m

merrieg's Profile

Title Last Reply

Between College Park and Herndon

Just back from a great dinner with my friends at East Pearl in Rockville. It was mutually convenient and not too hard to find. The place was jam-packed, and we quickly understood why -- everything was terrific. We started with eggrolls and the spicy shrimp dumplings, which could have been spicier but were beautifully fresh. Friend A is nuts for Peking duck; it was divine and we devoured it to the last scrap. I suggested the eggplant with ground pork in casserole, which was everything I hoped it would be. My non-eggplant-eating friend B scarfed down the Hunan beef; I did manage to get a chopstick in edgewise, and it was definitely a dish I would fight for a larger share of next time. All in all, a wonderful choice. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

Jul 29, 2012
merrieg in Washington DC & Baltimore

Between College Park and Herndon

And have my friends blame me for her debauchery for the next 4 years? I hardly think so! ;-)

These all sound like good suggestions. Is Joes Noodle House hard to find, or are you just talking about the relative distance from the endpoints? Because it doesn't seem any further than the others.

Jul 23, 2012
merrieg in Washington DC & Baltimore

Between College Park and Herndon

Hi, all. I recently moved to Herndon but haven't done much exploring outside the immediate area. My NY friends are taking their daughter on a college tour and will be in College Park on 7/29. We would like to meet for dinner somewhere mutually convenient, good, and not too expensive. Major cuisines of interest would be Chinese, Japanese, or Italian; other suggestions are welcome, but my friends don't eat Indian and I don't care for Ethiopian. Remember, too, we're all strangers to the area, so places that are pretty accessible to major roads would be appreciated. Thanks for the help!

Jul 22, 2012
merrieg in Washington DC & Baltimore

Moving to Herndon

Thanks, everyone, for keeping the thread going. I have now relocated to Herndon and am settling in. Haven't had much chance to explore, but I did get to Charcoal Kebab, as was recommended. I really enjoyed the kubideh and spicy spinach curry, and they sure give you a ton of food. Is the Harvest of India in that shopping center related to the Supper Club of India, which I liked?

Another question: I was going to make my foray into Salvadoran food at Tipicos Gloria, but chickened out because the menu is only in Spanish and I'm not familiar with the cuisine. Any hints as to what I should get there?

Apr 25, 2012
merrieg in Washington DC & Baltimore

Moving to Herndon

I started with the shrimp bisque with crabmeat. It had good flavor but wasn't hot, and there was only a speck of crab. For entree I had sauteed pork loin with brown sauce and mushrooms, which came with spaetzle. It was . . . fine. I didn't love it or hate it. For dessert I went with German chocolate cake, which was unlike any I ever had before. I daresay it was more authentic than the version I'm used to, but it was dry and too sweet. The best part was the smear of tangy raspberry sauce and the homemade whipped cream that came with it. As I said earlier, the coffee was great, strong and dark. But all of this, without alcohol, including tax and tip, ran me about $40, which is more than I would expect to pay for a meal like that. I guess it wouldn't bother me so much if I had enjoyed it more.

Mar 31, 2012
merrieg in Washington DC & Baltimore

Moving to Herndon

I'm just back from my successful apartment hunting in Herndon and wanted to thank all of you for the suggestions and information.

I had a terrific dinner at Paradise -- actually, the samosas weren't anything special, but my entree, chicken maharaja, was so yummy I carted the leftovers home to Philly to enjoy. They were extremely friendly and accommodating, and I was sad to see the place was virtually empty. I plan to support them often and look forward to working my way through the menu.

I liked the pizza at Manhattan Pizza -- good crust and fresh toppings, although it suffered from the too-common problem of not being reheated all the way through. Next time I'll tell them to leave it in the oven longer.

I also sampled the kubideh at Moby Dick in the same shopping center. I wasn't that impressed, but I can see myself winding up there frequently anyway due to proximity. I'll probably find one item I like and stick with that.

My dinner at Euro Bistro was just average and seemed overpriced. The service was friendly but not overly efficient. I will say the coffee was fabulous.

Lastly, I had breakfast at Virginia Kitchen, which was very disappointing. Loved their spicy sausage, but the pancakes were tough, the hash browns greasy and undercooked, and I hate breakfast places that don't use real butter.

