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17 minutes ago, Rhone1998 said:

Beautiful.  We got oysters as part of our CSA that last two weeks, and I enjoyed them more than I thought I would.  Had never shucked oysters before but the effort is worthwhile!

Hi!  I too had no idea I would enjoy them so much.  I loved the Sapidus Farms Oysters.   Taste of the sea with a beautiful sweetness.

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Great piece on the economics of third party food delivery via DoorDash, Uber Eats Postmates Grubhub etc.
Great discussion in the comments  section with a Google employee who was trying to explain Google's position.
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Has anyone done pickup from Annabelle’s?  Our anniversary is this weekend and we want to do something a notch above.  Since Palena was our last pre-wedding meal before our friends and family descended on us it seemed like a good choice. 

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Beautiful asparagus included in my "Best of the Season" home delivery from The Chef's Garden.  Too beautiful to cook, so I enjoyed a few raw in a salad composed of Best of the Day Mixed Greens, Spinach, Lettuce, Summer Squash, Microgreens and Herbs + the second half of Green Almond Pantry's Branzino w/ Salsa Verde, Farro w/ Local Green Garlic and Local Asparagus + finished w/ Lemon Juice and Zest.

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We had takeout from Takumi in Falls Church a few days ago.

We ordered nigiri, maki, sashimi and a few other items.

For sashimi, we got the larger assortment provided by the restaurant. Nigiri included oh-toro (fatty tuna), tuna akami (lean tuna), saba (mackerel), unagi (eel), orange clam, Hokkaido hotate (scallop), seared sea scallops, uni (sea urchin), hamachi (amberjack), ikura (salmon caviar) and branzino with lime jest. For maki, we had the spicy tuna rolls, the mackerel with garlic and shiso roll and the redskins roll.  In addition, for appetizers, we chose the miso soups, wakame and tofu, and brussels sprouts with ginger dressing. We also took home the tempura assortment and the soft-shell crab ponzu. The food was arranged as gracefully as possible within the carry out boxes.

The food was all high quality, as ever. The high standards of the nigiri and sashimi at Takumi never lets us down. What was surprising is that even the tempura traveled well, though, of course, we ate it first upon arrival at home…

The whole pick-up process was well organized with very limited contact. Hand disinfectant was provided after signing the credit card receipt and pens were disinfected after each use.

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We had a disturbing experience tonight. We ordered from one of our local favorites. When Kay went to pick up the food, they had a sign saying no entrance without a mask. But when Kay got to the pick up counter, the gentleman handing over the food was not wearing a mask. Well since he was willing to endanger his customers' lives, he was no gentleman. 

I emailed the restaurant and am waiting for a response. That is why I am not naming them, reporting them, or going apeshit on social media. I will report back on their response. 

Quote

From Governor Northam's order:

Restaurants and beverage services, for the most part, will still be take out or delivery. But establishments fortunate enough to have outdoor seating can have diners outside at 50% capacity. Workers are required to wear a mask.

 

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Unfortunately, Deangold, I have seen similar situations occurring over the past couple of weeks during my shopping trips. Fatigue, carelessness or simply not caring anymore, any of them could be the reason. Hopefully, the summer won't increase the transmission of the virus. 

 

 

 

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I've written off one of our local spots for takeout because over 2 visits the front-of-the house person was not wearing a mask (I know, I shouldn't have gone back after the first incident) and the 2nd time I went to pick up our order he violated my personal space (remember that throw-back phrase?) when he came around from behind the counter to fetch a bottle of wine. I would name names, but Dean is right -- I should contact the establishment first before outing them.

On a happier note, The Daily Dish is killing it https://thedailydishrestaurant.ordereze.net. We've been regular customers for years and we are very impressed with their takeout game. I'd been reluctant to order fish until Sietsema wrote that he'd had good experiences with takeout. I had their red snapper loin recently that was cooked perfectly and survived the 10-minute trip beautifully. The accompanying risotto was so good that I ate way more of it than I should. And their family meal options have been great, saving me from cooking at least one night weekly.

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13 minutes ago, lion said:

Unfortunately, Deangold, I have seen similar situations occurring over the past couple of weeks during my shopping trips. Fatigue, carelessness or simply not caring anymore, any of them could be the reason. Hopefully, the summer won't increase the transmission of the virus. 

