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Found 380 results

  1. 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.
  2. Thanks again to a Chowhound post, the hunt was on for a newly open coal-fired pizzeria. They've been open all of four days and are located off of Route 108 about a mile east of the intersection of Routes 108/104/100 and west of Snowden River Parkway. It's in the same shopping center as a Starbucks and Coldstone Creamery. COAL*FIRE "Charred to Perfection" Open daily for lunch & dinner 410-480-COAL (2625) Located in Shipley's Grant 5725 Richard's Valley Road Ellicott City, MD 21043 After asking our server too many questions [sorry, we didn't know it was her first day], one of the owners did a drop-by, chatted with us about their 18-month pizza research and told us their oven is from Bellingham Washington. This oven uses coal, gas and electric/convection to keep the temp controlled and the flat surface hot. Because of this, the crust on our two pizzas were uniformly crispy. After seeing several "blonde" pies go out, we asked specifically for charred crust and were rewarded with this Margherita [12"=$12]: Excellent Moz from Ceriello Fine Foods in Baltimore's Belvedere Square and a choice of one of three pizza sauces. The sauces include Classic (straight up Marinara-plum tomatoes), Signature (a mix of spice and very mild sweetness � no hint of sugar at all) and Spicy (it'll get your attention and reminds me of Arrabiata sauce). Our second pie was with the Spicy sauce and sausage [12" = $12.50]. Also very good and benefitted from having less cheese on the pie. They also have 16" pies, but we opted for the variety of two 12" pies. After the Phat Pug flameout, I'm more hopeful for this place because its owners are industry vets though they own Nottingham's [sporty bar: billiards, dartboards, tiki and annoying website] in nearby Columbia.
  3. "What's our collective verdict on Hard Times?", Al asks as his stomach rumbles from a lunch of Texas 5-way with a side of jalepenos.
  4. I just saw the paperwork in the window. Oriental Cafe's signage is still up and the interior looks untouched thus far. Please, if there is a Santa Claus, let this place be better than the Little Caesar's abomination a few doors down.
  5. 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.
  6. Team, We have been reading this forum for a long time and found it very helpful in enhancing our dining experience. Now, me and my partner Enzo Algarme have opened our own food establishment and want to invite you guys to check it out. Enzo, who is from Naples, Italy, worked in the kitchen of the renown "Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente" (certified by Verace Pizza Napoletana) in Naples, where he learned how to make authentic Neapolitan specialties, which we are now making here, in Arlington, Virginia. Some things, like the Neapolitan Fried Calzone, you can't find anywhere else in this area. We also make Palle di Riso (crunchy rice balls stuffed with peas, veggie crumble and cheese), Panzarotti - potato croquettes stuffed with mozzarella, Neapolitan-style pizza (we do not have a wood-burning oven, but use the same recipe and the ingredients as pizzerias in Naples). The food we serve is the authentic Neapolitan STREET food, just like you find on the streets of Naples. Our food establishment is a STREET CART, not a restaurant, so the prices are more than reasonable. We have been open for about 1 week in the neighbourhood of Ballston, in Arlington, VA just outside the Metro station, at the corner of Stuart and 9th streets. We are only open Mon-Fri for breakfast and lunch right now, from 8 to 3:30, but soon will be open until 8pm. Come to give us a shot! Anastasiya and Enzo pupatella.com myspace.com/pupatella1pizza
  7. Like so many other foods, real pit beef is dying off right before our eyes. I happen to live within a few miles of which I guess recently has attained a rep as the go-to pit beef spot round these parts, even referenced in the pit beef thread that seems to have died a while back. It's pretty good but not really real. Two things should jump out at pit beef enthusiasts from the get go - there's barely any char or crust on the meat, and it is way too tender (also a characteristic of the "pit" beef at Key Pit Stop, which I sorta reviewed for the Citypaper '08 Eat Guide). After peeking into the kitchen from across the counter, it's immediately apparent that this place uses pre-prepared deli meat, instead of cooking from scratch. Now this may make some sense for pit ham, or perhaps even pit turkey, but not for pit beef. This may explain the sporadic availability of rare and medium-rare beef encountered by some. They do however use real wood charcoal, fwiw. I need to have that deep, dark char and slightly chewy, bloody texture you get from medium-rare top or bottom round. Here's my default order at chaps, the bulldog (pit beef, sausage, cheese), genius in concept if not execution: The ribs here are actually worse than I could have possibly expected. They're completely untrimmed spareribs, so in a full order you actually only get 3 ribs, with lots of the coarser "outside" meat, fat and gristle attached. Very unattractive. Plus they are obviously boiled or baked, lacking any smoke flavor at all. Another candidate down in the search for decent bbq in Baltimore: ...and then simply thrown on the grill briefly before getting doused with sauce that tastes like genereic supermarket or Sysco. Very bland and more akin to eating pork roast than ribs. DO NOT WANT! Note the total absence of a smoke ring: As has been mentioned in the pit beef thread, fries were terrible, one step away from mashed potatoes - yeah, that soggy.
