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About chaofun

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  1. With that picture I think you are right, I don't think that is belly. If it is a belly its not a belly I would really want to work with. A good unsmoked ham cut into strips would work to match this as would some sort of back bacon like irish/canadian bacon. Are you trying to make this cured product or more trying to locate it?
  2. I will add that though similar, the menus at each are are a little different (from looking at the Md website). There are things that were at the Va one that are not in the Md one, and vice versa. I'll ask next time I go what the relationship is with the ones in Md and report back.
  3. Went to Taco Bamba today after getting my salmon share pickup from Cold Country Salmon. I would say the tacos are decent. Looking upthread, the default for sure is now corn tortillas as opposed to flour. They were indeed from a bag however. The fillings were mostly good I got pastor, chorizo, and carnitas. I still have not found pastor worth a darn yet in the area. Carnitas were good, chorizo a little too course for my taste but were fine. I would definitely have them in my rotation if I lived in Arlington still, but I definitely would not drive any longer distance for them.
  4. One of my favorite pieces to read anywhere is Tim Carman's $20 diner. Time after time he highlights good casual eats that typically fly under the radar. Taqueria Tres Reyes in Manassas is a perfect example of this. I think this flew under the radar further still because I don't believe the article made it to print. I knew there existed good Mexican in Manassas from speaking to a couple folks running Pupusa food trucks near Leesburg. With the article I was really happy to get a better idea of where to go. From the admittedly limited sample I have, this is the best truely Mexican place I have been to in the area. The tacos are really good. With all the masa work being done in house (according to the article) its no wonder. All things being equal though what stood out to me are the gorditas. See below: Crispy, pork and cheese filled awesome. And the sopes are amazing as well, crispy on the outside but softer in the middle with refried beans, crema, and queso fresco over [fillings of your choice]. The setting is an nondescript small little beat up looking strip mall, and inside, its clear a lot of the materials in the restaurant are on at least their second life (like the plate my gorditas are sitting on). In other words I loved the atmosphere. Some things to note, be prepared to speak a little Spanish. Probably 30% of the time, the staff that's working will not speak English. The menu however has the appropriate English translations so its easy enough to get through it. Be ready to wait, everything is made in house and that takes time. This place is not affiliated with the Tres Reyes in Md (so says the article). And finally IMHO the carnitas, and chorizo were the best choices for fillings. I haven't gone through them all but many were not memorable.
  5. I go to a Fractured Prune at least once every time I am in Ocean City, Md. Saveur mentioned them as one of the 50 best donuts in the US: http://www.saveur.com/gallery2/Best-Donuts?page=3
  6. Typically with lardon you are trying to get a certain amount of fat. I really like the smokiness of bacon for most lardon applications, but if you are looking to keep the flavor cleaner you are going to want something like a panchetta (which is from a belly as well). If you are going to make it yourself those are the recipes you should target.
  7. IMHO most of the better food in Las Vegas is on the lower side of the $$ scale and is off strip. I went earlier this year and the bigger more expensive on strip places are either not my speed, overrated, or too expensive. Places like Jaleo I find are better in DC than in Vegas, if not for execution than for cost. The only problem was that I could not get away much from my conference. With the family in tow and no car this made it doubly difficult. I would highly recommend Monta Ramen which at the time was considered the best ramen in Las Vegas. Besides In-N-Out burger which we always enjoy, all I can say is check out chinatown. We went through there a couple times because the kid slurps up pho and there are dozens of them in chinatown many open 24 hours. There are a handful of places there that looked like they were worth checking out. I had China Mama (soup dumplings, beef roll) and Los Antojos Mexicana (for obviously Mexican) on my short list but without a car it made it pretty tough. Oh Tacos El Gordo was also on the short list. I guess the lesson learned is rent a car. With free parking at most casinos it makes sense to.
