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Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

Here is a link to my trip report for anyone interested: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/902655

Trip Report - Great DC Visit

I want to say thanks to all the great advice we received from fellow chowhounders for our trip to Washington. We were staying in an ideal location in Chinatown. Ideal in that it was close to most of our restaurant options, not as ideal for the groups of crazies that like to hang out near the gallery place metro!

We landed around lunch time and after checking into the hotel early, decided to have sushi at SEI on7th street. We had three rolls and could have had a few more as portions were small. We tried the Snow White, Fish &Chips, and Capitals. The descriptions sound great with unique ingredients but they all fell short. All were quite bland, with the Fish & Chips being the best. For $45, I was disappointed.

We took the metro out to Foggy Bottom to Trader Joes. I love this place. So many great options. We wished we had a refrigerator. We bought bunch of goodies, including a cheap bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for a pre-dinner drink. After some site seeing and the bottle of wine, we went to Zaytinya for supper. This was the first of three of Jose Andres restaurants we tried and this was the best by far. We tried the falafel, which was awesome. We almost came back for lunch to eat them again. Next up was mercimek koftesi, which was a tasty lentil patty served in lettuce leaves with some preserved lemon yogurt. This might have been the single best taste of the trip. The next three items were good but didn't live up to the first two. We tried the Brussel sprouts, shrimp with dill and a special of pulled lamb in fillo, which sounded so much better that it tasted. I forgot to mention the pita, which was so good , I couldn't stop eating it. Tossed that down with a nice Greek white wine then called it a night.

Next day started with some site seeing then lunch at Rasika. We love Indian and were excited to try this place. We had the much loved palak chaat, which lived up to expectations and turned out to be the best dish of the meal. We also had the dal makhani, tikka masala, some rice and naan. The dal and tikka masala had so much cream that we had trouble finishing it all.

We visited he Capitol after lunch then off to Jaleo for supper. We had the tomato bread with manchego, which was so good, we ordered another. The endive with goat cheese was the next best item we tried. Also had the asparagus with romesco sauce, shrimp with garlic and patatas bravas. The last three were only decent compared to the two. Since this place came in higher than Zaytinya for a simple sized meal, it just didn't feel worth it.

We went to the zoo the next day then walked Lebanese Taverna for lunch. Had some tasty pita, not Zaytinya tasty, but still good. We split a falafel sandwich and a chicken shawarma. They were both decent but not worth travelling for. Back to the mall area for site seeing then decided we needed a drink. We went to the patio at Jaleo to get out of the sun. I had the best gin and tonic in my life. For $14, it needed to be good. Had he London Dry, with a grapefruit flavor and found my new summertime drink. Anyone have the recipe?

Supper was at our third Jose Andres place. Oyamel was the worst of the three. Service was poor and food heavy. Had the beet salad, which turned out to being the bet bite. Had the most salty Brussel sprouts ever. Had tortilla with shredded turkey and mole, meatballs with chipotle sauce and a cochinita pibil taco. Wasn't crazy about the two margaritas I tried and I normally love margaritas. Would not be back to his place. I know I was warned but we chose it because of the easy walk.

Saturday was an all day shopping day for my wife. Ugh! Lunch was crappy food court. We drove like maniacs to get back to the city for Birch and Barley. What a great value. Had a ton of great IPAs, the chicken sausage flatbread and pappardelle with goat for me and fig flatbread and goat cheese cavatelli for my wife. Couldn't leave with dessert so I tried the lemon chantilly and my wife had the cookies and confections. Overall his place was my favourite. The beer was great, the food great and was an overall good value.

Overall a fantastic trip. You have a wonderful city and we can't wait to come back again. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

Any good food options near the zoo? Wife may want to go see the pandas and was thinking of doing this Friday afternoon. Thinking lunch nearby then the zoo. Walking would be best but could travel a bit by metro.

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

Going to shop at Leesburg Premium Outlets on Saturday. Anything worth walking to for lunch once I there? Heard parking sucks and once parked, I don't want to get into the car again until it is time to go.

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

Decided to cash in a free car rental for Saturday. Wife wants to go to the outlets. Saturday is filled now assuming lunch will be at a food court. Good thing I have Birch and Barley that night to make up for it.

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

How about. Place called Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Seems to be right on a subway stop? Any decent food nearby?

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

I won't have a car and it seems like quite an ordeal getting there if I am reading the website correctly. Over an hour on the subway and a bus ride. Nothing closer that is on a metro line? La Sandia looks like he type of place I'm looking for though.

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

Wife wants a big mall shopping experience. You folks have so many stores that we don't have. I might be wrong, but Georgetown does not sound like what she is looking for.

