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Restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day

You might be best to stick with Vidalia. Someone told me that the Blue Duck Tavern lunchtime menu is more brunch like. Well I guess it just depends on what you want. I'm sure Vidalia will provide a nice meal, I just have not seen the Thanksgiving menu and I do not know anyone that has been there for Thanksgiving. I'm also disappointed that Brian McBride has left!

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Vidalia
1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

Nov 23, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives..... type places located in Northern Virginia

LOL yes it is. I pretty much selected a place for Thanksgiving and told them to feel free to go or find something else. Then I told them that I would accommodate them by going to a dive on Friday. Ultimately I selected Brabo in Alexandria for the Thanksgiving meal and I am very much looking forward to it!!! I thought Brabo was the best choice because they have a variety on the Thanksgiving menu. They have beef, fish, pork, and the traditional Thanksgiving entree. I also think that Old Town will be a great environment for Thanksgiving. And it is close to Mt Vernon which we will be touring.

Nov 21, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day

To be honest it is kind of late in the game to be selecting a Thanksgiving place. However I can say that at this point for your lunchtime specification I would HIGHLY suggest Blue Duck Tavern. I would also consider Corduroy but the location is somewhat awkward. I am not familiar with the Vidalia Thanksgiving meal however I can say that you would never get a bad meal at Vidalia most likely. You might consider also Sou'Wester at the Mandarin Oriental in DC near the Smithsonian. If you check open table and the place that you prefer has nothing then call them- they hold back reservations for call ins. I actually got a reservation at Brabo in Alexandria late in the game as well by calling in. I wanted something near Mount Vernon. Consider dining somewhere near the National Mall, you can talk a nice walk afterwards and the Smithsonian Museums are open. And I would stay away from Equinox- too much style and no substance. Overall though I would suggest Blue Duck Tavern, I know they have lots of availability for lunchtime and their rustic American fits well for Thanksgiving. If you are from New Orleans you probably would love Vidalia although I would consider it more Carolina type food.

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Vidalia
1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

Nov 21, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives..... type places located in Northern Virginia

I'm looking for a place to take some guests to in Northern Virginia for dinner. Someone has asked for a plain old run of the mill diner type place. I do need something that does have at least some plain old American dishes. I would also consider going to like a seafood dive kind of place. Or maybe a hole in the wall place that does barbecue or something. Or the plain old burger and fries diner. However I would not mind going to a place that also has Greek, Italian, or something else in addition to the American stuff. I get the idea that they would like to see some type of unique place with personality that you might see on that show Diners, Drive In's, and Dives. Metro 29 in Arlington came to mind but I asked around and most people said that they found it to be uninteresting, We will be in Alexandria doing other things during the day so Alexandria or Arlington would be nice. However I am fine with going elsewhere in Northern Virginia if it is worth it, I'm really drawing a blank on this one. I work downtown and so I usually end up eating downtown. Thanks for any suggestions.

Nov 12, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

What to do with feta cheese? Help, please

Spinach and feta croissant or pastry

Feta and bacon pizza

those are my fav feta recipes

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Jacques Pepin vegetable soup with poached egg recipe form the mid 1990's

This is my primary complaint about Jacques Pepin. You see these great things on TV and then you say well I want that recipe. And you never have any clue what book it is in. I've stopped watching his show because of this. It is frustrating. I emailed them once about it.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving main on the cheap

A nice breast goes a long way and is easier to make in some ways. Sticking with fewer better sides is great too. Sometimes when you have so many sides you want some of them and others you just feel obligated to eat.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Roasting Vegetables ~ any new tricks ?

Just toss them in the pan with tongs is usually sufficient or roll them around with your hands. If you want to extra toss them then apply saran wrap to the top of the roasting dish or small mixing bowl then turn it over, upside down, etc. Using the bag like that is a waste of a bag and unnecessary. It's also unsanitary if you re-use bags like that.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Take-Out Etiquette... [moved from Texas board]

Well when restaurants run credit cards they always run them for an amount higher than the food cost. To account for the tip. So when they post the tip the charge will not be declined. When the charge posts it should post for the amount that you signed.

As far as tipping on take out it really depends on the type restaurant and the city the restaurant is located in. The more sit down a place is the more likely it is that you should tip. Take out is usually handled by the bartender.

Previously I never tipped on take out. Then someone explained it to me. You are paying for a service. You care calling in and asking for them to prep your order and have it waiting for you.

I certainly do not think you should tip 20 percent for take out, I mean otherwise you should just eat it there. However I do think that you should tip about 10 percent for the take out. And remember most take out orders include things like make sure it has ketchup but no mayo, etc.

