Mississippi Snopes's Profile

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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

Overwhelmed in Seoul

My wife and I are just back from 10 days of vacation in Seoul and Jeonju, and I can definitely sympathize about being overwhelmed. We researched the heck out of Seoul's restaurants and still had a tough time.

The most helpful research source that we found was the "Visit Seoul" website, which has a really helpful "Soul Food of Seoul" booklet online here (and free in hard copy in most hotels):

http://www.visitseoul.net/en/article/article.do?_method=view&m=0004004015003&p=07&art_id=62105&lang=en

The site also has really useful videos in English on specific sites, led by "Gaechi," Seoul's newly created mascot:

http://www.visitseoul.net/en/article/article.do?_method=list&m=0004004014003&p=04

These videos are really helpful and fun.

Specific places you might try that we really enjoyed and that could probably serve a solo diner:

- Goksi (?) (곡시) in Insadong, right across the alley from the Hotel Sunbee. Mandu and hotpot, probably the best meal we had in Korea, although it was not particularly exotic. There was at least one single diner there.

- Mr. Necktie (or something like that). This is on Galchi Jorim alley (Spicy Braised Hairfish and Radish Stew) in the huge Namdaemun market. These are sitdown restaurants, not stalls. Mr. Necktie can be identified by its large red bowtie. The barker standing outside was really friendly and spoke English and there were single diners there. Delicious soup too. See photo below.

http://www.visitseoul.net/en/article/article.do?_method=view&art_id=45063&lang=en&m=0004004014003&p=04

- Tosokchon - For Gingseng chicken soup (samgyetang), this is one of the most famous places. It's huge, but you'll still need to go on off hours to avoid having to wait in line. There were several single diners here. Our waitress spoke no English, but there are only two things on the menu so it was hard to go wrong.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRe...

You might also want to look for cheaper places, where they have things like budae jjigae (Army base stew, which is something you definitely want to try if you can). They'll probably be less worried about a single diner taking up a table.

But for some of the really good stuff (like the steakhouses on Majang-Gong's Gogi Alley and the steamed pork with raw oysters on Gul Bossam Alley), I think you're probably going to need at least two people. Time to chat up some ESL teachers?

Jul 19, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in China & Southeast Asia

Where to eat in or near Lakelands, FL

Way late, I know, but we just at Bosphorus Turkish Kitchen in Lakeland and were just delighted. Best Turkish food we've had outside of Turkey. The lahmacun was the best I've ever had anywhere. I wish we had a Turkish restaurant this good in DC.

Mar 17, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Florida

Favorite Taco Joints?

$20 for tacos at El Chilango? It's $7.50 for three tacos.

Feb 11, 2013
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to get Indian Spices?

Priya, a small Indian grocery on Lee Highway in Falls Church (7177 Lee Highway) also has a nice selection of Indian spices (and groceries).

Oct 19, 2012
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Foods not to miss in D.C. area.

I'm glad someone else has noticed that Rocklands in Arlington is really superb right now. If I sit down and think about what one dish I'd like to have anywhere in the DC area, the brisket sandwich is always at or near the top of the list.

Oct 19, 2012
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

BABA GANOUSH

The best baba ganoush I've ever had, by far, is at the Lebanese Butcher in Falls Church. They've recently reopened after a fire, and I don't know if the restaurant has reopened yet, but the baba ganoush is available for takeout in the grocery (along with very good hummus and tabouli).

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Lebanese Butcher & Restaurant
109 E Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA 22046

Jul 06, 2011
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

If you were visiting DC, which neighborhoods are the best package of sightseeing and good cheap eats?

I think Steve hit this one right on the nose. Eden Center is a huge shopping center well worth spending an hour or so poking around in, as it's a slice of Vietnam plopped down in the U.S. suburbs.

The only substitution I would make is for Costa Verde, which I've found to be inconsistent and will be hard to find for out-of-towners driving a car. I'd consider instead La Carraquena for Venezuelan arepas, Meaza for Ethiopian, or Llajtaymanta for Bolivian (where you might very well sit next to an old woman wearing an Andes-style bowler). All of these are on main streets and should be easy to find.

