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mselectra's Profile

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"Just eat it, you'll like it"

I was also thinking about "cultural" differences, although not really ethnic/racial/national.

Just, I think some people were raised that if they say "yes" the first time they're offered something, it's rude or greedy. So, if then if they offer you something and you say "no" they assume (perhaps unconsciously) that you're being polite, so they want to insist, "please, really have some."

It doesn't actually seem like this is the case with OP's co-workers who know her preferences already, but it's a thought.

And, I was *not* raised this way myself and tend to be pretty straightforward in my yes or no, thanks.

But, also considering the emotional issues raised by sharing food, mentioned above, I've found it can be helpful to express great (and sometimes long-winded) appreciation of the offer, even as refusing it.

about 11 hours ago
mselectra in Not About Food
1

2 Lunches and 2 Dinners in DC

Thanks for the great report! I haven't been to Zaytinya in ages, but have had the same reaction as your husband about the kibbeh.

about 14 hours ago
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Request for mini reports week ending March 30

I think so, alkapal. It was a big place and there were several salad bar type areas, some of which probably weren't actually salads. But I'll check next time I'm there.

Apr 07, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to get best fresh roasted coffee beans?

You could also try Vigilante, perhaps: http://vigilantecoffee.com/

Apr 01, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

DC visit in June with kids

Thinking your thread got a little waylaid by the Georgetown Cupcakes discussion....

Some suggestions that frequently come up in the "where to eat near the Nat'l Mall" threads, hoping this gives you some search terms you can use to figure out if they'd work for you or to get other ideas (I know some of these have been mentioned already):

-Fried fish sandwiches at the SW DC waterfront
-Teaism in Penn Quarter
-Mitsitam, the cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian
-The Garden Court (?) restaurant in the National Gallery of Art
-Various Jose Andres restaurants in the Penn Quarter area (Zaytinya, Jaleo)
-Food trucks that gather lunch time on weekdays around the L'Enfant Plaza metro at 7th & Maryland and around Farragut Square, McPherson Square, and Metro Center
-Not too far north from the Lincoln Memorial are the Foggy Bottom and West End neighborhoods, that have lots of places that might interest you, if you do a search.
-Burgers: in West End there's Bobby's Burger Palace (or something like that?); in the same building as the Spy Museum is a branch of Shake Shack; on Pennsylvania Ave SE, convenient to the Capitol, is Good Stuff Eatery (and his pizza place next door). Ray's Hellburgers are famous (and good!!), but search on here for how to get one since his burger place closed -- would be doable, say, after a visit to Arlington Cemetery.
-Your idea to look into Eastern Market is probably a good one, too.

That's a bit of a random list. Hope it helps.

Apr 01, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

DC visit in June with kids

Daniel -- I have actually dropped tourist groups at Georgetown Cupcakes (I work part-time in tourism, longer story), waved good-bye, and then walked to Baked & Wired on my own. Ignoring the looks from those in line as the group charges in to get their pre-ordered cupcakes.

There's also a branch of Georgetown Cupcake in Bethesda that I don't think has as long lines, if that's helpful to anybody.

And, I think Sticky Fingers won a TV cupcake competition, right? So I wonder if visitors are going to start wanting to go up to Columbia Heights for those?

Apr 01, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Request for mini reports week ending March 30

Not sure this is really chowhoundy enough, but could be a good tip for tourists or others going to cherry blossoms, tidal basin area.

Last week I checked out the cafeteria at the USDA building, which is a quite nice, very large, and very reasonably priced place. The entrance is on C St SW between 12th and 14th, north side of the street, door with a red sign on it. So about half a block from the Holocaust Memorial Museum. You have to go through security and show id, as it's a govt building.

I got there a little early for lunch, so not everything was out yet, and I didn't eat much (some ham and bean soup, which hit the spot on a cold day but nothing super special) so not much really to report (thus using the "mini-report" thread) but...

There were lots of different areas with different types of hot and cold foods. As an example of variety and size, there was an area that had a couple kinds of pho, a bunch of udon noodle soups, and sushi -- and that was just one little corner, relatively. Those soups weren't ready when I was there, so didn't try them, unfortunately. The salad bar was big with a variety of interesting different types of salads and looked really good.

I'd say prices might be almost a third of comparable museum cafeterias and the quality and choice seemed better.

Apparently it opens very early for breakfast, too. And since it can be hard to find somewhere to eat in that area, I'm glad to know it's there.

Mar 31, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore
1

DC visit in June with kids

You can order ahead at Georgetown Cupcake, to beat the line. I'm pretty sure I'm right about that (at least you used to be able to), but double-check. Georgetown (and now Georgetown Cupcake) are part of the tourist circuit in DC, so understand kids wanting to go. But it can be a hassle to get over there. I'd say the Circulator bus is your best bet.

