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Found 38 results

  1. Joe H

    Vienna

    I just returned from a week in Vienna and Salzburg with the signature dinner at Vienna's Walter Bauer, arguably the city's best restaurant (now that Steinereck has been reduced to one star). A small, intimate chef owned restaurant with eight tables and remarkable E59 and E89 prix fixe prices for 5 and 9 course dinners with less than a 50% markup on wine-this is directly comparable to, say, Citronelle in D. C., da Fiore (Venice), Violon d'Ingris (Paris) for ambience and quality of presentation. A wonderful experience that my wife and I will look forward to returning to; an absolute must for anyone travelling to Vienna. Also, near Stevensphaltz (the 12th Century Cathedral), is the city's pre-eminent grocery store, Julius Meinl. I spent almost two hours in it one day and returned yesterday morning for another hour. From Gallo Grand Reserva carneroli 2003 arborio to the best Sprossenbrezen I have ever tasted to 2002 Kracher #11 this is the best indulgence in a city of many indulgences of excess. Both Germany and Austria are famous for bread that is unavailable in the U. S. Julius Meinl is the home of what may be the best bread in all of Austria. Sprossenbrezen is, for lack of a better description, a multiple seeded inch thick soft pretzel with four or five different kinds of seeds and a crispy, buttery crust encasing this that is just not found on this side of the Atlantic. Other seeded breads and rolls, some dark and some light, run the gamut of fantastic expectations: we must have purchased eight or nine different heavily seeded rolls in an attempt to sample as much as we could. The Sprossenbrezen ranks with any baked good I have ever had anywhere in my life! Serious. It is THAT good! For arborio the Gallo Grand Rserva is almost impossible to find, whether in Vienna or in Panzano or Verona or Alba. Meinl had four one kilo boxes and I bought two. For cheese Meinl's shop must rival most Parisian shops with at least seven to eight hundred square feet of space including at least three staffed counters of specialties, a number of which I have not seen in France or Italy. The wine shop and cellar are extensive, notably displaying Alois Kracher's fantastic and sometimes ambrosial dessert wines including his 99 point (Parker) 2002 #11 and 98 point #10 and #12. All were E 60 or less; in America you can double these prices but this is really meaningless since you won't find them, especially the 10, 11 and 12. (With Kracher the higher the number the sweeter the wine) The #12 is 4% alcohol and doesn't actually qualify as a wine. I opened a bottle and shared it with some friends in our hotel: this may actually compare to the '90 Avignonesi Vin Santo which the WS and Parker both gave 100 points to. Pure thick, syrupy orgasmic nectar. And it has not spent as much time in the bottle as it really should have to age properly! I brought back five more bottles (all that they had)and will not open the first for at least several years. This compares to the best Hungarian Essencia ('93?), Dal Forno's '97 Recioto and the Avignonesi mentioned above. (These are all VERY different dessert wines but they represent the best of their style; Kracher's #11 and #12 compare favorably in their own "style.") I've had many other Kracher tbas and other sweet wines; this is his best. In fact one of my goals is to be able to open this wine a few years from now along side of an Avignonesi Vin Santo and a Dal Forno Recioto, all representing what I think would be an ultimate orgasmic blowout of sugary excess, each in their own styles. I should also mention that Vienna and Salzburg were both cold this year. Very cold. The high on Sunday was about 16 F. In Salzburg there was about 50 cm of snow on the ground. That's two feet. With two feet of snow and below freezing temperatures even the most beautiful of cities can be less than inviting. It is good to be home.
  2. Greetings Rockwellers, Just got off the phone with Patrick Bazin, the former executive chef at Occidental in D.C., who is poised to welcome guests to his new namesake restaurant tomorrow evening. Bazin has about two dozen dishes on his debut menu, including items like a Southwestern chicken soup with black beans and grilled radicchio, ricotta ravioli in a Meyer lemon sauce and a "double thick" Iowa pork chop served with vanilla sweet potatoes and braised Swiss chard. Most appetizers appear to be under $10 and the entrees top out at $26 for the crab cakes. The restaurant is located at 111 Church Street NW in Old Town Vienna and doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner. Just thought you'd like to know.....
