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The best barbecue joints in the D.C. area, ranked

Just as you have pointed out, different places have different specialties, and the lameness of the Washington Post ranking is that it ignores this most important factor. No big suprise there, rankings are a marketing scheme concocted to draw attention.

Another problem is that there is the mistaken idea that chopped pork is somehow an inferior version of barbecue or 'easier' so that critics tend to ignore it.

For chopped pork, Rocklands is (moslty) king, though they do have their ups and downs, Close to that is the D&D barbecue truck in Sterling. Maybe weekends only.

For pork spare ribs and brisket, DCity Smokehouse.

For jerk chicken (yes, this is barbecue) , Just Jerk in Lanham, MD.

For pit beef, Pioneer in Baltimore.

Chopped pork is pulled, then chopped. Makes it easier to eat, which I wholeheartedly endorse..

I do not go in so much for the NC style , but if I did, I have not found anything absolutely better than the grocery store version avaialble at Harris Teeter.

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about 1 hour ago
Steve in Washington DC & Baltimore

HELP - Dinner for vegetarians and carnivores

My all purpsoe recommendation is also one of the best places to eat in DC. Go to Jaleo or Spanish tapas. Veegetarians can enjoy patatas braves, beet salad with citrus, spinach with raisins, garlic mushrooms, baby wrinled potatoes, pan con tomate with manchego. The meat lovers can and the mini-hamburguesas made from iberico ham and the quail with rosemary sauce.

Seeking advice: Week long foodie trip from Japan to somewhere else.

I hear ya, but by learning the alphabet, you are not really learning the language, just how to pronounce the words.

This can be very helpful if you already know 'menu' Korean in English. For example, everyone by now has heard of bibimbap, kimchi, and bulgogi. you could read this on a menu in Hangul just by sounding out the letters.

Imagine how much easier it is to read a menu in Italian compared to Chinese. It's becasue you already know the alphabet and probably some of the food terms as well. In Chinese or Japanese, that is impossible.

I found this helpful also while looking at maps in Korean (completely readable as long as you know place names like 'Jeonju' or 'Busan'), directional signs while hiking, or walking at historical sites.

What is funny is that many motel names are adapted from English, so I can easily find the "Honeymoon Motel" written in Korean. Even the word 'motel' is pronounced the same in both English and Korean.

Not so easy in Japanese or Chinese since they do not use alphabets.

Start a National List of Restaurants that Do Not Support Conversation: What places in your town are no where to meet friends and talk?

WHere have you been? Expect most restaurants in Washington, DC, especially ones heavily discussed on Chowhound, to have serious noise issues. The ones that don't are generaly 'old school', the kind of dining that is going out of fashion quickly but would be easy to pinpoint by simply figuring glancing at the website.

It woudl be far easier to list the one place I would suggest to you than the dozens I wouldn't.

2 days ago
Steve in Not About Food

Seeking advice: Week long foodie trip from Japan to somewhere else.

It is so easy and fun learning Hangul. I didn't put much time into it, but because I liked it I didn't really take much note of it. I spent way less time on it than planning other parts of the trip.

But I still get a kick out of it to this day. At a table marked Registration at a school here in the US, they had the sign written in English, Japanese and Korean. The Korean was: 체크 인, which is pronounced something like check-eu een.

ISO restaurant for latish Friday night near BWI

To clarify, although Grace Garden has some Sichuan dishes, the chef is from the Canton province (maybe he is even Teochew?), and cooks from a humungous Chinese Culinary Encyclopedia. There are some gems on the menu like the Taiwanese fish and especially the fish noodles, which I think are a specialty of his home region. The spicy and crispy eggplant would round out an excellent meal.

Seeking advice: Week long foodie trip from Japan to somewhere else.

I found knowing Hangul tremendously gratifying the first day I was there, and years on now I use it to do research on going back to Korea.

Booze is an important part of going out to eat in Korea (for the Koreans, that is, I don't touch the stuff) , and that has nothing to do with the US military. They have a litany of dishes there that are considered good 'drunk food.' But prices in Seoul are much higher than elsewhere in Korea, so the effects of the military I saw were something near zero.

5 year anniversary dinner + one more dinner meal

Excellent. I know how hard it is when you are used to the exciting choices in NYC, so I'm glad this worked out.

Family Friendly in DC (Near Capitol Hill/Union Station)

What is good at NoPa? I haven't heard of it!

Seeking advice: Week long foodie trip from Japan to somewhere else.

The language barrier in Japan is far more significant than Korea.

