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EatBar, Nathan Anda's Charcuterie Gets New Life on Barracks Row in the Former Kraze Burger Space - Closed


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We tried the EAT bar last night. It's new and it was pretty busy.
Started with a couple of snacks - 2 of the excellent salt cod fritters and an order of roasted olives(not sure I get the idea of roasting olives).
We both had the chestnut soup with duck confit. This was absolutely wonderful and suprisingly quite spicy. I then had a strip steak (comes on its own - I'd probably order some frites next time). She had the garlic sausage with red cabbage. Both were very good.
We had a couple of Victory Hop Wallops on tap, and a couple of glasses of something red. I would hope that they can extend their beer offerings in the future - I think there were 6 decent drafts.
We'll definitely be back and maybe eat at a booth next time. Eating at the bar got a bit crowded out.

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I would hope that they can extend their beer offerings in the future - I think there were 6 decent drafts.
Greg Engert at Rustico is working with the bar manager, Matt Wright, on the beer selection at EatBar. There will be 12 rotating drafts, and the bottle selection is going to keep growing.

The current food menu for EatBar is online at tallularestaurant.com under "Bar & Lounge".

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We are very fortunate at EATbar to have Ben Glover, Winemaker at Wither Hills, with us this evening, Tuesday the 30th to taste out his Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc if anyone cares to stop by. Time, 530PM till the well runs dry. We are also tasting St Hallet wines, 2 reds and 1 white. Fee is $25.00 per person, and we will be doing some small food sampling to pair with the wines.

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As a longtime (if 2 or so years is a longtime) semi-regular patron of Tallula, I was initially disappointed with EatBar. Partly for selfish reasons (my SO and I had the two-bite and bar menu lovingly committed to memory), but also because we felt that the food on our first post-EatBar visit was a bit....flat. A Scotch Egg, dates with bacon and marscapone, and the blue cheese tater tots seemed hesitant to release any hint of their promised pungency. The hot dog, while we thought was good, missed the mark in a bar setting where drinking, smoking, laughing, carousing etc is occurring - my SO had to eat the dawg with a knife and fork (it's size and awkward presentation made it difficult to eat by hand). Not only that, but we were disappointed that our beloved risotto fritter, corn dog, et al (those two-bite items that survived to the new bar menu) were now $4/pop, instead of the usual $2.25-$3.00.

I posted about this on Siestema's chat a few weeks back, and am glad to see (last I checked) that the original prices for these items have returned. A visit last week has given us hope that the Tallula bar and bar food scene that we know and love has indeed been preserved, although with a few food/flavor kinks still to work out. A request though - bring back a couple more of the original two-bite items (not just for the dining room patrons), or at least rotate them weekly/monthly. :o

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Thank you for allowing us the time to get comfortable with our new surroundings. First let me say this as i hope it was passed along within the first week of EatBar. The bump up in price was reflected in the way that instead of one fritter or corn dog, it was 2 that you were supposed to be receiving, so essentially a .50 cent drop in price. Were you not given 2 instead of 1? Yikes :o if so I apologize for the confussion. And yes, we have gone back to just a single amuse so as not to draw anymore confussion.

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Thank you for allowing us the time to get comfortable with our new surroundings. First let me say this as i hope it was passed along within the first week of EatBar. The bump up in price was reflected in the way that instead of one fritter or corn dog, it was 2 that you were supposed to be receiving, so essentially a .50 cent drop in price. Were you not given 2 instead of 1? Yikes :o if so I apologize for the confussion. And yes, we have gone back to just a single amuse so as not to draw anymore confussion.

Indeed we were only given one of each. At the time, we questioned this, but were told that the chef was trying out different variations on presentation/approach. Also, we were asked several times to critique the experience, and we did provide constructive criticism that seemed to be appreciated. As for my post on Tom's chat - while not entirely positive it was meant to elicit initial opinions from others on EatBar, since I hadn't gotten any perspective on it from anyone else. It is my right to 1) offer constructive criticism privately when asked by a staff member, and 2) share my initial impressions (good and not-so-good) from the viist, give perspective on what I had loved at Tallula and hopes for EatBar, and solicit opinions from others. What better place to do that than a public forum? Isn't all publicity GOOD publicity?

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Josh/Dave,

Any plans for another beer tasting at any point soon?

Thanks

Tastings are held at EATbar every Tuesday evening, they range from scotch to beer to wine etc. This Tuesday will be a vodka tasting and pairing.

As for beer at EATbar, we are changing our bottle list this coming week to feature some great British brews. March 13 we will be having a tasting/pairing of some of the new stuff.

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From today's review of EatBar....

I usually let Tom do his own thing without comment, but I'll say with great confidence that EatBar is better than this review indicates. Laugh if you will, but right now I'll take it over Central. They also have the best hot dog I've ever eaten in my life.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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They also have the best hot dog I've ever eaten in my life.

