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Found 115 results

  1. Did we really not have a thread on this place? I just read this on Todd Kliman's June 4th chat: It's always useful to calibrate your palate to your favorite critic's, so if you think this sandwich at Bí¡nh Mi DC Sandwich is perhaps the best sandwich, of any type, in the entire DC area, then you've got your critic.
  2. Liberty Barbecue, the newest enterprise of the Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall/Northside Social folks, had its Grand opening last night in Falls Church. Located In the space most recently occupied by Famous Daves on Broad Street. The schedule for the rest of December is unclear, but they say in January they will be serving both lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Full bar with a small but adequate wine list, and, of course, a nice selection of beer. Wi-Fi is also provided. I had a quarter slab of ribs which were very meaty, perfectly cooked, but could have used a touch more smoke. The sauces need some work -- appeared to be commercial rather than house made. They had a band, but I didn't stick around to hear the music (I arrived at 5 when the doors opened, and the music wasn't starting til 9 -- call me a light-weight, but I had to go home). The place is totally concrete so if you're sensitive to noise, better bring ear-plugs. All-in-all this is a welcome addition to central Falls Church, and I expect they will have as much success as their other ventures have enjoyed. Wishing the best of luck in the New Year!
  3. I'm on a mission to eat at every restaurant in Eden Center. Today I went to Hai Duong, which according to Eden Center's website and Tyler Cowen, specializes in - Sizzling Fish Filet in Northern Style. I don't know if this is the same as Cha Ca La Vong or just something very similar. In this case, I was given a purplish sauce (I believe it's shrimp paste), peanuts, sliced onions, a plate of herbs (minty smelling), lettuce, rice noodle and then a sesame rice cracker. A little later a sizzling fish filet with lots of dill showed up. With Cha Ca La Vong, all the herbs are cooked tableside along with the fish. In this case, I wasn't quite sure what to do. I wrapped some noodles, herbs, fish and dill in lettuce, and dipped the whole thing into the shrimp paste. It was really good. The fish was moist and flavorful. I even liked their shrimp paste (I thought the version at Present was kinda gross). Tyler Cowen says to put everything on top of the cracker. I saw some older ladies eating them like lettuce wraps - so I went with that. I would love some tips on how to eat this. I probably should've asked my waiter.
  4. So, how big is Little Sheep Hot Pot? Big. In fact, *really* big. It was really big five years ago. Based in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China, Little Sheep Group posted 2 percent of all Chinese dining-out expenses in 2010. Think about that for a second. And then, it got *REALLY* big. In 2011, Little Sheep Group was sold to the massive, $10+ billion Yum! Brands, Inc. (the owners of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.) for $587 million, and it's now a wholly-owned subsidiary - they recently opened their first Little Sheep Hot Pot in Eden Center. Ironically, you'd *never* know it was a giga-chain. This restaurant is somethng like Mala Tang, except it has big, *big* money behind it. It's well-organized, family-friendly, and is designed for groups (definitely not the solo diner; unless you want a lot of leftovers). Ordering involves a simple, 5-step checklist, where you check off your broth, your meat, your seafood, your vegetables, and your starch - whichever ones you want. The broth is $2.95, and the extras are what cost the money. I *strongly* advise going with the "original" or the "Yin and Yang"; not the "Spicy" - it's too much. I got the Yin and Yang ($2.95), and for my meat, ordered the Dry-Aged Spring Lamb ($8.95). Tong Ho (a massive pot of Chrysanthemum Blossoms, $4), and Fresh, Thick Noodle ($4). Since it's their soft opening, they threw in a generous little plate of Fatty Steak (Gratis). Considering I made a quick decision, I was very happy with everything I ordered, but you can do even better if you look at the menu before you go, and add even more vegetables - maybe some large mushrooms, taro root, and the like. It's the meats and seafood which will really set you back; not the vegetables. My hot pot, including tax (but not tip) was $23.05, and it could have *easily* fed two people, with leftover broth - one person gets the same amount of broth as four people. That amount also included a Diet Coke with unlimited refills. All the meats seem to be frozen, and the non-seafood in particular are those thin, Steak-Umm-like things - the real treasure here lies in the vegetables. You definitely want some starch (noodles, potatoes, etc.) to thicken the broth as it reduces. The base broth seems to contain every kind of pod, twig, root, spice, nut, and berry known to mankind (the picture below is of the broth before I put a single thing in it - you can *easily* see that unless you're a bonafide chili-head, you don't want the entire thing to be spicy). Here are some pictures to give you a better idea of what to expect. Do not let the "chain" aspect of this throw you off - it's perfectly fine hot pot, and it was packed this afternoon for a late lunch on President's Day.
