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Found 13 results

  1. Sister and I stopped in for lunch on Sunday mid-day at this little Peruvian chicken joint in the strip mall adjoining the Wal-Mart in Burke (before engaging the huddled masses in said Wal-Mart). It's a clean but tired looking little place, friendly service, so-so- food. We each got a 1/4 chicken plate, dark meat, with 2 sides @ ~$10 each. I had the plantains and black beans, she had the mixed veg and plantains. No yucca on the menu, but they do have fries. Mixed veg were very evidently frozen bag stuff that was heated through, black beans were very watery and barely seasoned at all. Plantains were quite good and there is a $1.50 upcharge for those that the cashier told us about but isn't listed on the menu board. Chicken itself was a small portion but tasty, good skin and moist, properly done meat, nice charcoal flavor but less evident was any marinade. There was also a list of other typical Peruvian dishes, such as lomo saltado, huincaina, etc. Didn't see anyone ordering anything but the chicken. A few small orders of carryout while we were there and one other person eating in. My gut instinct is this is mostly a mid-week carryout dinner sort of place.
  2. Went and had the antipasto plate and a pizza. Nothing surprising here and the antipasto plate is rather sparse for the price, a selection of some cheese, cold cuts, and some super sweet (cloying in fact) roasted peppers. The pizza was cooked well but had your typical flavorless crust. Maybe the Italian entrees are better.
  3. I'm glad to hear this, Kibbee - I made a mistake with Kilroy's, mistaking it for Brion's Grille up by Ox Road before I realized that I have never been to this restaurant, not even once.
  4. This little restaurant in a wasteland of a strip mall opened a little over a year ago. The family who owns/runs it lives in Burke. It is not a destination restaurant, but a lovely and so far reliable neighborhood joint, serving really good-tasting Salvadoran and Mexican food. Their salsa is cooked and smokey (chipotle peppers?) and my favorite in the area. I also love their refried beans, which are pretty thoroughly pureed, but with a good flavor. The fried yucca is crisp and not greasy (almost as good as my favorite at La Caraquena), and fried plantains have been tasty as well. Jacob's Platter is a grilled ribeye steak covered with sliced mushrooms sauteed in butter, sauteed fresh veggies, rice and black beans on the side. Steak tacos overflow with grilled skirt steak, served with refried beans, rice, fresh salsa, guacamole and sour cream that you add to your own taste. I also love their enchiladas, which are a great deal at lunch: Two for $8.95. The menu was just enlarged, and I look forward to many more visits to try more dishes. So far, I have not had any problems with gluten. They do serve some dishes with soft flour tortillas, so I avoid those if corn tortillas can't be substituted.
  5. Lady Kibbee and I were looking for something quick on the way home tonight. Cedar Cafe never disappoints. Cedar Cafe is a spare lunch (or dinner) counter on the corner of the Rolling Valley strip mall where Shopper's and Staples occupy the larger spaces. It offers a medium-sized Lebanese menu, along with a few related grocery items and packaged goods. Dinnerware is plastic, but the place is clean and nicely appointed. The special tonight was the stuffed cabbage (also called "malfoof"), five cigar-shaped cabbage rolls stuffed with rice and meat, which came with a nice fresh iceberg lettuce salad dressed with oil and lemon juice, a yogurt-mint-cucumber sauce for the stuffed cabbage and a half pita, for $11.99. I liked it very much and would order it again. We also ordered the mixed mezze, your choice of six of the items in the display case for $9.50. We had a kibbee football (really good), tabouli (fresh and refreshing), baba ghanouj (good), hummos (very good), lubieh (green beans in tomato sauce, and very good), tomato and avocado salad (not sure it's actually Lebanese, but it was good), artichoke salad (good), and Lebanese-Syrian potato salad (dressed with lemon and parsley, and exceptional). OK, that's eight items, so I paid a little extra. The ingredients were fresh, the flavors were very good and the food was actually quite remarkable for a lunch counter. As I said, Cedar Cafe never disappoints. http://cedarcafeonline.com/ We went home and ate to our fill and satisfaction for about $24. Not bad.