I am heading south permanently in about 2 weeks and will happily continue my explorations then.

Mar 30, 2012
merrieg in Washington DC & Baltimore

Moving to Herndon

Wow, thanks for all the great responses, and for clarification on the two clock towers. I'm planning a house-hunting trip in a week or two and will start checking some of these places out. I like the recommendations for Salvadoran and Peruvian, which are pretty new to me, but is there any straight-ahead Mexican?

Mar 09, 2012
merrieg in Washington DC & Baltimore

Moving to Herndon

I'm relocating to Herndon from Philadelphia in a month or two. I've been to Herndon a few times, and have enjoyed meals at Supper Club of India, TurCuisine, and Rubino's, but I'd like to have a wider repertoire. I'm open to most cuisines, although I don't dig Ethiopian.

Also, is there a good farmer's market in the area?

Mar 08, 2012
merrieg in Washington DC & Baltimore

Adamstown -- Where for PA Dutch Food and PIE!

I'm going to be doing some antiquing next Friday in Adamstown. There used to be a great little diner on the main drag that served authentic Pennsylvania Dutch specialties and awesome homemade pie, but the last time I was there it had been taken over and corporatized. Is there anywhere else in the area I can go for some chicken bott boi and apricot crumb? I know I can always get a bratwurst at Stoudt's, but I'm hoping for something a little more satisfying. I'm willing to make a little drive, although keep in mind I'm a Center City gal and not overly familiar with the area. Thanks for any thoughts.

Jul 22, 2011
merrieg in Pennsylvania

apple pie for thanksgiving -- center city or kop

Thanks to everybody for the responses. We got a great pie from the Le Bus outlet in King of Prussia, and they will be our go-to place from now on. But they only make them at holidays, so I'll also have to check out the Bakery House for other occasions.

Nov 28, 2010
merrieg in Philadelphia

apple pie for thanksgiving -- center city or kop

I like Costco's pie, but I'm not paying $50 to join just so I can buy one ;-)

Nov 17, 2010
merrieg in Philadelphia

NOLA for Christmas

I'm calendar-challenged ;-} But we are coming in on the 22nd.

Nov 17, 2010
merrieg in New Orleans

NOLA for Christmas

We are coming in on the afternoon of Tuesday the 22nd and flying out on Sunday the 26th (enough time for brunch!). We have no activities planned as yet, although we're both fond of antiquing and house tours.

Yes, I really do want to concentrate on Cajun/Creole (I'm still dreaming of a crawfish etoufee I had in a place I can't remember on Bourbon St), but I don't want to be closed to possibilities if somebody has a great suggestion otherwise.

Thanks for the tips so far.

Nov 17, 2010
merrieg in New Orleans

NOLA for Christmas

Hi everyone, my sister and I (NY and Philly, respectively) are heading to New Orleans for Christmas. Neither of us has been there for at least 20 years and we're really excited! I plan to read the boards extensively, but I'd appreciate any specific guidance on spots near our hotel (the Sheraton near the French Quarter) and on spots that will be open or having special meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas itself. We like cheap neighborhood joints just as much as fancy places (if not more!), but we would probably like to have at least one blow-out meal. Ethnic cuisines are certainly welcome, but we definitely feel the need for some good local flavors. Guide me -- we're hungry putty in your hands! Thanks.

Nov 16, 2010
merrieg in New Orleans

apple pie for thanksgiving -- center city or kop

I live near Rittenhouse Sq, and I'm putting together Thanksgiving dinner for my dad and sister in King of Prussia this year. I need a decent apple pie for dessert. I no longer bake pies because my crust never turns out right, but I'm nearly always disappointed by commercial pies, which often commit the cardinal sins of being too sweet and having no lemon. My dad, on the other hand, is fine with the gummy cardboard pies from Acme and will reject anything too "gourmet." Can anybody help us find something we might both enjoy?

Nov 16, 2010
merrieg in Philadelphia

Breakfast near Convention Center

We went to Cafe Lift, which was recommended on another thread by rabidog. It was an easy walk from my SIL's hotel (if somewhat alarming for a direction-challenged out-of-town visitor), and the food was terrific. I had the cannoli French toast, my dad had huevos rancheros, and my SIL had the lemon ricotta pancakes. Too bad the service was so cold and inefficient. Although the restaurant was empty when we got there (and only half-full by the time we left), they wouldn't let us sit at a table for four, but squeezed us into a tiny table for two with an extra chair. I had to steal a fork from a nearby table. And they snatched away my SIL's plate before she swallowed her last bite. At least the good part of getting the bum's rush that way was that she got back to the conference in plenty of time to rock her discussion panel.

