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Where Is Your Food Find This Week in DC? Do Tell ...

While there are lots of threads for heavily reviewed restaurants on Chow, tell your fellow Chowhounds in a brief your review of new/unexpected (pleasant and unpleasant) out of the way places you may have visited this week in the Washington, DC area.

For example, this week my girlfriend took me to Ren's Ramen on Arlington Blvd in Bethesda. Ren's is attached to Daruma Japanese Grocery, which has a nice, but limited selection of canned, frozen and a few fresh Japanese specialties. Ren's only has a few selections (supplemented by Japanese take away in the refrigerated case at Daruma), however as a neophite to Japanese noodle houses, I particularly enjoyed the large bowl of rich, miso infused broth with fresh, tasty ramen noodles. You could taste in each bite the granular bits of beef and the presence of pork in each spoonful. The atmosphere was very casual, however the smiles on the other (mostly Japanese) patrons confirmed my impression that for $10 my bowl of ramen was a good choice.

So what is your food find/review this week?

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  1. Nice idea! We'd like to suggest that posters also click "This is a review of a specific restaurant", which will prompt you to add the restaurant name. This will add a marker to a map which will appear on the top right of this page, in addition to adding the specific review to the restaurant's page in the "Restaurants" section at http://www.chow.com/restaurants/regio...

    1. Just went with my S.O. on Sunday. Service was ehh, but the pizza was good.

      -----
      Red Rock Pizzaria
      1036 Park Rd NW, Washington, DC 20010

      2 Replies
        1. re: katecm

          Red Rocks, didn't show up in the post.

      1. Went to another interesting place, Bucks, last night. It's located next to (co owned?) Comet Ping Pong on Conneticut Avenue near Nebraska. Tom Setstima from the Post gave it three stars a couple years ago...my find, or at least my opinion is that it's gone quite a bit downhill since then and I wasn't that impressed at all.

        My girlfriend and I went around 9:30 pm and the place was about 40% full. The place is quite dark, sort of romantic dark. Actually so dark it was hard to get a good look at the food. We could, however see the kitch all over the place...not really a camp/outdorsy scene, but more campy, garage sale theme. Odd paper placemats, used on tables with paint peeling off them... though the long "chefs table" in the center of the room was interesting and might have been a better choice.

        The menu is a bit odd and small... hard to follow in some respects ( for example the hamburger is listed under the appetisers). We got sorrel soup and smoke fish for apps, trout and a hamburger for the mains.

        The sorrell soup was probably the best dish: full of flavor, an attractive green color, sharp but cut by the dab of sour cream. I'm sorry to say it was downhill from there. The bread, which arrived late, seems to have been sitting out and around since the morning, or perhaps the day before. It was an odd mix of breads that didn't really go with the food, and there was no butter or oil to go with them. Not stale, but cold, tough and clearly not fresh on the first or second attempt to get some fresh bread from the kitchen.

        The fish platter consisted of about three 1 ounce portions of three different smoked fish. Two tasted very salty, reminencent of smoked blue fish out of a cryo-vac. It was accompanied by some kind of over-salted slaw. The trout was a nice portion, well presented (to the degree one could see anything), though it tasted a bit "fishy" to me, as opposed to a clean taste one expects from an unadorned trout. It was accompanied by a potato cake that was reminicent of McDonald's hash brown. That is not a bad thing, but it didn't really go with the trout and for $25 and from a restaurant with three stars I expected more.

        The hamburger was fine- properly prepared on a nice bun. But it was small- maybe a 1/4 pound (post-cooked weight) with some tempura onion rings. Again, not bad, but for the price of two Ray's Hellburgers ($14) nothing to write home about.

        All and all, it looks like the place has gone downhill since Tom's review, or perhaps it was an off night (or maybe Tom was particularly infatuated with the chef's attempt to try a new theme). But it was not untypical of many of the midranged non-ethnic places that DC has, unfortunately too many of: overpriced, lackluster, and not worth the time nor energy to visit again soon.

