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Found 29 results

  1. There have been the Peruvian chicken threads, but I decided to start one just for Crisp & Juicy. I went to the one in the Wheaton Mall and got the usual chicken and fried yucca. But also decided to get the fried plantains and potato salad. The plantains were okay - not caramelized the way I usually like them. The potato salad was really good though, with green beans and corn, it gave it a fresher, crisper edge instead of the heavier slog.
  2. Having been to Zoe's in other locations, Zoe's has opened in the D.C. area. I believe there is one out in VA. I went to the one in Potomac (in the new center, where there is also an Elevation Burger and a Harris Teeter) For a qsr, the food is fresh and tasty. I would recommend it if you haven't been. Have had a number of items on the menu -- chicken orzo soup, hummus, Zoe's Pita and Greek Chicken Pita. Nothing has disappointed me so far. Menu can be found at My link
  3. I was walking out from Baja Fresh when I noticed this place, which is relatively new. I popped in quickly to see what it was all about, and it reminded me of the schwarma places like they have in Jerusalem. I stopped by for lunch the next day (nothing says "I love you" on Mothers Day like takeout Schwarma), and got chicken in a pouch with yogurt sauce, hummus, pickles, onion, and tomato/cucumber mix. It was solid if unspectacular. The chicken was flavorful and it appears they have new fancy cookers (rotating, gyro style, with auto cutter), so it had moist and crunchy parts. There were at least a dozen choices for toppings, and they looked good, if nothing else. The pita they gave me was stuffed, so they don't skimp out on the meat or toppings. The side of fries were terrible (limp and tasteless). The side of hummus and pita was huge, given the price, tho I never got around to tasting it alone (it was unremarkable in my sandwich, but there was a lot of other stuff in there, too). There are clearly service issues to be worked out, but nothing that can't be solved with time and experience (that is, nothing egregious happened).
  4. With an opening planned for late this week, El Centro D.F. looks to be another fun addition to the 14th Street lineup. Each of the three levels will offer a different experience - slightly more formal dining/drinking in the underground tequileria, more casual eat-in or carry-out in the main level taqueria, and two bars for drinking on the rooftop. (Rooftop bars seems to be this year's "cupcake".) I'm looking forward to yet another good reason to head down to 14th Street! It sure has come a long way from what it was 15-20 years ago.
  5. Website & Menu: http://freddysusa.com/Menu/FullMenu/default.aspx Location: 10030 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA (next to the Fairfax Outback Steakhouse) Serious Eats review of another location: http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/04/chain-reaction-freddys-frozen-custard-and-steakburgers-review.html Impressions: Much less claustrophobic than the Fredericksburg Steak & Shake (and sure as shit easier to get to), and far more "roomy" than the Smashburger down the street. There's likely a good reason for this, however, in the fact that directly behind the restaurant is a communal practice field and playground, and directly adjacent is the Fairfax Outback. That's excellent news for their bottom line, but I could see both factors weighing heavily on interior congestion, service time, and *parking*. Other than that, this place is a near-carbon-copy of Steak & Shake. The chief difference between the two is that Freddy's does frozen custard along with their grillworks. Other differences come in the form of Freddy's not having the wait staff of S&S, instead opting for a number-call system. This isn't a negative insomuch as the wait staff, at least at the Fredericksburg S&S, contributes to more traffic on the floor. Two big notable *minuses* have to be the location of the condiment/drink station *right next* to where you pick up your order as well as *only two registers* for the interior. It also feels decidedly "cheaper" and much more kitschy than Smashburger, so if you prefer a more "adult" atmosphere, I'd advise you go a bit further down/up the road. Layout: Roomy, considering it used to be a Kentucky Fried Chicken. I visited right around 5:45pm on 3/23, and people had plenty of room to move around, but a game taking place on the aforementioned practice field and the looming dinner rush of the Outback might've made eating there an hour or two later untenable, though I'd imagine only about 1/4 of those originally going to Outback would be tempted to "downgrade" their dining experience to fast-casual when presented with a lengthy wait time. There are also, thankfully, no distractants to keep people in their seats longer