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  1. from their e-mail this morning: Dogfish Head Alehouse 800 West Diamond Ave. Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 301-963-4847 301-963-5231 (F) Exit 10 off of Route 270, turn right at light, across from NIST main gate. We are currently planning for an October grand opening - so stay tuned for all the details!!!!
  2. Tried out the newish Duke's Grocery today for lunch over in Dupont on 17th street. First a few odd things: 1) it is not much of a grocery - they have a few baskets of produce for sale, but it is really a restaurant, 2) its menu consists solely of sandwiches, a few sides and a bar menu - but for now they do not offer carry out sandwiches (concerns about too long of a wait when they have a tiny open kitchen and basically one (maybe 2 sometimes cooks), 3) it looks like it'd be a place for counter service, but they have bartenders and waiter?/food runners so it is unclear whether tipping is expected. I sat at the bar where you order on the ground floor when you enter - but they have an upstairs with tables and some other ledges and stools around on the first floor too. Overall, I think they are still trying to figure out what their concept really is. Nevertheless, the bar is nice and 2 young bartenders were very friendly and nice explaining the menu and chatting. Now onto the food. So the price/value is great here. All of the amply portioned sandwiches are just under $10 with tax included and despite my gluttony of finishing my whole Brick Lane Salt Beef monster, it easily could be shared by 2 people. The other couple of sandwiches I saw come out were equally well-made, fresh in the kitchen using mostly homemade ingredients in small batches and likewise large. The sandwiches come on a variety of breads from Lyon Bakery including rye, ciabatta, etc. I've never been to the UK nor had Salt Beef but it was described as less salty corned beef. It had thick cut soft white bread that was good and then piled high large chunks of tender beef (not melt in your mouth, but soft). The sandwich is slathered with sinus-cleansing Colman Mustard (think horseradish or chinese spicy mustard without the heat) and house made dill pickles with bit of onion laced within. I said next time I'd get the sandwich with less mustard and more of the good pickles. The sandwich was good and definitely well made with quality ingredients - but I think the mustard overwhelmed the somewhat lightly seasoned meat. Probably go back and get something else or maybe the salt beef on rye with sauerkraut and dilled mustard (Ruby on Rye). Besides these 2 options there are several pork ones, a chicken salad, and a vegetarian aubergine/eggplant sandwich - but check/call before you go if you want something particular as most of the menu changes according to the staff.
  3. Being new to donrockwell.com I decided to look around and see what I could find about the places in my neighborhood. I was a little surprised that there were not any posts about Sixth Engine even though they've been open for over three years now. Perhaps that's because it wallows in mediocrity. Don't get me wrong, they've always had a consistently good brunch and well cooked burgers. The problem for me is that much of the rest of the menu has always been a little 'heavy handed' when it comes to ingredients and sauces. Thankfully, the chef who opened the place, Paul Madrid, has left and things are starting to get better. Additions like the arugula salad and roasted cauliflower with "Ling Sauce", which is very much a sweeter General Tso's sauce, have injected life back into the menu. Hopefully they will continue down this path. The bar program, on the other hand, came flying out of the gate and hasn't lost its momentum. Draft beers rotate regularly to highlight the best of the season and the bartenders take pride in not only making the drinks, but also the ingredients, creating custom shrubs and tonics to use in their creations. While I realize the latter can be found at craft cocktail bars all over the city, it's surprising to find in a place that has the vibe of a glorified TGI Fridays. The layout is more on par with the food than the bar program. Do not go there if you're looking for a quiet evening. The bar bleeds into the downstairs dining area and with TVs in both, it can quickly become a situation where you have to yell at the person across the table from you in order for them to hear you easily. The beautiful upstairs dining room has exposed brick walls and hardwood floors that echo all of the activity in the kitchen that adjoins it. Surprisingly the outdoor patio is the least noisy of the three even with the traffic on Mass Ave just a few feet away. There are a plethora of tables and the service is good. The sun us really the only enemy. During happy hour you're fine and in the shade while the sun scorches Philos' patio across the street. During brunch though you are in the sun's crosshairs and it will roast you at your table even with umbrellas in place to help prevent that. At the end of the day Sixth Engine is a nice place to get a drink and maybe have something to eat if it speaks to you. Otherwise, have a few drinks and walk around the corner to Wise Guy Pizza and score a slice of pie.
  4. I thought there was a thread for this restaurant but I can't find one. I stopped in this evening and got a Troegs DreamWeaver beer and a small plate. The food was pork and veal meatballs cabbage all'Amatriciana. The vinegar on the raw cabbage made the whole thing work super well. Wow, that was good. It was $13. (Beer was $7.) There were maybe 5 meatballs, but it was enough for me and what I wanted. I've heard mixed things about this place, but I think the most critical comments were about the bourbon selection, which is not something about which I claim any expertise. The meatballs and cabbage were awesome.
