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  1. 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.
  2. Dog Haus opened today. The second local location, the other being in Bethesda. It's a chain from California. It's a small footprint, but a tight concept with a full bar, tons of taps, and hot dogs, sausages, burgers, and plant based choices as well. I will wait until it calms down a bit (free dogs today and before opening there was a line around the block at least 100 deep!).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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 l
  9. 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
  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 down
  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.
  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
  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. Venturing over here from the bay area, Philz (next to Tail Up Goat) is having a soft open today and tomorrow. Closing today at 5, I think 9-5 tomorrow? Drinks are on them on the soft open days. I had a chai with no sweetener, garnished with a mint sprig; a little light on the spices, but pleasant, and oh-so-nice to not be drowning in sugar syrup. At least one of the coffee options *also* includes mint... some people on twitter really seem to like it. I am not sure how I feel about mint coffee, though, even in concept.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 c
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