        -----
        Buck's Fishing & Camping
        5031 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

        2 Replies
        1. re: ClevelandDave

          Thanks for your report, ClevelandDave. I can't say that I'm surprised by your experience. After a few disappointing meals, I wrote Buck's off years ago and felt that Tom Sietsema's review was a big miss in my book even then. I believe that it used to have the same owner as Comet Ping Pong, which isn't much better, IMHO, than Buck's. Its pizzas used to be pretty good, but not anymore, and service has always been an issue there as well.

          1. re: ClevelandDave

            You should know that several months ago, the co-owner and chef left, so it is a very different restaurant now.

          2. Of all the things I ate this week while eating out, perhaps the one I enjoyed the most was a juicy, flavorful "chicken shawarma slider" from Neyla at the Taste of Georgetown yesterday. A close second was a slice of cherry pie from Baked & Wired at the same event. It's been some time since I've dined at Neyla, so it was a good reminder that the food is delicious and well prepared.

            On the other end of the spectrum, the worst thing I've eaten this weekend was a "chocolate-covered bacon lollipop" from Agraria. After just two bites, I had to trash it. It tasted like pure fat, so I'd say that it wasn't prepared with good quality bacon.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Gigi007

              I too tried a dark chocolate dipped bacon bit on a stick from Founding Farmers. I "get it" and have a sense of what they're trying to do- combine the rich, deep bitterweet flavor of chocolate with the meaty, salty taste of bacon. But it dosen't work really well because the bacon is chewy and sinewy, while the chocolate just melts. It is a composition that they may have seen or tasted at a place like El Buli by Adria but they can't pull it off on the cheap and without the right prep.

              1. re: ClevelandDave

                A lot of places around the country are making chocolate-dipped bacon. A friend of mine who lives in Pittsburgh told me that she tried some that was really excellent. However, the version I tried from Agraria was truly awful IMHO b/c the quality of bacon was so poor. Like I said, it tasted like pure fat. What a waste.

                1. re: Gigi007

                  True. It started off with the Vosgue bacon chocolate bar and others copied. It was also a popular item at the MN State Fair last year--on a stick!

                  1. re: Gigi007

                    I had choc covered bacon at Coco Sala-it came w/ the mac & cheese.
                    I thought it was good.

                    1. re: chicken kabob

                      I just saw this concoction. When will it end? Deep fried twinkies, et al.

              2. Had a nice experience this week at Cedar restaurant. We live in Chinatown and had walked by it before, but were unimpressed with the menu. However, we wanted to go to dinner and the waits at Cafe Atlantico and Poste were on the long side (we had no reservations) so we decided to try Cedar before walking up 7th to find something. Real glad we stopped by- it ws on the slow side, so service was prompt. The food was much better than I had been expecting- ended up with the butter poached lobster atop a mixture of potatoes, corn, and lima beans. BF got the mushrooms with lentils and was real happy with his dish as well. We'll be going back for sure- it's a litlle pricey (it is in Penn Quarter after all) but better than the other expense account restaurants in the area that serve roast chick,en steak, and grilled salmon with no personality. Worth a try if you are in the area.

                -----
                Cedar Restaurant
                822 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                1 Reply
                1. re: sallibee

                  Can you really have a bad meal with good lobster on top of nicely prepared fresh veggies? Yum!

                2. I agree that this is a great idea for a thread -- I hope it stays active.

                  To help keep it that way,a quick report that a couple days ago I finally went to Levi's Port Cafe (in SE DC, not far from Eastern Market, near Navy Yard) and lunch there made me plenty happy. Only had fried chicken sandwich and the sweet tea. I should have gotten the mac and cheese, which does look really good. I know some have issues because food is held on steam tables. I got there a little before 1:00. I thought the skin was good and plenty crispy. The breast meat was perhaps a little dry. Staff was very nice, place just has a good feel and spirit, looking forward to going back soon. I do appreciate places where nice people (a local family, presumably) can make a living selling good food to neighbors and visitors, if you see what I mean (whether or not it's the "best" is another matter). Somehow seemed an appropriate place to go the week of Ben Ali's passing.