When we had the grotto, fatigue or carelessness was not an excuse if we failed DCARBA stings for underaged drinking which were run on use several times a year. 

If you can have a sign on your door, you can damn well make sure your team members are following it. I am sorry but as a member of a very high risk group and my wife being at high risk too, I am pissed off. I am just giving them time to respond to their contact us form on their website. So far, no reply. 

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Beau Thai, Mt Pleasant, again tonight. Spring rolls, Shrimp and Garlic sauce for him, Pad Thai with tofu for me. Very tasty. And again, the line was well managed, and everything went smoothly.

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On 5/5/2020 at 9:40 AM, hopsing said:

I'm late to this thread.  I've been ordering takeout/delivery about 2x a week.  I'm trying to do takeout when I can to avoid GrubHub, etc. taking their big commission from the restaurant.  Even if you use the phone number from GrubHub site to phone in an order, GrubHub gets a cut, so you must go to the phone number on the restaurant website.  Even Google might yield just the GrubHub phone number.  When I say GrubHub, I mean GH, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc.  Check out this article:  

"It's Time To Order Directly from Restaurants Again" by Elizabeth Yuko on lifehacker.com

Since the lockdown we've tried to stick with mom-and-pops mostly.  I've been to:

  • Stone Hot Pizza - Clarendon.  I really like their pizza and I want them to stay in business.  Went there 2x.  Mushrooms and peppers.
  • Big Buns Ballston - Went there 2x.  First time burgers were great as usual.  2nd time not as great.  Love their wine offerings - served in a soda cup.  Good value.
  • Lost Dog North Arlington - Husband doesn't like Stone Hot so he orders pizza here.  Nice thing about carryout is we don't have to eat from the same place.
  • TNR Cafe - beef with broccoli good as usual.  Sweet and sour pork - not so great.  Their sweet and sour is hit or miss.
  • Crystal Thai - goong pad eggplant, fried calamari, drunken spaghetti.  Picked up, traveled well but we live only 5 minutes away
  • Ted's Bulletin Ballston - chicken parmesan is great.  Two patties of chicken parm plus fettucine, garlic toast and side salad.  Big hit with us!  Went there 2x.  If you order pickup from their website, you get a free pop tart.  Their instructions for getting free pop tart doesn't work, but when you pick up the order, tell them and they will give you the pop tart.  I had the blueberry cheesecake version and wow, like a big shortbread sandwich cookie.
  • La Union - just as good as dining in.  Trio enchiladas and combo enchilada/taco/burrito.
  • Greek Taverna - just as good as dining in.  We ordered the Taverna Specials.  A little bit far but worth it.

Future takeouts include Maya Bistro, Tupelo Honey, Hunan Gate, XO Taste, Masala Express.

[How bad-ass is it that we have each of these restaurants in this forum? Okay now, let's update them!]

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We got Queen's English as a special treat for my wife's birthday. Their 3 course meal for 2 was not cheap, but very delightful with several nice touches to try and bring the restaurant experience to your home. Food was quite good- interesting fermented bean curds with fish roe salad. The tofu skins filled with chicken-ish pate was very interesting and tasty. Baked chicken was well seasoned, juicy, and tender. Asparagus Chinese bbq style were smoky, great quality of produce really showed. Mangoes were delightfully overripe and a nice summer dessert. 

They included a summer-y funky natural Portuguese white from Bairrada. Tasting notes included "fermented bananas, elmers glue" and it was weird, but was tart enough to work with the meal. Plus a small sip of aged jinha (Portuguese brandy plus spices) as a digistif. 

They also threw in a fancy homemade candle and a spotify playlist, plus a nice note. All in all, a pleasant experience and nice service from afar. 

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On 5/29/2020 at 5:40 AM, deangold said:

We had a disturbing experience tonight. We ordered from one of our local favorites. When Kay went to pick up the food, they had a sign saying no entrance without a mask. But when Kay got to the pick up counter, the gentleman handing over the food was not wearing a mask. Well since he was willing to endanger his customers' lives, he was no gentleman. 

I emailed the restaurant and am waiting for a response. That is why I am not naming them, reporting them, or going apeshit on social media. I will report back on their response. 

