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Found 16 results

  1. And another one bites the dust, as (formerly) locally-owned Houston craft brewery Karbach is acquired by AB-InBev. Locals are taking the news hard (myself included). Kevin Floyd from The Hay Merchant and Underbelly was out fast, announcing they would no longer carry Karbach products, and would be selling their remaining stock at a steep discount. Of the Houston brewers, Karbach has become my go-to (especially Love Street during our long, hot summer), but I imagine I'll branch out a bit more now. Bummer.
  2. It is truly amazing how much the area of S. Van Dorn Street, S. Pickett Street, and Edsall Road - all part of Alexandria near the Van Dorn Street Metro station - has been built up in the past few years - I had absolutely no idea a Red Lobster had opened up on S. Van Dorn Street, which shows just how long it has been since I've been here. In one of the self-contained complexes rests the Portner Brewhouse, opened by the descendents of Robert Portner. Having tried three different beers here, I wish I could say that the beer lived up to the romance, but both the atmosphere - which is cold and corporate-feeling (this brewery was obviously very well-funded) - and more importantly, the beers themselves, looked and tasted full-on industrial, even though the fermentation tanks are easily seen through windows behind the bar. I wanted to try the house staples and standards, so my friend and I had the following (we arrived during Social Hour, so prices were a dollar off): Hoffbrau Pilsner (20-ounce draft, $5) - despite it's 5.9% ABV, this was a glass of generic nothingness. Vienna Cabinet Lager (16-ounce draft, $4) - the word "copper" in the menu description caught my eye, as this is often a sign of an Amber Ale, a Scotch Ale, or a Red Ale - at 5% ABV, this was marginally my favorite beer of the three, (remember, my palate has a preference for malt over most hops), but I wouldn't return just for this. My friend didn't care for either beer, so I was "forced" to drink the above two - however, the words "orange peel" and "coriander" intrigued her enough to try this: Jaxson's Wheat (16-ounce draft, $4.25) - cloudy, and with more citrus and resin than the first two beers, but still with a palate presence of Anywheat from the grocery store. The problem with all three beers is that there was very little nose, virtually no depth, and a clipped finish - this was a forgettable experience in a forgettable atmosphere that felt like something you'd find inside a shopping mall. If I lived here, then maybe, but I just can't see making an effort, and I'm really sorry to say this, too, as this is the type of place I pull for.
  3. Happened upon the newest food, grocery, condo block or two in Sterling, Virginia recently - had been to the CAVA there several times, but missed this place as it was not open. Lunch was not particularly busy but the way this complex is set up a block off Leesburg Pike (Route 7) it is a destination. There is a Harris Teeter and several other restaurants (Chuy's) in the immediate area. I saw signs for a Coal fired pizza coming soon as well. Miller's Ale House is tucked in the middle so if you blink you could miss it. There is green space in front with some kids games and benches so it appears to be used regularly. Lunch was great. Have a decent mix of salads and sandwiches, I opted for a burger as their description sounded pretty good and it was. Service was spot on and drinks refilled promptly. Atmosphere is more of the contemporary bar/restaurant feel with high exposed vents and gray ceiling acoustic tiles. The booths and bar area were nicely spaced and they had plenty of seating. I am sure the place will fill up and get busier as the condos there sell and the immediate population increases. They have outdoor seating as well, but due to the heat, I think everyone preferred the AC. After you enjoy a meal there walk out the front door directly across the courtyard to Colada Shop for a great coffee. Heard their Cuban sandwiches are great, but have not been back to try one yet. Anyplace that has Cafe con Leche and Cuban coffee is worth a stop.
  4. According to The Loudoun Times-Mirror, Delirium is opening its first US restaurant in Leesburg. I wonder why Leesburg?
  5. I see that Sehkraft appears to be finally making progress. They've got the giant fermenters in place and I see tables and chairs. Any word on when this place will open? An Arlnow article said they were aiming for late August, which was obviously wrong. (In case folks here aren't aware of the place of which I speak, it's a sister restaurant to Westover Market Beer Garden.)
