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  • Post #91 - December 31st, 2007, 12:12 pm
    Post #91 - December 31st, 2007, 12:12 pm Post #91 - December 31st, 2007, 12:12 pm
    hang on thomas, you are giving up restaurants that are like 70 miles apart in the DC area and then comparing them just to the north side of Chicago?
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #92 - December 31st, 2007, 7:12 pm
    Post #92 - December 31st, 2007, 7:12 pm Post #92 - December 31st, 2007, 7:12 pm
    GAF wrote:
    The one area in which Washington leaves other cities behind is Ethiopian food.

    IMHO
    DC also leaves Chicago in the dust as far as quality of service at the high end. Overall, as far as selection at all levels, Chicago wins.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #93 - June 24th, 2008, 12:52 pm
    Post #93 - June 24th, 2008, 12:52 pm Post #93 - June 24th, 2008, 12:52 pm
    Needing to get out of town for a weekend, the Wife and I spent this past weekend in Washington DC. We had two very good, but contrasting dinners at Komi and the Blue Duck Tavern.

    Komi

    Our favorite of the two restaurants, but mainly because of style. The best way I can describe Komi is modern, high-end Greek. Our meal started with a series of one or two bite mezes. I don't think I can remember all of them but the standouts were:

    Crudu - Fluke, amberjack and scallop, with just a little bit of sea salt
    Pork belly gyro - Amazing. A perfectly braised piece of belly wrapped inside some flatbread with cucumber.
    Caesar salad - Alinea-esque. This looked like a giant crouton. When you bit into it, it released the representative flavors of a Caesar salad.
    S'more - Goat cheese and dried fruit between two crispy wafers. The dried fruit mimicked the flavor of the chocolate
    Dates filled with mascarpone cheese - With some salt sprinkled on top, how could this not be good

    We then each had a choice of pasta. I went with spaghetti with habanero, crab and sea urchin. Obviously this dish doesn't work without top notch ingredients, and that is just what Komi presented. Combined with a little heat from the habanero this was a nicely balanced dish. The entire portion was only about 5 or 6 bites, which was actually perfect (at both meals it was striking how much smaller portion sizes were in DC compared to Chicago).

    For my main I had lamb. Sliced tenderloin, nicely seared, etc. But the Wife's fried soft shell crab stole the show. Without a doubt the best soft shell crab I've ever had. Large, perfectly fried, no grease, sweet, meaty. Words can't do this crab justice.

    For dessert I had Greek donuts with chocolate pudding, which were just as good as they sound.

    Service was fine. Nothing stellar, but no complaints either.

    Overall I was really impressed with Komi. I knew it was Greek-influenced, but I did not know about many of the modern flourishes that were part of each dish. In every case, the influence of modern techniques was able to enhance the individual dishes without just relying on the "gee whiz" factor.

    Thoughts on the Blue Duck Tavern a bit later...
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #94 - June 26th, 2008, 10:42 am
    Post #94 - June 26th, 2008, 10:42 am Post #94 - June 26th, 2008, 10:42 am
    Josh:

    I'll be curious to hear what you thought of BDT. I was there again last week and had another reliably (very) good meal; it's my favorite "regular" stop in D.C. (unfortunately, Komi is closed on Sunday and Monday, the two days I was there.). Had the marrowbones--BDT does my favorite interp of it--a braised rabbit tagliatelle not all that dissimilar from Mercat's version (different pasta, less sweet, same idea), a simple but well-prepared scallops dish fragrant with anise and fennel, and a veggie side dish of globe artichokes strewn and saturated with duck ham. The woman sitting next to me was from San Fran and was aghast that farm-to-table was a concept/shtick; I'll admit the place can be precious, but I think they execute consistently and the food's always very good.

    The biggest surprise of my trip were a couple of very good dishes at Zatiniya, one of Jose Andres's places. He's always struck me as D.C.'s LEYE--you know, consistent but banal food--and several of the dishes I had fit that, but I thought the kibbeh nayeh and a seasonal mushroom salad I had here were way better than they had to be. Pretty room to boot.
  • Post #95 - June 26th, 2008, 12:22 pm
    Post #95 - June 26th, 2008, 12:22 pm Post #95 - June 26th, 2008, 12:22 pm
    chezbrad wrote:Josh:

    I'll be curious to hear what you thought of BDT. I was there again last week and had another reliably (very) good meal; it's my favorite "regular" stop in D.C. (unfortunately, Komi is closed on Sunday and Monday, the two days I was there.). Had the marrowbones--BDT does my favorite interp of it--a braised rabbit tagliatelle not all that dissimilar from Mercat's version (different pasta, less sweet, same idea), a simple but well-prepared scallops dish fragrant with anise and fennel, and a veggie side dish of globe artichokes strewn and saturated with duck ham. The woman sitting next to me was from San Fran and was aghast that farm-to-table was a concept/shtick; I'll admit the place can be precious, but I think they execute consistently and the food's always very good.

