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  1. We found ourselves in Parkville today for a family function. Knowing we had to eat before driving back to Virginia after the event, and wanting desperately to avoid the fast food chains that dot the landscape there like so many land mines, I searched on line and found Mount Everest Restaurant nestled in the Fullerton Plaza, diagonally adjacent to the KMart (!). It was right on our way from the family event to the Baltimore Beltway to head home, so we stopped in. They offer a buffet at lunch, for $8.99 (not sure if the price is the same on weekends). We got to sample some dishes from Nepal along with more familiar fare from India. Vegetable Pakora were light and crisp--I went back for seconds. Sambhar soup was rich and comforting. Chana Masala, one of my favorites, did not disappoint. Vegetable Korma was delicious and rich-tasting, simmered in coconut milk and yogurt. A Nepalese Saag (I didn't write down the name) was lightly cooked and spiced mustard greens, light and flavorful. Aloo & Simi, a Nepalese dish of green beans and potatoes with tomatoes, was really delicious. Three chicken dishes rounded out the buffet: Chicken Tikka Masala and Tandoori Chicken were both very good versions of the classics. I didn't get much of a taste of Kukhura Ko Maasu, the Nepalese chicken dish, but I'd try it again. All in all, it was a nice selection of well-prepared food for a very reasonable price, and the restaurant itself was a peaceful oasis in an otherwise very generic commercial area.
  2. Went to Hee Been last night with the guys for a little farewell party for one of us. Our host was the architect who designed the interior of this place which is quite stunning. Had beef and chicken BBQ with all the fixins' and a good sample of the sushi and sashimi offered at this establishment -- washed down with soju. Don't recall much other than that food was excellent. The staff doesn't speak much English, but if you can find some Korean friends to escort you go. Hee Been PS: Mee Kim the young bartender is very cute and enthusiastic -- just the way I likes 'em
  3. Took out our staff to Irene's last night (well actually mostly the kitchen & bus staff, waiters were out partying). With 25 folk in attendance, most of the menu was sampled. This place is seriously good cheap eats! Pupusas are about as grease free as a pupusa can be. Mixtos con todos are a sloppy mess but delicious. Very strongly flavored curtado spiked with an unknown to me black herb/seed. The breakdown on the pupusas were the latino folk averaged 2 pupusa's per person plus an entree, the gringos about 1/2 a pupusa. Baliadas are huge tortillas folded over good fillings. I have had chorizo & cheese in the past. I did not sample last night's, but it looked just as good. Deschilada - shredded beef with scrambled egg was simply superb. Just the right balance of egg and spice. Carne Asada as really good this time, nicely crusty, thin slice of NY steak. A little tough but flavorful. I had stewed tongue as my main and it was incredible. Very rich, nicely chewy accompanied by heavenly beans (filled with lard no doubt) and good rice. Lomo Saltado was also very good with a good spice mix and very nicely caremelized onions. The Tamal di Pollo was just OK. I do highly recommend the tamel d'elote as superb every time we have had it. Also ordered by not sampled was an OK looking plate of grilled shrimp. Lots of beer, a few margaritas, lots of the various drinks and the total with tip came to a tad over $30 a person. Did I say lots of beer? Good eating!
  4. Not a cart, but 14th & U seem to be the happening cooridor these days. ChiDogos. (have not tried, but Vienna Beef dogs Chicago-style are the best, right?)
