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Where Did I Dine? A Photograph-Based Guessing Game

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Still on burger (the only active contest right now I think?):

8407 Kitchen Bar and Eat Bar are very good guesses. Better than the initial guesses before the wave of hints. And, kudos especially to Josh Radigan, first to comment on the bun. While not brioche, you're on the right path there that it is a non-standard bun like most everything on the plate.

Sorry, no on 8407 and Eat Bar. Lots of clues above now on this. Surely someone will get this. They should. It's not patently obvious but nor is it absurdly obscure. Important balance for WDID, no?

The bar at Bourbon Steak?

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The bar at Bourbon Steak?

I think I already ruled that out yesterday (plus they serve their fries in a triad).

As long as we're in sandwich mode, where did I dine? (In general, I think it's cruel, and nearly impossible, to post a picture of a sandwich and expect people to guess unless there's something distinctive about it - this one, there is). The half-sandwich was ordered off-menu, as an afterthought; I just wanted some chili, but thought to myself, well, why not (and ended up taking half the (beanless) chili home). The pickle spear is available on request only (that's a small hint because there's a sign up saying just that).

post-2-0-71197700-1359582524_thumb.jpg

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Don's picture is Earl's.

I almost took a photo of the baseball card wall decorations last week to play, but didn't know if restrooms would take this game down a bad path.

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Don's picture is Earl's.

I almost took a photo of the baseball card wall decorations last week to play, but didn't know if restrooms would take this game down a bad path.

Yes, this was the newer one in Ballston which I prefer - it's larger, and has a better selection. I figured someone would get this fairly quickly (although I'm impressed at *how* quickly you pegged it).

I couldn't resist ordering their freshly roasted turkey (that was the distinctive factor), with cheddar on sourdough, and no condiments - I love Earl's. If you've never been, this sandwich isn't really representative because I made it simple and plain on purpose.

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On Don's picture of Earl's -- the chili being served in a clear plastic container was also a clue.

Darkstar965: I've been trying to think about what restaurant would fit your clues. Is it time for another hint? Like narrowing it down to either VA, MD, or DC?

(by the way I've tried to take pictures of my food a couple of times to post here but they haven't been clear enough. I'm going to keep trying.)

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On Don's picture of Earl's -- the chili being served in a clear plastic container was also a clue.

And *hot* as *hell*, temperature-wise, not spice-wise. Even when I carried the second half out twenty minutes later, I had to handle it by the lid and base.

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Still on burger (the only active contest right now I think?):

8407 Kitchen Bar and Eat Bar are very good guesses. Better than the initial guesses before the wave of hints. And, kudos especially to Josh Radigan, first to comment on the bun. While not brioche, you're on the right path there that it is a non-standard bun like most everything on the plate.

Sorry, no on 8407 and Eat Bar. Lots of clues above now on this. Surely someone will get this. They should. It's not patently obvious but nor is it absurdly obscure. Important balance for WDID, no?

DC9?

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...(In general, I think it's cruel, and nearly impossible, to post a picture of a sandwich and expect people to guess unless there's something distinctive about it - this one, there is).

Cruel? Impossible? Hmmm. I've been approaching this as the best clues aren't slam dunks but aren't impossible. This community knows restaurants too well. There should be some challenge, shouldn't there? And thought that what I posted was somewhat distinctive given the clues already provided? That combination of elements on a burger and fry plate is not common. Duck fat fries alone narrow the field significantly. Add housemade pickels and aioli...

...Darkstar965: I've been trying to think about what restaurant would fit your clues. Is it time for another hint? Like narrowing it down to either VA, MD, or DC?

Absolutely cheezepowder. I have a few more hints I'll share now. Next post to follow.

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Burger Hints 3.0

Okay-really thought by now someone would have had this. Someone like Rocks maybe. :) Five pretty-much final hints (simply because not much else left to say short of the location/answer) which should seal the deal for someone. Apologies in advance that the final hint below is one Don won't love but may help others:

- First, and with regret (know how I felt just before someone else guessed Ashby Inn!), nix on Urbanna, Cedar, Lyon Hall and DC9 though all reasonable guesses. It isn't fine dining in any way but nor is it in the mass of Don's "500 taverns" given what's already been described about the dish. This Maryland venue is more similar to a tavern/pub than to a Blue Duck or Bourbon. The food is pretty clearly better than most any typical tavern but not top tier; not worth travelling to but worth stopping at, etc.