    The biggest surprise of my trip were a couple of very good dishes at Zatiniya, one of Jose Andres's places. He's always struck me as D.C.'s LEYE--you know, consistent but banal food--and several of the dishes I had fit that, but I thought the kibbeh nayeh and a seasonal mushroom salad I had here were way better than they had to be. Pretty room to boot.


    Sorry for the delay.

    I liked Blue Duck Tavern but for entirely different reasons than why I liked Komi.

    As you said, this is no frills "farm to table" cooking. If you order scallops, you will get scallops, and nothing else. Vegetables and starches are all a la carte.

    I started off with the marrow bones and they were outstanding. I don't understand why more restaurants don't offer this dish. The bones are sliced vertically so it's incredibly easy to get all of the marrow out. The parsley and garlic used to season the marrow really add nicely to the whole thing. My one complaint...for two huge bones you get 3 little pieces of toast. Our waiter was happy to bring more, but come on. The Wife had the Boston bibb lettuce salad, which was really just a bunch of lettuce on a plate with grain mustard dressing. Simple and very delicious.

    For main courses, I had the roasted lobster and the Wife had crab cakes. Both were very good, although my lobster was a bit tiny and a little been mushy. The crab cakes were excellent, with very little filler and a whole lot of crab. For our sides we went with fries (I believe they're cooked in pork fat?), grits, and seasonal greens (rainbow chard if I remember correctly). I thought the greens were the real standout.

    Dessert was apple pie with vanilla ice cream and peanut butter/banana ice cream. The pie was a little individual pie (you can watch them prepping and baking them when you walk into the restaurant. The ice cream is also made in-house. The pie and ice creams were all excellent.

    If I lived in DC, Blue Duck Tavern is probably someplace I'd go fairly often if I were looking for a nice dinner (something at the level of Naha or Blackbird). The food is very straightforward and I would think the kitchen puts our a fairly reliable product. There is no flash here, the ingredients are left to speak for themselves (which is why this restaurant provided such a nice contrast to Komi).
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #96 - June 30th, 2008, 11:38 am
    Post #96 - June 30th, 2008, 11:38 am Post #96 - June 30th, 2008, 11:38 am
    at the lower end of things in DC... for an inexpensive meal, Amsterdam Falafel has the best falafel I've ever had.

    ... a lot better than anywhere I've had in Chicago. The falafel is wonderfully flavored, with a slight spice to it, maybe a garlic.. most importantly though, there's actually flavor to it, it's not just a ball of fried food like so many falafels tend to be.

    ...they have a toppings bar you can add whatever you want on to your sandwich... their menu is very simple: falafel, and fresh cut fries. both very delicious. their fries are twice fried, and served Dutch style in the cone wrapper, and they even have the dutch mayos to go with it. I'd go back just for the fries alone (and probably will, I'm moving to DC soon)... they have an outdoor patio, but it was small and getting a table would depend on your random luck. no plates make it a bit hard to eat

    they have a $10 special of falafel+fries+drink, tax included.

    Amsterdam Falafel
    2425 18th Street NW
    http://www.falafelshop.com/

    ...if you want something very similar but maybe a menu with more variety, Old City Cafe has good food/sandwiches... some say the falafel isn't quite as good as Amsterdam, but personally I liked their "toppings" bar better. I didn't have their falafel, instead I had a beef shawarma, which was tasty. the day I went they were serving a fresh squeezed lemonade that was made with rose water. Very delish. the atmosphere is quirky, with multi-colored fluorescent lights.. they have a nice outdoor sidewalk patio to eat at.

    Old City Cafe
    1773 Columbia Rd NW
    Washington, DC 20009

    ImageImage http://flickr.com/photos/danebrian/2528 ... otostream/

    both in Adams Morgan neighborhood..
  • Post #97 - October 16th, 2008, 9:00 am
    Post #97 - October 16th, 2008, 9:00 am Post #97 - October 16th, 2008, 9:00 am
    Seth Zurer wrote:You should get the finest clams and black bean sauce known to man, a dish that makes the version loved by GWiv and Evil Ronnie at LTH seem insipid and dull by comparison.

