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Posts posted by MichelleW

  1. I have reservations at David Greggory on Wednesday night and am trying to decide on two more restaurants for next week. Colvin Run Tavern has been discussed for a group thing, largely because of location, but I'm wondering what (if anything) y'all have to say about it. I've always thought Kinkead's was somewhat overrated (good, but nothing outstanding or truly special, like 2941 or TenPenh), so I'm looking for some input.

    So... thoughts? I eat everything! I love everything! If Corduroy is indeed participating, reservations at Corduroy will probably be one of those two.

  2. I'm kind of feeling sorry for the fourth sister who keeps getting left out. ;) At Eden Center, I love Four Sisters/Huoung Que. I used to like Viet Royale quite a bit but, honestly, I saw them written up in the Washington Post for health code violations one too many times to feel comfortable eating there anymore. Out this way (Reston/Herndon), Le Grille in the Clocktower is quite good. Other cannot, should not misses:

    In Arlington (Clarendon), the still fairly new Minh's is excellent -- it competes with Huoung Que comfortably for the "best" title. Little Viet Garden isn't as good as some of the other restaurants, but their patio makes up for a multitude of evils. Nam Viet is very tasty, although I haven't been in some time so that might have changed. Queen Bee used to be considered one of the best, but it has toppled quite far off that list, in my opinion, and the inside of the restaurant looks ragged and the service is abrupt, bordering on full-on rude.

  3. I had dinner at Layalina on Friday night. It's been a favorite of mine for years now (since shortly after they opened), but I always forget just how good the place is, especially in comparison to Lebanese Taverna (which ain't bad either) until I eat there.

    The menu is extensive. The atmosphere is a joy. The service is wonderful without being intrusive. And the food is always delicious. I am still thinking about those Ma'anick sausages, three days later. Delicious!

  4. I graduated from UVA in '98 and Bodo's on the Corner was "coming soon".

    I went to Charlottesville last month and Bodo's on the Corner is still "coming soon".

    It is just bizarre if you ask me. I don't understand.

    There was an article in the Cville free weekly about this, but of course I can't seem to find it. I remember it reiterated the rumors I'd been hearing for years that the owner doesn't take out loans or hire a general contractor. So who knows.

  5. Also on the corner is the Virginian. Its the oldest student bar/restaurant in town and full of history. Food quality I have no idea. Sam Shepard tried to pick up on my date there one night, while I was in the bathroom. He did that (not only to me) on a regular basis.

    On the downtown mall Miller's is an old jazz bar. Metropolitan is a good restaurant on the Mall too. Nearby is Fuel Co, a gas station/restaurant owned by super-social-climber Patricia Kluge. Avoid this place on principle alone. Actually, Charlottesville has a number of gas stations with excellent food. The Exxon in Ivy has a mean virgnia ham sandwhich.

    For the biggest burger in Virginia go to Big Jim's. FOr good bagels try Bodo's (the bagels are coming!). The nicest hotel is 20 minutes out of town at Keswick Hall. This tuscan villa was (is?) owned by Laura Ashley's family and was part of a trio of worldwide hotels she owned (the others were in St. Michaels, MD and Wales). ANother great hotel/Inn is Clifton.

    Sam Shepard is/was notorious for that kind of behavior. I hear the Bodo's on the Corner *still* hasn't opened (I'm a Curry M.Ed, Winter '00), but Shepard also likes the Bodo's downtown for his undergrad-scoping-needs.

    Keswick Hall used to be owned by Laura Ashley's family but they sold out to a Korean (I think) company five or more years ago. Reportedly, there's good food to be found there, too, as well as at the Boar's Head Inn, although both places were too rich for my grad student blood when I was down there.

    Metropolitan is widely regarded to be the best restaurant in C'ville. C&O was considered the runner-up. There are also lots of nice places on the Downtown Mall, although they seem to come and go, that are more affordable and less spectacular, where you can get a decent meal. (I did eat at both Metropolitan and C&O, thanks to kindness of others!)

    And everyone's right about The Tavern. You can't go to C'ville without eating at The Tavern.

  6. Has anyone been to Viet House? There are two in Fairfax; one on Main St. and one on Lee Highway. I ask because they are scheduled to open a third outpost on Rt. 1, south of the beltway in Alexandria. There are ZERO Vietnamese restaurants in the Mt. Vernon area and I'm hoping this new addition will fill a much wanted (by me at least) need.

    I'm sad to tell you that it's fair to middling at best. I tend to go across the street from the Lee Hwy location to Vietnam 75, usually, and that's only on the high end of okay as well.

    I really like the place over by Mark's Duck House and I make trips especially to Pho 75, as well as to the place (I don't know the name) on Lee Hwy in Centreville with the sawtooth cilantro.

  7. Three crab, hands down. If I can't find it, I settle for Golden Boy. But Three Crab is worth the extra money. It also smells less strong and recipes turn out better when I cook with it.

    The cheap stuff in the plastic bottles almost always does me wrong.

  8. Oh that site is too much! We used to go to the Secret Safeway when the MacArthur Safeway (which I swear also had a name -- the first time we went in there, in about 1987, the diapers and feminine hygiene items were stocked on a shelf above the meat) didn't have what we needed. And when mom really needed something and was willing to risk her sanity for it, we went to the Social Safeway.

    (I grew up around 39th and Reservoir.)

  9. auntdot, you're talking about Darden Restaurants, but I don't know what the name of the chain was.

    I, like the majority of you, am not a fan of the chain restaurant. I live in the suburbs, but there are all sorts of delightful ethnic restaurants near me -- and a couple of more upscale chains that I don't mind on occasion -- but the fact remains that I've never had a satisfying meal at a Chilis or Macaroni Grill or whatever. And it's kind of a shame, because I can walk to three chain restaurants from my apartment.

