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NoVaDog's Profile

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Where can one order good rabbit meat?

The highest quality rabbit I've had in the area was from Balducci's. It goes for about $8/lb and it's D'artagnan branded rabbit. D'artagnan also ships, but they appear to be out of stock (and Balduccis frequently is also, at least out on the shelf). You'd also have to know how to cut it up (you want it cut up) which can be a bit tricky. There may be other places that sell their rabbit in the area; you'd need to call.

Punjab Dhaba Sweets

One may have been soan papdi. This brand is available locally and quite good also.

Irish pubs in downtown D.C.?

Irish Channel would be my vote, too. The food is better than your other nearby choices of Dubliner and Fado.

New Street Cart Vendors to hit DC

They were there today. Food is fine, but they're awfully SLOW. I was actually going to try out the Soul Food cart nearby at H and NY, but that does not appear to be there yet. Wonder if it ever was...

Good Cuban Sandwich in DC?

I had a Cuban friday at Clyde's on the Walk in Chinatown. It's a special, not on the regular menu. It was good, most sandwiches here are, but a bit thin on the pork. Lots of ham, swiss, and sliced pickles, pressed hot on a grill top and cast iron pan (not a proper heated sandwich presser). Hefty serving.

Another place that has a Cuban is Cafe Atlantico. I've had it, but can't remember much about it. I'm sure it was fine, but I think the bread was toasted rather than pressed.

Kebab and Curry House on Route 1 South

Sorry the biryani didn't meet expectations, I've only had it off the buffet and I thought it was very good, different flavors in every bite (buffet is currently $4.95/lb). If you don't like the chicken karahi either, then we certainly have different tastes. This is the second best karahi I've had in the area after only the defunct Punjab Kabob in Crystal City. Takes about a half hour, though.

By "authentic" I implied greasy, this style of Pakistani is very oily by nature and can pack a punch. Protein and fried carbohydrates floating in an oily curry make my Pak buddies giddy. The only non-oily item I've had there is the rice. The oil probably had soaked in.

I was there last night just before the Ramadan crowd, try the chicken kachori, a spicy minced chicken pie with a flaky crust they seem to have for the season. They may make it with different fillings, so ask. Observers are coming in and loading in on these by the dozen. The chaat papri is also pretty good, but can get soggy on take out. I also saw bhattura on the menu, a rich fried dough made with yogurt and eaten with chick peas, a killer item if done right, but haven't had theirs yet. There is a lamb chop dish, lamb chops masala maybe, that another diner offered me a chop of while I was waiting for takeout once that was very good. I thought it was a karahi dish, served in the metal bowl it is cooked in, but its not on the menu as a karahi dish, might have been a special preparation.

I'd really like to see this place stick around. It is not the best Indo-Pak in the area, but it has its merits. Chains are popping up like weeds on Rt. 1. I can post their takeout menu if anyone is interested.

Kebab and Curry House on Route 1 South

The "stoner" is a mentally slow young man who the owner seems resentful to have to employ, probably a relative. Usually someone runs out and checks on him after he packs the order to make sure he did it right and confirms the bill has been totalled up properly. If there is more than one order, he will find a way to screw it up. These aren't rocket scientists at work here, they now have a takeout menu and it doesn't even have their phone number on it (its the same as it was under previous ownership).

"Russian" and rare Hispanic items at Grand Mart 7 Cnrs

Great tip, didn't even know that was there. Near where the Pearl used to be, looks like.

Middle Eastern Markets

Mediterranean Bakery on S. Pickett Street in Alexandria is what you are looking for, but it is not convenient to a metro.

Brown Curry (Thai)

Thai Chili in DC (near Chinatown Metro). They have alot of unique stuff, Vietnamese friend loves it.

Kebab and Curry House on Route 1 South

Once again, this place is under new ownership as of about two months ago. It is retaining the Kebab and Curry House name for now. The new owners are the same as Aabshar in Springfield and their experience shows--the food has noticeably improved. There is an all day buffet available to-go by the pound, high quality and very reasonable at about $6/lb. The highlights here are the tender and juicy tandoori, so often dry and tough and the biryani with enticing hints of cardamom and cloves. This is a worthwhile buffet. On the weekends, they have a homemade kulfi falooda, an ice-cream like concoction with vermicelli that's quite interesting, if not overly sweet.

But best of all, their amazing karahis. I've tried the chicken and can report it is about as good a karahi as is available in this area. Like all good karahi, takes about 30 minutes to prepare, so order ahead. And go now before it closes, this location would drive even Jose Andres to quit the business.

Cheap Cajun in DC?

So this past weekend I find myself in Old Town with no plans and recalling the memorable meal I had here, headed to 219 to repeat it. After the first spoonful of gumbo, I knew something was amiss. It lacked that something special you just can't explain, but know instantly when its missing. No more picture of "Chef O'Brien from New Orleans" on the restaurant's bulletin board. The waitress confirmed he was no longer cooking here, went back home to Louisiana. The jambalaya was similar to the old version, but again, not quite there. I should have gone more often (or at least more than just once...).

I have since discovered the shrimp and grits at Acadiana, I think its the most authentically good creole dish I've had in a long time. Also have hit Johnny's Half Shell for both their gumbo and the "barbecued shrimp". The gumbo looked the part, but no complexity of flavor whatsoever, just heat. As far as the barbecue shrimp, they're not even trying. I can see how people in suits may not want to deal with the real thing, but why not just call it something else, because barbecue shrimp it was not. I left the place feeling lied to.