  6. Well the space of death in the Nature Conservancy building has claimed another victim. The shop is dark and the location is off their website. I am not really that sad though because well nothing really good ever goes in there. I did like the lentil soup at Aladdin's, but not much else, some of the platters were ok. But it was convenient and roomy for lunch. I am not sure if the other location has closed, I assume they are still open as they haven't been taken off the master website. Could something good please go in there next?
  7. My friend's Chris and Ray Anderson own and operate Christine's Pets, LLC in the Fairfax and Burke, VA area. They offer a professional dog walking and pet siting service, with all of their caregivers having successfully passed a criminal background check. Perhaps one of the greatest features of Christine's Pets is the daily report card they leave every time they come. The caregiver (often Ray the owner) writes a little note about how he got along with your dog and whether anything was disturbed in the apartment/home. They are fanatical about customer service as well! I have know the owners for many years, trust them, they are the best. Here is a listing of their services: * Walk your dog(s) on the leash, 30 mins each walk for $15 (additional dogs for $5 each) * Sit your pet(s) in your home while you're away, 30 mins each visit for $15 (nominal charge for additional pets) * Feed, water and brush your pet(s), no additional charge * Exercise your pet(s) and allow them to relieve themselves * Pick-up and dispose of your pet(s) waste responsibly * Scoop kitty-litter boxes * Transport your pet(s) to grooming and veterinarian appointments * Bring in mail, newspapers, trashcans; turn lights on and off * Send pet pictures & updates by phone or email while you're away Christine's Pets, LLC is licensed, insured and bonded. Website Scott Johnston
  8. Has someone already started a thread for this new place? I didn't see one. Anyways it got a sound thrashing by someone on Tom's chat and I was just wondering if anyone else had tried it out. I saw it opened and was reallllly hoping for a go to sushi place near home.
  9. Too bad, just a bit too far for lunch on workdays...but now that I know where to find it...maybe on a weekend...BTW, have you tried Rafagino's in Burke? It's in a shopping center so it's a bit hard to find, but well worth the effort. I happened to run across this quote from the Dr. Caligari's Liquor Cabinet blog: This Saturday, I went to a fabulous restaurant, Rafagino, in Burke, VA. It's authentic Italian food, the food is delicious, and everyone is treated like a VIP. It's in a strip mall, so many people would probably think it was just so-so (plus it's in Burke, and not Downtown *snobbysniff*), but it you let that turn you away, good. More for me. The dining room in Rafaginos is small, so call ahead for a reservation. The wine list is good, the tiramisu is awesome, and the espresso is among the best in town. After dinner, the owner, Paulo, came by for a chat. We talked coffee for a bit, touching on how difficult it is to get a good espresso in the DC area.
  10. We went to Duk Wo which is on Burke Lake Rd. in Burke, VA. This restaurant has recently reinvented itself, and to make sure everyone knows about it, they sent out a Groupon that gave you 20 dollars off for 10 dollars. I guess the idea was to get people to come back to see how the old Duk Wo has changed. The old Duk Wo was one of those neighborhood Chinese restaurants that was kind of down at the heels, but reliably OK. It would never win any awards, but the place was good for a quick Chinese dinner and didn't feel like driving too far. But the place was getting run down, the food was losing what quality it had, and many people, including me, stopped going. Now Duk Wo has been redone. It's bright and renovated inside. The booths are comfortable, the lighting is good, and there are Asian art-like things on the walls. There's even a sushi bar. The food, however, is nothing like the old Duk Wo. The menu is short, the selection somewhat confused with a Thai thing here and a Chinese thing there. You can get a design-it-yourself generic stir-fry in which you pick one of each thing to go into it. There are three soups, one of which is a hot and sour soup that's actually not bad. The won-ton soup is generic. The spring roll is generic and without flavor. My wife had the lo-mein, which she said was also without flavor. I had the crispy beef, which had a pepper on the menu promising heat that it failed to deliver. In fact the only flavor note on the beef was near cloying sweetness. It was, in other words, an Asian restaurant nearly totally devoid of Asian flavors. Sadly the service matched the inept nature of the cooking. Our spring rolls appeared, at room temperature, after our main courses. They forgot napkins. We had to request chopsticks more than once. At least they were friendly. Basically Duk Wo has become an Asian-like place without Asian flavor. I'm glad that I got ten bucks off through Groupon so I wouldn't feel as ripped off. But it wasn't really worth what I paid for the dinner even at the reduced price. My one piece of advice: Don't go there. It's just not worth the time and effort. There are other Chinese places in and around Burke, and even the mediocre ones are better than this. Wayne Rash
