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  1. Quickway is a fast food habachi place near 7-corners in the Wilston Center in Falls Church. I've been curious about it since it opened and since I have no running water, I thought I'd stop in. The positives: 1. The bathroom was clean, the water running, and the signage amusing. 2. The salmon was so juicy, yet fully cooked that I suspected it must be injected with some sort of salt solution (this is a complement). 3. The Yum-yum sauce lives up to its name but then again, isn't mayo always good? My order: Salmon bento box which consisted of salmon, noodles, "california roll", and 4 deep fried things (2 mini pot stickers, 2 mini eggrolls). The negatives: 1. The food had no flavor. How hard is it to add a little soy or marin? 2. The food was greasy. Really, really oily yet had no flavor. How hard is it to add a little sesame oil? 3. Deep fried pot stickers?WTF. Ok, I get this one but again, see negative #1. 4. I had to ask for soy sauce. I was given yum-yum sauce. This might not be a negative for all I realize. 5. And finally, the coke was on the edge of flat.
  2. I went here with my family. We ate at Buena Vida. The complimentary chips and salsa were excellent (tomatillo, some kind of smoked red salsa and picked veggies) were excellent. We had elote off the cob, a bunch of tacos and ceviche. Even the beans and rice which we ordered for the kids was great. My favorite tacos were the lengua and the duck carnitas. Service was okay, not the most attentive server. --- Tacos, Tortas, & Tequila (ElGuapo)
  3. Went last night to ChiKo in Barracks. I had been interested in going, but just don't get to that area as much these days. It's "Chipotle-esque" inside, industrial look, done quite well. There isn't a whole lot of seating, you get in line, take a number and then hope a table opens up. There were 3 of us, so we went to town ordering. It's small plates-ish, but some of the items could definitely make a good size for lunch. It's not Chipotle as in customizable - you order items that are being continuously made fresh in the open kitchen. - Double fried chicken wings - spicy soy glazed - expertly fried, just a bit sweet for me, compared to BC, but these come right of the fryer and perfect crunch - Pork and kim chi poststicker - really tasty, with a nice dipping sauce - Kimchi stew - with pork belly, subtle, not very hard core on the kim chi, but well done - Smashed salmon - with squash and korean red chili paste ... very good - Wagshal's chopp'd brisket - this came most highly recommended by the staff member, but it was not the most loved - I didn't try it, since I don't eat the beef, there's a soft egg and you mix it in. - Cumin lamb stir fry - with wheat noodles... this was one of my favorite dishes I've had in DC in a long time, really well prepped, noodles had good chew (not sure if made in house), spicy but not terribly so, braised tender lamb, pretty much everyone's favorite - Chiko "shrimp and grits" - another WOW dish! Congee and garlic-sauced shrimp, so tasty. I think maybe I liked this better than the lamb. - Wok blistered Chinese broccoli - greens, a palate cleanser, done differently than at Chinese restaurants - it has thicker stems $125 for 3 of us, including one adult beverage each. Not really "fast-casual" - it takes a bit of time to get your food, as it is made to order, and it's not exactly cheap to get full for dinner (what we had was a good amount, we finished almost all of it and were comfortably full). But, high quality. I really like it - I would go back for that lamb stir fry. The ingredients are all really good compared to most Asian places, I think that's why everything just tasted "brighter". And, as someone else on Yelp said, it's not really Chinese - Korean fusion - it's Chinese and Korean dishes, all on the same menu. It's pronounced - "Chi" with a long I sound .. duh - "Chinese Korean". Got corrected when we said chee-ko.
  4. Victor Albisu's Taco Bamba opened yesterday in Falls Church/Tysons. It was a rough opening day. When the wife and I arrived at about 7PM the air conditioning was not working and their expediter was doing double duty dealing with the AC techs. We tried six tacos between us, Lengua, Tripas, Suadera and Pastor. All of the fillings were excellent, especially the tripe. The Pastor was not made on a rotating spit and suffered for not being quite crispy enough on the exterior. The flavorings on all the other meats were excellent, better than anything I have had in DC. The house made salsas that were served with the tacos were also excellent. We did not try the tamales, but if they are as good as the ones sold in his mother's store next door, then they are very good. The biggest disappointment were the tortillas. They were flour instead of corn and were not house made. My wife, the Arizonan, seeing the packaged soft tacos opted for the crispy tacos which were made from masa and they worked better than the soft flour ones. For me, the result was like having great pastrami on wonder bread. I hope they get a better supplier for the tortillas. I also prefer to dress my own tacos with, depending on the type of taco, cabbage, raddish, cilantro, onion or peppers. The tacos came pre-dressed though they did have small cups of diced raddish available. With opening night jitters, we ended up missing part of our order, but that is par for the course for any opening night. I am going to work my way down the menu and give them a chance to work out the kinks. As a former Miami resident, I am looking forward to trying their Torta Cubana and I hope they take a shot at another MIami favorite I miss Lechon (whole roasted pig). All things considered, I am very happy Victor Albisu has saved me a trip to Maryland to get a taco
  5. This place has gotten a few mentions - most recently in this weekend's first edition of the Wall Street Journal's Weekend rag. Slated to open in November, it's supposed to bring Portuguese-influenced Indian food from the Goa region, as well as coconut and curry leaf dishes from Kerala and almond and pistachio infused cuisines from the Mogul region. 633 D St. NW. Any other buzz?
