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Found 18 results

  1. Now that's the crust I remember. I didn't put that as a subtitle to this thread on a whim. It's the gosh-darned truth. There are a lot of places in the DC area that claim NY-Style Pizza and 99% of those claims are complete bullshit. The remaining 1% come oh-so-close but no cigar. Today I had it in, of all places, that deadly, strip of foul restaurants on S. 23rd Street in Crystal City between Eads and Fern. Cafe Pizzaiolo opened up quite recently in a building on the corner that has seen businesses come and go over the past 5 years or so. I would have skipped right by this place because everything on that strip just sucks patootie. But then I saw this review in yesterday's paper and, lo and behold, I'm familiar with the owner from a past life. Owner Larry Ponzi is one of the people responsible for the restaurant in the National Museum of the American Indian. And while it may not be fine dining, Mitsitam Cafe is one of the most unique and worthwhile places to eat in this city simply because of its special menu highlighting a broad array of Native American ingredients and recipes. That venture alone shows that Larry has class and vision. Cafe Pizzaiolo, the restaurant he just opened on his own proves he has talent. He makes two kinds of pizza, NY-style and Neapolitan. Personally I wasn't a fan of the Neapolitan. But I wouldn't hesitate to suggest you try it, as your taste may differ. My problem is that NY style is far and away my preference. And Cafe Pizzaiolo's NY style is far and away better than any NY style pizza I've had in the area. (For the record, my preference has always been Vace, but as I said above, close but no cigar). Great crunch. Great resistance. Great chew. Just enough shimmering oil from the sausage. Wonderful yeasty flavor. Fresh tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella. Pepperoni and roasted garlic also topped my selection today. If you get it, and you should, be sure to keep it simple. The menu has a lot of toppings available that I consider questionable, such as pineapple and chicken breast, but I'm more of a purist and would also make the possession or sale of cinnamon raisin bagels a capital crime if given the chance. Hey, so when is Bebo's pizza oven going to be running? Who cares anymore? Unless you are allergic to NY style pizza, why even consider putting up with all the service issues at Bebo? Drinkie drinks? Aside from the fresh brewed iced tea, today there were five red wines and four white wines (including a prosecco) to choose from. All Italian and not a single cute animal on the labels. By the glass from 5-8 dollars, bottles run $19-$29, but if you choose to take your bottle to go instead of dining in the restaurant, that bottle price drops almost in half. Beers? I didn't see any drafts, but the bottle list is nothing to sneeze at. No Bud or Miller in the bunch. Bell's Two Hearted or Oberon. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA or Indian Brown Ale. Peroni. Fuel Cafe Stout from Lakefront Brewery in Wisconsin. All about $4.75/bottle. The dining room is pleasant. Warm wood and colorful abstract oil paintings. Neon light accents and Italian advertising posters. I think it was a coffee bar, Starbucks-type knockoff before Cafe Pizzaiolo opened and you most definitely will see some resemblance. It definitely has that cafe feel. But as any Rays the Steaks diner will tell you, "who cares about decor?" (I'm also stuck thinking of George Costanza saying, "Eyebrows? Who cares about eyebrows?") This is the kind of pizza that can be baked early in the day, left out on a tray stand and eaten by the cut slice hours later and still taste great even if it's not reheated. And he sells it by the slice too! In a world surrounded by crap delivery pizza, Pizzaiolo delivers too. So now there's no need to order delivery from anywhere else if you're in the neighborhood. Larry is an independent local businessman who lives in the area and clearly takes pride in what he does. He is EXACTLY the kind of person who needs the support and word of mouth by people like us. And he wants to hear what you think, too. So be sure to tell him. Bottom line.......consider a visit to Cafe Pizzaiolo. If you take Metro, it's only about an 8 minute walk from the Crystal City station and essentially is no farther than going to Bebo or any of the other spots there on Crystal Drive. It's just a couple blocks further away from the river. If you like it, post it. If you don't, send me a PM first so I can come and choke you with a cinnamon raisin bagel before you have a chance to type your first vowel. ETA: This is $20 Tuesday country, pardners.