  11. Last week's date night took my wife and me out of the rut we'd gotten ourselves into for a couple of reasons. The biggest reason was that I was tired of the same five or six restaurants that we seemed to rotate between. So when I noticed the sign for the Old Cairo Grill in the Wal-Mart shopping center in Burke, we drove over, lucked into a parking space, and checked out the menu. As you'd probably expect, this is Middle Eastern fare with hummus, pita, falafel and kababs. But this isn't a generic kabob house. The food here has a slightly different flavor profile that reminds me of food I've had elsewhere in North Africa. The proprietor, who is a very pleasant and extremely cheerful gentleman, assures me that the food is exactly like what you'd get in Cairo. I can't say from personal experience, but having traveled in the Middle East and North Africa, I can say that there are a couple of things missing. There aren't groups of men huddled around tables smoking. There isn't a fog of exhaust fumes floating in the open door from insane traffic outside, and there are no street merchants gathered around the door. While this does take away from the atmosphere (meaning you can't actually see the atmosphere floating around you), it does mean that you can actually taste the food. And being able to taste the food is a good thing. I had the Kofta Kabab plate, and while it's the skewered ground beef that you'd expect, the spices are different, and it's served on a rice-noodle mixture that soaks up the soaks up the juices from the meat. You're also served a tahini sauce, a hot freshly grilled pita and a simple salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and a little lettuce, dressed with a lemon juice vinaigrette. My wife had a gyro, but it's not the same as the similar Greek version of the sandwich. It's simpler, with different spices. We also had a hummus appetizer that comes with two grilled pitas. One interesting part of the flavors at the Old Cairo Grill is the use of cumin as a dominant spice. It's in the hummus and the tahini, and it's obviously part of the spice selection on the meats we tried. It's a nice change from the standard Greek flavors. The Old Cairo Grill is a simple space with wood tables and chairs, a white tile floor and some very nice art. One painting covers nearly an entire wall. You order at a counter and the proprietor delivers your food. This is a nice place. It's not fancy, but the food is good, and the prices are low. I'm planning to go back. You can find out more at the website: http://www.oldcairogrill.com/ Wayne Rash
  12. No doubt about it, there was a wonderful surprise today when Matt and I had a late lunch at Villa Bella, in the same shopping center as Wal-Mart (hence, Old Cairo, etc.) - it's tucked off a bit, so you have to look for it. Lunch hour had wound down. Matt had eaten there once before, and he mentioned they had a "sort-of" wood-burning overn. Indeed, they did: there was a cylindrical hole in the middle with burning logs, around it, as if that were a donut hole, was a spinning metal cooking torus. Behind that, but only in one location, was a gas flame, heating up any portion of the torus that slowly spun into its path. This is an extremely complex system, but it IS wood-burning, supplemented by gas - I saw the smoke flowing over the pizzas spinning around on the torus. We got a pretty good pizza, but not before we got some good bread. A little mini-loaf of sourdough-based (warm from the oven), and three pieces of focaccia (also warm), served with a dipping mix of green oil, with 3-4 other ingredients sitting in the bottom of the dipping bowl: garlic, maybe parsley, etc. The important thing was that it was bland by itself, so I took the liberty of salt-shakes, pepper-shakes, and parmesan-shakes, and it woke up and came to life, like a good olive-oil pesto. All of a sudden, that bread was rocking in that sauce. The pizza arrived: a Large, 19-Inch Pizza Villa Bella ($19.50), and oh what a topping combination it was: tomato sauce, mozzarella, crumbled sausage, and proscuitto. The end crust was decent and only barely worth eating alone (which is more than you can say for most crusts) - it could have used some more fermentation time. Nevertheless, this pizza surpassed our expectations of Villa Bella by a long shot. it was a good neighborhood pizza which Matt will finish for breakfast tomorrow, while I'll polish off the bread with some homemade preserves I purchased at a farmers' market a couple weeks ago. I'm not urging you to go here; merely saying that if you do, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Cheers, Rocks
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