With just a little practice, anyone can learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet.

May 21, 2015
Steve in China & Southeast Asia

Seeking advice: Week long foodie trip from Japan to somewhere else.

Korean food is significantly different from Japanese for me, but I am not convinced that Seoul is even the best destination in Korea (I prefer Busan). Within the vast fortress area of Busan there are some great duck and goat villlages that add to the food options. And the possibilities at the raw fish street outside of the Jagalchi Fish Market are impressive.

I'd go to Beijing before Seoul or Shanghai. But that wasn't one of the choices you gave.....

May 21, 2015
Steve in China & Southeast Asia
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Meats & Foods in DC - Report

Good to know. I think of their halfsmoke as the 'filet mignon' of halfsmokes, with plenty of firepower added for good measure. I got it with a cold sauerkraut that was rough chopped cabbage, lightly sour and crunchy.

Washington DC and VA burbs "ethnic" restaurants

The short comments I make on Chowhound are indeed pithy - I love pith - but they do not take the effort of what Kliman, et al are responsible for. That's really hard work they are doing, and I am just here for the fun.

However, you are definitely getting a thank you card.

To keep this about food, another Hound has already suggested I organize a Chowhound meal at Aldeerah, which will happen in the next week or two.

Plus I am thinking of doing an all-BBQ 'carry-out' meal from Pitmasters Back Alley BBQ in upper NW DC, probably on a weeknight. I'd have to find a place - maybe at AU- where we could alight.

Boss Shepards in DC- Report

Yes, Chef Geoff's is there, only been once, and didn't think it was worth noting.

Boss Shepards in DC- Report

When a visiting relative consults Yelp and says "let's go to Founding Farmers." you now have a reasonable counter offer. Think of it as a trump card.

Right at the corner of 13th and E Sts, NW, connected to the Warner Theatre, Boss Shepard's provides a menu and atmosphere that might assuage the family units and give you some thrills as well.

Plush, spacious, not too expensive, not too noisy. The idyll of a downtown upscale restaurant when family tension could get the best of you. It lacks the dinner salads that brings down the ticket price of a meal at Founding Farmers, but other prices are surprisingly in line.

I only had two items. I skipped for now the vaunted 12-hour brined fried chicken and opted for the pot pie fritters and the pickled shrimp appetizers. Pot pie fritters I would not hesitate to order again, the shrimp needs more of the chervil sauce that comes with it, so just ask. Both very satisfying.

A surprising, delightful option for this location.

Landing at Reagan and heading West... looking for a place to stop and eat.

I don't see a probem with getting to these places by about 8:30pm, so you should be good. Please report back what you discover.

Seoul BBQ Recs?

Majang is plenty friendly. I had no problem, but I went to a place where I chose the meat from a counter inside the restaurant. Hint: More expensive cuts are much better. Ultimately, I love other Korean dishes so much more, and I don't care so much for the gogi.

The place I went to had long tables of eight. Getting two tbles together could prove challenging.

May 19, 2015
Steve in China & Southeast Asia

Landing at Reagan and heading West... looking for a place to stop and eat.

So much great eating to look forward to..... but you don't say if you need to find a place that is open late.

I know that Minneapolis now has an extensive array of good eating, though in some cuisines it lacks depth.

Here are some places in Northern Virginia that have a far more extensive selection than I think you can find right now in the Twin Cities.

I'd say the Lao menu at Bangkok Golden is key. Despite the name of the restaurant, they have a separate, extensive Lao menu which has little in common with the Thai menu. In addition they have specials and a paper next to the cash register for off-menu items. Nam khao (rice ball salad), mieng muang luang (rice paste wrap), moak normai, (smoked bamboo wrapped in banana leaf.) Or they have some off menu items like pork liver larb and grilled pork neck that are on that paper next to the cash register.

Mynamar is an exclusively Burmese restaurant. They have an extensive array of salads that you probably can't find easily elsewhere. The ginger salad is my favorite, but highly unusual and wonderful is the gram fritter salad. Whole fish with onions (ask for this spicy), is another delight, and a different flavor than what you can find in places that serve Thai/Burmese food. Same for pork with fresh mango. Locals will order the balachaung, which is a condiment of dried shrimp and toasted garlic. A powerful, heady mix.

Taiwanese small plates: A & J in Annandale is devoted exclusively to a wheat-based Northern cuisine. Instead of rice or seafood, think dumplings, noodles and bread. Get the xian bing, suan la mian (ask for the big homemade noodles), and the 1,000 yer egg with scrambled tofu. This place closes at 9pm.