  5. I almost always go to the Arlington FM but was thinking about trying the Falls Church FM one Saturday, mainly to try the bakery items by Kendall. Does anyone know how the produce compares at Falls Church FM vs. Arlington? And has anyone tried the bakery items by Kendall, and if so what did you think?
  6. Today, after discovering that Myanmar was locked and dark (I'm 0 for 2 on my lunch attempts this week), I remembered this post and set out to find Miu Kee. I ended up at Vinh Kee, on Route 50 at Graham Rd. (same shopping center as Pho 75, but facing 50). We started with steamed dumplings, and although the dough was kind of tough, the dumplings were tasty. I had shrimp with Chinese broccoli and my husband had shrimp with spicy salt. Both were so good my husband is already talking about going back.
  7. Hong Kong Palace has been a wonderful source of Hong Kong-style Chinese food for the last couple of years. But the restaurant of last week is no more. In its place is Hong Kong Palace, a place of the same name but with some major changes. The kitchen is now staffed with a pair of Chengdu-trained Szechuan chefs (part owners!) who seem to know what they are doing. Yes, the restaurant has some rough spots that might be expected in any place that has just changed hands in the past week, but it appears to be very promising. We stopped by last night expecting typical HK fare, but were surprised by all the new faces for the staff. The real change came we asked for the Chinese Menu, and we were handed a total different menu from the one we had seen in the past. It was brimming with all manner of Szechuan-style dishes. Speaking with our waiter then made things clear. The previous owners had sold the restaurant and the new owners were heading in a different direction, cuisine-wise. As we continued to speak with the waiter we considered that this new place might have promise. We decided to share the Chengdu Spicy Cold Noodles for appetizer and ordered the Ma Po To Fu and Sliced Pork with Dried Bean Curd for dinner. What we received were very fine renditions of classic Szechuan fare! If there were any complaints they centered around our inability to convince the waiter (and chef?) that we wanted the food spiced authentically. While there was some heat and numbing character in the entrees, it was just a little short of what we had come to expect from the best of the local Szechuan restuarants, such as Joe's Noodle House (in Rockville). We will be definitely be going back, and I suspect that with a little effort we will be able to get the kitchen to pull out all the stops and make the dishes with the bold flavors that is the hallmark of classic Szechuan food. I would be interested to hear reports from others. Vince
  8. Having gone to Kaz Sushi Bistro countless times over the years, I was interested in seeing what Sushi Chef Jay Yu, who spend 13 years working alongside Kaz at the sushi bar, would be up to in his brand new restaurant in Falls Church, which opened just last Thursday, Dec 10th. It's located right in-between Smashburger and the under-appreciated Meat in a Box. An important note to diners: Takumi will not have a beer and wine license "for about a month," so do not go there expecting to have a Sapporo with your sushi just yet. Another thing: they are currently using a temporary menu which they stress will be changing in about a week. "It's full of typos, and it's embarrassing," a server told me. So please keep those two things in mind if you go anytime soon. I took a seat at the sushi bar Tuesday evening, and ended up feeling like I was at a Kaz Sushi Bistro family reunion: My server works at Kaz, the girl who told me about the menu worked for Kaz, Chef Yu worked next to Kaz (on the diner's right), and - this is possibly the most important thing I'm going to tell you - the Kitchen Chef at Takumi was the *other* sushi chef who worked next to Kaz on the diner's left (I've never known his name, but he's an older gentleman called Taka-san - he has chosen to switch over to being a full-time kitchen chef due to the rigors of endless standing). I was told that for now, Kaz is sending out