    Though this is one of the, if not the most, hurtful things I have ever had directed at me I will say Full Kee's clams in black bean sauce were pretty good

    Full Kee Clams w/black bean sauce

    Image

    Highlights included Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab, Grouper Fish Spicy Fried, Pan Fried Dumplings and Leek Flower.

    S and P Soft Shell Crab w/shallot and chili

    Image

    Grouper Fish spicy fried

    Image

    Leek Flower

    Image

    Pan Fried Dumplings

    Image

    What I particularly liked about the meal, aside from the company which included Jonathan Zuer, Seth's smarter and more handsome brother, Stephanie, a colleague of Jonathan's, and Bruce Cook and bride, was the feeling I had of coming home the moment I walked in the door. Full Kee is truly a special place, on the order of 'Little' Three Happiness and I would be there often if I lived in Washington DC.

    Image

    I should note the mentioned Full Kee meal occurred last year, I didn't post until now as intensive therapy was required to move past Seth's hurtful clam comment.

    Enjoy
    Gary

    Full Kee
    509 H Street, N. W.
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    202-371-2089
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #98 - October 16th, 2008, 9:25 am
    Post #98 - October 16th, 2008, 9:25 am Post #98 - October 16th, 2008, 9:25 am
    Full Kee without the Hong Kong style shrimp dumpling soup?!! I just cannot imagine it.

    RAB and I lived just up the street from Full Kee for 2+ years and it was the best Chinese in the neighborhood.

    Thanks for the photo of the tasty clams - - definitely one of our favorite dishes, although I haven't tried LTH's for comparison.

    Ronna
  • Post #99 - October 16th, 2008, 9:29 am
    Post #99 - October 16th, 2008, 9:29 am Post #99 - October 16th, 2008, 9:29 am
    REB wrote:Full Kee without the Hong Kong style shrimp dumpling soup?!! I just cannot imagine it.

    ;)

    Image
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #100 - October 16th, 2008, 9:49 am
    Post #100 - October 16th, 2008, 9:49 am Post #100 - October 16th, 2008, 9:49 am
    LOL!

    Thanks, Gary. That soup is one of the best deals in town and it really hit the spot on cold days.

    Goodness, you almost have me missing D.C. Almost.
  • Post #101 - March 10th, 2009, 11:14 pm
    Post #101 - March 10th, 2009, 11:14 pm Post #101 - March 10th, 2009, 11:14 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    I would also highly recommend Florida Avenue Grill for breakfast. Fantastic hot cakes and biscuits and gravy, the best I've had in a while.

    We are periodically in Washington, D.C. and Florida Avenue Grill is always on our list of places to visit. I have never been there for breakfast, now I am aware of their biscuits and gravy, well we'll be doing breakfast.

    I have often been to Florida Avenue Grill for mid afternoon lunch. This is southern food, which Ourpalwill would approve of. There are smother chicken fried steaks, fried chicken, ham on the bone plus your choice of side dishes. Or you can simply order a plate of 4 sides with macaroni and cheese and candied sweet potatoes an absolute must.

    Once after I was seated, the 7-year-old daughter of a waitress came to our table. She inquired if we were indeed going to eat there. I cheerfully responded yes. She then offered her experience, "People like you always order take out. You never stay. Nobody like you ever eats here." All the while, her melt-into-the-ground embarassed Mother was trying to disconnect the thought and drag her away.

    Florida Avenue Grill
    1100 Florida Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20009
    202-265-1586


    I have been going to the Florida Avenue Grill since the late 1980's, based on recommendations from the Sterns. My first visits always had a sense I integrated the neighborhood by simply showing up. There were cracks in the sidewalk with weeds growing between them. There was a gravel lot adjacent to the Grill that was either the remnants of a teardown or the parking lot. I parked on the street largely to avoid offending any neighbor's sensibilities if I happened to guess wrong. Inside the Grill, it was business conducted very politely and efficiently. The Florida Avenue Grill streetscape I describe lives on in my mind's eye only. Upon arriving Sunday, there was a realtor stabbing an open house sign into the ground. The gravel lot transformed into a condominium building. The sidewalk repaired. People lingering on the street chatting, which I never saw before.

    When Rene G, Josephine, a friend and I arrived on Sunday, we were lucky to find four stools together at the counter. If we had desired a booth, there would have been a wait. When the cashier asked a young professional how he liked his meal, he responded, "Very good, as usual!" There young urban crowd co-mingled with the old timers ordering breakfast or lunch specials. The Sunday crowd caused the menu to be truncated: full breakfast menu and an abbreviated lunch selection of five specials all priced at $14.95. Another nod to their current flow of customers, the bacon was no longer cooked to order, instead it was previously cooked and reheated on the grill.

