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Choices by Shawn in Old Town Fairfax?

This is a new place in the former location of Sweet Life. I'm excited, since I'm something of an Fairfax City cheerleader. I've only been able to find a few reviews online, but they're all raves. I tried Sweet Life (the former occupant of the historic Moore House) once for dinner and it was sorta 'meh'/hit-or-miss, so I'm not surprised they didn't make it. Choices by Shawn seems to focus a lot on gluten-free baked goods, and they even have a few vegan offerings. Anyone tried this place or have any thoughts?

Dec 30, 2009
seethaki in Washington DC & Baltimore

Anyone tried Ravi Kabob III in Springfield?

Ravi Kabobs I and II (in Arlington) have received rave reviews, but I can't really find much online about their newer location in Springfield. Anyone tried it (or know anything about it)? TIA! :)

Dec 29, 2009
seethaki in Washington DC & Baltimore

O&CO (olive oils, etc.) in DC metro?

Hi! Could anyone tell me where O&CO products can be purchased in D.C.? Last time I was in Chicago (where I'm surprised they haven't opened a boutique yet), the late, great State Street Marshall Field & Co. carried them, as well as Fox & Obel. If you'd like to recommend good olive oils that *can* be had in DC, that's fine, too (I may give them a try), but I'm looking specifically for O&CO products (long story). Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance! :)

The company's web site (no, I'm not a shill, obviously) is at http://www.oliviersandco.com/FO/.

Nov 19, 2009
seethaki in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lake of the Ozarks

Almost forgot - Ruthie D's on Horseshoe Bend is pretty good:

http://ruthieds1.liveonatt.com/home.nxg

Apr 06, 2009
seethaki in Great Plains

Huntington, Fairfax Co.? (south of Alexandria)

Thank you!! This is great info.. I'll bike over there tomorrow and check these places out. :)

Feb 03, 2009
seethaki in Washington DC & Baltimore

Huntington, Fairfax Co.? (south of Alexandria)

This is where I live, and those of you who know the area know that it's not exactly dangerous, per se (well, unless you're hanging out by the Hutington Metro, or the 7-11, after midnight), but it is a little rundown. That said, is there *anywhere* along Huntington Ave. or at the intersection of Huntington Ave. and Route 1 that's worth getting food from? Authentic pupupas, anything like that? (I don't care if the place is a little seedy, as long as the kitchen is clean enough and the food is good.) It can't be past (or on) Telegraph, or on Route 1, or in Old Town (or Carlyle, i.e. SW of Old Town but north of the Beltway). I'm looking for an actual Huntington place, if one exists. (Oh, I already know about To Be Thai, on the Huntington/Route 1 intersection.) And I know about delivery, too. ;)

Feb 03, 2009
seethaki in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best fondue in D.C.?

Thanks for the suggestions, all! I'm going to wait until my husband gets back to town in a few days and see what he thinks. We're thinking of having our Valentine's Day dinner a day or two from the 14th so we can actually get in someplace. :)

Feb 03, 2009
seethaki in Washington DC & Baltimore

Miso-Ginger Vinaigrette

This was wonderful - just had it tonight. Yum! :)

Jan 30, 2009
seethaki in Recipes

[STL] A loaded question.

"So, St. Louis has yet to pass a smoking ban in restaurants?"

Ha! Fairfax Co. (in NoVA) hasn't passed a smoking ban in restaurants, either. Probably has something to do with the importance of tobacco to VA's economy.

"It's just different and doesn't have the same offerings as [other regions that have] larger cities."

Like the Pacific Northwest? If you remove San Francisco from that equation, you're not left with much in terms of large urban centers. :)

Jan 28, 2009
seethaki in General Midwest Archive

[STL] A loaded question.

"Do you see what I'm saying, the Midwest isn't bad. It's just different and doesn't have the same offerings as larger cities."

The Midwest isn't a city, it's a region. :) And it happens to contain the United States's third largest city - Chicago. :)

Jan 28, 2009
seethaki in General Midwest Archive

Best fondue in D.C.?