  8. Spring House Farm is one of farms I have been looking for ever since I moved to Leesburg. You get from them heritage breed hogs from folks who know and provide more custom cuts than typical farmers do. I have a couple specific needs, but one troublesome one has been getting a skin-on whole pork side to make bacon semi-annually. It’s been tough sledding to find quality sides. Ecofriendly was my go to in Arlington, but its not easy to get stuff of that quality and that cut. Even a high dollar farm like Ayrshire, was not able to do this for me. Spring House Farm is a small farm in Lovettsville, Va owned by Andrew Crush. They have a herd of hogs, Large Black and Mulefoot, both great heritage breeds that are less common today. The pork off of these hogs is just off the hook. His hogs have been featured at Cochon 555 in DC and Miami. Until recently he sold exclusively to restaurants (in Loudoun he sells to The Wine Kitchen, Market Table Bistro, and in DC he sells to Birch and Barley and Seasonal Pantry to name a few). They just started to offer a meat CSA and they have a few pickup points in the Northern Va area and one in DC (it’s at Seasonal Pantry). Anyway after visiting the farm, seeing the product (I picked up a 30 lb side from him), and meeting with him and his family, I was sold. http://www.springhousefarmva.com/
  9. Good luck KMango! We won't be able to make it in to the city but we hope the best for you and your family in Dallas!
  10. I've been here a handful of times and Tim's article on this place is spot on. In general, I have a preference for the vegetarian dishes here. I've gone mostly with my Indian friend at work and I've left it to her to do the ordering. When you go here there are two definites to order every time, one is the incredible paper dosa, and two is the manchurian cauliflower. The paper dosa is as Tim describe, crispy and delicious. Ask for the masala on the side instead of folded inside the dosa to preserve the crisp. The manchurian cauliflower is fried breaded chunks of cauliflower tossed in sauce, most comparable to what you would see with something liek General Tsos chicken. The naan as well is fantastic. My friend has been a fan of the curry chicken and chicken kondapur. I thought they were good, but I am always in a veg mood when I go here. Less inspiring was the mumbai chili chicken and the hakka noodles. They weren’t bad, but not nearly at the level of the dishes above. And with the giant size of the menu, there is quite a bit to go through yet. Oh and we have not found the spiciness levels that spicy, I don’t know if they have toned down but they were right at an appropriate level for us. As far as the setting it is definitely not much to look at from the outside or inside. Its dark on the inside with bollywood blaring on the single TV in the main dining area. It’s not dirty or anything in fact I prefer this setting to the often too slick and clean newer places that have been coming up lately. At lunch there is always a large number of Indians that frequent the restaurant and almost everybody goes to the buffet, which looks quite good but I have yet to try. All in all a big thumbs up, and def worth a visit if you are in the Sterling area.
  11. I went to the National Aquarium with the toddler yesterday, just he and I. Bagby's Pizza Company (same restaurant group as 10/10 and Fleet Street) hit the right vibe for us for lunch. Super close to the harbor, good food, and super casual atmosphere. I shared with him the cheeseburger (which comes with bacon and cheddar cheese) and he ate it up. It is counter service where they hand you a number and deliver it to you so be ready to grab a seat (the same system as Hell Burger). It seemed pretty busy at lunch.
  12. Thx for posting this goodeats, been meaning to mention something about this but hadn't gotten a chance. For those of us in Loudoun this is a good option for Dim Sum close by. Closer in NOVA it's not worth the drive when you have HK Pearl which is >= Golden King.
  13. Just to add a little more info to this, Cody, the guy that was helping Bruce out with this took over immediately after Bruce left. He is pretty much running the same shop, same good local meats, same bacon that we developed together. Well I haven't been there in over a year, but I assume its the same stuff. If you need good local meat (and you are near Arlington) he is def an option.
  14. You have to ask for the "Thai menu" which they keep underneath the register for any of the stuff that is not run of the mill. They will not offer it, and there is no other way to know they have one. I don't recall specials but I've only been here a handful of times at best.
  15. I wanted to highlight one last place that I have visited fairly recently, and just for one thing (because I only tried one thing) Fried Chicken. Lowry's Crab Shack fried chicken is addictive. I actually heard about it through Yelp, while looking desperately for takeout on a day we were too beat to cook. It's crispy and tastes homemade which is a very very good thing. It seems to be heavily spiced with Old Bay which I like, but makes it salt forward. If you do order it they fry it to order (like Flavors in Falls Church) so call ahead, or be prepared to wait 30 or so minutes. Besides that they strive to get local Northern Neck, Va seafood, and Chesapeake blue crabs. I def cannot complain about that, but I have yet to try it.
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