one different employee a day to help them get started, and Kaz himself stopped in to wish them well on opening day. Isn't it heartwarming to see such a display of generosity and gratitude? And for those worried about the future of Kaz Sushi Bistro, have no fear: he will soon be signing another long-term lease, and is training some younger sushi chefs, as well as working on bringing over some people from Japan - although we've only written each other, I could "feel" an obvious energy and enthusiasm in his notes to me that I haven't felt from him in quite awhile. His biggest concern seems to be the impending arrival of Nobu, which will be located somewhere around 25th and M in quite a large space. Have no worries, Kaz-san - you're a DC institution. I started my meal with a pot of Caffeine-Free, Yellow and Blue, Herbal Tea ($4.50), a chamomile and lavender tisane by Harney and Sons, a very reputable producer of upscale teas, and this carried me through the meal. Browsing through the menu, I noticed some definitely influences and a few very similar dishes than what I've seen at Kaz Sushi Bistro in the past - I was determined to try some of these to compare them, and to see what Chef Yu could do untethered from the mother ship. Sitting next to a woman I correctly guessed was a Yelper, she had ordered the Flounder Carpaccio with Wakame and Yuzu Sauce ($12), and when asked how she felt about it, she came right out and said it wasn't to her liking. This was one of the things I was thinking of ordering, so I told them (nobody else was within earshot) that I'd be glad to take it, and for them to just put it on my bill. This was five fairly thin slices of flounder sashimi, topped with a thick, almost nutty, paste of wakame and yuzu. I thought there were a couple things about this dish that could have been improved upon, and when Chef Yu asked me, I answered him politely, but candidly - this was probably the one dish I had that needs a mild tweaking, but it doesn't need much: The issues I pointed out could be fixed in five minutes. My first dish was a Consommé of Asari ($6), asari being baby clam, sitting on the bottom of the bowl of clear broth, in-shell. This was a delicious consommé, and one that I would happily get again. It was just the right thing to start off a meal with. In something of a contrast to the consommé, I also ordered the Agedashi Tofu with Mushroom ($5), the definition of comfort food: soft, silky cubes of tofu, barely dusted, and wok-fried with plenty of enoki-like mushrooms, and a hot, thickened brown sauce on top. I loved this dish, and highly recommend it to anyone trying Takumi - the only thing I can think of that might improve the dish is if the amount of sauce was dialed down just ten percent; other than that, it was a gift at five dollars. This is one dish that I would strongly urge people to order. Having had the bird's nest at Kaz several times, I had to get the Bird's Nest ($14) here, and it did not disappoint while at the same time being noticeably different than the one at Kaz. Made with sea urchin, calamari, a very light application of truffle soy sauce, and topped with a quail egg, this dish is made to be mixed together before attacking it, and no soy sauce is needed, although this particular rendition was intentionally light on the soy, so I can easily see diners sneaking a few additional drops into the mix. Although there was nothing fattening in here, it came across as almost decadently rich, and despite its moderate size, was quite filling - sea urchin and egg yolk as thickeners in sauces have a tendency to do that. I was pretty full at this point, but I hadn't had a bite of sushi rice, and wanted to end my meal with a maki, so I ordered the Negitoro Roll ($8), made with fatty tuna and scallion, and I'm delighted to report that the sushi rice here is outstanding. I've always thought that Kaz consistently had the best sushi rice in the city, and this rice is a worthy contender. Sushi rice is such an important component of great sushi, yet it often goes unnoticed or unappreciated; not with me - this was first-rate sushi rice, and those many, many years of