than they need to be there. No TVs showing sports or cartoons discourages loitering, and I didn't see any mention of "Free Wi-Fi." Wait Time: No more than ten minutes, but it wasn't very busy, either. Order and Taste: One double Bacon and Cheese (#7) and one single "California Style" just to taste. The patties are smashed almost paper-thin (again, a la Steak & Shake) and if you get a single, you're liable to taste more of the toppings and condiments than the protein. This is perfectly fine if you're looking to save on fat and calories, but not especially recommended if you're trying to sate your hunger. The standard burger uses only mustard as a condiment, and if you're a fan of that, you'll love these burgers. The "California Style" is their take on In & Out, and having never been to one, I can't tell if their "spread" hits it dead on. It's pretty much just that predictable "Thousand Island" taste. As for the beef itself, if you like crust, this place does it better than Smashburger. The big winner had to be the toppings. I barely tasted the bacon, but the winner on both burgers had to be the white onion and pickle. Unlike Smashburger, whose onions tend to catch in your teeth and pull out with each bite, this onion was crispy and yielded quite nicely with each bite, markedly contributing to each one taken. The fries aren't really anything special. They're shoestring-style and palatable, but fundamentally no different than a half-dozen other places around here who do it the same way, and only earn a slight kick in the form of their "Fry Sauce" which is simply that, a yellowish-beige light seemingly mayo/mustard-based sauce that has visual flecks of what appears to be cayenne pepper or curry powder or the like inside of it. Even after two of their burgers and a handful of their fries, I still wasn't "full," which should also speak to the viability of this place as anything more than just a "light lunch/dinner." They even seem to know this themselves, as each booth/table's napkin dispenser advertises their frozen custard as the "perfect end to every meal," and they sure got me to fish for that in the form of their PBC&B (Peanut Butter Cup & Banana) concrete. The custard itself is on par with and perhaps a bit superior to Milwaukee's (especially considering there isn't a frozen custard place in Fairfax yet), and the blending of banana and candy at least gives you the *impression* that you're eating something vaguely nutritious, despite my counting only about 4-5 slices of banana in my "regular" sized cup. Verdict: Worth a try if you're within 20-30 minutes of it, just be sure to not go during a dinner rush, and if you see anything being played/practiced on the field behind, eat quickly lest you be drowned in an avalanche of sweaty, amped up little youth soccer munchkins. It's also not *cheap*, with each combo costing in the range of 7-8 bucks plus whatever else you decide to tack on. Also, evidently it was good enough for "Blago" to make it his last meal as a free man for the next 14 years: http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/03/blagojevich-eats-last-meal-before-prison-at-freddys-frozen-custard-and-steakburgers.html
  6. I'll piss on the party, and come right out and say it: McDonald's! The sodium content is horrific, and the food lacks depth and soul, though I admit to having enjoyed it in the past. Nevertheless, hidden salt often serves as the devil's mask. I won't overstir this pot because I don't have anything so terrible to say about Chipotle Grill (just yet), but I do think a healthy degree of skepticism about the future is in order. Look at this article. Can this level of care be exercised when the chain grows tenfold? Many years ago, I used to mail order my coffee beans from Starbucks in Seattle, and they were pretty darned good, too. What will happen when there's a Chipotle on every streetcorner? Dilution of quality? Inconsistency? Dumbed-down fare? It's worth noting the long-term trends for an exercise in sociology. Double, double, foil and trouble, Rocks. P.S. To avoid being labeled a nattering nabob of negativism, I enthusiastically concur with any recommendations of The Well-Dressed Burrito!
  7. Marja Vongerichten enters the quick serve market. Opening soon: "Marja Vongerichten Launches BiBiFresh, a Roving Bibimbap-up" by Hugh Merwin on newyork.grubstreet.com
  8. They have a new spinoff location in Bethesda that is doing the Chipotle model, Cava Mezze Grill. Pita, rice bowl, salad, mini flatbread pitas (to top like tacos) - you get a shmear of a spread and then protein (chicken/beef/lamb/sausage/falafel). Seems like another Chipotle-meets-(insert country) - like Merzi in downtown DC, but with arguably more potential. I'm definitely curious as I think their spreads are pretty good, but I'm not go-to-Bethesda-for-a-fast-casual-lunch curious. Anyone been?