  6. When I moved to the DC area in 1997, one of the first "serious" restaurants I went to was Jaleo. I was just back from nearly a year in Europe with over a month of that time in Spain, so I was hankering for a tapas bar. I was prepared to be disappointed with Jaleo, but instead found myself returning every few weeks over the next couple of years. I intended to go to Cafe Atlantico last night, but the bar at Jaleo looked tempting. And for the first time in a long time, it looked like there were a few free seats. I started with a couple of scallops in Romesco sauce. I enjoyed the sauce, and the scallops were a bit past their prime but still decent. Queso de Tupi "Abuelo Tunica" was a surprise. This was a soft cheese that had been mixed with some sort of Spanish liquor served with bread and fig puree. It had a boozy sharp flavor that hit the spot. I also tried the Ensalada de Remolacha which consisted of beets, orange segments, walnuts, mixed greens and Cabrales-- one of my favorite cheeses. This was tasty, though the beets just didn't taste super fresh. I wouldn't go so far as saying they were canned, but they had definitely been around a while. I finished up my meal with a variety of sliced Spanish sausages: Chorizo, Soria, Butifarra, and Salchichon de Vic. All the meats were great, but I didn't care too much for the whole wheat toast points that came with it. Everything was washed down with a Garnacha, Carinena, Syrah, and Merlot blend called Perlat. I'm glad I stopped in. It had been too long. If I'm in the area, and it's still early enough in the evening to get a seat at the bar, I'll be back. Soon.
  7. I made my second visit to Busboys and Poets tonight. I foresee more visits for many reasons and for different occasions--just like what the owners must have thought of when he opened this place. Conveniently located in my neighborhood (14th and V), this is a place for: (1) food: i am so glad to see decently priced and well-prepared food in the neighborhood where all things on the new-and-hip U St. are expensive regardless of the quality (think of Alero). All under 10, the chicken pizza w/ mushrooms, spinach, and roasted red peppers would shoulder next to pies at Coppi's, and the spinach salad w/ grapes-covered-in-goat-cheese-and-rolled-in-crusted-candied-walnuts was definitley memorable. I saw juicy-looking burgers, golden catfish, and more pizzas passing by me, and all looked pretty delicious. (2) drinks: The beer selection is pretty large - both tap and bottled: tap including magic hat #9, magic hat hocus pocus, delirium tremmens, amstel light, and two local microbrews. I can't remember too well, but it had a mixed bag of domestic and imported (one German and one French) bottles. There is also a full bar + wine. It's a nice to see this place continuing the trend in the neighborhood where bars offer a wide and interesting beer selection (e.g., the saloon, saint ex, and bohemian cavern). and (3) couches + wireless: this place is huge, airy, and full of couches and a handful of work tables. When are they going to start brunch on weekends? I can't wait to swing by with a book and grab a cup of coffee and a croissant. I sense that Busboys and Poets will become the U Street's Tryst (there were definitely a bunch of people w/ books and lap tops among diners). Anyone else who checked out this new spot?
  8. Have been indulging in Ariake for years (since they opened in 2005) - the original location is a stand-alone across from Hunter's Woods Shopping Plaza in Reston, a block off Reston Parkway. If coming off the Dulles Toll Road, instead of going towards the RTC, go the opposite direction; obviously various mapping services will get you there easily, more pointing out for those less familiar. I am a selective when it comes to sushi - Ariake has experiences Chef's, daily specials for lunch and dinner, and it is a decent sized restaurant if you want to eat-in. Beware, their carry-out business has exploded and if you go during normal dinner business hours the place is hopping. Despite having their own parking lot, it fills up fast and the employees often park on the grass around the restaurant to open up more spaces. Sounds tacky, but like I said the place is consistently busy. Prices are similar to other decent sushi places, the fish is very fresh and they can be creative. They recently opened a Fairfax Ariake location and took their better sushi chef and a few of the other employees there to open. For those who live in the Dulles corridor this place is almost on par with Tachibana in Mclean, and not as far to drive. In the warmer months, they have outdoor seating which is nice; the sound of their waterfall helps mitigate the noise from passing cars on the two adjacent streets.