experience certainly showed up here. Highly recommended. Stuffed, I asked for the check, but Chef Yu offered me a dessert (I think he was pleased that I didn't waste the carpaccio, and that I seemed to have some degree of appreciation for what he has done). I had mentioned before that I liked yuzu, so he sent out a tulip glass of Yuzu Sorbet ($4) which I didn't think I wanted, but right after the first bite of that ice-cold, citrus-flavored sorbet, I knew it was the perfect digestif for this ample-but-healthy meal. When the check arrived, neither the sorbet nor the carpaccio were on it - I protested, saying I wanted to pay for the carpaccio, but they insisted that it was on the house, so I tried to make up for it with a generous tip. Although you can tell that this is a brand-new restaurant, only a few days old, Takumi also shows great promise, and is already one of the best sushi houses in Virginia (if not the best). It will improve a lot as the next few weeks pass, but I also fear that in the long run, Chef Yu may grow frustrated at serving nothing but California Rolls (I mentioned this to him, and he just laughed it off). Takumi is absolutely influenced by Kaz Sushi Bistro, and I believe that, with time, this restaurant will make the master proud.
  9. Northern Virginia Magazine reports on Liberty Tavern's plan for the old Murky Coffee space: Chef Liam LaCivita will oversee the kitchen. The article also has info on their new restaurant, Lyon Hall.
  10. I ventured into Eden Center and promised myself to try a couple of small places inside the Eden Center. Hai Ky Mi Gia specializes in soup noodle. You get a choice of toppings (shrimp, mixed seafood, roast duck, roast quail, or pork), shrimp cracker, Chinese chives, tiny bits of rendered pork fat, and lettuce over yellow noodle or rice noodle, with the soup either laddle on top of the noodles or served on the side. The usual condiments of bean sprouts, hot sauce, and lime are available on the side. The result is a bowl of delicious warm Vietnamese Ramen that costs around $7.50. Nha Trang specialized in Nem Nuong Nihn Hoa ($7 for 4 rolls), these are summer rolls with lettuce, mint, grilled pork sausage, and crispy fried wonton wrapper served with a strange sauce that I can't decipher (bits of garlic, pork, and peanut in a sweet sauce).
  11. This place has been open for about a year, across Annandale Road from Anthony's. I stopped in for the first time yesterday for a quick lunch. The website shows it is a chain/franchise, and the Falls Church location is the only one in Virginia. The menu is divided into two sections, European sandwiches and Asian sandwiches. Plus they have a selection of house brand coffee beans, macarons ($1.99 each), a variety of pastries, and a sign that says they make fresh baguettes every hour. The outside signage says open 24-7-365, but signs were posted inside that they're going to a 7 am. - midnight time schedule now. It was a little later than standard lunchtime, but I was the only Caucasian person in the place. A couple of Hispanic blue collar guys picked up orders, and the rest of the clientele was Asian. You order at the counter and there's plenty of seating. The menu was a little confusing, but the gentleman working the counter was very helpful, asking first if I wanted European or Asian, and then if I wanted a hot or cold sandwich. I said hot, and he listed the numbers of the hot sandwiches (the menu board showed the various meats/ingredients per sandwich) to help me narrow it down. I went Asian with a basic pork banh mi and some iced tea. The sandwich came out very quickly, and I thought it was good. The baguette was nicely crusty on the outside and not too spongy on the interior. The ingredients were bright and looked & tasted very fresh. The marinade on the pork was a little sweeter and more forward than at DC 50, and they used a moderate amount of mayo instead of a big glop, which I prefer. The iced tea was made with green tea. For $7.20 all in, a tasty lunch and fairly priced. I think I would give it a slight edge over DC 50 Sandwich on this particular day, mostly due to the very good bread.
