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  1. Takohachi opened on December 11 in the Westmont Shopping Center at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. My wife and I decided to eat lunch there today to test this new dining option after reading several positive comments from our neighbors on the Douglas Park community bulletin board. Owned and run by a Japanese chef, the space is simple and open (in the good Japanese way), with plenty of space between the tables and contemporary Japanese music playing softly in the room. We ordered from the lunch menu, which offered everything from Nigiri Shushi (at $1 per piece), to a number of Udons, Donburis and a large selection of Bento Boxes. We each ordered a Bento - Marianne had the California Roll and Spiced Tuna, I ordered the Sukiyaki. Both came with Tea, Miso Soup, Salad and a Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura portion in addition to the aforementioned Mains. All I can say is that if the quality of our lunch is the baseline for the other items on their menu, this is now our go-to spot for Japanese in South Arlington. They don't have an active social media profile, or a website yet. Here's hoping they can grow thru word of mouth - I want to be able to come back often. TSchaad
  2. A friend of mine who is intimately familiar with this type of food says Kabob Palace is the best. Didn't see a post for it so I shall mention it here. Better than Ravi, apparently.
  3. I was surprised to not see a thread for Joe's Pasta and Pizza. After all its been around for decades in various locations; the North Arlington and Vienna locations remain. Its simply a mainstay as a neighborhood restaurant. Admittedly I know or more properly knew and was friendly with Joe. So I'm a fan of the restaurateur and his restaurants. Quality of food? Well even as I ate at the different locations quite a lot, I'd never call it the best quality. I would call it great value and friendly, and a perfect place for inexpensive Italian comfort food. My personal favorite were always the buffets, and my recent trip took me back there. Do you want to fill up on Italian comfort food? Go to Joe's. Eat up. In fact, pig out if you can. Then nap for the rest of the day and be glad you didn't have to cook. For my tastes the buffet and the roasted chicken within it were always the highlights. Now for many many many others in the areas where they have been ( North Arlington, Vienna, formerly Fairfax, Gaithersburg, and Bailey's) I've known its always been both a dependable takeout option, and its an absolutely great place for families, kids and groups. The pizza? Well as much as I liked Joe, it was never my favorite. But the buffet. Had it again recently. It still is a great deal. In my book emphasize the roast chicken and add some other items....and its a terrific way to fill your tummy with Italian comfort food and leave the cooking to Joe et al.
  4. a clever plant in ts chat about willow. i don't know what's up but i think maybe its tracy mcgrady's new venture. --- RE: Your Fantasy Restaurant Job: Recently defunct Gaffney's in Ballston is in the process of being reincarnated into "Willow"- I work in the building and have spoken a couple times to the two women owners- they've both worked at Galileo, one was at Kinkead's for a long time the other was one of the originators at Firehook Bakery and spent a year in Tuscany. Their intent is to have EXACTLY the sort of place you describe. I can't WAIT for them to open! Tom Sietsema: Wow! (And good gossip. I'll have to check out the details.)
  5. Here is up-to-the-minute information regarding vaccines in Arlington County. A member here is living overseas, and has two elderly parents (90 and 81) living in Arlington. I was going to take them to get their vaccines, but did some research first - here's what I found: At Walter Reed Community Center, they were giving vaccinations (with long lines) 1-2 weeks ago. I just went there and asked how to go about doing this, and a kindly, older gentleman at the front desk gave me a very long, non-answer. The upshot is that "they" (perhaps the Community Center, perhaps the entire county) are out of vaccinations, but some are "coming in on an airplane." He could not and would not furnish any more information that that, other than to say that as of this moment, unless you already have an appointment, you cannot get a vaccine, and they're not taking any type of wait list. The gentleman went in the back (*), and returned with a slip of paper that says: I called the reservations number, and got a recording which strongly implied that Arlington County has sent out "cancellations" to people who already had appointments (because they ran out of vaccine), and said that those people would be contacted. You can dial the number and listen to the message yourself. The first website up above has the information you need. I'm of the opinion that right now, everything is up in the air, and when vaccines arrive, there will be something of an elbowing contest in order to get one. That's all the information I could find, but if people want me to, I'll be happy to monitor the situation, and update this thread as more becomes available. Cheers, Rocks (*) When the elderly gentleman was in the back, a younger, somewhat prickish man (bald, beard, glasses), came up to me and said, "Can I help you?" I said thanks, but I was already being helped. He continued: "By who?" I said by the man working the front desk, who has gone back to get me some information about vaccinations. When the desk worker came back (and handed me the piece of paper), the younger man said to him, curtly, 'From now on, you don't let anyone past this point,' without a please, a thank you, or any deference to the kindly man's age - I understand that I only caught a small glimpse of this exchange, but the optics were not great. --- This article was updated at 8:05 PM last night, and is germane to this issue: "Virginia Hospital Center To Administer Vaccines under New Agreement with County" by Matt Blitz on arlnow.com
  6. Did anyone make it out to Meridian Pint's Grand Opening today? My friend & neighbor is part owner, but I wasn't able to attend, so was wondering how it went. Check out the photos of the table taps, restaurant/bar & visit by Founders of Sam Adams, Dogfish, etc.
