Mississippi Snopes's Profile

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The Mall and Visitors

According to Google Maps, it's a 22 minute walk (1.1 miles) from the Lincoln Memorial to the USDA and a 27 minute walk (1.3) miles to the Ronald Reagan Center. The Mall is a big place. I'd take a cab.

Jul 16, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

The Mall and Visitors

That really is a culinary desert near the Lincoln Memorial. I got curious and started checking out options near there. The State Department cafeteria isn't open to the public and that's probably no loss, since it is mandated to meet USDA nutrition guidelines for salt, trans-fats, hormones, etc.

Sadly, the Institute for Peace's cafeteria, which is very close, also isn't open to the public.

According to Google Maps, the Sizzling Express at 523 23d Street is a 12 minute walk from the Lincoln Memorial, which is a long way to go for mediocre food.

I think your recommendation of a cab is the right way to go.

Jul 16, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Washington DC for a five day sisters' trip

I'll put in a dissenting view in favor of Lincoln. It doesn't get much critical support, but I had an excellent meal there -- it's a restaurant that will let the picky eater get her fill of DC standards like crab cakes and shrimp and grits, but let the more open-minded try things like deviled eggs with black truffles, bone marrow, a DC half-smoke in puff pastry.

I was happily surprised by Lincoln (plus it has hosted either Michelle or Barack Obama, usually a pretty good indication of good food).

I laughed at your comment about coming from Toronto so not needing any "broadening" of your palate. My wife and I did a driving vacation to Toronto without doing any research at all ... so we were expecting some kind of vague "Canadian" food ... and found one of the greatest food cities we've ever been to. A city where more than half the residents are foreign born is bound to have great food, and Toronto certainly does. No more Canadian food jokes for us.

One of the greatest meals of my life was at Black Hoof in Toronto. Is it still superb?

If you could talk the picky sister into it, DC does have one cuisine that is underrepresented in Toronto -- Ethiopian. We're stronger than anywhere else in North America for that. But to the picky, it is really odd food -- starting with the slightly fermented, spongy, moist bread (injera).

The suggestions above for mainstream restaurants are good and I can strongly second those for Kapnos and Rose's Luxury. If you want a more reasonable price point, I'd also recommend Cava on Capitol Hill (branches in Arlington and somewhere in Maryland). It's mostly Greek, but there are lots of things for the mainstream eater, and the grilled octopus and the lamb sliders are consistently superb.

Jul 16, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Washington DC Birthday Trip for Teen Daughter

Hank's Oyster Bar is a good locally owned seafood restaurant in the Dupont Circle area.

One thing you might be interested is walking or taking a cab over to 14th Street between U and Thomas Circle, probably less than a 15 minute walk from Dupont Circle. Restaurants there have exploded in recent years -- I think I read that more than 50 new restaurants opened in that area in 2013 alone. Le Diplomate is highly regarded for French and Ghibellina for Italian (I haven't eaten at either), Pearl Dive Oyster Bar is excellent for seafood, Etto is excellent for fancy American/pizza, and Bar Pilar is excellent for fancy American.

If you wanted to branch out just slightly, Kapnos is great for Greek food cooked over wood and Estadio is an outstanding Spanish/tapas place.

You'd want to go a little early though, since most of the 14th Street restaurants are trendy and don't take reservations.

Jul 13, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Chinese restaurant with steamed fish?

Hong Kong Place in Seven Corners shopping center has a nice steamed fish.

Despite the name, Hong Kong Palace is a Sichuan restaurant. The owners bought the restaurant and never bothered to change the name. (The prior owners served country-style Taiwanese food, so I'm not sure why they called it Hong Kong Palace, either.)

Jul 13, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Kenyan Food at Smithsonian Folklife Festival

I think you're right, Altan. One of the most popular restaurants in Chicago is Girl and the Goat. The lines are impossibly long for a very goat-heavy menu.

Based on no evidence at all, I think a big reason for the broadening of Americans' tastes is sushi. Once you realize that raw fish (aka "bait") is delicious, you are likely to be much more open to trying new things.

Jul 12, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Thai Ghang Waan in Springfield, VA

I'd love to have a translation of the best dishes off that menu. I assume it's very different from the English version?

Jul 10, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

VA BBQ that isn't Rocklands or Dixie Bones

Wow, I'll try the Harris Teeter barbecue, though I'll admit it seems a little like chasing a unicorn to look for good grocery store barbecue. But anything's possible.

I've been by Cowboy Cafe maybe 5000 times and had no idea they had barbecue.

Yep, Ned is entirely fictional. He never existed, with or without teeth.