  8. It's been a while since I've been to Maiwand Grill, but this place had some great kabobs and pumpkin. I don't know if this is connected to the Maiwand Kabob in Columbia, but this is near Cuba de Ayer.
  9. I'll put in a plug for King Street Blues on S. St. Asaph St. one block south of King in Old Town, Alexandria. The place has been there for years and I don't think their menu has changed one iota since it opened. When it's cold outside and you're hungry, it's hard to beat their meatloaf and chicken fried steak. Both with mashed potatoes and gravy. Either will fill and warm you up. Good beer on tap. Service and environs OK. A good neighborhood spot. Clickety
  10. It looks like they're in the process of taking over the spot where the Chicken Out (McLean) used to be. Has anyone been to their other locations? Is there reason to be hopeful?
  11. I did not see a thread for Craft (itself). Wow. I wonder why?!! Been twice and loved both times. Really good food, really good service both times. Great space. I will have to try to dig up photos (I think I have some from both times).
  12. In addition a full suite of typical Taiwanese bakery items, J.J. Bakery in Arcadia (I've only been to that location) also has a limited selection of cooked/hot breakfast/dim sum foods (at least in the morning), making it an even more attractive alternative to Din Tai Fung when the lines are too long. We've had the turnip cakes (no longer crispy on the edges if it's been sitting there a while, but otherwise quite good) and the big meat and vegetable buns (very good. I love giant buns, and the fillings are flavorful, plentiful, and not at all sketchy tasting/feeling). It's great fast food. I've also run in an grabbed bakery items before/after a DTF run many times, and they have always been good, if not particularly memorable. In case it's not obvious, they also serve hot and cold drinks, including boba drinks. The one time I got a boba tea it was perfectly fine.
  13. Bartaco opened at Reston Town Center on Monday. We just stopped by early in the evening and by the time we left it was completely packed with a waiting line. Pretty impressive on a weeknight and so recently since it's opening. The atmosphere was casual and staff were friendly and helpful. Our waiter informed us that they have a order slip which we fill out and then place a small blue card on metal stand on the table to notify them when our order was order and for everything else we need. Our tacos ($2.50 each), baja fish, chicken and pork belly were tasty and surprisingly on the level of a place in DC like Oyamel. The non taco part of our order ($5-9 each), guacamole and chips, and tamales were equally as good. We didn't try the rice bowls or desserts. Definitely reasonably priced and good food, a welcome addition to the RTC. If quality remains this high can see it being a part of our regular rotation. Bartaco 12021 Town Center Square Reston, VA 703-787-8226 4pm - late
  14. District Dumplings: Jun 6, 2018 - "District Dumplings Set To Open New Location in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center" by Alex Koma on arlnow.com
  15. Just thought I'd start this thread since people were asking about it in the WLO thread. My parents got some take-out when it first opened and said it was pretty good. We tried going there a couple of weeks back and the wait was over an hour. Definitely liked the vibe when we first walked in and it reminded of being in Seoul. Anyhow, did some research and was able to find a website although it's mostly in Korean but the menu is translated to English with prices. After looking at the pics and menu, I think I'll have to stop by again soon and this time wait until I'm seated. Anyone been yet care to give us a review? http://kt411.com/adf/detail.asp?Blobid=81
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. You could have knocked me over with a feather. After an excellent meal at Ghibellina, I was strongly swayed that there may be a new king of the 14th Street Shuffle (the Dining Guide Shuffle, that is). Further proof that DC's Italian Renaissance is in full-swing. People are talking about this-and-that neighborhood, but the biggest change in DC's dining scene of late has been the explosion of high-quality, moderately upscale Italian restaurants. And Lupo Verde, at least downstairs at the bar, positively screams Italian. If you've never had a Na Biretta beer, get one, and if you like a lot of malt, get the Na Biretta Rossa ($9) - this is like Moretti La Rossa, but better, and on steroids. Excellent quality, and a very cool-looking bottle to boot. I would get this again in a heartbeat, but there are four Na Birettas on the menu, and I'm eager to try the other three. It took forever for me to get my appetizer, probably close to half an hour, but when it arrived, I knew what took so long: I cannot imagine the labor that went into the Torta di Cozze ($9), and they've got boulder-sized testicoli offering this on a 14th-Street menu. Nominally a "Mussels Cake," this was an incredibly elegant little plate of warm, shelled mussels, sandwiched between two small wafers, with a half-melted scoop of Burrata, a little Parmigiano, and a drizzle of leek sauce. While not a large dish, and perhaps more delightful than delicious, this was not a nine-dollar plate of food; get it now, or pay more later - assuming it can possibly remain on the menu. Lupo Verde has a nice little wines by the glass list, but I went straight for the house white: Pinot Grigio on Tap ($8) from Piemonte, and it was