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Request for mini reports week ending March 30

Please post brief reports (or make them as long as you want) for the past week or so. This is not to discourage longer reports that are their own threads, but rather to encourage shorter reports so we'll get more of them and get them more frequently. If people like this format maybe we can make this a weekly thing. I'd love to hear about food experiences for both new and established places.

Please include locations along with the names. I'll post mine later.

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  1. At the tiny house in an Annandale parking lot, Mandu Rang Kimbap Erang, I had a dubu jungol (tofu hotpot) with crushed black sesame seeds that gave it a nutty flavor though gritty texture. They only make a few items here, but everyone one of them is distinctive.

    1. Veritas Wine Bar, Dupont - I had a voucher for wine flights and a plate of cheese/charcuterie for two. I've been here before and I find the staff 50/50 in terms of wine knowledge - it just depends on who you get. Regardless, they like talking about wine, and I do, too. I thought it was a pretty good deal and I like the place, in general. The "hot lomo" (spicy, dried pork loin) was quite tasty, especially with one of the tempranillos I had.

      Mourayo, Dupont - hadn't been here in awhile and after we left, wondered why. The bar was empty on a Monday night. We didn't have a full meal (post Veritas), but enjoyed the dip/spread platter (red pepper dip was a favorite), cold seafood appetizer platter (good octopus salad) and a couple glasses of Greek wine. Nothing mind-blowing, but flavorful and hit the spot. Good pita, too.

      1. I had lunch at Baytna, south Alexandria, near Ft. Belvoir-it's fast Mediterranean, similar to Chipotle in setup- so rice, salad, or pita, w/ different toppings-hummus, veggies, sauces. I thoroughly enjoyed it-quick, inexpensive, tasty.

        3 Replies
        1. re: thistle5

          Have you been to Cava Mezze Grill? If so, I'm curious how you think they compare.

          1. re: KeithW

            I haven't yet, & I rarely go to Chipotle either (too crowded), so my experience is limited, but I liked this place, the people there were very nice. I wanted to get it to go, but after we got our food, my son wanted to eat there, so we did.
            I got a salad bowl, w/ chicken kebab, pickled turnips, Arabic salad, olives, baba ghanoush, feta, tabouli, w/ tatziki, & a side of falafel.

          2. re: thistle5

            Good to know. The menu is posted on my work fridge but I usually end up with pho in that shopping center. Will try Baytna next time.

          3. I also got takeout lunch from ThaiBox, which is a small Thai/Cajun place near Ft. Belvoir. I got chicken ga prow, asked for med spicy 6/10, it was a bit smaller than I remembered, but delicious, fried egg on top, just a smaller ratio of chicken to rice. I was hoping they would have the shrimp/pineapple curry as a special, but since I didn't see it on the board, I didn't ask for it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: thistle5

              I wish that ThaiBox was open evenings or weekends, but I don't think ti is....

              1. re: Steve

                It's not. :-( I tried calling them on MLK Jr. day since I had the day off, but no one picked up the phone and we were not about to make that trek for naught. (Makes sense they were closed given the location.) I regularly crave the pasta jambalaya, which I haven't had since Cajun Bangkok closed in Richmond.

            2. Not sure this is really chowhoundy enough, but could be a good tip for tourists or others going to cherry blossoms, tidal basin area.

              Last week I checked out the cafeteria at the USDA building, which is a quite nice, very large, and very reasonably priced place. The entrance is on C St SW between 12th and 14th, north side of the street, door with a red sign on it. So about half a block from the Holocaust Memorial Museum. You have to go through security and show id, as it's a govt building.

              I got there a little early for lunch, so not everything was out yet, and I didn't eat much (some ham and bean soup, which hit the spot on a cold day but nothing super special) so not much really to report (thus using the "mini-report" thread) but...

              There were lots of different areas with different types of hot and cold foods. As an example of variety and size, there was an area that had a couple kinds of pho, a bunch of udon noodle soups, and sushi -- and that was just one little corner, relatively. Those soups weren't ready when I was there, so didn't try them, unfortunately. The salad bar was big with a variety of interesting different types of salads and looked really good.

              I'd say prices might be almost a third of comparable museum cafeterias and the quality and choice seemed better.

              Apparently it opens very early for breakfast, too. And since it can be hard to find somewhere to eat in that area, I'm glad to know it's there.

              3 Replies
                1. re: mselectra

                  do they charge by the pound for anything other than the salad bar?

                  1. re: alkapal

                    I think so, alkapal. It was a big place and there were several salad bar type areas, some of which probably weren't actually salads. But I'll check next time I'm there.