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Found 15 results

  1. For some reason, the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant (yes, the place on the same property as the original George W.'s house) has become popular as a special-occasion venue in one of our social circles. And it was only a matter of time before it happened"¦ an invitation to a private party there. I'd eaten at the Mount Vernon Inn only once before, nearly 10 years ago, when it was the only choice at hand (they now have a food court in addition to the more formal restaurant). All I can remember about that meal was that I ordered a pulled-pork sandwich (the memories of it are not fond) and the service was abysmal. But a lot has changed at Mount Vernon since that time, so I was hoping the restaurant had also been upgraded. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. Overall, the food certainly could have been worse, but it was generally flavorless and uninspired. There was also an issue with the salt "“ the prosciutto/asparagus/puff pastry appetizer was too salty even for me (a known salt-fiend) and other things (such as the baked, stuffed tomatoes) were totally devoid of salt. We started the evening with appetizers: The previously-mentioned Prosciutto/Asparagus/Puff pastry Combo; Crab Dip (which had a disturbing viscosity) and House-made Crackers (too thick for my tastes and a bit soggy); Quiche (I think that is was it was supposed to be, but it was surprisingly cold and tasteless); Spanakopita (a crime against phyllo); Beef satay (which I did not try because the meat was cut in too large of pieces to gracefully eat while standing with a drink in one hand and carrying on witty conversation); Bacon-wrapped scallops (which were the best of the lot "“ all that could be tasted was the bacon, not a bad thing in this instance, and the scallops were not over-cooked). From there we went into one of the dining rooms and sat down for their American Traditional Menu I: Warm Goat Cheese & Field Green Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette (subbed last night with a syrupy raspberry vinaigrette); Petite Filet Mignon with Crab Cake (no discernable spicing, with the predominant flavor being that of old crab) or Sliced Duck Breast (the duck was subbed with lamb) with Shrimp Sambal (Sambal? Where? all the shrimp tasted of was raw garlic); Tomato Stuffed with Sautéed Garlic & Spinach (a perfectly baked tomato, but no salt and the spinach mixture was... yes, you guessed it, flavorless); Duchess Potato (possibly piped out and baked when the mansion was new); Homemade Breads and Colonial Cracker (served with stale butter); Fresh Strawberries in a Chocolate Cup with Chambord Cream (so that is what that taste was "“ all I could tell last night was that it was not a flavor found in nature). All washed down with Foxhorn Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay (or, in our case, water). What the meal really suffered from was lack of quality ingredients. With the exception of the tomatoes and the strawberries, nearly everything tasted old and stale (if it tasted of anything at all). The somewhat tragic part was that the food was technically cooked well "“ the meats to the appropriate degree of doneness, the scallops and shrimp were tender, the crab cake had very little filler and so on "“ so there is some talent at work there. Unfortunately, no one seems to be tasting any of the food before it leaves the kitchen (rwtye thinks it is intentional and they striving for innocuous and bland). Luckily, the focus of the evening was the celebration of a milestone in the life of a dear friend. So, regardless of what we were served, it was a very enjoyable evening. Sometimes it is not all about the food.
  2. Cedar Knoll is a little place on the George Washington/Mt Vernon Parkway just a mile or so from Mt. Vernon with a wonderful view of the river. It's famous for being awful regarding everything but the view. The place closed in November to absolutely no fanfare (the Cityzen closure it wasn't!) Anyhow, there was an article in this week's Mt. Vernon Gazette about their plans to reopen in the spring. It's light on details about the new place other than they are remodeling the inside. Hopefully they'll upgrade the food because this place is a goldmine waiting to happen. "Cedar Knoll Inn To Reopen In Mount Vernon" by Jerry FIll on mountvernongazette.com A couple excerpts: However, according to Gant Redmon, attorney /advisor for the owners, it will reopen sometime this spring after a new restaurant lease is signed and renovations are completed. ~~~ According to Redmon the owners are not allowed to enlarge the building, add rooms or add "wings." Also, the second floor can only be used for office space, and not to serve food to guests. Redmon said the community may not be aware that historically at one time it was used as a "Tea Room" which, at the time, presented a dilemma for the county planners. ~~~ "Our current plan is that once a new restaurant operator is selected and renovation plans are agreed to, we will work closely with county officials to turn this into a beautiful facility that will serve quality food for individual diners as well as continue to offer it as a facility to host weddings, community, and business meetings,......