Mar 31, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

2 Lunches and 2 Dinners in DC

Sorry, Miss Needle, I thought it had come up on here that you were coming from NYC. Le Diplomate is a Starr restaurant, which is NY-based I believe -- thus my thoughts. I think it's helpful to know where people are coming from, to tailor suggestions. When I was living in smaller town, LD is just the kind of place I would have loved to have access to on a visit to a big(ger) city.

Mar 17, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

2 Lunches and 2 Dinners in DC

I'm thinking that since you're coming from NYC, Le Diplomate may not be as good a suggestion, not different or special, in your particular case. But I haven't had brunch, specifically, there myself.

Mar 17, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Favorite DC area food truck

I haven't tried most of them, but I like Rolling Ficelle for sandwiches. (Except butter has leaked out and stained my slacks. Messiness of food truck lunches is my personal ongoing issue.)

Mar 12, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to pick up a lunch for eating later?

Zoo has changed its food vendor and food is improved -- they've actually listened to visitor complaints about food choices there. Far from a chowhound destination, of course, don't misunderstand me, but for those who haven't been in a while, it has changed.

Nonaggie -- depending on time of day and if weekday or not, you could also get off at Farragut West, go to food trucks there at lunch time (there's also some lunch places around the park, like Pret a Manger, Firehook...) and then get back on at Farragut North to zoo. If you do it quickly enough, it counts as a transfer, so don't have to pay again for the metro.

Other ideas above might be better, but just fyi.

I think Vace is a good idea, it's convenient to zoo.

Mar 12, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore
1

Overheard in Thai restaurant...embarrassing "Yankees."

I think hillfood meant the we in "we yankees"

Mar 10, 2014
mselectra in Not About Food

Where to pick up a lunch for eating later?

Where are you staying?

Mar 10, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

question for european visitors... what surprised you the most about american restaurant culture

The list of five cities seems to be where DukeFan *would* go to eat good "distinctly american" food.

Mar 07, 2014
mselectra in Not About Food

Cheap eats near the monuments and Smithsonians

Also food trucks gather by the L'Enfant Plaza metro station during weekday lunchtime, if you're on the south side of the Mall. That's very close to Air & Space and closer to, say, the Jefferson Memorial, although not super close.

Mar 04, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

TIPPING: "There oughta be an app for that!"

Well, mwk, I am downloading Tip N Split as I type, so I thank you for the, uh, tip about it. Not sure I'll use it much (don't go out with big enough groups often), but looks handy to have in case.

Nice that my snow day Chowhound lurking is turning a bit practical.

And I also remember when the introduction of calculators was destroying the the youth of America.

Mar 03, 2014
mselectra in Not About Food

Help with a 4 night dining itinerary in DC

You could also have breakfast at the Willard Hotel before the White House, perhaps. It is just steps away from the security line for White House tours. I haven't had their breakfast buffet, so I'm not speaking to the food quality, but it's probably not bad and the Willard is certainly worth a visit when touring DC, anyway.

Open City is good, not fancy, for breakfast, too, as mentioned above -- and will be very convenient to you, if you're staying in Woodley Park.

Feb 19, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

DC vacation itinerary. Your Input is appreciated.

You might also check discussions of restaurants in West End and Foggy Bottom -- like Rasika West, Ris, etc, for that walk.

Personally I think you're fine for a quick lunch at either Paul or Teaism, if you don't have super high expectations.

Feb 18, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Coffee in America

Would appreciate the citation to the book.

Feb 13, 2014
mselectra in General Topics

How do you dry plastic bags after you wash them?

Hey all who replied -- I was glad to see this thread take on a bit of a life of its own. I know it's run its course a while ago, and I'm not trying to resurrect, just wanted to say THANKS.

Since I started this, I think I've only found myself washing two or three plastic bags, so I haven't followed up on any of your ideas. But there are some great ideas!

I think we'll be doing some version of one of your DIY suggestions, likely with chopsticks (love that frog business). I set this up as about buying something, but I think that's because I see cookware as a board I go to when I'm going to buy something....

We don't even own a dishrack, such a small counter (badly designed kitchen), it would take up all of it. I guess when we moved here, I figured we'd buy a small foldable one, but have never seen the need. I'm thinking that's what was causing my problem, that I didn't have a designated place to stick stuff.

Anyway -- thanks again, and glad I'm not the only one who can get obsessive about such things. (I also put plastic forks in the dishwasher -- and, for that matter, could use advice about drying alum foil after I've washed it, too :))

Feb 11, 2014
mselectra in Cookware

Electric pressure cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, etc functions...

