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Deac

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Everything posted by Deac

  1. Congrats to Mark Furstenberg, winner of the Outstanding Baker award!
  2. I really hate when people don't write down an order. It's inevitable they will forget an item or some kind of modification you make to a dish (no onion, sauce on the side, etc.). Or they'll come back to the table before entering it into the computer to double check: "You wanted the x, right?" "No, I wanted the y." When they do get your order correct, am I supposed to be impressed you remembered it all? I'm not. I just want the food I ordered, and would prefer you write it down to ensure accuracy. You can't control the kitchen, but I'd like to at least know the order was entered correctly.
  3. Their two best wins in recent memory (PSG and this) were due purely to heart and not tactics. I tried streaming this match yesterday and after about 40 different streams crapped out on me I gave up around the 87th minute, resigned to a tie. Then I forgot to check the final score and got a text an hour later from a friend. I was very pleasantly surprised. What a goal for Messi to get his 500th.
  4. My mom told me she and my aunt's family went last week and got the family dinner. My aunt has been a few times and is a fan of the brisket, but apparently what they served that day was old and dried out. She brought this up to the waiter and apparently Mixon himself brought out a massive plate of fresh brisket for them.
  5. I obviously have a lot of reading up to do, but I will be there for a weekend in mid-June following a work trip to Helsinki. What's one can't miss fine dining destination? Unfortunately, Noma just served its last meal at the old location and will be relocating later this year, so that's out. We will try to do one blow out dinner, and the others will be more reasonable.
  6. My wife got her initial approval yesterday and we were able to find back-to-back appointments in Charlotte on 3/28, which is not a bad wait.
  7. Indeed. I'm a massive Barcelona fan (in fact, go by the handle BarcaDeac on another board). Wednesday was magical and insane. I was streaming discreetly on my phone at work but after Sergi Roberto's winning goal at the bitter end I lept out of desk and shouted blowing my cover. But worth it. My coworker is Catalan and was home in Spain this weekend and went to the match against Celta Vigo which he said was the best match they've played under Enrique -- and he strongly urged me or any Barcelona fan to track it down to watch (I was unable to last weekend, but I try to watch most weekend matches). Still in shock they're still alive for all three trophies. I like Lucho a lot, and am sad to see him go, but maybe he can go out absolutely on top, just as he came in.
  8. It looks nice from what I've seen and is right by Battery Park Book Exchange and Chanpagne Bar. Oh damn! Forgot one of our favorite restaurants: Admiral in West Asheville. Super creative and delicious food in a totally nondescript building in an increasingly trendy neighborhood. Hint: the "small plates" are like small entrees so getting a few of those an an entree would be overkill. The hors d'oeuvres are like more traditional small plate size.
  9. I just moved here last summer, so can hopefully help out. Curate is still the best place in town and Nightbell is great as well. Rhubarb downtown is great for upscale Southern--their chef and owner John Fleer was the longtime chef de cuisine at Blackberry Farm. Limones is still great as well. Buxton Hall has fantastic whole hog bbq and was named a top 10 best new restaurant in the country by Bon Apetit last year. Their fried chicken sandwich is also great, and I recommend the BBQ hash and green beans (cooked under the hogs in the smoker so they get the drippings) as your sides. They can sometimes have a wait but fortunately share an entrance with Catawba Brewing so you can go next door and have a beer while waiting for them to text you. For breakfast, we always take people to Biscuit Head for fantastic biscuit sandwiches. If you like your biscuits unadorned they have a butter and jam bar. They have two locations, but we always go to the Biltmore Ave location. The line can get long but once you order a table wil be available. Sunny Pointe Cafe is another fun brunch spot and if it's a nice day a pleasant place to wait for a table. And you can never go wrong with Tupelo Honey. Beer is the name of the game in Asheville. A few favorites of ours our: Wicked Weed (good restaurant) and their Funkatorium around the corner for sours and barrel aged beers, Burial has probably our favorite beer in town and they specialize in Belgians, Brahmari for very interesting beers (think lots of fruits, herbs, and other flavorings), and Sierra Nevada for the equivalent of beer Disney World. Sierra has a great restaurant and has a beautiful back deck. Other good breweries are Asheville Brewing, Wedge, and Hi Wire (among many others). Urban Orchard is a good cidery and I don't even like cider. Top of the Monk has good cocktails and is located above Thirsty Monk which brews a few beers of their own and otherwise has a fantastic beer list. French Broad Chocolate lounge is a requisite dessert stop for anything chocolate. A tip if the line is long: they have another entrance if you just want ice cream or chocolates (and not pastries, cake or drinks). There are still a lot of places we haven't been, but those are just some of our favorites. Have fun! It's a wonderful town.
