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  1. Bourbon - I don't eat a lot of burgers but I thnk this should be on the list of contenders. Topped with carmelized onions, on a bun that doesn't take itself too seriously and with a small silver cup (a la Blue Duck) side of duck-fat fries. Wonderful bar staff too.
  2. To bring this topic up to date - what restaurants are planning on having this on their menu this year and who had particularly good shad roe in a restaurant last year?
  3. The anti-McCormick & Schmicks is the voluptuously decadent boho-chic Brewers' Art in the tattered remnants of a gloriously grand century-plus old row house. Dim light, beat up old sofas in which to slurp the ridiculoulsy fresh Belgian-style beers brewed in the rear greenhouse. Short ribs, black bass and other straightforward food premised on high-quality ingredients more than cutting edge presentation give this place street cred no national chain could ever hope to touch. Funky, cool staff complete the scene. I feel like I'm spilling a state secret writing about it here - if I lived in Baltimore I would be entirely selfish and keep it to myself.
  4. Despite the flashing red lights and sirens posted above (ominous foreshadowing here) we ventured to Edo's last Sunday night on the high props of the people we were staying with and by God, does Edo's have rockfish down! A big generous hunk seared crisp and well seasoned on the exterior, moist delicate on the interior. That's good because the appetizer was from hell and back. Asked server which of the squid dishes he would recommend (a cunning way to get around the salt lick danger zone). Endives and mushrooms. Sounds cool. So it comes - in an Exxon Valdiz slick of tamari sauce rendering everything other than the squid completely inedible. Squid itself is sort of rubbery. Not horrible. Bravely mediocre under the circumstances. Waiter returns and I give him back the squid and do the "Hey, I know it's not your fault..." thing. The bill comes at the end of the meal and the squid is still on it. "Do me a favor, could you take this off?" At $15 it's the principal of the thing not the cost. He returns to the quasi-open kitchen, can be seen consulting with chef and returns with a revised tab. "I took the squid off. The chef feels that when he has prepared a meal it is supposed to be that way. So it's on me." What? Yes. The bastard chef made the waitstaff pay for my screwed up squid. So now we are left adding back the extra 15 into the poor guys tip. Or maybe it was his ruse to goose the tip? I don't know. But the whole experience was weird and upsetting beyond the poorly prepared appetizer. Dining out is about good food (service and decor trailing way behind for me as long as they are not actively awful). It should not be a political drama with my credit card being used as the arbitrator. Still in shock here. Edos is supposed to be the nice alternative to 'Zus. I can only imagine what would have become of us there. Maybe that's the secret of the squid at Edo's: it's actually fricasee of customers at Zu's who dared send bad food back. Soylent Green redux. Proceed with caution.
  5. Uh oh - I think I'm .... I'm in love. Front of the bright, airy store features a happy beautiful young woman handing out samples of CG label cow cheeses. Back of store features mounds of hard cheeses and another happy beautiful young woman handing out samples of chevre (somehow made without rennet so they qualify as compleltely vegetarian - who knew?). Gorgeous bright-eyed women reverently dispensing very good quailty cheese. Bliss. Small library of well selected books on cheese and cheese-making runs along the middle section of the store along with jars of rather pricey capers etc. The cheese is competitively priced with Dean & Deluca, Whole Paycheck etc at around a dollar an ounce and up. Peggy Smith - a co-owner - is a wise and grounded presence dispensing advice on all cheese-related matters (the best recipes and methods for novice affineurs, in my case) and gives the feeling she would probably be able to give very good advice on a wide array of other topics. Anyone who can get a bi-coastal gourmet operation up and running out of one 200 gallon cheese-making vat clearly has all kinds of smarts. And passion. Which is what this place exhibits - and evokes - so plainly.
  6. Daily Candy suggests that Cowgirl Creamery is now up and running - competition for Cheesetique in Alexandria! Looking forward to the opportunity to contrast and compare. Just rang and they say they will be opening their doors around noon today. My lunch just added several thousand calories.