  7. Ruffino's on Lee Highway... hubby mentioned when driving by today it looked closed and their old neon sign was down... Anybody know the story... are they closed and is it for renovations or totally closed?
  8. 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
  9. Yeah, both good choices. I've worked in Falls Church (just over the line) for 14 years so I know both of those places well. Caribbean Grill has OUTSTANDING side dishes -- their yuca is superb, and their plantains melt in your mouth. While their chicken is very good, I've often just gotten side dishes for lunch. This was actually my first time trying any of the eateries in Lee-Harrison (other than Dogma for my pups). Pietanza looks interesting too, but also a bit pricy. Then there's Sushi-Zen. Any 411 on either of those? I'm guessing "Oriental Gourmet" is as bad as you'd expect from the name?
  10. Stopped by Smoking Kow for a late lunch today. They opened earlier this week. The place is pretty small, with about four picnic tables to eat at inside. They didn't have wings, tacos or ribs today, which was too bad. I ordered the two-meat platter with pulled pork and brisket, along with barbecue beans and mac and cheese. I also tried all of their sauces. I believe they were: original, vinegar, mumbo, chipotle, and gold. I thought the pulled pork and the brisket were both good, though they didn't provide a lot of it for a platter. I also thought it strange that the brisket only comes chopped. It made me suspicious that they're trying to cover up something, because that's why I do when my brisket turns out dry. Of the sauces, I enjoyed the chipotle the most, especially with the brisket. I really enjoyed their barbecue beans. They're red and white beans with a vinegary sauce that has a lot of interesting flavor to it. Can't wait to try that again. The mac and cheese was creamy, fine, nothing to really write home about. Overall, I'll definitely give this place another chance. I think the transition from food truck to restaurant will probably give them some growing pains. The menus (and meat portions) seem more geared toward sandwiches, which makes sense for a food truck. Hopefully they'll have brisket slices and ribs in the near future.
  11. I don't remember how I heard about this joint. It could've been Tyler Cowen, or it could've been Chowhound. We ordered from the Chinese menu, which has pretty pictures and English translation. We had some mapo fish with tofu ($14), cumin lamb, ($14) pot stickers ($7), and hand scratch pan cake ($4). The cumin lamb arrived first, along with its body odor-like smell. Luckily it tasted much better than it smells. The lamb had some gaminess, but the cumin and chili peppers did a good job of covering that up. Other than 1 particularly chewy piece, the lamb was tender and plentiful. The mapo fish with tofu arrived on a plate rather than a bowl. The tofu was tender and the fish was not the least bit fishy. The more I ate of it, the more I enjoyed it. At first it was just spicy and salty but I detected more flavor as I continued shoveling the stuff down my throat. The pot stickers were nothing special, the dough being rather thick. The pan cake didn't have any flavor. A decent authentic Chinese joint (which makes it 10x better than any American Chinese restaurant in my book). They also have a buffet but I didn't see what was on there.
  12. You could have knocked me over with a feather. After having done this, happily discovering a U-turn back into DC on I-395 shortly after crossing the Potomac River, I decided to take the left fork in the road - the one that's marked "Long Bridge Drive." You will simply not believe there is a place this barren and rubble-strewn so close to downtown DC - it reminds me of the time a few years ago when I took a drive through the parking lot of what used to be Landover Mall. But then, I went around a turn, and before my very eyes, on the left of the road, was a huge hill leading up to what appeared to be some sort of park. There were lots of people there, and some were wearing batting helmets. Could it be? Yes! Yes it was! It was a park - Long Bridge Park to be exact - the most unlikely thing I've seen in quite awhile. Amidst the rubble-strewn road seemed to be some really nice athletic fields (inside of a 30-acre park, it turns out, with plenty of parking), and it's less than five minutes from the Washington, DC line. The website doesn't mention any batting cages, but this looks like the type of place that would have them. Although I didn't park and walk up to look, this place looked like it was really nice, and *if* there's a batting cage, it's probably the closest one to several neighborhoods in Washington, DC. Remember this - go to this post about making a U-turn on I-395, but don't make the U-turn - take the left fork in the road, and you'll be right at the batting cage within seconds. If you keep going, past the park, you'll end up in the heart of Crystal City - it's the fastest route to Jaleo, Kabob Palace (open 24 hours), etc. And then to get back into DC, just reverse course - it couldn't be any closer, and nobody knows about this exit off of I-395.
