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Share your Best and Worst Seafood Tower spots

I don't think DBGB has a seafood tower. Or I'd ordered it last week. Good service, I think fair to good food...

Where to get curing salt around here?

Thanks very much.

Where to get curing salt around here?

I am trying to find curing salt or prague powder to make some good old Canadian peameal bacon. Could not find it at Whole Foods or Balducci. Obviously this is very against the organic/healthy food movement. Wonder if anyone knows a local place that might have it. Thanks.

If you are going to Bob's 66

If you are going to Bob's 66 (not Shanghai), better go soon because the rumor has it that it will be closing after being sold (like the supermarket next door). I heard they may open a cake place next to Beautiful Life Salon and will probably retain some of the small Taiwanese snacks. I just hope the prices are not what they currently are, after the hike.

Peter Chang Is Open in Rockville -- and the Chef is in Residence

We went there to the soft opening today. The garage was pretty full so I was informed by my partner to park on the street. The wait was about 20-30 minutes for a Wednesday evening. They had three large round tables empty which probably could have made them into multiple small combineable tables. The menu was pretty good, you can check online. The price was on par with the other Chinese places except obviously cheap for American standards. We ordered the large steamed bun which was smaller than pictured, okay in taste and not easy to negotiate with its size and juicy interior (I managed to suck out the juice after cooling but it just wasn't right size for easy eating vs. XLB). The clay pot soup only had pork rib with mushroom left. It was pretty good. Felt a bit MSGy after but I might be wrong on that. Also ordered was stirred fried eggplants which was excellent, light in taste. The other non-spicy pork feet dish was too tough but the basic construct was right. In summary, the taste is what you would find in a decent restaurant in Taiwan. The flavors are more delicate, the portions are American. It still suffered the soft opening problems with slower service but it was cute that the server placed the amount of preferred tip in change on top of the receipt, while the rest of the change went under. We were okay with 23%.

<Fung Sui and Parking>
Watch out for parking. They validate for the underground garage. I fed the one hour street meter after ordering. But with the slow soft opening, we were late by 5 minutes at 9PM got a 40 dollar ticket. I would say unlike Bethesda or DC where we never had parking problems, it appears Rockville is using it as a cash generator. I don't know whether this adds a bad Fung Sui to the location where previous place Ms. Saigon met its fate. Will certainly stay away from Town Center for a while. Looking at another famous Chinese place nearby which is currently in sale talks after moving to the a new location where at least two previous ventures have failed, maybe Fung Sui may have some validity. I wish Peter Chang's name and operation trumps the negative things at the Town Center or eventually move out of the money grabbing town center.

Best seafood in Baltimore Harbour?

Obrycki's for tourists and people who don't know good crabs from bad except brand names. They serve re-steamed leftover crabs and expect fools to rave about it. Quite insulting for folks who enjoy crabs.

Washington DC and VA burbs "ethnic" restaurants

I would say the chinese here beats Paris by a margin. Take him to Baltimore for crabs/crabcakes. It's quite a unique culture too.


Surprise you did not find one in every morel. I bought one a few weeks ago in Bethesda farmers market. Refrigerated them but found at least a live one in every mushroom, then a couple dropped out on the plate after cleaning. Then found a few more that dropped onto the pan. Guess I didn't do such a hot job cleaning them. I used to eat lots of morels and stopped after the bugs got to be too much.

Fresh Pork

Anyone know where I can get pork loins that have never been frozen around Montgomery county? Thanks.


Definitely makes the flavor more complex.

where to purchase Beurre Echire butter in DC area? I am in Silver Spring, MD.

Good find. I hope Cheesetique will have French yogurt so I won't have to fly so often.


I think the farmers market folks in Maryland also orders them and sells them at a high markup. The problem with Morels is that they are so full of tiny maggots you really have to either enjoy them or really do a good job picking them out. I think I am allergic to the cooked maggots so I have to slice the morels and pick them out. Have been told to soak it in salt water but then your morels get soggy.

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

That doesn't stop some narrow minded Americans from saying ewww, you eat this? this doesn't taste like Chop Suy I had last week and take it back. I've seen it as a young man working at a Chinese restaurant. Some people can get down right nasty so there is NOTHING WRONG with restaurants staying away from trouble. You wanna order the special things, you just have to learn to read Chinese and google up the ingredients before you read the Chinese menu. Once you do that, you are less prone to act like the idiots I've seen. Same as shopping at high end places like Hermes, they won't sell you a Birkin bag before knowing what you are talking detail.