Jul 10, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Argentine Restaurants in DC or Northern VA

We were in Argentina in April and went to Del Campo in DC immediately after we got back and it held up pretty well to the great Argentine parrillas -- but at probably four times the price. Also way more vegetables than any steakhouse we went to in Argentina.

The menu includes proveleta, tira de asada (ribs), empanadas, mollejas (sweetbreads), tongue, chorizo, morcilla, and choripan. But bring money, it's expensive.

A lesser Argentine restaurant that is good and much more affordable is Chicken and Steak Las Brasas on South Four Mile Run in Arlington, right next to the DMV. It doubles as a Peruvian chicken place, but there is an Argentine mixed grill on the menu (with morcilla) that's not bad at all. And it's cheap.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Good Lebanese food in the DC area?

My experiences with Mount of Lebanon have been consistently good after the fire. I did have one meal that wasn't up to their usual standards just after they moved to the smaller space off to the side of the market, but have eaten there twice since and both meals were outstanding. This would be my choice for best Lebanese in the area.

By the way, the folks at Mount of Lebanon pointed us toward the wonderful Al-Ameer Restaurant in Dearborn, where my wife and I were headed on vacation. They recommended it as the best Lebanese food in America and they were right.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Expand this list to 25? AROUND THE WORLD IN 10 DC RESTAURANTS

I probably shouldn't have listed places I haven't eaten at. For some reason I'd always thought Roger Miller was Nigerian, but obviously that was off base.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

VA BBQ that isn't Rocklands or Dixie Bones

I talked to the guys who run the Shaffer truck and they do in fact use oak.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

VA BBQ that isn't Rocklands or Dixie Bones

That's too bad. It's been at least four years since I've eaten at Buz & Ned's. Ned's a mythical person, by the way. He never existed. But Buz is real.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Expand this list to 25? AROUND THE WORLD IN 10 DC RESTAURANTS

Argentina - Del Campo, DC
Austria/Germany - Lyon Hall, Arlington
Bangladesh - Aladdin Eatery, Arlington (also Gharer Khabar a few doors down)
Belgium - Brasserie Beck, DC
Bosnia - Cosmopolitan Grill, Alexandria
Brazil - Grill from Ipanema
Colombia - Cafe Monserrate, Arlington
Dominican Republic - Los Hermanos, DC
Guatemala - El Mantial, Arlington
Iraq - Tigris Middle Eastern Grill, Oakton
Italy - Giovanni's Trattu, DC
Ireland - The Old Brogue, Great Falls (have not eaten here but hear good things)
Kenya - Swahili Village, Beltsville
Lebanon - Mount of Lebanon, Falls Church
Mexico - El Charrito Caminante, Arlington
Morocco - Fettoosh, Arlington
Nigeria - Roger Miller, Silver Spring (have not eaten here, but Africans tell me they like it)
North Korea - Bang Ga Nae, Alexandria
Peru - La Limena, Rockville
Puerto Rico - Mio, DC
Russia - Russia House, DC
Somalia - restaurant in the Skyline shopping center, not sure it even has a name -- at least I didn't see one and I looked for it, Falls Church
South Korea - Lighthouse Tofu, Annandale
Sri Lanka - Shakthi, Alexandria (have not eaten here yet)
Sweden - Domku, DC (have not eaten here yet)
Trinidad - Teddy's Roti Shop, DC
Turkey - Agora, DC
Uzbekistan - Rus-Uz, Arlington
Venezuela - La Caraquena, Falls Church
Yemen - Al Jazeera, Falls Church

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Georgian restaurant in DC area

Can't help with a Georgian restaurant in this area (but there are a bunch of them in Brighton Beach, Queens, if you wanted to take the bus up for a romantic weekend).

There is a lot of Georgian food, packaged and ready-to-eat, and Georgian Wines at the Troika Gastronom Grocery in Falls Church (157A Hillwood Avenue)

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

In Your Opinion, What is the Best Thai Restaurant in Northern VA?

That place was wonderful, but it changed hands about five-six years ago and immediately became awful. I think there's no longer a Thai restaurant in that space.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

VA BBQ that isn't Rocklands or Dixie Bones

I was a little disappointed in Shaffer's, though to be fair they only had pulled pork left the time I tried it. It was too lightly smoked, although still good.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

VA BBQ that isn't Rocklands or Dixie Bones

#1 - Checkered Pig in Martinsville - This was one of the great BBQ surprises of my life. Three years ago my wife and I had taken a barbecue tour of western North Carolina, eating at famous places like Cook's and Lexington No. 1 (Honey Monk's) in Lexington, Short Sugar's in Reidsville (huge disappointment), and Wink's in Salisbury, plus some other not-so-famous places.