  10. I applied February 15, got a notice on Sunday night I could schedule my interview, and now I'm set for April 3rd in Charlotte (first available). I checked for an appointment on Monday, and it had nothing available in Charlotte (it wouldn't even let me look at the calendar). Then I checked yesterday and the month of April was wide open -- I guess they open them up 30 days out? My wife applied last night, so I guess there's a slim chance she could get approved and we could do an April appointment together. I just checked and my day is now full, but the back half of the month is wide open. We saw some friends this weekend who moved from DC to Seattle, and one of them has already gotten it but her husband is unable to schedule an appointment. He said he got approved, and checked every day to schedule time in Seattle but nothing became available, and after a certain period of time (30? 90 days?) they wouldn't let him even attempt to schedule. And of course whenever he calls no one answers. He now travels quite a bit to DC for work and I encouraged him to do the walk-in at the Reagan building.
  11. We went to the original Toups Meatery last year when visiting during Easter weekend. It was before he opened his second location and his Top Chef appearance had just concluded a few months prior. Restaurant was not crowded on a Friday night (it was a hike from the CBD, definitely had more of a neighborhood restaurant vibe). We sat right near the kitchen window and he was in the kitchen expediting orders. Tons of people came up to talk to him, some seemed like regulars and some Top Chef fans. As a big fan of the program my wife encouraged me to go up and say hi, which I did, and he couldn't have been nicer or more gracious. And man, those cracklins' are insanely delicious. Basically like lightly battered little cubes of pork belly. His boudin balls were great, too. We're visiting my sister in Shreveport tomorrow for Mardi Gras weekend and I can't wait for some good Louisiana cooking.
  12. It's the same with other thinly shaved meat dishes, like beef carpaccio. Might not be frozen all the way, but enough to firm up so you can get paper thin slices.
  13. Deac

    Chopped

    Oh yeah that's right. I think he's now opening a poke shop in the DC area?
  14. Deac

    Chopped

    Is he the first DC area chef to win? I've seen most of them who've been on there but don't recall another victor.
  15. I posted this in the comments of the chat... I thought the AMEX Black story sounded similar to something I'd read before in this chat, and so I Googled and found this from the Aug 24, 2011 chat: I was hosting a dinner for eight three weeks ago. I called and made reservations at one of Dc' top restaurants. they wanted me to quarantee the reservation with a credit card. I gave them my Black Amex. So fast forward dinner goes off great. Bill with tip i rounded off to a nice $5K even. Every one is happy. Billion dollar business deal closed. I check my Amex statement and notice two charges from this restaurant. One for the $5k and another I alter find out is their cancellation fee. I call ask to speak to manager anfd figure simple mistake and I should be able to get this corrected in a few minutes. But no. Manager gives me a bunch of grief and insists we never showed up. I say how could I have not shown up and dropped $5K in your establishment. More discussion. No resolution. I call Amex and because of how I was treated I dispute both charges. Amex settles the dispute in my favor and refuses to pay either charge. I do enough business with Amex that they couldnt afford to lose me. I may call the restaurant and have them resubmit the $5K tab some day if they apologize for their rudeness and mistake. So far they havent. Their loss. https://live.washingtonpost.com/ask-tom-8-24-2011.... Either they need a new schtick or we have multiple big swinging dicks in DC who are having AMEX Black issues...
