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San Francisco dinner with a dog and a 9 year old!?

Weather has been great the last few days in SF, no need to worry about it being too cold...

Eight Hour Layover at Miami Int'l Airport - Will Cab For Good Food

Yes. The cesspool is one of the city's top attractions, not the place where men dress as women and everyone is amused.

Eight Hour Layover at Miami Int'l Airport - Will Cab For Good Food

mmmmm.....she's a tourist! I think there are some harbor tour boats coming out of here, that could kill an hour or two.

I live in Coral Gables and wouldn't recommend someone with such limited time and no car come here. What are they going to do, walk up and down miracle mile and window shop for bridal gowns?

Eight Hour Layover at Miami Int'l Airport - Will Cab For Good Food

If it were me, I would do one of two things. Hop a cab to Versailles, spend a couple of hours picking at the food and admiring the scenery, stock up on goods at the bakery (the guava pies, in particular, they are the best in Miami and they have all the goods like croquettas, papas rellenas, galletas menenciere) then get back to the airport with at least two hours before the flight, those lines can be unbelievable.

You could also cab it to Bayside, there is at least one cafeteria there that has cuban sandwiches, get one to go and have a real meal at Los Ranchos. Get the churrasco and lots of gallo pinto. You can then spend 3 or 4 hours here walking around and checking out the boutiques and its on the water, but no beach.

Los Ranchos Restaurant
135 SW 107th Ave, Miami, FL 33174

Aroz Con Pollo Made to Order?

For some reason, arroz con pollo is not a dish that miami restaurants can do justice to. A really good one would use arroz valenciano and a few other tricks. A dish made best at home. A favorite dish at a humble restaurant would be vaca frita at Havana Harry's followed by a cinco leches.

Havana Harry's
4612 S Le Jeune Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Red lentil shortage?

Asmar's, a wholesaler operating out of General Washington Drive in Alexandria, supplies most area businesses with lentils. You could potentially call them for a reference near you. They do stock and sell reds.

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

I had a slice a few weeks ago, they were selling by the slice, which is a plus for the waistline. It was a bit heavier and richer than I've had before, but no complaints here. They also have pralines. He is a talented baker.

Best Cuban Food in Miami?

The vaca frita followed by a cinco leches at HH is casual Miami at its very best. As big as that dessert is, I don't find it hard at all to eat the whole thing, and, of course, regret it immediately thereafter.

Cuban roast pork?

Most every cuban place serves lechon, but maybe not all with the skin. Two of my favorites are La Rosa that has it as a saturday special for lunch, though there is sometimes some left at dinnertime, and El Cacahual, where lechon is the specialty with the added bonus of terraza seating. El Cacahual is a bit hidden, be sure you have good directions. La Rosa is a bit more upscale.

La Rosa Restaurant
4041 NW 7th St, Miami, FL 33126

Will be at Crystal City but want to got to Old Town Alexandria

Crystal City is not far at all from Old Town, I'd do a taxi, but if you have to do metro, get off at the King Street metro and start walking down if it's a nice night and/or hop on the trolley that runs all the way to the waterfront and back. King Street is the spine of Old Town with many restaurants and boutiques. If you taxi'ed it, grab a return taxi at one of the hotels, Hotel Monaco, for example.

King Street Cafe
1018 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Penn Quarter Luch

I've actually had sandwiches at both Jaleo and Zaytinya; Jaleo is the better place for them without a doubt. They come with their homemade potato chips. The environment might be better also as far as more conducive to talk and work, Jaleo is rarely more than half filled at lunch. Another good non-tapas choice here is the chef's favorite lunch, shrimp in garlic w/ a bowl of gazpacho.

701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

New Job In Chinatown-Where do I eat?

Oya has a takeaway lunch for $10. You can walk a block to the American Art Museum's courtyard to eat it.

Tacos el Costalilla

I just picked up a pound of the stuff at the market a few doors up from El Costalilla. These two markets are both El Compadres. Dried, thinly sliced, unseasoned. The butcher said to soak it before using to get the salt out, though it's not very salty at all. Now to figure out what to do with it. A pound is quite a bit, as it is thinly sliced.

Tacos el Costalilla

Real carne seca was spotted at the meat counter today at the hispanic market at 8723 Cooper Road, a few miles south of El Costalilla. It might only be something they have for the weekend, like their pork rinds, tamales, etc.

New version of Latin American Cafe in Brickell disappointing

According to Burgerbeast, might be the "original." I'll try to check out it this thursday or friday.

Got approx. $250 to spend and need a great restaurant recommendation

I've eaten at both Bibiana and Restaurant Eve in the past week. Your favorites (Jaleo, Zaytinya, etc), well, I've eaten there multiple times in the past year, they are frequent lunch spots. Rasika, Zengo are not $250 spots, they are comparable to Jaleo/Zaytinaya. I would certainly not drop $250 at Bibiana. Good, but not great. Food is frequently faulty (too much salt, dishes quite not there, etc). Probably couldn't spend that much there if you tried anyway. I'm never in DC for dinner, but I have to believe Restaurant Eve is right up there with your unattainable list, I really can't fault anything I've had there and I tend to seek flaws at this type of place.

Restaurant Eve
110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

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

701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Zengo Restaurant
781 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

I went to one a couple of years back at Ft. Hunt. The food is great, caterer was from northern Louisiana. They had just come from San Diego where they had catered a 50,000 lb event. It will sell out. 15,000 lb and 1,500 tickets means 10 lbs a head, which is plenty and they do have other stuff to eat (sausage, jambalaya), a zydeco band, and its pretty much drink as much beer as you want, after all, you have to wash them down. It is kind of major and the lines are long, I got in line very early so it wasn't too bad. If you are going for just the crawdads and are uptight about the wait, probably not worth the $45 price tag.