    While Josephine and Rene G were in breakfast mode ordering scrapple, Virginia ham, eggs and such. I inquired if I could have a vegetable plate, which is not on the truncated luncheon menu. The waitress affirmed could be had for $7.95, then rattled off my choices. I settled on greens, mac and cheese and pickled beets. In retrospect, I should have had the sweet potatoes instead of the beets, but I didn't think. I also ordered biscuits in addition to the cornbread that came with greens. After a few days of non-stop eating, it was nice to have a plate of well prepared vegetables. The biscuits were made earlier came from a warming tray. Unfortunately no butter was offered, while not the freshest biscuits, they certainly did not deserve the non-butter spread offered.

    Long ago the Florida Avenue Grill was quite a special treat. Probably due to my occasional meals in soul food restaurants around Chicago, my more developed experience dimmed the specialness of going to the Florida Avenue Grill.

    Or maybe I am just a bit resistant to change.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #102 - March 11th, 2009, 9:24 am
    Post #102 - March 11th, 2009, 9:24 am Post #102 - March 11th, 2009, 9:24 am
    REB, if Gary's photo is any indication, you really do need to get yourself to LTH - it looks very similar to the duck soup I enjoyed recently, which can be ordered with thin noodles or thick homemade noodles in addition to the wontons. The broth might be different (my picture doesn't do it justice) - but I found LTH's version to be delectable. (GWiv?)
  • Post #103 - March 11th, 2009, 10:02 am
    Post #103 - March 11th, 2009, 10:02 am Post #103 - March 11th, 2009, 10:02 am
    Mhays wrote:REB, if Gary's photo is any indication, you really do need to get yourself to LTH - it looks very similar to the duck soup I enjoyed recently, which can be ordered with thin noodles or thick homemade noodles in addition to the wontons. The broth might be different (my picture doesn't do it justice) - but I found LTH's version to be delectable. (GWiv?)
    Thanks for the tip, Mhays. I've been to LTH, but haven't sampled the duck soup. I do have a nasty sore throat - - perhaps I can convince RAB to rescue me from work and take me there for lunch. The duck soup sounds like the perfect remedy.

    Ronna
  • Post #104 - March 11th, 2009, 10:07 am
    Post #104 - March 11th, 2009, 10:07 am Post #104 - March 11th, 2009, 10:07 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Long ago the Florida Avenue Grill was quite a special treat. Probably due to my occasional meals in soul food restaurants around Chicago, my more developed experience dimmed the specialness of going to the Florida Avenue Grill.

    Or maybe I am just a bit resistant to change.

    Regards,
    I'm a fan of the Florida Avenue Grill, but, as Cathy2 mentions, it isn't the perfect spot. Before leaving D.C. just over a year ago, I lived pretty close. My problems, more than anything, were the hours and the prices. They often seemed to be closed when I had a hankering for their fried chicken. Good stuff, though, and great atmosphere. I've directed folks there as a nearby alternative to Ben's Chili Bowl.

    NW D.C. doesn't have many diner-type spots, so Florida Avenue Grill certainly fills a need. If it existed in Chicago, I don't think it would be nearly as popular.

    Ronna
  • Post #105 - March 11th, 2009, 9:39 pm
    Post #105 - March 11th, 2009, 9:39 pm Post #105 - March 11th, 2009, 9:39 pm
    Cathy's post sums up my impressions pretty well. However, she did not mention the side of (likely) baked apples with a tiny touch of nutmeg that were the highlight of the meal. Though I enjoyed the crispy scrapple and my over-easy eggs were cooked perfectly, I was somewhat disappointed with the biscuits, which were hardened on the edges-we just missed the fresh batch by seconds. And no honey. I need honey on my biscuits. What Cathy also forgot to mention was the gallery of autographed portraits of familiar faces smiling down on us from above the counter: Denzel Washington, Ron Brown, and (according to Cathy) Evelyn "Champagne" King side-by-side with John Ashcroft. It's probably unfair to confine the Florida Avenue Grill to the diner category, it's more of a slice of Washington. And I thought the welcome and service quite friendly indeed, given the crush of patrons.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #106 - March 14th, 2009, 11:30 pm
    Post #106 - March 14th, 2009, 11:30 pm Post #106 - March 14th, 2009, 11:30 pm
    I liked Florida Avenue Grill quite a bit, as much for its historic vibe and bustling atmosphere as for the food.

