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Everything posted by Ericandblueboy

  1. The weather was almost perfect on Friday so I made reservation to eat outdoors at Del Mar. Steve and I ordered 6 tapas, and they were brought out 3 at a time. First up, TARTAR DE BUEY $30 Black Angus Beef Tartare, Truffle Dressing, Quail Egg, Australian Black Truffle, Toasted Mollete Bread. Tasty, especially with all the truffle and truffle dressing. Next, TXANGURRO $29 Jumbo Lump Crab-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers, Sea Urchin Sauce. Something was a little fishy, not sure if it was the crab or the sauce. Lovely fish plate though. Third, ANDALUSIAN GAMBAS AL AJILLO $22 Pink Key West Shrimp, Garlic, Arból Chile, Parsley. Deveined and perfectly cooked, definitely a classic. Second tranche, CALAMARES A LA BRASA $24 Grilled Wild Calamari, Mallorcan Marinade, Lemon, Squid Ink Sauce. Very tender and well seasoned, tasted a bit lemony. HUEVO CON CERDO Y SIDRA $19 Glazed Chancellor’s Rock Pork Belly, Chanterelle, Summer Zucchini, Salsa Verde, Poached Duck Egg. That pork was delicious. Reminds me a bit of Chinese food though (red braised with a bit of sugar). Finally, CROQUETAS DE JAMÓN Y TRUFA $17 Creamy Fritters Filled with Jamón Ibérico, Alioli, Australian Black Truffle. Very good but I probably should have ate the jamon separately so I can savor that flavor.
  2. Just signed up for Paramount + Essential. None of their other programming interests me. Just cancel after the last group stage game and sign up again in February for knock-outs?
  3. I'm confused with this: The reservations are powered by Tock. You pay for a reservation but you're then refunded when you eat there. You get to keep the points? For example, if I put down a $50 deposit for a reservation, I get 500 points even though my deposit is later refunded?
  4. My brother and SIL were in town and they've never been to the Wharf so I made reservation at Moon Rabbit. It was also the DC jazz festival. So the area was quite crowded but luckily it wasn't ridiculously hot. The tables were all properly spaced and they opened the glass walls so the entire place felt really well aired. We asked to try all 4 snacks: Fillet of Fish - Panko fried turmeric catfish, iceberg, smoked dill tartar. I thought this would be like Cha Ca La Vong but it turned out to be more like Mickey's D Filet-O-Fish. It was indeed a fish sandwich, with dill tartar sauce. It was a good fish sandwich, but nothing special. Neither the turmeric nor the dill was especially prevalent. Banh Mi Pate - Five spice chicken liver mousse, chili cherry jam, brioche. This only showed up on our bill, not on our table. It was removed from the bill after I notified our server. Xiumai - Lemongrass pork meatballs, black pepper tomato sauce, peanut satay powder. I never got to try these as the kids were like starving urchins. I was told they were good. Why were they called xiumai? I dunno. Chaotom - Sugar Cane Shrimp, Thai basil & garlic butter muoi ot xanh sua dac, lime. This I tried and enjoyed. We asked for 2 entrees and a veggie (which arrived late and not pictured). Ga Chien - Fried chicken, chili maple fish sauce, pickled carrots, fried garlic. This has the flavor and texture of Korean fried chicken with a banchan of bean sprouts. Tasty - yes, but not special. Lemongrass Pork Blade - Scallion pancake, gem lettuce, bouquet garni. This dish continues to evolve. It was a whole steak at Emilie's. @Bart had it sliced. Now it's cut into even smaller pieces, with both scallion pancakes and lettuce. We all loved this dish - so I got very little of it. Of the 3 sauces, most were pretty spicy but I love eating all the herbs. The best part of eating Vietnamese food, IMO. The veggie was Ca Tim Xao - Twice cooked eggplant, sunflower miso satay candied pumpkin seeds, Thai basil. Nothing special. We also ordered 2 desserts, the flan I tasted - very good.
