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    Alexandria, VA
  1. Any word on whether they have a liquor license yet? My folks (edisto homeowners and regular "summer folk" since the 1950s) went in June and reported back to me in what could politely be called "faint praise." I went to The Old Post Office a couple times a year every year since I was... er. very young, and I was disheartened to see it go. I'm anxious about its new incarnation.
  2. It's fine dining with a barbecue-like pay-off. You try not to use your fingers. You cannot resist. The goat shoulder. So good. Eat it. Now. Not trusting these Komi kids is failing them. They are damned good at food.
  3. I haven't seen any recently (not that I've been looking), but the Giant in the Shirley Park Shopping Center (at 2901-11 S. Glebe Rd.Arlington, VA 22206) has often had tamarillos in the past. That particular Giant often has a goodly selection of off-the-beaten-path fruits and veg; stuff like tamarind pods, carambolas, nopales, sugar cane stalks, coconuts, persimmons, passion fruit, etc. Despite their small size and craptacular customer service, they're often the first place I look for something I didn't grow up seeing in my local Safeway.
  4. I just noticed this month's Food & Wine listed Eve among its choices for best wine lists. Congratulations, Eve-peoples! (Eve-ites? Eve-ians? Eve-eteers? ...Eve-wegians? )
  5. fimbul

    Fried Chicken

    How funny. After years of avoiding frying my own chicken, I've recently become quite taken with it. Just last night I fried chicken coated in a pecan-flour crust: process 2 cups pecans with 2 cups flour with a little salt; marinate chicken thighs and drums overnight in buttermilk, roll chicken parts in seasoning (salt, black pepper, cayenne), dredge in flour, shallow-fry in peanut oil, um, enlivened shall we say? with a tablespoon of bacon fat for 7 or 8 minutes or so per side over medium-high heat. Let your chicken rest and drain a few minutes in a 200 degree or so oven while you get the rest of the dinner ready (in my case fried green tomatoes, a green salad, steamed chard). It worked pretty well; despite there being a lot of fried on one plate, it tasted light enough and yummy. It's not diet food, but I had this craving, you see. It worked pretty well, but the nuts in the crust bear watching: too high a heat will burn them and darken your chicken past what's appetizing. Credit for the pecan flour, by the way, must go to the Old Post Office Restaurant on Edisto Island in South Carolina, USA. Iirc, they serve theirs crusting semi-boneless quails and boneless bird boobs, so the high-heat issue prolly never bothers them. edit: Had the pecan to flour proportion all wrong. Don't know how you screw up "1:1" but I did it.
  6. 'Zackly. When was the last time you really believe Duangrats beat out a number of the other NoVA Thai places in a lower price bracket (Natta Thai in Vienna and Bangkok 54 in on Columbia Pike being my current favorites)? Hell, as I reread what I just typed, when was the last time you thought Duangrats was a cheap eat? I suspect Joe H is right, we *are* perhaps a tad rough on ye olde Washingtonian, as peanut gallerys everywhere are on any purveyor of Top 100 lists, but -- some? many? -- a goodly number of their choices leave me scratching my head (or pumping my fist in rage and defiance). My head-scratchings and fist-pumpings are echoed by enough of my foodie friends and acquaintances to make me suspect the Washingtonian isn't as "in touch" as it would like its customers to think, even if it's not the Anti-Christ we make it out to be in this forum. And, as I believe I've made clear, I think whoever decided to drop Taqueria Poblano is an awful person who likely pulls the legs off puppies and eats babies in his free time. While pooping on the flag.
  7. Anyone else noticed Cheesetique's selling fancypants meats too now? I picked up some gorgeous Muscovy duck breasts last week (They. Were. Awesome.), and ogled lean lamb loins and racks to boot. In addition, I saw a few chickens, and noted that beef parts (short ribs, hanger, and... I dunno) were advertized, if not apparent. I'm pretty much sunk. I either need to get a job, or never darken Cheesetique's door again. I could spend my last dime there and be a happy man.
