Mississippi Snopes's Profile

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What types of restaurants does DC need now?

I have read that there are more Uighurs in the DC area than anywhere else in the USA (we've had some in our ESL program in Falls Church). Too bad they're not gastronomically inclined.

Can't help with Breton galettes (don't even know what that is), but I think we do sort of have some Israeli food (which is very similar to Jordanian/Egyptian food in many respects).

Max's Kosher Deli in Wheaton and at Nats' Park has very respectable Israeli-style shawarma and falafel sandwiches and Water Park Cafe, a take-out stand in Crystal City has excellent foul medames, which, though Egyptian, is indistinguishable from the foul we had in Amman and Jerusalem. The owner also gave us a bite of Egyptian koshary, which was superb.

So, I concede there's not exactly an Israeli restaurant here, but both Max's and Water Park Cafe are well worth knowing about for Israeli-ish food.



DIrty Family Secrets

Processed American cheese is a key ingredient in Korean budae jigae (army camp stew).

Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

The noisiest dinner I've ever suffered through was at Zaytinya. It's always very loud, but on this particular evening a group on a bachelorette party literally screamed their way through dinner and the restaurant did nothing to calm them down.

Are thin, tough, gristly steaks the norm in France?

Since the original post, the New York Times has published this interesting article on changes (improvements) to the beef in France.


Aug 24, 2014
Mississippi Snopes in France

No I Don’t Want to Split 4 Deviled Eggs 6 Ways: Why Sharing Sucks

The original poster was kidding in the best way, making fun of himself. Don't take his joking so seriously.

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

Several years ago, I was getting on a small plane on a flight from Baton Rouge to Memphis and a young lady was struggling with getting her bag into the overhead compartment. I jumped up to help her -- and almost got knocked down by the weight of her bag. Together, we managed to get it into the bin with some difficulty. She thanked and sat down in the seat next to mine.

It turned out that she was a Swiss girl going home from spending her senior year in high school as an exchange student in a Baton Rouge suburban high school. I asked her, "If you don't mind my asking, what's in that incredibly heavy bag?" "Oh, Bisquick, I love American biscuits, and you can't get this stuff in Switzerland. I love American food ... We NEED Sonic in Switzerland. But I have gained 25 pounds this year."

At the risk of overgeneralizing from a sample of one, I'd feed my foreign visitors an American breakfast: Homemade biscuits slathered in butter and then returned to the over to brown, thick-cut bacon and sagey pork sausage patties, hash browns and grits, eggs sunny-side up, over easy, and scrambled, fresh squeezed orange juice, homemade pear preserves, strong coffee and Barry's tea.

It might seem routine and boring, but I've found in traveling around the world that breakfast is often the meal that is the most different and challenging.

The above spread would also serve very well as my choice for my final dinner before my execution.

DIrty Family Secrets

You succeeded almost perfectly in your intent to add nothing. Congratulations. However, you could have succeeded perfectly with even less effort.

DIrty Family Secrets

Hard to imagine someone who doesn't enjoy telling stories about his or her close relatives' food tastes. My younger brother Bill just about put me off biscuits and homemade pear preserves (which my mother perfected) forever because his enthusiastic attack left him with little bits of sticky biscuit pieces stuck to his face. Not that easy to take on an early Mississippi morning (after our unfailingly daily devotional from the Methodist Upper Room).

Would I hesitate to kid Mama and Bill about these precious memories? Not for a second -- and they'd be sad if I felt their feelings were so delicate that they can't stand a little teasing. Somebody called this topic "churlish." Not to be churlish, but I have to wonder if the poster has ever punched his brother or sister in the back seat of a four hour car drive with the parents in the front seat.

My parents and siblings are not at all hesitant to tease me about my willingness to eat weird stuff like lamb ... and kimchi. And I'm not at all hesitant to tease them about being afraid to try Rocky Mountain Oysters and steak tartare.

On to the actual topic of this post: Things my family eats that appall me. That's a topic way too big, so I'll narrow it down to oysters.

My mother is a notoriously picky eater (no lamb for her; we once ate at a Tex-Mex restaurant here in Arlington with her sisters and she went next door to Popeye's rather than eat that weird food). But she somehow likes oysters, but "only if they're really, really crisp. I don't like them juicy." (Translation -- I hate oysters, but if you fry anything long enough it tastes like french fries.)

On the other hand, my brother Bill (second youngest to me) is a macho Dixie guy -- he loves anything traditionally Southern, but nothing from Yankee Land (which includes the whole world, except for the former Confederate states). So Bill is a big fan of raw oysters by the bushel.

Literally by the bushel. Bill buys a bag of Appalachicola oysters from people standing alongside the road in Alabama and brings them home to Mississippi for Christmas, and stores the croker sack outside in the storage shed.

The raw oysters are very good and plentiful -- to the tune of four to five dozen a day -- but the lack of any safety inspection leaves every bite with the image of permanent liver damage.

So, on the topic of family teasing on oysters, I'd say Mama would laugh right along if we told her she'd enjoy deep fried mud just as much and Bill would laugh happily if we told him that we were avoiding the delicious Appalachicola oysters because some Yankee scientist thought they were dangerous.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Virginia Beach Before Dave Mathews

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