                  Also -- I remembered later that monkeyrotica had strongly recommended the pork chop, so that'll be next time, I guess.

                  Also, not in DC area, but Baltimore -- we very randomly found ourselves in Parkville (exit 30 off 695), not thinking about food, but happened by Pappas, needed a bathroom so decided to stop for a bite, and ended up having their crab cake for lunch (at the bar, Ravens game on). I realize now it's come up a lot in those ubiquitous Baltimore crab cake discussions, but it was definitely a random discovery for us (although they do make a point of their City Paper cover). Actually, I only had a few bites of my friend's. Jumbo lump, didn't notice filler -- I'm clueless about crabcakes, this is only the second jumbo lump I've had, Faidley's being the other, but it certainly tasted good. I was actually very out of sorts when we arrived, but they were super friendly and low-key, really lifted my spirits. Was also the kind of place that brought home that Baltimore is a different world than DC (I'm so glad we share this board).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mselectra

                    Crabcakes need some kind of filler- egg, a starch, something-- to hold it together, but the main content by sight if not weight should be nice chunks of blue crab.

                  2. I went to American Flatbread in Clarendon last week and was really happy. I had half the Virginia ham and apple pizza and the revolution (minus the mushrooms for Hubby). The pizza was really good. I liked the doughy but crisp crust.

                    I like Liberty Tavern's Vermont pizza better than the Virginia Ham and apple pie they do, but it was really good still, and the revolution half was great. You could tell the tomato sauce was fresh as it was nice and tangy, and the carmelized onions had a nice sweet balance. Will be great for take out orders in the area too.

                    My other food finds have been elsewhere this week, except the really good onion rings and spicy garlic ranch at Dogfishead Ale. Also their shrimp, chicken and bacon salad while not necessarily special, was a really good dinner salad.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      Really good onion rings at Dogfishead Ale sound great. I like the sound of the salad too.

                      The flatbread you had sounded good too although I think I'm suffering from "flatbread fatigue". They seem to be everywhere these days. I tend to like a crisper crust that isn't too doughy. Some I've had are too soft or chewy for my taste.

                      1. re: Gigi007

                        It definitely is more like pizza crust I would say similar to Lost Dog if you have had their crust, rather than thin crust which I was expecting. What they had at Clarendon Day was a bit thinner. It is still good, but I would call it pizza myself.

                      2. re: ktmoomau

                        This week I made homemade pizza including a "flatbread" crust. With self rising flour it is so easy to make (and very inexpensive too-- probably less than .25 (did you ever notice that the standard keyboard dosen't have a "cents" sign?)! That means that between a crust, reduced crushed tomatoes and four ounces of cheese or so you can make a homemade pizza for about a dollar!

                        1. re: ClevelandDave

                          Yeah the problem for me is time. I get home around 6 or so and need to make a dinner quickly, and if I am later we go out a lot. I do like making pizza at home, and actually when I get the frozen or refrigerated dough I like to make the Everyday Food calzone with broccoli that is super tasty. I also love making pesto pizza with good salami, I love that combo.

                          I saw a post on another site talking about American Flatbreads thin crust, maybe for some reason theirs was a little flatter than mine, mine seemed pretty doughy, but in a good way, just more a pizza way I guess.

                        2. re: ktmoomau

                          co-sign the AMAZING onion rings at Dogfish Alehouses, HOWEVER! the actual brewpub in RehoBeach,DE has completely different and notsogood onion rings.

                          Ive been to the American Flatbread in Ashburn a half dozen times, always a pleasure, pissed they brought one to the Other side of NoVA and not to the middle. 123-corridor loses out again, sigh.

                        3. Went to H-Mart in VA (Gallows Road area) this weekend, and me and the SO went to Kyung Joo.

                          I got the hot pot with crab, clam, and tofu.
                          She got the seafood with rice.

                          My dish sounded like a good idea, but the little crabs were just hard to eat.
                          Hers came out really good.
                          Ban chan was good.

                          Damage for 2 people, 28 before Tip.