    Image

    Image

    My plate of ham and eggs (supplemented with a piece of Josephine's scrapple) was very good. As mentioned above, the biscuits showed promise but we got stuck with the end of an old batch. If it hadn't been so ridiculously busy I would have considered asking to trade them for freshly made. Those stewed apples were absolutely brilliant, a perfect accompaniment to ham or scrapple.

    Florida Ave Grill
    1100 Florida Av NW
    Washington DC
    202-265-1586
  • Post #107 - May 26th, 2009, 8:05 pm
    Post #107 - May 26th, 2009, 8:05 pm Post #107 - May 26th, 2009, 8:05 pm
    There are many, many threads on DC, but I like to keep things in one place. So here we go.

    I leave for 4 days 3 nights on Friday. After 20 minutes of searching through a number of threads, I found about 27 references to Vietnamese in Falls Church being better than anything around here, but not one restaurant name and detail (I am *sure* I missed it somewhere).

    I've had 3 excellent experiences at 4 Sisters, but I just learned it moved a bit further out and my friend who is willing to drive a ways for great food says it is a bit more of a trek now. I get the feeling that 4 Sisters may well be the most media-friendly face of that ripped-from-Hanoi eating mall, but it also has served the best ban xeo I've ever eaten.

    So any recent, specific intel on Vietnamese dining in and around DC?

    Specific recs for Burmese in MD?

    I foresee a couple of brunches and grabbed the names of Cashion's Eat Place, Tabard Inn and Cafe Atlantico as some interesting options. Feel free to chime in here as well.

    But mostly, I'm an LTH'er who needs some Some Southeast Asian help!
  • Post #108 - May 26th, 2009, 9:23 pm
    Post #108 - May 26th, 2009, 9:23 pm Post #108 - May 26th, 2009, 9:23 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:There are many, many threads on DC, but I like to keep things in one place. So here we go.

    I leave for 4 days 3 nights on Friday. After 20 minutes of searching through a number of threads, I found about 27 references to Vietnamese in Falls Church being better than anything around here, but not one restaurant name and detail (I am *sure* I missed it somewhere).

    I've had 3 excellent experiences at 4 Sisters, but I just learned it moved a bit further out and my friend who is willing to drive a ways for great food says it is a bit more of a trek now. I get the feeling that 4 Sisters may well be the most media-friendly face of that ripped-from-Hanoi eating mall, but it also has served the best ban xeo I've ever eaten.

    So any recent, specific intel on Vietnamese dining in and around DC?

    Specific recs for Burmese in MD?

    I foresee a couple of brunches and grabbed the names of Cashion's Eat Place, Tabard Inn and Cafe Atlantico as some interesting options. Feel free to chime in here as well.

    But mostly, I'm an LTH'er who needs some Some Southeast Asian help!
    Hi. My info is now verging on stale, but still thought I should weigh in. Burmese, Vietnamese - - and Ethiopian - - in my opinion, are wonderful in D.C.

    A few doors to the left of where Four Sisters was, you'll find Huong Viet. Great, friendly owner, happy to make recommendations. On weekends, it's usually full, but rarely is there a wait. We frequently ate their crispy spring rolls, grilled pork (Bun Thit Nuong), shrimp with sugar cane (Banh Hoi Chao Tom), and lotus root salad. They're happy to provide rice papers so that you can make your own rolls. Great soups and crab fried rice, too. Huong Viet is my favorite restaurant if I'm only going to one Vietnamese spot. If you want something more adventurous, wander inside the mall. I can't remember the names any of the places, but it's where you go if you want to be the only non-Vietnamese diner. Two favorite dishes not available at Huong Viet, but that you may see on other menus and want to order: Bun Cha Hanoi and a chopped, sauteed clam appetizer served with shrimp crackers.

    I think there's only one Burmese restaurant in MD - - Mandalay in Silver Spring (metro accessible). We like the salads, especially the tea leaves and the ginger. Also highly recommend the pickled mango pork and the chicken with sour mustard, onion, and cilantro. Be careful - - if you order extra, extra spicy, you'll get blazing hot food. And, yes, even though there's a Burmese place in Chinatown, Mandalay is worth the trip.

    I like all of your brunch options. Understand, though, that brunch is a minor affair in D.C. Tabard is great for a weekend brunch if the weather's nice and you can snag an outside table. Donuts are solid. Quiches are usually reliable. Tabard isn't the best food ever, but it's usually good and the Inn has character. Cashion's is your standard slightly-upscale brunch - - decent, but nothing special and not better than what's available in Chicago. Cafe Atlantico is much fun for brunch.