  6. This little brewing restaurant is in Vienna VA next to the WO&D Trail. Great to get to by bike but if you are in your car you will find it in an industrial area at 520 Mill Street. Didn't get a look at the inside as I had my dog...but the outside has a patio and a grassy area where kids , dogs, and frisbees are welcome. I had a flight of beers, and while not a beer connoisseur, I like the wheat and the stout. The list is immense along with some wine and homemade sodas, so there is bound to be some libation to your liking. I am not writing this post about the drinks....it is about 2 shrimp which were served to me atop some Anson Mill Grits. I have hated shrimp for the past few years as I find them tasteless. This place was the exception, I don't know if it was a one day fluke but the shrimp I had there reminded me of the shrimp I had in Basque country at Etxebarri. They were exceptional. We also had the Duck Liver mousse and Roasted Pimento Cheese. They were both worth ordering again. A charcuterie plate with homemade crackers rounded off our meal (well rounded off may be an exaggeration)....but it was all good and the prices were not bad at all. I would go back for the shrimp alone.
  7. There's a good article today in the Post about Neighborhood Restaurant Group's forthcoming brewery near the Navy Yard. It sounds like it's going to be great, but I'm curious how it will impact NRG's other restaurants. The article mentions that Bluejacket will be brewing a fairly diverse selection of beers. I wonder how many of these we'll see elsewhere. My guess is that over time they'll discover a small number of fast-selling, fairly conventional beers -- a lager, an IPA, a hefeweizen, for example -- that we'll see at all of their restaurants except ChurchKey and maybe Rustico, which will get some of the more estoeric styles. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
  8. The time is nigh for Right Proper to open its doors in Shaw around the corner from the burgeoning row of eateries on 7th St. City Paper has a write up on what to expect and when ("early December", permits pending). Initial focus seems to be getting some standard regular beers on rotation using the new system, but it will be very interesting to see what Zeender comes up with once the place is operating on all cylinders. "Farmhouse ales" fermented with brett and other funky strains of yeasts seem to be the next big thing on the microbrewing front, but it looks like he is really going to walk the walk (open fermentation in wooden vats, lots of barrel aging). It's a bit of a gamble for a small storefront enterprise, but it could pay off handsomely. Lord knows he has the chops when it comes to funky, unusual beers. This place should be a like a smaller Bluejacket, but even further out on the edge of normal brewpub offerings. Very excited, I've been watching the build out with anticipation. Oh, and growlers! But "prefilled growlers" gives me pause. Here's hoping you at least have the option to have one filled fresh from the tap.
  9. If you're a beer drinker, the Wharf Rat on Pratt near Camden Yards fits the bill. Pretty ordinary food, but good Bitter, several TVs, and pretty inexpensive.
  10. And here it is - thank GOD, and may it become an industry-wide standard. (Note: Kudos to The Swiss Bakery in Springfield for being a pioneer in the tip-free system.)
  11. Location: 8027 Leesburg Pike (same building that used to house the Tyson's Borders and Filene's Basement. Accessible via elevator to the first floor via free underground parking. Website Happened across this place by accident and just managed to get there tonight. To put it mildly, in case you're not keen on reading what else I have to say, I was impressed but hardly blown away. Let's get into the "impressed" part. First, before going, pre-register for their "Premier Awards" program to get a temporary card. Not only will it earn you either a free handcrafted soda or "Pizookie" (more on that later) on your first visit, it allows you to list food allergies/aversions, and you can 'check in' at the server's station using your number, which is passed to your server to allow them to not only double-check that you won't need an EpiPen if you fail at reading comprehension, but also make sure to credit your account with points for future visits, which saves you from having to remember to give them your card, saving more time. Having been in several eye-rolling dinner situations where someone with a food allergy proceeds to lecture a server (and by extension everyone in their party and those within earshot) about WHY they can't eat something, or whether or not something HAS something that might kill them in it, I consider this a genius move. People who also prefer to eat gluten-free will be pleased at the selection offered, as well. Starting out with the decor, I can say that they certainly went all out for their first East Coast location. It looks like a Clyde's mixed with a Great American Restaurant motif. Sedate yet art deco - it's very much not a sports bar, which is honestly a good thing in my mind. It's adequately lit but not blinding, and nothing stands out garishly save for a Depression/Proletariat propaganda-looking 'farming' mural on the back wall that shows a farmer holding a scythe in a very suggestively portrayed manner. It just seemed an odd choice of decoration for a Tyson's location. The space is also very open (and rather spacious), meaning that if your server walks anywhere near