  12. I guess I'm the last person on Earth not to know that FDB Eatery is now open under the same ownership as what used to be Frozen Dairy Bar & Boardwalk Pizza, and before that, Frozen Dairy Bar. (The original owner (Ray Fletcher) and the original location of Frozen Dairy Bar are both long gone - Joe H and I may be the only two people left in DC who fondly reminisce over the old building and the three original vintage-1946 Electro-Freeze machines.) Anyway, I walked in, and there was a handwritten sign saying that today, they were featuring "Local Peach Sorbet," so I decided to take the healthy route, and got a Medium Cup ($3.75), even though this was non-dairy and anathema to the original concept of Frozen Dairy Bar. Time marches on ... and the sorbet was wonderful. But man it's weird to see this place succumbing to the three-character, stock market symbol-type nomenclature:
  13. Peking Gourmet Inn is out in Falls Church/Bailey's Crossroads. IIRC It was a favorite of Pres. Bush (41). I have mostly had lunch specials there, which are usually not too bad. The Kung Pao is not too oily and not overly sauced. We do carryout for lunch from there fairly oftent - Some of my coworker's favorites include the Szechuan Beef Proper, Jade Chicken, and Fresh Garlic Chicken. Based on my semi-recent meals at both City Lights and Meiwah (neither one was very good - City Lights was horrible), Peking Gourmet is the better choice. That being said, I prefer Full Kee (Bailey's Crossroads location).
  14. FWIW, Pho 88 in Falls Church, which was referenced in the above posts but never got its own thread, has now closed.
  15. I stopped going to Eden Center on a daily basis for lunch because the trips were putting too many miles on my leased car (13 miles round trip). Because it's been at least a month since I last went, I walked around to see what's new. I think there are 2 new joints just in Saigon East (the section in btwn the 2 grocery stores). Bay Lo is no more. And in place of H2O is Hoa Vien Quan. Hoa Vien Quan is brightly lit, shiny, and clean. The menu is one laminated page but with a ton of stuff that's not very well organized - several items don't belong under the headings. I tried their cha gio (spring rolls) and banh xeo. Both are excellent, especially because they give you the proper accompaniments. The spring rolls came with 2 pieces of lettuce, basil and pickled carrots. The banh xeo came with 4 pieces of lettuce, lots of herbs, and pickled carrots. I wrapped everything in lettuce and dipped in their fish sauce. I would have to go back to Eden to try more of their food (as I said, big menu).
  16. www.bangkokgolden7corners.com 6395 Seven Corners Center Falls Church, VA 22044 Tom Sietsema did a piece on this small Thai place back in November ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/18/AR2010111805045.html ). I am happy to report that the secret menu is secret no more. When we entered the small place this afternoon, we were handed two menus, one Thai and one Laotian. I never had Laotian food before, it was like Thai, but more rustic. Like other southeast Asian cuisine, Laotians make heavy usage of fresh vegetables and herbs as evident by the numbers of salads on the menu. We ordered the Laotian sausage, orm beef, crispy rice salad, and an order of chicken satay for the kiddo. My favorite dish was the crispy rice salad, consisted of herbs (probably cilantro and lime leaves), coconut, onions, scallions, julienne pork skin, ham, peanuts, and crispy rice in a refreshing spicy lime dressing with large lettuce leaves served on the side. You are suppose to eat it like a bulgogi by wrapping the salad inside the lettuce leaves. It was a prefect balance of savory, sour, and spicy, with bites of crispy rice and peanut for textural contrast. The flavor was incredibly complex and words do not do justice in describing this dish.