    I've said it before and I can't resist saying it again - - the two places I will be sure to visit on any D.C. trip are Komi and Habesha Market. The two restaurants couldn't be more different or more delicious. If you go to Habesha for Ethiopian, I recommend the lamb awaze tips (say spicy if you don't want it mild) and a veggie sampler including the usually spectacular red lentils. It's a cabbie haunt and two can eat a ton of food for under $20. You go to the counter and order. Run out of injera? Just ask and they're happy to provide more at no charge. Unless it's the height of the lunch rush, avoid the already-made meat dishes. You pay at the register when you're done. If you'd like a nicer Ethiopian spot, Etete is solid (I like the Yebeg Wat).

    Hope you have a great trip. Let me know if you need any more info.

    Ronna
  • Post #109 - May 27th, 2009, 11:16 am
    Post #109 - May 27th, 2009, 11:16 am Post #109 - May 27th, 2009, 11:16 am
    gastro gnome wrote:There are many, many threads on DC, but I like to keep things in one place. So here we go.

    I leave for 4 days 3 nights on Friday. After 20 minutes of searching through a number of threads, I found about 27 references to Vietnamese in Falls Church being better than anything around here, but not one restaurant name and detail (I am *sure* I missed it somewhere).

    I've had 3 excellent experiences at 4 Sisters, but I just learned it moved a bit further out and my friend who is willing to drive a ways for great food says it is a bit more of a trek now. I get the feeling that 4 Sisters may well be the most media-friendly face of that ripped-from-Hanoi eating mall, but it also has served the best ban xeo I've ever eaten.

    So any recent, specific intel on Vietnamese dining in and around DC?

    Specific recs for Burmese in MD?

    I foresee a couple of brunches and grabbed the names of Cashion's Eat Place, Tabard Inn and Cafe Atlantico as some interesting options. Feel free to chime in here as well.

    But mostly, I'm an LTH'er who needs some Some Southeast Asian help!
    where will you be staying?
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #110 - May 27th, 2009, 7:36 pm
    Post #110 - May 27th, 2009, 7:36 pm Post #110 - May 27th, 2009, 7:36 pm
    I will be staying in Capitol Hill, but I will be mobile, motivated with periodic access to a motor vehicle.
  • Post #111 - May 27th, 2009, 11:34 pm
    Post #111 - May 27th, 2009, 11:34 pm Post #111 - May 27th, 2009, 11:34 pm
    HI,

    When I was in Washington, D.C. recently, I was advised Rockville, MD was the place to go for Chinese food. Outside of Dmkly's great find situated between Washington and Baltimore. Is it true about Rockville?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #112 - May 28th, 2009, 5:52 am
    Post #112 - May 28th, 2009, 5:52 am Post #112 - May 28th, 2009, 5:52 am
    gastro gnome wrote:I will be staying in Capitol Hill, but I will be mobile, motivated with periodic access to a motor vehicle.
    Driving in and around the district isn't something I openly suggest- I lived there for years and still didn't do it :)

    That said, for a few brunch destinations, Firefly in the Hotel Madera has always been close to my heart as has the brunch at Tallula out in Virginia (if it's nice both are accesable via metro, if it's not nice, just Firefly)

    Also, if you're around for a Sunday night dinner I'd check out Commonwealth Gastropub over near Logan Circle. They do a Sunday night roast for dinner.

    Just a couple more places you might consider- if you're a burger fan, Ray's Hell Burger over in Arlington, VA. If you have a car I love the Lebanese Taverna Market over in Arlington, VA, though if you want to push out without a car there's one over at the Woodley Park metro stop in DC.

    I always loved Hank's Oyster Bar for brunch, but it's pretty light on the eggs and pretty heavy on the lunch. That's in DuPont circle.

    One more brunch spot is The diner in Adams Morgan (DC), which is what it is, but a good diner at that. They have two sister places right by as well- OpenCity which is right around the corner from the Woodley Park metro stop, and Tryst, right next door to the Diner. Tryst is really just a coffee shop, though it can be a fun place on weekend nights in the middle of the craziness that is Adams Morgan as they do serve alcohol at night and have live music. Beware, however, Adams Morgan is a total sh*t show at night on weekends.

    Rockville is the place for Chinese food in the area. DC has no decent chinese food except what you'd expect from americanized chinese. That said, DC does have Mr. Chen's, which is totally americanized chinese, but also totally organic, so that's kind of cool.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #113 - May 28th, 2009, 1:23 pm
    Post #113 - May 28th, 2009, 1:23 pm Post #113 - May 28th, 2009, 1:23 pm
    C2--the advice you got was right: Rockville IS the place for Chinese food. Here's my own
    ravings about it.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #114 - May 28th, 2009, 1:35 pm
    Post #114 - May 28th, 2009, 1:35 pm Post #114 - May 28th, 2009, 1:35 pm
    Geo wrote:C2--the advice you got was right: Rockville IS the place for Chinese food. Here's my own
    ravings about it.