  5. We were just there on Friday. The place isn't crammed but there are tables placed back-to-back. The food is excellent but prices have gone up. Snow pea shoot was $23 and Mongolian beef was $22. Dried fried cauliflower was still delicious. Much better that Peter Chang Arlington which we visited a few weeks ago. ETA: looking back, prices were always high...
  6. My brother and SIL came to visit. I made a reservation at St. Vincent Wine. On their website, it says "We do have a 100% ID check policy at the door, so make sure you and guests don’t forget your government issued IDs." Never saw it - I just look at the menu to see if I like the food. For whatever reason, my SIL decided not to bring her purse so she didn't have her ID on her. They wouldn't let us eat there, even though we're all over 50 except for my kids, but accompanied minors don't need ID. I asked whose policy was it, and the reply was the owner's policy. It's not a bar. They obviously let minors eat there. So why the strict enforcement of ID for obviously overaged adults? They said it's for covid tracing. Well, we're all in the same family so that just sounds like stupid people enforcing stupid rules without any thought process. Oh, they'll cancel my reservation without penalty! I can't even believe they said that. Maybe there's some justification that I haven't thought of....
  7. Just read an article on Wapo purporting provide everything you need to know about taking the auto train. I thought I would glean some additional insight from the comments. Here are some top troll comments:
  8. The sandwiches used to be $3.5 each - maybe 5 or 6 years ago. Now it's $6.5. The price is matched by other banh mi joints (went to Eden Center yesterday for a walk about). I had a chicken banh mi today with extra meat for $9.50 (tax included). The pepper in the sandwich is definitely spicy - so they may be using serrano. The chicken is still tasty, much better than the mystery chicken I had yesterday at Huong Binh Bakery. The eggrolls used to be around 75 cents and are now $1.7. I haven't been to Banh Mi DC in a long time so I have no idea when the prices went up.
  9. Las Gemalas has two separate operations at Union Market, a fast casual counter (taqueria) and a sit-down restaurant. According to @Tyler Cowen, "The tacqueria is the best Mexican food this region ever has seen. Real blue corn tortillas, everything else authentic, could be mistaken for excellent real Mexican food in Mexico." Since Hurricane Ida turned my New Orleans vacation into a working-staycation, I went by on Monday night to check it out. I noted their website describes the tacos as served "on a pair of heirloom corn tortillas." I ordered 2 tacos: carnitas ($4.5) and tongue & cheek ($4.75). First, I only got one tortilla per taco. A very good tortilla, and had I gotten two, I probably would've discarded one anyway. Second, the tacos are small (the typical size in Mexico (about 5 inches in diameter) but the same taco in Mexico would've cost 75 cents to a dollar) - very much smaller compared to Taco Bamba. Third, I love tongue and I didn't see nor taste any tongue in the tongue & cheek taco. Fourth, the tacos were otherwise pretty tasty (but not necessarily better than all the taquerias in this area). Heck, better tasting than some of the tacos Steve and I had at Pujol.
  10. Went back to DCity for oxtail on Sunday morning. I was the first customer, and after placing my order, was told that they were out of oxtail. They suggested that I try another item on their "secret" blackboard menu - beef short-ribs. What they didn't tell me is that them ribs were braised, not bbq-ed. That said, the meat was well seasoned and tender.
  11. Canceled my trip because my restaurant reservations and tour reservations are being canceled. Some people are evacuating.
  12. Scheduled to fly to New Orleans tomorrow. Do museums close if a hurricane hits? What about restaurants? Should I cancel my trip (scheduled to come home on Wednesday)? @frogprince
  13. Champions League draw. GROUP A: Manchester City (England), Paris Saint-Germain (France), RB Leipzig (Germany), Club Brugge (Belgium). GROUP B: Atletico Madrid (Spain), Liverpool (England), FC Porto (Portugal), AC Milan (Italy). GROUP C Sporting CP (Portugal), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Ajax (Netherlands), Besiktas (Turkey). GROUP D Inter Milan (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), Shakhtar Dontesk (Ukraine), FC Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova). GROUP E: Bayern Munich (Germany), Barcelona (Spain), Benfica (Portugal), Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine). GROUP F: Villarreal (Spain), Manchester United (England), Atalanta (Italy), Young Boys (Switzerland). GROUP G: Lille (France), Sevilla (Spain), FC Salzburg (Austria), Wolfsburg (Germany). GROUP H: Chelsea (England), Juventus (Italy), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Malmo (Sweden).
