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stevep

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About stevep

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  • Birthday July 23

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  1. My wife and I visited Cleveland for 3 nights this past week, primarily to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Cleveland Zoo. Both were impressive and made the trip worthwhile. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency at The Arcade. The Arcade was built in 1890 as one of the first indoor shopping and office "malls". It, and the hotel, span the block between Euclid and Superior. It is a spectacular 4 story structure with a Victorian glass roof, lots of fancy ironwork, and open from floor to glass roof for a block distance. The rooms are in what were formerly offices. On Monday we ate lunch at Tommy's in Cleveland Heights, a very old timey place that would have felt at home around Dupont Circle or Washington Square in the 60's with a very vegetarian/vegan/gluten free friendly menu. I had brown rice with veggies surrounded by a large portion of nicely steamed broccoli. My wife had a rice/bean/vegetable burger. Both were very tasty and were served by very pleasant staff. Recommended as a reminder of the old days. Monday night we ate dinner at the Greenhouse Tavern on E. 4th just across Euclid from the Hotel, and around the corner from the House of Blues. E. 4th St. is a 1 block long cobblestoned street closed to traffic with bars and restaurants on both sides of the street. Greenhouse Tavern is highly recommended with good drinks at reasonable prices ($10 for an aged 60 days Manhattan), a nice selection of dishes and fantastic service. Jody was our waiter and did a fantastic job in making us feel welcome. They even had cans of Black Label (Hey Mable....) and Blatz for $2.00. One of the menu items is "coffee for the kitchen -- $10". Great fun--Jody brought us a tray with 5 cans of Black Label and 2 bells. He then accompanied us to the kitchen while we rang the bells and the kitchen staff cheered us on. We thanked them, they thanked us -- everyone was happy. On Tuesday night we went to Lola, just a few doors down from Greenhouse Tavern, and owned by Michael Symon. It was crowded and noisy. It was a "wham, bam, thank you M'am" kind of place, with too efficient service, dishes delivered much too quickly, and a server who just wanted to keep things moving along. My Manhattan cost $14. and our dinners were not memorable. On Wednesday night we were back at the Greenhouse Tavern for dinner. Our waiter this time was Kevin, who repeated the great service we received on Monday night. Once again the food and drink were tasty and very carefully prepared. We had a fairly good selection of dishes, wine, and drinks between the 2 dinners and everything was very well prepared and tasty, so I think it's hard to eat badly there. Cleveland is an interesting city to visit, particularly if you are familiar with what it used to be, and is clearly in transition from what it used to be. Everyone in the travel business was truly appreciative of our visit to Cleveland. It's an easy hour flight from BWI via Southwest.
  2. We were last in this restaurant in 1972 when it first opened and we lived 2 blocks away in Silver Spring. We tried it once and never returned. However, as a result of the earlier comments, we decided to return last night with another couple. I do not believe that the d├ęcor or the owner has changed much since 1972, but there has been a marked improvement in the food and service, and the strength and taste of the Old Fashioneds ($10 and very appropriate for the occasion) were very much better than expected. Among the 4 of us, we shared an appetizer of fava bean hummus with harrissa that was very tasty and accompanied by grilled pita with a garlicky taste. The 4 entrees were fresh salmon, lobster ravioli, roasted chicken, and fettuccine with lamb Bolognese. Each, except for the fettuccine, was accompanied by nicely prepared vegetables and very fresh and warm mini baguettes. Everyone was very pleased with his/her selection, and enjoyed freshly brewed strong coffee afterwards. The waiter, Mike (who provided excellent service) explained that the menu and restaurant were in transition and the chef was trying different dishes to see what worked. He mentioned that they had some old customers who still expected to find a salad bar and fried shrimp, neither of which were present last night. Based on our very satisfactory experience last night, we definitely plan to return soon.
  3. thanks to all for the sugestions. I'll keep looking and report back with anything worthwhile. Steve
  4. Hi all -- I would like to find a good bar or tavern in the Rockville or Gaithersburg area -- someplace with an interesting selection of quality liquors at fair prices and competent and imaginative bartenders. If the place served at least acceptable food, that would be a bonus. I thought that Againn Tavern in Rockville met these criteria (they served 2 oz shots of good liquor at a not too exorbitant price) and was hoping that someone could recommend somplace comparable. Great drinks and good hamburgers would be perfect. Thanks very much for any assistance. Steve
  5. Thank you very much for the insights and information. I guess that my enjoyment of Asian cuisine will remain vicarious. Steve
  6. Hi all -- I have a lifelong allergy that requires that I avoid all types of seafood -- fish, shell fish, and all the rest. I have successfully avoided eating seafood for many years, but this has been done by not eating the foods from many Asian countries, primarily to avoid the accidental ingestion of fish sauce, oyster sauce, and similar ingredients. But, your descriptions of enjoyable eating experiences lead me to ask for some advice. Knowing of my allergy, would I have any likelihood of avoiding seafood ingredients in Vietnamese, Burmese, Thai, or Korean restaurants? If so, what can I order? Thanks for any assistance.
  7. Has anyone mentioned the "Arabian Nights"? It preceded Mrs. Simpsons, in the same Conn Ave location.
  8. This evening, at Baci, my wife and I were served a soup and salad course by Roberto Donna, himself. Wearing his chef's whites, he was helpful, personable, and very obviously involved with the goings on at Baci. All in all, a very pleasant and satisfying meal of roasted beet salad and pasta e fagioli, Cornish hen and veal scallopine, pear poached in red wine, and French press coffee, accompanied by a nice Dolcetto and a flight of 3 Chiantis. The service was just right. This is a family owned and run place and most of the staff are related to each other. We are looking forward to a return visit.
  9. Hi -- my first post. Oro Pomodoro, a new pizza/Italian restaurant will open for business for dinner this Friday. The menu and decor look interesting and inviting. I'm not connected with the restaurant, but am looking forward to going. It is located in the new Rockville Town Center across the square from the Library, between Lebanese Taverna and Greystone. Steve
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