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Amish Market in Germantown -- tips, favorites, strategy for going?

Think all-things-pork. Chops, roasts, sausages, etc.

Range - new Bryan Voltaggio place in Chevy Chase

Amazing. You can get a table for 4 on a Friday night at anytime you want. I know it's summer, but still. Who saw that coming 12 months ago. And the wait for Cheesecake Factory will be an hour long.

My complaint was never the food, it was the delivery system. I'm paying $400 bucks for dinner, and you're going to bring it out to me on your schedule? No you're not. You'll bring it out on my schedule or I'm not coming back. Well... they didn't, ...and I haven't.

Crabs at Kent Narrows

We'll be returning home Sunday from a baseball tournament at the beach. If we wanted to stop in the Kent Narrow area for sit-down crabs, which place do you all recommend? Most interested in the best crabs and the best setting rather than the best deal (we don't eat very many).

Food Truck Catering

We're hosting a party Sat Sept 6 for a small MoCo neighboorhood, roughly at the intersection of 495/355. Maybe 40 adults + 20 kids.

I was hoping to perhaps have 1 or 2 food trucks there to cater the food. We'll be one payer to make it simple.

Does anyonone have a specific recommendation, or know of an information database where I could get info and contact them to make arrangements?

Jaleo - Jose's Way Tasting Menu

You know...I was never a big fan of Jaleo until last week. Maybe it was just the right place at the right time, but I'll tell ya, it all worked.

This was the Bethesda location, and we sat on the right side of the door which I liked better. The place is well laid out with tables in a variety of rows/settings, so it doesn't look uniform at all. Nice big windows looking out over the street. And a large bar set up and back that works out so that you hear and see the vibe, but it is not at all distracting to the diners.

Second, he runs a very polished operation. From the hosts to the bussers to the waitstaff, they are expert. Everytime I lifted my head an inch, someone was immediately beside me asking what they could do. Service was fast, but not too fast either.

The wine list is chock full of spanish selections and all at a good price.

Soem of the dishes we liked:
Toasted Bread with Tomato
Jamon Iberico
Manchego Cheese & Cana de Cabra
Gin and Tonic Oysters
Cold Mussels w Diced Vegetable Vinagrette
Garlic Shrimp
Chorizo w Olive Oil Potatoes
Creamy Rice w Mushrooms

Fiola Mare dish recs?

Since I don't know how to add a link, I'll do a partial cut and paste.

Starters included pefectly fresh and perfectly shucked and beautifully presented Wild Belon, Rasberry Point and Kumamoto Oysters with a Chardonnay/Thyme Mignonettte (sp) and a Passion Fruit Mignonette that was unique and addictive.

Also, two must orders: Chocolate Clams w blood orange and shiso that just took us back with flavor. And a wonderfully done Tuna Carpaccio w cucumber, olives and capers. But the best of all the beginnings was Fiola Mare Oysters and Caviar w Prosecco Zabaglione. Oyters and caviar married with ginger and soy in the bottom of a parfait glass with a rich delicious foam on top. On my next visit, i may have two of these. Finally, a salad of Buffalo Burrata w baby artichoke and radish with a pesto vinagrette.

Then focus on pastas. The Gragnano Spagehetti w little neck clams is the sweetest most lucious thing you've ever eaten with golden coins of garlic. Acquerello Risotto w calamarie was deeply oceany and rich. And the Lobster Ravioli, which I've had many times, must pack at least 1.5 lobsters gently sauteed in butter packd into delicate wrappers with a light sauce that lets the seafood shine through. Amazing.

Stuffed...we fought on. The Adriatic Seafood Brodetto was full of fish, scallops, shrimp, octopus in another long reduced marine-y tomato-y and a little smoke-y thin sauce. Each piece of seafood cooked perfectly. The Under the Sea composition was my lesser favorite, as I was a bit put off by the dashi broth, but the seafood was every bit as impeccable.

I'm not much a dessert guy, but all four were well received. A rich dense chocolate torte, a light yummy lemon mouse on shortcake, a wonderful marinated cherry bombe, and boozey strawberries with light as air whipped cream.

Meal at Fiola Mare

We had a little mini "blowout" at Fiola Mare Sat nite. Wow. This is really amazing food in an amazing setting with amazing service. We ran up quite a bill, and it was worth every penny. Fascinating that on Saturday night, they were the busiest at 9:30 - 10 as we were leaving. I can't think of another place I'd rather dine in Washington right now.