Dry Scallops

Whole Foods usually have them dry. But I tried three stores recently and have been getting ones with amonia smell after I cook them the same day. Naturally threw them out and the WF seafood folks got defensive when I confront them (wasn't even bothering to get replacements or refund later on as the first replacement came out also the same.) I did double check with TJ frozen ones and yes, they were not supposed to be like that.

where to purchase Beurre Echire butter in DC area? I am in Silver Spring, MD.

Sorry finishing up mine. Still got about 1/4 left. It's the best one out of the iGourmet bunch. I would buy from iGourmet especially when weather is still colder. If you like butter with bread a lot, it's well worth the shipping. If you want to wait, I will be ordering another batch in a month or two...finishing my other isigny butter but none taste more milk flavor than Echire.

Kogiya in Annandale

My two cents, the place gets high reviews because it has low priced AYCE with decent service. I don't think their beef is as good as others and when you do AYCE, they try to stuff you lots of the cheap stuff before you get to eat too much of the good stuff. Their rib soup is nice but I think you have an opinion skewed by the twenty-something who are more into value than quality. When they mob websites, it tends to be difficult for the older more seasoned folks to figure out why this highly rated place tastes so so and still need 45 minutes of wait time.

Looking for some 'intereting' food in DC

Rouge 24 may be a nice option. Paul is a nice place for good French bakery. Lukes Lobster roll is nice not ethnic but def. harder to find in Detroit. No real good Chinese in Chinatown in my opinion. Between Noble Fish and Ajishin in Detroit, they have some nicer Japanese than most here in DC.

House of Fortune in McLean soup dumplings

Speaking of House of Fortune, there is one in Germantown MD (most likely no relations) with a secret dining room in the back. It's a Shanghai/Szechuan place popular with the Chinese locals. Tried a few dishes and pretty good. Another alternative to Shanghai Taste. Did not try the XLB but from the looks of things, I bet they are good.

I'm looking for good ramen in the Reston/Herndon area. Anyone have suggestions?

I would have to second Ramen Tanpopo. It's got decent soup base, great noodles, but the portion is deceivingly small. A&J next door is excellent if you like hand made beef noodles, Chinese flavor. Worth the drive IMHO.

Friendship Heights Whole Foods in slight decline?

I have to agree the Whole Foods in Rockville, and River Roard have been on a decline. Seafood in particular has been less and less fresh. We bought some scallops in River Road around the holidays only to have it cook up smelling like amonia that night. They reluctantly gave us a replacement the next day while arguing that they have it coming in every day. Yes, only I bet they won't throw away the ones not sold yesterday. When we got home, it turned out only to be the same and had my kitchen smelled up like ammonia. It felt so wrong throwing away perfectly good looking well cooked but rotten scallops. So I went to Rockville WFM and saw some nicer looking ones the next day, bought this bunch for 2.5 a piece and it was the same ammonia smell when you cut it open. Just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating that normal scallops should taste like that, I went to TJs, thawed and cooked up some of their frozen ones and it tasted much better. Gave up on their seafood department. It was on a slow decline, but this is getting ridiculous. Them putting up an attitude and expecting their customer to know nothing (perhaps many are) is unbelievable. Somehow I feel their employees feel they can pull a wool over their customers. We have noticed being overcharged at the register at Rockville, them ringing up the organic stuff when we buy regular, or the expensive bread when we buy the regular stuff. Somehow, you are just supposed to put up for the privilege of going to Whole Paychecks.

Best Bourbon Selection - retail sales?

Unfortunately you are in a high demand area so unless you are one of those folks who got the pattern down, and do this for a living (calling liquor stores the day Buffalo Trace Antique Collection arrives, pretend they are holding the stuff for you, know a lot of people working in stores and go from store to store so you can sell on Craigslist for a markup)you are going to be like the rest of us frustrated about the process. The best thing to do is to ask around who works in a liquor store or owns one. Then buy all your liquors from them and ask them to do you a favor when the stuff comes in. I spent (5+)thousands a year at Montgomery County liquor stores, even bought 400 bucks of Yamazaki at White Flint store to try to get on the waiting list for Parkers which they supposedly had a dozen and no dice on ANYTHING. It's really sad. You don't want to shop at Corridor or chains like Montgomery cause they don't care about you from Joe....unless you know their managers personally and got an inside tip. It's not a transparent or fair process, lots of people from liquor stores sell it under the table for a lot more money. I don't mind paying the hyped up market price for this stuff, but don't know whether it's real or not when it's the craigslist. Yes, I have a bottle of George T Stagg in wrappers unopened bought for 81 dollars because a guy working in a liquor shop owes me a favor, but seriously those things are reserved for favors and never hit the shelf.