  3. Years ago, I enjoyed several meals at Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in Vienna. I thought many times about returning, but for whatever reason, I just never seemed to get there. Then about a month ago, I returned. Then I went again. And again. And yesterday I found myself in my car, having just ordered a Curry Paradise lunch entrée for $5.95. In the parking lot at the back of the restaurant, enjoying a quiet meal by myself, I took two bites of the dish, and then I started laughing. I started laughing because the food was so unbelievably good, the latest in an unbroken string of terrific plates at Sunflower. From dish-to-dish, from day-to-day, this place is consistently good - one of the few restaurants in the entire area where you can seemingly throw a dart at the menu and hit a winner. Golden Nuggets are marinated yuba wrapped with shredded shiitake mushrooms, soy protein and bamboo shoots in a druggingly delicious house brown sauce. If you serve this dish to a child, or even an adult, they’ll have no idea they aren’t eating meat. Forget the health/vegetarian angle: this place is great! And even if you’re a college football player, you can walk away from a meal here stuffed to the gills, entirely satisfied, and still somehow managing to feel healthy and not weighed down. White And Green Jade is layers of steamed spinach with “very precious” bamboo fungus, Chinese jujube, Chinese wolfberry, fresh enoki mushrooms and sweet corn in a light ginger sauce. If some of these terms are unfamiliar, their menu has an entertaining and informative glossary in the back which is a perfect way to pass the time while waiting for your food to arrive. Staffed mainly with Asian-Americans, it still manages to have a funky, flower-child feel to it. They don’t serve alcohol, but offer up an interesting selection of juices and teas. The only thing to avoid are the desserts, which are simply not good because they use no eggs, dairy or sugar. If I lived closer to Sunflower, I’d get carryout lunches several days a week, and if I was forced at gunpoint to pick just one restaurant in the Washington DC area where I had to eat every meal for the rest of my life, I would choose Well, I guess I would choose Citronelle. But Sunflower would at least get a thought. This food is perfect for carrying out and reheating in the microwave, and will easily stay fresh in the fridge for a second night because of the airtight containers and vegetarian purity. As they say on the menu, “Everything is free of MSG, and only organic flavor enhancers, such as kelp powder, kombu, sea salt, canola oil, nutritional yeast, gomashio, barley malt, brown rice syrup, and vegetable stock are used.” Sunflower is only one exit outside the beltway (take I-66 to Nutley Street, take a left on Route 123, and it will be almost immediately on your left) and is only a twenty-minute drive from the DC line without traffic. Their website is here. You'll thank me, I promise you! Rocks.
  4. The Dining Guide does not contain an entry for Bonaroti's, so it appears. Yet, here is some of the finest 'burbs Italian around, ranking with Zeffirelli's in Herndon, Da Domenico's in Tysons, and A La Lucia in Old Town. It has the charm and visual appeal of Cafe Renaissance down the street, a deep connection to the community (with "Chris Cooley's Bresaola" and Spaghetti "Chris Cooley" on the dinner menu), walls of pictures of friends and local dignitaries, and a menu that really warms the Italian heart beating in all of us. I had the veal osso buco for lunch yesterday and I was blown away. The large pieces of veal were fall-off-the-bone tender, and it was covered with a thick, brown almost stew-like sauce, and accompanied by risotto that was cooked to perfection. It was delectable. This is a hearty lunch, ruining my New Year's resolution on, like, day 3. I had been here many times in the past and then I sort of forgot about it, but after yesterday, it's going into my rather spare McLean-Tyson's-Vienna-Fairfax Rt. 123 rotation.
