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Sausage Casings

A Litteri has hog casings

ISO Oak wood chunks for smoking - NoVA/DC area

Village Hardware in Alexandria has a great selection of smoking woods. And yes I've also used the oak from my own trees, too.

Pig head

Talk to one of the meat vendors at a local farmer's market. Like Bev at Eco-friendly foods or Smith Meadow Farms. Might not be cheap but very likely of good quality.

dress code at Blanca?

Scored a reservation for tomorrow night and am very excited. Am coming up from DC in the morning and wondering if I need to pack anything special. Will I be alright without a jacket? Would a collared shirt and sweater be acceptable? jeans? Thanks.

Feb 28, 2013
theyawns in Outer Boroughs

Road trip to New England

I make this trip every year. And every year I make the detour to New Haven for pizza at Frank Pepe's. It is a bit of a detour. But in my mind, well worth it. We still take the TPZ bridge and have recently learned to take the Merritt Parkway to avoid 95 on that stretch.

We've also recently incorporated a stop at R & R taqueria just off 95 in Elkridge, MD.

Where to find RM Felts Country Ham in NoVA?

Thanks again for the info.
Got one that is indeed already cured, but uncooked and not smoked. My plan is to soak for a couple of days then smoke at a pretty high temperature, really just using the smoker as an oven (much like I do when I cook our thanksgiving turkey.) Not expecting a ton of smoke flavor considering the size and density of the ham.

I've got the Ruhlman book, but figured I'd leave the curing to somebody else this time.

This is what I ended up with - http://www.wholesomefoodsinc.com/whol...

Where to find RM Felts Country Ham in NoVA?

Thanks for this. I had read about about needing to soak for a few days, changing the water every few hours. Am planning cooking this in a hot smoker for New Years.

Where to find RM Felts Country Ham in NoVA?

Very interesting. Will definitely check these out sometime soon. Didn't realize they were at the Old Town market.

Ended up grabbing a half of an Old Dominion sugar cured country ham from the Buckland Farm store since I was in the neighborhood yesterday.

Where to find RM Felts Country Ham in NoVA?

Looking for one of these whole, cured, and uncooked country hams for NYE. I've seen them before at my local latino market (the Foodway in Arlandria) but they haven't had them recently. Anywhere else around the area got one these or something comparable?

Report –Wiseguy NY Pizza DC

I had a cheese slice, too. I thought it was decent, passable, but not exactly perfect to me, a diehard pizza lover. If I could, I'd eat pizza everyday. So my test is, "would I come here everyday?" and the answer would be probably not.

The good - the crust is pretty prototypical and well cooked, too. I do like a well-done slice, and all of the pies laid out looked pretty good to me.

the meh - the sauce was overly sweet, distractly so. some of the slices with toppings (I saw pepperoni and some sort of chicken one) looked like they were collapsing and soggy which is why I stuck with a plain slice.

Certainly better than most slice options in the city with the exception of Pete's. And when I'm in the mood for a slice, it'll do.

Rams Head Live, Baltimore (tonight)

ditto Little Italy. I've had awesome sandwiches at Isabella's before a Ram's Head show.

Guanciale anywhere in va md or dc?

I've bought it from Red Apron (you can order online and pick up at either the Dupont Farmer's Market or Planet Wine in Alexandria) and Bev at Eco-Friendly Foods just started offering it at area farmer's markets. He had some at the Courthouse market in Arlington a couple of weeks ago. His was sliced, Red Apron's was a single 1 lb. piece.

Good butcher in or around Washington, DC?

I love Let's Meat on the Avenue in Del Ray, Alexandria. Doesn't hurt that I live right around the corner. He'll order you anything you need and most everything is local.
http://www.letsmeatontheavenue.com/

That 29 Cent Water

I predicted this uproar when I first read the announcement in Eater. Instead of talking about how excited folks are that Enzo is cooking again (and I am - I got to experience his chef's table at Teatro Goldoni a couple of years ago and it was one of the most memorable dinners I've had), everyone is talking about a 29 cent water surcharge. So, it's pretty simple to me, is the bad press the yet to open restaurant is already receiving worth the 29 cent a head? The answer should be pretty obvious.