  9. I went today, picked up a few things for a group. It is even less "authentically" the cuisine of any particular country or group than Chipotle is, and the people who are bothered by that sort of thing will be very bothered. But if you don't mind that, the food was pretty tasty. I got what they call the "banh mi," with tofu. The tofu, which is closer to a scramble than to big chunks, has something close to a Malaysian curry flavor (in my non-expert opinion). They add a sort of slaw, and some cilantro, and some crushed peanuts. The bread is fine, for fast-food sub roll bread. So it's a good sandwich, again leaving aside arguments about whether it's a banh mi. Bowls are made with your choice of brown rice, white rice, or cold rice noodles. Then you add your choice of a meat or tofu, your choice of a vegetable (chinese brocolli, long beans (which may or may not be actually long beans as contrasted with regular green beans, I don't know), etc.), your choice of sauce (a couple of different curries or a tamarind vinaigrette), etc. Perfectly tasty, and spicier than I would have guessed the mass market was ready for. Everything costs somewhere around seven dollars. Bottom line - significantly better, in my view, than what you would get at some rice-bowl sort of place in your average food court. Perfectly nice.
  10. Surprised I have not seen a thread on Fast Gourmet. I travel to Latin America a lot for work, and many of my colleagues (all Latin Americans themselves) started talking recently about a great sandwich place in a gas station in DC. Since I love a good sandwich, I resolved to try it out yesterday. First, the location -- it's in the "Lowest Best Price" gas station on 14th and W -- no real signage, and from the outside you would think it's a regular exxon-type grab and go place. But, inside they have made a huge effort to make it clean, appealing, and, dare I say, cool, with a neat color scheme and a cute menu with chalk drawings. There are also tables to sit at. Still, you'll know you are in a gas station, and the crowd is funny, a mix of Latin Americans (both from the neighborhood and more upscale embassy/IDB types), hipsters, cab drivers, and a few cracked-out people wandering in off the street to buy cigars from the gas station part. The food. Oh my god, the food. The menu is a mix of regular american sandwiches (turkey, steak and cheese, etc.), salads, empanadas, and some Latin specialities. There is a supposedly good Cubano, and, in my opinion, one of the best Latin national sandwiches, the national sandwich of Uruguay, the chivito. Turns out, the owners are two Uruguayan brothers, so they know their chivitos. For the uninitiated, it is a sandwich with a thin beef steak cooked "a la plancha" on medianoche bread with mayo, ham, hard boiled egg, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. It is heaven, and, for you Spanish speakers, even though it is called a chivito it does not have goat in it. I ordered the chivito yesterday ($12, all sandwiches come with ok, but not great fries) and it was FANTASTIC. It was as good as, if not better than the chivitos I have had in Montevideo. My partner, who had never had a chivito before, ate some of mine and proclaimed it the best sandwich he ever had. The only MINOR quibble would be that there was a lot of mayo, but that is how they like it in Uruguay, and I, too, like it that way. You may want to ask for a little less mayo if you are mayo-squamish. Also note, the $12 price tag may seem high, but this is a huge sandwich, enough for two people or two meals. My partner wanted the cubano, but they were out of the ingredients until 2 pm, so he ordered the greek salad with lamb. We expected it to be a boring salad, but, actually it was great, with many large chunks of freshly grilled lamb. I highly recommend this place! They are open long hours and do delivery. I couldn't find the menu online, but I did find their facebook page -- http://www.facebook....ET/103364437659 As my partner said to me when we were leaving, this might have to be the year of the chivito!
  11. Smashburger is in Fairfax now, on Fairfax Blvd. - between the Fairfax Hooters and P.J. Skidoos. Website and menu: http://smashburger.c...vd-marketplace/ AHT review: http://aht.seriousea....html?ref=thumb I should have a review ready either tomorrow or sometime during the week, since I tend to breeze *by* that area but not necessarily through it. This place is sort of like the Five Guys version of Steak n' Shake (big difference: they serve beer), and similarly, they use the "smashing" method of cooking burgers (if you couldn't divine that on your own ). Pretty soon In-'n-Out will be FORCED to come to DC simply because *every other goddamned premium burger chain* will be here.