  5. Just realized today there wasn't a topic for Quartermaine, one of the area's oldest coffee shops. I've gone to Quartermaine semi-regularly over the years mostly because it was convenient and because I usually felt it better than the chains. They do have local ownership and roast in Rockville. Their founders were involved in Starbuck's early years. They are a bit of an institution. The Bethesda Row location, in particular, is the kind of worn, quirky, quasily comfortable coffee shop of a different era. And that's because it is of a different era. I appreciate Quartermaine. At the same time, it feels like a business in real need of an updating. Contrast this with the Apple store just down the block, now closed for a week for updating when it didn't seem like it needed it. Quartermaine's coffee can be highly variable and that's partly due to the turnover they seem to experience. Just in the past couple of months, it seemed as if they did a near-total changeout of their more tenured staff/managers (again). Espresso drinks, drip coffee and french press coffees all range from pretty good to, well, not so good depending on all the usual factors. At it's best, the flavors can be memorable and pleasing. At worst, different drinks can be bitter, burnt and muddy tasting. They do carry a good variety of beans from all the continents but don't label or communicate their sources in a transparent way. Staff usually can't or won't answer questions about it. I don't know that this is due to any desire to be secretive but, as with many things about Quartermaine, it seems just a result of the business feeling like it's still locked in the late 80s/early 90s when fewer people knew or cared about single origin coffee, roasting particulars and barista technique. They seem to be inventory challenged much more than most other shops in the area and will run out of numerous beans for weeks at a time. Baked goods are just okay with some worse than that. It'd be great for Quartermaine's owners to update most everthing about the shops IMHO. Layout, coffee sourcing/quality, barista training, technology. The website is a good proxy for the in-store experience; not so current (e.g., their most current newsletter is from 2009) but simple enough. They're on facebook but with virtually no activity, avatar, posts or followers there either. The Bethesda Row location in particular is in one of the best foot-traffic locations in the area. Can't help but think Quartermaine could close some of the product and experience quality gap with the newer, artisan shops that have opened in recent years if they chose to. Also can't help but think such a "relaunch" could be great for the business given the total lack of great coffee in Bethesda*. * With the one exception of Dolcezza, which does have excellent coffee (Intelligentsia, MadCap, Ritual, Ceremony, etc) but, in Bethesda, is a very small shop mostly dominated by their amazing gelato.
  6. Dough in bedstuy does pretty good doughnuts. I think they sell their stuff in other locations.
  7. Has anyone else had a bad service experience at Mayorga Coffee in Silver Spring? I was just there with a group of friends to hear a band, and the female manager (is her name Candy?) is just one of the most rude individuals I've seen in food/beverage service in a very long time. I don't know how her retinas stay attached with all the eye rolling at customers who want to, oh, I don' t know... ORDER and PAY FOR a cup of coffee. But, I guess since it interrupts her really important conversations with fellow co-workers and friends that stop by.... well, ya know. I can see how that would be an inconvenience. I feel like everytime I go there, and she's working, the place is a disaster. No one's paying attention, the place is dirty, the bathrooms are a disaster, and the service is sloooooooow and most of the orders that get brought out are incorrect. I've heard from other folks in the area that they've had bad experiences there, too. Please tell me I'm not hallucinating, and that they need to send a management trainer there, and soon! There aren't a ton of alternatives for decent coffee in SS/TP.
  8. This place is a great find, especially if you are staying around the Chelsea area and wanted to cook locally-sourced, fresh foods. Although I ended up buying mostly coffee beans here, I loved how fresh the seafood and meat case looked, how clean and labelled everything was, and how friendly staff was. They even have a little coffee bar that carries beans from the Brooklyn Roasting Company. The Chelsea location is an off-shoot of their Brooklyn headquarters. The pictures of the Brooklyn market look awesome. I only wish I could have browsed longer here.