Where to find Pearl Sugar? (for Liege Waffles)

Just got back from Brussels and am hoping to recreate the waffles you can buy on just about every street corner over there. These aren't quite what you'd think of when you think of Belgian waffles. These are a little denser and chewier with a crunchy sugary/caramelly crust. Of the many recipes I've looked at, looks like the key to attaining that crust is something called "pearl sugar." Anyone know of any local sources? Hoping to try maybe this weekend.

Corned beef from the Sixth and Rye truck

Was searching through the board to see if there were any reviews that agreed or disagreed with my assessment of the truck, and by golly, I didn't find anything. So here goes.

I'm a corned beef lover, and was really looking forward to trying out the corned beef sandwich from this truck.

When your lunch consists of exactly 4 ingredients - corned beef, mustard, rye bread, and dill pickle on the side - there is little room for error. Unfortunately, the Sixth and Rye folks used up every bit of that margin and then some. Starting with the least atrocious and working my way to the top -

The mustard was just fine. Good even. Not your typical deli mustard, so it was a little out of place on this sandwich. But I'd probably eat it on a hot dog with relish, if I could.

The pickle cost a dollar. It was a little bigger than my thumb. It was soft. And just tasted like a lot of vinegar. I prefer a crunchy, dilly, garlicky pickle.

The rye bread was stale. You serve sandwiches one day a week. There is absolutely no reason to not have fresh bread.

What laid between those two slices of stale bread was called corned beef but it would be hard to identify it as such if I hadn't ordered it. Its litany of wrong-doings should qualify it for crimes against humanity. (Ok, that's really harsh, but I'm leaving it in, well, because it sounds good.) It was so thinly sliced that it had no textural quality whatsoever, except... when you hit a piece of fat, it was inedibly chewy. Yes, I found myself actually having to pull pieces out of mouth once I realized I would choke if I swallowed what was in there. Corned beef ought to be tender and juicy. This was dry and rubbery. As for the flavor, there just really wasn't much of it. At least nothing that I would associate with a briny, spiced piece of brisket. The sandwich's saving grace was that there wasn't much of the mystery meat.

Maybe I caught them on a bad day, but I'm not sure I have it in me to even give them another shot. I've read enough reviews on yelp that resemble mine and talked to some other folks to simply forget and move on. It's too bad. Had really high expectations.

Next time it's back to Deli City or Wagshal's.

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Deli City Restaurant
2200 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018

Crystal City/Old Town Recommendation

La Strada in Del Ray (just north of Old Town) is a great little local Italian place. Del Ray's got plenty of other cozy little places, too -- Evening Star Cafe, Cheesetique. Del Ray Pizzeria is a good place for happy hour - great prices on bar food and beers - though I can't say much for the pizza.

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Evening Star Cafe
2000 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301

La Strada
1905 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301

Looking for pork belly

Try calling Let's Meat on the Avenue in Del Ray. If he doesn't have it on hand, he'll be happy to order it for. Last time I ordered, it was there 24 hours laters.

Looking for some Must-Eats in Alexandria, VA

And make a reservation on a Sunday and you get a big family style meal for $20. An unbelievable deal, besides being consistently awesome.

Looking for some Must-Eats in Alexandria, VA

Del Merei unfortunately closed a few months ago, and all of the other places in that strip are soon to follow suit, as the owners are re-doing that entire building. Cafe Pizzaiolo just shut down in that location.

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Cafe Pizzaiolo
507 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202

Downtown Korean food carts

There's a new (yellow) truck that's been at 12th & F for several weeks serving bulgogi and bibimbop. Went once and liked it.

Againn. How is it?

I thought the corned beef was quite good. Not the best I've ever had (probably Deli City) but tasty. It came with a nice little assortment of pickled vegetables, which I always appreciate. The sandwich that has my eye, though, is the BLT, which I am looking forward to trying next time I get over there.