  16. Now that I'm doing more international travel for work I asked if they'd pay for it and they said yes. So I filled out the application today, and have to wait for however long. My nearest airport to do the interview is Charlotte, about two hours away, which isn't ideal. But I guess it beats waiting in line when you're dead tired. My mom got it done at the Reagan Building last year when I was still in DC. Her sister also applied but accidentally did it for Albuquerque of all places but was able to walk in with my mom and wait about 5 minutes before they took her in.
  17. Volt? Surey Johnny Spero will do some at his forthcoming Georgetown place.
  18. One thing I've noticed lately when accessing the Yelp site on my phone I can only see a handful of pictures (say 5-6) before I get a prompt that if I want to see them all I need to download the app. Highly annoying. And I'm not going to do that.
  19. Here's what we did: Dublin (2 nights) -- plenty of time for this city. We flew in, arrived in the morning, had a full day there (including nap time) and a full day the next day. Got up on morning 2 to pick up a rental car and head out of town. Drove to Kilkenny for the day and did the Smithwick's brewery (a beer my wife and I really like) and the castle, which is magnificent. Drove to... Cork (3 nights) -- probably too many nights there. Got in there the afternoon after Kilkenny and walked to the Franciscan Well brewery, which is fantastic, and a more American-style brewery. They have a separate business slinging pizzas in the garden and they were great. Really enjoyed their stout aged in Jameson barrels (which is distilled in Cork). Story is the head distiller and head brewer got to talking and Jameson sent some barrels over to the brewery, and once the beer was bottled they sent the barrels back to Jameson, where whiskey was aged in them. And they produced something called Jameson Caskmates, which I found in my liquor store in Adams Morgan and it’s fantastic. So was cool to have both drinks. Anyway, next day was sightseeing in Cork and the day after was a roadtrip to Kinsale (charming fishing village) and Cogh (last place the Titanic made port before its fateful Atlantic crossing). After the third morning we were off to… Killarney (2 nights) – A beautiful little town. On the way in we stopped at Muckross House, which is a fantastic mansion set in a national park. Lots of hiking around. Next day we drove the Ring of Kerry, which is a pretty seaside road. Tip: drive it clockwise because all of the buses drive it counter-clockwise (so you don’t get stuck behind one). Lots of places to stop along the way for food and pictures. Definitely check out Murphy’s Ice Cream, some of the best I’ve ever had! Love the Dingle Gin flavor. Next morning we got up and drove to the Cliffs of Moher, which are simply stunning seaside cliffs. You can walk right up to the edge and there aren’t any barriers. In fact, it was rather slick, so be careful! After that, we set off on the Wild Atlantic Way (a roadway that hugs the entire Atlantic coast of Ireland) towards Galway, and stopped at the Burren, a barren moonscape sort of environment right by the water that is stunning. Galway (2 nights). Got in that night, did sightseeing in the town the next day. Had a fantastic meal at Oscar’s Seafood Bistro. On the second morning got up to drive to Dublin, and stopped at Clonmacnoise not far off the M6 – a monastery founded in the year 544. Fantastic ruins in a picturesque setting along the River Shannon. Dublin (1 night) – Dropped off the car, stayed in town, grabbed dinner at a pub somewhere, flew home the next day. If we did it differently I’d maybe do one less day in Cork and spend some time in Dingle instead. Still plenty more to explore, and I know we’ll be back since it’s my wife’s number one favorite place in the world. But our problem is we can only do a trip like this once a year, and there’s so much more we want to visit before making a return somewhere.
  20. JFK Had Shake Shack in Terminal 4 (the Delta terminal) on Sunday night and it tasted nearly exactly like what I used to get at the brick and mortar locations in DC. I had never stopped at the ones in JFK when I lived in DC since I figured it was better back home, but now that I no longer live in the District, it definitely scratched an itch for me. ATL Ecco: Decent, but pricey Italian in Terminal F (the new international terminal). Had a respectable braised pork papparadelle that needed a little bit of acid, which I provided by adding the caramelized onions that came with my wife's cheese plate to the bowl of pasta. Service was odd in that the food came out quite quickly after ordering but our cocktails didn't come until we were about halfway done with our entrees. And since mine was a variant of a Negroni with Fernet Branca instead of vermouth, it required me to continue sipping long after the food was gone since it's so boozy. Expensive for an airport meal, but was able to expense it. Still, it was a nice, relaxing atmosphere prior to our trans-Atlantic flight.
