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Found 228 results

  1. Fate: it's one of those words that you know isn't really true. So, what exactly was it that had me at Don Tito yesterday? Bad Luck? Divine Punishment? Did I do something bad in a previous lifetime that I don't know about? It started when my phone cord gave up the ghost, and the only appointment at the Apple Store was late-afternoon. Afterwards, I had a couple destinations in mind, but when I was driving up Wilson Blvd., there was Don Tito on my right, and open parking spaces on my left. Open parking spaces?! What did I do to deserve *that*? I had never been to an A-Team establishment, and wasn't looking forward to ending that honorable streak, but if I don't go, then how can I pretend to have any expertise? I parked the damned car and went in. It was exactly as I knew it would be: a sports bar. And when I asked my very pleasant bartender what the second floor was, she said, "They made it into more of a sports bar than this level is." I about spat out my draft of Miller Lite ($3 on the "Football Menu," which is available during all NFL and NCAA games, which I guess is pretty much all weekend). Miller Lite? Well, look, if I wasn't going to dine well, I was going to dine gently, see? And since I figured the kitchen was largely Latino, I figured that was the impetus behind the "Flex-Mex" shtick, and so I ordered a pair of tacos since Don Tito pushes "tacos, tequila, and beer." And I was going to dine gently: I stayed vegetarian. Okay, lemme take a deep breath: I ordered the Fried Avocado with Tomato-Jalapeño Salad Tacos ($8), on soft "corn" tortillas. The avocado was Dos Equis battered, and it came with "cabbage," smoked chili "aïoli," and roasted corn. I was actually thinking of asking them to go light on the smoked chili "aïoli," but it wouldn't have mattered if I had. The tacos arrived in less than two minutes. What showed up were best described as "cole slaw tacos," each having about an ice-cream scoop worth of industrial, mayonnaise-based cole slaw in it. On top of each was one slice of pre-fried avocado which, in itself, wasn't at all bad. Underneath the avocado were random kernels of corn; I could find no tomato or jalapeño salad. The smoked chili aïoli, as I feared, looked like a squirt bottle had an orgasm. Was I going to eat what amounted to industrial cole slaw wrapped in flour corn tortillas, and fill up on probably 800 calories worth of slop? I used my fork, and picked at the fried avocado, which was clearly fresh at one point, and got about three small bites from each taco. I milled around, looking for the stray corn kernel which hadn't been doused. I broke off a small piece of the tortilla and tried it. I had about five chips from the warm basket of Chips and Salsa (gratis), which wasn't really so bad. I thanked my bartender, paid my check, and left, having finished my Miller Lite, and having eaten about ten nibbles of food. Onward. --- Dining in Clarendon (astrid)
  2. Pay no attention to anything you've read or heard about Mazagan; go here and get the Bastilla ($9.50, get the one with chicken) and Moroccan Couscous ($18) with caramelized onions and raisins. The couscous would make a perfect carryout dish - it will retain its heat for at least 30 minutes. If you don't want to invest your time, at least get this to take home. Don't let the Hookah room scare you away - that's late-night stuff; the bar is a great place to dine, the food is made from scratch, and the interior reminds me of Monty's Steakhouse in Springfield - it's a very nice-looking restaurant ... and there were *no* diners in the main restaurant when I went. None. The *last* thing I felt like doing right now is posting about a restaurant; it would have been immoral if I hadn't. Trust me - we could be in danger of wrongly losing yet another restaurant if you don't. Comfortably placed in Italic, and ranked as the #1 restaurant in South Arlington in the Dining Guide with no serious challenger in sight.
  3. Northern Virginia Magazine reports on Liberty Tavern's plan for the old Murky Coffee space: Chef Liam LaCivita will oversee the kitchen. The article also has info on their new restaurant, Lyon Hall.
  4. We tried the TNR cafe the other night, and it was really not that bad. It may be a step up from just your local carry out, we will see in the coming weeks if that's true. The fried dumplings I had were very good. The owner's mother, who was waiting on tables give us a sampling of their ice cream, which was not made in house but very good. The coconut and lychee were very good! As for courthouse there really is no stand out restaurant, come to think of it, the only real star on Wilson Blvd. is Ray's. I do love the area inspite of it's lack of great places to eat, and diversity amoung it's residents.