Dec 05, 2009
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Breakfast near Convention Center

I'm really looking for something within a reasonable walk -- say 6-8 blocks.

Dec 01, 2009
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Breakfast near Convention Center

My sister-in-law is coming into Philadelphia this weekend for a conference at the Convention Center and wants to meet me for breakfast on Saturday. She doesn't have a lot of time -- can meet me at 10, but must be back by noon. None of my go-to breakfast places seem to fill the bill, and I hesitate to suggest RTM (although I've recommended it if she has another chance) because of how crowded it gets on Saturdays. Any suggestions?

Dec 01, 2009
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Anniversary dinner in Atlantic City vicinity

I just got back from AC. Had a spectacular dinner at Bobby Flay Steak. The lobster avocado cocktail was one of the best things I ever ate. The spice-rubbed steak was terrific too -- I had the NY strip and my sister had the ribeye. Both had a beautiful char and were perfectly cooked to order. I didn't care for the (very sweet) steak sauce, but IMO it wasn't necessary. We were both stuffed, couldn't even look at dessert. The restaurant is very striking and very comfortable. We didn't linger, but the lounge looked like a great place to hang out as well.

We also went to the Old Waterway Inn, which was recommended by someone on this board. It has a nice deck overlooking the water, but the food wasn't anything special. Pretty good lobster bisque, average crab cakes, massively overly garlicked mashed potatoes, your basic steamed veggies.

Jun 25, 2008
merrieg in Mid-Atlantic

2 Nights in Atlantic City

The Old Waterway Inn looks excellent. Thanks for the tip!

Now how about a few breakfast/lunch places on the Boardwalk?

May 29, 2008
merrieg in Mid-Atlantic

2 Nights in Atlantic City

My sister and I are going to be staying at the Showboat on a Sunday and Monday night next month. I'd really like to take her out for a special meal on one of those nights -- preferably someplace on the water or at least with a water view. I have a car and am willing to drive, but am not at all familiar with the area, so approximate times/distances would be helpful.

We will probably be sticking pretty close to the beach and the boardwalk the rest of the time, so recommendations for cheap and tasty in the area would be great -- especially breakfast near the casino. I am familiar with the recommendations for the White House, Chef Vola's, and Angeloni's. Is Cafe 2825 still there? How about Girasole?

Thanks for your help.

May 24, 2008
merrieg in Mid-Atlantic

Anyone been to Viva in Feasterville?

Well, apparently I'm geographically challenged as well as prejudiced ;-} . I'm a Center City girl, and that's just not a direction I ever travel in. Thanks for the info.

Apr 25, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Anyone been to the Bridgeport Rib House?

I was there once with my dad and sister. I enjoyed the baby back ribs, but nothing else. The chicken was dry. The regular ribs were fatty and chewy. The onion rings were out of a bag.

Apr 24, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Anyone been to Viva in Feasterville?

Some friends and I decided to try this place on Saturday night. The menu looks very interesting, but it seems a little high-concept for the far suburbs (maybe I'm prejudiced). Anyone have any actual experience with it?

Apr 24, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Center City Birthday w/Picky Relatives Results

Hi, I just wanted to check in and let the folks who chimed in with their great suggestions know what happened with my sister's birthday celebration.

When last we left our heroes, Sister, Cranky Old Dad, Even Crankier, Even Older Friend of the Family, and I were supposed to go to Fork Saturday night. The rain and concerns about flooding put paid to that plan, so we decided to go to brunch Sunday instead.

After a round of negotiations, we settled on the Plough and the Stars, which seemed to have a nice broad menu acceptable to all parties. We were more than half an hour late for our reservation due to the St. Patrick's Day parade (and what was up with that? seems like next Sunday would be more appropriate), but had no trouble getting seated.