    That said, we have a couple of locally owned chain-esque restaurant groups here in the DC area that I am happy to eat at -- the Great American Restaurants group and the Clyde's group. What are the opinions on places like that?

  10. staff who are good kids. The problem this establishment faces is wrong demographics -- Ballston Commons is heavily Latino in clientel, and not very many Asians. I suggest Latin-Asian fusion for the menu, but the

    Maybe this is true of the evening crowd, but the lunch crowd from neighboring businesses, including e*trade and all of the neighboring defense contractors and software companies (where I work) is extremely diverse. We drive out to Eden Center for lunch on a regular basis.

  11. My favorite place for coffee is defintely greenberry's.

    Where is Greenberry's available locally? I got hooked while I was in grad school at UVa, but I didn't realize I could get it up here.

    I assume it's someplace in Arlington not so near to where I work (Ballston -- in the E*trade tower).

  12. But the Parthenon and Chevy Chase lounge are still alive, as is Pupernickles.

    I don't remember if I'm the one who originally posted about Parthenon or not, but this is good to hear. It was the only Greek restaurant in the area that my (Greek) family would eat at. We had a big going away dinner there for my mother before she left the area about four years ago. I heard the old man had died; I didn't know if it was still around (news travels fast through the Old Greek Lady Network AKA my great aunt -- problem is that it isn't always accurate).

    And I have since moved to the 'burbs.

  13. I like Chao Phra Ya (I believe that's correct) in the Clocktower -- over by Minerva -- for Thai. I'd actually argue that it's one of the best Thai restaurants in the area. Sweet Basil in Reston was very nice; I don't remember if it's closed or changed hands, but it's definitely not the same, in any case.

  14. I wonder why Good Guys gets all the pub.  Across the street, near Austin Grill, is JP's.  No one ever mentions it...

    When I was growing up, in spite of all of the other places just like it, Good Guys was the rite of passage in the area for all the prep school guys.

    And, y'know, all those dancers are Georgetown Med students -- nice girls just trying to pay for medical school. ;)

    Ahem, back on topic. I am a big fan of Arigato out here in Fairfax -- both locations. I used to like Atami in Clarendon quite a bit, but I really haven't eaten there with any regularity in some time. I eat at Nouveau East at Ballston Common out of convenience (my office is right there), but Arigato is much, much better.

  15. Jenny, I actually do cook, but I thought of you tonight when I managed to cobble together a quite tasty meal from the (seriously) six or so ingredients in the fridge:

    Tricolor pasta, fresh baby spinach, garlic, olive oil and gorgonzola cheese. I seasoned with s&p and gorged. It was really, really yummy. If I'd had a little cream on hand, I think I could have pulled off a light cream sauce.

    One of these days I'll buy something other than coffee and eggs at the grocery store.

  16. I'll second the recommendation for Heidelberg - we got our wedding cake and favors (marzipan fruit) from there, and their breads and cookies are also excellent.

    In addition to Heidelberg (which is fabulous), Pastries by Randolph (who I believe was once a Watergate pastry chef) on Old Dominion, and Brenner's Bakery, on South Glebe, at Columbia Pike are also great.

    Arrowine, next to Pastries by Randolph, is great for cheeses and, of course, wine.

  17. Halupki (aka halushki)

    Pennsylvania has a lot of Eastern European cultures represented.  My father's family is Polish.  My mother's side of the family is Welsh and German - strangely enough, it was my maternal grandmother who liked most of what I considered to be the weird foods.  I hated it when Nana would make these meat and rice-filled cabbage rolls.  Again, it was primarily the smell and they would usually convince me to eat some of the filling (never the cabbage shell though - bleechh).

    My father is Polish from Buffalo and we call these galumpki (I probably totally butchered the spelling) in Polish. You're right -- they smell absolutely terrible and I can't get past that either. I detest them.

    I'm also part Greek and, when you can't find grape leaves, you're supposed to makes dolmades with cabbage. Ick! Greek galumpki! Ew!

    My Happy Childhood Food Memories are almost all Greek or Polish food. My grandmother used to come to visit and make pots and pots of avgolemono for my brother and me when we were little -- chicken avgolemono, turkey avgolemono, lamb avgolemono. Rolling dolmades with my grandmother. My grandmother's pans and pans of tiropitakias and spanakotpitakia. At Greek Easter we used to dye eggs deep red. I remember eating eggs (a dozen? maybe more) until I broke out in a rash one Easter. We always roasted a lamb on a spit in the yard, marinating it in lemon and garlic and oregano, pulling the skin off as it cooked.

    My father's aunties used to come visit and make homemade kielbasa and kapusta (sauerkraut) and poppyseed babkas and lemon squares.

    Calamari. Oh my god, calamari. The summer I spent in Greece with my grandparents and I ate calamari all summer long.

    Chocolate. Neuhaus and Leonides and Godiva.

    As for the seafood/fish issue, I'm convinced that people who don't like fish typically haven't eaten (1) well-cooked or (2) really, truly fresh fish. People who grow up buying fish at the grocery store and cooking it until it's rubbery are bound to dislike it. The Greeks (or at least my Greek grandmother) tend to cook fish until it's dead -- and then some -- and as a result I wasn't a fan until my late teens, until I finally had a well-cooked cut of fish. But I honestly didn't become a real fish eater (although I ate seafood) until after I started eating sushi, because sushi convinced me that fish didn't have to taste "fishy."

  18. I don't know what the desserts offered at the bar look like, but I've been very pleased with the dessert menu at Ten Penh. So many restaurants seem to lose steam with the desserts, but I've been consistently impressed -- the trio of creme brulees, in particular, is very nice.

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