  2. Hula Girl Truck is parked, temporarily, in the space previously occupied by Pulpo, on Connecticut Ave in Cleveland Park. (Not literally. The truck is not actually in the restaurant.) The restaurant will be open Tuesdays through Sundays until mid March, according to the staff. A short menu of plate lunch staples--kalua pork & cabbage, huli-huli chicken, teriyaki beef/pork/tofu--anchors the menu. Served with two scoops of rice and your choice of mac salad or green salad. We started out with a fresh, slightly spice and gingered poke, served with sweet potato (or maybe taro, but I don't think so) crackers. The prices are decidedly not in the Rainbow Drive-in range--plates run around $16--but portion sizes are extremely generous. Our party of two adults and one preschooler ordered one kalua pig and one huli-huli chicken, and went home with leftovers. The huli-huli chicken is baked in the wood-fired oven, and comes out sticky and smoky and moist and delicious. The kalua pork is shredded and served with cabbage (and I could have used more of that cabbage!). We were seated under a poster of Leonard's Bakery in Honolulu, famous for its malasadas; little Portuguese yeast donuts covered in sugar. Apparently Hula Girl will be adding malasadas to the menu next week, and will be expanding other menu options also.
  3. Big Buns Gourmet Grill, 4401 Wilson Blvd in Ballston (but it's not actually facing Wilson Blvd. It's on the other side of Vapiano in a courtyard between Wilson and Fairfax.) Click for website. I saw this place one day after leaving Vapiano and was curious to try it. It's a fast food burger place. They offer beef, chicken, mahi mahi, or portobello burgers (in a bun or bowl) with your choice of cheeses, toppings and sauces. They also offer regular fries, sweet potato fries, milkshakes, malts, floats, sodas, and beer. Near the soda fountain, they have four Italian soda type syrups that you can mix in your drink, like cherry to make a cherry coke. I had a beef burger which came well-done but was still juicy. (They didn't ask how I wanted it. I don't know if that's an option.) It's not a very thick burger, but it was wide enough that I needed to hold it with both hands. The burger was $5.95, not counting additional charges for special toppings. The fries were each $1.85. I really liked the regular fries, they were thicker than shoestring fries and had a very potato-y flavor though it would be nice if they were just a little crispier. The sweet potato fries were thinner than the regular fries and were ok but nowhere near as good as the ones at Eleventh. Has anyone else tried Big Buns?
  4. Copperwood Tavern Website I didn't see a thread... Hubby and I wanted to go to Texas Jack's for July 4th, but they were out of bbq. So we kept going to Shirlington, which I was a bit hesitant about, but at that point I knew so little was open in VA and Hubby wasn't crossing the border into DC and wouldn't agree to go to Old Town. He had a decent brunch at Copperwood Tavern the other weekend, and wanted to go there. I didn't love the menu, I felt it was very heavy for the summertime, and really struggled on what to order. I settled on a Caesar salad and mussels. We were brought small corn muffins, on a plate that lacked any character and just made them look like they came from a carton from Giant, the taste wasn't anything special. My Caesar salad came to the table and was soggy and obviously either made earlier OR the lettuce was not in a condition I would use, it was supposed to have kale in it, but it seemed to have baby greens, which didn't appear to be any type of kale I am familiar with, which added no texture. It didn't have anything to make it interesting- no capers, no anchovies, no texture. I ate some of it only because I was starving at that point, and Hubby had a long day working and I just didn't want to make a fuss, he saw that it wasn't great so he gave me a bunch of his brussel sprouts to eat instead, those were better, although I think they needed to be roasted at a slightly higher heat. My mussels were an appetizer portion, but were good. The menu didn't note that there was cream in the dish, but it appeared there was and I normally can tolerate a small amount of blue cheese with a pill, but definitely had a reaction to lactose that appeared to be more than just that, I wish that would have been noted, I wouldn't have ordered it. The bread served with the mussels was burnt and hard even where it wasn't burnt. Hubby got a venison steak which was really good, but for $34 I would have expected some side on the plate, I mean, no offense, but it is deer meat. Anyway, I am sure some people think this place was fine, and July 4 certainly isn't a prime night for a restaurant to be on, but I really would be hard pressed to go back. I wish we had gone to Carlyle instead.
  5. Rarely have I been this impressed by a new restaurant. My favorites were the fritto misto, fried oysters (daily special), and the squid-ink pasta with seafood. The seafood was fresh, fresh, fresh! My seafood pasta dish was uniquely flavored - I think olives were involved. We also had the pasta with pork sausage and caprese with fruit. Those were good but not great. Good variety of red wine in a wide range of prices. Service was friendly but not very efficient. My fried oysters were sitting at the kitchen counter too long so by the time it was served to me, they were cold. After complaining, they were replaced by a fresh, hot batch and the taste and freshness was stunning. The wait for food was also long. However, it is a new restaurant and the food is great, so I will cut them some slack because the food is so darn delicious.
  6. I'm meeting up with an old friend from high school. We were hoping to grab drinks somewhere between my place (Fair Oaks) and his place (Shirlington), so I'm thinking Falls Church. This would be Saturday night around 7:30. Just low key beers or something. Any ideas?