  7. Chewy, smelly, glorious Bonapart baguetttes can also be had at Wagshal's on Mass Ave in Spring Valley (as opposed to the other Wagshals in the Sangamore Road shopping center across the MD line - what's up with that?!?) with the same fiscal hazards expressed above by Busboy.
  8. I hate Coca Cola - it is purile. Anyone who likes Coca Cola should be immediately disqualified from passing judgement on any wine above and beyond Two Buck Chuck (which I find Coca Cola drinkers tend to find just dandy). Coca Cola is nasty and people should not drink it. That said, just like some of the great spicey red sauces that rely on Heinz ketchup as a base, Nigella Lawson's Ham In Coca Cola in "How To Eat" and then refined in "Nigella Bites" is a brilliant way to dispose of the syrupy rubbish that people insist on having at the bar for big parties. God bless her great big blubbery lips.
  9. Adding to Bilrus' list of particulars, GB has always struck a chord with me as one of the few really integrated dining rooms I see in town. B Smiths - and the bar more than the main dining room - is another in a pathetically short list of places where a K Street foodie could feel they are living in a diverse city. I eat out a lot at linen tablecloth joints and it says something that you would never believe that the city is 30% anglo and 60% afro american.
  10. Call Tim at Wagshall's. 202.363.0777 He hooked me up with the 50 pound pig for my Caja China orgy of porcine priapism. I imagine his barnyard contacts could easily procure other victims.
  11. Thanks for this thread. Great ideas for the future and it got me into Barrio over Xmas which was far away the best SW food I ate in what turned into a small orgy of the stuff (bringing along Diana Kennedy's "From My Mexican Kitchen" meant that hardly a meal went unscathed thanks to all the great fresh ingredients at Food City). But I can't wait to get back to Barrio and try more of what they got. Poblano chicken and all their soups were revelations of what SW food can be (and what it fails to be at some places - notably the ersatz El Charro tourist trap in Tucson that survives courtesy of some misguided USA Today endorsement). Barrio has a website at http://www.barriocafe.com/pages/1/index.htm I also went skiing at Sunrise (yes, Virginia, there is snow in Arizona - and probably a lot more this week than two weeks ago) and this really cute ski bunny told me that Tee Pee on Indian School Road is the real "hole in the wall" deal. Was I just smitten by her smile or is she credible? Anybody know if this should really be added to the list?
  12. Ciroc vodka, Inniskillin Late Bottle Harvest Reisling, frozen grapes. Sorry, but if they sold this in paper bags I would have skipped the dinner and been sucking this down all the way home while crunching on the grapes for the nutritional value. Yes, it sounds damn odd, but works very very well with the sweet wine playing off the tart vodka. Mercifully I was stuck in the back of a booth and so had to stay for the highly amusing dinner. We got one of everything on that part of the menu and while it ain't the Minibar it serves as a fun and reasonably priced way to interact with friends over and about food. When I saw the provenance of the restaurant I feared that this would feel like a chain but dang, they got it right. Or it could be that divine wine martini talking...
  13. Hail, fellow Gulleteers! (I think I can say that by now without catching flack). Who would you say makes the best croque en bouche in town? You know, the profitaroles filled with custard and piled in a tower held together with spun sugar? The event is in Alexandria but I'm assuming any local baker would be able to deliver. Steve?
  14. Saddened to see the Ceiba mojitos dissed here - they are the only place I know that actually employs a sugar cane press to make the "guarapo" sugar juice replaced in most recipes by simple syrup. The clear liquid turns dark pretty quickly so cannot be stored too long without an aesthetic loss - although the kind folks at Ceiba let me mooch some for the lab back home and taste did not seem to collapse too hard over the very brief period. That might be a solution to the complaint that Ceiba's were too weak - bring the guarapo home. Or you could just bring a hip flask of your favorite rum to top it up. But either way, I contend that using the fresh pressed cane juice gives the drink a flavor base worth the extra hassle.
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