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bbarrick's Profile

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Cart Dim Sum in SF Chinatown

We used to love to go to Y Ben House and were so sorry when it closed. The dim sum was cheap and good and we got to eat with the elderly ladies after their T'ai chi. That was always fun because the ladies were gracious and helpful.

Where do those ladies go now? Anyone know? It'll have to be the best dim sum in Chinatown.

:-) bb

Thai grocery near Palm Springs, CA?

We've moved to the desert (love it) but we're at a loss for things like fresh Kaffir lime leaves and other Thai staples. For that matter we know there's an H-Mart within weekend excursion distance but I'm beginning to feel like we're going to have to go into San Diego or Los Angeles. Advice is appreciated. thanx.

Jul 15, 2013
bbarrick in California

What's the best 'cheap eat' you ever had in DC?

Chez Auntie Libe. West African/Sengelese

Two Amys: not a great first experience

For all the positive reviews I was expecting pizza greatness when I took a group there today. The appetizers were great--especially the salt cod croquettes and goat cheese with fig compote. But for most of us the pizzas were soggy with visible moisure and drippage and for several too salty. The pancetta was bacon (no misunderstanding, staff even announced it as "pancetta" as it was served). Certainly it deserves a second chance but it didn't live up to its reputation today.

Two Amys
3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

Good Pho in D.C.?

Pho King is at 3108 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305. Funny, your review of Pho Kim might be exactly mine of Pho King. I got there at 1pm and the place was empty. Took them 10 minutes to put the bowl on my table so my guess was that nothing was ready. Tons of watery noodles, little meat, thin broth, skimpy on sprouts and basil, even the pepper was was remarkably tasteless. Not terrible but oh well, back to Pho Hot for me! bb

Good Pho in D.C.?

I'm American but have been addicted to Pho for years (SF Bay Area and Seattle) and make a pilgrimage each week--usually to NoVA. Unfortunately it would be pretty inconvenient without a car.

I've gotten pretty addicted to Pho Hot in Annandale. My prior favorte was Pho Tay Ho in Falls Church. Pho Hot is much more consistently outstanding and recently renovated, friendly and rarely crowded. It's got this really cool "pot of fire" object in the middle of restaurant.

For those just getting into Pho and feeling adventurous you'll sometimes see on menus "suited to American tastes" or similar wording. That usually means just what I'm going to order. I'm kind of a snout-to-tail guy anyway and Vietnamese sensibilities seem to agree. "Traditional" (an arguable term) is almost always item #1 on the menu.

There's one I just noticed called Pho King in Alexandria that's gotten one rave review on another site so I'll give that one a try. Hopefully won't be disappointed or will probably end up making two trips to NoVA next weekend.

Cheers. bb

Pho--6am 'til midnight in West Annandale

I've been trying each Pho in Northern Virginia that everyone thought worthwhile. I'm up to about six now. Tried Pho Hot today. Very impressed. I thought the broth was well balanced and beefy, the meat generous, the greens were the usual with Vietnamese basil. Everything was very fresh and the broth was clear. Service was friendly, place was clean, air conditioned and modern. Definitely a keeper. bb

Bagels in MD

Forgive me for reliving child memories but I'm looking for the onion bagel of my nether years. It was medium-fat, not dry and had bits of caramelized onion on it. I didn't grow up with "everything" bagels--just plain, egg and onion. A suggestion for DC/Bethesda/Rockville? btw--I think Izzy's is gone. I can't find a current listing for it and I found one reference on Google to "the building on Elm St. that used to house Izzy's." :) bb

Las Vegas--shouldn't this be a board?

I'm surprised Las Vegas doesn't have its own corner of Chowhound. anyway--here's my recent experience over New Years...

Kokomos at Mirage. Steaks looked good but were tasteless, fish was overcooked, dry and tough. Coffee was surprisingly good in the Euro style. Not a keeper.

Gallagher's steak house in New York New York. Steaks and prime rib were excellent. Stilton scalloped potatoes were a knock out. Don't order the coffee--haven't had coffee that bad since before United starting serving Starbucks.

Orchids Garden Dim Sum. Very good. We were surprised and pleased to find outselves almost the only occidentals in a large and very busy dim sum restaurant. We got there about 11am and the restaurant was half full. By 11:30 there was a waiting line. They serve in the "rolling carts" style which I like best.

Seafood Buffet at Rio. Still the best. Pigged out on about 4lbs of lobster. Rio is now giving you the option of taking a number and watching a board to tell you when to join the line. then the line lasts only about 20 minutes--much better crowd control model than the usual.

For seafood we did try Fremont Hotel but discovered the seafood buffet is served only on certain days--check with the hotel before going.

cheers. bb

Jan 03, 2007
bbarrick in Southwest

Where do you do your grocery shopping in the DC area?

I live in DC and work in Bethesda so... Harris Teeter in Pentagon Row for staples. Banducci's or Litteri's for some specialty items (although I order condiment olive oils online from O&Co or get them from the store in NYC), Dutch Country Market in Burtonsville, MD for Amish dairy and butcher, Han Ah Rheum on Georgia Av for fishmonger and Asian vegetables. Makes for some long but pleasant drives on weekends.

Rave reviews, but I don't get it

Hank's Oyster Bar (haven't they heard of salt? and what's with no desserts?)
Rice (what's to rave? haven't had a good meal yet by American or Thai standards and the service is terrible)

Cooking Classes?

L'Academie de Cuisine is great. They have two campuses, amateur campus in Bethesda and pro campus in Gaithersburg. Excellent demo and hands-on classes. Unfortunately you just missed Somchet's Thai cooking class but she'll do another.