    Geo
    I've been to Joe's a few times. Do you think, though, that it's worth the drive from Capitol Hill to Rockville? Sure, if you live in D.C. it is. But, I don't think that Joe's is better than Chinese food in Chicago.

    Ronna
  • Post #115 - May 28th, 2009, 2:18 pm
    Post #115 - May 28th, 2009, 2:18 pm Post #115 - May 28th, 2009, 2:18 pm
    Hmmmm Ronna, I dunno. First off I don't know Chicago Chinese beyond where C2 took me one night (sorry C2, I've forgotten the name of the place :( ), and a few times at Lao Sze Chuan. But I'd have to say that some of the dishes at Joe's were better than similar dishes I've had in Chicago. Joe's is just plain AWfully good.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #116 - May 31st, 2009, 6:11 pm
    Post #116 - May 31st, 2009, 6:11 pm Post #116 - May 31st, 2009, 6:11 pm
    Geo wrote:Hmmmm Ronna, I dunno. First off I don't know Chicago Chinese beyond where C2 took me one night (sorry C2, I've forgotten the name of the place :( ), and a few times at Lao Sze Chuan. But I'd have to say that some of the dishes at Joe's were better than similar dishes I've had in Chicago. Joe's is just plain AWfully good.


    I totally agree.
    LSC is still a place we miss dearly and when we visited the DC area (ok, Herndon) it was well worth the trip to Joe's. As far as Sichuan food goes, we went with what we were familiar with (thanks primarily to LSC) and Joe's was easily on par.
    A quick recap of what we had – I managed to dig up the pix

    Foo chi fey pien (that's what I asked for – not sure what it is on menu– probably A29, but the proprietress smiled and nodded when I asked). What we got was wonderful.

    (pics clickable for larger images)
    Image

    Szechuan style rabbit was excellent (also good shrimp and squid in crispy noodles)
    Image Image

    really good salty crispy squid, very good dumplings (great dipping sauce/oil), the yu xiang eggplant was spot on!
    Image Image
    Image

    The lamb with cumin was slightly different from the LSC version (though I've had some variations even at LSC), but thoroughly enjoyable
    Image

    the vegetable (on choi? Possibly – I asked for a suggestion and if I recall correctly went with what was on the specials board) was a perfect accompaniment.

    A most excellent spread! {thanks again Geo!}
    Image

    Usually I don't order dessert at a Chinese resaturant, but since two kids were there and we were showing our friends and hosts what good Sichuan food they had in their town :) , we got the eight treasures (rice filled with sweet red bean paste and topped with crushed sesame and sugar) and the pounded sweet rice (this was like mochi almost). Both were excellent!

    Image

    Eight treasures
    Image
    -----------
    And while I'm at it, Full Kee was super.
    This was as advertized…

    Image

    And the pig's knuckle was excellent. There was a bit of pickled daikon and carrot strips as well a dipping sauce (vinegar based) that was wonderful. If we had leftovers I imagines it would have made for an excellent bahn mi…
    Image
    Image

    Joe's Noodle House
    1488-C Rockville Pike
    Rockville, Maryland 20852-1414
    (301) 881 - 5518
    http://www.joesnoodlehouse.com/

    Full Kee
    509 H Street, N. W.
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    202-371-2089
  • Post #117 - May 31st, 2009, 9:49 pm
    Post #117 - May 31st, 2009, 9:49 pm Post #117 - May 31st, 2009, 9:49 pm
    Great pix sazerac! DANG, you take me back to such good meals in Joe's and Full Kee. Let me know when you're coming up to Montréal, and I'll put you in touch with some excellent *Fujian* food!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #118 - July 27th, 2009, 2:40 pm
    Post #118 - July 27th, 2009, 2:40 pm Post #118 - July 27th, 2009, 2:40 pm
    quick notes from a long weekend in DC, where I had little time to eat well, and was operating under serious time/ location constraints. Thanks to the excellent advice from folks here, I still had some good food:

    For a small hole in the wall, Habesha Market is extremely clean, bright and comfortable. We ordered at the register and got to watch the chef go to work in her immacculate kitchen. In impressively short order, our deliciously spicy and complex veggie platter was ready. A few minutes later, we were also eating "Sepecial Foul", described on the menu as "Hearty chile like broad beans, smashed & spiced, then garnished & mixed with fresh diced tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, awaze and onions, served hot with a dollop of yogurt & egg with a choice of olive oil or butter." This was a fantastic breakfast dish - smoky from the roasted jalapeños, with fresh vegetables, perfectly tender beans, and a small, soft omelet. Good coffee too. When I'm thinking breakfast, Ethiopian doesn't always spring to mind. It should.