  3. Baltimore Restaurant Week officially kicks off this Friday 1-12 and runs through 1-21. As someone who used work during this madness, please be kind to your the service staff, and honor the reservation. I won't lecture you all on making multiple plans at several restaurants, but please be judicious in making your plans. A great deal of planning both for FOH as well as BOH goes into executing a great restaurant week. Enjoy all that Baltimore has to offer, Hon!! Restaurant Week veteran, kat
  4. It hasn't been posted yet, but should be posted soon. The Mount Vernon Inn is seeking a new manager. They would be in charge of the Inn, Special Events and the food court, as well. I will post more information when I have it. Their head chef is headed off on a new adventure, and I am hoping for the best for him. If anyone is interested, please DM me, and I will get you further details on who to contact. I will post more information as I have it.
  5. Brewers Art's dining room a couple of weeks ago had gone downhill since the last time I went. And the service was excruciatingly slow. It was somewhat early in the evening in the dining room, and there were only two other small parties there, yet it was almost 45 minutes before the first courses arrived. Our waitress must have been going up and downstairs a whole lot - she looked frazzled. The haricot vert and tomato tartare concoction was mushy green beans and diced hothouse tomatoes. My shrimp salad would have been returned even if I'd received it the day before. I requested the lamb cassoulet off the lounge menu, which, granted is not usually done. I had to hunt for the few bits of lamb, and they were dry and tasteless. The black-eye peas weren't bad. I didn't know at the time that there had been a change in the kitchen. Maybe that's why. And if you eat in the bar or the adjacent lounge area, expect a serious amount of cigarette smoke wafting by. It's in a beautiful old townhouse, and it has got awesome home brew. I'd go just for that. And they make really good rosemary garlic fries too.
  6. It's hard to believe I'm beginning a thread for a restaurant that closed over four years ago, but Mike's in Mount Vernon was opened when this website was founded (Apr 15, 2005), so it gets a spot on the "Oldest Restaurants in the Washington, DC Area" thread as it opened in 1927.
  7. Just went to Trinacria on N. Paca Street for the first time and came away quite happy. in many ways it's like a smaller A. Litteri, with slightly better hours, and they offer a selection of cookies either prepackaged or by the pound. We got a selection of these cookies and the rainbow cookie was divine, perfect almond flavor with raspberry, moist and delicious, and my companion looooved the amaretti, which had a wonderful italian flavor and a strong hint of cinnamon too (i love amaretti, but found the cinnamon offputting). we tried two breads, a circular asiago bread, that was just ok, and an excellent rosemary foccacia. and the tre funghi ravioli, from the frozen selection, were great--the filling was strongly flavored mushrooms mixed with a creamy cheese, with a good pasta to filling ratio.
  8. My local Thai place deserves its own thread. I go in about once a week, & get the same lunch special-chicken ka pow, w/ tom yum kai (spicy chicken soup) & a small spring roll-$6.50. The food has always been good, but prior to the roof collapse & renovation, the atmosphere was very diner/luncheonette-white linoleum, bright lights, soda cooler. Now it's painted a nice pumpkin color, has comfy booths & tables, & has a lovely little bar. It's never too crowded, which, is a good thing, but I'd love for them to have more business (I'm selfish, I want them to succeed, so I can have my thai food). I didn't feel I should comment, because I get the same thing over & over, but tonight I got takeout-larb chicken, shrimp cashew, & pad ped talay (shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels in spicy chili/basil sauce). I asked for the larb & pad ped talay to be hot & wow! this is the spiciest larb I've ever had, & delicious! Pad ped talay is equally spicy, I could eat this all day long, as long as I had lots of rice...a frosty Franziskaner weissbier for me, pineapple Fanta for the kids (they like it milder, hence the cashew shrimp), & we're all happy, & ready to wrangle puppies all night long. I realize I need to quit complaining about where I live-I have Thai Nakorn & El Paso right around the corner & for honorable mention-Mamma's Kitchen, Viet House, Chef Huang's (lunch buffet), Restaurant Cosmopolitan (cevapcici) . Still untried-Su Pollo for Peruvian chicken & Alexandria Grill Bread & Kabob...it's not like I'm starving down here, though we have our share of dismal chains...
  9. Went to Akbar late in December with friends. It's not the best of the best Indian place, and it is all the way out in suburbia (Columbia) on a road that is often congested and not terribly close to residential housing, but still. It is pretty good on the actual food front. It's a somewhat tired dining room, and at times the service can be slow, but the food satisfies the craving for pretty good Indian if you happen to be in Columbia. Worth a sample to see what you think. Never tried them for carryout. According to their website, they have a location in Baltimore....who knew?
