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lillith's Achievements


shrimp (15/123)

  1. I will copy from a PM I sent to dcandohio a few months ago with details about my Budapest trip: I loved the food there, though I didn't get the chance to try all the restaurants I would have liked to. We went to Alabardos in Buda, a beautiful and old world style place with a violinist and a heavy dependence on duck and goose liver. The food and service were both wonderful, and the price high end even at a favorable exchange rate (don't know how it would compare now). We also ate at cafes, and a couple of restaurants including a buffet style place, Trofea Grill on Kiraly Ut,which was a good place to sample a lot of Hungarian dishes. I thought all of the places we found, some chosen because they were near tourist attractions, were at least decent. One, the Bali Cafe, in the Jewish Quarter, seemed drab-looking but the food was surprisingly good. We ended up staying on the concierge floor at a lovely hotel, so took advantage of the always available food there. Breakfast consisted of both British style eggs and bacon, etc., and the Eastern European slices of meat and cheeses as well as vegetables at every meal (probably a rather new development, from what I have heard). At lunch there was the buffet plus a soup such as sour cherry or goulash, and a light supper with most of the same. Also an amazing assortment of small pastries. We took advantage of this especially after noting the long wait for service in most places, so it gave us more time for sightseeing. And I get cranky when I am hungry, so this helped a lot. There was also a very elegant but not too expensive restaurant with a patio on Andrassy Ut, the grand Boulevard, near the House of Terror, whose name escapes me at the moment, and the incredible opulence of the New York Cafe, which an investor has restored to its turn of the century ambiance. The food and drink there are really secondary, though. There is so much to see there that it would be hard to fit in everything I could recommend, but in addition to the usual sights I would recommend the Free Walking Tours of the Jewish Quarter and the Communist Walking tour, which both ended up at amazing pubs with wild art and so on, and where nobody pushed you to order anything. Also another great experience if you can fit it in is a trip to one of the bath houses. It seems Budapest is built on top of thermal springs. Happy to share more if you would like more information.
  2. Starting with Don's recommendations, I would second Teaism and Mourayo as the best nearby options for a quick but good lunch. Teaism is a little more casual, whereas Mourayo is more of a white-tablecloth restaurant with good food and ambiance. They could probably get you in and out in an hour. On the same block, I had lunch at Thai Chef recently and was pleasantly surprised. Sushi and Thai food didn't look promising, but the food and service were quite decent. Not sure how realistic it is to try C.F. Folks, unless you get a cab or Über it both ways for the hour long timeframe. If you walk fast, BGR might work. I am assuming (since you posted here) that you want quality as well as proximity. One nearby detour you may want to take is around the corner on 18th St. to Cocova, a small but heavenly chocolate store that does occasional tastings and has a wide selection of chocolates from around the world, as well as handmade ones from the likes of DC's own Artisan Confections. If you are a chocolate fiend, or want to take back a really useful souvenir, that would be worth the trip. And please do share with us what works for you. Some locals are interested in this subject too!
  3. Any recommendations for restaurants, cafes, spas, places to buy/taste palinkas, and so on, in Budapest? I would be grateful for any suggestions on great experiences to be had there, and day trips to the surrounding countryside as well. Thanks so much in advance!
  4. This is just sad, given the immense effort that all concerned obviously put into the reopening of Mealey's Table. I was looking forward to a visit soon, but will hope that the Chef and managing partner are able to make this concept work in a more welcoming environment. Given the unspeakable conduct experienced by Hilda Staples and Bryan Voltaggio at the hands of the bank who owned the property, I wonder if the business community of New Market really understands what will bring visitors to a small town whose main downtown attraction, antique stores, seem to be closing at a fast clip. I've been to New Market, and its claim to be the "antiques capital" of Maryland is absurd. It's got a very pretty Main Street with a few stores, and not much else to offer a visitor. A restaurant like the renewed Mealey's Table could create a real draw for visitors from nearby, who might spend some money in the town. The thought that a banker could treat Hilda Staples, who was the instigating force behind Volt, as a nuisance is horrendous. In addition to the obvious sexism, it shows unbelievable ostrich-like tendencies. She and Bryan Voltaggio created a real destination restaurant in Frederick, which in turn created buzz for the town, its historic downtown district and increased business for all there. They could have helped jump-start the business district in New Market, though the bank was apparently too dumb to realize it. And when Nate Waugaman tried to do the same thing, the investor pulled the plug after a month and a half. I hope that he will have better luck closer to DC, and that all the employees who were let go end up in more stable situations.