  13. Now that's the crust I remember. I didn't put that as a subtitle to this thread on a whim. It's the gosh-darned truth. There are a lot of places in the DC area that claim NY-Style Pizza and 99% of those claims are complete bullshit. The remaining 1% come oh-so-close but no cigar. Today I had it in, of all places, that deadly, strip of foul restaurants on S. 23rd Street in Crystal City between Eads and Fern. Cafe Pizzaiolo opened up quite recently in a building on the corner that has seen businesses come and go over the past 5 years or so. I would have skipped right by this place because everything on that strip just sucks patootie. But then I saw this review in yesterday's paper and, lo and behold, I'm familiar with the owner from a past life. Owner Larry Ponzi is one of the people responsible for the restaurant in the National Museum of the American Indian. And while it may not be fine dining, Mitsitam Cafe is one of the most unique and worthwhile places to eat in this city simply because of its special menu highlighting a broad array of Native American ingredients and recipes. That venture alone shows that Larry has class and vision. Cafe Pizzaiolo, the restaurant he just opened on his own proves he has talent. He makes two kinds of pizza, NY-style and Neapolitan. Personally I wasn't a fan of the Neapolitan. But I wouldn't hesitate to suggest you try it, as your taste may differ. My problem is that NY style is far and away my preference. And Cafe Pizzaiolo's NY style is far and away better than any NY style pizza I've had in the area. (For the record, my preference has always been Vace, but as I said above, close but no cigar). Great crunch. Great resistance. Great chew. Just enough shimmering oil from the sausage. Wonderful yeasty flavor. Fresh tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella. Pepperoni and roasted garlic also topped my selection today. If you get it, and you should, be sure to keep it simple. The menu has a lot of toppings available that I consider questionable, such as pineapple and chicken breast, but I'm more of a purist and would also make the possession or sale of cinnamon raisin bagels a capital crime if given the chance. Hey, so when is Bebo's pizza oven going to be running? Who cares anymore? Unless you are allergic to NY style pizza, why even consider putting up with all the service issues at Bebo? Drinkie drinks? Aside from the fresh brewed iced tea, today there were five red wines and four white wines (including a prosecco) to choose from. All Italian and not a single cute animal on the labels. By the glass from 5-8 dollars, bottles run $19-$29, but if you choose to take your bottle to go instead of dining in the restaurant, that bottle price drops almost in half. Beers? I didn't see any drafts, but the bottle list is nothing to sneeze at. No Bud or Miller in the bunch. Bell's Two Hearted or Oberon. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA or Indian Brown Ale. Peroni. Fuel Cafe Stout from Lakefront Brewery in Wisconsin. All about $4.75/bottle. The dining room is pleasant. Warm wood and colorful abstract oil paintings. Neon light accents and Italian advertising posters. I think it was a coffee bar, Starbucks-type knockoff before Cafe Pizzaiolo opened and you most definitely will see some resemblance. It definitely has that cafe feel. But as any Rays the Steaks diner will tell you, "who cares about decor?" (I'm also stuck thinking of George Costanza saying, "Eyebrows? Who cares about eyebrows?") This is the kind of pizza that can be baked early in the day, left out on a tray stand and eaten by the cut slice hours later and still taste great even if it's not reheated. And he sells it by the slice too! In a world surrounded by crap delivery pizza, Pizzaiolo delivers too. So now there's no need to order delivery from anywhere else if you're in the neighborhood. Larry is an independent local businessman who lives in the area and clearly takes pride in what he does. He is EXACTLY the kind of person who needs the support and word of mouth by people like us. And he wants to hear what you think, too. So be sure to tell him. Bottom line.......consider a visit to Cafe Pizzaiolo. If you take Metro, it's only about an 8 minute walk from the Crystal City station and essentially is no farther than going to Bebo or any of the other spots there on Crystal Drive. It's just a couple blocks further away from the river. If you like it, post it. If you don't, send me a PM first so I can come and choke you with a cinnamon raisin bagel before you have a chance to type your first vowel. ETA: This is $20 Tuesday country, pardners.