In the interest of full disclosure, I went back to EatBar this weekend and ordered three hot dogs. The first two came out with the casings underfilled with meat, leaving empty space that was filled with salty liquid (are these boiled in salt water to start?), and absolutely gushing like a salteí±a upon first bite. One of the two was cold in the middle, so was sent back and replaced with the third, nice and piping hot but also suffering from COAL PASS (*).

For $8, I wouldn't even mention this because the meal was a no-brainer I'll-be-back-again, and the hot dogs were still very good, but since I went out on a limb and said "best ever," I feel obliged to hedge. Forgive me, Frank.

Cheers,

Rocks.

(*) Condom-On-A-Limp-Penis-After-Sex Syndrome.

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What are the hours of EatBar? I assumed it was the same as Tallula, but the website has a confusing comment: "Unwind at the end of each workday (say between 4 & 7 PM) with a glass of wine or a pint of beer at EatBar!" Does that mean the EatBar menu is only available for those hours at night, or...?

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EatBar hours are as follows.

4-12AM Sunday thru Thursday, and the 12AM part is the earliest we close on those nights.

4-1:30AM Friday/saturday Nights.

Hot food served till 10PM Sunday thru Thursday nights.

Cold food is kept open an hour later 11PM, meaning Charcuterie, Cheeses, Salads and Oysters.

Hot Food is served till 11PM Friday/saturday

Cold Food is kept open an hour later,12AM, same as above.

Monday thru Friday- HH is 4-7PM

We now have a beer bottle selection that is all British Beers. I believe we are up to 16 different selections.

The drafts change on a daily basis with the emphasis on seasonal beers, hard to find, and a little touch of Philly.

Wines by the glass are up to 80 different selections.

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C and I had dinner at Eat bar last Thursday.

- Great Service, very attentive despite the palce being very busy.

- We ordered a steak tartar. Almost immediately a plate arrived. Our waitress even remarked that the order had come out fast. We started to dig in and a second plate arrived. By mistake we actually received a tuna tartar first (an item that is usually reserved for the restaurant only) and then the steak tartar. We asked the server to leave the tuna as we had already eaten some of it. Both the Steak and the Tuna tartar were fantastic!

- We also ordered the Tuna salad. This was a big disappointment (especially after it had received rave reviews) There were three small thin pieces of tuna, that were gray on the sides (good quality tuna, flavorful). The salad of carrots and other veggies appeared and tasted like it was heavily coated in mayo rather than the ginger and sesame sauce. The salad was so bland that we need to ask for pepper to make it better. Most of the veggies went uneaten. (ETA to take out a incorrect statement on the tuna being seared)

- Hot Dog. We had the same experience with the Hot Dog that Rocks did. The server said they were having a problem with the hot Dogs exploding while they were cooking them. The taste was fantastic, however, they were very juicy, to the point of almost being mushy. The homemade roll was wonderful and so was the homemade mustard. In the future, I may ask for some kraut instead of the housemade catsup (which was sweet and not a great accompaniment. The Hot dog was not served with the house made pickles (per the menu) and we neglected to ask for them. I wish a small portion of fries would come with the dog as well.

- Eat bar Salad. Wonderful light salad with fennel and other things, great way to end a light meal.

We will be back!

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- We also ordered the Tuna salad. This was a big disappointment (especially after it had received rave reviews) There were three small thin pieces of tuna, that were gray on the sides (good quality tuna, not really seared they way it should have been). The salad of carrots and other veggies appeared and tasted like it was heavily coated in mayo rather than the ginger and sesame sauce. The salad was so bland that we need to ask for pepper to make it better. Most of this dish went uneaten.

I'm a huge fan of EatBar and their hotdog. I hope that they can get to a point where their hotdogs are consistently awesome without the mush/explosion experience. I also have to say, their burger is one of the best spiced hunks of ground meat I've had anywhere - It was happily eaten without any ketchup or mayo or pickles (extremely rare for me), and the tomato and lettuce on top wasn't discernable, and it was still one of the best burgers I've had.

I've had different experiences from Scott's with the tuna salad- I've had the dish twice and on the second plate the tuna was as he described, with the grey edges, which I admit was a bit of a turnoff until I actually had a bite. I think the greatness of this dish is in that it is light and very different from the usual seared tuna salad, which typically comes with the highly flavored shitake/wasabi type dressing. This one comes with the light touch that is a sesame/ginger combination. I had to be ready for it to be different because at first bite it did come off as bland to me too, but once my buds got with the program, the taste was great - it doesn't smack you in the face, it's subtle. A little lemony and gingery, a little sesame but not too much, and the way it coats the fresh and crispy radish/cukes?/carrot combo, its a great juxtaposition to the fresh and soft raw tuna - I find it delightful. Very nice, light, summery dish. And a great starter before a hotdog/burger feast :blink:

Another point - The onion rings are pretty good - not heavily battered, you actually get the onion. I'd go with the onions over the fries.

