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Rocklands Ribs Ranked Among the Best in America

I've had good pulled pork at DC, Arlington, and Alexandria locations; never had good ribs (dry) or brisket (strangely dry AND greasy). DCity Smokehouse excels in all three categories. However, this IS Washingtonian Magazine that consistently votes Laurol Plaza to their Best Cheap Eats list.

Rocklands Ribs Ranked Among the Best in America

Submitted without comment.

http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/be...

Best chain fried chicken restaurant?

I've had better luck with smaller, regional chains than the big franchises. Two East Coast chains that do good chicken: Cluck U and Hip Hop Fish & Chicken. They both do fried chicken gizzards & livers which are almost impossible to find; the latter does some good fried whiting, which is also getting difficult to find. I can't swing a dead catfish without hitting mediocre sushi, but god forbid an eatery actually frys a filet that didn't come from the Gorton Fisherman. It's a crapshoot depending on which location you're at, so they're kinda like Five Guys, but both tend to do a lot of volume, so the oil is fresh. Nothing spicy or unusual, just competent, consistent chicken and fish "fried hard."

http://www.cluckuchicken.com/

http://www.hiphopfc.com/index.php?pag...

about 7 hours ago
monkeyrotica in Chains

Asian or South Asian groceries in Georgetown?

Harris Teeter has a section with basic Asian ingredients, like curry past, chutneys, Lee Kum Kee black bean sauce, etc. You might check the P Street location. Hana Japanese Market would have some items, but it's Japanese centric. You might also try Da Sin Trading Company in Chinatown, but for a broad selection, you'll need to hit Fresh World or H Mart in NoVa.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/da-hsin-tradi...

Best chain fried chicken restaurant?

Regional chain, but Roy Rogers Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich is the best chain chicken sandwich I've ever had. The combination of salty, moist chicken, jack cheese, smokey bacon, and mildly sweet sauce hits all the right points. One of those rare instances where all the ingredients work together instead of against eachother. Makes Chik Fil A look like lukewarm consomme at a spinsterish tea party.

http://www.grubgrade.com/reviews/fast...

Aug 27, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains

Best chain fried chicken restaurant?

Second BonChon and KoChix. Their wings are the size of drumsticks and the skin is like pork rinds. I also like how they don't give out extra sauce. Kinda snobbish I know, sorta like restaurants that don't provide salt shakers, but more sauce would not improve the taste. They spent a lot of money and time getting the ratio just right.

Aug 25, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains

Best chain fried chicken restaurant?

Ugh. That means the closest one to me is Camp Springs. I guess I can still do the one in Crofton when I'm going through Bowie. Thanks for the info.

Aug 25, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains

Best chain fried chicken restaurant?

When Popeyes came out with their Rip'n Chicken last year, I thought it looked pretty ridiculous: a shredded boneless chicken breast that looked like half a Facehugger from the Alien movies. I decided to give it a try based on the good reviews it got and was pleasantly surprised. I've been trying to cut back on my fried intake, so this was definitely a smaller portion than my usual three piece and biscuit. Good level of spiciness, juicy meat, and even though I usually can't stand dipping sauces,and HATE ranch, the Habanero Ranch sauce was really tasty. Good level of heat without being overwhelming; just like I like it. Pretty decent value as well.

http://www.grubgrade.com/2015/07/30/r...

Aug 25, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains

Best chain fried chicken restaurant?

Their onion rings are sublime and made fresh, which is why the prep staff hate them. They can't just leave them under the heat lamps.

Aug 24, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains

Best chain fried chicken restaurant?

Roy Rogers is still my favorite. As close to the old Hot Shoppes/Pappy Parker Fried Chicken as you'll likely to find.

http://www.royrogersrestaurants.com/s...

Not a restaurant per se, but Royal Farms makes some of the best fried chicken to ever come out of a gas station.

http://www.royalfarms.com/world-famou...

Aug 24, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains

Our perception of "authenticity"

Depends on the shortcut or the cost saving. Upright and bullet smokers are a shortcut to digging a trench, lining it with wood, burning it down to charcoal, then laying meat on wooden branches and smoking them overnight, which is how bbq was made in the 19th century. Grocery store meats are cheaper than raising your own animals then slaughtering them. The "essence" of barbecue is meat plus smoke and seasoning; the methods vary as much as the results.

As for parboiling ribs, pretty much every soul food cookbook prior to 1970 had you do this. It may be wrong, but it's authentic to that style of cooking from that period.

Aug 21, 2015
monkeyrotica in General Topics

Our perception of "authenticity"

<I>I mean, one could say "there is no Spam and no Kraft cheese in Korean food," either.</i>

One could say that. And one would be wrong. I've had Budae-jjigae with Spam, hotdogs, and American cheese in it, sold by lovely old Korean ladies who grew up on the stuff after the war.

http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2015/03/...

Aug 20, 2015
monkeyrotica in General Topics

SPAM

If I didn't have gout, I'd eat the hell out of this.

Aug 18, 2015
monkeyrotica in General Topics

SPAM

Most processed cheeses contain an emulsifier which keeps the fat solids from separating from proteins. It's why when you melt cheddar, you usually get a sheen of oil on top. "Cheese food" like Velveeta and Cheez Wiz and to some extent American cheese doesn't have this issue; it stays smooth throughout the heating process. But by all means, give your Real Cheese Spamwich a try and report back! Hell, put a fried egg on top and make yourself a Crocque Spam-dame.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

Myanmar in Falls Church - WoW!

