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  1. Who else is excited for some Jersey-style pizza? Tweet from @AllPurposeDC leading to this article: "Where to Eat in 2016" by Jed Portman on gardenandgun.com (featuring a paragraph about All Purpose).
  2. Urban BBQ in Rockville opend back up on Tuesday, Sept. 6. The place has expanded, there are now tables and chairs instead of just the stools. They now serve sodas from the fountain (don't worry, they still have the great root beer), have a beer and wine license, and have three TVs. When I was in there one was on the Food Network, one on CNN, and one on the game. The food is just as good as ever. (I just had to get some of the dirty wings, I'd been jonesing for them ever since they closed for renovation.) Stop by, I'm sure Lee and Dave would be glad to see you.
  3. 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
  4. I had read about this restaurant in NoVA Magazine. Since the menu didn't look more interesting than the decor, I had no intention of visiting. However, today is the second day in a row that I showed up after 11 and was confronted with a "closed" sign in the door of Caribbean Corner. So I walked around a bit to look for a place for lunch. I noticed right next to Caribbean Corner is Le Mediterranean, Driss Zahidi's new joint - open but empty. Another door down is Sisters Thai. I ordered a lunch special of stir fried veggie & tofu with basil, which came with spring rolls. I added chicken curry roti to flesh out my lunch. The spring rolls were thin and crispy, filled with a little cabbage and carrots. In general I find them so-so, and the version here is typical of what I've found. The chicken curry had nice flavor but the curry was too salty; however, the rotis are buttery and light (better than Elephant Jump). I did like the small plate of stir-fried veggies - there was discernable heat in the dish without any prompting on my part. There is a board of Thai items with no translation. I'll post a picture later, maybe Fishinnards can translate!
  5. Surprised there isn't a thread for this place yet. It has, for my money, the best Ethiopian food in Shaw/U Street. Wonderful veggie platters, plus delicious kitfo and doro wat. Note that they don't have fuul or chicken tibs though (just beef and lamb). Great takeout too; tons of food at great prices. Anyway, I'm posting because of this exciting, yet concerning article. Chercher is expanding, which is great, but the article contains a tidbit that I desperately hope will turn out not to be the case: ""Abebe says he’s also started work on a 60-seat Columbia Heights location at 3608 14th Street NW that’s scheduled to open in February. That Chercher, the smallest of the bunch, will house a large kitchen in the back where staffers will prepare and cook all of the food for the entire chain. Abebe says he’s installing a central kitchen, in part, to maintain quality control across the brand. "Ethiopian Chain Chercher Plots Massive Area Expansion" by Lenore Adkins on dc.eater.com (*) “The problem is … they don’t cook the same,” Abebe told Eater DC. “Because why does it take a while to cook a stew, like chicken stew long hours? So we (will) cook in one place so everywhere people go, they get the same kind of food.”" They're going to make all the food in Columbia Heights and then, what, reheat it? This sounds like a no-good, very bad plan.
  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. A coworker is touting the quality of Vace's pizza, saying it's the best slice in the city. Having never been, and not seeing a thread for it here, I ask for your opinions. There's also a Bethesda location. http://www.vaceitaliandeli.com/ 3315 Connecticutt Avenue (202) 363-1999 (Cleveland Park) 4705 Miller Avenue (301) 654-6367 (Bethesda)
  8. Federal Donuts is the doughnut, coffee, and fried chicken place from chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner, Steven Cook (Zahav, Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Percy Street Barbecue). Federal has four locations, plus a stand in Citizen's Bank Park. We went to the Center City location and only got the doughnuts, but they were excellent. Federal only serves cake doughnuts, and this location had six rotating varieties of pre-made "fancy donuts" and three sugar coated ones that were cooked to order (or, at least, served hot). All of the doughnuts except the chocolate use the same batter, so the primary difference is the topping/coating. Here's a story about the chicken, which also talks a little more about the doughnuts.
