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Found 19 results

  1. I'm surprised we don't have a thread on this place. I was going to post about their nachos, but I kept remembering other things we like and figured that they deserve their own thread. Barbara and I were there tonight for a quick dinner of shared nachos and a couple of beers. The nachos were good, a hearty pile started with a thin layer of refried beans on the bottom of the plate, chips, shredded roast chicken, ground beef, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and jalapenos. These were good, surprisingly not greasy, with crisp chips throughout. We also go frequently for takeout chicken sandwiches. The bread is nothing special, a commercial sub roll, but the chicken inside is their roast chicken torn into large chunks. It's served with commercial french fries, but with mustard-mayo sauce and a spicy green sauce. Barbara wrote a review for her blog a few years ago. I'm glad to say that they are consistently good and we still like eating there.
  2. I haven't eaten at Peking Duck in ages, but I'll try it again soon, on your recommendation. It's really hard to find good Chinese food in this area, although we have other decent choices for food. The places I've tried in the last year (China Cafe, Top's China, China One, Green Olive, Chef Huang's (decent lunch buffet), & Great Wall (under new management & not as good) are sub optimal.
  3. I was getting car stuff done at Pep Boys, so after finishing, I stopped to pick up lunch at Tacos El Costallila, since I hadn't been there in awhile. I got a sope de pollo (2.75) which was good, & oddly, tasted better later on when it was cold (especially w/ the added green salsa which is spicy) & the ceviche tostada (3.20) which was great- the lady said no more shrimp ceviche, only fish (I don't know if that was just today or permanently). The ceviche was spicy & tangy & utterly delicious, I think I'll be stopping in more frequently. As I waited for my order, I looked up at the illustrated menu board & tried to figure out what 'cueritos' was, after I was home & looked at the menu postcard I picked up (very cute, w/ Speedy Gonzalez flanking the name) I discovered it was pig skin in vinegar. Maybe another day...
  4. I just saw the paperwork in the window. Oriental Cafe's signage is still up and the interior looks untouched thus far. Please, if there is a Santa Claus, let this place be better than the Little Caesar's abomination a few doors down.
  5. It is truly amazing how much the area of S. Van Dorn Street, S. Pickett Street, and Edsall Road - all part of Alexandria near the Van Dorn Street Metro station - has been built up in the past few years - I had absolutely no idea a Red Lobster had opened up on S. Van Dorn Street, which shows just how long it has been since I've been here. In one of the self-contained complexes rests the Portner Brewhouse, opened by the descendents of Robert Portner. Having tried three different beers here, I wish I could say that the beer lived up to the romance, but both the atmosphere - which is cold and corporate-feeling (this brewery was obviously very well-funded) - and more importantly, the beers themselves, looked and tasted full-on industrial, even though the fermentation tanks are easily seen through windows behind the bar. I wanted to try the house staples and standards, so my friend and I had the following (we arrived during Social Hour, so prices were a dollar off): Hoffbrau Pilsner (20-ounce draft, $5) - despite it's 5.9% ABV, this was a glass of generic nothingness. Vienna Cabinet Lager (16-ounce draft, $4) - the word "copper" in the menu description caught my eye, as this is often a sign of an Amber Ale, a Scotch Ale, or a Red Ale - at 5% ABV, this was marginally my favorite beer of the three, (remember, my palate has a preference for malt over most hops), but I wouldn't return just for this. My friend didn't care for either beer, so I was "forced" to drink the above two - however, the words "orange peel" and "coriander" intrigued her enough to try this: Jaxson's Wheat (16-ounce draft, $4.25) - cloudy, and with more citrus and resin than the first two beers, but still with a palate presence of Anywheat from the grocery store. The problem with all three beers is that there was very little nose, virtually no depth, and a clipped finish - this was a forgettable experience in a forgettable atmosphere that felt like something you'd find inside a shopping mall. If I lived here, then maybe, but I just can't see making an effort, and I'm really sorry to say this, too, as this is the type of place I pull for.
  6. The still-in-progress dining area at the front of Lezzet Market (on Nelson St. in Rockville, just down the hill from Rt 28 at I-270) will evidently be a branch of Balkan Grill, and not Simit & Kabob as previously surmised. I'm told there will be Turkish kebabs though. The interior reconfiguration is complete, a few tables are in, the kitchen is equipped. Latest rumored opening date is "this Friday, insha'Allah".
  7. They decided not to open in that location and instead will be opening soon at 7305 Richmond Highway. The building is next door to a Shell station and has been home to several other restaurants over the years.