I want tacos and margaritas one of the meals. Wineo gave El Centro some good reviews and not many like Oyamel. Need another option if neither of them is the place to go.

I thought Zaytinya received good reviews here. Very unique menu compared to the greek places from my area of the world and the small bites means more things to try.

I'm not partial to any of the areas really. Just trying to line up the restaurants with the touristy things we will be doing.

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

So here is my updated plans:

Wed- lunch at SEI, supper at Zaytinya
Thurs- lunch at Rasika, supper at Jaleo
Fri- lunch open, supper at El Centro E.F.
Sat- lunch near shopping, supper at Birch and Barley

I need a lunch suggestion for Friday near the Air and Space museum. I also need a Saturday lunch suggestion near a shopping area. What would you choose?

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

I really like the look of Sei. Not many options for sushi in my area. I looked into Mitisiam previous. Pretty mixed reviews it seems but quite the unique menu.

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

I love a good thin crust pizza. Matchbox is close to where we are staying. Any good? Other places to get some good pizza and some better than average beer?

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

Pearl Dive sounds great. It is making the list. Love southern style food and my wife loves oysters. Thanks for the recommendation. How about some lunch choices near the touristy spots?

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

El Centro DF looks great to me. Drink menu looks fun as well. Depending on the day of the week, it sounds like we could make a night of it here since there is music later in the week. What are your favorite dishes here? Thanks for the suggestion.

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

Estadio looks very good. I already have two tapas places (though a good recommendation might get me to switch out Oyamel) and wonder if I want a third. Small plates seems to be a theme in Washington.

I had Cork on the list as a possibility. Is the food there worth making a night of it or do you recommend eating elsewhere then finishing the night at Cork?

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

We have no true Mexican food where I live now. Closest is chain tex-mex food, which isn't close at all. We use to live in the San Francisco Bay Area and had great Mexican there. Went back to visit in May and really liked Tacolicious. It doesn't get a ton of love on the Bay Area board, but I thought it was great. I'm a big fan of tacos, ceviche, magaritas... I thought Oyamel fit the bill for a few reasons: we would be able to try a number of things due to the tapas style of the restaurant, looked like it had a fun atmosphere. and it is very convenient to where we are staying. I'm certainly open to other suggestions but note that we do not have a car and would be more interested in places we could easily walk to from a metro station.

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

My wife and I are flying into Washington for a few days mid May. We like big, bold flavors and would pick ethnic choices based on our limited selection here in Moncton, New Brunswick. I have Oyamel booked for Wednesday supper, Rasika for Thursday lunch, Jaleo for Thursday supper, and Birch and Barley for Saturday supper. We are staying near Chinatown but are not limited to meals in that area. Wife does not want Ethiopian and I would rather stray away from Italian. Wide open to any other suggestions.

I am looking for a fun Friday night spot where we can have some drinks and linger over our food for the evening. I have a number of more expensive choices booked for the other meals so I would be most interested in a lower price point than mentioned above. I'm thinking some sort of wine bar that doesn't break the bank? Maybe a good meal with a wine bar close by for afterwards?

I am also interested in a few lunch spots near the big tourist spots, but can travel for a meal worth travelling for.

What do you suggest? Thanks!

Overindulgence in the Bay Area - Trip Report

I am very late with this review but life has gotten in the way and I am a procrastinator. We had a short trip to San Francisco in May to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary and followed it up by continuing on to Cancun. We had wonderful food and some great drinks but it was seeing old friends that made the trip.

We stayed with a good friend who lives on the Noe Valley and Mission border. Do you folks in San Francisco know how good you have it? I’m sure you do. Within a 10 block radius, there are some of the best restaurants and bars I have ever had the chance to visit. Food paradise. If I could sum the trip up in one word, it would be overindulgence, but in a wonderful way! We hit up some of our favorite spots and discovered a few new ones. If you are a food lover, and I assume you are if you are on this site, you can’t go wrong with this itinerary.

Wednesday:

Went to Tacolicious for lunch. I know this place doesn’t get a ton of love but we thought it was fantastic. There is nothing remotely close to Mexican where I live (Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada) so that adds a few bonus points to any Mexican restaurant. Really though, who can resist tacos and margaritas, especially as your first meal in San Francisco. We shared the shot-and-a-beer braised chicken, cochinita pibil, traditional carnitas and chicken en mole Colorado tacos and a couple of pitchers of house margaritas. Really loved the habanero salsa with the chips. Great first start!