  5. For me and my dear aged mother, the main casualty of Friday night's storm was the cancellation of today's matinee performance of Don Giovanni at the Barns at Wolf Trap (well, actually, my mother's house in Fairfax was without electricity from 10:30 pm Friday to 4:00 pm Saturday; I suffered no such tribulation in the Kalorama Triangle). We had planned to have lunch before the opera at Plaka Grill in Vienna, which is right on the way. When we learned of the cancellation, we decided to have the lunch as planned. Plaka Grill is in a dreary little strip mall on Lawyers' Road just off Maple Ave, next door to a Papa John's. It's quite a bare-bones sort of place. You place your order at the counter, and they give you a little stand with a number on it to put on your formica-top table so they'll know where to deliver your food. You fetch your own plastic forks and knives and paper napkins. But the service is friendly, cheerful, and efficient, and the food is delicious and inexpensive. We split an appetizer of dolmadakia, which was five grape-leaf rolls with a filling of lamb, beef, and rice, drizzled with a lemony sauce, served hot. They were actually very hot, and tasty beyond my expectation. Then we had "Chicago Gyros", which resemble every gyro you've ever had, but taken to a higher level. The pita wrapper was chewy but tender, the pressed meat stuff was tender, moist, and flavorful. The gyros were rounded out with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki, and I'd have to say that these were the best gyros I've ever encountered. The one order of dolmades, two gyros, and two bottles of Bass ale came to just over $29. No wonder this place is popular. I wouldn't go a very long way out of my way to eat here, but gosh, what a good lunch I had at such a trivial cost.
  6. So it seems Bonaroti might be getting something other than a Potbelly within skipping distance of it. I noticed this place taking over what used to be the storefront/restaurant of Wolftrap Catering, and it seems to have a nice concept in mind - even if the location might be lethal: Clarity Vienna Facebook Page @clarityvienna on Twitter The pedigree is certainly something to raise an eyebrow at, being owned by Jonathan Krinn, formerly of the 2941 Restaurant, and Jason Maddens, formerly of the Central Michel Richard in DC. Just from looks alone this appears to be something different from a simple Maple Ave. Restaurant clone, but there's no information on the menu or cuisine past guessing what a 'freestyle American bistro' would serve. Also, no one's posted about it yet from what I can see, so I figured I'd get the ball rolling.
  7. Thank the (somewhat undersized) scallop entree at the (somewhat overpriced, somewhat underrated) Church Street Cellars for sending me and my young dining companion on a dessert hunt, lured by the scent of a sign in the alley leading to the (somewhat underrated) Rose Restaurant, and allowing us to stumble, completely randomly, onto The Pure Pasty Co., opened just last week. What's the difference between a pasty and an empanada? An enthusiastic Michael Burgess was manning the register, having sold out of Sausage Rolls ($3.75), and having just three pasties left in the case. Me that I am, I bought one of each (Traditional, Slowdown Veggie, and Cornish Masala, each $6.00), and the Cornish Masala was very good. As the website touts, "It's all in the crust," and that's what I was thinking while scarfing it on the way home. Especially with the addition of a food cart, this could be a successful operation - it's super simple, no frills, grab-and-go, and carryout only. I've never had a Pasty before today, and they're worth trying. To date, I think I'm the only person in the world to do a daily double of the (somewhat over-catered) Max's Kosher Cafe and The Pure Pasty Co. Thing is, I was so emotionally drained by my meal last night at our 4th Best Restaurant that I needed to ground myself in simple street fare. Drained not by the meal itself (I've had worse meals, even this week), but because I've been toggling back-and-forth between issuing a methodical trashing of what was, at best, a banquet-quality dinner, and more accurately, something no better than you'd get when ordering room service; and exposing, for the sake of the Greater Good, a friend for being an incompetent megalomaniac because, you see, it's not J&G's fault that restaurant writing in this town has largely devolved into a bipolar star-fucking crisis of self-absorbed complacency, coexisting with a plastic, Ikea-bought bowl filled to the brim with cold, squiggly, noodles of nothingness. Cheers, Rocks
  8. https://www.sushiyoshivienna.co/ The a la carte sushi may be more expensive since 1 order = 1 piece but they have many varieties of fish. For lunch I had Boston Mackerel, Spanish Mackereal, and Horse Mackerel, in addition to Sardine, Yellowtail, Yellowtail Belly, and Uni. Each piece was between $2 to $3 dollars (the sardine was $1.85) sushi_yoshi_sushi_a_la_carte_.pdf Due to the impending snowpocalypse, I also ordered some fried squid legs (kara age) and something they called seafood pancake. The squid legs were medium sized fried 1 leg at a time and not a clump of squid legs like fried calamari. The legs were a little chewy, but I suspect that's how they're supposed to be. Nevertheless, I enjoyed them without the tartar sauce that came on the side. Not on the website are two pages of specials, of which 1 was labeled Japanese small plates (lots of grilled jaws and fish). The seafood pancake was one of the specials but it's nothing like a Korean seafood pancake. This is really a rather large fishcake topped with some tempura shavings and a slightly spicy soy based sauce. The first bite was a bit fishy but I soon got used to the favor and enjoyed the dish. This is the best sushi in Vienna (not many others in the area - Sakana, Sweet Ginger, Sushi Yama, Konami are others I've been to) and the additon of other specials makes this place one of the best yet unsung Japanese restaurants in the DC area.
