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  1. Went to the Class 302 Cafe location in Cerritos and wasn't super enthused. The drinks are big and colorful but were wayyyyy too sweet, with no compensating tartness, for my tastes. Our group had several of the boba drink options (tea, smoothies, etc.) and I didn't care for any of them (soft boba, ugh). It looks like other locations have an interesting self-serve option, sort of like the Pinkberry of boba spots, but the Cerritos location is counter service only where they make your drinks. I noticed that shaved ice was big with the other patrons while we were there (well, also it's summer). I
  2. I spend a lot of satisfying times in Bozzelli's and I think it belongs in the dining guide. It is a family-owned and operated deli with a seating area on Alban Road in Springfield -- Backlick runs from Annandale to Springfield, changes its name to Alban roughly at the big oil tanks across I-95S, and then changes its name to Pohick when it crosses Rolling Road into Lorton and Fairfax Station. Bozzelli's menu includes some of the best subs in the DC area. They have a few "signatures" like the Metro (basically an Italian hoagie), the absolutely decadent Pepperoni, Steak and Cheese, the Senator (
  3. I grabbed lunch here for the first time today, think it's been open for a little over a month. I haven't been to every taco joint in the district yet, but the first visit here beat every visit I've made to Taqueria Distrito Federal. I had the lengua, the carnitas, and the fish taco (daily special; tilapia). The lengua had a nice crust on it, which I've not had on lengua in the past and made for more of a roast pork belly mouthfeel, and the carnitas were properly fried and chunky, not pulled pork. The fish was not overcooked, although the fish taco as a whole had more of an earthy chili funk to
  4. Paty's American looks and feels familiar, which is no surprise given it's a new restaurant in the GAR group. To be clear, I've always liked these restaurants, believing they offer a good meal (and most often I think it's better than good), that's reasonably priced, and comes with excellent service. To be sure, thats my take on most "upscale chains" (e.g. Cheesecake Factory), and I'm not a tough critic in general, so you might need a grain of salt with this review. Still, one among an army of hostesses led us to a comfortable booth in a neo-industrial space (with one wall having a gigantic, and
  5. Big Buns Gourmet Grill, 4401 Wilson Blvd in Ballston (but it's not actually facing Wilson Blvd. It's on the other side of Vapiano in a courtyard between Wilson and Fairfax.) Click for website. I saw this place one day after leaving Vapiano and was curious to try it. It's a fast food burger place. They offer beef, chicken, mahi mahi, or portobello burgers (in a bun or bowl) with your choice of cheeses, toppings and sauces. They also offer regular fries, sweet potato fries, milkshakes, malts, floats, sodas, and beer. Near the soda fountain, they have four Italian soda type syrups that you can
  6. I've been meaning to try 101 Noodle Express for a while, since it specializes in some of my favorites items in Chinese cuisine - noodles and dumplings. I had passed it over in favor of trying other places because the flagship item, the Shangdong-style beef roll, isn't my favorite. BIG MISTAKE. Turns out I didn't like them as much at other places simply because they weren't as good. Here, they are the highest expression of the snack, consistent and omnipresent at every table for a reason. The crepe-like bing is thin, flaky, and rich, but not oily. The beef is high-quality and sliced uniformly t
  7. Señor Ramon Taqueria Opens on Baron Cameron Avenue by Fatimah Waseem, RestonNow Looks like the restaurant will open before the signage goes up; it says in the article it is opening today. This strip-mall shares the Home Depot parking lot and this location used to be a Greeberry's, then a Thai (Hibiscus Thai) place and now this. It is a few doors down from Willard's Menu Reston location. Menu looks pretty good, and will have to go by soon to check it out. We need more local Mexican-type places the Anita's and Uncle Julio's get old quickly.
  8. Good new food cart in Rosslyn (near the metro). They have a menu of breakfasts tacos and I think they're open for lunch now too. I stopped by this morning when I was in the neighborhood. I had two tacos with egg whites, peppers & onions, pinto beans, and cheese on a flour tortilla. Only cost $5. Very good food, especially for the price. Nice warm, soft tortillas stuffed with flavorful beans, crispy veggies, and soft egg whites. Add a bit of the medium salsa and it's a good meal for a low price.
  9. Agree with above. It's been super popular in the SGV and beyond and they continue to build stores in the states (dozens of shops in CA urban areas, one coming soon in Portland, OR, big presence in TX) so thought I'd give it its own thread. Although they have some typical Chinese bakery options, mostly the sweeter breads and pastries (no meat buns, curry puffs, etc.), I wouldn't call them a Chinese or Taiwanese bakery, per se, as they have quite a few Euro-centric bready options. I've been to 3-4 stores and they are usually quite large, brightly lit, with lots of seating, inviting (young!) p
  10. I am stunned not to find a thread for my favorite ice cream place in the world. This is --- hands down --- the best ice cream I have ever had. I appreciate that they're willing to go out on a limb with flavors, even if sometimes, they are a huge miss. But, they do reliably good to great work with the berry flavors (strawberry and raspberry, in particular), and the banana flavors are stunningly good when they are on the menu. The liqueur flavors are generally excellent too; a Fernet flavor was noteworthy, despite being runny (they admit it is due to the alcohol content).