Starters included pefectly fresh and perfectly shucked and beautifully presented Wild Belon, Rasberry Point and Kumamoto Oysters with a Chardonnay/Thyme Mignonettte (sp) and a Passion Fruit Mignonette that was unique and addictive.

Also, two must orders: Chocolate Clams w blood orange and shiso that just took us back with flavor. And a wonderfully done Tuna Carpaccio w cucumber, olives and capers. But the best of all the beginnings was Fiola Mare Oysters and Caviar w Prosecco Zabaglione. Oyters and caviar married with ginger and soy in the bottom of a parfait glass with a rich delicious foam on top. On my next visit, i may have two of these. Finally, a salad of Buffalo Burrata w baby artichoke and radish with a pesto vinagrette.

Then focus on pastas. The Gragnano Spagehetti w little neck clams is the sweetest most lucious thing you've ever eaten with golden coins of garlic. Acquerello Risotto w calamarie was deeply oceany and rich. And the Lobster Ravioli, which I've had many times, must pack at least 1.5 lobsters gently sauteed in butter packd into delicate wrappers with a light sauce that lets the seafood shine through. Amazing.

Stuffed...we fought on. The Adriatic Seafood Brodetto was full of fish, scallops, shrimp, octopus in another long reduced marine-y tomato-y and a little smoke-y thin sauce. Each piece of seafood cooked perfectly. The Under the Sea composition was my lesser favorite, as I was a bit put off by the dashi broth, but the seafood was every bit as impeccable.

I'm not much a dessert guy, but all four were well received. A rich dense chocolate torte, a light yummy lemon mouse on shortcake, a wonderful marinated cherry bombe, and boozey strawberries with light as air whipped cream.

I can't wait to return.

Tucson (+ some Phoenix) Report

Pardon the spelling....I'm not going to go throught his twice:

Sat am: Arrive PHX and went straight to Farmers Market in Old Town Scottsdale. Fascinating to an East Coaster to see all the freshness at the end of March. Beautiful rustic breads too. Picked up some dried beans. And lots of hot sauces.

Sat Lunch: Mission in O.T. Scottsdale. Lovely back patio for lunch. While I would normally say guac is guac, here it's somehow much much better. Made table side, it is just the best we've ever had. The chips and salsa too, (I know, I know), but really, they just are better. And the Margarita was absolutely the best I've ever had. Not at all bitter or sweet. Perfect. Mains less so. We each had a taco plate and we were each kinda bored with our choice. I think you should probably stick to the brunch offerings.

Sat Afternoon: Maryvale Stadium. We picked this for a spring training game. PACKED! I thought we'd stroll right in! Traffic was a nightmare. We could only get lawn seats. But the sun was warm and the beer was cold.

Sat Evening (now in Tucson): 47 Scott. Probably the best dinner we had. The place isn't much to look at, with bare bulbs on the walls. But our waitress was an absolute pro. Perfect Rye Manhattan. Great tomato bisque and kale salad. Best Steak Frites we've had in years. Excellent salmon in red curry. And a satisfactory chicken wrapped in Phylo with goat cheese. Interesting AZ red to wash it down. And cheap too. I don't think the whole bill with tax as $140.

Sun Lunch: 4th Avenue Street Festival. We enjoy this every year. Beer stand on every corner, how can you beat that. I think $4 each! For lunch, we waited in line at BBQ 4 U. TriTip Sandwich. Very moist. Very salty. Piled high. Served with Salsa. WOW. Fantastic! Roasted corn not quite as successful. I think tho that we were rookies in understanding the condiments and should have asked for advice.

Sun Dinner: Downtown Food and Cocktails. Probably our worst dinner of the week. Setting was pleasant, and service ok, if not overworked. Food failed on every count. Caesar salads were wanting. A stuffed pepper starter was one-dimensional, crying for taste. Duck was just flabby and bad. The plantains underneath were both too soft in some bites, and hard as a rock in others, and in every case were 100% tasteless. Chicken two ways should have been left in the kitchen. I detected no rub, spice, seasoning, brine, etc at all. The rice underneath wouldn’t have been acceptable at a food court Chinese stall. These were actually pretty small portions, and still we left lots on the plate.