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Just to clarify, the reason for the grey edges on the tuna is because the tuna is never cooked in a pan or with any heat. The tuna loin is marinated in coriander, lime juice and olive oil and the acid from the citrus is what does the searing/cooking, not leaving the edges browned like it would have been in a pan.

adios

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Just to clarify, the reason for the grey edges on the tuna is because the tuna is never cooked in a pan or with any heat. The tuna loin is marinated in coriander, lime juice and olive oil and the acid from the citrus is what does the searing/cooking, not leaving the edges browned like it would have been in a pan.

I wonder what the tuna would taste like if you marinated it in Old Chub? :blink:

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I met a couple of friends at EatBar last night for dinner and despite high hopes, we had a less than stellar experience.

First off, the service was atrocious. Our waitress came by one time to take our drink orders and I kid you not, she never came back to our table for the rest of the meal. I was able to flag her down after several attempts to get our check but that was it. We were given one menu for three people, I believe a manager finally took our order, and at the end of the meal both water and wine glasses were completely empty with no offer of refilling either in our two hours of sitting there. We wanted to order dessert but since no one was even walking by, it was impossible. There was one table at the back of the restaurant that our "waitress" seemed to be spending all of her time helping. All of this said, with our limited interaction, the waitress seemed very nice, just completely MIA.

I decided to order the grilled cheese panini because it looked good on another table. To the eye, it looked full of a variety of interesting cheeses but tasted surprisingly bland. The chips alongside were good. I had a couple of my friend's fries and the homemade ketchup was shockingly sweet.

I am sorry, I really wanted to like this place and I am sure I will get skewered for a negative review. But I won't be returning unless something at EatBar dramatically changes.

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There is no reason why you should get skewered. You came into EatBar with an open mind and experienced service that was below par, and for that I apologize to you and anybody else who has had the same experience. There is room for improvement on our part and we will adjust based on your experience. We give 100% everyday and yet sometimes we fail, and hopefully learn through good and bad times. Thank you for expressing your thoughts on the matter and hopefully you will give us another try in the future.

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I met a couple of friends at EatBar last night for dinner and despite high hopes, we had a less than stellar experience.

First off, the service was atrocious. Our waitress came by one time to take our drink orders and I kid you not, she never came back to our table for the rest of the meal. I was able to flag her down after several attempts to get our check but that was it. We were given one menu for three people, I believe a manager finally took our order, and at the end of the meal both water and wine glasses were completely empty with no offer of refilling either in our two hours of sitting there. We wanted to order dessert but since no one was even walking by, it was impossible. There was one table at the back of the restaurant that our "waitress" seemed to be spending all of her time helping. All of this said, with our limited interaction, the waitress seemed very nice, just completely MIA.

I decided to order the grilled cheese panini because it looked good on another table. To the eye, it looked full of a variety of interesting cheeses but tasted surprisingly bland. The chips alongside were good. I had a couple of my friend's fries and the homemade ketchup was shockingly sweet.

I am sorry, I really wanted to like this place and I am sure I will get skewered for a negative review. But I won't be returning unless something at EatBar dramatically changes.

I just want to say thank you for posting your experience - I know it probably gave you pause. I have had only good experiences at EatBar, but I would never discount the fact that you might have had a different experience, nor skewer you for it. I also want to agree with you about the ketchup - I didn't like it at all, it tasted like tomato paste straight out of a can to me.

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I know I'm really enjoying my food when I give up on the fork and move towards eating everything with my fingers, as sucking the flavors of everything out of a fork is so unsatisfying. We had the jamon, the roasted olives, hangar steak, a hot dog, and the bacon-wrapped figs. Milady and I have renamed the bacon-wrapped figs with mascarpone "Satan's Fig Newtons" and will likely drag an old friend out from DC next week just to try them again.

The Guinness cupcake wasn't terribly special, though I may have been rendered insensate by that point. I couldn't really taste any stout- it came out as a plain chocolate cupcale with really good icing. I'm sure we'll work our way down the dessert list soon, but after eating something "simple" done amazingly well (the hot dog) I was hoping for something a little more upgraded.

Also, I was unable to come up with any way to describe how good the hot dog was without descending into a vat of scathing innuendo and freudian slips.

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Why doesn't Eat Bar (or is it EatBar) have its own thread? Anyway stopped in on Sunday night and had a good time. Very quiet, but we were not looking for a party. They have movie night on Sunday's with a drink special.

I like the fact that they have a Pig of the Day selection on the menu, Sunday's version was Niman Ranch ribs. The small portion was tasty and the meat was nice and tender. The onion rings were really good and I was surprised that they came with mustard versus ketchup. I tried it and like them that way. The gnocchi were well made and it makes me want to try their other pasta dishes. We had the Guinness cupcake and the ice cream sandwich for dessert. The cupcake was a little on the dry side and I liked the ice cream sandwich more.

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We visited EatBar on Friday night with a crowd of 6. The 4 people that got there first poked their heads in Tallula and were told it was a wait until 9:30 for a table, so we decided to jump into EatBar instead (in fact, since I had eaten a very late lunch, it was in the back of my mind just to go to EatBar).

