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Found 22 results

  1. Fate: it's one of those words that you know isn't really true. So, what exactly was it that had me at Don Tito yesterday? Bad Luck? Divine Punishment? Did I do something bad in a previous lifetime that I don't know about? It started when my phone cord gave up the ghost, and the only appointment at the Apple Store was late-afternoon. Afterwards, I had a couple destinations in mind, but when I was driving up Wilson Blvd., there was Don Tito on my right, and open parking spaces on my left. Open parking spaces?! What did I do to deserve *that*? I had never been to an A-Team establishment, and wasn't looking forward to ending that honorable streak, but if I don't go, then how can I pretend to have any expertise? I parked the damned car and went in. It was exactly as I knew it would be: a sports bar. And when I asked my very pleasant bartender what the second floor was, she said, "They made it into more of a sports bar than this level is." I about spat out my draft of Miller Lite ($3 on the "Football Menu," which is available during all NFL and NCAA games, which I guess is pretty much all weekend). Miller Lite? Well, look, if I wasn't going to dine well, I was going to dine gently, see? And since I figured the kitchen was largely Latino, I figured that was the impetus behind the "Flex-Mex" shtick, and so I ordered a pair of tacos since Don Tito pushes "tacos, tequila, and beer." And I was going to dine gently: I stayed vegetarian. Okay, lemme take a deep breath: I ordered the Fried Avocado with Tomato-Jalapeño Salad Tacos ($8), on soft "corn" tortillas. The avocado was Dos Equis battered, and it came with "cabbage," smoked chili "aïoli," and roasted corn. I was actually thinking of asking them to go light on the smoked chili "aïoli," but it wouldn't have mattered if I had. The tacos arrived in less than two minutes. What showed up were best described as "cole slaw tacos," each having about an ice-cream scoop worth of industrial, mayonnaise-based cole slaw in it. On top of each was one slice of pre-fried avocado which, in itself, wasn't at all bad. Underneath the avocado were random kernels of corn; I could find no tomato or jalapeño salad. The smoked chili aïoli, as I feared, looked like a squirt bottle had an orgasm. Was I going to eat what amounted to industrial cole slaw wrapped in flour corn tortillas, and fill up on probably 800 calories worth of slop? I used my fork, and picked at the fried avocado, which was clearly fresh at one point, and got about three small bites from each taco. I milled around, looking for the stray corn kernel which hadn't been doused. I broke off a small piece of the tortilla and tried it. I had about five chips from the warm basket of Chips and Salsa (gratis), which wasn't really so bad. I thanked my bartender, paid my check, and left, having finished my Miller Lite, and having eaten about ten nibbles of food. Onward. --- Dining in Clarendon (astrid)
  2. MissCindy beat me to it! I'd head over to Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood too, which is not in the Inner Harbor - it's at 1065 S. Charles. They expanded last year and now they have over 90 barstools, as well as picnic-style tables, and six tvs - including a couple of big screens - I was assured that the games will be on. They have a sushi bar, raw bar, and fried and steamed seafood, even pit beef coming out of the kitchen. They stay open until 11pm on Friday nights. It doesn't get any more Baltimore than this place.Easy drive to BWI.
  3. Given the impending opening of Acadiana, I'm surprised I haven't heard much here about the Jeff Tunks/Chris Clime project. Does anyone have news?
  4. Andy Hayler's Numerous Reviews - Note that Bonhams is closing on Dec 21.
  5. Full disclaimer Scott is a great friend. I was there the first day he opened and have lent a hand as well as from time to time over the years. Helped hang some TVs, bar backed when he was swamped, worked the fryer, been on runs to Restaurant Depot, etc. All of that being said, Scott is a great guy (I knew him back when we were kickin it at Syracuse University) and he runs a heck of a sports bar/pub. I have always been a fan of his food and thought that his wings are the best in town (even though I am highly biased). It warms my heart that Tim Carman gave him such a nice review today in the Washington Post. Scott has pumped blood sweat, and tears into Ventnor for almost 10 years. Over the almost 10 years he has worked more hours than most in a lifetime. I know of him taking just one week off since opening. All of his hard work really shows in how he runs his operation. If you have never visited, I suggest you stop by. Scott will most likely be there, and he is always willing to chat you up if you are in the mood. Ventnor Sports Cafe
  6. Linda's Cafe is out on Rt. 29, not far past the Glebe intersection and the Heidelberg Bakery, on the corner of Edison St. and Lee Hwy. This is what I saw outside that made me pull over: 1. A neon sign that said "The Best Burgers." 2. An exterior done in red paint that was so thick it looked sticky to the touch. 3. Limited parking in the sort of minimall that could earnestly include a stamp and coin collecting shop. Once inside, this is why I stayed: 1. The elderly black host/waiter/sometime cook who was wearing a huxtable sweater and baseball cap. 2. The latina waitress who sang softly to herself as she bussed tables. 3. The silver-haired Greek cook with the hair on his hands singed short from constant proximity to the grill. 