  9. Mrs DrXmus and I had lunch at The Sandwich Shop this afternoon. We were there a little after noon and the place was about half full. There wasn't much more business before we left around 12:30. The inside is unchanged from Chase the Submarine, I'm fairly certain. I had a Cuban sandwich which I enjoyed. The bread was a ciabatta, so some would have a fit, but it was quite fine for me. The ham was replaced with a couple of slices of salami, which I liked very much. I got an order of fries which were great, if slightly undersalted. They seemed to be battered and were crispy as expected and creamy on the inside. Mrs DrX got a turkey sandwich which should have included fresh mozzarella, avocado, tomato, lettuce and a cranberry mostarda. She doesn't like out of season tomatoes, avocado or condiments, so it ended up being bread, lettuce and mozzarella. I don't think they added the vinaigrette she'd asked for. The turkey itself was tasty, but she got bored with the sandwich by the end. Every sandwich comes with a cup of a few pickled onions, a few bread and butter pickles and a spear of what I'm guessing is a half-sour (I'm no pickle pro, so I wouldn't bet on that) which were all terrific. There were breakfast sandwiches on the menu for earlier in the day. For the rest of the day I saw some salads, veggie options and other side dishes. I couldn't find a web site and I didn't memorize the menu, so I can't expand on the options any more than this. The sign on the building still says "Chase the Submarine" but there's a sheet of paper in the window that says "The Sandwich Shop".
  10. In the "every cloud has a silver lining" category, I am now eagerly awaiting the opening of his "Chase the Submarine" on Church Street! I had not heard that this was in the works.
  11. While out in Vienna recently, I got a recc on a nearby coffee place for a quick pickup that I'd never have found otherwise and thought I'd share. Caffe Amouri is about 7 months old and is at 107 Church St NE in Vienna in a pretty non-descript strip mall. I'm guessing this is probably the best coffee spot in that immediate area and maybe top 3 in NoVa. I instantly give points to coffee shop purveyors who roast on site since you know the java is fresher that way and most don't do this due to the cost. Coffee was excellent. Owner very nice and there's a brand spankin' new, yellow and gleaming steel fairly high tech roasting machine right in the front of the cafe. My only pick, a minor one, is how they positioned and use the machine. It's set up like one might expect at a science museum and reminded me of the Way Back Machine. It has a velvet rope around it, a few scattered coffee burlap sacks for effect and it's connected to a laptop with its own stool. But maybe not so cool to run it during the day as they do since it's right next to the tables and makes a ton of noise. Amouri has a thread on Yelp (like every other retailer on the planet it seems) but I wanted to point it out here since it's very good and may help someone out that way desperate for a quality cup.
  12. I've gone to Pho -N-More in Vienna twice now but I still haven't tried their pho. Instead, I've tried a couple of Thai-ish noodle soups. The first was Tsunami: "minced pork, mixed seafood ball, bean sprout, chinese broccoli, crushed peanut, cilantro n scallion in spicy broth." This tastes suspiciously like floating market noodle soup at Nava Thai - a sour and spicy soup with a brown broth. I'm not saying it's great but it's good to know that I don't have to go to Wheaton for FMNS. Today I tried the Tornado: "a new version of “Pad Thai” minced chicken, tofu, preserved radish, bean sprout, green bean, crushed pea­nut, cilantro n scallion in spicy broth." It wasn't really spicy, more sweet and sour in a clear broth (a flavor combination that's not my favorite). Both times I also ordered a plate of spicy basil stir fried with mixed veggies - reasonably tasty. Menu
  13. This little brewing restaurant is in Vienna VA next to the WO&D Trail. Great to get to by bike but if you are in your car you will find it in an industrial area at 520 Mill Street. Didn't get a look at the inside as I had my dog...but the outside has a patio and a grassy area where kids , dogs, and frisbees are welcome. I had a flight of beers, and while not a beer connoisseur, I like the wheat and the stout. The list is immense along with some wine and homemade sodas, so there is bound to be some libation to your liking. I am not writing this post about the drinks....it is about 2 shrimp which were served to me atop some Anson Mill Grits. I have hated shrimp for the past few years as I find them tasteless. This place was the exception, I don't know if it was a one day fluke but the shrimp I had there reminded me of the shrimp I had in Basque country at Etxebarri. They were exceptional. We also had the Duck Liver mousse and Roasted Pimento Cheese. They were both worth ordering again. A charcuterie plate with homemade crackers rounded off our meal (well rounded off may be an exaggeration)....but it was all good and the prices were not bad at all. I would go back for the shrimp alone.