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Deli City Restaurant
2200 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018

Babes in the Woods...

I encountered them exactly twice at the Clarendon market on Wednesdays a couple of years ago. I bought a couple of loin chops one of the times they were there and they were really good.

new TaKorean truck

Checked out the TaKorean truck today on their first day. Got there early and got really quick service. Not sure how the rest of the day went. Had one of each of their tacos and liked them quite a bit. Not the greatest, but would certainly visit again.

Here's the relevant excerpt of my review from my blog (you can read the rest at http://istuffmyface.wordpress.com/201...

)

The chicken taco was solid, though the slaw, crema, and sriracha really dominated the taco. But, honestly, that was fine because it was really tasty. The tofu one with the kimchi slaw also tasted mostly of the spicy slaw, but the tofu itself was also a little sweet and nicely chewy. Between the two, I prefer the tofu one, surprisingly. But either is a good choice. I saved the steak one for last. Having a slightly more assertive flavor, the steak held up to the loud flavors of the slaw and sriracha and was overall my favorite of the three. The steak and chicken were cut into small bite-size pieces which I was very appreciative of, making it really easy to eat. The tacos themselves were generously filled, so I’d even say you’d be fine ordering just two.

And the prices are hard to beat. $2.50 for a single, or three for $7.

Pizzeria Orso

I went on Saturday night and opted to sit at the bar instead of waiting for a table. The bartender and staff were attentive and helpful. The menu was decent. We started with the fried mussels and fennel salad. The mussels were excellent. Salad was good enough.

As for the pizza we split an Orso - lots of cheese - and the broccoli rabe and sausage one - to which we added tomato puree. The pizzas should've and would've been great. However, there was so much burnt flour on the bottom-side of the crust that it completely overwhelmed the rapini and sausage pie (not subtle flavors) and mostly overwhelmed the Orso with an acrid, bitter taste. A little disappointing, but of course, it didn't keep us from completely polishing off everything.

Has anyone tried Kushi yet?

You get a little bit of pickled vegetables, miso, and rice. The last couple of visits I've gotten the $18 deal which is any 3 skewers, a california roll (with actual crab) and 2 pieces of nigiri.

Has anyone tried Kushi yet?

I've been methodically working through the skewer menu. Only a couple have been disappointing -- wagyu strip loin and wasabi chicken -- the others I've had have all been fantastic -- duck sausage, pork belly, wagyu short rib, okra, chicken with plum sauce, pork rib. The pork rib in particular is my favorite. The lunch deal of $12 for any 3 skewers is a scream of a deal, considering the wagyu ones are usually $10 a piece.

Zola on the Go cart?

Went down to 7th & F again, and sure enough the Zola on the Go cart was there again. Talked to the guy running it, but unfortunately was not able to order anything, as he was having propane issues. I did find out that they'll be there everyday in the summer.

So, the menu is all sliders -- hot & cold. Not sure how many come in an order, but each of the items below is $5 or 6. They also had whoopie pies, fruit, and handmade chips.

Here's what I can recall from memory. There were a bunch more hot that I can't recall right now, but just the 3 cold.

Cold
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Mortadella & Romano
Caprese
Roasted Vegetable

Hot
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Veal & lamb mini brats
Lamb meatball
Lamb bbq

Zola on the Go cart?

Was strolling through chinatown on lunch break and came across a lunch cart on the corner of 7th & F (right around the corner from the Sauca truck.) I work around the corner and had never seen it before.I looked briefly at the menu, and there were a variety of sliders and some sandwiches. I'd assume they're affiliated with Zola's, but there was also a DC Central Kitchen sign, too.

Anyone know anything about this cart? Is that it's usual spot?
Couldn't find any information on the zoladc.com nor dccentralkitchen.org

VA Beach/Hampton/Norfolk lunch recs?

Am off to the VA Beach / Hampton / Norfolk area next week for a couple of days mid-week.
Looking for good lunch spots around there (or between DC and there for the way there or back.) Price not really an issue -- anywhere from dirt cheap to high-end welcomed. Just looking for something good and highly recommended.