If you decide to stick with the no-car idea, you'll probably do best visiting various restaurants off the Red Line in Arlington and Falls Church. The neighborhoods are going to be pretty upscale/preppy, but there is good authentic and reasonably cheap ethnic food to be had at Minh's (Vietnamese, Courthouse metro stop), Chez Manelle (Tunisian, Courthouse metro), the aforementioned Costa Verde (Peruvian, Clarendon metro stop and easy to find if you don't have a car), Ravi's (Pakistani, a 15 minute walk from the Ballston metro stop, but worth it), and Sangam (Indian, mostly southern, 10 minute walk from Ballston metro).

But honestly, to get the best ethnic food you've got to get away from the high rent districts along the Metro corridor and that requires a car. If you decide to go that route, don't miss Hai Duong in Eden Center, which has possibly the best Vietnamese food I've ever had at dirt-cheap prices (in a loud formica-table cafeteria setting) -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/mississi...

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Eden Center
Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

Minh's
2500 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Meaza Restaurant
5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041

Sangam Restaurant
1211 N Glebe Rd Ste 2, Arlington, VA 22201

Llajtaymanta Restaurant
7236 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22042

Jul 06, 2011
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Aburi Gardens, Ghanaian restaurant in Woodbridge

No, it was grilled but not over charcoal. I look forward to your report on Aburi Gardens.

Nov 01, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Aburi Gardens, Ghanaian restaurant in Woodbridge

My wife and I went to Ghana on vacation a few years ago and were surprised by how good (and how spicy) the food was. We hadn't managed to find many Ghanaian restaurants in DC, which is surprising since there are a fair number of Ghanaians in the area. We knew about three -- Ghana Cafe near Adams-Morgan, which is too bland; Akosombo, at 5th & K Streets, NW, which has pretty good food but is too dirty (and we don't have picky standards for cleanliness); and Rainbow Restaurant in Gaithersburg, which we haven't tried because it's a long hike for us and because there are some strong customer complaints online about being ripped off there.

So we were pretty excited when a Ghanaian waiter at Dixie Bones Barbecue restaurant in Woodbridge told us that there were TWO Ghanaian restaurants right there in Woodbridge.

We tried one of them, Aburi Gardens, recently, and I can report that we have now found a source of very authentic Ghanaian food, in a sparkling clean setting.

The Ghanaian community in the DC area (around 11,000 as of 2006, according to an article in the Post) has largely left Alexandria, where they formerly lived, and relocated in Woodbridge. Driving down Route 1 you can now see Ghanaian grocery stores and even a Ghanaian wedding hall.

I can recommend Aburi Gardens pretty highly, as two of the three dishes we had were delicious -- an appetizer of chicken gizzards and peppers, sprinkled with ground cayenne pepper (pictured below), and the peanut soup with goat meat and fufu (which was one of our favorite foods when we vacationed in Ghana back in 2007). Both were blazing hot, but within the zone of tolerance.

Unfortunately, I can't be as enthusiastic about the third dish, a whole tilapia with red pepper sauce. This was my favorite dish in Ghana. When we had it there, the tilapia was fresh caught from the Volta River or Lake Volta and charcoal grilled and the fiery red pepper sauce, which is made from a mixture of tomatoes and peppers. The wild tilapia is far better than the farm-raised tilapia we get here.

The tilapia at Aburi Gardens tasted ... not really fishy, but old. My guess is that the owners don't like American tilapia and have imported Ghanaian wild-caught tilapia, which suffered from the journey. Also, and this is probably just a matter of taste, the tilapia was literally covered in a quarter-inch thick layer of the pepper sauce, which easily placed it among the five hottest dishes I've ever eaten from any cuisine (including Thai and Sichuan). That was okay, but I prefer the serving style I saw in Ghana, where the pepper sauce was on the side and you could modulate the heat on a bite-by-bite basis.

Aburi Gardens' address is 14830 Build America Drive, but it's really on Jefferson Davis Highway (Route 1), near the intersection with Maryland Avenue. The other Ghanaian restaurant (that we know about) in Woodbridge is Rahama at 12744 Darby Court. We looked in and it also looks very authentic (all the customers looked African), but we didn't eat since the portions at Aburi Gardens are absolutely huge.

For pictures of Aburi Gardens and the food, see the links below.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mississippi_snopes/5134084093/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mississippi_snopes/5134083757/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mississi...

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Akosombo Restaurant
613 K St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Nov 01, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

De Xao Lan (Spicy Goat Curry) Special at Hai Duong.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the tip on the goat curry at Hai Duong.

Not only was it spectacularly good, it let me make a small bit of progress toward convincing the restaurant to let non-Vietnamese customers have the good stuff.