  9. So, I've been watching this spot at 910 17th Street, you know somewhere between Suntrust Bank and Firehook Bakery, two places not too far from my Metro stops that I visit with some frequency. The place is still under construction, but on the sign that covers the glass front there's a quote from someone I have never heard of raving about Chef Miguel Choy (and making reference to his restaurant Yuzu in London. Instead of being so cynical, I want to say that I hope this place is good! The fact that Mervis Diamonds and (sorry) Chevy Chase Bank are the other two businesses on the block worries me a bit. So, what's the dilio? <edited for fiction and grammar>
  10. When Mom and I went to New York for my wedding dress fitting at Atelier Aimee, we rolled into town and did the fitting, which took no time whatsoever, I was starving. Hubby and I had been to Angelo's a couple times before so Mom and I hopped, skipped and jumped and were there. I really like the pizza here, it isn't Neapolitan style, but I also don't know that it is really NY Style either. Moderate crust, good topping, very crispy with some char. I also have had pasta here that I liked too, as Hubby normally orders a pizza and I can steal a slice or so of his. I like the pasta with sausage and veggies in a white wine and garlic sauce, I replicate it at home a lot. Mom and I went in and she cracked up at the amount of pizza I could put away, she probably knew somewhat the hours I put in at the gym and how healthy I normally ate, but I don't think she quite knew. I was so excited to have that pizza, especially then when Arlington didn't have great pizza options like we do now. Anyway this is a fairly casual place, but it is good, honest food made with care. http://www.angelospi...y.com/index.htm
  11. I'm saddened by what I see when I walk into most dean & delucas these days. The one in Midtown (11 W. 48th) exemplifies the decline of a business which once could be counted on for carefully chosen and consistently high-quality artisan foods. We didn't have time to go somewhere better and, starving, stopped in here. Won't do that again. Just a cafe (no grocery) right by New York Times Headquarters. Salads made clumsily with poor-quality vegetables (translucent cukes anyone?) and over-refrigerated flavorless proteins like farmed salmon and some type of branded chunks o' beef. Way overpriced, particularly because the quality takes anyone who at all cares about food provenance and quality for fools. I know, I know. Why in the world would someone go here for lunch with all NYC has to offer? Exactly the right question with answer of "they shouldn't".
  12. My wife had planned to go have dinner at East Moon Asian Bistro in Kingstowne with her friends, and suggested that I take my brother here for sushi while he's in town. A friend had recommended it to her. It wasn't bad, but I won't be in a hurry to return. As soon as we sat down, the servers were upon us asking if we were ready to order. I assume that's because they're right next to the theater, and have people coming in before movies. We had an assortment of sushi, and my brother also had the drunken noodles. The sushi was cut in large pieces, larger than I prefer, but fresh. Tuna, yellowtail, and scallops were slabs of tasty meat, but were two or three-bite pieces. The rolls were more normal sized. The sweet shrimp were served with their heads tempura fried, crunchy and fresh-shrimp-tasting. Spicy tuna roll was OK, but could have been spicier. The eel in the eel roll tasted a bit old. My brother said the drunken noodles were good, but very oily. Overall, it was all acceptable. I just can't think of a reason to fight the crowds near the movie theater there. If you're already there, you could do worse.
  13. Inspired by an NYT article that synaesthesia sent about Korean fried chicken, Escoffier and I went to Cheogajip tonight. It is mainly a small takeout place but there are 4 tables for eating in as well. We ordered the popcorn chicken ($8.99) with the spicy dipping sauce. When it was delivered to our table, it was a plate piled high with small, boneless pieces of chicken. Accompanying the chicken was pickled radish and a cabbage salad as sides. The chicken was crispy and not greasy at all. Forget the normal Southern style chicken that's soaked in buttermilk and then dredged in flour before being fried, this was a almost perfectly smooth crisp coating that accented the taste of the chicken without being soggy. The dipping sauce is very subtle. You dip the chicken in the sauce and can eat 3 or 4 pieces before the sauce sneaks up on you with a nice spicy warmth that isn't overpowering at all. For around $10, you leave full, satisfied and with a nice warm glow from the sauce. For $15 you can get a whole chicken with a spicy coating that has more heat than the dipping sauce (this is the best seller among Cheogajip's clientele). There are also wings available. All of the chicken is cooked to order, forget heat lamps or microwaves, you'll have to wait for your order. It's worth the wait. Judging by the number of people who were picking up orders, ordering by phone for pickup seems to be the way to go. Cheogajip has restaurants in Centerville, Annandale and Flushing if you happen to be in New York.