Where we ate: One interesting note - the non-smoking front bar was packed, and the smoking back bar was much quieter at 8:15 when we sat down. I (as an ex-smoker) did not notice a strong cigarette smell, and we only caught it in waves. I thought it was a pleasant place to eat. But I was interested in the supply and demand of it all - as a smoker, I noticed many more people smoking in bars than I do now. Perhaps it is a consequence of two local jurisdictions banning smoking indoors or perhaps there is actually a market force against it. Regardless, the bar was filling up by the time we left at 9:30 or so.

What we drank: I started off with a Rioja, and E got a Shiraz that I stupidly didn't taste. After I finished my wine, I asked our waitress for a cocktail recommendation, and we settled on the Moscow Mule, a vodka, lime and ginger beer concoction. It was good, with a very strong ginger aftertaste on the back of your throat after about 3 seconds (this could be common to ginger beer, I don't know). It was odd at first, but I decided that I liked it. E doesn't usually like vodka, but he liked it as well.

What everyone else enjoyed that I didn't try: The ravioli special was well received, as well as a grilled cheese and what I think was the papardelle. Someone else had the mac and cheese, and I didn't hear anything positive or negative about it - same with the steak tartare (whcih was gone so fast I didn't even et a chance to try it :blink: ). Since I was out with a new group for dinner, I didn't forage off of everyone else's small plates ;) .

What I did try: We had a long discussion about the potential joy of the Bacon Wrapped figs with Mascarpone and they did not disappoint. I spent a lot of time trying to sop up the mascarpone with the figs, and then with my fork (Luckily E didn't even compete since he hates bacon - go figure!). One of my tablemates actually ordered a second order for himself, since he enjoyed them so much. We also had a pair of Risotto Fritters, which were great at first, but less good when they weren't hot. Does anyone know what the puree is that it sits on? E ordered the ravioli special (and forgot to offer me some, or if he did I didn't remember it :P ) and the baby burger - which looked adorable, but I wasn't moved enough to try it. The Guinness Cupcake came out within 30 seconds of ordering it, and the dark chocolate glaze on the plate made it worth reaching across the table to steal a bite.

Service: Loved it. Very attentive server, great about making recommendations. They were out of many of the salads, but that didn't make it hard to order. One thing I'd like to see is a board of specials in the back, smoking bar instead of just in the front.

Overall, we will be back :) .

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The Xochitl10 Farewell Dining Tour made a stop here last night, specifically for the Black Sheep Riggwelter. My friend and I split an order of the bacon-wrapped figs, a plate of risotto fritters, and the mussels with chorizo. The figs, which have been described above, were lovely -- I would actually describe them as lush, between the velvety figs and the creamy mascarpone. Risotto fritters are adorable, like risotto ping-pong balls laced with corn. We enjoyed the mussels, which were fresh, generously portioned and sitting in a buttery, chorizo-y broth. Not someplace I intended to visit before I left, but I'm not sorry I did.

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Here's the latest can't miss event at EatBar:

Rustico-sponsored Beer Dinner Series at EatBar

2761 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Featuring vintage Beers of the Stone Brewing Company

With Special Guest Stone Brewing Co. Vice-President and Brewmaster Steve Wagner

Tuesday June 5, 2007

$100/person (includes tax and gratuity)

Dinner starts at 7:30 PM

For information and reservations

please call Chris Schaller at Rustico 703 224 5051

'05 Vertical Epic

BBQ'd Halibut Cheeks with Heirloom Potatoes and Dill

Ruination IPA

Whole Spice Roasted Venison Saddle with Sherried Onions and Bearnaise

10th Anniversary

Braised Beef Cheek Tacos, with Napa Cabbage and Mint

'05 Double Bastard

Duck Confit and Parmesan Croquette with Cinnamon Cured Guanciale and Tomatoes

'07 Imperial Stout

Brioche French Toast with Nutella and Caramelized Bananas

'04 Old Gaurdian

Gorgonzola Dolce with "Pan" Cherry Jam and Wild Cress

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Had a very nice burger and order of onion rings at EatBar last night after getting trounced on the tennis courts. My only complaint, and it is rather small, is with the house made ketchup. I thought it tasted of cold plain tomato sauce. Anyone else agree or am I out in left field? Anyway the house made mustard is excellent and that worked well.

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Had a very nice burger and order of onion rings at EatBar last night after getting trounced on the tennis courts.

We were there too last night (in fact, I think that, based on your order, that we overlapped - those onion rings looked good). We were sort of all over the map in terms of what we ordered - I tried the tuna/citrus salad (a bit undersalted), the asparagus (tasty), a risotto fritter (made of a fairly sweet corn risotto, and comes with a very good remoulade), and some cheese (one was a nice creamy humboldt fog; the other was some sort of mild-tasting, floppy, gouda-like cheese that wasn't really our favorite). Also a nice glass of the wine of the day, a riesling. Anyway, I can definitely see coming back here (but will have to be more careful to avoid falling into the tapas/small plate trap of going in for a snack and a glass of wine, then ordering one of everything).