  5. I want to thank Dean Gold and the top-notch staff at Dino for welcoming us to the DR.com Happy Hour tonight. A small but quite enthusiastic group gathered around the bar to connect (or reconnect) with each other, have some delightful drinks and sample some truly amazing bar snacks and appetizers. Of course, this being Dino, duck fat and other products made a welcome appearance. The duck liver pate was a revelation! We also happened to meet representatives of another food website at the bar: two of the founders of dmvburgerwars.com, who are on a mission to rate all the burgers in town on "objective" criteria (if I were a certain Top Chef winner, I would be very afraid). I'm happy to tell you that Dino's burger got the top 5 star rating from them, and even happier to say that when Dean got wind of all this, he sent us a lovely platter of sliders for purposes of comparison (or just because he's a nice guy). This was my first Dr.com Happy Hour, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next. I encourage anyone who has the inclination and the time to attend one. Or even to plan one! I am delighted to have met new friends, who all seem as food-obsessed as I am, and to have the opportunity to find out from Dean just how long his risotto rice is aged (who knew?)
  6. Don's review of Joe Squared this past week reminded me of a puzzlement I have had since going there a year or two ago. All the talk is of the pizza, but no one mentions perhaps the most unusual aspect of the menu: they serve at least ten different kinds of risotto daily. Our group had several different kinds, with thoughtful and enticing flavor combinations. And since it is gluten-free, it makes a welcome addition to the more expected menu items such as salads and pastas. So anyone who would normally pass up a restaurant renowned for its pizza due to gluten issues has a reason to seek this one out instead. Great option for a group looking for both pizza and anything that isn't a salad (given what most pizza places have to offer the gluten-averse). Or anyone who loves a good risotto. I'd love to see a pizza place in DC offer this as a standard menu item. (Or, as some might say, a "risotto program"). All the other things we ordered were quite good, too. And very handy for having a relaxed meal before or after a show nearby, where there are a couple of performance venues. I'll be returning the next time there is an aerial dance performance in the alley across the street.
  7. I'd like to claim at least one of the slots available for either 3/28 or 3/29, with a possible +1 if space allows nearer the date. I'm open to all the menu choices but have a slight preference for chef's choice or fish. And thanks to darkstar for arranging this!
  8. I'm late to the party, but I have a few observations. First, I respond better to praise and enthusiasm than shaming and scolding, and I suspect most restaurateurs do too. I also pay more attention to what is in the window of an establishment than what is in the bathroom when making choices on where to dine. I'm guessing that's pretty much universal. And I found myself thinking about this when I went to Elephant Jumps in Merrifield for lunch and found, in addition to the menu, a Xeroxed copy of a recommendation from Tyler Cowen in the window. And I love the phrase "This place Rocks!" as a quick seal of approval. My take is that something in the window of an establishment would happily be posted by most restaurants as an indication of the DonRockwell.com community's recommendation. It would also serve to notify the public that this is a website worth checking out. As to stickers, I wonder if if that is necessary now that smartphones serve as instant note-takers and reminders for a large number of people. I have nothing against it, but it involves a lot of work that might be better put to another use, maybe like handing out flyers in a coordinated, one-day publicity blitz? I love the ideas that so many have come up with and would love to see this happen in a big way.
  9. I'm with dcs on this one. One can't assume that diabetes is caused by diet; there are multiple risk factors including stress and genetic predisposition. There is a growing body of evidence that trauma earlier can contribute to a huge number of illnesses, and diabetes is one of them. I seem to remember that she suffered from anxiety or agoraphobia early on. That's evidence of a lot of stress right there.It's tempting but futile to think we know the cause of a particular person's illness My intent here is not to argue for Paula Deen's way of cooking and eating. It's not at all my cup of tea, but I can see that it was successful for her as a business model. And who can deny the appeal of tasty, fat-laden treats? How many on this board have written longingly of doughnuts, burgers topped with bacon (everything topped with bacon, really) and such artery-clogging delights? I'd rather see a focus on how to live with illness and how food can contribute to health. And yes, I would like to see her use her position as today's poster child for Type 2 diabetes to talk about how to live and eat well within the bounds of medical recommendations. But her choice is her own. If the voluntary health agencies devoted to diabetes are smart (and they are), they will find a way to use this publicity to their advantage.
