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Found 32 results

  1. Multi-unit deal brings crave-worthy chef-inspired fast casual seafood dishes to the East Coast. I believe the first location will be located at One Loudoun and opening in June. Several locations planned for Reston, Ashburn, Fairfax, Tysons and Merrifield.
  2. What's wrong with the Cheescake Factory? I am not saying the quality is good, however many people enjoy the food there. Is is really fair to pick on chains? They do serve a purpose to some, and are not all that bad.
  3. Found this neat little coffee shop in Georgetown. Very small and almost hidden. No parking. Very modern feel to the shop - very light and airy. I didn't have the coffee. I had the iced tea and it was fresh brewed to order. People in the shop said the coffee is fantastic, that it has almost a cult following. Blue Bottle Coffee
  4. While in San Francisco over the summer we had coffee from Philz Coffee, actually their coffee truck. Beans ground to order, pour over, they even cream and sugar the coffee for you. ok, I was slightly hung over, and it was a beautiful day in SF, down by the marina over looking the Golden Gate Bridge. My glasses may have been a little rose tinted. But that was a damn good cup of coffee...Ambrosia Coffee of God lived up to its name. Will the coffee live up to these high expectations without that Golden Gate Bridge view...only one way to find out. Coming soon to The Yards and Adams Morgan
  5. Does anyone know when the JINYA Ramen Bar will be opening? They are shown on the Mosaic Center map, but I can't find anything else relating to this new location. Here's the Mosaic portion of their website.
  6. Their new Ultimate Chalupa is now available. The carne asada steak appears to be seasoned a bit differently in this incarnation than it has in foods past (i.e. the limited-time only Grilled Steak Taco*). I think it's a major improvement and really brings out the juiciness of the meat. I'm also really impressed with their take on guacamole - they clearly put some effort into this, making it more than just the mashed up avocados one would expect from T-Bell guac. I heard someone in line the other day remark that all Taco Bell food is the same, just repackaged in a different shell. Excepting the fact that this isn't true, I had to explain to my clearly disinterested fiancee that it's like a fine wine. Simply changing the shape or size of the glass can profoundly affect the way the taste and smell of the wine greets your nose, tongue, and palate. To truly appreciate the subtleties of TB cuisine, one must approach it from every angle. I encourage other closeted Bellphiles to speak up with their take on this unique culinary style. I'm going to DR.com hell for this post, aren't I? *Limited time only, but still available at the Courthouse T-Bell.
  7. Dropped by (apparently) the first non-airport location of Vino Volo on Bethesda Row. The left side is a cafe, the right side a wine shop (honestly, I didn't walk around that side, but that's what it looked like.) We sat at the bar and just barely made it in time to order a few tasting flights ("Malbec Madness" for her, "Spanish Armada" for me.) It's a cute little space. Seems to try to be an urban farmhouse - there's some wooden crate decorations, retro filament lighting, like that. We were just nibbling, but tried a nice plate of pitted seasoned olives and the pork tacos, which needed the lime wedge that garnished it. From what I gather, their big thing is the "vino chart", which is a graphic representation of the wine's flavor profile. (For wine dummies like me, I admit to appreciating the effort.) "Complexity" is the x-axis and "Fruit" on the y-axis; the graphic is also divided into four quadrants, so from (x,y=0,0) clockwise, it's: "light", "bright", "rich", "brooding." (Better visualization below - this is the general one on their website, but each wine ends up with a dot on the graphic.) Soooo ... seems nice. Happy Hour is half-price off "bites and flights", and runs 4-6pm, which is a nice deal if you want to try some different things. I ended up also trying a flight of rosé (and discovering the Boxwood 2012 is really pretty tasty.) I guess we'd go back.
  8. I didn't have a traditional slice, but last night I had one of the better "New York Style" pizzas I've had in this area at Zpizza on Rt. 7 between Leesburg and Ashburn (they also have locations in Falls Church and Springfield). Although it is brand new, it isn't much to look at - a counter, a hot pizza oven and about 10 tables. But with the pizzas rolling out of that oven, I didn't care. We had a pepperoni and what they call a "Tuscan Mushroom". Both came out of the oven nicely crispy but still tender and chewy and foldable, while holding its shape - why can't more places do this right? The pepperoni had a properly greasy sheen, but without pooling and dripping when you take a bite. The mushroom had a slightly sweet roasted garlic sauce, carmelized onions, mozzarella and feta and actual musrooms other than the plain button variety with a bit of truffle oil. Hearty, sweet and a bit tangy - it put most tired, harshly garlic white pizzas to shame. Keep in mind - this isn't a Two Amy's or Pizzeria Paradiso, traditional "government certified Italian" style pizza. But it far surpasses anything else that I've had from any of those Italian / Greek places in every strip mall in Loudoun County, turning out soggy pizzas with too much sauce, two pounds of bad cheese and flavorless toppings. And the slices at the counter looked awfully good too.
