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  1. After reading a short blurb in the Washing Post, we decided to try Mezcalero, the new Columbia heights Mexican restaurant. This one goes in the column of "easy to like, easy to be disappointed." We started with a round of very disappointing cocktails. For a place called Mezcalero, we had high hopes for the mezcal based cocktails on the list. Both were so sweet that we could barely get other flavors. Queso fundido was solid but undersalted. The chile relleno was quite good. We had many tacos including nopales (cactus paddles), mushrooms, salmon, and tilapia. The tacos were solid but als
  2. So last summer, Makan had a couple of tables on the sidewalk. Now Makan and others have pitched tents on the road. Makan has I think 6 tables in the tent (fairly wind resistant) and gas heaters on the ground. We went for brunch and had (i) chicken sate, (ii) Nasi Ganja (fried chicken, not pot), (iii) Char Kway Teow, and (iv) Roti Banjir. Char Kway Teow, or chow fun in Cantonese, was pretty good. The shrimps were tender and the noodles were flavorful. The Roti, served under dhal, coconut curry, sambal and soft egg, was delicious. The chicken sate was good but nothing exciting. Lastl
  3. So, we tried a new, recently opened, place for takeout on Friday, DC Corazon. (3903 14th Street NW, just south of Little Coco's) As usual, 4 of us spread across 3 houses ordered dinner for pickup at the same time. I was pickup/dropoff person. Then dinner over zoom. This place is only a few blocks from our house, so will be convenient when dining in is something we do again. The interior decor was really lovely and the bar looked like a nice place to sit. The liquor selection looked good, and the drink list looked interesting. I did not look through the beer or wine menu. I had a chic
  4. I was just checking to see which restaurants are available on Reserve, and I saw Napoli Pasta Bar. The website states: First-time restaurant owner, Antonio Ferraro, came to Washington from Vico Equense, a city of Naples, Italy, in 2006. After many years managing some of the finest Italian restaurants in the District, he's now realizing his dream of opening his own to bring the flavors of the Sorrento Coast to Washington. This place is just too out of the way for me to wreck my diet for without knowing about its quality. Anyone been?
  5. I guess this opened: "Check Out The Filipino Menu for Bad Saint" by Jessica Sidman on washingtoncitypaper.com Looks tasty. Anyone go yet? Is it reservation or wait list like RL/LS? -S
  6. On other coffee threads, we've been talking about preferences and criteria one might use to assess or "vett" a coffee shop. Personally, I overweight coffee quality relative to pastries or food on offer, comfortable seating, free wifi or whatever. But that doesn't mean I don't care about those other things. I do. I imagine we all do to some extent. Coffy Cafe, which I checked out for the first time this weekend, helped me to refine how I think about this. Cutting to the chase, there's a minimum quality bar that, if not surpassed, I won't return a second time to a shop. That bar, for the m
  7. Inspired by Anne Limpert's praise of the restaurant in her chat last week and heeding her call to visit now before it gets too popular (plus, wanting to go before I move from DC in a week (!!)), we checked out Queen's English in the old KBC space last night. In what seems to be common with good restaurants these days, it is run by a man and a woman pair (ala Himitsu, Espita, Seylou, Bad Saint, Rooster & Owl, etc.). Similar to Rooster & Owl, Seylou and Espita, in this case the pair are husband and wife. We walked in at 6:05 to a mostly empty restaurant (it filled up later but was
  8. I grabbed lunch here for the first time today, think it's been open for a little over a month. I haven't been to every taco joint in the district yet, but the first visit here beat every visit I've made to Taqueria Distrito Federal. I had the lengua, the carnitas, and the fish taco (daily special; tilapia). The lengua had a nice crust on it, which I've not had on lengua in the past and made for more of a roast pork belly mouthfeel, and the carnitas were properly fried and chunky, not pulled pork. The fish was not overcooked, although the fish taco as a whole had more of an earthy chili funk to
  9. Of the new crop of restaurants on Columbia Heights' 11th Street strip, I've been to Kangaroo Boxing Club the most--four times. This isn't by design, but it's easy, comfortable, welcoming, and has enough high points that it's easy to look past the weak ones. The pastrami, for instance. I'm no expert, but this is by far the best I've ever had. I mean, outstanding, off-the-charts, off-the-hook terrific. The rye bread holds up to it and I don't know how it's possible, but the mustard makes it all even better. Seriously: get the pastrami. I'm not as wild about the other meats. The Smokey
  10. Am I right that no one has written about Maple? Named after the big slab of maple wood that makes up the bar (not pancakes!), this place is right on 11th st. We went for the first time last weekend and were very happy we did. It's a small space and you can tell that the same designers who did Cork did Maple (although I found Maple more comfy/cozy). Lots of wood, grey, etc. and the bar ends in one of those peninsulas that can be a table for four. Outside tables too. The menu is small, and so is the kitchen. That said, everything was delicious. To start we had a summer special cocktail --
  11. Prompted by Tim Carman's partial rave, I checked out this tiny Vietnamese joint on Sherman Avenue. Ordered the bún riêu with shrimp and squid. Unfortunately, I can't recommend. The broth was just bland--no crab and tomato flavor, no funk at all. The noodles weren't anything notable, and the squid and shrimp were frozen and flavorless. Doesn't hold a candle to the soups at, e.g., Mi La Cay in Wheaton, esp. the similar M9 (assuming that remains its menu designation). Also, the soda chanh was meh, at best. I hope it was simply an off-day--the family who runs it seems very nice, and
  12. When I had dinner at Al Crostino the other night, I noticed that the place next door was also new (well, at least I think so). Creme. It looks like more bar/lounge than restaurant, however our server at Al Crostino said it was in fact a restaurant. Has anyone heard anything about this place or been there?