We arrived and quickly decided on the baby clams, the pigs foot soup, and the sizzling catfish ... but there was no goat curry to be found on the menu. I got up and started studying the specials board, which is only in Vietnamese, and the waiter rushed over, loudly assuring me, "Everything the same as the menu, exactly the same. Exactly the same." I responded, "Oh, can we have the curried goat? It's not on the menu." He did a quick double take, but recovered nicely. Since we devoured everything, maybe it helped convince the waiter that not all non-Vietnamese-Americans are timid eaters.

The baby clams were just as good as ever (though I think Hai Duong's version isn't quite up to that of Present) and the sizzling catfish on a bed of fennel was superb. I wasn't greatly impressed by the pigfoot soup, it seemed a little bland though the pig's foot itself was pretty good, but my wife and son both thought it made a nice contrast to the other dishes.

For my taste Hai Duong has to be in the very top tier of DC restaurants of any price range. While I'm there I can even convince myself that it might be the best restaurant in DC.

Nov 01, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tri-Tip butchers Washington D.C.

A small grocery with the odd name of European Foods Import-Export Inc. in Arlington specializes in Brazilian and Portuguese food. It always has a large selection of Brazilian style tri-tip steaks, unmarinated. They also have delicious house-made churrasco sauce in case you're not planning to make your own (as well as a good selection of Portuguese wines).

It's at 2700 Pershing Drive, Arlington, Virginia, which is at the intersection of Pershing and Arlington Boulevard.

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European Foods Import-Export
2700 N Pershing Dr, Arlington, VA

Nov 01, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sichuan Chengdu Hot Pot -- Sichuan Village, Chantilly

Uncle Liu's gave us the cow throat and cuttlefish without any problem. What would happen to blood in the hot pot? I don't think I noticed that among the options.

Cow throat, by the way, was surprisingly white, crunchy, and tasteless.

Oct 22, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

What are your Top 3 monthly "go to" places in the D.C. Metro area?

Cava (Capitol Hill)
Ray's Hell Burger (Arlington)
El Charrito Caminante (Arlington)

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El Charrito Caminante
2710 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Ray's Hell Burger
1713 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209

Oct 22, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Elephant Walk - Thai in Falls Church

I posted a somewhat longer review here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7254...

Oct 13, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

All this FEAR is making me HUNGRY!

Probably the best restaurant within easy walking distance of where you're staying is Cava, a fantastic Greek restaurant on 8th Street. Get the grilled baby octopus and the lamb sliders. This might be the best buy for your money in the DC area right now.

Oct 06, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lebanese Butcher -- Closed due to fire

The head butcher at the Lebanese Butcher told me they hope to re-open within 3-4 weeks in the little strip mall across from Halaco on Hillwood Avenue.

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Lebanese Butcher & Restaurant
109 E Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA 22046

Hillwood Cafe
4155 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

Oct 06, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hill Country BBQ coming to DC

It has to be better than Capital Q. It's baffling how that place stays in business.

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Capital Q
707 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Oct 06, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hill Country BBQ coming to DC

jac0077 - This idea that just because you've eaten Texas barbecue, you're somehow especially qualified to say that DC has no good barbecue is just silly. I think Rocklands and Urban have very good barbecue -- and I've eaten at Kreuz's and Black's in Lockhart and City Market in Luling (not to mention Oklahoma Joe's, Gates, and Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City; Lexington No. 1 in Lexington NC, Wilber's in Goldsboro, NC; Moonlite and George's in Owensboro; Rendezvous, Interstate, and Payne's in Memphis; Sims in Little Rock; McLard's in Hot Springs, Ark.; Angelo's and Railhead in Fort Worth; and a bunch more less famous barbecue places.

If I've eaten a lot more barbecue than you (and I almost certainly have), does that make my judgment of Rocklands and Urban right and yours wrong? No, but it does mean you're not entitled to say our local barbecue is bad just because you've eaten in a few Texas barbecue places.

This is food. People's opinions differ, even people with a lot of eating experience.

Oct 06, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Washington DC & Baltimore

Seafood shacks in Southeastern Virginia?

Margie & Ray's on Sandbridge Road in Virginia Beach is one of the best seafood shacks I've ever eaten in. It's a little bit of a drive from you, but worth it.

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Margie & Ray's Restaurant
1240 Sandbridge Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Oct 02, 2010
Mississippi Snopes in Mid-Atlantic