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mattb3's Profile

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Decent Lunch near Newseum?

Meeting my parents in DC for the weekend and visiting the Newseum on Friday morning.
Where can we have lunch that is reasonably priced and not just a sandwich/salad chain?
They are in their 70's and well traveled and in good health.
We're doing Jaleo for dinner Thursday and Acadiana with a large group on Friday.
We're staying in Penn Quarter so heading back in that direction is fine.

Need Some Dinner Recs for One Night in the Penn's Landing Area

Was in town for a wedding reception on the Spirit of Philadelphia last weekend, so we took the happy couple out to dinner at Amada on Friday night to celebrate. Went for the splurge tasting menu and was not disappointed with anything served. Was really surprised that the highlights of the meal were the pulpo (octopus) and serrano and fig salad. The pernil asado was very tasty, but not the revelation that some other posters felt it was. Actually, the variety of textures was made it special more than the taste. The service was a bit uneven at first, but then balanced out into the meal. Even though we are not local, and really like variety, I would certainly dine here again the next time I am in Philly and in the mood for tapas.

Dec 08, 2011
mattb3 in Philadelphia

Sampan (Phila)

We ate there last weekend with a large group (11). We agreed to do the $40 tasting menu, you make your own selections here instead of chef's choice like many other tasting menus At dinner it is 3 small, 2 sides, and 1 from each other section making 9 dishes even though the menu states 7. They graciously allowed us to break the table in half for ordering; good thing. Getting 6 to agree on a dish was hard enough-11 would have been impossible. The kitchen made sure there was an appropriate quantity of food for each item, and we had plenty to eat.

Overall I was very pleased with our meal and the service. None of the dishes we ordered were duds, and a few really stood out.
Big hits: Philly Cheese Steak, Pho dumplings, and surprisingly amazing Brussel Sprouts
Second tier: Hamachi Ceviche, Calamari Salad, Charred Thai Chicken
Tasty, but would not order again-shrimp pad thai, lobster stir fried noodles, kobe beef satay

I got a few bites passed down from the other end of the table and had a very tasty crispy chicken bao bun and uninspired Kim Chee fried rice and sea bass. Dessert was a couple of fun mini IC cones, something chocolatey and froot loop vanilla.

We're not local, so I'm likely to go elsewhere the next time I am in town just for variety, but if I was local I'd eat here often.

Dec 08, 2011
mattb3 in Philadelphia

Best cheese steak in the Triangle

I think Andy's does a really good job with cheesesteaks and fries.
I don't remember ever getting decent food anywhere in Kenmore Square...ever!!

Feb 24, 2009
mattb3 in Southeast


We had dinner there with another couple two Sundays ago and it was fantastic. I was disappointed that the skate wasn't available. I was told they are taking it off the menu due to supply/demand issues affecting the freshness standard they want to maintain, so I can respect that decision. We shared a very interesting charcuterie platter, that looked too small at first, but was the right amount after all and every bite was very tasty. I enjoyed my cassoulet, but they were a little heavy handed with the bread crumb topping. My wife had a perfectly done steak frites, my buddy enjoyed the plat du jour of the braised veal breast, and his wife had the star of the evening-amazing sweet trout.
The apple tart was plenty sharable for dessert for four afterwards.

I'm really looking forward to a return visit for some moules and crepes.

Dec 01, 2008
mattb3 in General South Archive

Triangle - Layoff-induced Budget Eating!

Lotus Leaf Vietnamese cafe on the corner of Harrison and North Maynard is outstanding for the prices. Many entrees are in the 12-15 range.

Nov 28, 2008
mattb3 in Southeast

Must-Try Restaurants in Raleigh, NC

Yes to:
18 Seaboard
Bloomsbury Bistro
Angus Barn
Saint Jaques
Tosca Brava (where Bistro 607 used to be)

Riviera has closed
but a new restaurant called Sitti has opened up next door. It looks interesting.

Nov 28, 2008
mattb3 in Southeast

Tri Area for New Year's - Please Help!

The Mint is grossly overrated and tries too hard to impress with gastroscience instead of quality cuisine. Saint Jaques is very nice, but a but suburban. Heron's and Savoy are the best of your short list.

Nov 28, 2008
mattb3 in Southeast

Anniversary Dinner in Raleigh

Second's on Vivace they do a great job.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Bloomsbury Bistro yet. It's always first class there,
I've not heard great things about the Mint, and don't plan to go until I do.
I've heard mixed reviews of Fins in the new downtown location, but the positives have outweighed the negatives.

Jul 04, 2008
mattb3 in General South Archive

Favorite Jazz Fest Food

Since I only had one day at JF I relied on the input of this board to help make my decisions, and I want to thank you all for steering me straight. At least we didn't have to deal with soggy/rainy food on Sunday.

I've called NC home for the past 15 years, so I have had more than my fair share of shredded and chopped pork dishes, and the cochon de lait po-boy is one of the best I have ever had, anywhere period. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Meat Pies, and the gumbo from Prejean's. The mid-day heat sapped a little bit of my appetite, and I didn't want to miss a second of Santana's show, so by the time I made it by the Crawfish Monica stand they were sold out. But I had a pretty good Chicken and Tasso Stew over rice instead. And we devoured 3 mango freezes. I would have purchased a Cuban Sandwich, but the lines were too long every time I went past there.

May 07, 2008
mattb3 in New Orleans

Quick Notes: Cuvee, GW Fins, Coop's, Dick & Jenny's

We didn't get into town until dinner time Friday and beelined straight for Dick and Jenny's.
The group in front of us didn't want to wait 2 hours, and I really didn't either. When we explained that we had just landed, we were told we could probably be seated in about an hour in the bar area, and we were. So we enjoyed a nice viogner and some oysters in the lounge and chatted with a couple who had been at JF all day.
The gumbo was great, and the Shrimp & Scallops were plate lickin' fantastic.

I was actually a bit underwhelmed by my meal at Brigtsen's the following night. It was very nice, but after all of the glowing reviews I've read here, my expectations were pretty high, and not really met. Had the seafood plate-the oysters were pretty average and had too much stuff, and the redfish just a bit on the dry side. The scallop, deviled crab, and crawfish were superb though. We were dining with my brother and his family, and the service staff was very attentive, and the kitchen willing to accomadate a picky 7 year old as well. It was a very nice dining experience, just not world class.

May 07, 2008
mattb3 in New Orleans