It is a service and a convenience and you should pay for it unless this restaurant is an all or majority take out place, in which case it would be expected. In urban areas it is more expected that there should be a tip for take out.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Not About Food

Do I dare order a roasted turkey?

It's rare to find somewhere that you can pick up a warm turkey then just serve it. You can get a nice already cooked turkey from Whole Foods, Wegman's, Baldicci's, many gourmet stores but you are going to have to warm it up.

I hate to tell you this but roasting a turkey is actually not too bad of a job. You just prepare it then throw it in the oven for 2.5 hours. You can even roast it the day before then warm it up the next day if you need/want to. If you want easy then I would- roast your own turkey, make some basic salad/veggie sides, and buy a few complex sides/desserts from Whole Foods or elsewhere.

Check out Ina Garten's perfect roast turkey recipe. I've done it and it's rather easy. Skip a few things if you find them too much or google for a quick easy roast turkey recipe or even do a turkey breast rather than a whole turkey if you need to.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Philadelphia

Your most requested recipe from Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners

I think the most requested recipe for everyone is the stuffing. Everyone seems to put their own personal spin on stuffing and no two are ever alike!

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Roasting Vegetables ~ any new tricks ?

brussel sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, cauliflower, all do well for roasting. my favs are brussel sprouts and carrots. I always add some onions. As others have said toss them to coat them well in olive oil. most roast them on 400 for 30-35 but I prefer mine more well done so to say so you can go longer for sure. Add whatever herb you like. Or just salt and pepper works. And garlic always works.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving main on the cheap

I agree, turkey is the cheapest main dish for thanksgiving. Most grocery stores give them away at cost to get you to buy the 200 dollars worth of stuff that you need to go with the turkey. And as LaLa said many grocery stores do promos to give them away. Even at Whole Foods or Wegmans the turkey would be the lowest cost main and one goes a long way. Roast the turkey in some herbs and your guests will think it cost way more than it did.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Lebanese Taverna Catering

I have never used Lebanse Taverna for catering. I do like eating there and I very much enjoy the restaurant. However in my experience most restaurants do a poor job when they take on off premise catering and often times on premise catering. They just do not have the experience and the equipment necessary to pull the job off. And trust me there is a reason that it is a great value and the reason is that they are not paying for the proper equipment/staff to pull it off. I assume this is an off premise event and so I think you would be better off getting a good off premise caterer. The off premise caterer will have the equipment and experience to properly implement the event. If you do insist on using Lebanse Taverna for this even then I would emphasize to them on an upfront basis that you do not want any screw ups or poor food due to transit, storage and such. And if you do insist on using them then I would ask for a few catering references that you could call and ask how they handled it. Making sure to ask lots of questions about quality of the food once it hit the table, storage, logistics, etc. Restaurants do a great job of feeding tables that are seated in a very staggered manner but in this case you need someone that can feed a large group at one time. Most restaurants lack the experience, staff, and skills to do this.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

What is Your Thanksgiving First Course?

This is a great idea! I might even switch!

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Restaurants near the Capitol

Well I don't have kids but my brothers and sisters do so I would suggest-

Tortilla Coast, Tex Mex, a Cap Hill standard place and kids love Mexican
We The Pizza, kids love pizza
Matchbox, kids love pizza again
Johnny's Half Shell, seafood, more upscale than the others

Tortilla Coast and Matchbox highly recommended

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Johnny's Half Shell
400 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Tortilla Coast
400 1st St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

What is Your Thanksgiving First Course?

Mine is always butternut squash soup. The quintessential Thanksgiving first course in my view. I also think anything with butternut squash or pumpkin could work. Pumpkin soup can be good too. Or a nice mixed greens/field greens salad with roasted butternut squash. I think you could have seafood any day of the year and I love seafood. I like to keep things unique so the pumpkin or butternut works well- what other day of the year would you have these things. And I find the soup super easy to make.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Lasagne...pre-cook noodles or ?

Oh! Well I guess if you prefer a lighter noodle lasagna then they might work better for you. However I can tell you this- reserve your experiments for you and your family then take them to your guests once you know they work for you. I think it's a bad idea to make a meal for guests and go with something that you have not experienced or done. It's somewhat of a bad idea to try new cooking methods with guests in my view. I mean what would you do if it turned out poorly? Then order takeout for your guests?

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Mexican in DC

You do raise a good point because for example I believe that on Washingtonian's top 100 very best restaurants there is probably not one Mexican restaurant. Not that I put all stock in Washingtonian or their lists but I cite this as just an example. I do enjoy Oyamel very much and I also enjoy Rosa Mexicano. LaLomita is my fav cheaper type place. I have always wanted to try Guajillo in Arlington which I think is a dirt cheap eat for Washingtonian. I generally go to Rosa for my Mexican, it's good for groups and most folks will eat there. Often times when I dine out I have to deal with picky eaters! But again I have not lived in the SW USA etc so Rosa and the others work for me.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lasagne...pre-cook noodles or ?