  9. Guess some of you will be headed down my way now. http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2013/02/14/broker-new-fredericksburg-restaurant-likely-to-draw-from-no-va/
  10. I've been watching progress on this place for the last few months; PoP reports today that it is opening this week. Menu looks to be strictly standard American Thai offerings, but here's hoping that it will be tasty and fresh (good pad thai is good pad thai). They will be takeout only until they receive a zoning change to operate as a sit down joint. I'm certainly not expecting Taw-like levels of quality or deliciousness, but if they serve up decent Thai it'll be a hell of a lot more convenient! Good to see more options around my 'hood.
  11. Hey everyone--I hope you'll forgive this little plug for a friend of mine. I live in Columbia Heights and can attest that new blood is sorely needed over there, as our dining options are pretty limited. James O'Brien (former owner of funky-but-defunct music venue Staccato in Adams Morgan) has changed venue and flavor. His new venture will focus on brick oven pizza and other cafe fare at the corner of Park Road and 11th St. NW in Columbia Heights, near the Tivoli and the new Giant. The new place is called RedRocks and is scheduled to open in February. Besides brick oven pies at a reasonable price-point, RedRocks will also feature a full bar with tasty beer (look for some good Belgians), a brunch menu, and outdoor patio seating.
  12. I second what Dean said. I started to eat the worst sausage I have ever put in my mouth at the Columbia location. It reminded me why I have said many times that, just because someone knows how to smoke meat it does not mean they know how to make sausage. The skill-sets have nothing in common, yet more often than not the barbecue places that say they make their own sausage almost always disappoint. (I'm looking at you, Monk's BBQ).
  13. I was surprised to not see a thread for Joe's Pasta and Pizza. After all its been around for decades in various locations; the North Arlington and Vienna locations remain. Its simply a mainstay as a neighborhood restaurant. Admittedly I know or more properly knew and was friendly with Joe. So I'm a fan of the restaurateur and his restaurants. Quality of food? Well even as I ate at the different locations quite a lot, I'd never call it the best quality. I would call it great value and friendly, and a perfect place for inexpensive Italian comfort food. My personal favorite were always the buffets, and my recent trip took me back there. Do you want to fill up on Italian comfort food? Go to Joe's. Eat up. In fact, pig out if you can. Then nap for the rest of the day and be glad you didn't have to cook. For my tastes the buffet and the roasted chicken within it were always the highlights. Now for many many many others in the areas where they have been ( North Arlington, Vienna, formerly Fairfax, Gaithersburg, and Bailey's) I've known its always been both a dependable takeout option, and its an absolutely great place for families, kids and groups. The pizza? Well as much as I liked Joe, it was never my favorite. But the buffet. Had it again recently. It still is a great deal. In my book emphasize the roast chicken and add some other items....and its a terrific way to fill your tummy with Italian comfort food and leave the cooking to Joe et al.
  14. I've kept this quiet for weeks out of professional courtesy, but you'll hear about it very soon anyway, so you may as well hear it here first. Breaking News: Brian Zipin will be GM (and a partner) of Medium Rare, a sub-$20 American-style steak frites restaurant opening in late February in the old Yanni's space. Behind the operation? Mark Bucher of BGR was one of the creators, and none other than Michel Richard was (quietly) involved with developing sauces and desserts, but Brian and Tom Gregg (past President of Cuisine Solutions) are involved as non-silent partners. Cheers, Rocks PS Don't ever underestimate Michael Landrum - the guy gets around. But I've been told ... no sous vide (and I asked "are you sure? about ten times). So you weren't quite right, Michael!
  15. I go to A&J in Annandale on a sporadic basis, essentially going either when I suddenly get a craving for their stuff, or if I happen to be in the neighborhood, which is rare. But I was there this weekend with my partner's Chinese teacher for lunch, and we wound up talking about something I had noticed for some time--with one exception, any non-Chinese there were accompanied by Chinese people. I am not sure whether this is because of the location, or because the menu is a bit restricted, or some other reason, but there is really no reason for "foreigners" not to go here, since the food is fantastic. For those not in the know, A&J is a Taiwan-based chain, called "Ban Mu Yuan" in Chinese (means half-acre field) with locations all over Taiwan, Beijing, California, Rockville and Annandale. They are specialists in "small dishes", such as dumplings, noodles, vegetable dishes, etc, though they also have more substantial fare, like pork ribs, fried chicken and other meats with rice. It's all very authentic, and on weekends you can even get Chinese breakfast foods like soy milk and "you tiao" (fried dough sticks). Prices are very good, too, though be warned that they only take cash.