  21. As a recent resident of Asheville, which brands itself as "Beer City USA," this is an interesting argument. Asheville claims to have more breweries per capita than any city in the country (from what I understand, it's between here and Bend, OR, home of Deschutes). We have breweries popping up in every part of the city. From downtown where a lot of old warehouses have been converted to breweries, to the town center area called Biltmore Park near where I live (think Reston Town Center) to even the small pizza place near us in a small building behind a fire station where the owner is a passionate home brewer and is looking to up his game. If a restaurant is not attached to a brewery, you can believe they have a great tap selection of local offerings and craft beer from around the country. Several of the names here are, in my opinion, brewing some world class beer: namely Burial and Wicked Weed. The latter’s Funkatorium facility produces some remarkable barrel aged beers and sours. Then you have the big two national brands who have built their East Coast production facilities here: Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. This seems to be the new trend for West Coast breweries, and I think these two started it. Now Oskar Blues is nearby in Brevard, Stone is in Richmond, Deschutes is going to Roanoke (which Asheville thought they were sure to get, and it’s a sore subject around here) and Ballast Point in the Tidewater. Wouldn’t be surprised if more are on the way. I work right across the river from Sierra, and can see their tanks from my desk. Their facility is unbelievable; it’s as if Willy Wonka opened a brewery. When you drive in you feel like you’re approaching a mountain resort. Everything is shimmering in chrome and copper and brick and wood. They have a fantastic restaurant with innovative small plates, much different from your typical brewpub food – though they have good pizzas, burgers and wings, too. There’s a giant back yard with a concert stage, fire pits, sitting areas among the trees and dogs and kids everywhere. As for the beer they’re offering, they have a lot of unique beers native just to the brewpub, in addition to their national brands like their pale ale, Celebration and more. I just returned from Finland, and my hotel in the city of Tampere two hours north of Helsinki had Sierra beers. It’s remarkable what they’re able to do. And they’re employing a lot of people and bringing in a lot of people to enjoy their food and beers. I’ve not been to New Belgium, but from what I understand, they are almost exclusively focused on production with just a small taproom on site. No restaurant or anything like that. These breweries are all independent, but clearly have the capital to expand like they have. I asked someone at one of the smaller local breweries what the local breweries think of them. She said it was mixed, that it’s given Asheville more national recognition, but for her brewery, they have lost employees to the big boys because they have better pay and benefits. And the big breweries are getting well trained employees. I’ve found that breweries are some of the few businesses that embrace competition because they know that you’re not going to be set in your ways and drink one beer for the rest of your life. It’s not like the old days where you were a Bud man or a Miller man. The beer bubble will probably one day burst, as there are plenty more breweries on the way in Asheville. I don’t know if any of our local brands will sell out, but for now there seems to be the attitude that they will not. But it’s hard to turn down the money and potential to expand your brand.
  22. We had a fantastic meal at Matt the Thresher last summer. My wife (who loves shrimp) proclaimed their Dublin Bay Prawns sauteed in garlic butter to be the best shrimp she's ever had. Had some fantastic oysters there and a delicious tuna burger. Ireland has great seafood, particularly shellfish. Would also recommend the Queen of Tarts for breakfast (they have two locations, one around the corner from the other) -- primarily baked goods, toasts, traditional Irish breakfast, etc. And you can't go wrong with some fish and chips from Leo Burdock, just around the corner from Christ Church. Agreed about the Kilmainham Gaol being fantastic. Overall, Dublin is not my favorite European city, but I'm glad I've been a few times. Last year we drove around the country staying in various towns, which is definitely how I recommend visiting Ireland. Sort of like next time I go back to Italy I will skip Rome and probably grab a car and head up to Tuscany.
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