Monday Lunch: The Grill at the golf club at JW Marriott. This is supposed to be a BBQ place. As I said last year...stick with the pulled pork. The brisket is not as good.

Monday Dinner: Bluefin Seafood Bistro. We truck all the way up Oracle Rd once a year because we like this place. We got a wonderful table out on the patio. West Coast Oysters suffered a bit from the plane ride. But the house smoked trout app was outstanding. Bouillabaisse was absolutely chock full of seafood. Good thing too because the broth was not worth drinking. Sturgeon special and grilled salmon were both enjoyed. Great waitress. Good wine list.

Tuesday Lunch: Marsicusso's on Grande (sp?). Our favorite place in Tucson. Limey and delicious Shrimp Ceviche. Seafood Cocktail with clams, snails, shrimp, squid, etc. Gulf Coast oysters on the half-shell. Marlin Tacos. And fish filets in Culcitto (sp?) Green Sauce. Plus, a refreshing Michalada (sp), which is half beer and half spicy tomato juice. Man, is this a great spot. Cheap too. I have no idea why we don't go here more often.

Tuesday Dinner: Proper. This was new on our list. Right downtown amidst the growing Tucson downtown hub. Big windows lining the street. Well populated inside for a weeknight. We liked our meal. Charcauterie board was varied and delicious with sliced meats and pickled vegees. Kale salad the best we had in Tucson. Another duck dish, this one better than the last. Well cooked, medium rare. I had the fish, and again, it was gently cooked and well liked. I'm struggling to recall the last main.

Wednesday Dinner: Maynard's Kitchen. This is definitely the best looking place in downtown Tucson. White table clothes (tho covered in butcher paper) and napkins. The menu is frustrating, as both the apps and mains are meat-centric, and hard to pair up. We started with a wonderful Onion Soup, a nice plate of oysters, and another charcauterie board with excellent duck rillets, an okay pork terrine, and a luscious liver pate. Mains were only so so. A gorgeous looking lamb shank had been well browned before serving, with a lacquered appearance. Unfortunately, it was so well browned that the coating had a terrible bitter taste. The Vegetable Plate was a total fail. The squash mold that should have been the star was a dud that had me searching for the salt shaker. The mushrooms underneath needed better trimming and more careful cooking. And the steamed mussels weren't as plumb as they should be, and the broth not as reduced as it should have been. This place never seems to reach its potential.

Thursday Dinner: Daisy Mae's Steak House. You know...call me a sucker, but we get a kick out of this place. The margaritas are awfully sweet, so stay away. But the grilled wings are the bomb! And your steak comes off the grill exactly as ordered. 18 oz (really?) T-Bone is $27 or 14 oz Ribeye is $28, and comes with salad, baked potato, texas toast, and ranch beans. But do not leave without sharing the apple pie ala mode. You only need one order for the table, it's huge. Service is done with a smile and your money goes a long way.

Friday Lunch (back in Phoenix): Dick's Hideaway. First, it really is hidden. Just follow the address. Best bloody mary I've ever had, served with a beer chaser. I had Eggs Benedict Abodavata (sp). That is a long simmered pork in red chili sauce. Outstanding. I mean really outstanding. Breakfast quesadilla must have had a dozen eggs in it, I'm not kidding. And a combo plate of enchiladas and Benedict with jalapeño hollandaise was very well received. We honestly did not eat again until the next day.

Look forward to our trip next spring. Any reccos for warmly received.

Apr 05, 2014
Pappy in Southwest
2

Has anybody been to Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab?

KevinS: You wanted it....so here it is. Sorry its late. I was out of town.

Big, beautiful spot. Real pros at the reception/host desk, not high school girls hired that morning. The first room is the large bar that TomS describes. Nice spot in a grand old bank building. Four sided bar, with high-top tables surrounding it and deep, leather upholstered booths lining the walls. Very busy on a recent Friday night. Lots of eating at the bar, not just drinking.

The adjacent room is the primary dining room. Not quite as regal, but well lit and well adorned. They did lead us to the typical bad table for 4, as seemingly all restaurants do now days. But when we predictably declined, the seater discretely radioed back to the main desk, and we were whisked to an enormous corner booth. That is a real improvement over standing around while the high school girl goes back to the host desk to "ask" if we can sit elsewhere. I also noticed more than a few large round tables with parties of 8 - 10 people.