a solid (not perfect, but solid) match with the Torta di Cozze - ideally, you'd want something a bit fuller bodied and bone dry. I recently had a very good spaghetti carbonara at Rose's Luxury, so I thought I'd try Lupo Verde's Carbonara ($14) to compare - there was no comparison. Lupo Verde's is made with homemade paccheri, guanciale, eggs, and Pecorino(-Romano?), and the paccheri is a wonderful vehicle for this classic Roman dish. This was, without question, the finest carbonara I have ever eaten. Like the Mussels Cake, it was a fairly small portion, but it was also a fairly small price - my server came down and almost apologized that the dish, served in a metal bowl, is presented merely warm, not steaming hot, because "that's the way they eat it in Italy," he said. Maybe, but the dish was plenty hot enough for me, and I was entranced by its execution. Lupo Verde's house red is also from Piemonte: Sangiovese on Tap ($8), and while this was a perfectly nice wine, especially for the price, I would counsel having it with a less-delicate, perhaps tomato-based dish, or charcuterie, and I would again recommend a full-bodied, bone-dry white with the Carbonara. Although I was getting somewhat full, I knew I hadn't eaten very much - these were not large courses - and since it was early, I knew I'd be wanting something later. So I got a plate of Three Cheeses ($13) to go which came with slices of bread, walnuts, and apricots. I apologize for failing to note the cheeses, but if you'd like, you can piece the order together yourselves: Lupo Verde is currently offering a total of four DOP (Denominazione Origine Protetta) cheeses, and I got the three that weren't Castelmagno. That was about the most non-helpful thing I've ever written, but the portions were fair, and although the cheeses are stored in plastic wrap, they were in perfect shape (on a similar note, my beer had gone several months past its expiration date, but it, too, was in perfect shape). It is important to recognize that I have now tried only two cooked courses at Lupo Verde, and I am not reviewing the restaurant; I am reviewing the individual meal. And I'm going to come right out and say that these were the two most refined dishes I can ever remember having on 14th Street. Needless to say, coverage is initiated, strongly, in Italic, and Lupo Verde, based on this one meal, is a legitimate contender for the 14th-Street crown. Yeah, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
  19. Papi's Taco Joint On an unseasonably cold spring Sunday, with temps dipping below zero, we engaged in some culinary counterprogramming with street tacos and Coronas for dinner. This was my first visit and and my friends' n-th time there. It's a cute place. Full service bar area as you walk in, a small dining room is adjacent (maybe 20 seats) and a covered patio (even smaller) with heat lamps. Collectively we've only ever tried the tacos, which you order from a small printed menu pad on each table, wherein you check off your selections like a sushi menu. They come in orders of two ($5-8.50). I went with braised short rib (probably their most popular) and the ground beef - both with soft shells, with cilantro, onion, radish, lime wedge. Incredibly flavorful meats and fresh veggies. Complimentary chips/salsa are clearly made in house but the former were cold and otherwise unremarkable. Service is quick and attentive. For < $15, I had a very filling meal plus an adult beverage. Just one order of two + chips may be plenty for lunch. I'll definitely be back. Warning: the habanero-based sauces on the table (one red, one green) should be approached like like Caps fans entering the playoffs (with cautious enthusiasm). Anyone been to either of their sister restaurants: Alexander's Tavern (also in Fells) or Huck's American Craft (Canton)?
  20. Has anyone had an opportunity to visit Fireworks Wood Fired Pizza in Leesburg, Virginia? http://www.fireworkspizza.com/HOME2.htm My family and I have eaten at the restaurant once, and ordered take out twice. On our first visit, the first pie we ordered was the: quattro carni. The second (take out) was the: smokey blue, and the third (take out) was the: fire cracker. Our favorite pie thus far has been the: smokey blue, but felt that the service each time has been poor. During our first visit, the wait staff neglected to remember one-half of the order for my family. As a result causing the food delivery to be staggered. Each time we have called to place take out orders, the phone manners from the wait staff/bartender taking the order has been less than stellar.
  21. It's such a beautiful day, and probably the last one for eating ice cream outside this year, that I decided to use up some of my ice cream allotment on a walk down to Yards Park for an ice cream lunch at Ice Cream Jubilee. I also figured it might make me feel better about my city and neighborhood again. And it did, for a while. I sat outside and ate my banana bourbon caramel scoop in a cup ($3.25...ouch). It had a little granularity/icing, but overall was satisfying ice cream. The spicing was interesting. Maybe cinnamon and nutmeg? The view over the water was beautiful. Then I walked home to the sound of police sirens and a nearby noontime gun robbery. Good mood ruined. Not the ice cream shop's fault. I'll be heading back next summer.
  22. Went to matchbox tonight "on a whim". Try the white pizza with prosciutto. But instead of prosciutto, have anchovies on the side. Mmmmmmmm.
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