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Showing results for tags 'Restaurant Holding Companies'.
I hadn't been to Carlyle Grand (well now it's just Carlyle) since they remodeled but went last night for a friend's birthday dinner. Now it really shouldn't have surprised me, but when I opened the menu I started to wonder whether I had eaten here more recently that I thought. You see at some point in the past year, I've probably met friends at Arties, Coastal Flats, or Sweetwater Tavern and I started noticing a pattern on the menu at these places (similar to the Passion Foods places that someone pointed out a few months ago). Have the Great American Restaurants group just gotten lazy or have the menus of all their restaurants always been practically the exact same? I think at least 5 of their 6 restaurants (I'm not including Best Buns) serve the Tex Mex Eggrolls, Blue Crab Fritters, and Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip - and that's just the appetizers. You can always count on a salad with Warm Goat Cheese & Spiced Pecans, and for dessert you'll never have to miss out on the Warm Flourless Chocolate Waffle. I won't even go into the main courses. As for specifics about the food, my halibut (special last night) was sauced with the same mystery brown sauce that accompanied the roast pork tenderloin another friend had ordered. A bite of the Hong Kong Style Sea Bass made me wince from its overly sweet sauce (live near Tyson's? Try it for yourself at Coastal Flats!) However that goat cheese and pecan salad was actually not too bad. All of this may be old news to people, but I had always thought that Carlyle Grand had always been favorably reviewed (it's one of WP's Editor's picks and had been one of those places that had occupied a spot on Washingtonian's Top 100 for much longer than it probably should have). Is it mere coincidence that they've dropped the word "Grand" from their name?
Remember little Matchbox near Verizon Center? They no longer have the website matchboxdc.com. Now, they have matchboxrestaurants.com But that wasn't big enough for them, so they also have matchboxfoodgroup.com with their very own abbrievation: MBFG This is a great American success story, right? Right? So why has the food never been as good as it was when they only had that one, tiny little Matchbox near Verizon Center? Where's the success in this success story? Oh, I see. In the shareholder's bank accounts. So we're defining "success" as a few people getting wealthy while masses of people have lives that take a turn for the worse? Yeah, it's a great American success story, almost by definition; unfortunately, it looks like Mariella Burani Fashion Group is some sort of reverse glass ceiling to them. "Matchbox Food Group Adds Key Investors, Advisors" by Bob Niedt on bizjournals.com "DC Restaurant Chain Matchbox Seeks $11 Million To Go National" by Thomas Heath on washingtonpost.com "Could Matchbox Become The Next Cheesecake Factory" by Nevin Martell on washingtonpost.com (Has it not already?)