  12. I didn't see a thread on Which Which, so I thought I would start one website here: https://www.whichwich.com/#!/ Mon-Sat 10:00 am to 9:30 pm, Sun 11:00 am to 6:00 pm We go to the Ballston location when we go, their staff is nice and it is very efficient. They have very little inside seating, but they have some outside tables under the awning to eat at, as well. I have found a number of their subs to be pretty good, not anything like a homemade sub shop, but definitely a step above Subway. I like it just a bit better than Potbelly, as I find there to be more options and easier to select what you want in the ordering process, plus they keep later hours than the Potbelly near us. I find their hours to actually be later than many of the places near us, so it is a later evening oh shoot I need to eat and darn I just missed many other closing times option in Ballston. I got their Philly Cheesesteak with provolone special recently and was quite happy with it. I also like that they have the fancy coke machine.
  13. The Tackle Box (I think I remembered the name correctly!) will be, according to the contruction site signage, a New England style lobster shack. Given its proximity to Hook, I'm wondering if it has the same ownership.
  14. I could only find one mention of this place on the site, and it was in passing. Anybody have a thumbs up/down opinion on this place? The reason I ask is that I got roped, not all that reluctantly, into going to the following event at the Bethesda location: "Nov. 1 is "Sushi Day". $20 worth of sushi for $11.01. Only from 5:30-6:30pm." which apparently means you get: "2 pieces of tuna, salmon, eel, and shrimp, 1 piece of yellowtail, flounder, salmon eggs, 3 pieces of california rolls and salmon skin rolls, and miso soup." Which certainly sounds like a healthy amount of sushi, and I'm wondering where on the spectrum of sushi quality it will likely land. Specials like this make me skeptical about food quality, but I'm also a sucker for a good deal, so... Also wondering if anybody else was planning on attending. The 5:30-6:30 thing is definitely a hindrance, but might be less of a problem if you're already out near Bethesda for work.
  15. Kliman has listed this place in his chats recently. Spit-roasted pork sounded like a good idea today, so I stopped in for lunch. Yia Yia's is a smallish place, and somewhat awkardly laid out. You order at a counter, and then shuffle around being in everyone's way for 10 minutes or so until your order is ready. There are several tables as well, although it looked as though the food was still delivered in takeout containers. The menu is succinct. There are 3 options for gyro: chicken, pork, and beef+lamb, all roasting on vertical spits behind the counter. The pork looked the best of the three today, and that's what I chose. The pork was well-seasoned, and as promised, there were plenty of pleasantly charred crispy bits, along with more tender pieces. The sandwich was served on thick, soft, pita with a healthy schmear of tzatziki and a small handful of chopped tomatoes and onions. It's definitely filling, though the hand cut fries I saw people munching on may be worth a try on a return visit. If you're in a hurry for lunch, it may be a good idea to call in your order ahead of time, as there seemed to be a good bit of confusion expediting the orders, and had I not remained visible while waiting, I think my order would've taken much longer to come out. Anyone else in DR-land stopped in here?
  16. Opened last week. Website here. No menu online yet, I have a paper copy, will try to photograph and post a pic later this weekend. Open 11am -9pm Sunday and Monday; 11am -9:30pm Tuesday -Thursday, 11 am -10 pm Friday Saturday. 7945 MacArthur Blvd.
  17. May be a bit premature to start a new thread for a 'rumor', but I was pretty excited to read that Shake Shack may have signed a lease to come to DC. I have only heard glowing reviews of the NYC Shake Shack. I think this could give several of our burger chains a run for their money. DC really is becoming a burger mecca.
  18. This is closer to the Capitol than to the Market, but there is an upscale burger place going in at 3rd and PA Ave, SE (Good Stuff Eatery, 303 PA Ave, SE). Signs announcing the liquor license application/hearing are up in the windows. There's a small blurb here. The same page mentions the upcoming opening of Cafe 8 Mediterranean Eatery on Barracks Row.