  16. I got takeout from the fairly new Brgz hamburger place across from Eastern Market last night. The fries were thin, crispy, and good. The burger I got was okay. The dipping sauce ("spicy ranch") that came along with what I ordered was not good. It was watery thin and tasted more of sour than spicy or ranch. The concept behind the restaurant is that the "toppings" are mixed into the meat, so they are not actually toppings. It put me in mind of the mix-in ice cream places that used to be popular (or maybe still are?). Before embarking on my visit, my tiny poll of two people I know who had eaten there resulted in one person who thought the food was fine but too expensive for what it is and the other absolutely HATED the concept. This is not the place for someone who wants bacon and cheese on top of the burger. I got the signature Buffalo Burger, which included the following: Celery, Carrots, Scallions, Blue Cheese, and Buffalo Seasoning. I swear there were small bits of pickle in this burger. Either than or something in the seasoning quick pickles the celery bits or scallions. I couldn't figure it out because I knew it didn't have pickles listed, but something sure tasted like tiny pieces of pickle. In addition to the 8 signature burgers, they also have a build your own option. All the burgers are $9. I can see this being a good place to go to if some people want vegetarian or non-red meat options. In addition to beef (which I got), they have chicken and impossible burgers. So if you want bacon mixed into your vegetarian burger, it appears you can do that. The concept worked okay for me. I didn't love it and didn't hate it. The only outright bad thing was the dipping sauce. The price could have been lower, but it wasn't obscenely expensive. I'd stop by for the $4 fries again.
  17. Chef Jamie Leeds had left 15 Ria a month ago. Her own, Hank's Oyster Bar, is slated to open on May 15th. It's a cute bistro-looking place in the corner of 17th and Q Streets. I'll be trying it real soon. Wishing her well"¦.
  18. 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).
  19. Though we were generally operating in the Fish Tales-type space, Rosenfeld's Jewish Deli was easily the best meal had this week. Two eggs any style (5.95) were perfectly over-easy with a chewy, tangy, dense bagel and potato latkes that contrasted a crisp exterior with fluffy interior. Sit outside in the morning and watch the Coastal Highway traffic slowly come to life with sea breezes to accompany--this may be the most comfortable and sated you will be all day. I went back two mornings later, wanting to leave the City on a high note, had a two eggs bagel sandwich (5.95 + 1.00 for Swiss cheese), which performed as well. Coffee came from a very industrial-looking burner but was of pleasantly moderate strength and temperature. The person behind the counter was warm, cared about the business she was getting, and had none of the indifference seen at nearly every other establishment visited.
  20. Rounding the corner after a very satisfying meal at Mama Chuy the other day (go!) I saw Salt and Pepper Grill, a new Pakistani/Indian place on Georgia Ave right across the street from Howard. Has anyone been? Any reports? The menu is pretty typical Indian restaurant fare, but there are a few things I'm looking forward to trying like lamb karahi and and a few goat dishes. Too bad they don't have halim or other Pakistani specialties. The address is 2632 Georgia Ave, phone 202-588-0666. Edited to add: first attempt to use this phone number has not been successful as it's been busy all night, but that's what's printed on the menu.
  21. Rocklands is opening a new location in Wintergreen Plaza on Rockville Pike. Any reason for me to get excited about this, or should we continue to get our 'cue from Urban? The only Rocklands we're tried was the Glover Park location and that was at least 7-8 years ago. I remember nothing about the meat, but their corn salad was pretty good. The new Rocklands would be about 3 minutes from our house, rather than a trek down the Pike.
  22. Local chain El Tio Tex-Mex Grill expanding where the former Great Falls Tavern (closed), then more recently Triny's Mexican restaurant existed, but recently also closed. This will be their 4th location and they are working on a refresh/remodel before opening in the near future. Location is excellent at the corner of Georgetown Pike (Rte 193) and Walker Road.
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