4. The menagerie of customers you get at 10:30 on a Friday morning, which is too late for a respectable breakfast and too early for a respectable lunch. Bedraggled hipsters, mechanics, some elderly men reading the paper, a knight, the Pardoner, the wife of Bath, etc. Characters. People with stories worth eavesdropping on. Afterwards, this is why I'll be back: 1. The burger (the Linda Burger) with grilled onions and mushrooms could likely compete in the "best" category with Five Guys, In-n-Out, etc. Not Palena or other boutique burgers, of course, but this isn't the sort of place that uses brioche for a bun. I take burgers VERY seriously. Even the waitress stopped what she was doing to watch it cook, then turned to me and said, "doesn't that look delicious?" It really did and I said so. 2. A fairly comprehensive diner breakfast, reasonably priced, that looks like it's worth a shot. 3. Regulars actually send this place postcards from vacation. There are wedding photos on the wall by the cashier, plus graduation portraits, and a glamor shot of the waitress (could she be the eponymous Linda?) 4. The sort of food that McDonalds and Subway neutered and rendered safe, the American greasy spoon menu, still exists here. My wife will shy away from this place, say it's too greasy, and then we'll go get roti slathered with ghee in an Indian restaurant. No, honey, no more excuses. I like grease. I like my burger with a side of cheese grits. I want four, maybe five, different fried potato products and I'm going to put hot sauce on all of them and the healthy way we live our lives means that this is a more enjoyable eating adventure than Mexican/Asian fusion (screw you, Zengo, you're too hip for me) will ever be. 5. The Clarendon corridor has reached a saturation point. Some day, all of that will come marching down Lee Highway (four dollar gas might get metro stops in lots of unlikely places, you know) and then where will the dives and diners go in the face of property values that can't be stopped? Eat here, enjoy it, because there's a sense of permanence in a place like this that is actually very fragile. Detractions, of course, exist: 1. No desserts. The waitress said it was because she has a sweet tooth and wants to watch her figure. On the one hand, that's sensible. On the other hand, where's my damn apple pie? 2. If there were more than a half dozen people in Linda's at 10:30AM on a workday, I can't imagine the tiny parking lot working out very well during sensible dining hours. There, that's twelve good reasons minus two bad for a grand total of ten give this place a try points.
  7. I spoke to one of the very enthusiastic owners yesterdayand he said they should be up and running in two weeks or so. He told me that they would be carrying some exotic flavors, a lot of sorbets, and very high-end coffee. I am very excited for this addition to the neighborhood!!
  8. Badwolf DC has information about Casa Luca. http://www.casalucadc.com/ is the restaurant's website. http://www.opentable.com/casa-luca is Open Table's site for reservations. Fabio won the Rammy award this past weekend as D. C.'s Chef of the Year for Fiola.
  9. I first tried out Seoul Food's offerings at the DC Grey Market a few months back. They're now a full-blown food truck and received a nice writeup in yesterday's Good to Go column. They make their way to Courthouse once every week or two, and Rosslyn, Clarendon, and Ballston are among their regular stops. So far I've tried a couple of different dishes and find that they are tasty, filling, and a pretty good value. As the article notes, the bibimbap is a little different than the usual restaurant version, with shredded fresh carrots and radishes and salad greens included. The beef and the tofu version are both good, especially with the spicy chili sauce on top mingling with the runny egg yolk. The Superbowl tends more Latin, but is also loaded with good flavors and fresh ingredients.
  10. Northern Virginia magazine reported that Cassatt's owner Art Hauptman opened the market portion of Bistro 360 on Oct. 17 in Cafe Assorti's former location. Although Northern Virginia magazine states that "Hauptman hopes to have the restaurant and wine bar of Bistro 360 open late next week," the Bistro 360 website says that the Bistro360 Eatery will open on Nov. 3 and the wine bar and market are now open.
  11. That kind of talk can get you thrown out of certain bars in Manhattan. East Village Bar Bans Customers Who Say ‘Literally’ by Clint Rainey, January 24, 2018, on grubstreet.com.
  12. I'm a little surprised we don't have a thread on Bruegger's, although there is scattered conversation about it here and there in other threads. I had a Sesame Bagel with Cream Cheese ($2.61 with tax, if I recall), and like usual, I found Bruegger's to be one of the best of the large chains (which does not include Goldberg's). It has drinkable coffee, and I prefer it to Einstein Bros (which also has drinkable coffee), and strongly prefer it to Chesapeake Bagel Bakery (whose bagels, to me, are more like torus-shaped rolls). No, it's not great, and a purist wouldn't even think it was good, but in a carb-craving pinch, I've found myself in Bruegger's several times in the past, and haven't regretted it yet. I've never tried anything here other than bagels and coffee, but in general, I find what Bruegger's is to bagels to be something on a par with what Qdoba is to burritos. I also prefer the one in North Georgetown more than the couple of other locations I've tried, although I could have just hit them at a good moment (which is *easy* to do at bagel bakeries). (All this said, I just put it in the Multiple Locations Dining Guide, spending a few minutes trying to figure out where to rank it under the "Bakeries" category, and I have it ranked pretty low, so I guess I don't like it *that* much.)