                          1. I tried Toscana Cafe this weekend (north cap hill, by union station). The food was excellent, I could tell it was prepared by a decent chef with solid knowledge of real italian food. Simple yet lovely. Had well plated beef carpaccio, braised baby octopus (a standout - and big enough to have been an entree), seared rockfish and vegtables, and gnocchi with shrimp. They also have a well priced italian wine list.

                            The service was a little slow and unsure, but all and all, a good value and it will be on my short list to visit again.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: scotcheroo

                              I can't seem to find a website or menu. Do you have a link?

                            2. Spent the night in Frederick and went here for dinner. Restaurant is in what appears to be an old row house with 3 different rooms. Seated very promptly. After that, service was slow and waitress kept apologizing that the kitchen was backed up. They were fairly full. Wine list is a little over priced. However, food was excllent to above average. Lobster Risotto appetizer was excellent and could have been a main course!! Main courses we tried: Lamb steak (very good) and a veal dish -- over pasta with asparagus and sun dried tomatoes (good, but not fabulous). Large portions, so we didn't have room for dessert.
                              Best thing all week - homemade apple dumplings at the Color Festival in Thurmont. Hot, drizzled with apple/caramel sauce and served with vanilla ice cream!

                              7 Replies
                                1. re: SheriS

                                  Please tell us which restaurant you're talking about. Also those apple dumplings sound amazing!

                                  1. re: Gigi007

                                    I had the apple dumplings at the Frederick fair a few weeks ago, a local favorite. There were at least five different versions available. I sampled two of them, the better of which was sold by one of the local fire companies.

                                  2. re: SheriS

                                    Sorry - here is Acadia. Thought name would show up in header.

                                      1. re: SheriS

                                        Is this it?

                                        -----
                                        Acadiana
                                        901 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                        1. re: ClevelandDave

                                          It's Acacia in Frederick, I believe.

                                          http://www.acacia129.com/

                                          Acacia
                                          129 North Market Street
                                          Historic Downtown Frederick, Maryland

                                  3. Thanks for mentioning Ren's. I just noticed it when I stopped at the CVS across the way this morning, and I was wondering if it was any good.

                                    1. There is a dearth of good Japanese restaurants in the southern end of Fairfax County but we usually go to Osaka near the Springfield mall if we have cravings. It's not great but it was reliably okay. We went a couple of days ago and it's under new management. We were hopeful but it was terrible. Oversauced food (noodles were unedible because of it), oyako donburi came w/ deep fried chicken cutlet and was too sweet. Service was terrible. The waitress couldn't get our order right and my oyako donburi came almost 20 minutes after everyone else's meal, although before the shrimp tempura part of my husband's meal (he had shrimp and vegetable tempura and everything but the shrimp arrived). Disappointing and we have to find another place that's not too far now for our cravings.

                                      1. Totally the durian sugar wafers in the checkout line of H Mart.

                                        No, I didn't buy them .... but I can die happy knowing they exist.

                                        1. Brioche at Cacao in Bethesda (the chocolate shop in the covered arcade in Bethesda Row). Plain or raisin. I've been in search of great brioche in the DC area and hadn't found it until this weekend. Puffy, buttery heaven.

                                          1. Tried the rotary sushi bar at Matuba for the first time. Was a lot of fun and pretty decent sushi for $18/per person. I was worried, since it was about half nigiri and half maki and my dining partner doesn't usually eat nigiri, but we had a blast. They rotate between the same 6 or so choices (spicy tuna hand roll, california roll, dumplings/gyoza, maguro nigiri, yellow tail, shrimp, and the occasional other yummies brought forth from the kitchen), so not a ton of variety or complexity of rolls. Still, it was yummy and filling, and definitely hit the sushi craving without breaking the bank for us!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. The croissant bread pudding with really nice gelato at Circa.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. Lately I have found some great octopus appetizers are quite a few menus in DC

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. I enjoyed a bowl of spicy noodle soup with thin rice noodles and tofu at DC Noodles (14th and U) last night. It was tasty - but it could have had more heat for my taste. When I was paying the bill ($13 for not that much food, welcome to DC) and telling the waiter that I would be back, he strongly suggested the red curry with wide rice noodles for next time.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                    The soup you had at DC Noodles does sound appealing, but yes, $13 seems a bit pricey if the portion size wasn't generous.