Arlington's neighborhood listserve is blowing up about a local place. I never liked that place in the first  place but am impressed with your discretion. 

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9 hours ago, DonRocks said:

[How bad-ass is it that we have each of these restaurants in this forum? Okay now, let's update them!]

Yes, love to see posts whether it is carryout, delivery, al fresco dining, etc on the respective restaurant thread instead of here.  If a new restaurant thread needs to be created, it would be great to have one for restaurants not yet represented in their city/country location.

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I’ve ordered cheese steaks several times from the Fedwich popup, an offshoot of Federalist Pig operating out of Kramerbooks. Much better than other local versions, though more in the style of Woodrow’s  (cherry pepper mayo and cheese sauce) than older Philly places.

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@DonRocks:  Would you be so kind to delete my following posts here.  I updated and reposted on the respective restaurant threads.

 

 

 

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I have been as supportive as possible of local mom-n-pops during the pandemic, but I have also strayed from our area to support some out-of-towners as well.

I stumbled across a gem in Aliquippa, PA, named Jemila, and it is really good. Middle Eastern treats, including some of my faves -- shankleesh (Lebanese and eastern Syrian cheese), kibbeh balls (baked, not fried), warak enab (grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat), and many kits for making Syrian bread, grape leaves, kibbeh, and lots more. So far, I have devoured one box, and I have sent multiple boxes to 3 nephews and my daughter.

I still love and support our local Mediterranean eateries, but this little gem in Pennsylvania is definitely a keeper.

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, deangold said:

I am sorry but as a member of a very high risk group and my wife being at high risk too, I am pissed off. I am just giving them time to respond to their contact us form on their website. So far, no reply. 

I sympathize with you, a couple of our household members, my parents, are in the high risk category. It does drive our choices in regards to food and exposure. Unfortunately, we will need to be more diligent than some for much longer. However, three months of cooking and cleaning are taking a toll. 

Your restraint is admirable since this is a public health safety issue. 

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6 hours ago, NolaCaine said:

Holly crap those are some prices but if you take a drive today, or already live near, Ashby should be at peak porch for the next few days. 

🙄

The Ashby will be at peak porch for the next month or so, easy. Please note that seating is limited and if the inn is filled with overnight guests there is little/ no reservation room - and no walk-ins.

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1 hour ago, Keithstg said:

🙄

The Ashby will be at peak porch for the next month or so, easy. Please note that seating is limited and if the inn is filled with overnight guests there is little/ no reservation room - and no walk-ins.

I've enjoyed many, many Ashby lunches and dinners. Covid has rendered our two income family a one income family and we had two kids so X4 is a little much for me. That's all I was saying but I guess I should have provided more color. In other news, the family loved the lunches that *i* made overlooking the actual sky meadows. I never made up to the top before! Embarrassing. There are actual meadows in the sky! Paris looked lovely. I hope this is not too off topic Don.

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On 5/29/2020 at 5:40 AM, deangold said:

We had a disturbing experience tonight. We ordered from one of our local favorites. When Kay went to pick up the food, they had a sign saying no entrance without a mask. But when Kay got to the pick up counter, the gentleman handing over the food was not wearing a mask. Well since he was willing to endanger his customers' lives, he was no gentleman. 

I emailed the restaurant and am waiting for a response. That is why I am not naming them, reporting them, or going apeshit on social media. I will report back on their response.

I have had no less than 9 texts with the owner of the establishment. He took all our information, he reviewed his records, identified the two team members in question, wrote them up and explained that they clearly did not follow his guidlines. He admitted his manager on duty has to leave  for a personal issue and that this happened in is absence. He issued us a credit for the full amount of our purchase. He promised us he would redouble his efforts to run his business the right way. he also let us know that he personally talked to the two team members. 

I don't think I could have expected a better response. I would have done the same although I usually added to the amount of the refund/credit but that was me. He has strengthened out desire to support his business. He got in touch with us within an hour of the second note I sent him on his contact form on his website, about 24 hours after the first notice.

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We got lunch from Buna the other day. Nice coffee house at Georgia and Allison. The husband has been going up there every morning for coffee since the closer coffee places have been closed. Gets him a good walk and a good coffee. Nice place. We didn't go much before, because there were closer convenient good coffee shops.