While our waiter was perhaps a bit perfunctory, and service beyond him was team oriented, you couldn't find any room for complaint. They were also quite deft at table-side service such as splitting a sald amongst two plates or fileting fish. An owner (?) stopped by twice to chat us up, in a good way, which is rare.

The menu is exacly has you would expect. Additionally, a "Market" menu card is dropped on the table. It is here you will find the day's price for stone crab claws (large or select), dover sole, lobster, signature 24oz steak, etc. VERY nice to have that all in black and white.

While had full meals, we did not get deep into the menu. Salads were fine. I thought the steaks were great. The desserts were hit or miss. But here is what you wanted to know...skip the crab legs. I had an order of selects ($48) for my main course and wish I hadn't. They didn't taste fresh,not bad, just not sweet. And they were seemingly damp, really almost wet, rather than moist. And the "cracked" shells were more like smashed safety glass with many many very very small pieces. That made me think further that they might have been frozen, as I don't recall fresh stone crabs in Miami being cracked like that.

I'm not rushing back. Certainly a better environment than Mortons, Capital Grill, BLT, etc etc. But perhaps no better than JG, Bourbon, Grill Room, etc. No mystery here.

Warning: I swear it was more than 20 minutes to get my car from the valet, as they park blocks away.

Has anybody been to Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab?

Heading there for my first time tomorrow, 7:30 resee. Sietsema has a review up on washingtonpost.com. 2 Stars. Interestingly, he doesn't like the stone crabs or the oysters rockfeller. He does like the chopped steak and the fried chicken though.

Wine stores in Rockville

That is an oxymoron

Farewell to Hamburger Hamlet

The only think worse than HH of late is the Du-pars that is replacing it. Yuck! Stay away.

Iconic restaurant for a gift

1789
Blue Duck Tavern
The Occidental
The Monacle
The Prime Rib
Marcels

Brunch in MD?

One more thought on this...Benny's, a new and forgetable bar in the Cabin John Shopping center has 1/2 price burgers on Sundays. A pretty good burger too, with great fries, and about a half-dozen beers on tap. You could do worse.

Brunch in MD?

Daniel, is Sugo privately owned? Or are they chain affiliated? Do they have a full bar? Any dishes to recommend? Do you like it better than the Amici place up there?

Brunch in MD?

To each his own I guess. But let me say that over several brunches at CG's in Rockville, we have had to literally leave plates untouched. Omelets that couldn't be cut with a knife. Curry chicken that wouldn't be served at an English boarding school. Awful hash browns overloaded with green pepper. Etc. Horrible.

I do think it's a pleasant place. They have nice table cloths, good service, and the boody marys aren't bad.

NYC Classics Tour - 2 Questions

Thanks Gary. That's a great idea. Probably get to taste more things too.

Oct 29, 2013
Pappy in Manhattan

NYC Classics Tour - Arthur Ave Question

So, for my 50th, I'm taking my wife and 12yo son to NYC (from Washington DC). Trying to do places I remember my Dad taking me, and places that might still be around for my son to take his son.

I need a place for Weds (11/27 Tgiving Eve) lunch on Arthur Ave. Prefer old school, checkered tablecloth, veteran waiter, red sauce/veal piccata type place. Can anyone recommend one or two places? Will I need a reservation?

Sun Lunch: PJ Clark's
Sun Dinner: Babbo

Mon Lunch: GC Oyster Bar
Mon Dinner: Four Seasons Pool Room

Tues Lunch: Katz's Deli
Tues Dinner: La Grenouille

Weds Lunch: Arthur Avenue (Bronx)
Weds Dinner: Le Bernadin

Thurs Lunch (Tgiving): Nom Wah Tea Parlor (Chinatown)
Thurs Dinner: 21 Club Bar Room

Oct 28, 2013
Pappy in Outer Boroughs

NYC Classics Tour - 2 Questions

So, for my 50th, I'm taking my wife and 12yo son to NYC (from Washington DC). Trying to do places I remember my Dad taking me, and places that might still be around for my son to take his son. All reservationns confirmed. See below.