  19. Website: http://burgerseven.com/aboutus.html Address: 7505 Leesburg Pike # E Falls Church, VA 22043 Visit: 4:30pm 2/23/11 Decor: Think of a remodeled "Five Guys" without the free peanuts. There are limited booths (~10-15), which could prove a problem at peak times. Well and warmly lit, condiments in ample supply at each table (which might change if some of them start taking a walk). Drink/Condiment station is horribly placed directly next to the registers - expect traffic jams and a circumlocution of the line you just waited on to get to it. Order: B7 (two patties) w/Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce, Onion (raw diced), Tomato, Pickles, Ketchup, Mayo and a single order of Fries. Wait Time: I wouldn't suggest going to this place during a typical weekday Tyson's Corner/Falls Church lunch hour. At 4:30pm, it took about 20 minutes for my order (in a queue of no more than five or six) to be readied. The staff is obviously still finding their rhythm, so it's excusable for their first week open. Just overhearing the kitchen staff, it sounded as if the fry station is the holdup of their line and you might be able to get in and out quicker if you forego the fries (read further for a decent reason why). That being said, they smartly use an electronic pager system a la Fuddruckers in lieu of an occasionally unreliable number-calling system like Five Guys. Look and Taste: Half Five Guys, half Elevation Burger. Considerably smaller and (at least initially) *neater* than a double-patty Five Guys burger and thus easier to eat. Beef was cooked well-done (no option otherwise), and the patties were roughly Quarter Pounder-sized in thickness and pleasantly juicy (re: also very messy). The bun was satisfactory but didn't hold up especially well to the juice/grease from the patty, melting cheddar, and combination of ketchup/mayo. This is very much NOT a burger to eat in the car. The flavor of the meat itself, without the welcome and needed help of condiments/cheese was very typical of normal "grass-fed" beef - in other words kind of bland. I could not taste any attempt at seasoning either on the patty or within the meat itself when I was able to sample a "clean" piece of one of the patties. The fries, cooked in olive oil much like Elevation Burger, were somewhat disappointing as well - they were not especially palatable "naked" (almost reminiscent tastewise of unsalted kettle-cooked potato chips save for the faint remaining essence of olive oil) without an application of salt and the use of a side of the restaurant's "B7 Sauce" to add flavor. The B7 Sauce, to my palate, sort of reminded me of a less tangy runnier variant of the spicy yellow-orange sauce chain restaurants serve with their fried onion appetizers. It's very much not a Thousand Island-based sauce despite having the outward appearance of it. Going to have to taste it again to properly get a "lock" on it flavor-wise. Sweet potato fries are also offered, and despite not having tried them, I'm guessing/*hoping* the sweeter taste would remedy the relative tastelessness of their stock spuds. Also, adding any cheese is an extra 50 cents. Verdict: I'm not *done* with this place yet. It has a nice, well-lit atmosphere, even if I could see it suffering under heavy traffic, and the fact that its neighbor is a Jason's Deli with *far* more seating space might be a kiss of death during the lunch hours. I've yet to try their hot dogs, shakes, and most importantly, their sliders, which if they look like their picture on the website's menu, might be their saving grace if served on proper potato rolls and cooked with their onions to infuse the flavor like White Castle does. Their "onion crisps" aren't onion rings or petals so much as they are that type of super-thin onion ring that looks like a mass of thick fried hair when served (note: this doesn't mean I don't recommend them, I'm just trying to describe them). They also offer only turkey bacon, not pork, which might suggest a silent adherence to Kosher/Halal standards (which might explain why a slice of American costs an extra 50 cents).
  20. An interesting corner of Springfield is at the corner of Backlick and Commerce -- kitty corner from Mike's is Springfield Plaza, and in the back corner facing both Backlick and Commerce is the amazingly good Flame Kabob, only a few steps away from Veronica's bakery (the Latino equivalent of Le Bledo and Dalat, which in turn is the Vietnamese equivalent of Veronica's), and opening soon, Bento Box Sushi. Sushi options in this neck of the woods are slim, so this will be a welcomed addition. I'll keep an eye on the space and provide updates. By the way, across Commerce is Bangkok Noodle and Merkamo Ethiopian, so within a short walk there's some significant eats. This corner of Springfield is on a par with the Brookfield Plaza, not even a mile farther south on Backlick. [My favorite name for a road in the entire Metropolitan area is Backlick. It would be my second favorite name if there was a Frontlick, but alas, there is not.]