  14. So it's taken slightly shorter than forever for this place to open (in the former Jerry's Subs & Pizza spot near Jammin' Java), but I noticed tonight they've finally gotten around to it. Just from the looks of it, it appears to be a very simple, no-frills family-style Italian place. It's (at least visibly) not trying to be or compete with Pazzo Pomodoro (or Bonaroti, for that matter), and the prices definitely reflect it in their menu, which wasn't very easy to find since Google hasn't gotten a chance to cache this place's website yet...thankfully, though...I found it: here's the menu. I really hope this place lives up to the six potential friends & family 'five star reviews' it has on its Facebook page, because I've wanted a nice place to pick up some decent Italian food locally for dine-in and take-out without having to pay an arm and a leg for it (Joe's, I'm looking at you). The reason I question the Facebook reviews is that two of them mention pizza, and I fail to see where that is on their 'full menu,' and two of them might have been posted before the restaurant had even opened. I guess I want this place to be the equivalent of those "Pomodoro" local chain restaurants in the area that serve decent but not hideously-overpriced Italian fare. I'll post a proper review sometime this week.
  15. Drove by earlier tonight and new sign on the window. Couldn't find anything on the internet. Any word on this new place?
  16. Indian food is one of my favorites, so when a friend invited me to join her for lunch at Diya I was a little surprised: I'd never even heard of it. But I'm always happy to try something new. The first thing that struck me about Diya was the smell - like a hotel ballroom, except in the bar, which smelled like bleach. The second thing was the size. It's huge. But whatever. It's the food that's important, right? The buffet that day had vegetable fritters, yellow dal, saag paneer, channa, aloo gobhi, salad and a few different chutneys, raita, goat curry, tandoori chicken, butter chicken, one or two other savory things that I didn't try, and kheer and gulab jamun for sweets. "All the safe choices for an American audience," I thought snarkily. "Except for goat curry. That's promising." So how did it taste? Bland. Brown. Boring. Muddy. Mediocre. If I'd closed my eyes only texture would have told me what I was eating. Not one dish had the complexity and vibrancy that makes Indian cuisine so enticing. Later I queried several other friends, friends whose judgement I trust, food-loving friends, friends who post on this board. Everyone said it's a really good restaurant. So I suppose I was just a victim of an office worker style lunch buffet. In Diya's defense, I'll state that I haven't yet eaten anything wortwhile at an Indian buffet (including Masala Art, my current favorite), with the exception of the late, lamented Connaught Place, torn down by the City of Fairfax in order to create a parking lot, may it rest in peace (the restaurant, not the parking lot). Has anyone else been to Diya? Care to defend it? Tell me that it was an off day or that I need to go for dinner instead?
  17. What I find incredible about this is that at 1:27, there is a very slight, almost imperceptible, mistake that nobody has probably even noticed before; yet, Spock gives a very slight, almost imperceptible, wince. Coincidence? I hate to piss on the party, but this music is not what Spock is playing. (But this is - it's by Ivan Ditmars.)
  18. Ate at Turmeric pre-concert last month (Brandi Carlile and First Aid Kit - I know, kind of the opposite of death metal and prog rock). Not too shabby. Nice space and tasty food with good service. Is it stunning? no. Does it suck? Hell no! I'd put it in the solidly good bordering on very good mark overall. It's pretty convenient to Wolftrap, too - not right next door convenient, but close enough to make it an easy pre-concert place to try.