  8. Eh. We buy the thing every year just to see what made the cut, bitching and moaning all the while about how we ought to know better. This year, though, they dropped Taqueria Poblano Taqueria Poblano from the list, and my SO reacted like they'd shot her dog. I think "that rag" may be banned from our home forevermore. by way of reprisal, we found ourselves at TP last night, downing tacos and margaritas. Take that, Washingtonian, Peddler of Lies!
  9. Grf. I used to love the Evening Star, then it seemed to get a little... inconsistent. Oversalted sauces here, cold plates there, steamed zucchini spiced with cardamom there... My last few trips to the Evening Star, however, were consistently bad though, and the last was bad enough so that it was The Last (after stopping in every couple months regularly for 5 years). I'm afraid I can't even back up my impressions with examples it's been so long (six months? 8?). I remember only undercooked (really nearly raw) green beans, a sauce I thought was just Not a Good Idea, and a server so unpleasant he had us looking for the manager, only to find the manager was the guy lounging on the bar next to us chatting up a waitress. I live only a block or two from the place, and regularly shop at The Daily Planet, but if I want good food, Del Ray has so many great, friendly choices within walking distance (Taqueria Poblano, Fireflies, Bomabay Curry Company) that I'd be a fool to go back.
  10. If you're willing to stray a little far afield, the goofily-named My Organic Market (MOM) on Mt. Vernon in Arlandria (nearly right across trhe street from RT's) had golden beets within the past few days. If you haven't decided entirely to go with monochrome, give MOM a call and see if the beets are still in stock. Either way, good luck!
  11. Are you saying that you would not eat raw milk cheese when pregnant, or that pregnant women, and, by implication, everyone, should lose the ability to eat raw milk cheese? If the latter, I might have to object to your position. As a male with a fairly slim chance of getting pregnant ( ), I'm willing to let any sprog trying to find purchase in my insides take his or her chances as I scarf down my precious, precious reblochon etc. edit: forget *getting* pregnant, I can't even fucking spell it.
  12. I love this thread. It reminds me why I'm quitting my job. One of the problems with working any job where you face the public is answering questions. Whether you wait tables or work tech support, it's just a matter of time before you get just a little... exasperated. Sadly, however, just because you've answered a question eleventy-four MILLION times doesn't mean it's not the first time it ever occured to the poor person asking what cilantro is or where to find his or her "any" key. Just because it's basic common sense to you, doesn't mean the guy at table 7 knows not to adorn his raw oysters with Easy-Cheez or the woman on the phone knows turning the monitor off and on isn't "rebooting". Assuming at any time that you know in what "basic" knowledge consists is just asking to be flummoxed by someone who knows fuck-all about your specialty (but who might be utterly devastated by what you, you poor ignorant sap, dunno about welding/playing the horses/physics/child-rearing). At the same time, it's inevitable that the public-facing-professional will want to scream, at some point or another, "Christ!, you MORON, it's edamame! Eh-Duh-MAH-May! Just PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH!" and storm off. Professionalism, I guess, lies in not doing that. On the other hand, many people going out to dine are perfectly content, I think, to ask for what they want, assuming, of course, they can go out often enough to find out what what-they-want is. If I'm eating out at Chez FancyPants, if I ask a dumb question, as long as I'm not holding the waiter's tie and pulling his face into mine as I ask my question at 1,00 decibels, I expect him to wait until he's back with the other servers before talking about what an ignorant asshat I am, even if I'm sipping from the finger bowl as I ask him what's in this foie gras stuff the cityfolk like so much. My point, I guess, is that the communication break-downs being described in this thread are just that. They're potholes created by differing contexts and knowledge-bases. The pro's job is to steer around them, the public's job is not to put up a fight or throw a fit, but to enjoy the ride with grace. As for crunchy veggies, well, I'll let the kitchen cook for me, and assume what's on my plate represents the chef's idea of What the Meal Ought to Be. If I don't like it, I'll do my best to determine whether it was a mistake, or Creative Differences. If the latter, I'll tell myself it's educational; if the former, well, it's annoying, but hardly the end of the world. edit: typos
  13. I believe many nogent knives have "rat tail" tangs, rather than the full tang with riveted handle. If I'm right about that, it might account for the lighter weight.
  14. If memory serves, yes. Or, you can add a whole sprig of rosemary between dough and meat, and remove the herb with the crust.
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