  13. Perhaps the whole pop-up restaurant thing is precious and trendy, but having read the Mission Street Food Cookbook and story, I see the pop-up restaurant phenomenon as something very cool, opening possibilities for good cooks who live to feed people but don't have the means to open a restaurant. We went to People's Noodle Bar on the recommendation of a friend, and we liked it, although I guess it's been around for a few months with not very good reviews. It's located on the Park Road side of the DCUSA shopping center in Columbia Heights, in the Senor Chicken. Three kinds of broth (tonkotsu (po
  14. On the very-contentious topic of donuts: I have now gotten them a couple of times from Zombie Coffee and Donuts (address 3100 14th St., but really it's on Irving Street between 14th and 15th). The first time I was amazed at how good they were. The second time they were nearly as good. What is especially good about them is that, unlike so many donuts, they have the crunch of having been fried. (I would call them, basically, "cake" donuts rather than "yeasted" though I am not an expert.) They have that good crisp exterior and a nice greasiness. They offer various "glazes" (including none,
  15. Opened July 30th, Acre 121 has been very well received by its neighbors and the news of this low country, BBQ has been spreading. The space is the old Commonwealth but it has been transformed. The wood floors and high ceilings open floor plan make this a very popular spot for dinner and a great spot to watch some local performers in an intimate setting. Join us at 1400 Irving Street, Washington, DC 20010. Reservations Suggested 202 328-0121. www.acre121.com
  16. I was born in Philly, but I grew up in South Florida. I may have been weaned on cheesesteaks and hoagies, but when I learned about food, it was cubanos, lechon asado, and tostones. So, like all other ex-pats, I am always in search of a cubano, with that perfect blend of crusty grilled bread, ham, roast pork, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. Cuban Corner in Rockville does fine in a pinch, as does Cubano's in Silver Spring and Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville. Amateurs, all of them. Mi Cuba has been open since January, and I'm sorry that I took this long to stop in. The space is painted brigh
  17. I have an affinity for inexpensive rye whiskey. Especially Old Overholt. So when I read that a new bar called The Airedale was going to serve Old Overholt soft serve ice cream I knew I had to try it. Eatruneat and I made our way up there around four in the afternoon on Saturday to find the place almost completely empty. Our friends met us soon after and were terribly disappointed to find that they were not serving food at the moment. Eatruneat and her friend had just run almost twenty miles and were in a 'caloric deficit'. But the kitchen was transitioning from the brunch to regular men
  18. Are there two Pho places in Columbia Heights, or did they change their name to Pho Viet? Two stars from Tom Sietsema.
  19. Surprised no one has yet opened a thread on Bistro La Bonne. It recently opened in the nondescript place at 1340 U st where Axis was formerly. There has been practically no press on this, so it looks like they are trying to slide into their opening. Looking forward to having another French bistro near my place, we tried it out last weekend. We had heard the chef had been previously at Tabaq (negative points) and Bistrot du Coin (positive points). It was full at 8:30 on Saturday night (a good sign) so we sat at the bar and had a drink while we waited for a table. The bartenders and staff
  20. Anyone been to Morgan's Seafood in Petworth - or is it Columbia Heights? - (3200 Georgia Ave. at Kenyon) since it reopened this summer? Family owned, home-cooked soul food and steamed crabs. It is open until midnight, Mon- Thurs., and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. No website but they are "working on it." Apparently they had closed many years ago because cars were crashing through though the storefront at the busy intersection. The insurance company dropped coverage and when there was another crash during a police chase, with no insurance coverage, the restaurant closed. [so...if you go?
  21. DCist posted this article about the soon to open Columbia Heights eatery. Many know that I fawned endlessly over Sidebar (while never having eaten at Jackie's - what's up with that?). And I consider Gordon a friend. So take this with whatever grain of salt you feel necessary. But I think these guys are going to open a kick ass neighbourhood joint. Please - if you live in the area - give these guys your business. I cannot imagine that you'll be sorry. Please post reviews, pictures, and any other food porn you can imagine once this place opens up. I will enjoy it vicariously through y'all. No
  22. No word on this place? It was on Kliman's short list a month or so ago but feedback/reviews other than that have been few and far between. What I've heard from friends has been very good but I know the bar isn't exactly high when it comes to Mexican food in DC. Anyone been?
  23. Just had a wonderful goat roti yesterday at the DC outpost of Rita's West Indian Carryout on Georgia Avenue (I hear the original is in Tortola, BVI). Roti, curried potato, pepper sauce and goat curry.... aaaah! I also tried a drink called mauby (described to me as Trinidadian iced tea), which tasted somewhat like I imagine a cinnamon RedHot would if it was made into a cold drink; stimulating yet refreshing. According to my Trinidadian friend, mauby is a plant native to the West Indies that is said to be beneficial to the circulation. The 'Carryout' in the name is somewhat misleading; there i
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