  11. In the ice rink plaza over in Ashburn, Ford's Fish Shack is the third restaurant in the same space. Food-wise, of my first try, it's already blown the previous two out of the water. One of my coworkers had gone on and on about how much he liked the fish and chips. A buddy of mine and I went there for lunch. I had the lobster roll ($17), and if you use Mark Slater's definition of how trite it may be from another thread, well, this one is NOT trite. It was DELICIOUS. The lobster was nice and firm, the roll buttery, the combination with the just right amount of dressing fantastic. It came with s
  12. http://www.falafelinc.org/ We took a group of college kids to the new Spy Museum via the Alexandria water-taxi to the Wharf. After the spy museum we walked down to the Wharf for dinner. We had a vegetarian in our group, and all the group agreed that Falafel Inc sounded good. It is fast casual, with a little machine that pops out falafels to order. The drink options seemed a little limited. You could get a sandwich (in a pita), or a bowl (salad), with add-ons like hummus, zataar fries, tabouli, etc. I think there was a small confusion on what a bowl and sandwich were for the group wh
  13. I tried Bear Rock once when I worked in FC. Completely forgettable, no surprise that it's gone. But, this new place screams "Joe's Crab Shack" to me, and that's not a compliment. What are the odds of this place being any good? My little girl would love to have a local source for mudbugs, but the lobby of an upscale condo is unlikely to be it.
  14. It's not just the GARG joints -- the places run by GARG alums have many of the same/very similar items, just under different names. For example, the menu at Loudoun's thriving (for good reason IMHO, I'm a GARG fan along the lines of Dr. Delicious) Blue Ridge Grill mini-chain features: "Steak and cheese eggrolls" "Smoked salmon" "Brentwood Salad" (my go-to, it's a great deal and I get two meals out of it) "King Street Creole Pasta" etc
  15. Tried out the newish Duke's Grocery today for lunch over in Dupont on 17th street. First a few odd things: 1) it is not much of a grocery - they have a few baskets of produce for sale, but it is really a restaurant, 2) its menu consists solely of sandwiches, a few sides and a bar menu - but for now they do not offer carry out sandwiches (concerns about too long of a wait when they have a tiny open kitchen and basically one (maybe 2 sometimes cooks), 3) it looks like it'd be a place for counter service, but they have bartenders and waiter?/food runners so it is unclear whether tipping is expec
  16. I happen to walk by here almost every day on my way to the Clarendon metro. Posting because noticed their soft opening last week one night and from cheesepowder's post. Their FB page states they will open *today* at 11:30am. Parking won't be easy, since it's at the corner of 11th street north and North Highland. Citizen Burger Bar 1051 North Highland Street Arlington, VA
  17. Zagat Buzz has a good little blurb about this place ... have been eyeing the progress with every dog-walk down 8th Street and it's looking pretty good. Breakfast all day floats my boat, anyway; we'll see how the rest goes.
  18. Has anyone had an opportunity to visit Fireworks Wood Fired Pizza in Leesburg, Virginia? http://www.fireworkspizza.com/HOME2.htm My family and I have eaten at the restaurant once, and ordered take out twice. On our first visit, the first pie we ordered was the: quattro carni. The second (take out) was the: smokey blue, and the third (take out) was the: fire cracker. Our favorite pie thus far has been the: smokey blue, but felt that the service each time has been poor. During our first visit, the wait staff neglected to remember one-half of the order for my family. As a result causing
  19. They're hoping for May. It's going to be Asian accented southern dishes. You may remember him from Top Chef Texas or most recently on the bourbon episode of Mind of a Chef. "Edward Lee To Open Southern-Themed Succotash At National Harbor" by Tim Carman on washingtonpost.com Hopefully this is the beginning of a new era at National Harbor.
  20. Bethesda Bagels, on Bethesda Ave. near the Barnes and Noble also makes authentic NY style bagel* that are first boiled, then baked. My mother (who is now 96) told me that when she was young she used to make her own bagel, when she lived in places where they were unavailable. When I was growing up in Los Angeles, we lived in a Jewish neighborhood where there were many bakeries and delis. Bagel, along with onion pletzel, bialy, corn rye and challah, were always in the house. My mother always preferred "egg bagel," which had egg in the dough and were a bit softer, over "water bagel" which are the
  21. There has been an awning up for Saffron for a couple of weeks now. Given that they already have a restaurant in Broadlands, and that Curry Mantra 2 was in nearly turnkey shape, there shouldn't be much of a wait. Haandi can't catch a break, and maybe this time around, the competition will keep prices down: Both Haandi and Curry Mantra 2 were two of the most expensive Indian restaurants in the DC area despite being almost across the street from one another. "Curry Mantra 2 Is Now Saffron Indian Cuisine" by Sally Cole on fcnp.com
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