Many people have used pre-cooked noodles or not cooked the regular noodles and added extra water and such. Other people insist on the traditional approach. I'm somewhat of a traditional guy and I prefer doing things the detail oriented way so I always use the old tried and true method.

You said that you do not like the idea of adding extra water so maybe just go with the regular way. How much effort and time would you save by this anyways? It's pretty simple, just throw the noodles in boiling water and let them cook.

But hey that's just my 2 cents and I'm sure others have differing views. Bottom line is do what you are comfortable with!

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Home Cooking

Mexican in DC

I think but am not positively sure about this... But I think it is in Alexandria VA. I tried to find it once but I think they do not have a website. If you go to YELP and search for La Mexicana then you find the La Mexicana on Arlington Drive which comes up with great reviews. It's in the Fairfax County area of Alex, not the city of Alex. The La Mexicana in Germantown on YELP has only been reviewed two times and is rated 2 stars only out of 5. So I doubt that is it.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Christmas Eve sushi (or seafood) in NoVA? DC?

I'd say it's too early as well. If you wait about 3-4 weeks prior then the options will be more clear and they will have specific menus for the day that you can view.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day

I guess you want something in Baltimore because you mentioned the Baltimore publications. I'm going through the same search right now but for DC. I found open table to be the best resource, not sure if that works for Baltimore. I also just called some places that I particularly like and enjoy and asked them if they were open. If you cannot find anything in Baltimore consider DC, tons of places there and you can do some touring with light crowds. Lots of attractions are open in DC on Thanksgiving.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best place for Sunday brunch in Annapolis or DC?

I think it depends on what kind of brunch you want. Do you a casual jeans or shorts American-ish brunch or do you want something more dressy? Do you have particular requests such as best brunch for waffles or best brunch for amazing seafood?

Some brunches that I have enjoyed- Tabard Inn, Blue Duck Tavern, Acadiana. DC has tons of places that serve brunch and they run the full range from simple bistro cafe to linen tablecloths.

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Tabard Inn
1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Acadiana
901 New York Ave NW Ste 200A, Washington, DC 20001

Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Mexican in DC

I guess perspective is everything. I have never lived in or visited the SW very much so I just do not know how to compare my favorites here to what is there. I grew up in this area so that's all I have to compare it to. For me those places work but I can see that for others they may not. I do think that it is unfortunate how various ethnic foods get "American-ized".

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

District Commons, very common

You are exactly correct in my view- spending more money is not the solution. I completely agree with you that price has nothing to do with the total experience. In fact the last time I ate at La Lomita with a friend our bill was so small it did not meet their credit card minimum and we were perfectly thrilled with the meal. My main thing when I eat out is that I want something un-ordinary. I'm thrilled eating at a unique hole in the wall or dive joint or eating at trendy or upscale downtown places. Also DC Commons is owned by Passion Food Hospitality and in my experience their price points are usually above average. I have not been to DC Commons but based on what I am hearing it is rather bland. The Burger Tap and Shake however seems to get rave reviews so the answer may be to just eat there instead and save the money. I think this is the first time that Passion Food has gone into the plain old American category and they may have over adjusted things a little too much in the plain direction. Their other places are a little more exotic so American pub might be too out of their experience and skill set.

Nov 06, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

What's the best...

There are tons of bests in DC. It really just depends on what you like and want. Do you prefer beef or seafood? Do you want contemporary American? Or do you want French? Do you want something casual- jeans and a polo type place? Or dress pants with a sweater or jacket kind of place? Something trendy or traditional? Want a steak or seafood dish or something more exotic like Indian?

ALL of the suggestions that are given by ktmoomau are great suggestions.

I would highly suggest- Rogue 24, Cityzen, Komi. Brasserie Beck and Marcel's are excellent too! Oh and add Blue Duck Tavern to the list. I almost forgot- Vidalia. Blue Duck Tavern and Cityzen would be my top choices of these. If you like seafood then I've taken many out of towners that also love seafood to Acadiana and it is always a hit. DC Coast can be pretty decent as well.

The bottom line is that it just depends on what you want the best of. You might look at the Washingtonian 100 very best list for 2011 and consider the top ten or twenty.

You might check out Washingtonian, they have a lot of bests lists that are pretty good. Others here can give great suggestions too. Also WETA did a fine dining episode that is posted online. They have a few other episodes about favorite DC places to eat. Just google WETA fine dining. You can watch it online and learn more about the area. I think they also did one called neighborhood eats that was good. Nonstop foodies DC is okay too but you probably cannot watch that as it is on NBC Washington and I do not think they have it posted online.