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Last week I finally had the opportunity to give EatBar a whirl (twice in three days), and I have to say it's worth the trip.

Not really for the hot dog, though, despite it's pornographic praise. I know it's the real deal, but this dog was too salty, slimy-greasy for me. And as someone who loves ketchup and pickles, where were they when I needed them? I will endorse the bun, though. It was precisely the right size for the wiener and tasted homemade.

What I really like about EatBar, though, is the simplicity and generosity of some of the small plates, dishes with the most basic descriptions that arrive at the table vibrant and colorful, defying their stereotypes. Even though I have been to the bar area of Tallulah many times, the ambiance is now charming with kid-sibling-friendly service, handwriting on chalkboards, water served with a straw in a jar like those seen in a rustic country store. The only thing missing was a tree in the middle of the place and fireflies. I liked that on Saturday there was a big red stapler bouncing on the large screen overhead teasing that "Office Space" might be queued to play ("Um yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead..."). I was tickled to find a dude with whom I went to elementary school tending bar.

The Bacon-Wrapped Figs with Mascarpone Cheese are some of the most delicious bacon-wrapped anythings I've ever had. They totally school bacon-wrapped dates. The Eat Bar Salad stands out as clean and delicate, brightened by some shaved fennel, radish and peashoots, I believe. Much more bang for the buck than I'd have ever guessed.

At $6, The Steak Tartare is a huge bargain. It's seasoned well and unpretentious. This reminds me: No need to go to trendy bistros for tip-top tartares.

The Citrus "Seared" Tuna Salad is tasty. I won't argue that the tuna itself was a little underseasoned , but served with (what I would call) a macro coleslaw (instead of being finely chopped or shredded, the veggies retained more recognizable shapes), it was a unique and refreshing start to the meal.

On one visit, my buddy ordered a spinach and mushroom Angliotti, a special that evening that turned out to be a hit.

No complaints about the one dessert I tried. The Butterscotch Ice Cream Sandwich didn't live the up the legend of Ann Amernick, but it brought back some good memories and not a crumb was left behind on the plate.

I truly look forward to further exploring the menu. cool.gif

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If I lived in Clarendon, EatBar would be one of my hangouts, one of my "go to" spots. But because going to EatBar (or Tallula) involves a little drive from DC, I kind of walk out with a <shrugs> "it's ok" feeling. Truly nothing was bad, but very little made me sit up and take notice.

Tonight's dinner companions were two colleagues and two youngish clients with relatively simple taste in food. We sampled quite a lot of the menu although I noticed toward the end that the meal was almost entirely devoid of vegetables (which seemed to suit everyone ;) ). We had baby burgers (4), corn dogs (4), bacon wrapped figs (3), a full-sized burger, three panini (two plain cheese, one BBQ) a risotto fritter (1) and an order of fries.

I liked the corn dog a lot. They come with a very tasty whole grain mustard (young client #1 wrinkled up his nose and scraped off every last bit, natch). The baby burgers were quite popular, as was the full-size. I thought the burger was a bit overwhelmed with caramelized onions, but I think that's just my personal taste. The risotto fritter made us laugh when it was brought out--it looked so lonely! Very tasty, though, and the guys who tried it (how brave!) liked it, and the accompanying tomato-based sauce very much.

I was disappointed by the figs, as I had really looked forward to the contrast between salty and sweet; it just wasn't there. The guys were disappointed when the dish that sounded sooooo exotic turned out to be familiar and not scary. At least two of the dudes looked at me askance when I ordered the figs. "Like fig newtons, you know? A sweet fruit, wrapped in bacon. It's a good thing," I explained. Yes, this is my world. I suppose I should just be grateful that we didn't go to the Cheesecake Factory which was my colleague's first suggestion.

I didn't try the BBQ panini, but it disappeared oh-so-quickly. The grilled cheese panini was ooey-gooey and tasty. By the time it came out (we ordered in about three waves), I was full, but after being persuaded to take a taste, I ended up having three slivers. Damn it! But still, I can't see myself driving to Clarendon for a good grilled cheese, you know? The fries were good, but the homemade ketchup was not to my taste.

Desserts were a high point. We sampled all three that were offered this evening: the Guinness cupcake (I loved the icing; still, this was the one plate that didn't go back to the kitchen clean), the blondie with ice cream, and the butterscotch ice cream sandwich which was my favorite, hands down.

Note: Tallula and EatBar aren't the best place to wait out a storm. We started our meal approximately fifteen minutes before the downpour began. Not long after, the drips began. The staff worked hard to gather receptacles to catch the water, but ultimately the floors were both wet and slippery. Uh-oh!