So we were pretty much barbecued out by the time we headed back north to Arlington. But as we passed through Martinsville, this place (then known by the awful name of Pigs-R-Us) had a full parking lot so we couldn't pass it by.

It was tremendous, the second best barbecue of our entire week of eating barbecue (only Lexington #1 was better). There were huge BBQ competition trophies everywhere, which is not always a good sign, but in this case tournament Q turned into wonderful retail Q. Fantastic pulled pork.

#4 - Rocklands - I'm probably in a minority here, but I think Rocklands is very good barbecue, at least in the DC and Arlington locations (Alexandria has been a bit more iffy). My favorite is the brisket sandwich, which is different from Texas brisket like at City Market and Black's in the Texas Hill Country, but to me very good. It's always been a mystery to me why Rocklands has so many nay-sayers (including some people who sound pretty knowledgeable about barbecue).

#5 - Galax Smokehouse - We also hit this place on our "barbecue vacation." It's very very good, deeply smoked and nicely sauced, and a pleasant place to eat, but not national caliber like Lexington #1 or the Checkered Pig.

#8 - Dixie Bones (Woodbridge) - We only tried it once and won't go back. Very little smoke and overly sweet sauces. Basically on a par with Famous Dave's. On the plus side our Ghanaian waiter tipped us off to the superb Ghanaian restaurant Aburi Gardens in Woodbridge.

#10 - Buz & Ned's (Richmond) - After my daughter graduated from VCU, she worked at Buz & Ned's for several months, since she'd always dreamed about working in a barbecue place. Buz is a real character, perhaps not 100% on an even keel, but the barbecue is the real thing made without shortcuts. Maybe not the very top tier of barbecue places I've eaten in, but very close.

13 - Pierce's (Williamsburg, or actually right outside of Williamsburg) - Decent, I'll always stop by here if I'm driving down I-64. But it's not heavily smoked enough for my personal taste and the sauces are way way too sweet.

15 - Allman's (Fredericksburg) - Ever since my wife and I moved here in 1979, we've seen articles popping up claiming that the barbecue at Allman's was wonderful. After trying several times, we just gave up. Not only is the barbecue at Allman's not good, it's not even barbecue. I've never tasted a whiff of smoke in Allman's meat, which is dry and tasteless. It's basically a sloppy joe sandwich, without the sloppy part. The place itself is kind of neat (it's been open since 1954), but get a hamburger or grilled cheese, not the barbecue.

#16 - Alamo (Richmond) - Another superb barbecue place, probably better than Buzz & Ned's. I think these guys are also barbecue tournament people, though I'm not sure about that. Not the best of the best, but the real thing. Deeply smoked, delicious sauce, good sides.

One place that isn't mentioned that should have made the list is Cuz's Uptown Barbecue in Pounding Mill, just south of Tazewell. This isn't a typical barbecue place -- it's a full sit-down restaurant, with Asian and American and fusion cuisine. The barbecue is very good, properly smoked. However, the real star at Cuz's isn't traditional barbecue but their "smoked ribeye," a variant of barbecue. They take a whole ribeye and smoke it for only an hour, which surprisingly is enough to give it a richly smoky flavor, but obviously isn't enough to cook it at all. Then you can order your smoked ribeye cooked to order -- just imagine what you'd think "medium rare barbecue" would taste like in heaven and you've got the idea. An ambrosial quasi-barbecue dish.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Kenyan Food at Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The goat stew from Swahili Village at the Festival was also very good -- way better than anything I've had at the Folklife Festival befhore.

Jul 09, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Is it still blue crab season? OR What are all the crab house posts 10 years old?

The good people of Vilnius kept a Zappa statue for themselves too.

Dec 08, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Your Favorite Ethnic Dives in DC Area?

I'm curious about why you say go to Eden Center "during the day." Is this a concern about crime? My wife and I have been to Eden Center dozens if not hundreds of times at night and have never had even a trace of a problem.

They've had a couple of bizarre incidents that could have happened anywhere. In no way, should Eden Center be considered a place that's unsafe at night.

Dec 08, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Virginia Beach Before Dave Mathews

Wow, that is one of the nastiest responses I've ever seen on Chowhound.

Oct 10, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Mid-Atlantic
1

Lebanese Butcher -- Closed due to fire

Lebanese Butcher has moved again. It's now within the Mount of Lebanon restaurant at 2922 Annandale Road, Falls Church, VA.

Jul 24, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore
1

Woo Lae Oak

I'm not a fan of Woo Lae Oak myself, but I don't think it's correct to say it's for non-Koreans. The branch in Seoul receives very high recommendations from critics there and my two barbers, both first-generation Korean Americans, say it's their favorite restaurant and all their families' favorite restaurant -- they even warned me when I recently went to Korea that I would not find any food as good in all of Korea as the DC Woo Lae Oak.

