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About arldiner

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  1. I do not remotely claim to be a Montreal expert and it sounds like there are some on this thread, but will chime in to say that on a weekend trip to Montreal over the summer, greatly enjoyed meals at Le Chien Fumant (great food, great atmosphere, and in a cool neighborhood) and Le St-Urbain (even better food, although fairly far out from the city center with not much around it, although still a nice atmosphere with a nice patio). Both fit your description of your food priorities well (outstanding food with great value and a laid back atmosphere).
  2. Was there a couple years ago and was a fan of Vino Vero, a laid back wine bar in Cannaregio with a great wine selection, good cicchetti, and an out of the way, not too touristy (for Venice at least) location. Delightful spot to have a glass of wine or two and a snack along a more functional canal.
  3. I’m also curious here - end up at Pupatella every few months for years and still greatly enjoy it (I can’t say whether I’ve seen any small drops in quality as that’s hard to judge, but I greatly enjoyed it then and greatly enjoy it now). Perhaps a tad less consistent, but still great. I typically go on Friday evenings or Sunday for lunch, so maybe a function of going at high volume times. More importantly - I’m curious what folks consider better in northern VA. If there’s better pizza out there, I want to be eating it! I would also put Pizza CS and Inferno at least at same level if not h
  4. Having been in Austin numerous times over the last few years, I've been meaning to post some of the (many) places we've liked. This post was a good reminder to do that. I unfortunately don't have much insight into vegetarian options, but many of these places are very laid back and pretty kid friendly: "Buzzier" places Kemuri Tatsu-Ya: Really cool place that mixes Japanese Izakaya type food with Texas barbecue. Phenomenal, unique food, and absurdly reasonable prices by DC standards. The brisket ramen is a standout, but a ton of good stuff there. Suerte: Mexican place specializ
  5. Did not see a Call Your Mother (Timber’s bagel spinoff) thread, so I’m putting this here, but feel free to move this to wherever it should go if not here. A word of warning: I am always on the hunt for a great bagel in the DC area, and had seen the hype Call Your Mother was getting, so I was excited when Dolcezza announced they were carrying Call Your Mother bagels at their locations (as there is one right next to my office – much closer than Columbia Heights). I stopped in to try one this morning and got the za’atar bagel, untoasted with cream cheese. This thing had roughly the same
  6. Consider Grady's in Dudley for your BBQ stop. Skylight is excellent, but Grady's might even be on another level entirely (a level for pork BBQ I have not had matched anywhere else in the state). Also has incredible fried chicken.
  7. Also second these posts, this place is fantastic. Also really like Market Burger in Purcellville. Think those might be the two best burgers in the area, along with Ray's Hell Burger (in the category of dedicated burger places).
  8. Going to be in Florence for the first time for three days next weekend. After reviewing everything on this board (and other sources), leaning toward doing a lunch at Enoteca Pitti Gola and dinner at either Il Santo Bevitore or Zeb (and then doing additional more low-key/market/cooking meals). Has anyone had recent experiences at any of these places? Any thoughts overall on additional places we might consider above those? Thanks in advance!
  9. Made another visit to Afghan Bistro this Friday and honestly I think this might be among my top three favorite restaurants in the area at the moment. I'm sure it's not empirically the "best," but I think it may come close to making me the happiest. They were absolutely packed full and while we had a reservation for two, it seemed like it was going to be a bit of a wait when we arrived. But then ended up being able to seat us fairly quickly as several parties left. As always, the staff here is incredibly nice and welcoming, and the owner (I presume) checked up several times throughout our
  10. This is a belated review, so apologies for the lack of details, but as I've been to Arlington Kabob several times now and enjoyed it, thought it was worth writing up at least a short note. I really like this place and the folks there are very nice. I think Ravi Kabob is a tad better (admittedly that's a very high bar, so no shame in that), but Arlington Kabob is much easier to get to and park and a bit less crazy inside. Kabob-wise, believe I've had the chaplee kabob and the lamb kabob - the first being excellent and the second just the slightest bit dry, but still good. Beyond that, I en
  11. I've always liked Super Pollo. I'm not sure the chicken is any better than El Pollo Rico (probably about the same), but they have great sides and much more varied options there.
  12. Have been to Afghan Bistro twice now (and wish I had made it more). Love this place. It is virtually everything I look for to my personal tastes in a restaurant - fantastic, unique food and amazingly nice people. The aushak I have had both times and it might be one of my favorite dishes in the area. This somehow manages to feel almost light and delicate despite the ground beef and yogurt topping. Fantastic leak dumplings. Have also had both times an excellent special consisting of a lamb shank in a red curry with eggplant over rice. Perfectly cooked and great flavor. The eggplant is
  13. Just got back from there and had been intending to post on a few places, so will combine that in with some general recommendations. To start: Saltbox Seafood in Durham is excellent. Stopped by there for lunch, and while you should be prepared for a bit of a wait (it seems everything was cooked to order and they take their time), the everything is outstanding. Collectively we had the fried shrimp sandwich and the fried catfish sandwich, each of which was on a roll with their very good (and even better no mayo) slaw. The fish/shrimp was very fresh and each was lightly fried and not oily at
  14. Tried Ambar for the first time a week ago at the Clarendon location. I thought it was solid, but honestly I was expecting a bit more. We opted for the $35 Balkan Experience, and got I believe 9 dishes. For two people, this was a solid amount of food, but we weren't stuffed. Some of the dishes are fairly small (the meat skewers, asparagus), while others are larger (mushroom pilav, fried zucchini). Of those we had, the smoked pork neck mezze and the cheese pie were the standouts. The first comes thinly sliced and cured on a plate with a couple good cheeses (one cow's milk and one mild
  15. Planning a trip to Italy for next fall (I know far in advance) and intending to stop in Bologna. Any recent recommendations from folks who have been there? Either for food, places to stay, places to visit. Have been doing general research but the suggestions on these boards are invaluable. It sounds like asking around locally for great places to eat is a solid bet, but curious if anyone has particular places they love. Additionally, this would be on a 7-10 day trip spanning northern Italy and western Slovenia - how long would folks ideally spend in Bologna? Maybe a day there and a da
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