  5. When I was complaining about the lack of good Italian food in Arlington recently, this doesn't sound like the answer I was hoping for. From the owners of A-Town and Don Tito comes, Barley Mac, an "Italian American" fusion tavern with a beer and bourbon beverage program. . . "A-Town Owners To Open Rosslyn Restaurant" on ARLnow.com
  6. This is one of the only restaurants to serve Uighur cuisine in the country (there are probably 5 total, from my limited googling, and none in the east coast). I'd been meaning to go to this place since it opened, as it's pretty close to where I live. There have been good early reviews on Chowhound and Yelp and Tyler Cowen, and I was pretty excited about it. It's right next door to Legal Seafood on 23rd St. First impression is that it is absolutely freezing in that restaurant. The hostesses and waitresses were wearing parkas. I kept my coat on the whole time. I ordered a hot tea to start, out of sheer necessity. Unlike a lot of Chinese restaurants, the tea is not free. They also have many varieties of it. This one was their house, and it was $3.50. They don't have alcohol at this point. It was just me, so I couldn't order a whole lot. They are known for their big plate chicken, but it was a lot of food for one person, and I don't have time for leftovers this week, so I'll wait til the next visit to try it. I got the cold spice noodle, which is similar to Hong Kong Palace's Chengdu Spicy Cold Noodles. This came out first, and they give you a lot more of it. It's not that spicy, and honestly, blander compared to HKP. For my main, I wanted something spicy, and so she recommended the chicken laghman. This was a noodle stir fry, there was eggplants, celery, red peppers, green peppers, and large caliber noodles that I guess they are noted for. It was a brownish sauce that was tasty but not spicy in the least. I told the waitress this, and I asked for some chili. She brought a brownish sauce that was pretty darn good, added that umami, and spiced it up a bit. I was really hoping to like this place more. I certainly get their star dish, nor did I try any of their lamb dishes, which looked good. I saw people with the chicken dish, and it looked/smelled great. I'll go again when I have some company to eat with. I'd suggest going when the weather gets better, unless it was heating problem that hopefully will get fixed. Anyone else go yet?
  7. Over the last year more or less there has been an explosion of new places to eat in "Downtown" Roslyn; Downtown Roslyn being the essentially level area near the Metro and differentiated from the office, residential restaurants and retail that stretch up the hill on either Wilson or Clarendon Blvd. These places to eat coincide with the three massive structures added to the Roslyn landscape, two huge office buildings and one enormous high rise apartment building. It would not be fair to call most of this "dining". These are places primarily for lunch, some for breakfasts, and most for quick meals. Just a quick summary to list (hope I haven't missed any) McDonalds (first of the newer places in) replacing its long long standing stand alone building across from Metro. Nando's Peri Peri, The Little Beet, Sweet Green (across from Chopt), Compass Coffee just opened. Under construction are Cava, Bethesda Bagel, a Poke restaurant (name escapes me), and now Sfoglina has closed off its windows and is commencing construction. Ahhhh Sfoglina--the one true dining experience being added to downtown Roslyn. Roslyn: A real sort of downtown with high rise buildings, an office density that rivals that of downtown, and actually a relatively high "urban neighborhood" population (relative to other urban neighborhoods in Arlington (Crystal City, Pentagon City, Courthouse, Clarendon, Vg. Square and Ballston). All of which is to say that if you find yourself stuck in Roslyn...there is now less reason to moan.
  8. ARLnow reports (in a sponsored post) that Tupelo Honey Cafe will be opening at 2000 Clarendon Blvd* on June 1st. The post states they're hiring for a variety of positions. Tupelo Honey is a regional (NC, TN, FL, GA, and now VA) chain based in Asheville. According to their website "We serve fresh, scratch-made, Southern comfort food re-imagined." I haven't had the chance to try it out, but have several friends who are big fans. It'll be nice to have another dining option in Courthouse. * The info on the company website says 1616 N. Troy Street.