you, you'll be able to see and flag them down. The drink menu takes ample advantage of Virginia's arcane "menu must contain 'x' food items to allow serving of hard liquor" law, as I don't think there's a type of booze you *can't* get here, and the bar is rather nice to look at, even if you'll wonder how the hell they got some of the bottles up so high and if they ever intend on getting them down. Also, unlike some of the GAR restaurants, they aren't afraid to have 'guest beers' on their menu to supplant their 'in-house' choices, which I thought was nice. The problem, and the first criticism, is that the *food* menu is gigantic. You're too spoiled for choice on what you can order, and I recommend doing a recon of it on their website (listed above) before going. I was eating with a recovering alcoholic, so I opted for their 'handcrafted root beer,' and not always being a fan of root beer in general, thought it was pretty damned good. They serve it in a frosted mug (which is replaced with a new one upon each free refill), which is an extra little bonus as you're gifted with little slugs of 'slush' (I'll grant it doesn't sound appetizing when I phrase it like that) with each sip. The appetizer we settled on was the calamari, which was certainly 'appetizing' in the sense that it was cooked and seasoned well, yet questionably measured up in volume and presentation to the example shown in the menu. Expect to feel plenty of guilt when eating here as well, as the menus also list the calorie count for *most* of their items, offering only an "enlightened" menu (<575cal) as respite from the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. The burger I ate contained an entire day's worth of calories, which is good as it was the only substantive thing I'd eaten all day. We played it safe on the main course, and as usual, for my first visit, and because I always consider it a good measure of how well a place can cook by ordering something *easy*, I went with their "Brewhouse Burger," and my friend went with a steak salad. The burger was very well-cooked and *actually* showed signs that there's someone working the grill who isn't afraid to season meat (which should bode well for their steaks). The steak salad, on the other hand, fell prey to the same verdict as the one from my experience at Open Road Icehouse in Merrifield. She enjoyed it until she noticed she had no more protein (which she enjoyed) or starch and nothing but a bed of field greens more suited for a rabbit's consumption than a human's. We got a peek or two at their pizzas (offered in both traditional and deep-dish variety ranging from mini to what-the...), and both types looked rather good. The only thing I'd expressly recommend *not* ordering is their "Atlantic Salmon." In case you didn't know, there *are* no wild Atlantic Salmon anymore - if you see the term "Atlantic" used, it means "farmed," which comes with all the niceties of corralled food like antibiotics and growth hormones (says the guy who ordered the burger ), as well as the delightful coloring methods they use to make it resemble wild-caught. I give them extra points for honesty, but most people don't bother to do their own due diligence. After finishing our entrees...or rather, me finishing mine and my friend pushing away a plate full of rabbit food, we inquired about the 'free Pizookie' for signing up for the Rewards program. *Technically*, the sign-up promises a *mini* Pizookie or a free handcrafted soda like the root beer mentioned above. We were instead offered a 'full-size' one, and found it rather hard to complain or mention otherwise. ... ANYWAY, the "Pizookie" is their ~trademarked~ signature dessert, where a freshly-baked cookie is baked in one of their mini pizza pans (hence the name - Pizza + Cookie ) and then topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream (or chocolate in the case of one). It's offered in almost every variety of cookie you can think of, including a Red Velvet and Oreo-themed variety, along with a few holiday-themed ones and a few featuring Ghirardelli chocolate. The last little 'nice touch' came with the check. Listed on the ticket were pre-calculated 15 and 20% gratuity figures (computed from the grand total, not subtotal), which saved me a few seconds in fishing out my phone for the calculator. The server also did not try to 'upsell' us, but that might have been because our dessert had been comped. Final verdict? This place is going to do *massive* business going into the cold months, and not only because the food is rather decent. Underground parking coupled with elevator access gives this place a 'plus,' as no one likes parking in an icy/slushy exposed parking lot and risking a sprained ankle to spend 50 bucks on dinner. That being said, one of the location's best advantages is also one of its greatest annoyances - sharing the building with Nordstrom Rack ensures the parking spaces near the elevators on "P1" will always be highly-trafficked, greatly increasing the chance of fender-benders and door scrapes. My advice is to park one floor down on P2 and avoid the retail shoppers like the plague. To my knowledge, however, this place has been open around two weeks. It could still be in the Honeymoon period where everyone's in try-hard mode to acquire and keep customers, though the one Yelp review I read about the servers "hovering" over tables was not the case with our experience. It's definitely worth a try, just don't expect anything exceptional.