  5. Andy Hayler's Reviews I'd second Harwood Arms - it's a bit of a haul though from Leicester Sq - probably about 40 minutes.
  6. This place is on Eutaw Street, near the Edgar Allen Poe House and the UMD Medical center. We had dinner there last night. If you go to their web site (http://www.alewifebaltimore.com/), the brief slide show gives you a good idea of what it's like inside -- dark, lots of wood surfaces. It's in an old bank building. I'm not an expert on architecture, but the outside says "Greek revival" to me. The inside features one small interior room, not pictured in the slide show, that may have been the vault, complete with steel door. They have a huge selection of beers, both on tap and in bottles. If you can't find anything you like, then you just don't like beer. They also offer cocktails and wine. I wasn't in the mood for beer last night, so I enjoyed a stiff Manhattan and a serviceable glass of pinot noir. Both of my dining companions branched out and tried a couple drafts they'd never tasted before. For food, daughter and I had the same thing, starting with the smoked tomato soup, which was good, and the Cajun pot pie, which was just OK. It was at least 90% rice, with little evidence of the promised andouille, crawfish, crab, shrimp and chicken, and while pleasantly warming on chilly evening, the flavor was largely one-note (cayenne). My SO had a black bean burger with fries, which she liked well enough. Service was pleasant and efficient on an evening when the front room consisted of 5 or 6 tables and a few customers at the long bar, such that the lone waiter was easily able to see to everyone's needs. It's likely we will return to try some other items on the menu and explore the beer list.
  7. I'm not sure how often Nanny's used to have music, but they generally have live music on Saturday nights these days.
  8. Blackthorne Inn (about 2 miles west of Upperville on Rt 50) is a great place. Larger bar/pub than the Hunters Head but still quaint. Irish Nachos.....
  9. "A Brit would say that we’re “Bang On” – excellent, just right." This quote comes from the 2003 annual report of the Canadian company that owns Elephant and Castle pubs, one of which looks like it's about ready to open at Pennsylvania and 12th, NW, in the old TGI Fridays space. (If it hasn't already. I walked by about 2 weeks ago and it looked close.) "We completed a strategic review of the brand in early 2003 and used this to design and implement a series of brand enhancements, ranging from the look of the menu to the staff uniforms. We are proud to offer timeless pub comfort – but timeless certainly doesn’t mean static – and we must continue to be ‘Bang On,’ relevant to an increasingly sophisticated and demanding guest base." I wonder if their servers will need to wear "flair?" Red phone boxes and photos of the queen do not make a great pub. And I'd sooner be tied to a maple tree and molested with moose antlers if I thought this place would serve ANYTHING close to a cask conditioned ale LIKE THEY DO IN AUTHENTIC BRITISH PUBS! "We will continue to evolve the brand to not only retain our current guest base, but to attract new guests. We need to remain “Bang On”, fresh and competitive. It will be our goal to maintain and build upon our status as the premier authentic British pub concept in North America." So they're going to be like Sine and Bennigans...only British! It's bad enough that Americans have to Disney-fy everything and send it all over the world. Now the Canadians are doing it? Actually, it serves us right to get it sent right back at us. /rant
  10. I visited McKeever's yesterday evening and discovered that, unfortunately, they are closing at the end of June. Since I moved out of their neighborhood a few years ago, my vists have been limited to the occasional stop-by to wait out traffic on my way home from work down the GW Parkway, but I think it is still sad to lose yet another neighborhood institution.
  11. In PA for a wedding this weekend. Looked at us a bit funny as 3 families with kids strolled into a pub for brunch, but frankly not much else was open or looked good...plus all the parents needed a beer. Great draft list. I had a local bitters on cask (Yards ESA, I think). Po-boys were tasty and filling, and the fried green tomato BLT with Benton's bacon hit the hangover helper high points. Definitely a solid brunch/lunch option if you're in that neck of the woods.
  12. I've walked by this place a half-dozen times now and finally looked it up. According to their website, McGinty's: Has anyone been there? ETA: They are featuring a U2 cover band in November. I can't decide whether that's amusing or appalling.
  13. I was about to post a comment with regard to Portner's fish and chips yesterday on the Gordon Biersch thread, but I figured it would be off topic (there is no "where do you go for good fish and chips thread"). But yes, the fish and chips at Portner's are good. I think they use halibut and I think they use a beer batter.
  14. Not surprised at the response from O'Faolain's - they're good people. It's not in Ashburn though, it's in Sterling.
  15. I've heard that the pizza menu at Barfly's in Federal Hill is essentially the same pizza from Matthew's. the owners of the place used to own Matthew's and basically transported the menu from there to his bar. I live within a few blocks from Barfly's, so I'll try to check this out the next few weeks.