  8. Mamma's Kitchen is 5 minutes away from me and pretty much what the OP describes Mamma's Kitchen has been our family spot for years. It's close by and they're very consistent. It's been run by the same Greek family since it opened. It's casual, family friendly comfort food. The menu is made up of various cliches like fettuccine alfredo and lasagna, but also a smattering of Greek dishes like mousakka. Nothing very adventurous, but the food is good, everything is made fresh and there's zero chance you'll leave hungry. And the gyros are great.
  9. I've eaten at House of Dynasty in the past -- it's 25 years old, and deserves mention in the "Oldest Restaurants" thread. I used to live closer, but I think it's been a good 10 years since I've been there. It hasn't changed much, and that's a good thing. The location is right across from Hayfield High School in the Hayfield Shopping Center at 7550 Telegraph Road. Web site is http://www.houseofdynasty.com/ This is Americanized Chinese fare, with waiters in gold paisley vests and food glistening with MSG. It is a comfortable dining room, with one section raised a bit off to the side. The lighting and decor are very nice for a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, and somewhat upgraded over what I remembered from 10 or 20 years ago. Carry out has it's own section and door on the other side. There is a full bar with all of the "tiki" drinks like Suffering Bastard and the like. The wine and beer list is spare, but you can certainly get a Tsing Tao beer or a bottle of Columbia Crest chardonnay ($18.95) to accompany the meal. I was struck by the quality of the gratis tea, which had a light red color and an incredible perfume. I asked the waitress what it was and she said "oolong" but I've never had a cup of tea this good in any restaurant. And I had three cups tonight. Lady Kibbee and I started with the lettuce-wrapped shrimp for two, a steal at $6.50. First came two warm towels for freshening up, and then out came a fresh cup of iceberg lettuce (times 2) came a large portion of chopped shrimp with veggies and spices. I would have that dish over and over again, or maybe even mix in the lettuce wrapped chicken. Next came a small shot glass filled with lemon sorbet to cleanse the palate, which has now been a tradition for 25 years at this place. Our mains were the Shrimp and Scallop Hunan style for Lady Kibbee and the Crispy Shredded Beef for me. When asked how much spice we wanted on a scale of 1-5, Lady Kibbee said 1 and I said 3, but our dishes came out the reverse. Nonetheless, they were quite good. Her shrimp were the size of small lobster tails and the freshness of the ingredients and the flavor were really good. My beef was crispy and satisfying, with a nice crunch giving way to a tender, beefy interior on each bite. My sauce was a bit sweet, which is typical of the Americanized style, but for about $16, I had a better and more abundant plate of beef than you can get at Morton's for 3-4 times the price. There was way too much food for normal adults to eat, but we soldiered through it and our tummies are full. Out came another plate of hot towels, along with fortune cookies, and our total with a bottle of chardonnay, tax and tip was about $70. I'm sorry that I've wasted time and resources on many other Americanized Chinese restaurants around northern Virginia without having returned to this gem in the past 10+ years. I won't be making that mistake again anytime soon.
  10. Potentially ecstatic news for those of near the restaurant wasteland that exists along Route 1 south of the Beltway. River Bend Bistro looks to be opening its doors fairly soon. Located about halfway between the Beltway and Mount Vernon (at 7966 Fort Hunt Road, to be precise), this place shows every sign of being several notches above any other place I can think of in that area. The chef, Caroline Ross, is a former sous chef at Bistro Bis, also spent some time (according to an internet article I found) at Restaurant Eve and Cafe Milano, and is the former General Manager of Rick's Wine and Gourmet (RIP). They have apparently been doing battle with the great Fairfax County permit machine for almost a year but are almost done. A friend I have on staff told me they most likely be open "within the next three weeks or so."
  11. I ventured out this morning to La Mexicana based on the this CH Post. Perhaps Sunday morning at 11 a.m. isn't the best time to visit because my tacos were all overcooked (thus tough and dry) and pretty much devoid of flavor. I had a tongue, a beef, and a chicken taco. I also had a Torta Ahogada, described as: It was indeed drenched in hot sauce (both temperature wise and spiciness). By the time I got to it, the onions were soft and I couldn't tell if they were cooked or not. That was the least of my problems as the sauce was more than my taste buds can handle - I can eat the food but I couldn't really taste much else other than the heat. The sauce also made the bread soggy, which might've been a problem had I been able to taste it. For the half hour or so that I was there, there were two other customers who came in for baked goods.
  12. Agree with many of the above, and I reserve the right to post about something I remember later. I do have to give a strong mention for Tango Pastry on Rt 1. It's An Argentinian bakery cafe on the first floor of a Days Inn just south of Old Town. The facturas pastries on the weekends are a stand out, and I think she does great Argentinian empanadas (my favorite being the chicken with the olives and eggs.) I have had one pasta dish and it was quite good, a bolognese, but haven't explored much beyond (yet). Sandra the owner is very friendly and after using her twice for parties can't recommend her catering strongly enough. In this area, this should be on the list of places to try (especially a fresh facturas).