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Got to EatBar for the first time last week. This is the old Whitey's space on Washington Blvd. Arrived about 7:30 on Wednesday night, and the bar had plenty of seats to hang out while we waited for our 3rd companion. Bartender Brian was helpful, friendly, asked our names, told us about a couple beers.

While at the bar, had a couple Leinenkugels (Brian described as like Yuengling. I'd say it was better than Yuengling. Smoother.

Also ordered the figs wrapped in bacon with mascapone. 3 in the order, $5. The 3 ingredients all melt together into one. Quite tasty.

Seating at the tables is First Come, First Served. In other words, fend for yourself. No host. But this was not a problem. We didn't seat ourselves at a table until past 8:30.

After we flagged down our waiter for beer, he told us "sorry, I'm not usually a waitress." He was clearly flustered by waiting tables, told us he's usually a bartender, and they were short staffed that night. This could have been a negative, but it ended up endearing us to him, and we thought it was quite funny. He clearly knew the menu well, since they serve plenty of food over the bar. Timing may have suffered a bit, but we were catching up with an out of town friend and enjoyed the extra time to relax and catch up.

We ordered a bunch of things to share, asking that the /olives & onion rings come out first. They didn't, but not a big deal:

Onion Rings: Crispy, but a little "powdery" in the coating

Roasted Olives: Big heap of them, but we ended up being too full to eat many. I'd get them at the bar next time.

Mac & Cheese: Tasty, although I like it a bit more zesty.... they could "kick it up a notch" and make it even better.

Cornbread & tomato salad: Simple dish, but wow, was it good. Name says it all. The corn bread it in large crouton size chunks, but still soft like regular cornbread. Really excellent!

Gnocci with lamb carbonara: Our only "big" dish. Its still really not that big. Gnocci were nice & firm, meat sauce was very meaty, without much sauce to overpower it.

The food & drinks are well priced. Gastropub describes the overall experience very well. I hope that more of them crop up.

Dessert set us over the top. The Guinness Cupcake was tasty enough, but the butterscotch ice cream sandwich was to die for. Its 2 cookies, with vanilla iced cream in the middle. Enough to share among 4, after the food you've just had.

Total bill was $100 plus tip, including the beers & wine at the bar.

Overall,

Food: 3 of 5

Cost: 5 of 5

Service: 4 of 5... "A for effort" for our "not a waitress." (This was one of the funniest lines I've heard in a while...)

Decor: 3 of 5.... got a good motif going with the chalk boards, etc.

Bottom line: 4 of 5, all things considered.

Will definitely be back...

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I am glad that I moved out of Arlington four years ago, if I was still there, I am afraid that I would make EatBar a weekly, if not more, adventure. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, unless you are talking about my arteries or my wallet!

The environment is nice. It was quiet last night, I guess that is what we get for going at 5:30 PM on a Tuesday night. Bigger space than I expected, but since it probably gets pretty crowded, that is for the best. Good blend of casual, yet trendy.

The service was solid, not amazing, but much better than most and lightyears better than I expected (I have had some bad service at Tallula in the past).

The wine list was wonderful. I can't speak for beer drinkers, although there seemed to be a lot of choices, but I really liked the wine list. Plenty of choices, lots of different varieties and regions, good prices, available by the half glass, what more could you ask for!? We got a half glass from each of the categories, I think that there were ten, so we were all over the board last night. Most were good, none were great, one or two were pretty bad. But, you aren't going to like every wine you order, but the fact that I have so many choices to order wine that I don't like makes me happy. Does that make any sense?

The food was very good. The butterscotch ice cream sandwich stole the show, I don't care if I got crap from my female friend for ordering it when she is on a diet, it was damn good. The hangar steak was very flavorful and cooked perfectly, the risotto fritter and mini burger were good as well. I liked the gnocci with lamb ragu, my friend wasn't as high on it, but it was well above average. The salad special last night - tomato salad with cornbread - was flavorful, but it needed more tomatoes. The ratio was off, too much cornbread per tomato, but the addition of feta, green olives and red onions made it different and surprisingly good. The only bad food item that we had was the mac and cheese, way too watery, not a lot of flavor. I am bitter that we skipped out on the fries, brain fart on my part.

So, overall, a great place to go. The thing that I like about it most is that you can go there on any day for any occassion. You don't want to bring your wife there for your one year anniversary, but you can go there for a first date, a nice night out on the town, to hang out with the boys, with coworkers for happy hour, etc., it meets a lot of criteria for a cool place to hang out.

Anyway, the downside, if there is a downside, is that people think that this is a cheap place to eat. Now, it CAN be a cheap place to eat, but it is NEVER a cheap place to eat. Why? When you go to a place like this, with so many good wine and food options, are you really going to get one glass of wine each, one appetizer, one entree and one dessert to split and leave spending only $50!? You may have the intention to do that, but it won't happen. You will get 10 half glasses of wine, one salad, two small bites, two entrees, one side dish, one dessert and drop $150, I guarantee it. That is a lack of will power on my part, so that is why I am glad that EatBar is not in my neighborhood!