  9. Coming soon to Rockville. "The Habit Burger Grill Coming to Rockville Pike" by Andrew Metcalf on bethesdamagazine.com
  10. Go take a walk through Lucky Strike, preferably on a rainy weeknight around 8 PM. They're not crowded and it's about the damndest thing I've ever seen. Don't bother spending much time; just go and watch people bowl for about ten minutes, shaking your head in disbelief at the changes that have overcome this area. This is going to be a total zoo, and the time to observe this curiosity is in the next couple of weeks, before the holidays - they have radar measuring the speed of your bowling ball, along with a cornucopia of hallucinogenic visual effects. X-treme development, unquestionably the downfall of mankind, and at once fascinating and tragic. I'll sixty-nine with a pterodactyl before eating here, so someone else can be the test rat. Cheers, Rocks
  11. Last night was hot, hot, Mission Chinese Food's "opening" night, and a friend and I were lucky enough to score a pair of seats, after a nominal 20 minute wait, at the ungodly dinner hour of 6:30; normally, we're drinking at that time - and aren't you? Whatever; here we were, greeted warmly by the host and hostess (Anna and Aubrey), and invited to share a celebratory beer while we waited for our seats to become available making for a festive atmosphere in the waiting area. Mission Chinese Food, for those who have either been Rip Van Winkle-ing or who don't check Huff Po, Eater, Twitter, et.al. obsessively every 10 minutes of their life, is the New York City outpost of, ummmm, Mission Chinese Food. Except that MCF is in San Francisco, and it opened as a pop-up inside an already existing Chinese restaurant called Lung Shan, on you guessed it, Mission St. The brainchild of Chef Danny Bowien and partner Anthony Myint, SF's MCF took the food world by storm, and ever since it became clear that Orchard Street and the lower east side would become the home of the 2nd Mission Chinese, NYC's been all atwitter (hmmm) with anticipation. All well and good. It's not like there aren't 100,000 Chinese restaurants here already; it's just that most of them suck. I've gone into that before and don't need to go into it again right now, but anyone trying to do the right thing with a great cuisine is OK in my book. And a quick chat outside with Chef (who might indeed be TV ready, looking all California-cool in his white chef's jacket, white shorts, baseball cap, hipster glasses and flowing tresses) led me to believe that he's very excited to be on this beautiful block of Orchard Street, dealing with some of NYC's finest purveyors both at the high-end (that meat guy) as well as the ones that supply Chinatown with a vast selection of greens and other goodies. As a matter of fact, he was simply qvelling when telling me how great some of the wholesale prices are here compared to SF - and take that, SF! The team has also taken what was home to a few less-than-successful fooderies over the years and turned it into a nice, fun space that feels bigger than it really is. I liked the atmosphere, and there are even backs on all of the chairs, which is good for the altacockers like my buddy and me. I ordered way too much food, but what the heck? The sharp tang of Chinkiang vinegar, heat from chili pepper and buzzy numbness from Szechuan peppercorns is thankfully not dumbed down, at least not in any of the dishes we tried. So, for instance, the Chili Pickled Turnips and Long Beans blow open the taste buds but are impossible to stop eating. As are the Beijing Vinegar Peanuts, meant to be eaten one at a time with chopsticks - order these immediately, so you can eat them with your beer. Lamb Cheek Dumplings in Red Oil are explosive...and good...a lot of amazing stuff going on in that bowlful of dumplings. The Tea Smoked Eel was a favorite of ours; it's wrapped in cheung fun, a rice noodle made on the spot at a few places around Chinatown; as a matter of fact, my very first blog post was about this type of noodle, made around the corner at Sun Light Bakery! I think my favorite dish last night was the Mouth Watering Chicken, a chicken "terrine" with dry-spiced chicken hearts and vegetable "noodles." The hearts are cooked medium-rare, lending them a unique flavor and tenderness, and the breast is nice and moist. They hit it out of the park on this dish. Was everything perfect? Hell no...I would've liked a little less salt (or saltiness in whatever form) in the Broccoli Beef Cheek with Smoked Oyster Sauce, impossibly tender beef nestled under a bed of some sort of Asian broccoli. But it's oyster sauce and that stuff is, shall we say, saline (and I ate all the cheek anyway). So - when am I going back? As a matter of fact, I've already made a reservation for this coming Sunday night. They're taking reservations, but only for the bar seats at this point. Otherwise, it's all walk-in. And delivery. And lunch soon. Orchard Street sure has been looking better and better; now with Mission Chinese Food hitting the street running on all cylinders, it's gotten that much more tasty. Pictures over at Tasty Travails.
