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Everything posted by JennyUptown

  1. Les Halles DC, in my experience, sucks. But the price is right.
  2. Afterwords would suit the budget...but they don't offer parking so I think it's out! Kidding, kidding. Don't anyone get your knickers in a twist.
  3. Tangent alert! I'm having a chuckle about this thread as I sit here, stomach growling, after a visit to Bardeo. Clearly it's not easy to stick to a budget in this town, even when you're cost conscious as I need to be. Case in point: I paid $36, my friend paid $50 (includes tax and 25% tip). Peanuts, right? Not when you consider what we consumed. Her: * Goat cheese salad with beets (I've forgotten the price, but assume it was around $8) * Two glasses of a fancy-pants Chardonnay ($13.50 per glass; somehow she missed this when reading the menu, but fortunately she loved it) * Bottle of sparking water ($5.50, I think) Me: * A small piece of beef (filet), maybe 3-4 oz served atop a hash of butternut squash and scallions ($12-something) * One glass of Kimball Pinot Noir Dessert, a delicious chocolate caramel tarte with pear ice cream and pear compote, was comped as we are friendly with a Bardeo staff member. And yet the "meal" was $60...parking not included. [And before anyone accuses me of being a tightwad who doesn't just split bills down the middle, the division was at my friend's insistence.]
  4. That's a weird list, I have to say. And a few of those spots are jumping out at me as DEFINITELY not in that price range...sorry to disappoint. I lived in New York for more than six years so I know what you mean re: quality cheap eats. For two years, I lived on Cornelia Street just across the street from Pearl and down the block from Po. Living on a sports marketing salary (all of the $$ goes to the athletes - trust me on this), my only option was to find restaurants that were interesting yet accessible on my limited budget. But DC just isn't NYC in that regard. I'm not trying to be difficult (well, not today anyway), but your post really rubbed me the wrong way. You don't live here, you don't know the dining scene here and yet you trust your "research" more than the advice of people who live here? Let's go through a few of the places on your list. Visit www.cafeatlantico.com to view the menu. Entrees presently seem to start at $18. You'll enjoy those entrees, but you won't stick to your budget. A few of the places you listed are in Capitol Hill, a part of town most of us find disappointing in terms of food. Read more about that here. Monocle doesn't get much play here so click here for the Post's review. The Post didn't review America. Unless a place is brand new (America is not), the lack of review might be telling. Might not. You can try it and let us know. La Colline also lacks a review. It does, however, have a $$ (out of $$$) designation which means that it won't qualify as inexpensive. Kinkead's is expensive and reviews are mixed. This is one of Joe H's favorite places, but I'm sure even he will tell you that it'll be tough to get out of there for $45 pp (with parking). Kinkead.com doesn't list prices, but the Post says $$$ (and they don't fool around).
  5. Well, MIAMI Danny, have YOU been there? Enlighten us, please.
  6. Reviving an old thread out of desperation. I'm be in good old Binghamton for lunch on Saturday to visit relatives. A little group of us (probably 6-8 people including a seven year old and a 14 year old) will be meeting up for the first time in about a year. But where to eat?? Seriously, if I don't provide a suggestion, we will be eating at Olive Garden or Ruby Tuesday. No spiedie places, please. We eat enough of them each summer. I'd say "no ethnic eats" because this is not a daring crew, however in Binghamton, I'm not sure much would qualify as "exotic" anyway. Help?
  7. When did this place open to the public? I used to live right nearby, but can't recall seeing it.
  8. Palena offers lunch on Saturdays now. It's reasonably near the Zoo if you have any plans to go there.
  9. So...how do we refer to the other other board then?
  10. Peacock Cafe isn't everyone's cup of tea (too hoity-toity, maybe), but I've enjoyed the brunches I've had there. I love their french toast with strawberries in a syrup of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. I also like the All American, eggs with choice of meat (I find the chicken sausage to be inedibly dry, though; stick with bacon) and home fries. Peacock Cafe's brunch menu Ardeo is also great - similar vein to Peacock Cafe though. When I have a hangover and want something cheap, I go to...<hangs her head in shame> Austin Grill for either Macho Tacos or Texas Toast, both served with chips and salsa. No joke. I've only been to Kramerbooks for brunch once - didn't like it enough to go back, but I realize that's just one person's opinion. My issues there? The portions were huge (a selling point for some, a waste for me) and the french toast was so blah, so tasteless (even after syrup, and then butter). The service? Slow. Slow. Slow.
  11. I'm with NulloModo. Given that the food was good, my friends and I would be laughing ourselves silly if some drunken lout (employed there or not) dropped by our table. I most definitely would have taken the gift certificate because surely the staff would remember me upon my return (and hopefully would be on their best behavior). It's like an express route to becoming a regular, no? And like you said, the food was good. Ah well, that's just me.
  12. When I saw that this post had been bumped up, I figured another Indian meal had been scheduled. No such luck? Come on, Monica...how about it!
  13. Did you get one for Stretch, Jr. yet? A follow-up question for JohnW: I had the pleasure of trying the new cornmeal dumplings with mushrooms at my recent lunch. Neither my dining companion nor I are people who often order mushrooms to be honest, but we tried your dish and really liked it. But if memory serves, you're allergic to mushrooms, aren't you? What was the development of that dish like?
  14. My estimation is that my friends are there more to drink than eat. Fortunately we have some area (or room) booked and there are about 25-30 of us going so if nothing else, it won't be empty. But I think I'll grab a snack at home before heading to the party.