Harrar is still my favorite, but they have been closed. Qualia is closer, but they have been closed. 

Anyhow, he likes their coffee. I've been getting my Saturday latte there too. And every time we are in there together, we look at the menu and say we should try the food. Friday was his day off. So we got lunch.

They have a breakfast menu, a sandwich menu, and some Ethiopian specialities. He had a kitfo sandwich. Said it was delicious and quite spicy. I had vegetable rolls - injera with spinach, split peas, and lentils. Very very good. I would eat those again in a second.

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On 5/20/2020 at 7:35 PM, Count Bobulescu said:
Great piece on the economics of third party food delivery via DoorDash, Uber Eats Postmates Grubhub etc.
Great discussion in the comments  section with a Google employee who was trying to explain Google's position.

I know it's bad form to quote yourself, but I'm feeling bad-ass today......

A cold economic eye on food delivery.........The comments section is good too.
Bottom line, from the comments, delivery company contracts, like credit card ones, apparently prohibit discriminatory pricing, as between eat in and delivery.
I guess gas stations offering different cash & credit prices, does not violate that clause.

 

Quote

 

Delivery service price cap regulations

by Tyler Cowen

Ben emails me:

Could you please consider and comment on some of the unseen consequences of local price caps on restaurant delivery services?  (Politico article describing the phenomenon in SF, NYC, etc.)  A highly competitive market for such services exists between GrubHub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc.  Moreover, patrons can always pickup and restaurants can always hire their own drivers.  That dynamic market will keep prices down and improve service quality and value.  As reported 2 days ago, 5/13/2020, in the Wall Street Journal, "America is stuck at Home, but Food Delivery Companies Still Struggle to Profit."  Yet many locals are considering regulating and limiting the prices that such delivery services can charge.

Here is a NYT article on the same phenomenon, claiming that some apps charge up to 40% of the restaurant's take.

My first question is why the restaurants do not charge higher prices for customers using the app.  That might be illegal in some localities, but surely that is not the general answer to the question.  Rather the restaurants are afraid of losing customer good will  -- "what!? I have to pay 30% more just because I bought it with my phone?"

In this setting, restaurants are losing potential revenue to avoid a reputational hit, and staying in business (rather than closing up) because they believe the value of their future reputational franchise is high.  In other words, in both channels the restaurants perceive the value of their future reputational franchise to be pretty high.

That is the good news, although you might wonder how it squares with the generally low returns to running a restaurant.  I suspect some restaurants simply know they are good and profitable because they are skilled, and the losers are overconfident and less well-informed.

One efficiency advantage of the apps is that they will put the unprofitable restaurants out of business more quickly.

The next question is whether some surplus from the profitable restaurants should, in the short run (and maybe in the longer run too?) be redistributed to the app company.

The apps should increase the demand for the food from the good restaurants (easier to order and arrange delivery), but lower the profit margin on selling more of that food.  If those ingredients and kitchen capacity otherwise would go to complete waste, overall that seems like an acceptable bargain.  Kitchens are kept active, which is an efficiency gain, even if some profit is redistributed to the app company.

In this scenario, you can think of the app as doing some of the selling, rather than the restaurant doing that selling, and reaping surplus from that effort.  In essence, the business of the restaurant has become more specialized, toward pure food production and away from selling, that latter service now being performed by the app company.

Restaurants that were great at selling in the first place might be worse off.  But it is far from obvious that these apps and their prices should be decreasing efficiency.  Some other restaurants might be worse off because it is harder for them to carve up or segment the market, but that change likely is efficiency-enhancing.

And if the apps do indeed speed the bankruptcy of the lesser restaurants (presumably what the critics have to believe), over the longer haul prices will indeed go up and the good restaurants will earn back some of what they lost up front.

On net, consumers will have better services, better marketing, pay higher prices, and have a better selection of restaurants.  That just doesn't sound so terrible, or so necessitating government intervention to cap app prices.

Note that informed customers probably need the app least, so they are least likely to see its value, just as "critics" as a class, including restaurant critics, are also least likely to see the value of the app in marketing the restaurants.  Of course this class of "critics" are exactly those who are most likely to be writing about the apps.

 

 

 

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