Also there s is a Bengali restaurant in Arlington that makes a stellar moghlai parota and also excellent versions of roast chicken and a fish curry.

Other possibilities are Bolivian, purely vegetarian south Indian, Palestinian.... the list goes on.

Oyamel, Daikaya or Zaytinya

That's no small recommendation! Any particular items that you like?

Meats & Foods in DC - Report

There is a new sausage maker in town and this place is a game changer. The menu is limited so far to a few kinds of sausage and some chili. You can eat there (counter service, counter seating) or sausages to go are $10 for four.

Finally, there is a half smoke in DC that is worth iconic status. This is our 'philly cheesesteak.' So much care goes into this product. The chicken with green chilies sausage is its equal, minus the local flavor. Pork with garlic is less special, but still there is quality throughout.

Since DCity Smokehouse is only three blocks away, this is a logical stop to or from great bbq. Depending, of course, on a casual definition of what constitutes an appetizer or dessert.

Japanese Ramen: Is it a Hype?

You are being a bit dismissive and guessing about why people like sushi (Novelty factor). Even folks who are not purists might like the way it tastes. After all, it has been established now in the supermarkets for a long time. My local Safeway has its own sushi counter.

May 18, 2015
Steve in General Topics

Japanese Ramen: Is it a Hype?

Let's just flip over all the cards and tell us what place you're talking about.

May 18, 2015
Steve in General Topics

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

Dept. of Labor.

May 17, 2015
Steve in Not About Food

Have you ordered spicy hot food and then complained about it being too hot?

That's like compaining about the service at a self-service restaurant.

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

88% of folks who would benefit from a minimum wage increase are 20 or over. Even if I don't analyze for specific social needs, I think that's overwhelming. That class of worker has seen prices go up and wages, adjusted for inflation, plummet. The minimum wage would have to be about $11 per hour to equal the buying power of the 1960s.

You sound like the kind of person who does not want to pursue wage and price increases. But they don't always go together. For the last fifty years the minimum wage hasn't kept up with prices. Price increase without wage increase is an awful situation, but that's what the working poor have been dealing with for the past fifty years.

May 17, 2015
Steve in Not About Food

Don Tito, Designer Tacos in Clarendon - Report

My first bite at this new bar occupying the old Eventide space was a surprise. And a revelation. The ancho short ribs taco was outrageously good, a bit salty, but otherwise my second favorite taco in the DC area (after the taco de cabrito at TECC). My head was spinning. Could this yuppie magarita bar with a corporatized menu have a whole fleet of insanely delicious tacos waiting to turn the heads of those desperate for great, exciting, earthy tacos?

In short, no. No sort of fleet. It was a dinghy. I had four other items here, each a variation of 'not good.' Which is being kind.

At first I had no idea that a slightly salty taco was going to be the least of my worries. How about a sweet-as-dessert fish taco courtesy of a crema that a kindergardener would love? Or a Chinese five-spice pork taco that tasted like a slighly sweet sloppy joe?

The worst of the bunch was a small plate of crab croquettes that are suffocated in State Fair dough. The albondigas are ok, but since they come with a red 'enchilada' sauce and are stuffed with nacho cheese, they tasted like mediocre tex-mex instead of the great, moist, light and sophisticated version at Oyamel.

Tacos here are half price on Tuesdays 3pm-8pm. Word is out and after 6pm the place gets packed. I am tempted to go back on a Tuesday to see if there is any more gold to strike. it's cheap enough at half price so that it would be worth it to explore some more. But any hint of sweetness indicated on the menu, and i will veer away from those.

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

I still don't get the connection between this and the thread, which is neither about the former Soviet Union or doctors.

May 17, 2015
Steve in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

You are still making no sense regarding doctors in the Soviet Union. Not sure how this enters into the conversation. Please explain.

May 17, 2015
Steve in Not About Food

Japanese Ramen: Is it a Hype?

Here in DC it is possible to get some very serious and delicious ramen, but you have to pick and choose. Each of the ramen places here feels compelled to offer more styles of ramen than a ramen-ya in Japan. And maybe only one of the choices will be Chow worthy.

May 17, 2015
Steve in General Topics

Japanese Ramen: Is it a Hype?

Yes, I agree with you. It was the abalone I was referring to, not the shark's fin. My mistake. The prep on this can take 2 days, or at least that's what I read, and you seem to confirm it....

May 17, 2015
Steve in General Topics