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Turkish simit in/near DC?

You can get simit on the weekends at Attila's Turkish grocery on Columbia Pike in Arlington (and pide at the connected restaurant). You have to go early. they run out. But, you can also call the day before and they'll set some aside for you.

The Fainting Goat

I went in early February, but I just had drinks and sat at the front bar. The bartender and front room staff were all very helpful and nice. I was earlier than my friend and the staff explained all the different seating options/areas to me while I waited.

We tried a couple of their cocktails, which were creative, delicious, and strong. In fact, we had no idea how strong until we realized we'd been there for hours. I had the Purple Lady, because I was intrigued by how egg would be incorporated (answer: the foam). I liked it so much, I had a second one.

It was a great atmosphere, easy to talk and hear each other and also nice for people watching. I definitely recommend it and would go back; however the food options appear a bit meat-heavy for me. If that is not an issue, the creativity and professionalism they displayed in their drinks menu bodes well for the food menu as well.

Seeking vegetarian restaurants in the DC area

I agree with Sunflower, which has an enormous menu. In the city, you could try Soul Vegetarian Cafe:

I was beyond stuffed after eating there.But, it was quite salty. I was thirsty for hours afterwards.

Seeking vegetarian restaurants in the DC area

I second Agora -- it is a mediterranean "meze" menu, with several veggie options. The mücver (squash cakes) are excellent!

Del Ray, Alexandria neighborhood destinations

i really disagree with all the hype about El Charrito Caminante. I've found some of the pupusa food trucks, like pupuseria diana, to be much better. A great place is all the way down in woodbridge: La Roca ( I'd say it's worth the trip.

New to DC area - Restaurant suggestions for Arlington and area

Also in Ballston area - on Saturdays and Sundays there is a pupusa truck (Pupuseria Diana) on Henderson at the corner of 4th Road North. In addition to Pupusas it has carne asada, tacos, and something else (limited menu, but for what they have it is Highly recommended -- beats out El Charrito Caminante.)

El Charrito Caminante
2710 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Pupuseria Diana
N Henderson Rd 4th Rd N, Arlington, VA 22203

spicy seafood noodle soup at Shiki Sushi

Stopped by Shiki Sushi in Ballston Mall tonight and got their spicy seafood noodle soup and had to write. It was excellent - very spicy, rich broth, smokey undertones (from the seafood?), plenty of noodles. Perfect for clearing the sinuses and excellent flavor.

I have ordered sushi here several times, but often find that they don't roll the maki tightly enough and the rice is loosely packed. But, the fish is always fresh. They are eager to please and I've found a few gems on the menu, so I hope they can stick around.

Ballston Cafe
4601 Fairfax Dr Lbby 2, Arlington, VA 22203

Shiki Sushi
671 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22203

small, eclectic, cozy setting?

I did like the food and concept at mourayo quite a bit. It was relatively quiet when I went, but we might have been there a bit later than the usual dinner hour.

small, eclectic, cozy setting?

These all sound great! thank you so much. I'll definitely add them to my list

small, eclectic, cozy setting?

I'm looking for restaurant suggestions that are not the enormous venues like Zaytinya (although I love that place). What are some smaller, more intimate rooms (could be part of something larger, but somehow separated). For those who might understand, I'm thinking of something similar to the bar area of Chez Henri in Cambridge, MA, which also had its own Cuban-themed menu. It had a few small tables, was separate from the big open dining room, was warm, dark and cozy on a winter evening. I'm describing the atmosphere more than the food. Something good for a couple, or maybe a few close friends to gather and be able to chat without being lost in a huge crowd or echoing dining room..

Latin American (read: not Mexican) places

Oh, pejibayes are so yummy. Where can you get them in a jar?

Salsa Lizano and Aji Chileno in Baltimore?

I am a huge fan of Salsa Lizano too and have been preserving my last bottle. But, I just found out you can order it online:


It is also for sale through Amazon.

Nizam, Cafe Divan, or Kazan - help me choose

I don't think you were off. I'm Turkish and have been consistently underwelmed by Cafe Divan. Perhaps their meat dishes are better. I tend to stick to the veggie/seafood side and have not been overly impressed. They really screwed up the su boregi, for example--overcooking (or leavivng it under a heat lamp for too long) so that instead of being the soft almost lasagna-like texture it is supposed to be, it was crispy. I could barely find the cheese in the sigara boregi, and the kalamar comes with cocktail sauce! (versus the white, garlicky sauce you'd see in Istanbul). Everything still tasted good, but they were definitely not what they were supposed to be. I keep going back, but have to accept that it is not quite what I would expect.