  16. Irish pub from owners of Irish Inn at Glen Echo in former Benny's location in Potomac. Open Thursday 4/21.
  17. So just to state my loyalties, I am friends with the daughter of the owner's of Frisco Family Pub, she went to college with me. This is a family owned and operated place. It is in a rather uninteresting location in Westminster, MD, that being said, it has some really good things. You can get fresh steamed crabs that are very fresh and tasty with specials on certain days I believe. They hand pick crabs for the meat in their crabcakes which are reliably good. They have soft-shells in season. They have other seafood, as well. I know they used to have all you can eat spaghetti on certain nights which was a great carb load when I was on the tennis and ultimate frisbee team and their meat sauce was good, not homemade noodles, but dried spaghetti, made to order, with good sauce with your typical texas toast style garlic bread. There is a brick pizza oven up front and their pizza is certainly better than a lot of the options up there, fresh dough, with different crust options. All in all, the decor is lacking, but the food is solid, and crabs and crabcakes are excellent. You would never guess the potential of this place from the road. Lots of other things on the menu too.
  18. Samuel Beckett's Irish Gastro Pub, located near the Signature Theater in Shirlington Village, announced today on their Facebook page that they will open at 3 p.m. this Saturday, January 8th. They caution in the post that they will only have a restricted food menu, and ask patrons to please be patient with us as they smooth out the 'bumps' for the first week. Samuel Beckett's will boast three bars, 280 seats, and two fireplaces in its 5,500-square-foot space. The facade and interior were manufactured by an Irish company, and have been shipped overseas to Shirlington. I've been watching this particular enterprise take shape over the last six months during my trips to Shirlington Village. The interior looks fantastic, and I am curious to see how they approach the food. TSchaad
  19. A hearty congratulations to the newest record holder for worst meal in DC. I didn't think anyone could top the level of awful I had previously found in the area, but huzzah to you guys - you did it! Arriving late morning to see some friends performing in their celtic band, I discovered the full menu was not available. A brunch buffet, you say? Well....all right, but my level of skepticism was high. Justifiably, it turns out. Potatoes half cooked and beyond greasy full on into oily. Bacon about the same level of doneness and viscosity. And the eggs - green. Not a fun Irish St. Patick's Day green but an "Oh dear heaven above what did you do to those eggs" green. And tough. Green and tough. Several of us wisely (we thought) eschewed the buffet and chose to wait for the full "Irish Pub" menu to open up at noon. While it may not actually have anything as pedantic as Corned Beef and Cabbage, it does feature such charming fare as "Banger Rolls" and "Boxty Rueben Bites." One member of our party ordered some sort of chicken dish that was served raw in the middle. Yes, that's right. The chicken was medium rare. Make my pain work for you. Avoid like the plague.
  20. website Just had the most satisifying superior-ly delicious experience at Galway Bay- this irish restaurant knows how to do it RIGHT. from traditional irish dishes like sheperds pie- hearty with beef and vegetables baked under a this layer of fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes, to original dishes, like my oven roasted duck cheese steak, smothered in grilled onions and mushrooms with thin slices of tender, medim-medium well duck on a crusty roll with irish chips- i was in heaven. in annapolis, you HAVE to have the crab dip wherever you go, and Galway Bay's does NOT disappoint, creamy, fulll of shredded crab, served warm in a bread bowl with a side of carrots and celery. We also ordered the mussels- a heaping platter of lemon, garlic and wine soaked delights from the bay. Tender, not too chewy- only one of 30 had that briny, sea water taste i always try to avoid. Crowning glory- the tomato and Jameson's whiskey soup- the best tomato soup i have had since leaving germany in 1998. chunks of deeply ripened tomatoes and sweet onion in every bite, in a creamy tomato base with a zesty, tangy bite to it that we couldn't quite pinpoint, and fresh parsely. perfection. absolute perfection. Lots of excellent irish fare in Annapolis but Galway by FAR was the best we've had in years. not to mention the warm irish atmosphere (deep cherry wood, stained glass, and a frosted glass map of Ireland, good Irish tunes playing lightly in the backgroud) and superior service- Cristy, our waitress, timed every entree perfectly and kept our pints full. try the Galway Red Ale if you are a fan of red beer- it's a smooth delicious finish to every bite of whatEVER you order. I have a full happy stomach and thought i should share. The review- NOT the food. Go enjoy! I've got a case the the "itis" now... nap time!
  21. "Gordon Ramsay Opening A Restaurant In Atlantic City, But Hasn't A.C. Suffered Enough?" by Jason Sheehan on phillymag.com The frog-mouthed chef is opening a 250-seat restaurant serving "British pub food with a bit of Jersey spin," whatever that means. Here's the website. Oh, and the "English punk-inspired uniforms" were designed by Allison Leach - I just thought you'd like to know that. No future for you. We mean it, man.
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