  9. Linda's Cafe is out on Rt. 29, not far past the Glebe intersection and the Heidelberg Bakery, on the corner of Edison St. and Lee Hwy. This is what I saw outside that made me pull over: 1. A neon sign that said "The Best Burgers." 2. An exterior done in red paint that was so thick it looked sticky to the touch. 3. Limited parking in the sort of minimall that could earnestly include a stamp and coin collecting shop. Once inside, this is why I stayed: 1. The elderly black host/waiter/sometime cook who was wearing a huxtable sweater and baseball cap. 2. The latina waitress who sang softly to herself as she bussed tables. 3. The silver-haired Greek cook with the hair on his hands singed short from constant proximity to the grill. 4. The menagerie of customers you get at 10:30 on a Friday morning, which is too late for a respectable breakfast and too early for a respectable lunch. Bedraggled hipsters, mechanics, some elderly men reading the paper, a knight, the Pardoner, the wife of Bath, etc. Characters. People with stories worth eavesdropping on. Afterwards, this is why I'll be back: 1. The burger (the Linda Burger) with grilled onions and mushrooms could likely compete in the "best" category with Five Guys, In-n-Out, etc. Not Palena or other boutique burgers, of course, but this isn't the sort of place that uses brioche for a bun. I take burgers VERY seriously. Even the waitress stopped what she was doing to watch it cook, then turned to me and said, "doesn't that look delicious?" It really did and I said so. 2. A fairly comprehensive diner breakfast, reasonably priced, that looks like it's worth a shot. 3. Regulars actually send this place postcards from vacation. There are wedding photos on the wall by the cashier, plus graduation portraits, and a glamor shot of the waitress (could she be the eponymous Linda?) 4. The sort of food that McDonalds and Subway neutered and rendered safe, the American greasy spoon menu, still exists here. My wife will shy away from this place, say it's too greasy, and then we'll go get roti slathered with ghee in an Indian restaurant. No, honey, no more excuses. I like grease. I like my burger with a side of cheese grits. I want four, maybe five, different fried potato products and I'm going to put hot sauce on all of them and the healthy way we live our lives means that this is a more enjoyable eating adventure than Mexican/Asian fusion (screw you, Zengo, you're too hip for me) will ever be. 5. The Clarendon corridor has reached a saturation point. Some day, all of that will come marching down Lee Highway (four dollar gas might get metro stops in lots of unlikely places, you know) and then where will the dives and diners go in the face of property values that can't be stopped? Eat here, enjoy it, because there's a sense of permanence in a place like this that is actually very fragile. Detractions, of course, exist: 1. No desserts. The waitress said it was because she has a sweet tooth and wants to watch her figure. On the one hand, that's sensible. On the other hand, where's my damn apple pie? 2. If there were more than a half dozen people in Linda's at 10:30AM on a workday, I can't imagine the tiny parking lot working out very well during sensible dining hours. There, that's twelve good reasons minus two bad for a grand total of ten give this place a try points.