  17. I've stopped going to any Lebanese Tavernas, except the "express" one in Congressional Plaza in Rockville (because my mother, who lives there, likes it). Instead, I'm now devoted to the consistently good and MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE Lebanese Butcher & Restaurant on Annandale Road in Falls Church: http://www.lebanesebutcher.com/ My only warning is that this place is very much a hole-in-the-wall haunt of Muslim men, which can be somewhat off-putting for a non-Muslim woman who wants to dine-in on her own. I always go in with a book and focus on the page as I eat, do my best to ignore the curious, sometimes hostile glances from men at the other tables. More often I just take away. The food is good enough to keep patronising the place despite the odd vibes. I'm not sure what troubles them more - a woman dining out alone, or a Western woman invading their space. Actually, since the place has been written up in the Post, Washingtonian, etc., the vibe has got somewhat less weird as the long-time patrons have had to get used to a diverse variety of interlopers. I guess I was just a pioneer, as I've been going there almost since it opened. And keep going back. Karen Mercedes
  18. For me and my dear aged mother, the main casualty of Friday night's storm was the cancellation of today's matinee performance of Don Giovanni at the Barns at Wolf Trap (well, actually, my mother's house in Fairfax was without electricity from 10:30 pm Friday to 4:00 pm Saturday; I suffered no such tribulation in the Kalorama Triangle). We had planned to have lunch before the opera at Plaka Grill in Vienna, which is right on the way. When we learned of the cancellation, we decided to have the lunch as planned. Plaka Grill is in a dreary little strip mall on Lawyers' Road just off Maple Ave, next door to a Papa John's. It's quite a bare-bones sort of place. You place your order at the counter, and they give you a little stand with a number on it to put on your formica-top table so they'll know where to deliver your food. You fetch your own plastic forks and knives and paper napkins. But the service is friendly, cheerful, and efficient, and the food is delicious and inexpensive. We split an appetizer of dolmadakia, which was five grape-leaf rolls with a filling of lamb, beef, and rice, drizzled with a lemony sauce, served hot. They were actually very hot, and tasty beyond my expectation. Then we had "Chicago Gyros", which resemble every gyro you've ever had, but taken to a higher level. The pita wrapper was chewy but tender, the pressed meat stuff was tender, moist, and flavorful. The gyros were rounded out with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki, and I'd have to say that these were the best gyros I've ever encountered. The one order of dolmades, two gyros, and two bottles of Bass ale came to just over $29. No wonder this place is popular. I wouldn't go a very long way out of my way to eat here, but gosh, what a good lunch I had at such a trivial cost.
  19. I had the Lamb Vindaloo at Haandi about a year and a half ago or so. Expecting the dish to be hot to start with, once I start eating it I thought to myself "this is quite warm". Then the second bite... "getting warmer". By the fourth or fifth bite my entire body was sweating, I was asking for extra napkins to wipe the sweat off my face and had drank and entire pitcher of water. It was a burn that just kept building and building, never subsiding. I finished the dish (and thought the taste and texture were quite good) but the heat was something else. I've been accused of having my taste buds burnt off and no longer capable of tasting the heat that is present in food as what I find to be a pleasanty spiced dish with just a wee bit of kick my GF finds to be inedibly hot, and yet the lamb vindaloo that night made me see that there were degrees of heat that I had never been privy to previously. I wanted to make it back to see if it was a fluke or just how they made the dish but never got around to it.