Aberdeen help!

meh? Is that a good "meh" or a bad "meh"? I've been curious about this place since I read on Coop's site that Clarence used to work there.

Downtown DC Lunches in 30 minutes/10 bucks

Mayur Kabob House 1108 K St has an Indo-Pak buffet for about $8. The best time to go are thursdays and fridays when they put out tandoori chicken.

"Russian" and rare Hispanic items at Grand Mart 7 Cnrs

The Eden Supermercado (at the old Staples location) on Route 1 South has a large selection of canned and jarred Peruvian specialties, you might want to check it out. I go there occasionally for their seafood section, excellent whole fresh red snappers for $5/lb. Not quite as good a selection as the Asian markets, but blows away the chains. They'd get more non-Latino shoppers if people knew about their offerings.

Valrhona Cocoa

I got a box at the Williams Sonoma in Old Town Alexandria about a month ago, $10 for about 8 oz. Others might carry it too. Here is their store locator:

Best Fried Yuca Found

Taqueria Nacionale's yucca is also exceptional, best thing there actually. Golden, crunchy exterior with a tender center.

Alexandria, Va. King St Locale

There's no middle ground in Old Town Alexandria, places are either good or bad. The good have been pretty much listed herein. I would add A La Lucia for a great and reasonably priced Italian lunch, not on King Street, but a nice walk near the north end.

Did you get suckered into Cafe Europa with their sidewalk board announcing a $19 three course special before 6 pm? If not, count yourself forewarned, quite gross.

Dinner in Woodbridge?

Near PM proper, I like Taste of Tandoor in Woodbridge for basic Indian. Order off the menu. They do have a lunch buffet that's ok, but prepared dishes are best here.

Somewhat chow-ish is the new My Karma in Lorton, about 5 minutes up Route 1. Order from the "Indian Style Chinese" portion of the menu for something a bit different.

Both places are well within your budget and have websites.

SF Hound visiting DC - what do you think of my list?

Stay in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area for walking access to good restaurants (many you already list) and the sights. Agree with others to skip Five Guys and Ben's Chili Bowl. Skip Italian, Chinese, and Seafood (except for perhaps a crabcake) as cuisines, no improvement there over what you have. Try at least one Ethiopian, Etete or Dukem's, vegetarian platter or doro wat. In the same area (U St, easily accessible via metro from Chinatown), Pyramids for homestyle Moroccan, try the carrot salad and bastilla for under $10 (U St/Cardozo stop, NOT U St/Shaw). A bit closer to the White House, Breadline for sandwiches and salad, outdoor seating as well. Jaleo, Zatinya for sure.

Cheap good food in Baltimores Inner Harbor Area

Second Afghan Kabob for their delicious and moderately priced kabobs and daily specials as well. You could end up eating here everyday.

Looking for the best Middle Eastern food....

Med Gourmet Market is a favorite place of mine for a very casual (patio furniture) and cheap lunch. Very limited menu, though, they have kabobs, shawarmas and, of course, that great fired oven that puts out excellent zataar and lahmehs (minced meat on bread). I personally like the the safehas and fatayers at the Med Bakery on Pickett better, but if you don't want to put up with the crowds there, this is the place. Very low key, they were open for two years before I even knew they were there. Lebanese are some of the best people on the planet, go and go often!

looking for good pita bread in NoVA

Mediterranean Bakery on S. Pickett St. They bake all day long, you'll likely get a warm bag. Get it off the rack in the rear, comes in small and large sizes. Their hummus is good enough to stop making your own. Frequently crowded.

If your nearer to Springfield, the Lebanese Mediterranean Gourmet Market, tucked away in a nondescript strip mall (same one as Sampan Cafe) on 6122 Franconia has bread, but I think the Med Bakery is better.

Palacio's Chorizo

Haven't gotten some lately, but when I have, it was at Balducci's.

Taqueria Nationale

Where is Lucky's?

Cheap Cajun in DC?

219 in Old Town Alexandria is under new ownership and back to serving Creole (they were Thai for a while) and its pretty good, nothing at all like the old 219 which wasn't worth a hoot. The current chef is from New Orleans. Not as cheap as you are looking for, but definitely cheaper than Acadiana (for lunch, at least). I've had the jambalaya and gumbo and both measured up nicely, much better than I expected. The red beans and rice, well, I've had better, but I think the place has potential and I'm looking forward to a second visit. The new owners are Asian and are in-house running the place and aim to please--the service was very attentive. When I mentioned to the hostess that we were from Louisiana, she offered a complimentary bowl of gumbo, how often does that happen?

Santa Maria Style Barbeque?

Su Pollo, a Peruvian style rotisserie at 8741 Richmond Highway, has a marinated tri-tip on its menu that is cooked over oak wood. Its decent, though probably not exactly what you are looking for.

Best Popeyes in NoVA?

I can't comment on the biscuits specifically because I don't eat them, but agree w/ MikeR that the King Street location's chicken is a bit better than the rest in Alexandria. There does seem to be a noticeable difference.

Inexpensive + live music (piano?)

Thai Chili of all places, near the MCI Center, used to have a jazz pianist on thursday evenings, you might want to check into that if its convenient. 219 Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria is back to serving Creole food and as a native I can say it is pretty good, they have a bar upstairs (smoking, though) with jazz several times a week.


I haven't had it there yet, but Evening Star Cafe on Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria claims to have one:

Sounds like someone oughta hit all these places, take some pics, and write a report...