  19. Stefan Zweig would be on my short-short list of "Greatest Writers Ever." The two novellas I have read by him, "The Royal Game" (1941, "Schachnovelle" in German) and "Amok" (1922, Der Amokläufe in German), are as good as any short stories I've ever read, and if someone held a gun to my head, and forced me to pick the single greatest short story I've ever read, it would be "The Royal Game" (and, quite frankly, I don't have any idea what the runner-up would be). It is, in my eyes, an almost-perfect novella, especially its structure in A-B-AB form - it's like reading a Beethoven Sonata. To put the admittedly hyperbolic statements above in perspective, Fyodor Dostoyevsky would also be on that list, which you could count with the fingers of one hand. Structure and architecture are two extremely important things to me, and Zweig's structure cannot be improved upon - it's like reading a Bach Fugue. There's one potentially ruinous thing about "The Royal Game," and that is the translation. Zweig was personal friends with Sigmund Freud, and human psychology is an integral part of his writing - for this reason alone, it is imperative to find a well-translated version of his works. The book that DIShGo read (which I own, "The Royal Game & Other Stories") is translated in the fashion of "stuffy British English," and I cannot even find the name of the translator, though I've only spent about fifteen minutes looking online. The first time I read "The Royal Game" was nearly twenty years ago, and it was the subject being discussed in a book that was called something like, "What Is Art?" I lent it to a friend, and never got it back. , so I remember neither the exact name of the book, nor the name of the translator, but *that* version was what reeled me in like a fish; this four-story anthology is a crime against humanity for what it did to Zweig's masterpiece. Oh, the story is still there, and you'll see how wonderful it is, but that extra 10% of magic is gone due to the formality of the language used - Zweig desperately needs to be translated in an almost conversational style since his works deal with such intense human emotion; the compendium available on Amazon makes you feel like you're reading a news article instead of reading Zweig's own words. I feel helpless, not being able to recommend a good translation to you, because it is absolutely imperative. Anyway, I leafed through this translation (the compendium on Amazon), and was aghast at the writing style. Phrases and words that you'll simply never hear spoken in your entire life are used with regularity, and it actually made me *sad* that people are reading this, thinking they're reading Zweig. Regardless, I decided to bite my lip, and read the second story in the compendium, "Amok," and even with this stiff language, it is abundantly clear that I was reading a masterpiece - a work that could have only been written by an author so profound that even a stuffy translator couldn't ruin it. "Amok" was an unbelievably great novella, the kind of story that you *hate* putting down because you have to be somewhere - it's only forty pages long, so can be easily read - savored - in a couple hours of focused attention. I will not ruin the story for you, at least not in this post, but perhaps if anyone wishes to discuss it, I'll include a prominent *** SPOILERS *** section so as not to ruin it for the uninitiated - but not yet. "Amok' was a story so engaging that I might come out and say it's the second-greatest novella I've ever read; yet, according to DIShGo, it may not even be the second-best novella in this one compendium! There is very little chance at this point of me finding out the name of the original book I had, much less the translator, but I can say with confidence to avoid this edition on Amazon. "The Royal Game" is clearly divided into three sections, and was labeled as such; *this* compendium doesn't even have the decency to label the "sections" 1, 2, and 3 - it just crams everything together. Never have I read a story that is so clearly demarcated - a child could have put in the section numbers without even knowing anything about the novella. "The Royal Game" was published just before Zweig committed suicide. I wonder if he knew, deep down inside, that he had produced a work of such profundity that it could never again be matched. Almost surely not - Zweig had some personal problems, but they came out in full Technicolor in his writing - writing that can only be described with one word in the English language: genius. Never have I raved about an author like this, and once you read Zweig's works, you'll understand why. You'll *hate* it when they end. I must add that I have read precisely two novellas by Zweig, hardly making me an expert, so this essay must be tempered with the appropriate grain of salt. That said, I'm so confident in this man's genius, that I could commit to reading *only him* for the rest of my life, and if the body of work was large enough, it would be a life well-spent. --- This is important, so keep reading! PS - There is hope! My friend answered my desperate text message with a response - the book is called "Understanding the Arts," (*) and it was written by John Hospers. I don't understand how book sellers can sell books on Amazon for one cent, but it seems to be available in some fashion on Amazon.com (can anyone explain this to me? They charge $3.99 for shipping, but that hardly makes them any money). Anyway, my friend couldn't find the translator, but he told me to research "the 1972 Viking Penguin reprint," because that's the one they use in this book. I asked him to type out the first sentence of the translation, and it is this: "The big liner, due to sail from New York to Buenos Aires at midnight, was filled with the activity and bustle incident to the last hour...." - that is the edition that you want. Interestingly, my friend and I are also chatting, and he said the only reason he found the book was because he's insisting that his friend read "Schachnovelle," adding, "It is the greatest short story I know," and this guy is a hyper-genius. Get this edition and read it! (*) OMFG - the entire edition is online! It's not the most enjoyable way to read a book, but you can at least *read the book* if you don't mind scrolling through the pages (I personally *hate* doing this - it's like listening to a great piece of music through a pair of earbuds, and in my opinion, ruins the experience).