  20. Last week, I got this tweet from Jonathan Copeland: Although I had largely forgotten about it, somewhere in the recesses of my brain, it resided, because I was thirty-minutes early for an appointment in Falls Church today, and - <blink> - I remembered. I didn't remember who sent it, and I didn't remember the name of the restaurant; merely that someone I trusted had mentioned good Banh Mi in Eden Center - I pulled in. I wasn't at all sure which restaurant it was, and there has been *so much* changeover in this shopping center in the past six months that Saigon West is borderline unrecognizable. I waffled a bit, then headed into Banh Ta, and as soon as I walked in, I thought to myself, 'This *must* be the place.' Banh Ta is a tiny little pillbox boutique, just a few stores down from the outstanding Thanh Son Tofu, which has the best tofu I've found in the DC area. Despite being just a counter, it's very upscale looking, with market goods and an atmosphere that reminds me of a smaller version of the incredible Phu Quy Deli Delight. If you haven't been to Thanh Son Tofu or Phu Quy Deli Delight: GO! I ordered a #1, Pork Belly (Bah Mi Thit ??, $4), the ?? being on the sign in the first link in the previous paragraph, and absolutely indecipherable by me and my illiterate Vietnamese (my apologies to native speakers - any guidance will be much appreciated). It's no secret that I haven't exactly been blown away by DC-area Banh Mi - in fact, the only ones I've had that I even consider "good" have been somewhat Americanized (Dickson Wine Bar and the underrated and under-appreciated Ba Bay). Until today, that is. Thanks to Jonathan's recommendation, I've now had what I believe to be the first authentic Banh Mi that I can say, with my European-influenced palate, and with an absolutely clear conscience, is *really, really good*! You don't even need a second one to fill up on, as the size is ample, so both qualitatively and quantitatively, we have ourselves a front runner in the local Banh Mi wars - you could say, if you valued bad puns more than honorable use of language, that this Banh Mi, won me. These three storefronts in Eden Center are less than 100 yards away from each other, and justify a special excursion to experience. I am - *finally* - sold on the merits of this sandwich, and I suspect that in Vietnam, it gets even better than this. Absolutely initialized in Italic in the East Falls Church section of the Virginia Dining Guide, and I'm very much looking forward to a repeat visit, thanks to the recommendation of Jonathan Copeland.
  21. Did not see a thread on this new addition to the Eden Center. Went there yesterday for lunch with a group of Chowhounders. We had a delicious meal with a ton of food. We ordered: Grilled shrimp and pork skewers with steamed vermicelli Whole crispy flounder with mango salad and ginger sauce Baby clams baked in clay pot with rice Grilled pork chop and sweet Chinese sausage on broken rice Marinated quails Garden rolls (called steam rice paper rolls on the menu) Baby clams with pork served with rice cracker My favorites were the whole fish, which was a huge, but really good dish. I lived the difference between the crispy, flaky fish and the tangy, sour salad. It was really nice. I also really liked the broken rice dish, the sausage and pork chops on it were marinated well and really tasty. The baked clams in the clay pot were preferable to the rice cracker ones, I think a bit moister, or maybe it was just the sauce with the salty clams and crispy rice. The shrimp were also good. All in all there weren't any misses, although the garden rolls could be skipped they were fine, but normal. It is a very pretty little space, and we really enjoyed the food. It was also nice to hang out with some very nice and cool people from this area with such great food knowledge, always a plus. I know some are on here too, and it is always so nice to put a face with a name.
  22. A quick intro to a great new neighbor of mine--Clare and Don's Beach Shack. This is exactly the kind of place I was searching for when I rushed over to Hank's on its opening day--cheap, fun, laid-back, quirky and for the most part really good (don't get fried clams until colder weather comes). Crab Cake Sandwich, Fried Oyster Po' Boy, Fish and Chips are all first rate, and they have a whole section of vegetarian/vegan options. No raw bar, but they do have desserts (a really good key lime pie). They are right up the street by the Clarendon Metro. Maybe it's not worth a trip all the way across town, but if you're in the area it's definitely worth it, especially after a day at the pool.
  23. In a fit of hubris... I left the map at home figuring that I knew exactly where Fortune was and, having read the map quickly, could get us there. At the risk of alienating all northern Virginian's, we were stuck in Dante's 8th level of hell (reserved for those stupid enough to drive in Virginia on a Sunday, or during rush hour, or during not rush hour, or, say, any time except 3:25am and 3:27am on certain Tuesdays when there is actually only a small traffic jam at every light) we spent an hour getting from 495 to Bailey's crossroads. Wound up at Peking Gourmet, which isn't. Maybe tonight is a two negroni night as well. Ah well...
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