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About jrichstar

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  1. For the record, our family has been loyal fans of Surfside (in Glover Park) for many years. Until the last couple of times within the past year or so when there was a noticeable drop in quality of all the tacos we ordered. We've talked about going back but can't quite bring ourselves to go. Slapfish looks intriguing and we're looking forward to trying in the near future.
  2. Any recent intelligence on how early you need to get in line for a Saturday night first seating? Website says line starts as early as 3:15. Someone on the site went last summer and said they were in line at 4 and were the last ones seated. Restaurant opens at 5. Thanks for any help!
  3. To close the loop, the inevitable didn't take long: "R Family Kitchen & Bar Is Closing in Downtown Bethesda" by Joe Zimmermann on bethesdamagazine.com
  4. In the third episode, it is mentioned that Meehan and Chang founded and ran Lucky Peach. So let's see---ending a magazine with no advertising and moving to a sparkling deal with the most successful streaming media company in Netflix. I see why they closed down Lucky Peach. Follow the $$$$$.
  5. If you liked Lucky Peach and have Netflix, Ugly Delicious is a must watch. The show has the same wit, fun and humor as the magazine. Even some cartoons and profanity mixed in as well, just like Lucky Peach! Also watched the first episode and loved it. Eight total episodes were released yesterday.
  6. I read the Bethesda Magazine article and re-read this thread. I've come to the conclusion that the main reason this restaurant will likely fail is due due to a poor concept and what appears to be below-average food. Not due to a bad review from Tom Sietsema. For what it's worth, the majority of the comments below the Bethesda Magazine article agree with my opinion. I'm of the belief that if a restaurant puts out good, creative food at a fair price point, it is more likely to succeed. That is the primary driver. Can an early review affect the outcome of success? Absolutely. These guys should concentrate on the food and prices and stop complaining about something they can't control (or maybe could have if they made good food?). The thing that I have not seen mentioned in the thread is though these brothers are by definition a family business, they have four restaurants in Bethesda. They are seasoned veterans and not some poor first time start-up. Bold Bite has been successful enough that they have opened two more in DC. 202 Donuts is always busy and is ranked highly. They also just opened TacoArepa in Bethesda. They look like they are making money hand and foot. These guys were not born yesterday and know how the game is played. Family business? I'd call it family chainlet. Looking at the menu of R Family, the cornerstone is "sizzle plates" of either salmon, chicken or steak with one side for $17-$20. Given that many us can probably make something similar for 1/3 the cost, this is not going to fly with the public, who want to go out for something unique and not something they can make at home. And when the long-time food critic says the food isn't even that good, well, shame on them. I understand that Tom is not perfect and his reviews have a lot of sway. But I don't think his reviews are the main driver on whether a restaurant succeeds or not in the vast majority of cases. He has reviewed many restaurants over the years in the first month or two of operation that have received stellar reviews. When you are open and charging full prices, you are ready to be reviewed. That these experienced and successful restaurateurs are whining because of a poor early review is a deflection of blame and disingenuous.
  7. Last there in September. Would love it if the black beans have improved. Forgot to mention the Cubano.....kids usually get it and I steal a few bites. It's good though I find the bread lacking. I really do like this place and you can't get better Cuban in these parts. Just have the reference point of Cuban food in South Florida in my head........
  8. Hard to believe my last post for Cuba de Ayer was 12 years ago! Still go 3 or 4 times a year. I've noticed a bit of degradation over the last few years. Mojitos used to be awesome---now fairly weak and not as flavorful. Black beans not as smoky or porky. My standard, lechon asado, has seen less succulent pork and onions and less of a bright garlic/lemon flavor. Empanadas, fried plantains and cafe con leche steady and good. Still, it is the best Cuban I've found in the area and like it enough to keep going. Looking forward to the best Cuban food on the next trip to Miami!
  9. jrichstar

    Peter Chang Really HAS Been Found!

    An excellent article in the July/August 2017 issue of Bethesda Magazine on Peter Chang, by David Hagedorn, focusing on the debut of Q but also with many details on his life starting in China to the present. I've not seen some of these details in the many past articles written about him. Don't see the article online yet so at this point you'll need to purchase the magazine.
  10. jrichstar

    Dining in Ballston

    Other than the Isabella triumvirate, Mussel Bar and SER are high quality. Rustico and Cafe Tirolo are good lunch places (also great beer selection at Rustico). Rus Uz has received good reviews for Russian/Uzbek but have not eaten there yet.
  11. jrichstar

    Lucky Peach

    I think it's a great magazine but always wondered how the finances worked with no advertising in the pages. Guess someone's funding stream ran out.
  12. Would encourage you to read the first year of posts in this thread when Komi opened in 2005. In the early stages, Komi offered both a tasting menu and and a la carte. Tasting menu was priced at $89. At a 2% inflation over 11 years, maybe that's $115 or $120.....not an insane $185. But maybe the the biggest reason was that the food was actually really good and not "tepid" as respected reviewers described Shaw Bijou. See Rocks' review from October 2005 when he called Komi one of the very best and most important restaurants in the DC area.
  13. Don: thanks for pointing out the per portion size at Kinship. Would also mention the same at Momofuku. Though it's $67/chicken. who eats a whole chicken? At costliest, 4 people eating a half a chicken each (a lot of food) is $34/per. And you get pancakes and good sauces on the side. The website mentions the meal is for 4-8 people so it may even be less per person. These prices seem like reasonable DC prices given the quality and source.
  14. jrichstar

    Eating at Nationals Park

    I was so excited to try the lamb sliders after your awesome recommendation. Went to the game yesterday and unfortunately, they are no longer offered at Haute Dog. Hopefully they'll be back.
  15. As someone with Miami roots, have been meaning to go to Joe's for quite awhile and finally made it last night. Bottom line: it was a wonderful experience, with good food, gracious service and a relaxed atmosphere. Though a bit on the pricey side. We had to try the stone crabs, of course. These were pretty small for the money ($7 a piece for "medium" (the smallest) claws). They were good but just not enough meat, given the scrawny size, for what we paid. My reference point, as with DanielK, is ordering them at seafood stores in Miami, where you get larger claws for less money. Still recommend ordering these if you don't have Florida roots, as the taste of this unique crab, pretty darn close to the taste of lobster in my book, is a special treat up in these parts. The break basket was excellent, with jalapeno cornbread, Parker House-type rolls, a kind of onion roll similar to bialys and some tasty homemade crackers. Our mains were the branzino and sea scallops with bacon jam, which was a combination of bacon and some kind of aioli. Went perfect with the scallops. The sides were the fried asparagus and crispy brussels sprouts which were very good. There were like 10 kinds of potatoes but we decided to be good to save some calories. Definitely recommend the key lime pie for dessert as the traditional end of the meal. Excellent rendition here: perfect balance of sweet and tart with a nice crackery crust. Joe's is pretty much a must try for those who have been to the Miami branch and want to re-live some of those memories. For others, it would seem to be in the higher tier of DC steak/seafood houses with some interesting twists that help it stand out.