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NCAA viewing in Alexandria?

Anyone have suggestions for a good place to catch some NCAA Tourney games in Old Town/DelRay, perhaps with HD/multiple screens to keep tabs on overlapping games? Would be good to grab a nice burger and a beer or something, though primarily interested in the basketball. Just curious if folks had suggestions.

Are there really no superlative breakfast options in Alexandria?

OK, we went back to Evening Star and they now have a new chef willing to do egg whites. Thank you!

Real pints of beer?

You all were fighting the good fight! Cheers as well!

I had another experience at a music venue/bar out in Vienna where I ordered a New Castle on tap. Guy grabs a plastic cup when there were clearly pint glasses available. So I asked if he wouldn't mind, I'd rather drink out of a real glass. He grabs a glass and fills it 3/4 of the way, no joke. Not too hard to read between the lines.

Real pints of beer?

Thanks, I'll check 'em out!

Again, the establishment did not label their beers pints, they were labeled as draught beer. But do we need to move over to the UK system of certified pint glasses? There it's illegal to serve beer in "non-calibrated" pint glasses. There is a guy in Oregon with a website dedicated to this issue called the Honest Pint Project. And I don't know if we're supposed to hyperlink here, but I did find an article called "Caveat Drinkor" that also spelled out the issue in terms of economics (in Oregon alone, it is estimated that in 2007, beer drinkers were cheated out of 1.7 million pints using the 14 oz. "cheater pints"). Man, those Oregonians are serious about their beer!

Real pints of beer?

Any one have recommendations for bars/restaurants that serve real pints of beer in Northern Virginia? I'm getting tired of these places that serve draught beer in a 12 oz. or 14 oz. "pint glass". Had an experience at a Del Ray eatery where a buddy and I ordered 2 beers on tap. They brought his beer, but told me they were out of the one I had ordered. So, the waitress made a beer recommendation, but when she came back, she had a 12 oz. bottled beer along with a glass that was the same size as my friend who ordered the draught beer. And yes when I filled the glass it went all the way to the top with only minimal head on the beer. Small glasses...hmph. To be fair the beers were not advertised as "pints" but there is just something about it that feels misleading (are they downsizing beer now?!). Sorry for the negative energy here, but I'm trying to find the places that take pride not only in the beer they serve, but in how they serve it.

breakfast/brunch in Charlottesville, VA

If you really want to do it right, go to the Boar's Head Inn for a wonderfully upscale brunch buffet that includes breakfast and lunch items (around $25-30/person). Top notch! For the more everyday, Bluegrass Grill is OK. Can be hit or miss, and sometimes the wait for a table can be oppressive! Good vibe there though. Cafe Cubano is more of a coffee shop, but has a nice breakfast too. Taven is an old staple, greasy spoon/dineresque, but in a good way! Don't forget to stop by Spudnut on Avon for the best doughnuts in town.

Soup!!! Gotta have it!

I second the Death by Gumbo at RT's. Wow! Great flavor, loaded with shrimp, crawfish tails, andouille, as well as oysters, and crabmeat. This is a dinner sized soup served alongside rice (i.e., in the same bowl). They also have a chicken and andouille gumbo in smaller cup/bowl options, but our waitress raved about the Death by Gumbo; it was a great recommendation!

Are there really no superlative breakfast options in Alexandria?

On Fireflies, we actually had a good experience. Yes, the overcooked bacon and chopped potato "hash browns" could use significant improvement, but the pancakes are HUGE and fluffy, a real treat (not sure why it's so hard to find good straight forward pancakes these days). Also the Sunday live bluegrass is awesome, and the service, while a little on the slow side, is much more affable than a lot of the other area brunch spots (see my previously posted comment...also, they WERE willing to do egg-white omlettes and at least had 2% milk for coffee). We'll be back.

Are there really no superlative breakfast options in Alexandria?

Thought the food at Evening Star was fine (good french toast), but we were turned off by the surly brunch staff (we know no one wants to work the brunch shift, but c'mon!), their unwillingness to do an egg-white omelette, and not serving skim milk for coffee. Still conflicted if we will return.