I got the idea of going out for fondue on Valentine's Day after suggesting it (at Geja's Cafe)to someone in the Chicago Area section. :) So - what's the best fondue to be had in the D.C. metro area? Specifically, is there anyplace (good) besides the Melting Pot chain?

Jan 27, 2009
seethaki in Washington DC & Baltimore

Places to eat on valentines day

I've heard Geja's Cafe (the fondue place) praised as a cozy and intimate (dipping one another's fondue, etc.) Valentine's Day spot. Too obvious? Or not at all what you had in mind? :)

Jan 27, 2009
seethaki in Chicago Area

Lake of the Ozarks

I remember way back when Der Essen Platz was in Cole Camp.. they were excellent for years and then started to slip. (On a different, but related, note, I hope that place down the street from the former Der Essen Platz in Cole Camp is still there.. a guy [Amish, I think?] started up a small place with just 1-2 items offered on the menu per day, plus ever-changing baked goods. It was excellent, but I never saw anyone else eating there...)

Jan 27, 2009
seethaki in Great Plains

[STL] A loaded question.

Say, u e, while we're on the topic of the culinary sophistication of mid-sized Missouri cities vs. the Washington, D.C. metro area, how do you think Columbia, Missouri (home of the main campus of the University of Missouri) compares as a 'dining destination' to College Park, Maryland (home of the main campus of the University of Maryland)? As a short-term (thankfully) resident of College Park (actually, just outside College Park, but that wasn't much of an improvement, believe me), I didn't notice much in the way of gourmet tendencies on the part of the population (student or otherwise). I'm reluctant to assume this was because of 'consumer apathy,' as you defined it, since we're talking about the Mid-Atlantic, here.

...

;)

Jan 27, 2009
seethaki in General Midwest Archive

[STL] A loaded question.

hill - nod, nod, nod. I agree with everything you said (that I have any personal knowledge of, that is).

I guess what I mainly miss about the Midwest is the sort of lighthearted, quirky, experimental attitude that so many *mid-priced* indie places in some of the mid-sized cities (K.C., for example) demonstrated. And Chicago was all about those sorts of places. I loved living in Evanston (the one north of Chicago) as a grad student and trying all the weird little none-too-expensive-but-thoughtfully-artistic (if you will) places in my neighborhood. That's what's mainly, missing, I think, in the Mid-Atlantic, generally speaking.. you can have a good meal if you're willing to shell out $200 (and don't mind some beefy senators sitting nearby, chomping on their cigars - *nod to ulterior_epicure* ), but if not, you'll have to settle for a greasy spoon (some of which are wonderful, don't get me wrong) or have Southeast Asian *again*. I also find it interesting how successful the mid-tier quick service places out of the Midwest - like Potbelly, Panera, etc. - are in this city. You'll actually see stuffed-shirt government appointees dining at Panera (with a sort of lofty air), which I find absolutely hilarious.

Jan 27, 2009
seethaki in General Midwest Archive

[STL] A loaded question.

"I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, then."

Sounds good. :)

Oh, and I think I missed your argument(s) for why Chicago was an inferior restaurant city to D.C. - was it because Chicago's in the Midwest?

...

;)

Jan 27, 2009
seethaki in General Midwest Archive

Lake of the Ozarks

The Seven Springs Winery looks awesome! I wish I still lived in MO.

Jan 27, 2009
seethaki in Great Plains

Lake of the Ozarks

Wow, that's sad - interestingly, it seems that both these closures corresponded pretty closely time-wise with the destruction of the historic Arrowhead Lodge. *sighs*

Jan 27, 2009
seethaki in Great Plains

[STL] A loaded question.

ulterior - read my posts again, paying special attention to my use of the phrase "per capita." ;)

And thanks for defining "consumer apathy" - I never would've guessed that it meant an unwillingness to eat seafood. ;)

Well, off to go inform my husband (who's a native of the Mid-Atlantic and will barely touch anything that isn't American comfort food) that he's a foodie merely by virtue of not being from the Midwest. He'll be thrilled!