My conclusion, yes I like my bourbon but believe the hype has overpriced bourbons above most fine scotch. You can get a Macallan 25 for cheaper than Pappy 23 and much better buying experience. The problem with me is I actually like Pappy 23 better, so decided to pick the best of the 40 regular bottles I have opened, which is Jefferson, can't even find the sad...

Dim sum recently?

That's the one. I think forgotten by the internet. Always hesitated to try but it's pretty good.

Dim sum recently?

I've been on Chowhound and internet restaurant thing for a while and recently realized that there are a lot of good places that don't get the buzz. My job right now is to find those. One of the places an older colleague of mine pointed to me was Far East restaurant in Rockville. Yes, they are pretty busy and hay day may be a decade or two ago, but want to point out they have decent Cantonese dim sum. I enjoy fresh sweet tofu dessert which they also have. If you have places that are not on the internet buzz (Far East is not even on google when I searched Rockville restaurants), please bring them to light. Thanks.

Where can I find Saba in Northern VA?

I bought some balsalmic vinegar syrup stuff and found it to be mostly grape must. Nice and sweet and I like it. If you try the guy in Bethesda Olive Oil 4 life dot com he might recommend you a balsamic product that is mostly must like my bottle.

JDS Shanghai Famous Food

We went there when it opened up. Here is the problem. Other than the XLB being "okay" the rest was not worth eating. Yes, we left A LOT of food on the table. It's the same problem when we went to "Little Bee" across from Great Wall Rockville. Their bread is nice but the rest doesn't taste the same, even though they look the same. So I advised the quality difference to the Little Bee people and they said that's how it's done in China. I told them they should aspire to be like that in Hong Kong, or at least Chinatown NY...(so to be objective I am not from Hong Kong.) Same problem with Keno Spoon. It takes years and years of training under good chefs and good palate yourself to make a good place. If you are not there, try to improve. Maybe some folks believe they can learn how to cook for a few months, throw some money to open up a fancy thing and just put anything out there as long as it looks the same. Yes, it's somewhat successful cause there is a lot of diners (Chinese or not) that don't know soup from colored water or don't care. Obviously, Chowhounders are in for a disappointment but we are not the ones that are going to make or break their restaurant. If they get a lot of folks that don't care about taste, they will be around for a long time. Then there are a lot of people who know how to cook, or eat that are not ever going to kill themselves opening up one....then there are th few underground cooks in the community in between who you can order really good stuff for pickup at their house....

So far, I would personally put Shanghai taste XLB slightly ahead of Bob's XLB, but they are roughly on the same level. Both are still making mistakes on orders. Then everything else includes A&J for XLB go to the next category. If you find a new place that you think others haven't tried, please make your recommendations on the board. Thanks and that's my two cents.

Montreal Flavor in DC

I'd do anything to get my hands on smoked meats like Schwartz.

Sausage Casings

Whole foods meat department. Bought one for a song...not your typical whole paycheck price.

East Dumpling House Rockville - New Find

Update. It seemed that the ownership may have changed a while back. The food quality has slipped as the place became busier. The okay service got worse. What can I say.... I don't go there anymore. Still, an additional choice for food.

Taiwanese chicken is probably best at Jumbo Jumbo. For authentic taste, tell them to leave out the hot powder. But maybe the hot powder suits the American or Mexican palate.

Any recent experiences at Bob's Noodle 66 (Taiwanese)?

It's been a while since they have moved. We noticed the quality of food is slightly better, but I think subjectively, the sanitation factor definitely a lot better. I used to have *problems after eating at the old Bob's but not a problem in the new one. we go probably weekly. We also checked out Taipei Café and it was good when it opened, except the *problems went over there likely with the chef. Taipei Café have cleaned up a bit, but the food went downhill after about a month.

So overall, I would say that Bob's 66 is still our favorite. They have a whole bunch of new dishes, including lobsters and all which wasn't available. You need to go at busy times when the main chef is there. Dishes could be a bit spotty at off hours. Recently they did this Groupon thing while raising their prices by a lot on some dishes, hope it's only temporary for Groupon or we will be going there less.

Help! Looking for a Rockville restaurant with private room for party of 40

Looking for a restaurant in the Rockville/Bethesda/Gaithersburg area with private room for party of 40 for a business dinner. Would appreciate suggestions. Thanks.