Twelve years later, still good stuff. Met friends for dinner last Friday and the ginger salad, green tea leaf salad, nanjee thoke, and pork with pickled mango are still excellent. The salads are $8 instead of $5, but that's still a steal for food this quality. And as with past visits, this is not a place to grab a quick bite. Half a dozen dishes took over an hour and a half to finally arrive and the place was practically empty. I wouldn't have minded as much, but their liquor license was up for renewal so we couldn't get anything stronger than tea to drink. Still, one of the better deals and remarkably consistent over the long haul. The interior could use an update, but it kinda reminded me of the old Burma restaurant downtown. What it lacks in d├ęcor, it made up in flavor.

SPAM

Yes.

Delicious.

Grilled Velveeta Spamwich. Sear the Spam in a cast iron skillet, then place between buttered Wonder Bread and sliced Velveeta with just a hint of mustard. Grill over low until the cheese melts out the side and the bread is toasted for just the right combination of crispy, toasty, gooey, salty, mustard-ey. Welcome to Umami Town. Population: YOUR MOUTH.

Hot dog fast food chains

There IS a nationwide hotdog chain. It's called 7-Eleven. 10,500 stores in North America. I've never been to one that wasn't selling Big Bites on those heated rollers. Whether they kill you or not depends on how much you abuse the Press for Chili/Press for Cheese buttons.

https://www.7-eleven.com/Hungry/Hot/B...

Aug 13, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains
2

Missing Gusti's

So many burger chains

5G pitches theirs as served "a juicy well-done," which I've never experienced. It's either a "greasy well-done" or a "dry well-done." I'm not going to blame them because few, if any, chain burger places do medium rare. Yet another reason to seek out non-chain burgers. As for the fries, why they still stack them in that paper cup and wrap the paper bag up is a mystery to me. If you can get them out of the bag ASAP, they can be crispy, but they won't survive a trip home in that bag. The steam builds up and they're ruined. They local Chinese carryout does wings & crinkle cuts in a styrofoam box with holes to vent the steam; everything's always crispy.

I'm gonna add Krystals and White Castle sliders to the list, just because of my fondness for the old Little Tavern burgers. Definitely an acquired taste, though. Always make a point of detouring on vacations to give them a try.

Aug 05, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains
1

Current restaurant pet peeve

I've got no problem paying $25+ for a cocktail that well made and tastes delicious. There's one I had that contained a smokey single malt scotch and a concentrated "tea" made out of steeped tobacco leaves which added another sweet, smokey layer. Did I get hammered off of it? No. But as an ex smoker, I appreciated the intense mix of flavors. That said, there's WAY too much "artisanally curated" nonsense getting peddled as craft cocktails. I'm just glad the whole "lime foam" nonsense has died off.

Aug 05, 2015
monkeyrotica in General Topics

Current restaurant pet peeve

There's a place near me that serves "savory tarts" that are basically flatbread pizzas, hold the cheese. Nothing "tart" about it.

Aug 05, 2015
monkeyrotica in General Topics

So many burger chains

Five Guys has been a crapshoot since day one. One store will be great, another mediocre, another terrible. Quality control seems to be nonexistent. Of the five 5Gs near me, only one has been consistent, and that pales in comparison to the hamburger sub I get at the local soft serve & bbq place.

I've only had one bad burger at Shake Shack (a single patty with no cheese; the double Shackburger has always been good). Their experiment with fresh-cut fries has been a disaster, so they went back to crinkle cuts which have been consistently crispy.

The last memorable chain hamburger I've had was Fuddruckers, and all those near me are closed. The Hardees Monster Thickburgers were also good, but, again, none are near me anymore.

Aug 05, 2015
monkeyrotica in Chains
1

Current restaurant pet peeve

Rare is the place that takes the bread basket seriously. If one is offered at all, it's usually some flavorless thing that's been out too long.

There's an eatery near me that served a fried oyster "po boy" on a terrible, rock hard baguette. Looked pretty awesome; perfect for Instagramming, but as soon as you squeezed it, all the oysters shot out the other end. It's like nobody in the kitchen even tried to eat this thing before serving it.

Aug 05, 2015
monkeyrotica in General Topics

It's Been Years Since I've Been to......

I'd avoided Bistro du Coin for years after a particularly lousy Beaujolais nouveau party experience. Met some friend for wine and steak frites upstairs and had an excellent time far above the crowds and buzz.

Biggest, most expensive bullshit at a fine dining restaurant.

And that reminds me of the scene in Get Shorty where Danny DeVito goes off the menu and orders an elaborate eggwhite and fresh peas omelette and leaves the restaurant just as it shows up.

Jul 28, 2015
monkeyrotica in Not About Food

Chaps Pit Beef seeks to open 60 franchises

I'm reminded of Crumbs Bake Shop, although the market for beef sandwiches might be a little broader than boutique cupcakes.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifesty...

Chaps Pit Beef seeks to open 60 franchises

I don't know how realistic, or desirable, 60 franchise stores is. Five Guys over expanded to the point where all but two near me are horribly inconsistent. Roy Rogers is expanding pretty slowly and all the Roys near me are pretty consistent. I guess it comes down to who's doing the managing.

Chaps Pit Beef seeks to open 60 franchises

Definitely not the best, but more pit beef is always welcome, particularly south of Baltimore.

A&P bankruptcy

How far are you from H Mart? Their meats, seafood, and produce are all outstanding.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/h-mart-hartsdale

Reasonably priced steakhouse in MD or DC?

I recommend Medium Rare on Barracks Row in DC. Very reasonably priced for a quality steak place and very casual.

http://www.mediumrarerestaurant.com/d...