    I got Farmers Market envy at the Dupont Circle Sunday Market. We just don't have anything with this level of variety and quality. I have 2 big pet peeves with Chicago farmers markets: no fresh meat, and produce picked before it's ripe. At Market after Market, I beg our area's farmers to stop picking peaches, plums and apricots 2-3 days before they're ripe. They do it on purpose because it's easier to transport and there is less wasted product. I understand the business reason, but the taste of a kitchen counter ripened apricot just can't compare with a tree ripened apricot. Everything at Dupont Circle was picked and sold at its peak. And yes, fresh meat (and seafood.)

    On our first night, we had dinner at Montmartre, a quintessential French bistro. Casual, homey feel, reasonable prices and the friendliest possible service. Excellent liver and onions, fantastic "Floating Island" dessert with the world's lightest meringue. Escargot a little too tame on the garlic for me, and a tile fish special that could have used a little less time in the oven, but was perfectly edible. Montmartre struck me as the kind of neighborhood place that locals flock back to even though the food is hit and miss, because the staff are so darn warm and friendly and the prices are reasonable. I'd probably be a regular myself if I lived in the hood.

    In Dupont Circle, there is an open-late Middle Eastern spot called DC Cafe. The effects of hunger, laziness and beer consumption set in, so several of us ordered 2am falafel sandwiches. Tasteless balls of grease that didn't even hit the spot for people in our state of mind.

    Tryst is a wine bar/ cafe/ bakery/ lounge/ all things to all people place that I found myself at twice over the weekend. Pastry was stale, coffee was cold, tables were dirty, and the place was obnoxiously loud. Two Brothers beer on tap though.


    Habesha Market
    1919 9th St NW
    Washington, DC 20001-4107
    (202) 232-1919

    Montmartre
    327 7th St SE
    Washington, DC 20003
    (202) 544-1244

    Tryst Coffeehouse
    2459 18th Street NW
    (202) 232-5500

    DC Cafe
    2035 P St NW
    Washington, DC 20036-5960
    (202) 887-5819
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #119 - July 28th, 2009, 6:45 pm
    Post #119 - July 28th, 2009, 6:45 pm Post #119 - July 28th, 2009, 6:45 pm
    I was in D.C. last week as well, finally getting to Full Kee after nearly a dozen visits to the nation's capitol over the last two years or so. Comparisons to LTH are obvious, as is the affection for the place here.

    Thoughts:

    The soft shell crab was, as others have repeatedly mentioned, tasty, albeit a bit salty. At $16, however, I didn't see it as anything significantly better than what I had at LTH in February, where it was $11.

    We ordered the chive flowers, which were tasty but not $13 tasty. My perplexity over vegetable pricing at Chinese restaurants continues.

    To placate the gf--not a fan of Chinese food; Myanmar was closed--we ordered egg noodles with seafood and vegetables ($13 for a serving size equivalent to Sun Wah's $6 small version of the dish). These were the egg-iest noodles I have ever had; they were deliriously good. (Anyone know if they're made in-house?) The rest of the parts were fine (though slightly overcooked), but I was baffled by the pieces of gelatinous and inedible octopus scattered about. And yet, those noodles...

    The kitchen seemed to have, to put it mildly, issues: we were served the vegetables and crab relatively quickly, and then waited 30 minutes for the noodles; there were people who were served within five minutes of entering, and others who had come in 20 minutes before and still waiting as those newcomers were served. For all I know, though, the cook was raising the eggs that went into the noodles.

    I note the prices not to cry wolf but to convey the reflexive thinking that is inevitable when eating at a restaurant of comparable style and execution to one in Chicago. I can only compare it to eating at Mizrahi in Highland Park: e.g., Yes, this stuff is pretty darn good--but is it appreciably better than what you can get on Kedzie for a much lower price? Pause. In this case, this was a three-dish, $50 dinner that would have been $30 at Sun Wah. Hard not to notice the difference.
  • Post #120 - July 30th, 2009, 2:44 pm
    Post #120 - July 30th, 2009, 2:44 pm Post #120 - July 30th, 2009, 2:44 pm
    Because you're in the DC area where every fixed expense and variable cost ends up being pricey.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.

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