  13. Not to hijack the DB thread, but better BBQ can be found at American BBQ on Telegraph Rd (near Rt 1 in south Alexandria). Their BBQ sauce is better than Dixie Bones as well.
  14. If you're in the area, you should try Su Pollo, south end of Rt.1/Richmond Hwy.-cooked over charcoal, more than half the time, the skin is crisp (I give it to my pups) but I've never tried their yuca, I get rice. The soup (aguadito de pollo) is excellent, especially w/ a little green sauce, & the tv always has soccer. It's a little hard to maneuver into their parking lot, but you can park in the shopping center next door, (other side of McDonalds) & pop in & out.
  15. Barbara and I popped in tonight about 7 PM. The place was empty except for one manager/server up front and an unknown number in the kitchen. No customers. That's not encouraging, but we were welcomed warmly and advised to sit anywhere. We took a table in the corner and after examining the menu, ordered the mixed grill for two, $30. This was a generous portion of steak, chicken, veal, and cevapi sausages and grilled vegetables (zucchini, carrot, and bell pepper) with bread to mop it up. The meat had been pounded thin, was quick-grilled so it got some sear on the outside and wasn't dry despite being thin. The rest of the menu is similar to other Eastern European restaurants in this area (like Cosmopolitan) with a mix of familiar German schnitzels, less familiar dishes from the Balkans, and an occasional totally American dish. The decor is very sleek and lounge-y in front, with a more traditional dining room in back. Hopefully they'll be able to get their wine and beer license soon, because I can definitely see hanging out here with a glass of wine and a snack at the bar. I'm glad to see a place that isn't a chain opening here in South Alexandria. (South of Old Town = SoOld?) Our host gave us several menus to give to friends. I'll scan one and post it up here.
  16. I'm looking for someone to fix the drainage problem I have in the back yard. This is different from the "bad drainage, muddy yard and want to grow grass" thread in here somewhere. I have grass, but when it rains long and hard, or when a lot of snow melts, we get a lake back there. And if it's not a lake, it's usually soft and soggy for days. The previous owners put in a french drain which might have worked way back when, but doesn't anymore. Has anyone successfully dealt with this kind of thing? Who'd you use? Thanks!
  17. I've noticed that we have a fairly substantial contingent from South Alexandria; yet, I'm not at liberty to disclose people's identities without their permission. I would love to be able to hook up people from that area, but they're going to need to "opt in." Could you write me if you're interested in getting to know a group of like-minded diners from your area, and I'll hook you up? Unless you're pro-active, I can't do it for obvious reasons. So either post here, or write me privately - I think we can form a nice-sized TMB fraternity/sorority south of the beltway in Alexandria. Cheers, Rocks
  18. Lizzy was craving pho today (she's not a pescetarian anymore), so we went to 5-10 Foodmart, she got a large chicken pho, & I got a baleada (tortilla w/ egg, peppers, beans, avocado-added extra salsa at home). The pho was packed separately-broth, noodles, herbs, onions, peppers, & she is so happy, says it's delicious. My baleada was good, too, maybe more of a breakfast meal, but filling. I'm happy that we have so many choices for takeout food close by, that's one of my favorite things about living in this area. We spent $13+, so it was very inexpensive as well (& I'm not cooking tonight).
  19. Hybla Valley Vet Hospital 7627 Richmond Highway Alexandria, Virginia 22306 (703) 765-9292 For many of us, our pets are part of our family, in fact we may like them better than some members of our family . So choosing a good vet is very important. Ten years ago when we adopted our dog Sophie from the DC Animal Shelter on NY Ave, we did our research and discovered Hybla Valley Veterinary Hospital. Not only are the doctors dedicated and caring professionals, they are affordable. The hospital was originally opened by Dr. E. J. Schrenzel in 1948. It is now run by his daughter Dr. Deborah Schrenzel. The two vets that see patients are Dr. Souri and Dr. Hong. Over the years, we have taken Sophie there more times than we can count. Anything from a nail trim to teeth cleaning to minor surgery and in-house lab work is all done with the utmost care and respect for the pets. The staff know many of their four-legged clients by name and you can tell they truly love the work they do. In addition to the veterinary services, they offer kenneling and you can get most of your pets medications filled. They also stock most of the Hills pet food varieties, both canned and dry. And, it's all the most affordable around. We've been very pleased with the care they have given us and Sophie over the years and have recommended them to friends and neighbors and now to you all on this board. Barbara Rice
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