Review of Hot N Juicy Crawfish

Crawfish etouffee must be avoided ALWAYS. Invariably, frozen tails are used and they are rubbery, there is just no way around it. Shrimp etouffe is always a better choice. You can't freeze boiled crawfish any more than you can freeze a fresh egg. The crawfish you had were either not boiled properly or too old. You really need to eat crawfish freshly boiled. The key here would be to find out when they are boiling and arrive soon after they are ready. I can see how they are inconsistent in their quality, not having proper demand to boil daily or twice daily as would be needed to get a good product. Try the boils I mention in the creole thread or Acadiana when they do the happy hour thing, though the prices are about 3x what I would consider fair.

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

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

Later in the spring, both the LSU Alumni Assoc and the Lousiana State Society will have a crawfish boil. These are major events, catered by outfits from Northern Louisiana. At about the same time, Acadiana will most likely start up their Friday happy hour crawfish boil.

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

Veggie friendly near the Verizon Center?

If you end up near Red Velvet Cupcakery, try the vegan Black Velvet cupcake. I think it may be the best cupcake they make.

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

Hmmm.... I wonder if Bayou Bakery will be making king cakes. That could be a big money maker for them. Beats $45 for having one shipped.

LA CHer coming to DC, critique my list please

I know where you're coming from. GB, by the way, relocated from their long time basement location to a street level space in the same building. I don't think they really care about their food service, but I did have a very good noodle soup there one time. Followed by the proverbial dish rag soup on a repeat visit. Their main business is supplying rice noodles to the local restaurants.

LA CHer coming to DC, critique my list please

My sentiments exactly. If you need to eat in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area go with Zaytinya, Jaleo, PS7, Acadiana, etc. And absolutely forget China Boy, it is not a "find." A good (and not very good, just good) meal once, a horrid one next. I might pick up rice noodles for a meal at home here, but not worth a meal on travel in DC, for sure, with all the other options available. You might want to consider adding an Ethiopean place or two to your list. Quite honestly, some of the places you list will not be near you and you will not go, so cross them off now.

Help me please my parents!

My first thought would be Clyde's and I'm not at all surprised they enjoyed it . It works perfectly for people like your parents, I've used it a few times for similar situations. The food is good and the price is right. The Chinatown location at Gallery Place is a very nice space, lots of dark wood, much fancier looking than the food quality and price let on. I'd take them there and they will be very pleased for sure. Italian and Chinese also work well in this situation, but in both cases, nothing too fancy or chowhound-ish. If you were in Virginia, I'd say A La Lucia or China Garden, their equivalents in DC.

A La Lucia
315 Madison St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Where to eat at 3 or 4 am?

Sergio's is open until 3am on Fri and Sat. Outdoor seating at Coral Way location. You shouldn't be staying out so late anyway. La Palma in West Miami is 24 hour. Chocolate y churros caen bien en la madrugada.

Latin American Cafeteria Mary Brickell Village?

I'm not familiar with that area, but the classic Latin American Cafeteria of some fame was on Coral Way and demolished after the hurricane. This site claims the original has been re-opened at a nearby location and it is not too far from where you are talking about, but definitely not in MB Village.

If you lived in Miami you know there are dozens of "Latin American" cafe, cafeteria, restaurant, or just plain LA with no relation to each other. I never quite figured out why, perhaps the LA name was enough to let people know what they had, because they all have similar offerings.

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

Just for completeness, I'd add in Johnny's Half Shell, they have a few traditional dishes including gumbo and bbq shrimp. I had their gumbo and can report it is hot and that's it, no complexity of flavor whatsoever, very disappointing.

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

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

RT's has a very good gumbo, their Death by Gumbo, which is an entree. About as good as anything you can get in Louisiana. The shrimp and grits at Acadiana is also worthwhile. It's not what you expect when you get it, the grits are in a cake form. Problem with these dishes is that a recipe doesn't work, you have to taste and make adjustments, so sometimes they can be off depending on who's making it.

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

So Florida - family friendly suggestions

A few places close to you on the main food drags, Flagler and 8th.

On Flagler:

El Palacio de los Jugos- very unassuming place, dirt cheap so attracts all sorts. They have most cuban food, but I go here mainly for their pork rinds (chicharrones), probably the best in the world. They have outdoor seating on casual benches. This place gets very crowded and an American can potentially look/feel out of place here. Lots of local color, though.

Las Culebrinas. Never been to this particular location, but a good all around Spanish/Cuban place. More formal, but not fancy by any means. Order things like rabo encendido, ropa vieja, etc.

Karla Bakery. Well known institution (along with Gilberts) when it comes to baked goods.

On 8th:

Versailles. Always worthwhile, in my opinion, another institution. Get their guava pies at the adjacent bakery, best in the city. You could also eat at the bakery if for some reason the restaurant is too crowded or you want something casual. Their sandwiches are good, the churrasco sandwich is fantastic, one of my favorite Miami sandwiches at the moment.

@ 57th: Latin American Cafeteria (Luis Galindo). Great for sandwiches (cubano, media noche), though they have all the regular cuban stuff too.

You should also try a Nicaraguan place, lots of them here. What you want is a "fritanga", casual Nicaraguan eatery. There is one called Monimbo close to your location. Get the carne asada, vigoron, nacatamal. It's probably a counter type place with the food out, so you can see what you are getting. If you are not familiar with Nica desserts, get a "tres leches" or a "cuatro leches" (a Miami variant with dulce de leche) and be converted.

Las Culebrinas
12257 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156

Dinner for group of 80 in Old Town (family reunion)?

Le Bergerie might work. 80 is alot of people, though. The city tourist office in Old Town might be able to help, call them.