- Josh Radigan, my use of the term "sea legs" above wasn't intentional. Attach no significance to that else it'll really steer you off track.

- It is all in a name. I've always been interested in names whether people, pets or businesses. I always ask about them. For restaurants, most all names could be termed literal ("Restaurant X" or '24th St Cafe'), informative (R24, Palena and Freddy's Lobster & Clam all examples of places whose names tell a story about why and what's inside) and abstract (hotel restaurants or celebrity chefs will use names like these sometimes). The burger place's name is informative in a way that is descriptive. So, unlike Palena (where you have to know that Chef Ruta named it for his mother's hometown in Italy), this place's name is useful. It informs aptly what they do or what they aspire to do different from others.

- Josh Radigan was good to focus a bit on the bun but wrong in the guess that it was brioche. It's actually the same as the roll no other than Jamie Stachowski uses for his Hot Italian Sausage sandwich, an excellent one that hasn't gotten as much attention here on dr.com as, say, his pastrami or braunschweiger.

- Big hint here. I purposefully didn't include a shot of the accompanying beverages in the photo. The place has one of the most extensive and varied beer programs in the area. More than 200 brews with another 15-20 on tap that regularly change. That's much bigger than most pubs and taverns I know.

- Finally, and this is the hint Rocks won't like. Despite his initial reaction to the plate ('wouldn't eat this if given [him] for free'!!), Rocks actually has reviewed this place positively, commenting on one of the elements in the picture specifically (though with bad guidance imho ;) ). In doing so, he was at odds with TS, who was virtually the only critic, blogger, online community or publication of note to ding it. All other sites--tripadvisor, chowhound, opentable, patch, lots of blogs--lean very positive.

That has to do it, right?

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"One thing to keep in mind about Victoria Gastro Pub is that it's got a lot of very fat-laden, 'guy food,' but what I had and what I saw was executed quite well within this genre. Maintained as a strong Very Good and Noteworthy for it’s beers, the beverage list itself which is quite an impressive document, and the clubby bar area which is full of dark wood and yet manages to be cheery at the same time [none of which were shown in your photo!]"

Cheers,

Kreskin.

Damn, darkstar, I love your enthusiasm, but this was damn nigh impossible! :wacko::blink::P

And shame on our 5 members from Howard County! :lol:

Rest assured, I'll never forget this burger again.

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"One thing to keep in mind about Victoria Gastro Pub is that it's got a lot of very fat-laden, 'guy food,' but what I had and what I saw was executed quite well within this genre. Maintained as a strong Very Good and Noteworthy for it’s beers, the beverage list itself which is quite an impressive document, and the clubby bar area which is full of dark wood and yet manages to be cheery at the same time [none of which were shown in your photo!]"

Cheers,

Kreskin.

Damn, darkstar, I love your enthusiasm, but this was damn nigh impossible! :wacko::blink::P

And shame on our 5 members from Howard County! :lol:

Rest assured, I'll never forget this burger again.

We have a winner. I debated whether to include "Maryland" in the latest hint round, being pretty sure that would clinch it for Rocks.

A friend up Columbia way chose the place. I researched it here first and, based on the topic, didn't balk. Though Rocks suggested in his review avoiding the duck fat fries (with $2 upcharge), I hadn't seen the review prior, ordered them and quite enjoyed them. Likewise the burger, which while not the equal of Ray's, Palena, Saint Ex, Dino, is a definitely-better-than-average burger. It's an interesting place not worth a long drive imho but worth stopping at if close by...or if you're a beer maven.

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We have a winner. I debated whether to include "Maryland" in the latest hint round, being pretty sure that would clinch it for Rocks.