  13. We went to Oriental East today. At first, we thought we made great time by getting there at 10:50 AM, but it turns out that there was already a line of about 200 people outside, waiting for the restaurant to open. They ran out of tables before we could get a seat, so we had to wait about 30 min for the first round of people to finish eating. Next time, we will be there 30 min prior to opening. Everything was really good, except for the turnip cake, which was too soggy. Oriental East doesn't have any warming mechanism on their cart to keep the dim sum warm, therefore, you have to get there early to get fresh and hot dim sum.
  14. Did you know Starbucks owned Teavana? Well they do, and they're closing them all: "Starbucks' Teavana Stores Are the Latest Casualty at the Mall" by Tonya Garcia on marketwatch.com
  15. I'm normally hesitant to post about somewhere so well known, but since Don asked... I feel a small sense of guilt whenever I go to New York (a few times a year) and end up at the same restaurant each and every time I'm there. Sure, I branch out as well, but at least one meal (and frequently several) is had at CraftBar. I've tried Mesa in Union Square - it used to be really good, but for a few years I've felt like I'm paying for the name attached. Same can be said for the Batali restaurants I've tried lately. Momofuku Ssam is still a decent place to grab a pork bun if in the neighborhood, but David Chang seems focused on his more recent ventures. Daniel Boulud and Tom Colicchio are definitely ruling the celebrity chef roost at the moment (in my opinion) - and I just find myself attracted to CraftBar more often. There IS a certain initimidation factor to dining out in NYC, particularly for unadventurous. Amazing and affordable food can be found if you have a playful palate and are willing to wander more than a few blocks from Broadway. If you're willing to drop a months rent, or at least a car payment, change your outlook on food with Masa or Per Se. But for a relaxed Saturday evening, or the in-laws happen to be in town? CraftBar is almost always a guaranteed homerun. I, too, get frustrated at times by the simplicity (even if its near perfect simplicity) of the original Craft and (insert other ingredient focused, protein centric restaurant here). Sure, I love a GREAT and FRESH piece of fish, but if you're just going to poach and plate it, there is only so far that respect for ingredients and freshness can take you (other than to a triple digit check). I'm in the camp that I would like to see what a chef can do beyond cooking my protein to a ridiculously perfect temperature. So enter CraftBar. The Pecorino Risotto Balls with spicy tomato sauce are consistently on the menu and are downright addictive. Sure, they're just risotto balls, but they're the best I've tried. There is almost always a pate or similar meat concotion on the menu, and these better than a safe bet as well (in addition to the pickles they come with). I've tried sweetbread dishes at every Colicchio restaurant I've been to - my advice is if you see sweetbreads on one of his menus - order the dish. Sweetbreads sauteed with Kumquats is similar to the most amazing rendition of Orange Chicken you'll ever eat. Sweetbreads with a ramp puree brought a bit of spring into a dish I don't normally associate with warming weather. Pasta's are another strong point of CraftBar - I've never been sorry to have ordered a seasonal gnocchi. So obviously I'm a fan. But last trip, I was made a believer out of a special pork dish for 2. Three different parts of the pig (including belly and shoulder) were presented with three different preparations, along with sides in what was a piggy nirvana. Easily enough food for 3 people was demolished by 2. Throw in a relaxed atmosphere with professional service, a quality beer program and good wine list, and a price point that isn't going to bring tears to your eyes and the guilt for being a repeat customer in a city of so many good choices starts to abate.
  16. Baying Hound Aleworks is a small independent nano-brewery in Rockville, Maryland. The brewery produces small batch beers and uses only the highest quality ingredients. Our beers are unpasteurized and contain no additives or preservatives. Instead of forcing carbonation, Baying Hound ales undergo a secondary fermentation and are conditioned under a controlled environment. The origin of the name "Baying Hound" is a tribute to my dearly departed bloodhound Marmalade. She was my brewing hound, always at my side and careful to clean up any spilled malt. When she died, I wanted a way for her to live on and be remembered. Tours and tastings are available on Fridays and Saturdays by appointment.
  17. It's been tough waiting for HECOB to reopen. So bad, I half remembered Todd Kliman's snippet last summer about Dim Sum being served at Tai Shan in Montgomery Village. This location has always been pretty steady for mains even before the name/ownership change [back in the pre-butterstick, Peking Supreme days]. A couple of Sundays ago I went and found that a display case of tendon, seaweed peanuts and other cold dim sum had replaced the first couple of booths inside the dining room. The dim sum is ordered from a menu [attached], not carts, and is delivered from the kitchen when ready. I had pumpkin pancake [more like a bun], scallion pancake [no too oily] and pan-fried pork buns. The setting is almost serene compared with New Fortune and seemed to pick up after noon with Asian families. TaiShanDimSum_Dec2009.PDF
  18. I'm always blown away by how good the meats in the refrigerator case look. Today I got one of their prosciutto sandwiches with cornichons and mustard. I understand how that works on a charcuterie board. But if I ever order it again, I will be sure to request both on the side because OMG it was a bit like eating a salty mustard sandwich with some bits of membrane that had to be pulled at. At $8 it was a bit of a lean sandwich, but the French bread it was on was much better than most you would get this meat on.
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