  20. I heard about this place from menusarang.com which introduces Korean restaurants in the DC Metro area. According to the website, Chef Chen used to work at a Chinese restaurant near the city hall in Seoul, left and came to the U.S. and opened this place. The website also added his black bean noodle and Jjampong (spicy seafood noodle soup) is fantastic. Escoffier and I tried the black bean noodle, Jjampong and Szechuan spicy shrimp. The black bean sauce has a deeper and earthier taste than usual. I am wondering if it is homemade. Diced pork, chopped onion and julienned zucchini were stir-fried with the black bean sauce. The sauce was very well done. I could tell the chef is very skillful. The texture of the noodles was okay, not as remarkable as Da Rae Won's. I ordered Jjampong and asked them to make it spicier. It wasn't very spicy, however, it was very tasty. The Szechuan spicy shrimp was good. It also could have been spicier. One thing I was disappointed with was that he made the dish very saucier therefore, it lost crunchiness. Overall, I ilke this place a lot and I will visit this place again soon. 'House of No MSG' was written on top of the menu. After I tasted his foods, I can trust the statement.
  21. An unplanned visit to Alborz with my friend's Persian friend led me to quite a surprise. At first look, this unsuspecting Persian Kabob joint looked like a liquor store. However, once you are inside, it is quite an amazing contrast. As far as service is concerned, they are obviously very proud of their restaurant and their food that you feel the sincerity in their hospitality. One other noticeable attribute of this place is that Persians actually eat there. That is a great sign. The menu is pretty simple, pricing is about the same as Moby Dick's. However, these folks serve Cornish Hen kabob. Apart from the bones on this smaller cousin of the chicken we are accustomed to, the Cornish Hen actually tastes magnificent. Also, not in the menu is tahdig with gheymeh. Ask for it. It's the crispy rice from the bottom of the rice cooker, and they serve it with a tomato based meat stew. Yummy! I have since brought my Egyptian friend in this place who just moved here from Egypt a few months back. Let me tell you, this uncompromising friend of mine actually felt very happy with the taste. According to him "this is close to the real deal, man". I think that's a great sign. I since brought my very particular foodie connoisseur friend who is also a Don Rockwell rockstar. And she liked it as well. Score! Give it a try. Google it up! Alborz, McLean, VA
  22. Just a warning for any Nielsen's fans out there: tomorrow will be the store's last day in its present location - they're out of most things already, but will be open tomorrow to sell out of their stock. They're going to relocate, and the target date for reopening is Mar 1, 2016.
  23. Website Location: 350 Maple Avenue West, in the same shopping center that has the UPS Store, on the side of 123 that *doesn't* have Amphora on it. I can't really say a whole lot about this place as I only noticed it had a "soft" opening yesterday (hence the 'not technically open' quip) and I already had plans with a friend to take advantage of a Bonaroti gift certificate. They didn't have a menu to take with me, but there's one on their website if you scroll down enough - the fare and selection reminds me more of Burger 7 than Elevation or Five Guys. First impression is that this place seems rather well-placed to do decent business during the work week simply because it's within walking distance of quite a lot of office space across the street. But thanks to the Town of Vienna city council's belief that colorful attention-grabbing signs cause ~Super Zombie AIDS~, the white-on-maroon sign commands little attention from the street as you're whizzing by at 30-35 (no faster, lest Vienna's finest happily give you a ticket for 6+), so word-of-mouth will have to help this place. It's also extremely small inside, with very little seating. Initial Yelp reviews (all two of them) seem rather positive, with pricing being the biggest complaint. Other than that, I can't really write much more since I haven't eaten anything there yet. Guess I'll get to that today or some time this week.