  14. As a result of the pandemic, zoo members have to apply for free parking passes. The number of free parking passes is very limited - so we had to street park. I found that free street parking between the zoo and Purple Patch to be plentiful, so that's why we went to Purple Patch for brunch, at 10 am on a Sunday morning. As it was cloudy, humid but not hot, we sat on the covered patio they constructed on the street in front of the their restaurant. We ordered a bunch of appetizers, namely (i) lumpia, (ii) lechon kawali, (iii) longanisa fried rice, (iv) ube cinnamon toast, and (v) atchara papaya salad. First, the atchara papaya salad comes as a side with the lechon. So you don't need to order it unless you just love that vinegary melange of veggies, including carrots and red pepper. I ate some just because they're veggies, not because I enjoyed them. The two favorites were lumpia and fried rice. The kids especially enjoyed the longanisa (garlic sausage). I thought the fried rice was flavorful if not a tad oily. The lechon kawali, being deep fried, was tender but lacked flavor. Finally, the ube cinnamon toast was 3 slices of bread topped with purple yam and cinnamon. The flavor was predominantly cinnamon - not sure if I really tasted much ube. Definitely going back next time we hit the zoo to try other things on the menu.
  15. I was going to check out Butcher's Market tomorrow but Google says they're permanently closed.
  16. Probably going for brunch this weekend. What’s spectacular? Anyone tried their lechon?
  17. I signed up at https://solarizeva.org/ They referred me to https://www.solarenergyworld.com/ Based on their analysis, 16 panels on the back of my townhouse will reduce my electricity bill to almost 0 (I have gas heat). Cost is $13k and I get 26% federal tax credit, and about $500/yr from Fairfax County and SRECs. I will recoup my money in 7 years at the current energy price. Solar Energy World quoted me a ridiculous cost before I said I was part of the Solarize program. Not sure what that's about.
  18. Resy is terribly unfriendly to use, website and app. I waste a shit ton of time.
  19. Article from Washingtonian about how Nara-Ya came to be. Steve chose this restaurant. I didn't object because I haven't heard much about this joint at all. This place is on the third floor above La Vie & Mi Vida with a nice view of the water. The dining room is very pretty, but you can't eat the view. We started with uni butter that came with very few rice crackers for $15. There was no uni flavor and I had no great desire to eat plain butter with rice crackers. We also had a roll called "Its Business Time" for $22. Avocado, king crab, unagi, lemon zest, mascarpone and the whole thing is tempura battered and fried. The big issue is that the rice was mushy, as in they cooked it with too much water. Second course was Smoked Zuke Tuna ($27) - raw tuna served under a cloche of smoke. In retrospect, I don't know why we would ever want to eat smoked tuna sashimi. The smoke doesn't enhance the flavor of tuna in any way. There was very little fish too. The Prawn Okonomiyaki ($24)was a tasty okonomiyaki serve with 1 overgrilled prawn. I cut it in half and gave the tail end to Steve and he spat it out. Last course was green tea soba noodles ($23). The noodles were overcooked the kombu broth really just tastes like soy sauce. They can at least pan sear some scallops ($26). The table next to us was there just to put it on their social media. They each had a drink and one roll and spent most of the time taking pictures of themselves and chatting with the waiter. For the avoidance of any doubt, I do not recommend going to this place. Steve had to apologize for picking the place.
  20. Didn't know that Tim Ho Wan (cheapest Michelin star restaurant in HK) is now owned by the same group that owns Panda Express. https://mothership.sg/2021/08/jollibee-take-over-tim-ho-wan/?fbclid=IwAR0A2nWTI60qntRmWz69_AoNW-AdKUEJFD4gnXwX2LWp-G7zMiL1KD9IUHE
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