                                                    By contrast, my food find of the week was an extremely filling, delicious and reasonably priced ($5.95) bowl of mandu soup (homemade dumplings with sliced beef and vegetables in a seasoned beef broth along with noodles, scallions and mushrooms). I don't remember the exact price of the larger (enormous) entree-size bowl of mandu, but it couldn't have been more than $10-$12. I was fine with the smaller size soup and also ordered a beef appetizer
                                                    (Ssam-thin strips of marinated ribeye beef with radishes). With a drink, the three items came up to about $14. Next time I might try the spicy tofu soup or go for the larger bowl of mandu soup if I'm really hungry.

                                                    I really liked Arisu. It's llaidback, charming, and homey.

                                                    See my report here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568300

                                                    1. So Oakton, VA really has few restaurants..if any. Howver, I found Tigris..hidden in that stripmall that has Yoko sushi and an Italian place. Tigris has great kabobs and such. Too bad it's hidden in back.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: rHairing

                                                        The chicken philly at Santini's is worthwhile. Is the Oakton Family Restaurant still there in the re-done strip mall area? It used to be decent enough (not stellar, but a nice place if you live in Oakton and didn't want to leave).

                                                      2. In a round about way, I discovered baguette republic in Chantilly. We went to Bistro L'Hermitage, which is one of my favorite French restaurants in the area, in part because they have amazing baguettes. They have a wonderfully crispy, chewy but not thick crust, great crumb and nice chew and amazing flavor. I spoke with the owner on our visit this week who told me they buy them from Baguette Republic in Chantilly. While I was disappointed to find they weren't made in house, I'm happy I can buy the baguettes myself.

                                                          1. It wasn't this week, but I had a surprisingly fabulous meal at Ulah Bistro on U Street recently. Stranded on the corridor with no iphone to help me figure out where to go, we picked Ulah from the menu outside the window and were very pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. I had a pork chop with balsamic reduction, broccolini and this wonderful risotto with pancetta and parmesan cheese. My partner had short ribs; not the best I've ever had, but still very good. His came with polenta, of which I'm just generally not a fan, but it also was pretty good and tasted homemade. It's not my new favorite restaurant or anything but I'd definitely go there again.

                                                            1. It's been alluded to here on this board somewhere, and Tom S did a squib on it a couple of months ago in the Post, but today I tried Chez Manelle, the Tunisian-Turkish (but mainly Tunisian) place on Wilson Blvd in Courthouse. I didn't explore the menu very far, but what I had makes me want to go back to try more things.
                                                              Both items I tried were much better than comparable dishes I've eaten in Tunisia. First, the "brik," which sounds bizarre, but actually is a great appetizer consisting of an egg fried to order, tuna and capers, all encased in a crispy wrapper similar to spring roll skin. (I am not making this up.) I asked for a little harissa for it, but it really didn't need anything to liven it up. Then Chorba, a pleasant soup of vegetables and meat, served with a lemon slice. Complimentary bread (nice and fresh) and olives.

                                                              The specials board had listings for roast chicken, merguez sausage and other things I've eaten in Tunisia. The menu also includes the North African staple, couscous.

                                                              Tunisian cooking doesn't have the aromatic spicing of Moroccan cuisine. But it is good, if not as flashy. Chex Manelle's service is friendly, and the prices are reasonable (e.g., about $9.00 for my brik and a nice portion of soup).

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Gonzocook

                                                                It is one of the great aspects of the DC food scene is the variety of quality ethnic restaurants in town-- I think far more than comperable cities elsewhere. Perhaps it is the presence of all the embassies, but there are few other places with the variety we've got. Now if we could only get more quality mid priced American restaurants, though it is far better than even just a few years ago!