  14. Everyone on here probably already knows about Hadeed Carpet, if not you probably don't listen to much radio around here. However, when you need a reliable company to professionally clean your rugs they do a really great job. We had a kitchen and bathroom remodel, owned a puppy and fostered a puppy after which our oriental and non-oriental rugs really needed professionally cleaned. They looked shabby, our cream one had a spot I didn't think would ever come out, the colors were faded or dingy. They needed sanitized, the works. Hadeed came and picked the rugs up, I didn't have to move anything, they picked up the couch, bed, dining room table, heavy coffee table that the rugs were under, they took them, they cleaned and sanitized and returned them a few days later. The rugs were vibrant, clean, they smelled good, the spot I never thought would come out was out. They put the rugs back down just where I asked. They also had a rug pad for a rug that we needed. The prices were reasonable considering the size of the rug (it is less if you don't need them sanitized, but we definitely needed that part) and the level of service. And I thought they did a very good job and were very professional. http://www.hadeedcarpet.com Katelin Moomau
  15. After reading about DanielK's experience in another thread, I kinda put this place out of mind. But I met a friend here for lunch today, and was impressed with the food. Okay, I only sampled three dishes - carrot salad (with ginger, peanuts, lime dressing), wide rice noodles with tofu, and chicken in yellow curry - but they were all really good. The tofu came out nicely spicy but not too hot, as promised, and the curry had a richness and depth of flavor that was intriguing. Also had a drink consisting of lemon and lime juices, ginger syrup, lemongrass, hot chili, and I don't know what else, but it was only mildly hot and very refreshing. Really wish I'd had room for the coconut pudding or mango with sticky rice. Think I'll have to go again. Soon.
  16. I've had many great meals and snacks in LA this week but I have to say Kogi Taco is not among them. Far from it. At first I thought it was really good then I noticed the grease pit left where my food had been. I also think flour tortillas would be better. For the record I've had Korean tacos at Hankook, a knock off of Kogi in Atlanta. Those were much better than what I just ate. I'll post my great meals when I have time. ETA: name of place in Atlanta and that my bad impression has been validated by many since yesterday...
  17. On my way to the office this morning a "Grand Opening" sign caught my eye for Kenny's Subs so I drove back by at lunch to check it out. I walked in, looked up at the menu behind the registers, and began questioning my own sanity as I read a Chinese takeout menu. Sure, it had 5 or 6 subs listed at the end, but the menu was 90% General Tso's, etc. WTF? I turned around and walked out... a little pissed off.
  18. Just for a dissenting opinion, we ate at Ford's back in August and thought it was excellent. Very good charcuterie and cheese, lovely salads, interesting entrees, a nicely creative cocktail program, and, for dessert, one of the most evilly genius things I've ever tasted - Toblerone ice cream. It's not fine dining, but it's not trying to be - if I had to describe it in terms of someplace around here, it would be as a more casual version of Sonoma.
  19. My friend & I have been meeting at this place for lunch several times a month for a few years now. It changed hands about a month ago, I was surprised because it always seemed busy when we were there, it reopened after a short time w/ a new name, the only other change seemed to be that you now pay for your buffet meal before you eat. We met there on Friday & the parking lot was full & the place was packed! We actually had to wait a short time for a table & this is a fairly large place. For a Chinese buffet lunch, it's a safe bet-still a large variety of seafood-fish, crabs, squid, & my favorite, fried whole shrimp. It's also got a few 'western' dishes (fries, pizza, chicken nuggets) for kids & picky eaters (we always dine w/ her 5 yr. old, but she eats the good stuff). There are 4 buffet tables -lots of salads, including kimchee, & fruit, & a good selection of dumplings (also chicken feet, but I haven't been brave enough to try them). For an inexpensive lunch, w/ good variety & service, it's worth a try, if you're in the area...
  20. You speak the truth, Al. But I did manage to find a burger for lunch today that was better than it needed to be. Dizzied by the wide swaths of Hardees and Popeyes and othersuch, I for no real reason decided to have lunch at Peakey's. Semi-connected to a hotel on route 13 in Princess Anne, Peakey's worn dark wood and old local men at the bar reminded me of my Midwest roots. They have a lot of homey crab and clam dishes on offer, but timidly, I stuck with a prov-bacon burger. The fries were crap, but the burger, ordered and served medium, was thick, juicy, and tasty, and I ended up eating a lot more of it than I meant to. I ate in the bar, but they had a proper dining room that I noticed was offering a wine dinner this weekend. The waitress was actually pretty darn good, and I got three tea refills without ever asking. This place is not worth traveling out of your way for, but if you're in the area and want a comfortable meal, it far outpaces the rest of the chain joints around.
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