Jan 26, 2009
seethaki in General Midwest Archive

[STL] A loaded question.

ulterior - uh, maybe I'm confused, but I thought we were discussing cities' restaurants, not their ethnic diversity? Yes, D.C. is great for so-called "ethnic" restaurants (I've always hated that term - what's "ethnic" to one person is another's comfort food), but I was discussing innovative/progressive/'fusion' sorts of places, and, per capita, at least, I consider Chicago and K.C. to be way stronger in this area than D.C. Just my $.02. :D

And I'd say the following comment by you - "Unfortunately, we, in the Midwest, are limited by our location (the ocean is literally a five minute walk from the front door of The Sportsman) and, more significantly, handcuffed by an apathetic consumer mentality" - definitely qualifies as "reflexively, non-reflectively bashing the Midwest." I'm specifically curious about "handcuffed by an apathetic consumer mentality" - do you have any stats on this phenomenon (and a definition for "apathetic consumer mentality," while we're at it)? :D

Jan 26, 2009
seethaki in General Midwest Archive

[STL] A loaded question.

There's nothing wrong with the Midwest in general, restaurant-wise.. in fact, I'm living in D.C. now, and there are far fewer interesting/funky restaurants here (per capita, at the very least) than my former homes of Chicago (obviously) or Kansas City.

*The problem is St. Louis, specifically.* In fact, STL is more like a typical mid-sized Mid-Atlantic city in this regard than a Midwestern one - lots of traditional regional (and often yummy!) oddities like toasted (fried) ravioli, gooey butter cake, provelone pizza, etc., but not a lot of progression/innovation in new restaurant trends. C'mon, people.. stop reflexively, non-reflectively bashing the Midwest already.

Jan 26, 2009
seethaki in General Midwest Archive

Lake of the Ozarks

Barons Bistro is my favorite place at the lake - it's in Camdenton, though, which can be quite a ways from a lot of the main Lake action:

Barons Bistro
8 Bridal Cave Rd, Camdenton, MO
Tel: (573) 346-6369

The Kenilworth House Sidewalk Café is also great - very folksy/foodie, with cool kitchen gadgets and cookbooks in the entryway, too:

The Kenilworth House Sidewalk Café, Highway 54, Lake Ozark, MO 65049 (573) 348-5959

The Duck (Formerly the Lucky Duck) isn't bad, and has the advantage of being one of the area's upscale restaurants right on the lake:

http://www.theduckrestaurant.com/

Avoid, avoid, avoid the Blue Heron and Potted Steer - yucky (a spider in my salad - no joke), crazy (cornish hen with raw green grapes in what seemed to be a cinnamon-flavored water.. gourmet? non) food and mediocre service.

Also, look for divey looking bbq places by the sides of highways.. they're kind of a Lake tradition and are often quite good.

Finally, my favorite restaurant at the Lake used to be Toledo's (at Four Seasons resort) - the chef was unbelievably good and finally left for a much better paying job at a really good restaurant in San Francisco. Unfortunately, after he left, the restaurant ceased to exist. There might be something else in there now, but I have no idea how good it is. Anyone tried the Four Seasons restaurants lately (like HKs, or the raquetball place)? (Or the Tan Tara - another golf resort - restaurants, for that matter?)

Jan 26, 2009
seethaki in Great Plains

Blind Faith Cafe (Evanston) Chili?

When I was a student at Northwestern, I ate this stuff almost daily. It's the best vegetarian chili I've ever had. (I mean Blind Faith's regular chili.. made with pinto beans, IIRC.. not the seasoned black beans you could get on your tostada/whatever as an alternative to the regular chili.) Do any of you Chicago-area chowhounds know what might be in it? Even if you've just tried it, and have some vague idea about what might make it so special, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

Jan 25, 2009
seethaki in Chicago Area