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  1. Last weekend, after a truly frustrating afternoon at Lowes, we finally got around to checking out Samantha's (according to the Post's website, it does have the apostrophe). We found it only by memory and luck ("I think it's on University"). It has a nice casual, family-friendly vibe. We were starving, and demolished the salsa and chips. The salsa was pretty good-- it's thicker than most (not too drippy or runny). We started with the chicken tamales (billed as a Salvadoran "treat") and the ceviche. I thought the chicken in the tamales was a bit dry, but I think almost all chicken is dry (excep
  2. Yeah, both good choices. I've worked in Falls Church (just over the line) for 14 years so I know both of those places well. Caribbean Grill has OUTSTANDING side dishes -- their yuca is superb, and their plantains melt in your mouth. While their chicken is very good, I've often just gotten side dishes for lunch. This was actually my first time trying any of the eateries in Lee-Harrison (other than Dogma for my pups). Pietanza looks interesting too, but also a bit pricy. Then there's Sushi-Zen. Any 411 on either of those? I'm guessing "Oriental Gourmet" is as bad as you'd expect from the name?
  3. With a tittle like that, maybe you are expecting tuxedo shirted waiters and mariachi music in the background {ala Samanthas) and you oculdn't be more wrong. First off, instead of a brightly painted home like interior, the place is brightly lit in the middle of an Asian owned Mercato in a strip mall on Ennalls Ave in Wheaton {even thought the card insists on Ennalls Eve!}. The staff is a varied roster of very friendly, if English limited Latina's usually presided over by one of the owners. The menu, up until the printing of trifold cards with the menu printed on both sides, consisted of bad pic
  4. Late last week the following message was posted to our U-Street area email group: Some questions were answered at last night's ANC1B meeting on the application for a new restaurant at 1825 14th Street. The placard described the restaurant as "serving Mediterranean fusion cuisine with a focus on Latin and Asian Tapas." At last night's meeting attorney Andrew Kline disclosed that the restauranteur is Richard Sandoval and the chef is Kazuhiro Okochi. Here are links to explore on each of these partners: Richard Sandoval: www.modernmexican.com Kazuhiro Okochi: www.kazsushibistro.com Sa
  5. So I need to find a new chicken place now that we have moved... I also would like to find a place for Saltenas and Empanadas. (I really miss being close to Caribbean Grill, it was one of my favorites, we also had a Crisp and Juicy right there.) I don't mind going down Route 1 a bit, as that can be on Hubby's way home. I have been to Edy's at Bailey's before, and it's fine, but not special to me and can be crowded to get in and out of that shopping center. I have been to the chicken place by David's Car Wash, again not bad, and much easier to get in and out of. Where do you Alexandria
  6. I haven't posted much recently because I haven't had many meals that have been inspiring one way or the other. That changed last night. I went to Benito's Place by myself and had a delightful experience. The mole guerrero was a brilliant ruby red, with incredible depth and a lovely kick, accompanied by beans, rice and fresh tortillas. The pupusas were gooey and much lighter than most pupusas I've had in the area, which I've found to be mealy and dense. Service was lovely, space was quiet and friendly. All for $20 + tip. Highly recommended on a cold winter night or, really, any night.
  7. My husband and I wanted to grab an early dinner around 6:15 pm Saturday to make up for the anniversary dinner we had to cancel earlier in the week (it's a long story that involves a concussion - and said concussion is making husband very sleepy, hence the early dinner). We figured it should be no issue showing up at Himitsu at 6:15 to grab two seats either at the bar or a table. I figured that most people wouldn't be eating or even out yet on a Saturday at 6. Wow. I was wrong. The wait was over 2 hours long when we arrived so we decided to head elsewhere and got in the car to try our
  8. A friend just wrote and asked for the best Ceviche in the DC area - I had to think about this for a moment, but my guess was China Chilcano - can anyone come up with other ideas? I thought about Fiola Mare, but didn't see anything on their online menu. One other question: I tend to spell this "Ceviche," but have seen numerous spellings of "Seviche" - what are the roots of these variants?
  9. I first tried out Seoul Food's offerings at the DC Grey Market a few months back. They're now a full-blown food truck and received a nice writeup in yesterday's Good to Go column. They make their way to Courthouse once every week or two, and Rosslyn, Clarendon, and Ballston are among their regular stops. So far I've tried a couple of different dishes and find that they are tasty, filling, and a pretty good value. As the article notes, the bibimbap is a little different than the usual restaurant version, with shredded fresh carrots and radishes and salad greens included. The beef and the tof
  10. Caribbean Grill is on of our go-to take out places (although there are a few tables inside). It is on Lee Hwy at the intersection with George Mason Rd. in the same shopping center as Saran. (You know the place that is really difficult to get in and out of) The chicken while very good, just isn't as good as El Pollo Rico; however, the sides more than make up for difference in chicken seasoning. I think the Cuban rice is very good. Not overly spiced, but very comforting. They have fried, baked and stewed yucca. The fried is my favorite. Nice texture that stands up against the ride back home eve
  11. I ate dinner last weekend at Sin Fronteras. My Mother and her SO has been raving about the place, so I was glad to get to check it out. The parking lot of this place was packed, which has to be a good sign. My Mom really likes the Margarita Salmon. She told me to get the Chile En Nogoda which is- A toasty poblano pepper, filled with seasoned ground brisket beef combined with raisins and sweet plantains, topped with our delicious, homemade cold creamy Nogada Sauce served with white rice. It was delicious- it had a really good mix of flavors and was savory, but fresh. I thought the combi
  12. I will accept your thanks in advance as I am now full and can't breath. I caught wind of this place on the cesspool that is Fairfax Underground and decided to check it out on my way back from DC today. The old Fairfax institution Arthur Treacher''s has gone the way of the dinosaur. Gone are the days of frozen deep fried fish and chips. Instead lets say hello to the days of fresh deep fried fish and chips. I showed up at 1 this afternoon and there were about 5 tables filled. Since this was a scouting mission, I jumped on the grenade and over-ordered. See the things I do for this comm
  13. Yes the general consensus here is that Banana Cafe on Captiol Hill is crap...so why start a thread you ask, because there is new found proof that even crappy restaurants can produce a good dish and I have found that dish at Banana Cafe: The plantain quesadilla! The tortilla was perfectly golden brown and crisp, the plantains meltingly soft and delicious...a light smear of sour cream set it all off. Conversely the stuffed yuca with chorizo, carrots and olives off the "tapas" menu was a disgusting mess.