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I want to love this place, I really do, but it has been so inconsistent the times that I have been. I have had a great hot dog one week, and then one that was watery and lacking flavor the next. I've had tasty french fries at times, and then greasy ones lacking crunch at other times. The baby burger is juicy and enough to justify the $3.50 price tag some nights, and others it is charred and barely bigger than a silver dollar in diameter. The risotto fritter.....well, that's just never been that good for me, it doesn't have that much taste and the sauce that it accompanies tastes like a creamier version of the ketchup they give you, which tastes like tomato sauce out of a bottle.

I think from reading the posts on here, I need to stick to getting their excellent beer and either a BBQ panini or seared tuna salad when I go instead of sticking to the traditional bar food that I keep getting mixed results with.

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I want to love this place, I really do, but it has been so inconsistent the times that I have been. I have had a great hot dog one week, and then one that was watery and lacking flavor the next. I've had tasty french fries at times, and then greasy ones lacking crunch at other times. The baby burger is juicy and enough to justify the $3.50 price tag some nights, and others it is charred and barely bigger than a silver dollar in diameter. The risotto fritter.....well, that's just never been that good for me, it doesn't have that much taste and the sauce that it accompanies tastes like a creamier version of the ketchup they give you, which tastes like tomato sauce out of a bottle.

I think from reading the posts on here, I need to stick to getting their excellent beer and either a BBQ panini or seared tuna salad when I go instead of sticking to the traditional bar food that I keep getting mixed results with.

The burger has always been consistently good when I order it. They have Old Speckled Hen on tap (as of this past weekend).

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Ahhh, inconsistency in a restaurant, something that I never have to deal with!

I have said it in posts before and I will say it again, you will rarely find me going to the same place twice. It has happened, but rarely, and usually several years apart. I go out a bunch, but there are always so many new places to try out that I want to hit them all once before I double up. So, I had a lucky night at EatBar, I will take it while I can get it.

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Got to EatBar again last night, and after a very good first visit, I was disappointed. I figured the menu changed regularly, but everything looked the same as my June visit. And, I went for a lot of the same items.

The figs weren't as tender, although the mascapone sauce is good enough to drink. (I'm trying to come up with a reason to buy those tiny cast iron skillets. What usage around the house, I wonder.) The chorizo stuffed pepper was tasty, and the night's highlight. The Mac & Cheese was pedestrian, although I love the tiny Le Crueset (see a theme here?). The onion rings were nothing short of abysmal, and I regretted getting them when I remembered that i didn't like 'em much last time either. Ones on top were stone cold, and rest were greasy mush with most of the breading fallen off. Should have gone for the tomato & corn bread salad again, which I remember most fondly.

Are they always short staffed? First time, our waiter noted that he was actually a bartender but was filling in in-house. Last night, bartender noted that they were short a bartender for the night. (Maybe he was waitering?) This actually didn't make any difference, since it was pretty quiet until groups came in to watch the 'Skins game. Service at the bar was friendly and smooth.

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I went to movie night a couple of Sundays ago, and it was kind of nice, but needs some tweaking. I'm really glad the bar is quieter and smokefree now.

I had figs and marscapone, which were nice tasting, but runny and had texture problems. They seem to have worked out the problems with baby burgers, and their corn dogs, and I'm glad to see them restored to their past glory. (I still think they're pretty steep, though - I know there's truffles involved, but $3.50 for white castle sized burger is a little much)

Mr. Beezy had an inexcusably fatty oily cheese panini. It was overfilled with oily cheddar cheese, and then soaked in butter (you actually can have too much butter), and underfried.

On balance, movie nights bring truffle popcorn and free candy bars. I went for Rocky Horror Night, and the bartender gave me toast and other goodies.

I really would like it if EatBar were 20% better. They still make great cocktails, and I love the idea of their small plates, but sometimes the execution is off. OTOH, the hospitality is good, and I can get much nicer drinks and food for a movie than if I'd gone to the drafthouse.

But please - someone bring back the rum donuts from Whiteys - the only sure cure hangover in town.

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But please - someone bring back the rum donuts from Whiteys - the only sure cure hangover in town.

My kids loved those donuts - we had breakfast at Whitey's frequently (they called it "The Dump," but with no disrespect intended)- some of the bartenders would rig the claw machine so my daughters could win stuffed animals with little frustration. I have eaten at both Tallulah and EatBar and have had no dishes that I recall with the same fondness as those donuts.

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The wife and I went to Eat last night for the first time. We were in search of something light to eat as we had a late lunch. We have been to Tallua before and have been in the Bar, but not since the conversion. We ordered the Mussels with Chorizo, Jamí³n Serrano, Blue Cheese form MN, Butternut squash soup and Baby Burgers. The soup was excellent, perfectly prepared and nice on a cold evening. The Mussels were good, but not great, nothing special. While I was happy with the Jamon and Cheese I was not happy with the portion size additionally the cheese came out very cold. The burgers were well prepared and flavorful. I thought that the bun was a little too big for the burgers, which detracted from the flavor of the meat. The buns were a little cold as well.