                                                              2. I noted on the NOVA sandwich thread- I had a really good Cuban at Earl's it wasn't absolutely authentic, but not too far off and the soft and tender roast pork with the other flavors... really really good.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: ktmoomau

                                                                  Did it have the chicharrones? That's the missing flavor ingredient I've not found in a Cuban sandwich anywhere outside SoFLo.

                                                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                    It didn't. And it didn't come on cuban bread, but a kind of cross between foccacio and Italian they call foccacio (which I really liked). As I said it isn't the most authentic, but their roast pork is really good, I mean REALLY good, and the combination of flavors is really nice. Worth a try if you want something close with fantastic tasting pork. The pickles were very good pickles too.

                                                                    1. re: ktmoomau

                                                                      Sounds good. Where is Earl's? Somewhere in Clarendon or Courthouse area?

                                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                        Between Courthouse and Clarendon, across from Minh's if you know where that is, about a block away from Comcast on Wilson.

                                                                2. Seoul Garden in Chantilly, near Will's Ski and Burlington Coat Factory. It sounds familiar so I might have read about it before here. I had the standard bibimbap, a great beef stew, nice udon noodle soup w/ tempura. We don't live near by but would definitely stop again by if we were in the area.

                                                                  1. Po Siam in the Del Ray section of Alexandria (right across Mt. Vernon Avenue from RT's and just north of the Birchmere). The appetizers my group got weren't very interesting, but we ordered a very wide selection of dishes and they were all well executed. Especially good was the spicy duck, an eggplant dish with tiny halved eggplants (about the size of a large thumb) and the drunken noodles which had a good wok char on them.

                                                                    Also this week a friend and I got delivery from TemptAsian. Although the delivery menu was basic Americanized chinese, the kung pao shrimp was several notches above typical with good peppercorn-numbing spiciness, and my friend (a native NYer in the 60s/70s) pronounced the chicken fried rice "like it used to taste when I was a kid." And it was tasty -- nicely done, no excess moisture.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: weezycom

                                                                      That's disappointing to hear about TemptAsian - IIRC they used to not do the americanized thing. Do they still have a sichuan menu? If so, I'd use the cumin fish as a guage - it used to be great.

                                                                      1. re: Dennis S

                                                                        They probably do have the sichuan menu, but she ordered delivery and the only menu she had was the Ameri-Chinese one.

                                                                        I'd be leery of ordering fish for delivery, something that delicate should be eaten as close to the kitchen as possible. But thanks for the heads-up, I'll have to try it when I go in.

                                                                        1. re: weezycom

                                                                          Oh I agree on that, but I am curious. Please post back if you do go in - on the menu and anything you get.

                                                                          1. re: Dennis S

                                                                            I went a few months ago with a group from of Chow/DR friends and we had some good eats my favorites were:

                                                                            -fish and sour mustard (a soup with cellophane noodles- really really good)
                                                                            -chili chicken
                                                                            -double cooked pork
                                                                            -tea smoked duck
                                                                            -stir fried shanghai bok choy
                                                                            -spicy beef and scallion pancake roll
                                                                            -dried sautee beef (from the black board)

                                                                            1. re: ktmoomau

                                                                              Cool - thanks for the input. FWIW, I used to live near there and was an original proponent here for Hee Been, before TA was even there. Then the whole Chef Chang phenom, etc., etc., but they - like others - kept it up for a while after he left. BUT - I hadn't been in years and the post above made me wonder and worry. I'll need to get by there (and Hee Been - maybe rent a hotel room?)

