs removed. Closed.
  15. Nice, our community is back to life.
  16. Rule of thumb -- if you're looking for prepared foods, and even if the interior resembles more of a quick-mart than a restaurant, Mediterranean Gourmet Bakery is my go-to. It is also the very best of the best for order-ahead foods like stuffed grape leaves or kibbeh nayyeh. It also has a nice selection of Lebanese beers and wines. For spices, olives, baked desserts, and fresh-out-of-the-oven pita bread, head to Mediterranean Bakery. I rarely hit one without hitting the other, usually on a weekend provisions run.
  17. I haven't been to Ashburn in a while, but the grilled octopus appetizer and hanger steak at AhSo would do me a world of good right about now.
  18. Under the general heading of "I told you so" even Trump questions whether or not Kushner actually brokered a peace deal. https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-questioned-kushner-peace-middle-east-israel-hamas-violence-2021-6 TL;DL -- there was no peace deal.
  19. Some pretty harsh comments about this place in the preceding posts. No, it's not fine dining, but I've definitely had worse BBQ. I've also had better. With a house full of 20 coming over for a Father's Day-eve celebration, including 8 children, I decided I wasn't going to cook. With about 48 hours to order some catering, and knowing that the Mission BBQ catering kitchen was only a mile away, I went for it. The meal for 20 people came to just about $20 a head all in. With the added benefit of not having to cook anything, and just tossing the plates and utensils in the trash afterwards, easy-peasy. The meats were all good -- not great, but not bad at all -- ribs, brisket, pulled chicken, and regular sausage. While I might have overall higher standards, the crowd was very happy. The meats got thumbs up all around. The sides were garden salad, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, and corn bread. The kiddies ate to their heart's content. I was told by the assemblage to do this again sometime. Like I said, I have had better BBQ on many occasions, but I've also had far worse, and the crowd was very happy with the spread.
  20. From the Ask Tom chat yesterday: Old Ebbitt Grill (Kibbee Nayee) 11:25 a.m. My wife and I enjoyed my birthday oyster feast at OEG last Saturday during their raw bar happy hour, and it remains the best deal in the city on oysters. However, the classic wine pairing for oysters is musacadet, and it cannot be found on the OEG wine list. Why would a restaurant that sells so many oysters not have a muscadet to accompany? Tom Sietsema Food Critic Beats me. You should inquire! Or register a request. (I like sancerre or chablis with my bivaves. )
  21. A note from Roberto Donna regarding Kibbeh Nayyeh: "That is one of the best dishes in the world!!!!!! Very few things are better then this. Buon appetito!"
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