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Brasserie Beck
1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

Komi
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

Nov 05, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Thanksgiving 2011 in Washington, DC or Northern Virginia (for a very traditional & simple eater)

These are all some excellent suggestions and I really appreciate all of the suggestions. Some of the suggestions I thought about and pitched. I told the wife that any place serving a beef dish for example will serve it without the sauce or garlic for example. And every restaurant has potatoes so I'm sure any place could throw out a potato as a side dish. They like Clyde's and have been there but they only want to go there if Clyde's is serving a beef filet which he previously had but is not on the menu now. I told them that I think it was probably a special and that they could call to ask if it will be a special for that day.

They were not interested in custom ordering something to be plain. I think the wife is being overly sensitive about the situation honestly. I do not know maybe he as pitched a fit about something in the past. Some other family members told me that he has gone to places like Rosa Mexicano in the area and ordered something simple like a enchilada then taken two bites and said no I do not like it, I do not want it. I'm also told that he protested that the salsa was just chopped tomatoes and did not have a sauce consistency like grocery store canned.

I have friends that are traditional eaters but this just seems so extreme. I almost feel like I am planning a Thanksgiving meal for a toddler or something. He will not even eat Turkey and the traditional side dishes- even if they are without herbs and such. He demands a cheeseburger and fries or a steak and potato. He also eats a seafood dive type restaurants- which again not open on Thanksgiving!

These kind of places that serve food like this are usually pubs- in my opinion and they are not open on Thanksgiving and if they were I would not want to take my holiday meal there probably anyway. I did not even invite them for this Thanksgiving meal, they kind of invited themselves. And when they did I cautioned them that it would be a proper meal at a proper place. So I am rather confused.

Well the other day after having suggested about 25 different places I got kind of frustrated. So guess what? I kicked the ball to them. I said- you know what- I'm fine with most places and everyone else in the party is fine with most places. So then I said why don't you guys pick the place? I send them an email with some links to open table, Washingtonian, Yelp, Wash Post, the open table page with Thanksgiving meals on it, a link to the page showing places open at our times and such. I even said if you go on there and find one or two places that you like then we can go there or I can find something similar for you. The process of me suggesting things and a constant no was just not productive or effective.

They have never cared much for the places that the various family members have taken them around here or anywhere else for that matter. I like trendy type food I guess and everyone else in the family does. I do like eating at dives, diners, and drive ins but not for a holiday!

Well the end of the story is that they go so angry by my email suggesting that they pick the place that they will not even talk to us now! They did not reply to the email. We called them the other day about 4 or 5 times and they would not answer the phone once. The kicker is that another family member paid for their hotel via priceline bidding so that person is now stuck with a non-refudnable hotel room that they do not need.

I'm just really at a loss for words to explain the whole situation. I have friends with similar relatives of the same age group, from a rural area also, that are traditional eaters. But they do not seem to have problems like this. I think he has some sort of issue or something like that with going to a "fancy place".

Well unfortunately it looks like the entire situation is a bust but I do really appreciate all of the great suggestions that I got from everyone! I have definitely learned a valuable lesson here and I will for sure be more cautious in the future when I agree to accommodate picky eaters for group meals!

Oct 30, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Large Group Birthday Dinner

If your group goes over 12 and you still really want Zaytinya then just assemble two seperate groups and take them there at the same time. For example just book two reservations each of them for 10 people to accommodate 20 people under different names. I know people that have done this before. Only negative is that you might not be near each other however even if you sit at a table w 20 people it's pretty impossible to speak to all of them.

However if you want something else I agree that Oya would be a great choice. You might also consider Oyamel, Rasika, Asia Nine, or Rosa Mexicano. I've had enjoyable group meals at all of these places.

I strongly disagree with the 50 dollar charge because many people will eat a lot less than that however Zatinya is very popular so they can afford to have policies like that.

Lucky for you Gallery Place/Penn Quarter is packed with places to eat so I'm sure you will not have a problem finding a place.

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Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Zaytinya
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Oct 26, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Restaurant Walkable to Ford's Theater in DC?

In that area for the adventurous type Rasika definitely comes to mind! It is definitely adventurous and in the area. Food is of excellent quality. I believe they are in the top 5 for Washingtonian's top 100. If Rasika is not acceptable then I would say that you can walk over to Gallery Place/Penn Quarter and get pretty much anything you want. Oyamel also comes to mind, as does The Source DC.

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Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Oct 26, 2011
drake0388 in Washington DC & Baltimore