We chose to sit downstairs because Friend has trouble with stairs. I was disappointed in the ambiance -- it was more casual and less comfortable than I imagined, although maybe it was nicer upstairs. The ambiance wasn't helped by the too-loud music, which had all of us wincing; once we succeeded in having that turned down, the live entertainment took over, even louder than before. Service was friendly but spotty -- Dad had trouble getting his coffee refilled (and few things are guaranteed to make him crankier).

As for the food, we all enjoyed the selection of breads: a hot cross bun, a raisiny soda bread, and a dense brown bread. I also appreciated the chance to try Kerrygold butter, which, while fine, does not inspire me to run out and pay $8/lb for. I had a large waffle with some pretty good sausage and an excellent Irish coffee. Sister had the full Irish breakfast (without the black pudding), remarking that it would certainly fuel one up for a day of ploughing the fields. Dad had the Plough omelet with sausage, pears, and blue cheese; he said he was not that wild about it, but he polished it off. Friend had a cup of the seafood chowder and the salad with crab and seared tuna, which she liked although she was freaked out to find that "seared tuna" meant not cooked all the way through.

In all, it was a decent meal but by no means stellar. Nevertheless, we got through it with a minimum of grumbling and recriminations, so I must pronounce it a limited success. I doubt I would go back for more than a drink, however.

Anyway, thanks again to those who gave help and advice. I hope to be able to take you up on some of it another time.

Mar 11, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Center City Philadelphia Birthday Restaurant Help Needed

The momentous decision has been reached: we're going to Fork. I've got my fingers crossed!

We used to be regulars at Astral Plane but were saddened by its long downhill slide. It's disappointing that the new owner seems to have destroyed its charming ambiance while not improving the food. For some reason, I could never get into Fri Sat Sun, although I live very close.

Thanks to everybody for your help and encouragement. I'll be sure to post back on our experience.

Mar 01, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Center City Philadelphia Birthday Restaurant Help Needed

<waves> Hi, rabidog! Yes, I am a cross-poster.

Criniti looks like it's just up Dad's alley, although it's a little far afield for us. I'll give him the option, though. Bliss also goes on the list, thanks.

Jones, like most of the Stephen Starr restaurants, pushes Da's buttons in a major way. But thanks for playing, hungry100! Appreciate the words of encouragement.

Maggiano's is definitely out (one thing we all agree on). Our basic feeling is: this is Philadelphia, not Nebraska. You can walk into any red-gravy joint in South Philly and get food that's better, fresher, and more authentic.

I'm going to call the Fitler Sq Dmitri's and see what their story is.

Any reactions to Fork, The Plough and the Stars, or Serrano? I used to really like Serrano, but I haven't been for years.

Feb 27, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Center City Philadelphia Birthday Restaurant Help Needed

Wow, Davio's and Estia aren't exactly what I had in mind when I said "reasonable" prices -- Dad would plotz (although I think he'd love Estia). Think more in the "most entrees under $20" category. Italian Bistro = chain = unhappy sister.

A related question: I'm thinking Dmitri's would meet our criteria except for the no-reservations part. How crowded is it likely to be about 6 pm on a Saturday?

Feb 26, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Center City Philadelphia Birthday Restaurant Help Needed

Thanks for the suggestions so far. We've discussed Fogo and Dad's not interested. I can't even suggest Buddhakan -- it's exactly the kind of gussified-food place he hates (he's 76, for those who wondered). I'll check out the other places.

Keep the ideas coming!

Feb 22, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania

Center City Philadelphia Birthday Restaurant Help Needed

My sister is coming in for her birthday the weekend of March 8 and I need to find a restaurant for her celebration that meets a long list of criteria. My cranky old dad will be with us, and he's a very plain, basic meat-and-potatoes guy who only likes what he knows. His idea of a good restaurant is Ralph's or McCormick and Schmick's, both of which bore my sister and me to tears. Even though those places aren't cheap, he freaks when I make him try others in a comparable price range. The one ethnic cuisine he really likes is Chinese, which my sister is pretty tired of. Also, we can't try a BYOB because my sister likes her cocktails.

So, what I need is an interesting but not threatening menu in a reasonably priced restaurant with a liquor license, but preferably not a chain. Oh, and they must take reservations, 'cause Dad will wait for nobody.

Any help would be vastly appreciated.

Feb 21, 2008
merrieg in Pennsylvania