  10. Couldn't find a post about this place so please move if I'm wrong. When my friend hosted book group, she got platters from here and they were delicious so I went with my son about a week ago. And it was just as good. They made a kid's plate for my boy with a kufta kabob, rice and a bit of carrots & potatoes in a sauce - he loved it but I ate the veggies. I had the chicken kabob platter with my chosen side of sauteed spinach and naan-type warm bread. Came with the yummy yogurt sauce too. I finished it - nuff said. Also had the baklava, a huge portion for $3.99. Really nice staff/owners, a few tables for eating in and a lot of people coming to pick up their called in orders. Website: http://www.arlingtonkabobva.com/
  11. Wandered into Kohinoor Dhaba today, per the proprietor of Indus Imports in Old Town Alexandria. Just last night, he took his family there for the first time, in search of a place to send customers when they ask (and they always ask) "where should I go for lunch today". So there I went. Environment No frills. I did not realize this would be a buffet situation. But hey, in for a penny, in for a pound, and that pounding was going to be my headache if I did not eat something soon. The outside of the restaurant carried an inviting aroma, made furher appealing by the warm greeting I received when I opened the door. A prominent, cleanly kept buffet and a few tables dominated the first floor. A more open space and additional tables appeared on the second floor. Self service water, napkins, and plastic flatware were also upstairs, making this a quick, easy, convenient lunch or dinner option for anyone on the go. The bathroom was remarkably tidy for such a small space. As a solo, famished diner, I found this layout excellent for my chowful needs. Would also be hella fun as a group to start or end a night on the town, with none of the interruptive table service hassles that can be a conversation-killer. Food Hat Tips: Marinated (not really pickled) onions, spinach pakora, and goat curry. Especially the curry, gawds that was good goat. The freshly-quartered limes on the buffet are a bright way to punch up the flavor for any of the dishes (plus, Vitamin C in da haus!). Just Misses: Bund gobi aur matar, the cabbage and peas underseasoned and dominated with oil. Garlic naan appeared beautiful with hallmark char and browned allium, but the quality of the flour prevented anything more than a token addition to the meal. Regular naan comes with the buffet, garlic an additional charge. Ease of Access Parking spaces in front of the building seemed reserved for other establishments, so adjacent meters are the way to go. Since I don't mind the trek, I just parked in the neighborhood behind the restaurant and walked the block and a half over. Upon the entrance, a set of steep stairs awaits, entailing precarious footing. Once inside, the bathroom is also upstairs. The faint of knees should dine elsewhere. The all-you-can-eat buffet with six entree options and condiments a-plenty was a whopping $8.95. An option for anyone seeking quick-fix Northern Indian, especially on a Saturday morning before the lunch time crowd hits. Website
  12. I see from today's lettres that Mr. Rockwell was at Cassatt's recently. I fervently hope that he wasn't there Saturday night, as every time the band stopped playing would be the exact moment that I would say something shameful that would suddenly carry across the restaurant. The meat pies were indeed very good and there are easily 7 or 8 to choose from. My beef and cheese was great until I hit the occasional bits of gristle. The steak and mushroom pie didn't have that problem and was perfect for a cold night. The lamb kabob and the grilled tilapia were fine, but you can get those elsewhere AND those unfortunate souls who ordered them were forced to borrow my mango chutney. I protected it like an enraged giant weta. We came because of their inclusion in the Neighborhood Eats on WETA (which is different from a weta; look it up) and because New Zealand has always been the escape plan if we had to flee the country, so it would behoove us to see if we like the food. Has anyone else been? Is the food small "a" authentic?
  13. Team, We have been reading this forum for a long time and found it very helpful in enhancing our dining experience. Now, me and my partner Enzo Algarme have opened our own food establishment and want to invite you guys to check it out. Enzo, who is from Naples, Italy, worked in the kitchen of the renown "Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente" (certified by Verace Pizza Napoletana) in Naples, where he learned how to make authentic Neapolitan specialties, which we are now making here, in Arlington, Virginia. Some things, like the Neapolitan Fried Calzone, you can't find anywhere else in this area. We also make Palle di Riso (crunchy rice balls stuffed with peas, veggie crumble and cheese), Panzarotti - potato croquettes stuffed with mozzarella, Neapolitan-style pizza (we do not have a wood-burning oven, but use the same recipe and the ingredients as pizzerias in Naples). The food we serve is the authentic Neapolitan STREET food, just like you find on the streets of Naples. Our food establishment is a STREET CART, not a restaurant, so the prices are more than reasonable. We have been open for about 1 week in the neighbourhood of Ballston, in Arlington, VA just outside the Metro station, at the corner of Stuart and 9th streets. We are only open Mon-Fri for breakfast and lunch right now, from 8 to 3:30, but soon will be open until 8pm. Come to give us a shot! Anastasiya and Enzo pupatella.com myspace.com/pupatella1pizza
  14. I couldn't find a thread on this deserving shop. On the way home from a successful dentist visit to Arlington - I couldn't resist the simple singage. "Livin' the Pie Life". Took home a small chilled chocolate cream and an apple/cherry right out of the oven. The chocolate had a chocolate crumb crust and the fruit pie had an excellent traditional pie crust. Being of a savory orientation, I also got a bacon and cheese scone. There were also mini quiches that I'll try next time. All were great and worth the price ($$) - and being about 4" in diameter, they were lighter in the calories than getting a whole pie. The chocolate pie scored some serious husband points.