  12. Evidently, there is already one in DC and there will be a second location. Has anyone tried this place out? I don't really know what to think. Is this what its coming to? Credit--Washingtonian.
  13. Robeks, which had been on Clarendon Blvd in Courthouse just closed last week. Too bad. I enjoyed their fruity healthy smoothies. Shots of mega vitamins with neato flavors. Robeks was immediately adjacent to Me Jana on one side and on the other side of the building and block is Ray's the Steaks. In fact across the street is Fire Works Pizza. They are of course all busy. Rays and Me Jana are destination places; I suspect often from afar. Fire Works seems very crowded and gets a huge crowd from nearby. But alas, Robeks never seemed tremendously busy and despite the aforementioned great restaurants its a quiet street with little everyday foot traffic. But I'll miss ya, Robeks.
  14. I was driving through the South Lakes Shopping Center earlier tonight, and noticed that Seafoodie has closed. In it's place is now "Flippin' Pizza" (complete with image of tossed pizza dough in mid air), which offers "A Slice of New York" according to the sign. Doubt it's as good as Tony's in Fair Lakes, or Church St in Vienna. Anybody been yet?
  15. There is a one-post thread on Wood Ranch BBQ Grill in another geographical section. It is noteworthy that the only outpost of Wood Ranch BBQ Grill outside of California was in Springfield, and is now closed. Can't really say I'll miss it because I never ate there. It's a large space, so another restaurant is probably going in there....
  16. From the WJLA website: Orlando Brown, a former Ravens offensive tackle, will bring the first Fatburger restaurants to D.C.-Baltimore corridor. Brown plans to open 10 restaurants in six years throughout the region. The first will be in Columbia in August. The 37-year-old Brown has also selected locations in Washington next to Howard University Medical Center, and is in talks for a third location in College Park near IKEA. He also has his eye on space in Baltimore for his fourth. Brown's franchise territory includes D.C. and southern Maryland.
  17. Thanks to a generous partner, had a great lunch at Mastro's. I had the jumbo lump crab omelet ($25). Outstanding. Came with a side salad, and with the outstanding bread basket, didn't need anything else. We shared some sides -- gorgonzola mac cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted brussels sprouts -- all very good. Three of my colleagues got the Mastro's Steak Salad, and it looked quite appealing. Some things we saw at other tables that looked enticing included the chopped salad and a massive basket of sweet potato fries.
  18. Native Foods Cafe isn't only opening in the former Falls Church Pie-Tanza space, they're also opening at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue on October 14th, and 1150 Connecticut Avenue on September 30th.
  19. Habit Burger is my favorite chain burger in the country. I'm apparently not alone in this assessment. It will soon be in Ashburn, and I predict it will expand all over our metropolitan area. I love Habit Burger. I've eaten there often, all over Southern California, and I would choose it 9 times out of 10 over In-N-Out Burger. This is great news, indeed.
  20. I found out about Bambu on yelp, actually, when I was looking for pho places this past weekend. Since it was a few doors down from Rice Paper and kiddie-corner from Song Que, I thought it was a good time to try. The shop is small, with very minimal seating (a few chairs and benches). The interior is much like a frozen yogurt shop but more zen-like. It just has chè, cold and hot coffee/coffee-based drinks, and smoothies here, which was a great way to end a meal. I got a green bean, grass jelly, coconut milk chè ($4) and it was good, but a tad on the sweet side for me. I would definitely come back to try the other options.
  21. 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.
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