  24. Three of us had our first (of many future) outings at Alegria for my birthday last night. It's next to Bazin's on Church St. in Vienna. At the risk of making it more busy so I can't get in, I'll say this is a place you should all go. In general, I've got nothing but positives to say except that they don't take reservations. Guacamole: the best I've ever eaten, although this had to be tempered with the knowledge I've only accepted guac over the last couple of years. This version is chunky, acidic and salty with a little sprinkle of cotija (maybe chihuahua) cheese on top. The highlights are the avacado, the salt and the acid, though. Most guacs aren't acidic enough for me. This one is spot on. I ripped this guacamole a new one! Crispy Tortillas: the first basket is free. Thin, fresh, hot, well-seasoned. They're served with 2 salsas, a green, spicy one and a smoky, tomato-based version with little to no spice. Both are good and the combo is great for a table of mixed tastes, but the spicy verde version is more to my liking. Queso Fundido: there are three versions, each served in a cast iron pan with fresh-made masa soft tortillas. We got the version with rajas, brown onions and Mexican oregano. Very tasty stuff. Next time we'll defy the non-meat eater and get the chorizo option. Baja Fish Taco: delish! Battered and fried piece of fish over cabbage, lime mayo and pickled jalapenos in a soft house-made corn tortilla. If I didn't have the menu, I'd swear there was pickled veggies/cabbage under the fish, not just pickled peppers. This was an excellent taco. The tacos are charged per taco and they range from $3.50-$4 a piece. Marinated Chicken Breast Taco: guacamole, grilled spring onion, grilled slices of breast. Tender, well-cooked chicken. The onion tasted great, but have you ever tried to bite a green onion in half? It's not so pretty. Roasted Portobello Taco: sliced grilled portobello, chihuahua cheese, chipotle, brown onions, pepitos. Nice mushroom flavor, but lacking chipotle spice or smokiness. The pepitos added a nice texture change. Ceviche Trio: one small scoop of each of the available ceviches - tuna (with passion fruit-pickled habanero chiles), Maine scallops (orange, capers, roasted green chiles) and Mahi-Mahi (lime, tomato, olives, avocado, cilantro). Each of these were excellent, in our opinions. The tuna was the favorite. Acidic, spicy, great texture and flavor. The chunks of Mahi-Mahi would pass for cooked in texture, which may help non-ceviche eaters enjoy the dish. The scallop may have been the least favorite. The flavor was very good, but I think the texture of the scallop was a bit too soft and mushy. Mrs. DrXmus had a main dish of Chipotle Shrimp. This was about 6 or so perfectly-cooked shrimp in sauce. No carbs for sopping or soaking, unfortunately. She said the shrimp were excellent, but the dish lacked much spice or chipotle flavor. She was impressed with the fact the shrimp were peeled all the way to the end of the tail, so there was no fishing for that last piece of meat. Cowboy Black Beans: nice side dish of beans sprinkled with cotija or chihuahua cheese and epazote and cooked with garlic and onions. This was good, but one of my tablemates ate more than I did. The dish was oversalted a bit and seemed to be lacking the garlic and onion flavor advertised. The beans were perfectly cooked and had great texture to them. This was not a bad dish by any means. Personally, I wouldn't get this again, but there is a chipotle version I may try. We had the Classico Margaritas, but there were several to choose from. Yes, I had a few, but they were sweeter than I prefer. The bar is stocked with many tequilas, but I didn't get a serious look at them. Beer selection is pitiful for my tastes, but if you like Corona or Dos XX, you'll be happy. They may have had Pacifico, but I'm not sure about that. I saw a child with a small bottle of Coca-Cola, but I don't know if it's the Mexican-made product. I'm really happy Alegria has opened in Vienna. After trying Bazin's three times and striking out all three times due to food or service issues, I'm glad the more casual Alegria is to our liking.
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