Had a drink at Monk’s Kettle before supper. I am a big beer fan so I was looking forward to this place. IPAs with huge hops are my favorites. I had a Hop flight that was decent but not outstanding. This was a great neighborhood bar and I’m sure we would be regulars.

Supper was at Incanto, which was as good as always. I love this place but my wife was a bit nervous with the innards and all. I’m not a huge innards fan myself but the food at Incanto is very approachable and always great, at least in the visits I have gone. Nice to see Chris Cosentino in the kitchen. We had the asparagus with blood sausage, Fava beans, radish & pecorino Lucano, a small salumi platter, Handkerchief pasta & rustic pork ragù, Rotelli, dandelion pesto, pinenuts & pecorino, Pork shoulder, turnips, oranges & mizuna and Spring lamb, cardoons, radish, olives & mint. Not innards heavy to appease my wife. We also had way too many drinks, which was also a trend on this trip. After way too many margaritas at lunch, drinks before supper, drinks with supper, and a long flight to start the day, we were very tired after this one. Great first day in the Bay Area!

Thursday:

Went to Tartine Bakery for breakfast. The morning bun was great but was very disappointed in the coffee and severely overcooked frangipane croissant. Still this place is a given if you are in the area.

Grabbed the bus to the Academy of Science. What a great spot. The kids would have loved it. Toured around for the morning then went to lunch at The Moss Room inside the Academy of Science. I had a little gem salad with various beans, bacon and tarragon vinaigrette. Wife had a beet and arugula salad. The salads were good but the star was the vegetarian spring rolls we shared. Crispy spring rolls you wrapped in lettuce leaves with mint, glass noodles and a fantastic dipping sauce. One of the best museum meals we have ever had.

Spent the afternoon shopping at Union Square. Had an unremarkable coffee at Mocca down Maiden Lane.

Joined our friends and went to a neighborhood bar, Moby Dick for a drink before supper. They serve mini Jif peanut butter containers to go with the pretzels at the bar. That was a first for me. So many great bars in San Francisco.

Had a wonderful supper at Frances. Our friends are regulars here so we had some special treatment, which was nice. We had the best seats in the house in the front window table. Tried almost the entire menu. Started with the Panisse Frites, Charred Spring Onion Dip, and the Applewood Smoked Bacon Beignets. The Panisse Frites were out of this world good. No idea how Chef Melissa Perello could make them so creamy on the inside with the lightest yet crispy coated. Could eat them all day long. For the next course we had another little gem salad with avocado, beets and kumquats, the warm spinach salad with bacon vinaigrette, the Dungeness crab risotto and a great asparagus soup. The soup and the kumquats in the salad stood out. Main courses we had the bavette steak, quail with wilted baby kale salad and halibut with smoked fingerling potatoes. We also had a side order of spring onion and faro gratin. This was amazing. Think French onion soup minus the soup. So good. For dessert we shared the chocolate almond clafoutis. That salted caramel ice cream was to die for. Overall a fantastic meal and I think a must if you can get reservations.

Friday:

Went to Knead Patisserie for breakfast. Had the pomme d’amore, cinnamon roll, Lemon Ricotta Poptart and honey biscuit. All were great with the pomme d’amore being the standout.

Lunch was at Pizzeria Delfina. We shared the Amatriciana pizza consisting of Guanciale, chili, pecorino, tomato, and black pepper. It was very tasty with a great crust but it was the second course of 3 huge meatballs that stole the show. I wish I could make a meatball that was that flavorful.

We then stopped at Bi-Rite Market to shop then continued down the street to get some ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery. Had the salted caramel and balsamic strawberry. Walked over to Dolores Park to enjoy our ice cream. The flavors were so intense.

Had a beer at the Irish Bank before wandering through Chinatown. Back to the Mission to get ready for supper.

Stopped for a beer at Doc’s Clock, another neighborhood bar. Happened to be their anniversary so beer was dirt cheap. Loved it.

Supper was at Mission Chinese. Put our names on the list then crossed over to Beauty Bar for a drink while we waited. After a short wait, we were seated at Mission Chinese. This place was so good. They do not dumb down the flavors. My tongue was on fire, but in a good way. It was good to go with people who knew what to order. There was no way I would have ordered all the things we tried but I am so glad we did. We ate the Ma Po Tofu, Kung Pao Pastrami, Mongolian Long Beans, Shanghainese Chow Mein, Sizzling Cumin Lamb, a veal dish that was not on the menu and they comped us a clam dish, which while good, was my least favorite. Those long beans had so much Szechuan peppercorns that tongue was numb. Can’t believe how inexpensive this place is for the quality of the food. I would be here all the time if I was a local.