  15. A friend of mine is having her upcoming birthday gathering at Cilantro in Georgetown. I was going to post a message asking "anyone been?" when I decided to visit the web site first. Although the home page advertises "Tapas Bar" the menu goes on to attempt to be all things to all people. If you're not in a "Mezza" mood, try a "Focaccia Panini" or "Pasta and Risotto." Kibbeh Asado anyone? Followed by...Coco Shrimp. It would be funny. If I didn't have to go there. I predict a spectacular disaster. Has anyone been brave enough to eat at Cilantro? If so, what'd you eat?
  16. Overall, you'll do best if you leave the car at your hotel and hoof/cab/metro it.
  17. I have found myself with a truly unfortunate addiction: Rosa Mexicano's divine guacamole (medium spicy) washed down with a Negra Modelo. Although the menu description of the guacamole ($12) says "serves two," that's not exactly true when I'm one of the customers. I turn into one selfish b*tch when the molcajete is set in front of me. My attitude is "get your own!!" So why is this addiction so unfortunate, you ask? Because as DonRuckus said long ago, RM sucks ventworm nuts [otherwise]. Last Saturday night's festivities began with me getting my guacamole fix at a barroom table. The three of us, celebrating a birthday and starting out sorta low key, gobbled up the green goodness quickly. Still hungry, I voted for more guacamole, but was overruled by my two friends who don't read egullet and thus don't know about the rest of the menu's suckiness. We got: Empanadas de Jaiba ($12) Menu description: Three soft corn empanadas filled with jumbo lump crabmeat served with peach pico de gallo and avocado tomatillo salsa Suck factor: Mass-produced blah-ness. The three perfectly-shaped empanadas looked suspiciously Sysco-esque. And three for $12 doesn't exactly scream "value," does it? Julia's empanadas are way, way better. Flautas de Pollo ($7.50) Rolled crispy chicken tacos topped with salsa rojo, salsa verde and sour cream Suck factor: Unbearable saltiness (and I like salt). Also, we asked for the sour cream on the side to allow my friend with a severe dairy allergy to live out the rest of her birthday evening. She asked our server if cheese was involved and was told "no." The flautas, which might have been ok if not for the high salt factor, were topped with Mexican white cheese. Such a shame. They could make a mint from me because I will continue going there for guacamole and beer, but I have learned: once my yearning is satisfied, it's time to hit the road. Shoulda listened to Rocks.
  18. What exactly do you mean by "a good area" - somewhere near your hotel (if so, where is that?)?
  19. I had a surprisingly good dinner at Zola last night. It was surprising in that I had not previously enjoyed a meal there after three or so visits. This was a business dinner held prior to the Wizards game so we were on a pretty tight timeline. Certain other restaurateurs would have approved of our 90 minute turn-of-the-table. (kidding!! ) The restaurant itself is as gorgeous as ever. This time, though, I was more impressed with the courteousness and professionalism of the staff than I had been on past visits. When we arrived - ten minutes late and with six people instead of five (yes, I was suitably chagrined; blame my boss for both) - the host seated us promptly and without even a hint of wanting to chide us. Very smooth. We let our polished female server (didn't catch her name - I was on the far inside of one of the six person booths) know that we were in somewhat of a rush and she paced our meal accordingly, somehow without ever making the service feel rushed. Although two members of the party had salads, most of us went straight to the entrees in the interest of time. My boss had: Broiled Jumbo Prawns harissa, green pea sticky rice and caramelized Meyer lemon $23 He raved, but then again he always liked Zola which is how we came to go there, prospective client in tow. Carb-conscious man that he is, he didn't eat all of the sticky rice, but I know him well enough to know that it was not because he didn't like it. My entree: Lamb³ parsley greened potato, black olives, sun dried tomatoes $25 All I can come up with is WOWEE. I really loved this dish. The three preparations of lamb were a nice meaty chop, a link of Merguez sausage and a slab of lamb meatloaf. Of the three, I have to rank the meatloaf a surprising first - I enjoyed the texture, the spicing, everything. Next would be the chop. Cooked a hair beyond the medium I requested, it remained juicy enough. Full of lamb-y flavor. The sausage was nicely spiced, but would rank third of three for me; could be that I'm burned out on lamb sausage from too many similar dishes at Bardeo. The accompanying potato was served up almost like pilaf, under the three preparations of lamb. The olives added a nice dash of salt; there was a bit of spice in there as well. Great accompaniment for the lamb. I'd order this dish again in a heartbeat, specifying medium rare for the chop. Sadly no one ordered dessert (I was forced to sneak into the Acela Club and mooch ice cream). When I have dined at Zola in the past, desserts were a highlight so this was disappointing. Signed, Gladly on the Zola Bandwagon Side note: Although the web site is very attractive and the menu there is somewhat up-to-date, I find the full-screen, pop-up format really annoying. In order to close out of it, I have to go to Task Manager and quit the thing manually. I tried hitting Esc to make it go away - no dice. When you close out of the "base" site, it doesn't make the pop-up disappear. There also doesn't appear to be anywhere on-screen to click to make the full-screen imagery go away either.
  20. I had my first Firefly lunch today...and must note: Derek is just as dreamy at lunchtime! Oh, the food was good too.
  21. But given that DCist has "editors" I would think that the site might hold itself to a higher standard (or claim to).
  22. I have loved Magnolia's cupcakes for years (especially the years when I lived just a few blocks away). On the other hand, I thought Cupcake Cafe's stuff was yucky. To each, her own.
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