Jul 22, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Korean BBQ Restaurants in Annandale That Use Charcoal for the Table Grill?

Oh, no, thanks for the tip. They did have charcoal, they just wouldn't give it to me. You had no way of knowing that.

Jul 22, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Gharer Khabar in Arlington - Report

There is a new, impressively large Bangla grocery that opened in the same shopping center as Gharer Khabar (down toward the Caribbean Grill). I was talking to the owner about a month ago (the day it opened) and he said the space next door was being prepared to be opened as a Bangla restaurant by someone who used to run or cook at what he said was a famous Bangla restaurant in Jackson Heights. Could that have been Mina's?

From the size of the space, I'd guess the new restaurant will be considerably more upscale than Gharer Khabar.

One thing I appreciated about Gharer Khabar on my one visit there is that the owner let me order the dry fish without warning me about it. He came over to ask my wife and me how we liked the meal -- and we liked everything except the dry fish, which we expected not to like given the descriptions on the Internet but wanted to try just to see. He said, "I thought you probably wouldn't like it, but it seemed like you knew what you were doing. Did you read Tyler Cowen's review?" (I had.)

I like that approach much better than the more common approaches of either claiming to out of something on the menu or dumbing it way down so that it won't offend Americans.

Jul 21, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Korean BBQ Restaurants in Annandale That Use Charcoal for the Table Grill?

Yes, it was Hanu Chon, one of the two larger barbecue places just off the main meat alley in the Majang meat market. It was a really good choice, not just because the food was great, but the staff seemed to really enjoy having us there and was very patient with my painfully bad attempts to communicate via a Korean-English dictionary ("Wang-si? Raw? Really?" - while pointing to the beef liver and the bible tripe. "Yes, yes, wang-si.")

They gave us one of our favorite moments in Korea (if only in admiration for good marketing) -- the street barker who dragged us into the restaurant paid a visit to our table, bowed graciously, and presented a bottle of Coca-Cola, which he poured for both of us -- then presented us with a bill for the Coke, which he elaborately tore up and tossed in the trash. Lots of fun, and pretty much in keeping with the reception we got in most restaurants in Korea. (photo below)

Unfortunately, we were only there ten days so we were only able to barely touch our toes into the overwhelming variety of food in Seoul. There was a place advertising duck bul gogi near our hotel (Insadong), but we never got around to that one. Didn't see any goat. It sounds like you're very knowledgeable, so I assume you're tried the excellent Bang Ga Nae for black goat in Alexandria?

Having now been to Seoul, I realize that in at least one way Bang Ga Nae is more authentically Korean than most of the Annandale restaurants in that it focuses on its specialty dishes and doesn't try to cover the whole spectrum of Korean cuisine.

Sure, I'd be up for trying duck bul gogi at Annangol, but unfortunately I'm going to have to defer it for a while just to get caught up from my time out of the office.

Jul 21, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Korean BBQ Restaurants in Annandale That Use Charcoal for the Table Grill?

Unfortunately, we ended up not particularly happy with Cho's Garden. They told us on the phone that they cooked with charcoal, but then brought out gas when we ordered the barbecue. They made little reason to explain why, but finally said you got charcoal only if you specifically ordered gal bi. The food was decent - lots of good banchan (as in 10-12 dishes of it) with a lot of variety (three kinds of kimchi, fermented black beans, little dried fish, etc.), an interesting budae jiggae, and decent barbecue. But the place was lifeless, almost empty on a Friday night, and the entire waitstaff seemed miserable and completely unwilling to engage in any way with the few customers they had. I rarely care about the service enough even to mention it in a review, but this was actually depressing.

Jul 21, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Korean BBQ Restaurants in Annandale That Use Charcoal for the Table Grill?

Great, thank you. I live right off Route 50, so that's actually much closer than Annandale. Have you eaten at Cho's Garden? It seems to get very mixed reviews on Yelp, though many of the reviews seem to be from people who've never had Korean food before.

I see it has budae jjigae (army camp stew) on the menu, which is a plus. I don't remember seeing that "home-cooking" dish on a US menu before.

Thanks again. I'll report back.

Jul 19, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Korean BBQ Restaurants in Annandale That Use Charcoal for the Table Grill?

I'm just back from 10 days vacation in Korea and one of the best meals was a steak place (on Seoul's Majang-Dong's Goji Alley), which grilled the steak at the table using real charcoal. I've only seen this once in the US (at 88 Garden Restaurant in Richmond, VA). Does anyone know if any of the Annandale Korean restaurants that use charcoal instead of gas for their tabletop grills?

Jul 19, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore