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Any places I am missing in Loudoun County?

The Cajun Experience was disapointing. Picked up a to go order of 1 chicken gumbo, 1 seafood gumbo, 1 oyster poor boy and 3 beignets at a total cost of $44.00. The gumbos amounted to about a pint each but most of it was soup and rice. The oysters were so heavily breaded it was hard to find them. The flavors were okay but we were all still hungry after we had eaten. The gumbos came with a side of potato salad and crammed in the container with a small slice of garlic bread leaving a soggy mess. Fortunately we had the beignets which were very good and filled us up.

I would try it again but I wouldn't have high hopes.

Eat Bertha's Mussels

It's about $2.00 more to have the mussels cooked in the sauce. We like the plain steamed with garlic butter on the side-first sauce included at no charge and an extra of any variety is $1.00. You can also go all the way with a spread of all 10 sauces on the side for about $4.00 extra.

We hadn't been to Bertha's in years but went to Balto for a long weekend. Our best afternoon/evening was duckpin bowling at Patterson's followed by an AYCE of 7 orders of steamed mussels at Bertha's between the two of us followed by a shared gelato next door. Enjoy these icons of the past while they still exist.

Open Christmas Day Recs for vegetarian?

Once again we will be dining out on Christmas Day. My old standbys are Old Anglers or Courderoy. This year a vegetarian will be joining us and the prix fixe at those is all meat or seafood. Any ideas as to who is open with other possibilities? I'm thinking Indian or Thai or really good Chinese.

Any places I am missing in Loudoun County?

The Thai place at the Liberty gas station has reopened and is very good especially for take out. It's okay for eating in and does have a limited beer and wine selection but you are eating in a gas station. Get the duck with basil.

Another great find is Savoir Fair in Round Hill. It's not an ethnic restaurant but serves very fresh local dishes with a menu that changes by the week.

Reston RW summer 2009

Reston VA is celebrating RW a week early (8/15-8/22). I can't get the link to work but if you search Observer restaurant week you should get to the ads that link to the menus.

There are 18 restaurants participating with different deals. Most are a pre-fixe with varied cost. I'm condsidering Mon Ami Gabi.

Too Much Food

At what age can seniors order off the children's menu? I remember my grandmother making a scene to do it and that was in the fifties. I thought it was embarassing but now I understand.

With the baby boomer generation getting older, will there be a profusion of senior meals ? Reduced portions with a complementary glass of wine would be ideal.

Pre-Wolf Trap on a Budget?

Thanks to all that responded. The godson has gotten himself into a teen-age modern dilemma that I at the age of 57, don't quite understand but other parents seem to understand . The 19 year old boy and the 17 year old girl have been "internet dating" for two years. They have actually met on 4 occasions, all at the girl's house where the parents fixed dinner . She is not allowed to be in a car with him driving although he has a spotless record.

The godson is about to leave for college and thought he would like to take her on a real date-bought tickets to Wolftrap. It seems that he asked the parents permission with a bit of braggadacio or empty boasting. I think he put the kabash on the picnic -feeling like it should be a really nice date. They live a 1 hour drive apart and never mentioned to the father that he would like to pick the girl up and drive alone with her. So the parents assumed that everyone was going----he didn't have the hutzpah to say differently. He was concerned that the mother would have a hard time with the heat for a picnic and didn't see how he could heft it up the hill with grace.

I think he has learned about communication and worked very hard over the past three days to pay me back. He seems to respect the father and like the structure of the father's inflexibility-which might be a good thing in that he cannot be alone with her until both of them are responsible. It's a throwback to the fifties.

Bottom line is he found Observer restaurant week deal at the Melting Pot in Reston. He is bringing a cooler full of water and suggested to the parents that if they would like a glass of wine before the concert , they should bring a bottle and he will chill it.

Baltimore Seafood Restaurants

It may be small but the flavors are intense, besides you can choose two flavors per cup. The tiny spoons make it last longer. After gorging on mussels, the two of us share the small cup and debate which flavor is better. A bit of sweetness is all you need after the saltiness of mussels.

Pre-Wolf Trap on a Budget?

My 19 year old godson needs help. He has a first date with a 17 year old girl he likes to Wolf Trap. There are some cultural issues and the parents of the girl assumed they were also invited. I bought the extra lawn seats for them and suggested they have a picnic , but that idea was pooh-poohed.

Ideally, we would like to find a restaurant -probally ethnic- where four can dine for under $100.00 including tax and tip. The parents are likely to order a drink or two.

He (and the group) would be coming from Leesburg heading east on 7. Can anyone think of a nice hole in the wall in Ashburn or Herndon that would fit the bill- - no Chinese but other Asian is fine.

he will be mowing and painting to pay me back.

Baltimore Seafood Restaurants

I know it's old hat by I recently revisited Bertha's Mussels at Fell's Point and really enjoyed it. I hadn't been there in ten years and it it seemed much improved from what I remembered. Service was spot on, the beer menu was interesting (try the dry cider), the mussels were fresh, plentiful and perfectly cooked with a great choice of dipping sauces, unlimited crusty bread and butter were served to sop up the sauce. The two of us started by ordering one mussel platter each but they were so good we ended up ordering a third to share. I guess it was 72 + mussels it all that we consumed and the price was quite reasonable.

Our perfect day in Balto is to go the American Visionary Arts Museum, take the water taxi across to Fells Point, eat at Bertha's and then buy dessert next door at Pitango Gelato which we eat outside and and watch the people.

Buffet Dinner Party Suggestions?

Hey chai,

I was going to suggest a mac n cheese and retro is definately the way to go. I'm just wondering how big her sideboard is. If it's the firehouse, 3 varieties of mac will fit. I doubt that a bland version is needed for the one year old but it might be nice for elders-something easy to eat without stuff getting caught in your teeth.

Jan 22, 2009
ditsyquoin in Home Cooking

RW DC 2009

It's 2/16-2/22 and the open table is open for reservations. In my quick perusal I'm not finding any great deals. $35.09 for three course prix fixe dinner is about the same as many offer year round in pre-event and earlybird diiners.

What have you found that lights your fire?

Buffet Dinner Party Suggestions?

I'd start with an easy appetizer that you can prepare ahead. The most popular is pigs in a blanket (liitle sausages wrapped in crescent roll dough) and belgian endive with a olive dip .

You are right that you want to make a stewed dish that is not tempermental. Beef Bourguinion is a good choice. Paella is way too expensive and time consuming. I'd go with the beef . Serve it with a crusty bread and a simply tossed leafy green salad, It could be as simple as fresh leaf lettuce, bits of dried bread and fresh garlic with a vinegrette.

Just keep it simple.

Jan 22, 2009
ditsyquoin in Home Cooking

Aussie traveling for authentic american cuisine on a budget

Despite your "not heavy on the meat" statement, you might want to try a 5 Guys burger-it's very within your budget .
Don't try ordering it with the lot. They will not understand. Specify the toppings you want-they are all free. Order quickly or they will call you a Yobbo and you will get the wrong order. Bacon or Cheese are at an extra price. These are your free toppings.

Mayo , Relish, Onions, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomatoes, Fried Onions ,Sauteed Mushrooms ,Ketchup, Mustard, Jalapeno Peppers, Green Peppers ,A-1 Sauce,Bar-B-Q Sauce, Hot Sauce.

Christmas dinner in Washington??

My old stand by for Christmas is the Old Angler's Inn. They will have a prix fixe menu at about $60.00 per person. The food is very good and service impeccible with no hassle for parking. If the day is sunny, it's very nice to take a hike on the C&O canal trail and watch the Potomac over Great Falls on the MD side. It's one of those places where you can forget about not being home on Christmas and just enjoy the day and the view.

Price of Spices in DC Metro Area?

I was shocked at the price of the autumn spices that I need for my thanksgiving meal. Significant other used the McCormick spice date checker and threw anything that McCormick said should be replaced a couple of months ago.

Cinnamon Sticksand Bay Leaves were easily found in the Mexican section of the store. Cinnamon in McCormick was $3.69 and 65 cents for the same size in the Mexican section. The same held true for bay (laurel) leaves. They are without the jars but we do reuse jars.

Nutmeg was over $5.00 and Cloves ranged from $6.00 to $10.00 per jar with no Mexican alternatives available.

I don't mind paying these prices if I knew the people that pick them were getting a better wage and a better standard of living. It is often said that the price of the glass or plastic jar represents the difference in cost. I think there must be more to the story. Can any one clue me in?

Nov 24, 2008
ditsyquoin in Not About Food

Best Store Bought Pickles in DC (no restaurants)?

While the pickles are still great at Parkway, I agree it is not a kosher deli anymore. I was shocked at the menu the last time I ate there-"Fey".

However, while seaching for tiles for my kitchen I did discover a priceless area of Kosher delights in Silver Spring/Rockville-the Kosher Glatt strip mall at 4860 Boiling Brook Pkwy. Koshermart which is real large grocery store, Indian and Chinese that advertise kosher on their menuboards, and the priceless bagel shop-just like NY where I had the most delicious lox. I wasn't in the mood for a pickle but I am sure they have them. The mah-jong mavens tried to entice me into a game with a hamatachen but I resisted knowing I had harroset to spread under my new bought tiles.

Cutting Boards?

I have to give a plug to JK Adams. I bought the "take two" wood board at an outlet mall because I was in a pinch. Just had new soapstone counters installed and had to make 2 gallons of cole slaw. I don't know if it was my mistake or a defect but the board warped the second day after I used it. I complained to Adams customer service and two days later I had a replacement board delivered to my house,free of charge, no questions asked. 5 stars for their customer service. I've oiled the new board thoroughly and have used ever since.

Nov 13, 2008
ditsyquoin in Cookware

Best Store Bought Pickles in DC (no restaurants)?

BT will do in a pinch but the best pickles to be had in your area is Parkway deli at 8317 Grubb Rd in Silver Spring, off east-west hwy three lights west off of 16th st. I know your frustration...the deli managers at Parkway will let you taste and choose between the barrels. I prefer the half sours. It's a real kosher deli.

I've still got three pickles in my refrigerator that I brought home from NJ wrapped up in a napkin on the train. Each bite is savored.

Warrenton restaurants?

Never been there but I have heard very good things about it. The owner does everything she can to get loal and seasonal items and the menu looks quite varied.

My only other suggestion would be to take the back roads to Warrenton (Rt 50 to Atoka and down through Marshall) and stop at the Hunter's Head in Upperville. The route will will be very scenic.


Mr.B's BBQ in White Post Va. Just about 1.5 hours west and slightly south of DC. It's a take out joint along RT 340. Had the best squash pie there today-and the ribs are always good. The cole slaw is just perfect with a balanced mix of spice and sweet and crispy. You don't ask how he makes it----you never look a bull in his eyes but his cooking is darn tasty.

Charlottesville VA-Pre theater diner for 2?

Any recs for dining in downtown Charlottesville? We will be arriving about 5pm on Sat night and have to check into the hotel, change our clothes, find parking and make the Paramount theater by 7:30. I know of Zocalo and the C&O. They are both great but I don't want to ruin a fine meal by being in a rush.

Any other ideas, appetizers and drinks or a prix fixe early dinner menu would be fine.

Hofbrauhaus , Abbottstown PA; 5* Kitsch

For all you roadtrippers-the Hofbrauhaus on Rt.30 between Gettysburg PA and York in Abbottstown, just west of the circle or roundabout is a don't miss stop. I had to make a 2-day business trip from Frederick MD to Lancaster PA and stopped to eat both ways just because it is a treasure that I am afraid is not long for existance.

My favorite meal, which I ate both ways is the baurenwurst and bratwurst (weisswurst and knockwurst is also available) with sauerkraut and spaetzle and a 1. Warsteiner Dunkle. My partner flitters around the various schnitzles with red beet salad and hot potato salad and tea.

Why I love it. The prices are very reasonable. The restrooms remind me of being on a train but are very clean. The waitresses are very personable and helpful and you end up leaving a 25% tip because the bill is less than expected. A very good cheese spread served with crackers and bread is complementary at the beginning of the meal. There is cheesy oompah music nicely piped continuously at a quiet volume overhead. You can usually park in front and if not there is a parking lot on the side. There are serveral dining rooms, the stuffed bear room (I think it's a fake) where rowdy groups are seated, a cozy nook with deer heads decorating and a photo of Konrad Adenhower, the family room (where we sit) beneath a rim of the best gnomes, nutcrackers, steins, stuffed squirrels and cheesy wood sayings. By seperate entrance is the Alpine Room-the bar where you can smoke if you choose and order the same german beers on draft. I watched the election returns there and it was heated but friendly -kind of reminded me of the Deerslayer. No yuppies there, but a amalgamation of various working people with widely different opinions.

Recommended for families, those that treasure kitsch, those that love german beer, those that want to keep family owned restaurants in business.

Nov 06, 2008
ditsyquoin in Pennsylvania

Good Steak Hoboken and a Glass of Wine?


Thanks for the rec. We went to Arthur's on your advice and were very pleased. The steaks were very flavorful with a nice char and the portions were very ample. I really liked the unlimited half sour dills brought free of charge. The boys were full of braggadocio when they arrived. I told they could order anything on the menu but if they ordered the 48 oz steak and couldn't finish it, they would have to pay for their own meal. One by one they wilted from that idea and struggled to finish a steak half the size. Doggie bags were had by all for an after dinner -after calc study session late night snack.

It was really fun and we would certainly do it again. Thanks again.

Good Steak Hoboken and a Glass of Wine?

I'm visiting my nephew, a student at Stevens, on Wednesday November 5th. It will have to be an early dinner around 5pm. He is also bringing a couple of roomates-none old enough to drink. But I would certainly like to have a moderate glass of wine without dealing with the BYOB thing for a quick visit.

Any recs as to where to get a good steak dinner for under $25.00 in the vicinity? Somewhere with a decent atmosphere? I cannot tolerate the college hamburger/pizza/mexican/flat beer hangouts that most students do. Other cuisines, but not Italian are considered.

Leesburg Indian?

Does anyone know the name of the new Indian restaurant in Leesburg VA? It's where Tup Tim Thai used to be. Has anyone tried it yet?

Help! I need a Fredrick, MD restaurant

An afterthought for Frederick recs is Henning's. It's a very authentic German restaurant with a quiet atmosphere, great service and and a wide variety of german beers on tap. They also have a menu on line.

Help! I need a Fredrick, MD restaurant

Check out The Tasting Room. They have a website and probably the most classy place in Frederick. I prefer the Bentz St Bar and Grill for fun. Although they have a sports bar atmosphere, I have never had a bad meal there and it's much cheaper.

To help out your's Frederick MD.

Winchester VA Recs?

I'll try One Block West next time. I've always wondered about it. Unfortunately, I think Cafe Sofia has gone out of business, at least it's no longer at the Valley avenue address.

We had a very good, but a comedy of errors meal at Passage to India. Unbeknownst to us, the place had a big write up in the local paper the previous Thursday and was caught short on food and help. I'd definately go there again as it was the best Indian food I've had west of the Herndon area.

Winchester VA Recs?

I'm taking a friend our for her birthday Sat in Winchester VA. She lives near there and wants me to help her with some errands, so we are pretty much stuck with Winchester.

I want to avoid the chains which have sprouted up all over the city.
I'm thinking about Passage to India. Has anybody been there? Any other ideas?

Last year we went to the Irish Pub in Middletown, which was good but not great.