  7. 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
  8. Has anyone eaten at Lotus Grill and Noodles in Shirlington? It's been open for 3 years, but I haven't heard anything about it.
  9. Could I be alone in my admiration of Best Buns in Shirlington? I love the apple monkey bread and their egg/cheese/turkey sausage breakfast sandwich. Their cupcakes are quite sizable and nicely moist, with lots of great flavors. And I really appreciate their great attitude on customer service, just very pleasant/cheerful and focused on making the customer happy; I'm always surprised that more places aren't like this. The ability to enjoy my breakfast sitting in a booth next door at Carlyle's is a nice plus.
  10. Kay and I are subscribers to the Signature. So 6 times a year, I pick her up Downtown 21 & E at 5:30 and we need to be in o ur seats at 7:30. Add into that that my usually impeccable sense of direction (I even know my way around the Bermuda Triangle that is the surroundins of Siena Italy) stops working at the VA state line, we ahve been relegated to trying the dining spots of Shirlington Town Village. So far: Carlysle... we had more servers stop at our table than I have employeed at Dino. The food was eh beyond belief and not cheap. Cap City Brewing- how can actual hamburger meat taste that bland. Good beer but poor service to cap off the poor food. Luna Diner- meatloaf that was mostly filler covered by gravy out of a jar with a thick skin on it, salad with croutons out of a plastic bag, almost decent hamburger but the fried are those freaking coated crap things, horrible service (the server never smiled, I had to actually show her that they had Anchor Steam on the beer list, when informed that Sierra Nevada on tap was not available, she suggested Hefeweitzen like a. Hefeweitzen tells the story (ie who made it might be a piece of info that I would like to know) and b. an ale is not available so give me a hefeweitzen?, our water was not refilled after our food showed up, no one asked how the food was (incredibly reminiscent of the food I ate at my Dorm at University of Chicago but thanks for asking!). The little Middle East place whose name I forget... Again, bland but pretty much the best of the bunch. We were going to try Extra Virgin but the menu last week included Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, inslata Caprese with Fresh tomatoes, and several other dishes with way out of season ingredients. Hello! It's winter! Is Bonsai any good? Bistro Bistro had one table in it (while Luna was full and had a couple waiting for our table on our way out). T.H.A.I.? (Don I know where all your periods went...). Is there somewhere along our route that would be good? Somewhere we can get parking? I thought about Blue Duck Tavern but don't know about the parking part, and do they have a bar area where we could get a quick & light meal? We are going back in a week or two for another show and my choice this time is going to be a BBQ sandwich eaten in the car from Weenie Beenie unless I can get some help from you VA knowlegable types!
  11. I hate not to have any thread for Lucy's, who kept the building alive between the much-missed Champion's, and the upcoming Chester's: "Changes Coming to Champion Billiards" by arlnow.com "Next New Pool Hall to Open in Former Lucy's Location near Shirlington" by arlnow.com
  12. I have some good news for a certain subset of people who: 1) live in Arlington 2) play 9-ball with an Heubler pool cue 3) have a grip made of custom Irish linen Chester's Billiard's Bar & Grill is opening in Shirlington, technically in the former Lucy's space, but for billiards players, actually in the former Champion's space.
  13. Just watched a promo piece on this place, linked to YouTube through Arlington County. The ribs looked tasty, as did the mac & cheese, with large portions. Owner was charming in video too - said she got the recipes, all in her head, from her mom and sister. I haven't been yet but was wondering if anyone had tried the place - could make dinner for 2 for $10 out of a rib order + 2 sides that are included.
  14. Any good recommendations for decent chinese take out in vicinity of Old Town/Shirlington? Got a hankering for cantonese-Americanized veggie fried rice, general tso's, etc. Thanks!
  15. I was cleaning off my desk and I found the unread Weekend section from last week's Wall STreet Journal. There is an article on the second page about outdoor dining and it mentions a place called Extra Virgin that has been open for about a week (two weeks by now) in Shirlington. It says that the cuisine is modern Italian and that signature dishs include house-made dig-and-fig confit sausage and a ricotta gnocchi with roasted lobster and rabe. Has anyone been yet. I can't seem to find anything about it on the web. It at least sounds interesting.
  16. So, my office picked Bistro Bistro for our holiday luncheon. Is this anything to look forward to?
  17. It's a bit sad to me, but Champion Billiards, where I've shot many a game of nine-ball over the years (with my custom cue wrapped in Irish linen) closed awhile back, and has reopened as "Lucy's ARL" under new proprietors - they have a slightly more ambitious menu, and a pretty funny website. I hope they do well here - Champion was a pool-shooter's pool hall in many ways, and I look forward to trying them out. Cheers, Rocks
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