  10. I was bitter when my cousin transferred from a hospital in the Little Korea/Eden Center corner of the earth and moved to some corner of Alexandria/Mt. Vernon that as far as I know has little to offer in the way of dinner, but I suppose her spine is more important than my stomach. At any rate, any help you can provide in terms of casual sit-down and decent carry-out will be helpful in helping me get my priorities back in order and making the vigils of the various visiting relatives (adventurous eaters, all) more tolerable. Note that, even though it is located on Mt. Vernon Avenue, Cheesetique (which might be a little fancy for these purposes) is about 20 minutes away from Inova Mt. Vernon, which is near Ft. Hunt Park. On the other hand, the quickest route from DC to the hospital seems to be down rout 1 through or near Del Ray and Old Town, so any quick pick-up spots with decent parking in those areas will be appreciated, as well. Thanks. She is expected to be OK, by the way.
  11. I've had Thai at a few places in Baltimore, this place having supposedly the best reputation of the bunch. While it was a little better than other places, it is still lacking compared to even the most middling of places in DC. Its not bad per say, but the giant stalks of broccoli in dishes and flavor wanting Tom Yum soup won't have me running back. Is there any decent Thai in Baltimore?
  12. Tribeca Coffee Roasters is a small coffee shop just down the street from Brewers Art that puts out high quality coffee. They roast on-site (!), serve cold brew iced coffee (!), have free wifi, and would be mobbed if they were in DC. But they aren't, so if you have a long wait at Penn Station, I'd take the five minute walk down to Tribeca Coffee Roasters.
  13. Hybla Valley Vet Hospital 7627 Richmond Highway Alexandria, Virginia 22306 (703) 765-9292 For many of us, our pets are part of our family, in fact we may like them better than some members of our family . So choosing a good vet is very important. Ten years ago when we adopted our dog Sophie from the DC Animal Shelter on NY Ave, we did our research and discovered Hybla Valley Veterinary Hospital. Not only are the doctors dedicated and caring professionals, they are affordable. The hospital was originally opened by Dr. E. J. Schrenzel in 1948. It is now run by his daughter Dr. Deborah Schrenzel. The two vets that see patients are Dr. Souri and Dr. Hong. Over the years, we have taken Sophie there more times than we can count. Anything from a nail trim to teeth cleaning to minor surgery and in-house lab work is all done with the utmost care and respect for the pets. The staff know many of their four-legged clients by name and you can tell they truly love the work they do. In addition to the veterinary services, they offer kenneling and you can get most of your pets medications filled. They also stock most of the Hills pet food varieties, both canned and dry. And, it's all the most affordable around. We've been very pleased with the care they have given us and Sophie over the years and have recommended them to friends and neighbors and now to you all on this board. Barbara Rice
  14. Friends had a Groupon for this restaurant and we joined them yesterday for dinner. My attempts to find out about the restaurant in advance from the usual channels did not yield much information, except that people's reviews were rather mixed. (One notably consistent positive comment was that people find their daily lunch buffet to be a good deal.) I'm creating a thread because there isn't one, not because I would encourage people to go there; nor I would tell people not to go there. Mixed. Seriously mixed. They had a special Groupon menu that they brought out, and the Groupon included 2 apps, 4 entrees, and 2 desserts. We had 5 (and then 6) people, so it was a little tricky. We asked for the full menu too. The gentleman who had seated us was our waiter and one of very few employees we saw. He was good about trying to get us the best deal possible for our meal, almost too attentive. This actually took quite a long time (and made the lags between water refills later--by other employees--seem odd). He really went all out, though. The naan (which we had to remind them to bring out) was very good, as were the papadum (which we got two servings of) and the relishes. "Spicy" was not very spicy. I imagine mild would be pretty bland. I had spicy saag gosht which had a bit of a kick but that was it. I also had some of the "medium" Tandoori chicken and, again, a little kick. I enjoyed all the food I ate. We had a variety of apps, including kabobs and chicken and vegetable pakora. We also tried chicken biryani, lamb korma and a few other things. For dessert we got the mango ice cream another table recommended. They were the only table there when we arrived. It reminded me of the Creamsicles of my childhood. Mango lassi is also listed on the dessert menu, but my husband drank it with his meal and enjoyed it. It was a good spread for a bunch of people. The service was spotty but wanted to be good. The decor needs a major overhaul. Mixed. If you're walking by and want food, sure, stop in. Edited to add a link to their web site and a couple of other things I forgot.
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