  12. Does that go for their root beer as well? I used to look forward to a decent draft root beer when visiting Hard Times, which carries Old Dominion.
  13. Hi everyone I went here today for the first time with a friend of mine. I had never even heard of it! It is on Catoctin Circle and they brew their beer on site. In fact, you can only get their own beer there. They also have a decent sized wine list and I had a Cab from Washington - "14 Hands". The wine was love at first sip. Very smooth and I went to Wegmans afterwards in search of it (not successful, they do not carry it but the "sommelier" mentioned perhaps Total Wine may. (what would you call the wine clerks there? "Clerk" doesn't sound quite right because I'm betting they are quite educated in wines...) My meal was a lobster/brie grilled cheese sandwich (with pesto spread inside, I believe it was) and a side of roasted tomato soup (also waffle fries). My total bill incl tax and tip was 26 bucks. My friend had their curry chicken salad (grapes, cashews, and a few other items tucked inside) and roasted tomato soup and iced tea. Her bill was perhaps 5 less than mine with tax/ tip. I tasted her chicken salad and it was so good that I wished I had gotten that instead. The lobster grilled brie sandwich was interesting but not stupendous (I think it could have done without the pesto perhaps?). I would definitely go back here, no question.
  14. I stopped into the District Chophouse for a post-hockey beer this week, and I'm aghast that I'd never been there before. I didn't realize they brewed their own beer, and the menu looks to be good steakhouse fare at a much lower cost than most steakhouses. But all I had the chance to try was beer.* Who's been in to eat? I'm thinking of taking dad there next week when he's in town. Advisable? Recommendations? *The bourbon stout was very interesting, but two of us thought it got pretty tired and overwhelming about a half pint in. The ale was terrific, and there are a lot of other interesting brews I'm interested in trying.
  15. Maybe Pratt Street Ale house? Granted, the beers from Olivers are really the draw here but I've had some salads / burgers and been satisfied. It's right across from the convention center, so it tends to be my go to when I head up to Camden Yards or Inner Harbor.
  16. Surprised this didn't show up in a search - maybe my litte secret. As expected in a brewpub, the food at Growlers is casual and 'manly' - basic meats, pizzas, burgers and such. I'm thowing it up for consideration as they really do put in an effort in the kitchen. The personal pizzas are a very thin, house made crust with fresh toppings. The Athenian was awesome, with sharp feta and onions. My wife had the basic pizza and it was also good. The bugers are also good - they aren't dense like some and the buns are light and fresh - a complement, not a detriment. We've tried the choriburger (nice, but frankly the chorizo flavor was lost in the rest of the burger), the Portobella burger (solid, didn't seem like a huge sacrifice to go veggie) and the 2 Greeks which was really interesting. The menu has featured sausage dishes and irish-inspired fare in the past. I'm not a beer aficianado but the few glasses I've tried have been nice accompaniments to my meals. The building is historic and cozy - a perfect space for a neighborhood brew-pub. There's been a long history of efforts to make a good business there and maybe Growler's has finally found the formula - it seems to have a better than expected crowd for that night of the week each time we've gone. This isn't 'fine cuisine' but it has been reliably exceeding my expectations and is now in our regular rotation. I wouldn't drive extensively out of my way for it. There are a fair number of decent ethnic choices around but if you just want a decent burger and a relaxing time, I'd 'hit it'. Full disclosure: there was no evidence of any actual growlers being sold. So I suppose this might be added to the list of such potentially misleading places as Black Hog BBQ, Good Stuff Eatery, Panda Express and Applebees (for which I checked with my sister who is a regular there. Still no bees and very few apples).
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