  14. Ah, yes, I've been to their food truck - they had a tasty Chicken Milanese. I even found a couple of pictures - I'm not 100% sure this is them, but I'm 90% sure (there were two food trucks that parked in that shopping center, but I'm pretty sure La Chiquita furnished these, or at least one of them).
  15. I'm not sure when Sol y Mar closed, but Gisele's Creole Cuisine, a Haitian place, has apparently opened in the Royal Mile space per Robert Dyer's blog.
  16. Warren Rojas is one of our area's most underrated restaurant critics. He first wrote about La Caraqueña here, in the October issue of Northern Virginia magazine. Take a look at those pictures of the arepas. Todd Kliman than picked up on it in Washingtonian here, and between the two positive reviews, I felt negligent for not having tried it myself. La Caraqueña has a bright new sign outside, but sits in the parking lot of what can only be called a fleabag motel. As I drove into the parking lot, I said out loud to myself, "God this place is a dump." That impression went away the moment
  17. Walked by last night to what looked like a fully kitted-out restaurant in a cute space; was told it will be opening next week. http://tabledc.com/about/ http://www.popville.com/2012/10/new-restaurant-from-chef-frederik-de-pue-table-coming-to-shaw-looking-to-open-nov-3rd/
  18. I've been driving down Georgetown Pike for twenty years or so, and don't ever remember Kabob Place not being in downtown Great Falls, although it has changed ownership fairly recently. It's now operated, I believe, by the Ternisky family (if you've ever come across a pediatric dentist named Ternisky in Fairfax County, that's the father). These folks also own Romantica Pizzeria next door, and I suspect they might have taken control of Kabob Place from the previous owners, who were Persian, due to its proximity. Kabob Place used to be extremely expensive for what it was - in fact, I believe
  19. My son says I need to watch 'Narcos', & I tried Arepas Capitol down in Woodbridge & it was awesome-fresh & delicious. My only experience was years ago at La Caraquena, & this topped it! --- I lucked out again yesterday- I had to meet a friend down in Woodbridge (she lives in Montclair) & I picked Arepas Capitol off of Yelp. It was awesome, & I don't understand why it was not packed at lunchtime yesterday. Next to BJ's, small storefront- I ordered the Reina pepiada (chicken salad w/ avocado) arepa & the empanada pabellon (shredded beef, cheese, plantai
  20. Arepas Pues joined the Downtown Silver Spring dining scene in April, replacing a Quiznos Sub on Fenton Street (next to Sushi Jin). After seeing some online reviews that seemed to show inconsistencies in both food and service, we decided to give them some time to iron out the kinks before we visited for the first time. Today, we gave in and decided to stop in for lunch. We stopped in during the middle of a quite busy lunch service. In addition to several groups and couples dining in, there was quite a bit of takeout orders being picked up. A good sign. Tajadas: Fried sweet planta
  21. First, let me say that there are two El Rancho restaurants in Northern Virginia: One in Backlick Plaza in Springfield, and a second on Columbia Pike in South Arlington. They used to be under the same umbrella, but as you can see, that is no longer the case: The website for the South Arlington restaurant is here, and the website for the Springfield restaurant is here. To put into perspective just how similar the two restaurants are, the South Arlington restaurant still uses a menu that refers to Springfield's website - the ownership change must be fairly recent. Anyway, this thread is abou
  22. Just across from the Rockville metro station sits this little hole in the wall. I've now had a few lunches here and can give it a hearty thumbs up for real Mexican in the MoCo burbs. The open kitchen highlights a grill and rotisserie sitting over a well stoked wood fire. You're choices are well and wisely limited to tacos, burritos, quesadillas and soup. Beef or Chicken. Throw in the rotisserie chicken and that's about it. Add the typical sides in humungous portion and away you go. Have a juice that tastes like it may actually have seen the fruit it used to belong to in the last couple of day
  23. Just as an FYI the brothers who were the original GM and cook at Fast Gourmet, Manu and Nacho, have not been affiliated with the spot for a while. They have split from their partners at FG and are now solely at the new place on 19th and M NW, called TakEatEasy. Unfortunate name aside, the sandwiches that everyone raved about for a while (then wondered why they dropped off in quality/consistency a few months later when the brothers left) are now located there. TakEatEasy opens today with a work in progress menu of salads and sandwiches at lunch, moving into tapas and drinks at happy hou
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