  21. Chef Dennis Friedman is opening a fast-casual concept called Newton's Noodles later this month. Lots of better writing than mine: - the Post - Eater - PoPVille has the official presser - WBJ has the business concept After making private sacrifices that I shall not reveal*, I managed to get an invite to the soft opening. I never get to feel fancy, so this is BIG for me. This is their press event, and Chef said pictures and cameras are no big deal. (Nobody will notice me and my camera in the corner.) Cheers! * - mostly, we eat at Newton's Table a lot. We might have made doe-eyed sad faces.
  22. Website: http://fireboxgrille.com/ Address: 8417 Old Courthouse Rd Vienna, VA 22182 Menu: http://fireboxgrille.com/menu.html Visit Time: ~8pm 3/23/12 Web Review w/pictures (not mine): http://burgerdays.co...firebox-grille/ Decor: Very nicely laid out, if a little small and averagely-lit. The interior reminded me quite a bit of Burger 7 in Falls Church. Booths are scarce, with tables and stools to augment them. Drink/Condiment station is separated from the cashier enough to leave room for a line and room for egress. Wait Time: Was told ten minutes - it was more in line with ~15-20. Experience: Against the advice of the review up top, I went with a somewhat minimalist bacon and cheddar double, simply because I was hungry. Went with the "premium beef" over the more expensive "organic" option. The beef was *very* juicy, patties were well-formed and thick, and had a good (but not overly stellar) flavor - and did contain some color, which was a welcome change over the spate of "you can have it well-done or well-done" places around here. Presentation is *very* reminiscent of BGR (right down to the stainless steel platter), and the standard brioche bun is excellent and looks bigger than it actually is - when you grasp it, it shrinks to "bite-ability." Didn't taste the bacon I ordered but it wasn't tough or chewy, either. Fries were crispy, held their shape, and were liberally dusted with a non-overpowering spice that looked cayenne-ish. The fries themselves, however, reminded me of taste-wise of Burger King's (if you got them at peak conditions), but still augmented the burger well. BGR's regular fries are much better when pitted against these. The Chili Cheese Fries look good, but not my style. Verdict: Not bad but *greasy*. Defnitely worth a try if you like burgers - their salads looked rather nice as well, with a lot of protein options available. Oh yeah, and they have birch beer.
  23. As someone who watched things being assembled at a Chipolte Grille yesterday, I'm unimpressed at a myriad of things on the health-front. Even with the bowls - unless you, the diner, are very careful about pointing and saying "No," they'll ladle on sauces that are extremely high in sodium and dairy. Does anyone know about GMOs here? I'm assuming that they're opting out based on their latest (very powerful, well-crafted) ad campaign, but it never hurts to ask. One thing's for sure, they sure make a tasty burrito - skimpy as all-get-out on the meat - they appear *large*. In fact, *very* large. Is the wheat, corn, beans, tomatoes, good for you? Does anyone know? What about the chips? If you go all-in at Chipotle Mexican Grill, you'll get one heck of a tasty burrito for $6.75 in perhaps less the time it takes to get a Big Mac and Large Fries at Mc'Donalds - I was in-and-out in less than two minutes, perhaps less than one minute. It is sterile, measured, and extremely fast. And boy does it taste good.
  24. "Big Nick's Restaurant On Upper West Side Closes After 51 Years" on newyork.cbslocal.com. The rent numbers don't make sense to me for a burger/pizza joint. But so what. Another old line place can't afford higher rents.
  25. The old Moto Photo location on 19th Street has been paper-covered for some time now, and every time I walk by I've peeked to see if the permits indicate what might be coming in to the space. Last time I checked the permits showed that it would be a "food" place, but I thought that maybe Chop't was going to expand. Well yesterday, I saw a small sign on the window advertising Oh Fish by Kaz, Maki Sushi and that they plan to open in July and are looking to hire a Manager. Anyone who can find any other info please update as I could not find anything when I searched the web. I am quite looking forward to it though! And it will definitely give Oodles Noodles take-out sushi a run for its money.
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