Thanks! Yes, I know about Miss Vickie, but need to spend more time on her blog. I'm planning to buy a Lorna Sass book, haven't decided which yet... One of the questions I was going to post to homecooking actually.

The hippressurecooking person really likes Instant Pot, I used their coupon for it, she contributed recipes to their recipe book, etc. - so that's why I've been spending most time there.

Feb 11, 2014
mselectra in Cookware

Electric pressure cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, etc functions...

Thanks ePressure -- That's what it's seeming like to me, that it equals out. I thought I'd need to cook stuff longer in the electric pc than in a stovetop, and so then was surprised by overcooking on my first try. I think it's because it takes longer on both ends, coming up to and coming down from, pressure, so it's looking like I'll be okay programming for the minutes stated in a recipe and not have to compensate for it being electric. Not a complaint, just figuring it out.

Feb 11, 2014
mselectra in Cookware

Electric pressure cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, etc functions...

Great! Be sure to check if the coupon that Jeri L mentioned above is as good or better a deal than amazon. I was happy to give hippressure credit, since it's been so much help.

No, haven't used the slow cooker. And, since I've never used a slow cooker, either, I'm wishing there were more instructions for it in the manual. I assume at some point I'll find a recipe or reason I'd like a slow cooker, and then I'll have one!

Feb 11, 2014
mselectra in Cookware

Electric pressure cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, etc functions...

bear -- so far so good. I keep meaning to post on home cooking about it. It's our first ever pressure cooker, so we're figuring out the whole new technique and can't compare with other pcs.

Have basically only done beans so far. Still figuring out cooking times.

It does seem to take a while to get to pressure (not sure if that's an electric pc issue particularly) -- I just hadn't thought about that, but it does mean when they claim something will only take, say, five minutes, it's actually plenty longer than that, if you take both coming up to pressure and coming down from pressure into account. I'm also still working on figuring out the whole natural release thing and timing. But still way way faster and easier than conventional cooking, of course.

But those are pc issues we're figuring out, not specific to this brand, I think.

I like its looks. So far hasn't been too hard to figure out how to program (but haven't done anything really yet except manual pressure cooking of beans.) The instruction manual is okay -- but I am definitely supplementing with hippressurecooking.com, which actually found something that Instant Pot left out of the manual. I like the stainless steel pot so far....

Does that help?

Feb 11, 2014
mselectra in Cookware

Need recommendations for restaurants in DC, please

I think walking up to (or taking the 42 bus up to) and then walking along 18th St and then back over to Dupont the other way -- weather permitting -- is a good idea -- but definitely on the early side if it's a weekend. Not kid friendly later at night. Sounds like this family might like Mintwood Place.

Feb 11, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need recommendations for restaurants in DC, please

I don't have particular feelings about Bistrot du Coin one way or the other, but I do think I've always seen kids there the few times I've been. If it's helpful to OP, last time, maybe a month or so ago, we were seated right away, probably before six, but shortly after a line started to form that I think might have included people with reservations.

Feb 11, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need recommendations for restaurants in DC, please

Speaking of ice cream, Dolcezza Gelato (good coffee, pastries, and hot chocolate, too) is wonderful and convenient to that hotel.

Feb 10, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

If you were forced to spend a big zero birthday working....

You know, just a thought, if you've never been to Rasika, don't think you can do better than their food and it's great for vegetarian and would, I think, feel festive and special. But noise could again be a problem. I *think* it's in the price range you're talking about, depending some on how people order.

It's hard thinking about a good place for a group of ten. At Rasika I did five people once, a couple of whom have hearing problems, which I mentioned on the opentable res, and nobody complained about the noise. In general, probably being seated away from the bar if it's happy hour is a good idea? For example, the Proof happy hour can get loud and crowded, but I'm not sure the rest of the restaurant is like that....

PS: I'm also wondering about 701, but I've only had drinks there, and it's been a while, so it's not really a recommendation, just a thought.

Some of the other places people are suggesting will, imo, be more of a hassle to get to via metro (because of switching to red line) if you're worried about herding cats. Not bad, but since you mentioned it as an issue....

Feb 01, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore

Citrus Sales in Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria?

It's dawned on me that I think what in Florida are called honeybells are what in California we call tangelos? But in the bag I got, there were only a couple that looked like tangelos to me, with the little knob at the stem end, and those were easier to peel as well. Although, they all got mixed up, so I don't really know. In any case, it was sure nice to have a taste of sunshine during this awful cold weather.

And it looks like there's going to be Annandale and Falls Church citrus sales coming up on a couple Saturdays in February and Fairfax in March. I'll try to find the exact info to post, but I did some easy googling to find them....

Jan 31, 2014
mselectra in Washington DC & Baltimore