A friend up Columbia way chose the place. I researched it here first and, based on the topic, didn't balk. Though Rocks suggested in his review avoiding the duck fat fries (with $2 upcharge), I hadn't seen the review prior, ordered them and quite enjoyed them. Likewise the burger, which while not the equal of Ray's, Palena, Saint Ex, Dino, is a definitely-better-than-average burger. It's an interesting place not worth a long drive imho but worth stopping at if close by...or if you're a beer maven.

Maryland plus beer selection clinched it. If you wait for the slideshow on their website, a photo of that burger will appear, and it looks almost exactly the same.

This was sadistic.

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But was it unfair or not in the spirit of the thread? My next one will go back upscale...maybe ;)

Was it unfair? Yes, but was it within the spirit of the thread? Also yes. Heck, we call ourselves experts - let's test ourselves *and* learn something. When you write something this impossible, stay on it several times a day, and don't be afraid to start giving hints right off the bat.

Nobody cares, one way or the other, about upscale; this was truly difficult.

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Why?

I've had that burger a handful of times or seen it ordered, although I haven't been/seen that burger recently. I guess most everything seemed very district-oriented so it didn't really occur to me that it would be from the northern reaches this board covers. I'm not too familiar with the DC dining scene so I mostly use this board for information so I can be more informative on the few occasions I'm down that way and try to contribute in the Baltimore forum more (although dining experiences have been lacking lately for mostly personal reasons).

But moreover, when I read this clue posted before I got to your answer:

"- It is all in a name. I've always been interested in names whether people, pets or businesses. I always ask about them. For restaurants, most all names could be termed literal ("Restaurant X" or '24th St Cafe'), informative (R24, Palena and Freddy's Lobster & Clam all examples of places whose names tell a story about why and what's inside) and abstract (hotel restaurants or celebrity chefs will use names like these sometimes). The burger place's name is informative in a way that is descriptive. So, unlike Palena (where you have to know that Chef Ruta named it for his mother's hometown in Italy), this place's name is useful. It informs aptly what they do or what they aspire to do different from others."

The exact thing that popped into my head was "ok, I'm guessing something like Victoria's Gastropub" but it never occurred to me that would be the answer. I basically did a facepalm to myself when I saw the answer.

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The exact thing that popped into my head was "ok, I'm guessing something like Victoria's Gastropub" but it never occurred to me that would be the answer. I basically did a facepalm to myself when I saw the answer.

Duh-oh! That's a bummer. I know I tend to focus most of my restaurant posts in the District. Also the closer-in MD and VA suburbs. But I've always been very conscious here of doing whatever possible to get more people engaged in the website simply because it's more fun and vibrant that way. I don't really know Columbia at all but when I knew I had that lunch scheduled, I resolve a week or two in advance that I'd photograph a dish there for this thread. I'm guessing many of the DC denizens on this site have no clue about Victoria. But that's why someone like you coulda, shoulda won it. I knew once I mentioned beer and MD and tied it to Don's review like I did, he'd get it but, since his review was less than a year ago, i was trying to give others as much of a chance as possible before the inevitable happened. No worries--I felt exactly the same when I didn't get Ashby Inn upthread.

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I'm embarrassed I didn't get that.

Me too, but honestly the thought that it would be a place like that (ie. where no DCers venture :P) never crossed my mind.

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Grapefruit or blood orange?

Cheese looks something like Humboldt Fog, but maybe not quite

Red onion?

Greens look very fresh, but overdressed, but could be the lighting

Salad looks more sophisticated than the rustic plating and background

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looks like grapefruit, radish, pickled red onions, and queso fresco, so i'm thinking something with a latin flair.

ETA: Oyamel?

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Re: Porcupine's citrus/cheese/other stuff salad.

I think the citrus is blood orange and the cheese strikes me more as fresh feta. Also looks like there's something I might describe as beet jus beneath the greens.

The ceramic serving dish (like Porcupine's last post from Ashby) is almost distracting. It it some kind of pizza tray - like vessel? I see something that might be a platter handle off to the left but not sure. And, dang it, another wood table. Is it another 'sophisticated fare/rustic venue' spot?!?! :angry:

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