  9. From the sounds of things, it seems that Little Sesame is a separate entity getting its start in DGS's lower-level, with a common co-owner in Nick Wiseman. Thus, it will also get its own thread. Congratulations to the whole team, Nick, Robin, and everyone else - please stay active here and let us know when you expand beyond lunch, get a beer and wine license, open another location, etc. All these pop-ups and restaurants within restaurant are parallel to recent college graduates living with mom and dad for a couple of years because they can't afford to pay rent (heck, I did it for a year - I think it's a great idea, and it can even bring the family closer together).
  10. Sounds like part of Ardeo+Bardeo will be re-vamped into Bindaas, an Indian street food restaurant with Vikram Sunderam overseeing the food: "Rasika Chef Vikran Sunderam to Oversee Upcoming Indian Street-Food Restaurant" by Becky Krystal on washingtonpost.com At 50 seats, I'm assuming the smaller side space that used to be Bardeo will become Bindaas. Targeted opening early August, but you know how that goes. According to the article, Ardeo+Bardeo will continue with a dining room and the upstairs patio.
  11. I've been meaning to try 101 Noodle Express for a while, since it specializes in some of my favorites items in Chinese cuisine - noodles and dumplings. I had passed it over in favor of trying other places because the flagship item, the Shangdong-style beef roll, isn't my favorite. BIG MISTAKE. Turns out I didn't like them as much at other places simply because they weren't as good. Here, they are the highest expression of the snack, consistent and omnipresent at every table for a reason. The crepe-like bing is thin, flaky, and rich, but not oily. The beef is high-quality and sliced uniformly thin. There is just enough cilantro, scallions, and salty-sweet bean sauce to bring balanced flavors and textures. In case you aren't familiar with the beef roll (I think A&J recently put a version on the menu, but I never tasted it there), here's a nice description. The balance and uniform thinness of the layers, as well as tight wrapping, is key. We ate most of our roll at lunch and promptly ordered another to go (they travel really well!). We also got some dan dan noodles, which had a tiny kick but weren't particularly spicy (which we were expecting, since this is decidedly not a Szechuan place) and the hand-torn noodles were pleasingly chewy. We didn't have room for dumplings, but the many plates of pan-fried dumplings we saw scattered about the room were plump and had golden, crunchy-looking bottoms. We were at the Alhambra location, which is a casual strip-mall spot serving budget-friendly, simple, snacky food until late night (1 AM). They have a few other locations in Arcadia, Culver City, and Irvine. I learned one thing about their operations from their website that I find very promising for visiting other locations: 101 Noodle Express boasts a central, factory-like kitchen to secure quality control of its franchises.
  12. My friend Thor Cheston, who is a manager at Paradiso, is going to be heading up this project of theirs. Thor is a beer enthusiast of the first order, and this should be exciting! Drop by and say, "Hello!" and have a great beer on draught and some of this city's best pizza. 3282 M St., NW Washington, DC 202-337-1245 Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown is proud to introduce Birreria Paradiso, a sixteen tap draft bar featuring 80 bottled selections of microbrews, artisinal and handcrafted beers from around the world. Enjoy pilsners, ales, lagers, and stouts in our newly renovated lower level dining room and bar, where you will be able to feast on our Quattro Formaggi Pizza and a Belgian tripel like Gouden Carolus, or a Bosco Pizza and a Saison Dupont on draft. Then, top off your meal with our vanilla gelato paired with North Coast's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. We will be offering our complete menu, wine list, and a full bar in addition to the new selection of beers. Most of our longtime favorites are available, including Rogue's Dead Guy Ale, Dogfish Head's 60-minute IPA on tap, and Moretti and Amstel Light in bottles. We will also be serving some standards like Corona,, Miller Lite and Samuel Adams. All of the new beers will also be available in the main dining room upstairs.
  13. I eat here with some regularity and keep coming back because they do all the standards well, have an experienced and friendly staff, good parking, a very good wine list and reasonable prices. A good choice for a bustling neighborhood bistro. The table under the stairs is a nice, quiet private spot.
  14. Went to matchbox tonight "on a whim". Try the white pizza with prosciutto. But instead of prosciutto, have anchovies on the side. Mmmmmmmm.
  15. Los Tios (not to be mistaken for Los Amigos which is across from Evening Star) is a favorite destination for Monday lunches when the kitchen's closed - fantastic, authentic, fresh food at extremely reasonable prices. Next time you're on the Avenue, drop by! The restaurant is on the same side of the street as Cheesetique just before you get to the intersection of Commonwealth & Mt. Vernon heading toward Arlandria.