                                                                    2. This weekend I stopped in El Grande International Supermarket or Fresh World - it seems to have two names, in Springfield, Va just off Backlick Road. Its a huge market that tries to cater to a wide variety of Asian customers as well as Latin Americans. It was packed, although I wasn't prepared to shop. Inside are also three food vendors and some other shops. The vendors include a barbeque joint, a Chinese-Korean carry out, and a Sushi place. The woman making sushi offered me a piece of fresh garden roll to try and snared me, even as I was eyeing the spicy fish soup at the Korean place. I sat down and ordered a dragon roll. She made it on the spot and I have to say it was outstanding. Probably one of the best I've had. I had the miso soup which was good and she also offered me comlimentary tuna/salmon sushi combo. All was fresh, the rice well seasoned. I've spent a lot more for a lot less. I took home some of their seaweed salad which was also excellent. I spent $13 plus tip. Can't beat that with a stick. I will go back. On the other hand, the kim chee I picked up from the Korean/Chinese place next to them was not very good but I will reserve judgement until I try something else. They've got a bunch of soups on the menu that sound good anyway. I wasn't particularly attracted to the barbeque joint which seemed to be a bit of an anomaly in this place but won't know unless I try it. Another find of note was a small separately owned bakery at the front of the mart in a row of small shops. I picked up some rolled almond crisps that were amazingly good, as were some deep fried tofu snacks. I will have to go back and try other things there. This place is really worth checking out. I also saw a lot of nice looking whole fish on ice that I would love to throw on a fire. They also had a large variety of live fish in tanks. The fish market had a good fresh smell and most of the whole fish on ice looked quite fresh and the prices were good.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Ellen

                                                                        El Grande is my go-to place to pickup untrimmed hangar steak. You get a 2-3lb "x"-shaped slab which, once you've trimmed the connecting tissue, yields two tenderloin-like pieces. You cut these into 6-8 filets, put them between wax paper, and pound them flat with a meat cleaver. Well worth the effort and a great way to learn how to trim meat. Fantastic beefy flavor that puts NY strip to shame and MUCH cheaper than the pre-cut hanger steaks you find in the grocery store.

                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                          Thanks for the info about the hangar steak. I love it but rarely buy it b/c it seems terribly overpriced in the typical grocery stores.

                                                                        2. re: Ellen

                                                                          I miss the Reston FreshWorld and the Compare Foods is taking forever to go in - and I can't figure out what they'll be like.

                                                                          1. re: Ellen

                                                                            What kind of barbecue..... how did it look? Do you think it's actually smoked?

                                                                            1. re: Steve

                                                                              Don't know. I just glanced at the offerings in the glass case and they did not immediately appeal to me but I didn't smell any smoke either, which probably would have triggered a Pavlovian response and hence greater attention to that stand.

                                                                          2. This is a tiny restaurant that was formerly Mexican, but which now serves both Chilean and Mexican food. The Chilean menu is pure comfort food. Delicous empanadas, steak with fried eggs on top, braised pork ribs and more. It is a very meat heavy menu but perfect for a cold winter night. The staff is friendly and the food is cheap. They also serve pisco sours and Chilean wine. This place is definitely worth a try!

                                                                            Valparaiso eterno Restaurant
                                                                            4906 Fairmont Ave.
                                                                            Bethesda MD

                                                                            1. Butterscotch pudding at Ris. I'm neither a pudding person nor a dessert person, but my lord this has to be one of the best desserts I've had in D.C. The sticky toffee pudding cake at Proof is a close second. Moo krob prik khing at Bangkok 54 — so good, so spicy, so crispy (both the pork belly and the string beans.) Chili at lost dog. Obviously this wasn't all in the past week, just a brief rundown of a few outstanding dishes I've recently had in the area.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: littlew1ng

                                                                                Yum! Sounds like you are becoming a pudding person!

                                                                                1. re: ClevelandDave

                                                                                  yeah, you're right. i had banana pudding at Carlyle on Saturday and it was amazing.

                                                                              2. Pretzel with Virginia Ham and mustard at the bar at Eventide. Definitely a good food find this week.

                                                                                1. I just got back from Trader Joe's and they are clearing out their nitrate free uncured hams, apparently they overbought for xmas. They have an expiration date in March, $1 a lb or less, $20 hams for less than $5. I got a small one for $3.50 and will freeze it. The check-out guy said he got a big 8 lb one.

                                                                                  1. Cavetelli pugliese at Sette Bello last night FAR surpassed my expectations. Perfectly cooked pasta, well balanced sauce, savory sausage and mushrooms, it was a really great meal.