Saturday:

Went to Fiore Caffe for a quick coffee and pastry. The almond croissant and chocolate croissant were very tasty and the coffee nice and strong, better than our experience at Tartine. I’m told that they make many items in house and get others from a place called Filipe’s(?).

Next stop was the much anticipated Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. This was our regular Saturday routine when we lived in the Bay Area. We got there at a good time before the crowd starting growing. We hit Blue Bottle for some drip coffee first. It was good but very mild, while I prefer my coffee to be stronger. We then got in line for a porchetta sandwich from RoliRoti. It was quite good. But maybe not as earth shattering as the love it gets on this board. I would have liked to try the chicken as they looked great. We then wandered the market taking in all the beautiful produce and wishing we could take it home with us. We grabbed some Secret Breakfast ice cream (bourbon and corn flakes) from Humphry Slocombe. I’m not sure if my taste buds were shot from the night before at Mission Chinese or if the ice cream was very frozen but my tongue tingled the whole time. Loved the market but my only regret was that we were a few weeks short of getting peaches from Frog Hollow. I have dreams about these peaches. Taking a bite and having the juice run down your arm. To me, Frog Hollow peaches sum up California.

We then wandered along the waterfront for a while and the made our way to the Tenderloin for lunch at Shalimar. Unfortunately it wasn’t as great as I remembered. Had the chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, rogan josh, rice and three types of bread (regular naan, garlic naan and aloo paratha). The regaular was the best with the garlic being the worst, as the garlic was basically raw. Not our best stop but not terrible either.

We headed out to Millbrae to check into a hotel for an early morning flight to Cancun to continue the rest of our anniversary trip. A wonderful visit and made me miss California even more. Without a doubt, we will be back.

Sep 30, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

I'm not sure if the platillo maya is available at lunch. It only shows on the supper menu. I would order similar options anyways.

Thanks for the info about Canteen. I will call and get reservations as early as possible. Menu looks great.

Even bad XLB are impossible to get where I live and I'm a fan. Think of any other place to try them based on my itinerary?

I like the idea you put out there for Fillmore. I'll look into it a bit.

Jan 30, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

Too bad about You's. Hopefully they still have them. I am a big fan of baked pork buns, any pork buns really :)

Turkish Kitchen looks very tasty. It is a possibility.

Jan 30, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

It does have an interesting menu and vegan/vegetarian options are fairly limited where I live but the non-vegan/vegetarian options seem a bit limited.

Jan 30, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

Hi Robert. Revival looks interesting. What are some of your favorite dishes there?

Pizza at Cheese Board will likely be on my list.

Jan 30, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

Caffe 817 looks like what I am looking for. Plus they are open nice and early.

The Local Butcher might be a possibility. The sandwiches look great on their website. I'm a sucker for a good meatloaf sandwich.

Jan 30, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions so far. Here is my modified plans. Ready for the next round of suggestions.

Wed:
Arrive after supper. Plan to go to Trappist and enjoy some great beer. Likely eat something there.

Thurs:
Tartine Bakery for breakfast. - I dream of this place!
Explore Bi-Rite Market
Take a look at the murals in the Mission (never did this while we lived there)
Lunch at Poc Chuc - Never been. Good choice or should we go with something else?
Head to Ferry Plaza Market to explore - Only ever been on Sat mornings. Hoping we will be able to explore inside without huge crowds.
Walk to Chinatown. Get the Xiao Long Bao from Bund Shanghai, Egg Custard Tart from Golden Gate Bakery and You’s Dim Sum for a Baked Pork Bun .
Supper with friends at Barbacco

Fri:
Breakfast near hotel. Good coffee. Just looking for muffins, baked goods. Suggestions?
Public transit to Academy of Sciences.
Spend morning.
Public transit to Shalimar for lunch.
Wife wants to shop so off to Union Square area. Need some snack ideas here.
Supper with friends at Canteen if we can get a reservation. - How far in advance do they take reservations? Better choice?

Sat:
Morning at Ferry Plaza Market.
Lunch at Lers Ros
Need some afternoon plans. Hoping for a walk somewhere with sample a bunch of small tastes as the focus of the trip.
Supper at Bocadillos

Sun through Thurs - out of town.

Fri:
Staying in Millbrae at the Fairfield Inn
Need breakfast spot
Lunch - Figured this is the time for dim sum and looks like Hong Kong Flower Lounge is rated highly
BART to Berkeley for the afternoon. Need snack suggestions
Supper somewhere in Berkeley. Like the Corso and Gather suggestions. Which would you pick or would you choose something else?