  15. I find ARLNow's comment section really really funny. Sometimes it turns up interesting information. Since I am a regular at OKI Ramen downtown, I just might have to check out our local option. Has anyone been? "Family-Friendly Ramen Shop Opens in Cherrydale" by Heather Mongilio on arlnow.com
  16. A restaurant that has not yet opened, yet has a single 5-star rating is opening next to the controversial Asiatique. (cajun smelling seafood sushi anyone?) Le Kon website I am oddly transfixed at this particular location for some reason. Maybe its the really bad driving that happens near the store fronts. Shall we place bets on length of tenure, or does somebody have to dine there first?
  17. According to this blogger (aka Greg H. on Yelp), it opened recently and the owners own Ichiban in Alexandria.
  18. I don't see a thread for the Arlington location of RTS yet so I started one. Rocks - If I've missed it, my apologies. Just wanted to comment on my first visit there - it was everything I was expecting and more. As much as I like cool/hip decor/non-human eye candy in a restaurant, I really only ask three things of a place - good food, good wine list and good service. RTS was outstanding on all three counts. My wife took me for my birthday and having read quite a bit about it over the last few months on eGullet, I was expecting an exceptional experience and we got it. The service was prompt, attentive, friendly and not intrusive from the moment we got there through us walking out the door. The wine list is all its been said to be. Lots on really interesting, really great, really affordable selections - we had an amazing Cab (can't remember the name - it started with an "A" and was $28 a bottle) that, for the price, is probably the best value I've ever seen in a California Cab. Started off a little tight (to be expected in a 2002) but was still delicious and just opened up beautifully through dinner. And big bonus points for it being served at the proper temperature! We both started with soup - I had the sherried crab bisque and my wife had the onion. They were both fantastic although I enjoyed mine more - of course anything made with that much cream has to be good . For our entrees I had the hanger steak and my wife had the brochettes (I think I spelled that right). The hanger was simply the most flavorful piece of meat I've ever had and we have friends who their own beef cattle in MD. The steak will forever change how I judge good meat. Cooked perfectly at medium rare with bleu cheese crumbles. The brochettes and assorted veggies were also very good but I paled in comparison to the hanger steak. The sides were also as delicious as has been said before. The portions were quite generous and I look forward to finishing that steak tonight - and a nice touch when we got our meals boxed up for home, we got a refill on the sides. Being a big fan of key lime pie, there was no way to pass that up and man was it good! I'm not one for fanfare, my wife knows this and made no mention it was my birthday when she made reservations. It happened to slip out at some point during the night and the server made a point of telling me happy birthday and the desert was on the house. It is those little touches that really make a place shine. I can't wait to get back and try a different wine and have that hanger steak again.
  19. For New York style pizza, Upper Crust on Pennsylvania Avenue (next door to Roti) is pretty good. Not like Giuseppi's Pizza was back in the day in Rockville, but close.
  20. I went over to the Twin Towers to The Great Eatery, the buffet and sandwich place, and they posted a sign that August 31 would be their last day after ten years. Although I think the cause is mainly the movement of various businesses on the Mall level due to the expansion of the WJLA empire, I am sorry to see it go, particularly as a similar buffet place at the Rosslyn Metro Center closed several months ago. Now, aside from a sandwich shop on the street level, a fairly large complex has no interior dining options. There are still food trucks along Wilson Boulevard and assorted take out places in the block across Wilson, but it is sad when a business closes that was at least convenient.
  21. A lady I know has been touting this place for weeks, so we went tonight. It's a few doors down from Dino. The d�cor is plastic but the food is worth a trip. We had Crispy Spring Rolls (truly crunchy), Hue Spicy Beef Soup (needed a couple of hits from the spices on the table), Fried Quail (delicate and delicious), and Grilled Pork Hanoi (nice). She had a VN beer, "33," never heard of it. What happened in VN in 1933? And why do they have the name of the restaurant backwards?
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