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Damian

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  1. Damian

    Balthazar

    Balth is still pretty hot. Went there for brunch the other day (food sucked actually, but that was a first for me there and I chalked it up to an off day). Place was packed to the gills as ever, line out the door. I like it for late lunches and late night food. Last time I was there for lunch, Bono sat next to us - that's hot enough for me.
  2. The pastry shop is La Bombonera on Calle San Fransisco towards the bottom of Old San Juan. Great place to sit at the counter for cafe con leche and a mallorca. The downhome comidas criollas are pretty good too.
  3. Damian

    Raduis Review

    I've had two terrific meals at Radius - one dinner and one lunch. Easily my favorite restaurant in Boston. The room is modern and does have more of a business feel to it. Very solid new american fare - nothing really innovative, but everything well-executed and beautifully presented.
  4. Just on the beaches point. The El San Juan is on Isla Verde beach and is not in Condado. The Isla Verde beach is perfectly fine, I lived on it for two years and swam there several times a week. The beach at Ocean Park, just down from Condado, is also an excellent beach. The beach where the Ritz is also fine, as are the beaches in Pinones. However, all of my friends, gringos and puertorriquenos alike, who lived in Condado would invariably avoid the beaches there and walk down to Ocean Park instead. One of the main reasons is the overflow sewer effluent pipe that occasionally spews out nasty brown goop about 500 yards down from the Marriott Beach in front of the Condado Del Mar Condo - seen it do so myself on more than one occasion. The Marriott beach itself is OK, I suppose, but bookending it are two notoriously nasty beaches - seen the syringes myself, too - that no one ever really goes to, especially at night. Not sure wha the new development at the site of the former La Concha and Hotel Condado will do in terms of beaches. Shugga, you didn't miss anything by not dining at the Empresa's outdoor patio at the point at the far eastern end of Isla Verde, it's nothing special for food at all. Decent place to chill with a beer though.
  5. Damian

    Brunch in the District

    Right about the time I moved to NYC, Mark. Ah well.
  6. Damian

    Brunch in the District

    Do they still have the all you can eat gospel brunch at the Music City Roadhouse in G'Town. That was always a good time, if notable for food other than heaping plates of eggs, sausage and biscuits - hey live gospel choir can't beat that
  7. I echo Scott on the Barrilitos - Don Q Cristal is a superior white rum for mixing - makes a great cuba libre.
  8. Do the boys at Mario's still wear those aprons witht he front pockets where they keep the toppings? I don't think I've ever had Mario's sober, but we used to love to go there after a night of drinking and thought it was hilarious that the boys would reach into their pockets and pull out pepperoni and mushrooms (and lint? and god knows what else?) to sprinkle on the slice. As I recall, the sausage pizza was one big patty in the middle of a square slice. Is it still the same?
  9. I think you want to be in Old San Juan for the nightlife. Parrot Club sounds like it fits the bill. Amadeus, also maybe. I like Picoteo (tapas, not Caribbean) too in the atrium of the Convento Hotel. Chef Marisoll is a good serious food choice in Old San Juan (pricier, better food, not particularly funky). Sounds like fun, enjoy.
  10. I disagree with Jason about a private beach being an important thing, and the Hilton's beach is fine, but there's really not much to it. However, the Marriott's beach is worse, I wouldn't swim there or anywhere else in Condado. Head down to Ocean Park or Isla Verde (the beach I lived on for two years) for San Juan beaches - neither is private both are good. There are natural reefs offshore that prevent much surf in San Juan beaches. For surf in and around San Juan, Pinones is your best bet, east of Isla Verde and around the bend, all kinds of food shacks abound and it is a real locals area with all that that entails. Puerto Rico is not a great surf island in general. For real surf, Rincon is generally the best on the island and Isabela's not bad but can be tough to access given the rocky shoreline. Summer is not the best season though, you're right about that. The only places I've stayed out there are the Horned Dorset near Rincon and a friend's house in Isabela. Horned Dorset is a Relais and Chateaux and is pretty pricey and upscale. I know there are several parador type places in Rincon, but can't think of any to recommend. Pick up a Que Pasa magazine at the airport or ask the tourist desk for a paradors brochure. Paradors run the gamut from dingy to pretty nice though. Lots of other threads in here on San juan food and nightlife - check 'em out.
  11. Wanted to bump this thread back up given all of the crab talk these days.
  12. Damian

    Good Diner in DC?

    Vivre's got it. Florida Ave. Grill is the one. I like Ben's and I like the Bethesda TD, but FL Ave. Grill is the real deal. Is Jimmy T's on the Hill still around?
  13. Still awful, damn. I had a truly awful meal there several years ago at this point, so was hesitant to trash it since I had no recent experience. I had high hopes for new management. The place is a damned monstrosity compared to its prior size. Oh well, drinks in the billiard room is still fun, right? If I'd known you were there last weekend (my bad for not checking things out) we'd have had you come by for some crabs. We catch them off the dock and steam 'em ourselves. Went fishing on Sunday down there and caught about 25 decent size rockfish (only kept our limit of 8 for 4 people though) What did you have at Bistro, Kim? We ate there early on Saturday night, I had the pork tenderloin - pretty good.
  14. That's why they call it the Crab Claw and not the Fish Fin or the Burger Bulge, Big Fella. Actually, Did you eat at the Town Dock or just park the boat at the town dock and eat at the Crab Claw? One of the best things about the Crab Claw other than the crabs is watching the weekend captains try to park their boats without killing anyone (spoken like a true weekend captain myself).
  15. See the other St. Michael's thread, if not too late. Both 208 Talbot and Bistro St. Michael's are better fine dining options than Perry Cabin (Although if you go to Perry Cabin tell me how it is lately, I've not been since the expansion and new management). Crab Claw is where you want to be for crabs or Higgins (zero atmosphere there though). Possibly Chesapeake Landing (especially for just picking up some steamed crabs to eat somewhere more picturesque). [Edit: the other thread mentioned has been merged into this one. -vengroff]
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