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KCinNoVa's Profile

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Ahi Tuna Poke

I disagree with the two previous posters who knock the idea without even trying the recipe. And actually, several gourmet chefs in Hawaii have served poke appetizers on chips or crackers - nontraditional, perhaps, but the results can be very good.

As for the cucumber, if you go to the Poke Stop or one of the other places with a large selection of poke, they offer many variations with nontraditional ingredients to give you a variety of flavors to choose from.

I can't rate this recipe yet, since I haven't tried it myself, but from the looks of it, I can't find fault.

By the way, if you pronounce it "po-kay" (rhyming with okay), you're sure to out yourself as a haole. The locals pronounce it more like "PO-keh."

Jan 12, 2013
KCinNoVa in Recipes

The cheapest possible wedding reception in DC... Help please :)

I would recommend Wu's Garden in Vienna. It's large enough that you won't be taking over the entire restaurant. The food is good Chinese American (much better than the buffets). You can get several courses served family style, so if any guests can't or won't eat any particular dish, they still won't go hungry. They should be able to come up with menus at different price points so you can find the balance between your budget and acknowledging your guests (and making the wife happy--that's a lesson you can't learn too early in a marriage ;)

Takeout and Picnicing in DC

Why don't you pick up a Bento Box. If you're in the District, Teaism has a pretty good one; if you're in the burbs, there should be a lot of decent Japanese restaurants with worthwhile offerings. Matuba on Columbia Pike and Arigato in Fairfax come to mind.

Washington/Alexandria tourist areas - quick & cheap eats

Another option for the whole group is Dragon Sea Buffet in Springfield. It's a large Chinese buffet with over a hundred items, including Mongolian barbecue, a salad bar and some American dishes (I recall seeing pizza, fried chicken, mac n cheese), so there should be something for everyone's tastes. The quality is very good for buffet food, and being a buffet, you won't have to wait on the kitchen to prepare all the entrees. Not to mention it's that being all-you-can eat, it should be good for those large teenage appetites.

The price is reasonable, under $15 for dinner, and it's a fairly large space that should be able to accomodate the number you have, though it would be prudent to call and confirm. It's fairly close to your hotel, a straight shot down I-395, about 7 or 8 miles south of Landmark.

iso Chowish near Backlick in Springfield

There are a couple of Korean restaurants at the strip mall that shares the parking lot with El Grande, but I haven't been to either of them since they changed owners a few years ago. There is also Bale, which serves banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches). These are great, and at $3.00, a real bargain.

There are a number of other Korean places scattered around Springfield, but they only ones I've been to under current ownership is Migado (on Commerce Street) and the one in Brookfield Plaza (can't remember the name), and I wasn't particularly impressed with either one. (Migado used to be a favorite of ours until the owner/cook sold it; the new cook just didn't have the same touch.)

I don't know of any Ethiopian in Springfield, but there are a number of Indian restaurants. I haven't been to any of those within the last ten years, so I can't make any kind of call there. I have meant to try Aabshar, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

In Springfield Plaza, Canton Cafe is next to Trader Joe's and offers pretty good dim sum on the weekends. They also offer a nice wonton noodle soup, although with the weather warming, that may not be as welcome as a few weeks ago. The offerings on their regular menu is good, even above average, but not outstanding (although I do recommend their Beef with Chinese Broccoli Chow Foon).

If you're in the mood for Thai, I highly recommend House of Siam. This is my favorite Thai restaurant in the region (although I haven't made it to Thai Square yet). As a point of reference, I think most of the other Thai restaurants make their dishes too sweet, so if you think the balance at those places is okay, you may not be as enthusiastic for this as my wife and I are. If you do go, try their pla choo chi - batter-dipped grouper deep-fried to crispness, then served in a tamarind curry. Another favorite is the Sticky Rice and Moo Yang, five skewered pork strips with a very flavorful marinade, then charcoal grilled. It would be good just as is, but when accompanied with the spicy chili-tamarind (?) sauce, it's fabulous. My wife usually insists on ordering their Pad Woon Sen and thinks their spring rolls are the best. The rest of their menu is also quite good as well, though it's hard for us to get past those standouts to order something different. Unfortunately, you won't be able to go there this weekend. This is a real Mom and Pop place, and Mom, the cook, had a baby very recently, so they're closed until May 1.

inexpensive place for dinner near Dunn Loring/Tysons?

My wife and I usually end up with the ginger salad (though the squid salad is good, too) and the squash fritters (love the dipping sauce). When the weather's cold, the spicy fish soup hits the spot. We like several of the curries, too, especially the pork tamarind curry. There are other dishes we've enjoyed, as well as some that we haven't, but I'd have to look at the menu to refresh my memory.

Like some other small places, there are some days when the food just isn't as good; maybe the cook as an off day or is off that day?

inexpensive place for dinner near Dunn Loring/Tysons?

One of my favorites in that area is Myanmar, a Burmese restaurant that also hints of Thai and Indian. It's just across the Beltway from Dunn Loring, in a strip mall just off of Rt 29 Lee Hwy.

Do a search on this forum and you'll find several threads on it.

Where can I buy Kona coffee beans in VA?

I hope this isn't off topic, but I haven't found a local supply - over the years I've tried Trader Joe's, Gloria Jeans, Barneys, Dean and Deluca, maybe a few others - that can compare with the single-estate coffees from Pele Plantations, online:

springfield va for a night

For excellent Thai food, try House of Siam, very close to the Springfield exit of I-95. Take the Old Keene Mill exit (west), right on Bland St, right on Amherst, right on Spring Garden Dr. It's on the left: 7056 Spring Garden Dr.

Bertucci and Z-Pizza are off the same exit to the east. Exit east to Franconia Rd, right on Frontier Dr, then they'd be on your left. (Sprinfield Mall is on the right).

A previous post mentioned Mike's American Grill. That, too, is near the Springfield Interchange, but go early. After about 6:30, there can be a significant wait, especially on weekends. I used to like the place, but the last couple of times, the food has been oversalted, so I haven't been back in months.

House of Dynasty is a superior Americanized Chinese, about 10 minutes from the Springfield Interchange. 7550 Telegraph Road (where it crosses Hayfield Rd), Alexandria, VA 22315.

Canton Cafe is right off the Springfield exit, in the strip mall at Old Keene Mill Rd and Bland St. It's decent, and it has the virtue of being open quite late, where most of the other others close up at 9 or 10.

Villa Bella was also mentioned previously. It's a very nice Italian restaurant, and we eat there often, but it's about a 15-minute drive from the Springfield Interchange.

Best Dim Sum (with the carts)?

One more restaurant that was missed by the Hounds. Canton Cafe, in the Springfield Plaza just off the I-95 Mixing Bowl, serves dim sum on weekends only.

Bearing in mind that my wife and I mostly prefer the steamed dumplings, I think it's on par with Mark's Duck House on most items, and even better on some.

Since I'm a new poster, some info to show where I'm coming from: We used to like Fortune, but even before they moved from Bailey's Crossroads, found that their dim sum had become blander and less flavorful. Tried the Chinatown places - once each - nearly 20 years ago when we moved into the area, and never went back. Haven't been to any of the Maryland restaurants, and have never felt compelled to endure the wait to get into China Garden.

BTW, if you're driving I-95 or the southern part of the beltway and get the late-night munchies, Canton Cafe is one of the few places in that area open after 10 on weekdays (they're open till at least midnight, later on weekends). As the name suggests, they offer mostly Cantonese, not Szechuan/Hunan dishes, though their menu has some dishes that seem to be a must for the DC region. Their food is pretty good, better than most strip mall Chinese, but of course not on par with what you can get on the west coast.