Jan 30, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

I am a huge fan of corn beef hash and southern food in general but this would not be a place my wife would want to go. Plus I think we need something a bit faster as I want to get to the Academy of Sciences somewhat early. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Jan 29, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

Thanks for the great suggestions.

Then I will be having Blue Bottle at least twice!

Bocadillos officially made my list. I think I will plug it into the Sat supper. I'll take a look at Comstock too.

Jan 29, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

Thanks for the great suggestions.

I have read both of those threads before but forgot about them. I added a few things for Chinatown to my Thursday afternoon.

Since I already plan to spend some time in the Mission, I think I would like to explore another neighborhood.

I added Lers Ros as a possibility for Sat night.

We tried the Izakaya craze (or at least it was at the time) in Vancouver. Maybe it was the places we went, but I didn't love the food.

Jan 29, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

Both of the Berkeley spots look great and I do like the convenience of easy access from BART.

Bocadillo looks fantastic. We cannot get Spanish food where I live. Just to clarify, I don't need to restaurants to be tapas style small bite places. The small bites is in reference to snacks I would like while going through the various neighborhoods.

I have had Blue Bottle coffee many times and it will be definitely on the list at some point, likely on Sat morning at the Ferry Plaza Market. Are they there on Thursdays too?

Jan 29, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Small Bite Suggestions For San Francisco Itinerary

Hi Everyone. My wife and I are flying to San Francisco for a vacation. We lived in the East Bay (Dublin) for a few years, but currently live in New Brunswick, Canada. This trip is to visit some friends and enjoy some of our favorite restaurants, with some newer placed sprinkled in. Take a look at our initial itinerary and offer up suggestions on meals you would change. I am particularly interested in small bites between meals, close by the areas we will be visiting. Strong preference for ethnic foods as they are hard to come by where we live. We are staying in Oakland at the City Center Marriott and will be relying on public transportation and walking to get around. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Wed:
Arrive after supper. Plan to go to Trappist and enjoy some great beer. Likely eat something there.

Thurs:
Tartine Bakery for breakfast. - I dream of this place!
Explore Bi-Rite Market
Take a look at the murals in the Mission (never did this while we lived there)
Lunch at Poc Chuc - Never been. Good choice or should we go with something else?
Head to Ferry Plaza Market to explore - Only ever been on Sat mornings. Hoping we will be able to explore inside without huge crowds.
Walk to Chinatown.to eat Egg Custard Tart from Golden Gate Bakery. What other small tastes do we want in Chinatown?
Supper with friends at Barbacco - Never been but menu and prices looks great. We get the choice of restaurants. Barbacco seems to get great reviews.

Fri:
Breakfast near hotel. Suggestions?
Public transit to Academy of Sciences.
Spend morning.
Public transit to Shalimar. - Only been to the one on Jones and loved it. Any location closer?
Wife wants to shop so off to Union Square area. Need some snack ideas here.
Supper with friends at Canteen if we can get a reservation. - How far in advance do they take reservations? Better choice?

Sat:
Morning at Ferry Plaza Market.
Assume this covers breakfast and lunch.
Need some afternoon plans. Hoping for a walk somewhere with sample a bunch of small tastes as the focus of the trip.
Need a supper spot. Something Asian I think. Suggestions?

Sun through Thurs - out of town.

Fri:
Staying in Millbrae at the Fairfield Inn
Need breakfast spot
Lunch - Figured this is the time for dim sum and looks like Hong Kong Flower Lounge is rated highly
BART to Berkeley for the afternoon. Need snack suggestions
Supper somewhere in Berkeley. Need suggestions. Been to Chez Panisse many times but would like to try something different.

Jan 29, 2012
JonH in San Francisco Bay Area

Cordoba, Argentina

Will be spending a few weeks on business in Cordoba, Argentina. I don't see anything on the boards. Can anyone tell me about the food options in Cordoba? Thanks!

Paris Restaurant Guide Book Like Bistros of Paris

In previous trips to Paris, we used the restaurant guide book titled Bistros of Paris by Robert and Barbara Hamburger. It was a great reference in that it indicated restaurants that were good value for the money, showed traditional versus modern bistros, broken out by arrondissement and most importantly for me listed the best dishes the restaurants had to offer, translated into English. We had some of our best meals in Paris by trusting this guide. Le Florimond brings back great memories of those cabbage rolls. Sadly, it is from 2001 and is outdated, though I'm sure many of the restaurants are still great. Does anyone have a suggestion for another restaurant guide book with similar features but a more recent release date?

Thanks!

Sep 04, 2010
JonH in France