  10. I agree with the integrative approach (as aptly described by Zora). It makes sense to figure out what is going on and treat it specifically. After all, your symptoms could be descriptive of a thyroid imbalance or gluten sensitivity/celiac disease as others have noted, or another condition entirely. A "detox" diet, whatever you think of the reasons for it, probably wouldn't help with any of these conditions. And a consult with someone who combines the best of both worlds just might, even if the recommendations differ from what you might expect.
  11. I noticed that there did seem to be a difference in color between the garlic dills and the half-sours, though I can't say for certain how much brighter green they were. They did look fresher than the others, though looks can be deceiving. Maybe the deli manager can tell you when they came in? Let us know what you find out! Oh, and I figured you would probably know Brookville, but a lot of other people wouldn't. I am, of course, assuming there are other pickle aficionados out there following this thread.
  12. I am pleased to report that the Brookville Market in Cleveland Park has an ample supply of Ba-Tampte Half-Sour Pickles. It's a small neighborhood supermarket on the east side of Connecticut Avenue across from the Uptown Theater, and amazingly enough they actually take orders over the phone and deliver. Mr. Lee, who handles the delivery side, is a pleasure to meet and always helpful. I suppose asking for one jar of pickles to be delivered might be a bit much, but surely there are other items you might need as well. And if you prefer to shop in person, Cleveland Park is a lot more convenient than Pentagon City for a Kalorama resident. I haven't actually tried the Ba-Tampte Half Sours, as I am partial to the hard stuff (full sours and garlic dill). But Pam the Butcher, who was the butcher/Kosher food buyer at Brookville a few years back, once gave me a souped-up Ba-Tampte she had cured with extra garlic and other good things. Now that I think of it, I will have to find out if she still does that at her current place of business (Wagshal's Market, I believe). Good luck with the search!
  13. I haven't seen a thread on this producer-only market. It's Saturdays from 9-1 on the grounds of Lafayette Elementary School in Chevy Chase DC (near Chevy Chase Circle) and has some wonderful providers who can only be found here, as well as familiar names like Smith Meadows (organic grass-fed meats, pastas and sauces) and Bonaparte Breads (all manner of delicious pastries and breads for instant gratification). Nob Hill Orchards has a huge variety of fruits with many heirloom varieties you don't see often. I bought some incredible (and expensive) apricots from them last week that were the most juicy and flavorful I think I have ever had. They didn't survive the trip home, as I ate them all. They also sell their own jams and preserves. You can find currants and gooseberries there, as well as at least twenty different types of apples in season. Even' Star Farms, run by a former chef, has delightful and hard-to find items such as the four kinds of cucumber at last week's market. I particularly liked the Armenian, which can be eaten with the skin on (no bitterness), but also liked the Persian and Poona Kheera. They offer numerous varieties of most crops including eggplants, peppers and heirloom tomatoes (coming in soon.) Brett Grohsgal , the owner, also sells a cookbook he coauthored with recipes for his crops and a more general farmer's market cookbook. Useful for those of us who are entranced by a new vegetable and then wonder what on earth to do with it. Haroun Hallack and Clarissa Mathews of Redbud Organic Farm in WV run the market and are passionate about making sure the vendors fit the local/sustainable model. There are also other vendors such as a caterer, whose name escapes me at the moment, with very good ready-to-eat items such as crepes, soups and other entree/appetizer dishes. For those who are near Chevy Chase, including NW DC, Silver Spring, and so on, this market is a great resource, particularly since it's on Saturday and has plenty of easy parking. It's not too crowded and is family and pet friendly. No Metro stop nearby, though there is bus service.
  14. Another great source for unsweetened flaked coconut is My Organic Market (MOM's). You can find it in the aisle with the nuts/seeds/trail mixes. It's quite inexpensive, too. MOM's is usually a good place to look for this sort of thing, and I appreciate their commitment to organic food as well as fair prices.
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