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Apr 8, 2014 11:11 AM

Request for mini reports week ending April 6

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.

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  1. Niralla Sweets (Springfield VA)
    Lunch buffet

    For about $7 or $8 you get a small self-service (no wait staff) buffet in a no-frills environment that usually features snacks and sweets. I only tried the 3 things that looked appealing to me: goat curry, chana masala, and chiken curry. All 3 were pretty good and better than I remembered from my last time. (My wife likes their dahi bhalla so I've been their a few times.) The naan was OK. If you're in the neighborhood and in the mood during lunch time it's a decent option.

    1. Curry Mantra 2 (Falls Church VA)
      Saturday lunch buffet

      This was delicious. Nothing to challenge the palate or broaden your Indian food horizons, just a mostly standard Indian buffet but very good. I had the goat curry, spinach with chic peas, yellow lentils (it's in many buffets but can't remember the name for this), chana masala (or similar). Also room-temp crispy fried spinach. It was all wonderful. Maybe the goat curry could have used a bit more spice. The first basket of naan was good but the second basket was excellent.

      1. Magnolias at the Mill- 198 N. 21st Street, Purcellville, VA

        Dinner with the husband. We shared the Cuban nachos appetizer- pulled pork, black beans, chopped peppers (poblanos, I suspect) with drizzled sour cream and plantain chips. Delicious! Porky, salty, creamy goodness. I love plantains and having those instead of tortilla chips was interesting and unexpected. Lends a nice flavor to the "nachos".

        Husband had salmon that he loved. I don't eat salmon so can't comment but he just about licked his plate clean. Wasabi mashed potatoes- I stole a bite and they're very tasty. Sounds random but the spice of wasabi is a nice counterpoint to the creaminess of the spuds.

        I had filet mignon and asparagus. Filet was cooked perfectly and well seasoned and the asparagus were very fresh and still crunchy. Hate limp vegetables...

        We both had dessert which was good but not exciting. He had key like pie and was happy that it wasn't overly sweet. I had creme brûlée. I think the portion size is too big but it's perfectly fine creme brûlée.

        Our bill came to about $90 (no alcohol) so a bit pricey but worth it.

        1. H Mart - Falls Church (Merrifield) location

          A couple of things that were slightly different about their inventory -

          Apparently they are doing a promotion of Japanese products (through this week, I think). Among the activities were demos for cutting fish for sushi/sashimi. Lovely samples of freshly cut fish.

          They also had matcha flavored kit kats in stock. Not my thing, but I know that there are some that go nuts over these, and I don't think they are very easy to find in this area.

          Finally, after a hiatus, they are stocking my favorite coffee candy (Kopiko cappuccino flavored) again.

          My habit before going to H Mart is to have lunch at Elephant Jumps, which I also did. I am very much a creature of habit there; I always get vegetable drunken noodles. And it is always wonderful; this visit was no exception.

          1. Shawafel (DC, H St NE Atlas District)

            If there's a better meat shawarma sandwich in the dc area I haven't found it. Lamb and beef, parsley, tomato, pickles, mint, tahini: delicious. I love the garlic sauce which I get on the side. The fries are doused in middle eastern spices and have a nice flavor, but if only they were crispy instead of limp. Still good flavor, and I may be the only person on the planet who does this but dipped into the aforementioned garlic sauce they are a treat. Business in the middle of a workday was slow, hopefully they get the business they deserve other times of day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KeithW

              Yes, I LOVE this place. The shawarma and chicken sandwiches are both amazing. Felafel is not as good.They do simple things the right way, with great ingredients.