Happy National Doughnut Day!!

OK, replying to my own post here, but Bagel Deli & Donut in Falls Church on W. Broad has a really nice glazed donut. Very dense and satisfying. I've had the glazed devil's food too, good but smaller and a little less hearty. Go for the Donuts and the service - the owner (I think) is a sweet woman.

Happy National Doughnut Day!!

Yes on the free Krispy Kreme. I called some local Dunkin Donuts and you might need to buy a beverage to get your donut at some shops.

Happy National Doughnut Day!!

Your favorite local doughnut is...?

Good hot dogs

Windy City Red Hots! A few weeks ago someone posted about this place...a cart that makes an authentic Chicago dog out in Ashburn. The husband and wife owners are Chicago natives who relocated to NoVa. Have not ventured out there yet, but folks say it's the genuine article (celery salt and all)...and delicious. They have a website with location, hours, etc. Enjoy!

Pre-9:30 Club dinner on Sat.

Going to see a show @ 9:30 Club this Saturday (the Doves?) with some out of town friends...wish we were going to the Hold Steady on Sunday, but that's another story. Looking for some sweet options within these parameters: either 1. Ethnic (I hear great stuff about the African/Middle Eastern eateries in that area) or 2. solid American/comfort food where we could sit comfortably and have a good beer.

Searched the board and someone had a similar post 2 years ago, but ruled out the ethnic food?!? At the time people were suggesting Marvin, the Saloon, Ben's (maybe not this trip), Oos and Ahs (but no seating?).

Would love to hear what folks would suggest. Many thanks in advance. Cheers!

Best in Charlottesville, VA

EXPENSIVE - Ivy Inn (out Old Ivy Rd.), Downtown Grill (on the Mall), (I would avoid OXO).
MODERATE to MOD+ - Hamiltons and C & O (both on Downtown Mall).
INEXPENSIVE+ - Mono Loco (burritos, etc.), Thai 99 (the one north of Rio Rd. is amazing), Mellow Mushroom (great pizza and beers on the Corner), Marco & Luccas (dumplings and noodles).
-Other local treats: Arch's frozen Yogurt & Spudnut donuts!!

If I had to pick two of the better ones I'd say Hamiltons and Ivy Inn. Thai 99 was our local place, dear to our hears.

May 15, 2009
NoVA in Mid-Atlantic

Bethesda Saturday Afternoon, Flanagan's or Union Jack?

Going to be hanging out in Bethesda this weekend with my groomsmen, and we are looking to grab a few beers and some pre-wedding chow (nothing fancy) Saturday afternoon. Anyone passionate one way or the other on Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle or Union Jack British Pub (we're all big beer fans, love us a big dirty pint or choice microbrews). Any other Bethesda suggestions for some 30 and 40 somethings looking for a nice chill locale sans the college football scene (or at least kept at a minimum)? Thanks in advance!

Portabello's in Arlington

I've been twice in the past 3 months, and have found it to be disappointing both times. Main issue is the food. For entrees I've had a pork chop with either a mango or apple chutney, but the flavors just didn't work; other time I had the grilled ribeye where the cut of meat was not that great, too much separation for my taste. My fiancée had a really bland butternut squash soup (I think) and the citrus salmon, where again the flavors did not seem to work. Her parents dishes were similarly so-so, and they were not impressed either. On the upside, the lump crabmeat and portabello appetizer was tasty, but at $11, seemed pricey. Also, the wine selection was decent, most glasses $8 or less. Smallish selection of good bottled beers too (e.g., Abita, Allagash).

A big downer for us was that we were seated by the door on a cold night, and when we asked to move to an open table, were told it was reserved...but that party did not show up for over an hour...when we were paying our check. Not the way to build a pleasant dining experience.

All in all we don't plan to return given other options in the area. However, I am holding our hope for them because the owner seems pretty cool and Arlington is in need of good, independently owned, moderately priced restaurants with solid food.

Market Lunch, Eastern Market

Welcome back Market Lunch! Bring on The Brick!