  14. 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/
  15. 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
  16. I visited this place for the first time this week and was really happy with what I got. It is in the strip shopping center on Lee Hwy just east of George Mason, with Caribbean Grill on the west end of it. Charga has excellent food prepared by guys who really like food. Claudio spent the time to inform me about some of the nuances of each of the 3 dishes I considered. The menu is wide ranging and looks to have a lot of great dishes. The Charga flash fried chicken looked really good, but I was looking for lamb. I started with the chicken soup and the mint lemonade. The soup was rich, nicely full bodied and full of flavor with chunks of chicken and potatoes. The mint lemonade is home made and delicious. Then I got the main dish of lamb served on two types of rice with a nice salad of greens, beets, cucumbers and tomatoes. And it had another little bowl of an outstanding chole/chickpea dish. The lamb (ordered medium rare) was served hot and hot, very moist and mouth wateringly delicious. This was a really satisfying meal in every way. The lamb wasn't Prime, and it might not even have been Choice, but it was prepared well and it is really a nice dish. I will definitely be back.
  17. I searched for a thread on Thai Square, but I couldn't find one, so I apologize if I'm search-function impaired, but I thought this place deserved its own space. I'm glad that Tom S. isn't hyping it anymore, because it's now safe to go back! While they are still busy, it's possible to get seated at some point in the evening, and they are now willing and able to fill takeout orders in a reasonable length of time. When I eat here, I'm reminded of how much I enjoy eating simple, homey, Thai food. None of this bland, oversauced, and terribly underspiced poor excuses that they've been serving up at some of the many, many random Thai joints that have popped up (I do appreciate the attempts to use clever names, though I've wondered why no one has yet tried Thai Me Up!) as Thai food has increased significantly in popularity with the masses. Last night we had three dishes: pad see ew with beef, eggplant with chicken and basil, and catfish with chilies and eggplant. The noodles were dry-fried, with just enough sauce and grease to caramelize the noodle edges. Yum! I like that they use Chinese broccoli, as is right and proper, instead of regular broccoli. We had told the server, "spicy is good," in response to her concerned query about our choices. However, the (chunks of asian) eggplant and basil chicken dish, while bursting with basil goodness, was not exactly searing to the palate. (But how do I justify deep-frying my vegetables, if I don't get a restaurant to do it??!!) The dish was delicious, but mild. Maybe next time I'll tell them that "spicy is necessary." The catfish was fried (thin steak slices) and served with thin slices of those cute, green, baby (Thai?) eggplants, a lot of basil, and the same basic brown sauce, with the crucial addition of a generous amount of chilies. While the flavor was excellent (and definitely needed rice to ensure consumer comfort), I have to say that my enjoyment of the dish was reduced somewhat because of the effort involved in finding and removing the spine and other bones. Each bite required rather delicate chewing to avoid stabby little points of fishy revenge. I understand, though, that this might not be a problem for others. Great service - friendly but unobtrusive. My water glass barely had time to dip below full (key for me when chilies are involved) before it was refilled. So that's me. I love this place! Anyone else want to cop to eating Thai comfort food? I'm curious if others have suggestions on dishes to try...
  18. If there is a thread about this place I could not find it. I have not been here in years, but it appears there is a new chef: Apr 20, 2016 - "Well-Loved La Côte d’Or Café Gets New Owner-Chef; Frogs Legs and Escargot? - Oui!" on lightningreleases.com Apr 22, 2016 - "Frog Legs, Escargots Back on the Menu at La Côte d’Or Café" on arlnow.com May 4, 2016 - "Arlington: New Owner-Chef Leads La Côte d’Or" by Eden Brown on connectionnewspapers.com We used to enjoy La Mediterranée on Lee Highway before it burned down. Might be time to head back to La Côte d’Or and see what's doing.
  19. The relatively recently-opened Sala Thai at the corner of Clarendon Boulevard and N. Adams St. in Courthouse is closed. There's a large sign in the window advertising a new restaurant: "Me Jana." The sign states that the restaurant will feature "Fine Mediterranean Dining." Some quick Googling didn't turn up anything relevant for "Me Jana," though there seem to be one or more Mediterranean restaurants in other cities called "Mejana."
  20. Hunan Number One in Clarendon has been doing this for quite a while, and their "happy hour" lasts all day long. The food's not bad, either, for Americanized "Chinese" food (though, the quality can vary, depending, I guess, on who's manning the wok).
  21. There's a Coming Soon sign at this building in Clarendon (near the corner of Wilson and Washington Blvd). The website says coming in early 2007 though, so I guess it's still a ways off from opening. Anyone know anything about this place?
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