  16. This new venture opened recently in the Belle View Shopping Center, just a bit south of the beltway, off the GW Parkway. it has taken literally YEARS for their doors to open, but I'm glad they finally have done it. they seem to be first and fore-most a bakery of BEAUTIFUL European-style breads and pastries. However, in recent days they are adding to their cafe menu. there doesn't seem to be a regular standing menu for the cafe food. Each day's menu is posted on a chalk board outside and posted on their Facebook page (where they post captivating photos of dishes while they are being prepped in the mornings). they seem to have a couple of soups and sandwiches daily. I tried their Asian flank steak sandwich with cucumber cilantro lime slaw on wonderful bread. my friends enjoyed the butternut squash soup which they reported had a nice spice to it. My daughter and I split one of their HUGE chocolate eclairs and both wished we hadn't have shared! I've gotten their pain au chocolate and ham and cheese croissants for breakfast too. all have been a delight! this establishment is just nowgetting on their feet in regard to decor. they have a big glass wall that separates the cafe area from the significantly large working bakery area. the cafe is slowly adding artwork and more tables. Once they work out those minor details, it will be a wonderful spot to sit and eat. I'm definitely looking forward to warm weather when they can open their big French doors that lead to the sidewalk. Outdoor dining maybe??
  17. 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.
  18. Rock-n-Roll Sushi is at least better than the flyer Nooshi mailed out last year advertising "Funky Sushi" at happy hour. Funky sushi. EWWWWWWWW.
  19. Ok so I apologize to the Leleboo in advance, I am sure my lackluster searching skills must be incorrect, but for the life of me I cannot find a thread on the Silver Diner, in multiple locations under diners or American food, or in Virginia in Clarendon. I then google searched to no avail. I just wanted to state that I am really liking their new menu. It's not a regular spot for me, but when you want down home comfort food, which I did, don't want to pay a lot, which I didn't, and wanted it delivered to my door, it really was good. Things seem to be made fresh with more care then in past times. Stepping things up I would say. We got take out last night. I got meatloaf with mashed potatoes, corn and veggie mix with a choice of soup or salad side, got veggie chili. The meatloaf was well seasoned and tasted good, the veggie mix were carrots, broccoli, and butternut squash (really... I really think it was), they weren't mush they tasted quite nice. The mashed potatoes tasted very real. Nothing tasted like it was from a box or prepared ages ago. All in all I was really happy with it. So much food I haven't eaten my veggie chili yet, but will have it for lunch tomorrow. Hubby got a burger and said it was a surprisingly good burger. The menu has lots of choices, healthy, not so healthy and lots of gluten free choices. I will be back (or at least order delivery) more often. I was really impressed. It seemed a lot different than in times past. Anyone else tried the new Silver Diner?
  20. This may be the most controversial, most infamous, certainly the most embarrassing of all the posts I had on CH in the five years I was a part of it. The post disappeared (as a number of my others) after my argument with Leff. Now, curiously, it is back under the new ownership. It was part of what I called my "In 'n Out Trilogy." "Without Shame: A Bite of Excess" by Joe Heflin on chowhound.com I'm convinced the best balance of meat, fromage, onions, spread, and fitting-into-mouth-ed-ness is to order a 3x3. Mmmmmmm.
  21. It looks like Agraria's second location will be Founding Farmers, at the IMF building. See links here and here.
  22. I'm admittedly a creature of habit. Each time I'm in New York, I tend to hit a few places from my list of "regulars" - though I try to squeeze in one or two new ones when I'm there. So it's with that context that I say that I've been to La Pecora Bianca in NoMad the last 4 times I've been to the city. LPB isn't the best italian restaurant in New York. And it isn't the best restaurant in NoMad (which, in my opinion, is the NoMad Restaurant inside the NoMad Hotel). But it fills a gap left by the closing of Craftbar (which wasn't technically in NoMad but close enough). It is a restaurant that serves good food that isn't super high priced where we can meet friends for dinner without a reservation 4 weeks in advance. It's always the place chosen on the dreaded text message chain the day before when someone asks "where should we meet for dinner." From the appetizers, I recommend Whipped Ricotta with truffle honey and country toast ($14) and the Meatballs ($14). Roasted Cauliflower with raisins, pine nuts and mascarpone ($15) is also good, but I'm not a big cauliflower person in general. From the pasta menu, Gramigna with house made sausage, broccolini and pepper flakes ($24) is a favorite, as is the Tagliatelle with bolognese ($24). And the Tiramisu for two ($15) is worth the caloric splurge. Fair warning, they are strict about the wine pours, which can change the glass vs. bottle mathematics.
  23. Enjoyed roughly my 10th (or so) visit to Habit Burger a few days ago, and it was its same sensational fast-food experience. I think Habit Burger would be a hit if it were to expand to the east coast, but with the distinct disadvantage that outdoor eating would not be the same....all year around in Los Angeles, but only a few months a year in most east coast locations.
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