I have two questions. Can anyone recommend a place in Chinatown? Probably large, bustling, old school Cantonese that would be open on Tgving Day? Also, need a place for Weds lunch on Arthur Ave. Prefer old school, white table cloth, red sauce, veal piccata type place.

Sun Lunch: PJ Clark's
Sun Dinner: Babbo

Mon Lunch: CG Oyster Bar
Mon Dinner: Four Seasons Pool Room

Tues Lunch: Katz's Deli
Tues Dinner: La Grenouille

Weds Lunch: Arthur Avenue (Bronx)
Weds Dinner: Le Bernadin

Thurs Lunch (Tgiving): Chinatown
Thurs Dinner: 21 Club Bar Room

Oct 28, 2013
Pappy in Manhattan

Best steak dinner - DC

I'm sure there are lots of opions on this topic, but the only place I'll spend $50 for a steak anyomore is The Prime Rib. Alot of it is the atmoshphere. But I also think they still care. And I think they still cook.

Not so at Capital Grill. A recent meal there for a large bunch was just an awful, expensive disappointment. Very small caesar salad with what could have been bottled dressing. Oysters so pathetic they should never have been served. Small, tough, over-cooked steaks. Dried out macaroni and cheese (tho I tasted no cheese). Scrawny, not fresh, asparagus. Gloppy, soupy creamed spinach. French fries were fast food style, thin and pale, but at least crsip and salty. Chocolate cake that we defrosted days earlier.

Boy...I thought Mortons had gone downhill. Well CG has skied right past them on the way to the bottom.

My IRA, or a loaf of great bread?

Fresh, free range, organic, humane, happy chicken at Dupont Farmers Market, no more than 2lbs, ......$18.

Five restaurants that time (almost) forgot.

We often hit Tastee Diner after church for breakfast. Food is terrible (but cheap). But the setting, the service and the experience is perfectly old school.

Also, we had dinner at Crisfield's in Silver Spring on Tuesday. Talk about "nothing has changed". It is exactly the same as when I first went 30 years ago. We had great clams on the half shell, broiled rockfish, crab imperial, and very lightly fried soft shell crabs. Delicious.

Finally, we get to Amalfi's in Rockville a couple times a year. Pastas are good, whole grilled fish, veal not so much. Mamma is reluctantly letting son and daughter work the front of the house.

Best Sandwich in D.C.

This is easy.....Stachowski's braunschweiger— housemade liverwurst made from fatty pork and pork liver -- on rye bread with sweet pickles, thin red onions, and hot mustard.

Bethesda dinner options - with parents

I assume I don't need special password? Thanks! I'll be sure to ask!

Bethesda dinner options - with parents

You want Food and Wine. It's a pretty close walk, and the menu will suit you perfectly. It can get a little noisy when full on weekends, and beware of Friday happy hour when they draw a crowd. Just ask for a booth against the windows. I'm not sure what LawDoc is talking about....I've been there a dozen times and never seen a "back room".

Blacks is another good choice you should check out.

Freddy's is probably out. First, it's an order-at-the counter place, with food served in atop wax paper in a plastic basket, which doesn't seem to be what you're looking for. Not to mention, the food is awful.

Bistro Provence is very good. It's quite a walk though. And very expensive. The seating is cramped. And the service is demeaning.

We like Newton's Table a lot. Sedate. Redwood is a big place that has never impressed anyone, but it's certainly a nice enough place and has a new chef. Beware: I think I read that Bethesda Row is having a Restaurant Week promotion this week.

If you want steak, get off the Metro at Friendship and Capital Grill is right above you.

Someone must be eating there...

Unless you want 6 types of oysters, perfectly cleanly shucked, and served quickly, by a decent bartender, with a cold, tasty, craft beer, in a wonderful setting, and 1/2 off $ between 11am and 4pm on weekends. Where do I sign up!

Someone must be eating there...

La Ferme died a slow, agonizing, painful and finally deserved death. But as Just Visiting mentions, it served well in the 90's, only to become an unrecognizable shell in the 2000s.

Tucson Qs

Thought I'd report back on what we ate and what we liked:

Mariscos Chihuahua on Grande was our first day lunch, and probably the best meal we had in Tucson. Thank you Missvenuz. The camarones culichi and al mojo de ajo were both fantastic, along with raw oysters and marlin tacos. Served with a smile and cheap to boot!