Service was attentive and it is a fun place with a nice feel with a great wine list. While it was not great we will go back and be more selective with what we order. With 2 glasses of wine and dinner our bill was $70 with tip, wine was $13 each. Overall more then I wanted to spend on a light dinner.

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Twice in the past few weeks I've enjoyed the house-cured pastrami at Eat Bar. I feel it is a great dish for $12. Add to it the chorizo and goat cheese stuffed pepper that has been rightly praised in this thread, and you have a filling meal for under $20. The pastrami provides a wonderful contrast between the charred, crunchy, flavorful outside and the melt-in-your-mouth richness of the inside. The pastrami is presented atop a bed of buttery smooth potato puree and a savory reduction sauce that provide a nice counterpoint to the meat.

Last night I also tried the acorn and butternut squash soup, which was delicious. Very nicely spiced, and definitely full of good buttery flavor. I am glad that Eat Bar is so close to home, and I've enjoyed making the acquaintance of the friendly bartenders. It is more fun to come back when you are recognized. If only the staff at Eleventh was so welcoming. Both Eat Bar and Eleventh have very good food, but the difference in the warmth of service is stark.

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Friday night was the best meal I have had at EatBar. The stuffed peppers were dead on, the bacon wrapped figs were little sweet, fatty lumps of delicious, the corn dog the best version I have ever had, the mac and cheese worked for me (although it is absurdly priced at $7 for a bowl so small it was hard to dip my panini in), and the baby burger was right on. Ironically, the only miss was the BBQ panini that has gotten so much love on this thread, which was dry and lacking flavor, so much so that I cut the sandwich up in small enough pieces so that I could dip it in the mac and cheese to give it some life.

It would be nice if they could keep this quality up as this is such a great spot in the middle of Arlington. It would also be nice to see them lower the prices a bit, especially on the beer list ($6.50 for a Flying Dog!)

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Last night I put the "Eat" in EatBar - stuffed piquillo pepper, bacon-wrapped figs, strip steak, hamburger, french fries, mac and cheese, red-wine brownie with coffee ice cream (the only miss).

While everything was on, I want to pay special homage to the glorious Hot Dog ($8.00). The first time I ever tried this, I raved it about it (here). Two days later I got an urgent S.O.S. from Nathan Anda, saying that Frank Ruta had come in and tried it the next night, that Nathan wasn't in, and that it was apparently a bad, bad night for the hot dog. Frank never confirmed or denied this, but I sensed I gave him a bum steer. A week later, I paid two more visits to EatBar (here), and ordered three more of them. While one of them was very good, they just weren't the same as that first, monumental hot dog of my dreams. Since then, I've had them once or twice, with generally good results, but during that time, my attention turned toward the unearthly hot dogs now being put out by Peter Smith of PS7's.

Last night, however, it was back to form, as good as any hot dog I've ever had. No more nitrates, and no more pink color, but a wonderful flavor, and a perfect stuff-job with no COAL PASS whatsoever. A little horseradishy housemade mustard dabbed on the housemade bun, and you've got yourself a terrific sandwich. Hooray!

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Nice article from "Young and Hungry" featuring Dan Fisher at Restaurant Eve. Apparently, Neighborhood Restaurant Group will also be opening a butcher shop.

Last week at Restaurant Eve, I had the pleasure of having Dan Fisher's magnificent, all-encompassing charcuterie plate, and just last night I got to try Nathan Anda's revolutionary pastrami at EatBar. So much for pastrami not being made in-house: Anda takes a whole brisket and brines it for about a week with about twenty things including cinnamon, coriander, vanilla, salt, pepper and juniper. Then comes a dry rub with 50-50 coriander and black pepper, followed by six hours in the smoker. The brisket is then slow-roasted at 200 degrees, and after about three hours is checked for doneness - the test consists of actually picking it up, and if it starts to fall apart, then it's done.

Currently served atop potato puree and a red-wine reduction, I look forward to this incredible pastrami being served in all its native glory, on a piece of rye bread, with just a little mustard, in Anda's new venue later this year.

With Peter Smith regaling Verizon Center and wild rumors floating about Jamie Stachowski, it's a "heady" time for charcuterie in this city.

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. Great article, MeMc!

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The best braised pork belly I've ever had.

The house-cured bresaola. It's dry and mild: lots of subtle flavors here, i think a little smoke, some herbs, a mild beefiness.

The bacon-wrapped figs.

The fried oysters.

Several very worthy taps (Gordons and Bell's Two-Hearted were the two that caught my eye)

I know the gastropub thing is a british invention, but I wish there were more interesting bottles here. I can't imagine they're selling alot of Fuller's 1845 (although it's nice to see somebody carrying the Monty Python ale). That said, I would be here all the time if I lived out nearby. It's probably for the best that I don't, because the pork belly is amazing and I would be hard-pressed not to order it every time.

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