Cup Cafe was our first dinner. Cute place in a hopping little re-done hotel. Entrees included a vegetarian platter that was much appreciated, a pasta dish and tasty, crisp skinned porchetta. All very good. We liked the homemade ranch salad dressing too. A cheap AZ red wine at $37 could have been tamer on the tasebuds, but certainly was tame on the wallet.

Sunday afternoon we went to the street festival. My wife somehow bought a huge piece or art that we are still trying to ship home. The longest line was for Santa Maria Tri-Tip, so that's where we stood. Good eats and lots of cold beer.

Hit Feast for dinner that night. A little bit of a mixed bag. Navigating the menu took some work, and navigating the wine list was cumbersome. I enjoyed some of the combinations, but thought the execution was jumbled. For example, when I ordered Grilled Leeks, I guess I expected the leeks whole and poached and then grilled and dressed, not finely shredded and deep fried. Still, a good meal, and again very reasonable.

Next lunch at the Marriott Golf Club after 18 holes. They claimed they were known for their bar-b-q. Don't believe it. While the pulled pork was okay, the beef brisket most definitely was not.

Then dinner at Maynards Market Kitchen. Loved the setting and the service. Mussels and Steak Tartar apps were well done. Bouillabaisse needed a further reduced broth and a hint of Pernod. The cheese plate to close was outstanding, and an absolute steal at $13.

Tuesday's lunch was a Guarros(sp?) and BK dogs showdown. We had sonoran dogs, carne asada tacos, and carmellas at both. All delicious. Seems to me knowing your way around the "fixins bar" is pretty important, and I was getting the hang of it as we left BK's, so my non-experienced vote goes to them.

Dinner that night was at Daisey Mae's. We thought it would be kitchy and fun, and it was right next door to the Marriott. Well...certainly wouldn't drive out of the way for it, but it was a pleasant experience, and the whole bill barely broke $100 with a pitcher of Cadillac margaritas and a couple 16oz (?!) t-bone steaks.

Bluefin Cafe was a stop uptown for lunch while shopping. Very pleasant little outside patio seating. Lunch included west coast oysters, some salads, a shrimp enchilada (spices still a bit raw tasting) and nice cold reisling. A wonderful 90 minute break in the day.

Our final night was Cafe Poca Cosa. This seems to be a great con perpetrated on the people of Tucson. We enjoyed neither the setting, nor the service, nor the selection, and certainly not the one-dimensional food. We left mostly uneaten plates, that no one noticed nor cared. Churn 'em and burn 'em. Oh well.

Thank everyone for all your help. We enjoyed our stay in your beautiful city. Lots to like.

Apr 02, 2013
Pappy in Southwest

Tucson Qs

DC Chowhounds here. We've been going to Scottsdale for the last few spring breaks. We're mixing it up a bit this year and giving Tucson a look.

Landing on a Saturday in March at 12 Noon. Need a great place for our first taste of mexican/tex-mex/sonoran on our way to the Marriott Starr Pass west of I-10. Must offer sit-down tables and beer. Any suggestions?

Also, would be very interested in a local farmers market that would still be active into the afternoon if there is such a thing.

I will need lunch everyday around this Marriott. Mexican/tex-mex/sonoran all welcomed (which of Mariscos, El Guero, BK Carne, Taqueria Pico de Gallo is nearby?). Great burgers, pizza, etc also welcome (is Zinburger far?).

For dinners, I've planned/reserved the following as what appearrs to be a good representation of Tucson. I also hope none is more than 20 - 25 minutes from Marriott. Let me know if I left out any must-eats. Sat = Cup Cafe, Sun = Feast, Mon = Maynard's Market, Tues = Silver Saddle (I wonder about this one), and Weds = Cafe Poca Cosa.

Jan 15, 2013
Pappy in Southwest

FrIed belly clams and steamers recommendations in DC area

New England would never accept the blame for Freddys. A recent Saturday lunch included a miniscule basket of shreds and pieces of fried clams (certainly not whole belly), for the outrageous price of $18.95. I think nine (9!) less than perectly fresh but much more than perfectly cooked Steamer Clams for $9.95. A bowl of lobster bisque that was 100% inedible for comparatively cheap price of $6.50. And a pretty good Lobster Roll for the pretty unreasonable price of $19.95.

Oh well, at least the beer was kinda cold.