Saray - New Turkish Restaurant in Allston

Well, I'm very excited to hear about this place. The "strange" pudding you're describing is most probably - Asure (the 's' has a cedilla and is pronounced like an 'sh' in english) -- most commonly in Turkey they translate it as "Noah's pudding" on the menu -- a little bit of everything is in there. It can take a while to make and is a real treat in the winter. If one family makes it, they invite friends over to share. It is one of my favorite desserts, but most places don't serve it. I'm thrilled that Saray has it. I'll be heading over as soon as I can.

I'm also happy to hear that they seem to have devote several dishes to seafood. Turks on the coasts (istanbul, izmir,etc.) eat a ton of seafood, but it rarely shows up on the menus in the american incarnations. The dishes I read about in the Boston Globe article as well are all very authentic and go beyond the traditional kebap that so permeates the menus here. Thanks for posting!!

Dec 22, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

cupcakes at Tasty Gourmet in Medford

Just stopped by Tasty Gourmet on Boston Avenue to grab some sandwiches to go. As I was ordering I noticed a row of cupcakes on the counter. After reading numerous postings about Kick@ss cupcakes, I was in the mood. The price? Much better than KA: $1.25 for one or 2 for $2.00. The size? Not gigantic, but slightly larger than grocery store standard (I think -- it has been a while). Perfect size, in fact. Not the small size I've heard complaints about elsewhere.

The selection is minimal. Combo of chocolate and vanilla: chocolate with chocolate icing, choc w/vanilla icing, or vanilla w/vanilla icing. I bought one choc/choc and one vanilla/vanilla. Brought them home through a 20 minute walk in the freezing cold in the afternoon, and just had them tonight. What a surprise! I wish I had bought more. The icing was creamy, not too sweet, soft not hard. Nicely distributed. The cake was tasty. I was licking my fingers. My DC was oooing with pleasure. I may have to make this a regular stop and will certainly stop by again this week.

These are not gourmet by any means, but a solidly executed, fresh, classic cupcake that has left me really wanting more. Perhaps not enough to drive out of your way for, but if you're in the neighborhood, I definitely would check it out.

Dec 17, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

Z Square

I have to echo the disappointment. I went with a group of about 6 and we had the good luck to be seated without a reservation. It filled up almost immediately afterwards (this was around 7:30). While I enjoyed the atmosphere, I had a difficult time making a selection that didn't seem overpriced. A friend and I both decided to order off the bar menu. I was looking for something meatless and at the suggestion of the server ordered the chickpea burger. What I received was mushy and absolutely tasteless. I ended up simply drowning it in ketchup for some moisture and flavor. I would have been better off with a microwaved Garden Burger. As the OP said, I may return for the atmosphere and drinks, but will certainly think twice before ordering any food.

Dec 08, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

Where can I get authentic sourdough bread?

I'm also a former San Franciscan. The only real sourdough I've had here was served at Flora (restaurant) in Arlington. They gave me an extra loaf to take home when I raved about it. Maybe ask where they get it from? I think that they told me, but unfortunately, I nolonger remember.

Nov 08, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

Ethnic/specialty food lunch delivery in Cambridge/Somerville

I just want to echo the good reviews of Guru. I just went there today on a friend's recommendation and found the food to be some of the best indian I've had -- very flavorful, lots of substance (versus simply being a lot of sauce). I got the vegetarian special -- 2 vegetarian dishes, white rice and plenty of bread for just $5.50. I haven't come close to finishing it, so the rest will be my dinner. I will definitely be returning.

Oct 01, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

It's Mojito season...who does the best one?

I like the mojitos at Chez Henri

May 13, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

nice dinner, student budget, boston commons?

Thank you for the recommendations, everyone. I'll certainly add those to my list. Oh, how I miss the days when I was actually earning a salary! Still, working within a smaller budget can certainly bring out the creative side in restaurant selection.

Admittedly, we went a way over budget when we decided to go with our sushi cravings and checked out Ginza. We had fun with the variety of rolls (we tried: fancy maki, crazy maki, kmeeks maki, spider maki, alaskan maki, unakyu maki, spicy tuna maki and hamachi negiri). We clearly could have gone a much cheaper route, but being sushi addicts, we gave in to our impulses, only restraining them slightly. The atmosphere was nice, and sushi was good, but my standard tester: hamachi negiri, led me to conclude that this was nothing extraordinary. The simple hamachi negiri eliminates all the sauces and fancy presentations of the maki rolls that can hide less than stellar quality. I found the fish OK: the slice wasn't very big, and it was missing that smooth buttery texture that signals a good yellowtail sample. I'd give it a B/B+

Still, we both left feeling quite satisfied and content, but I would stick with the rolls, rather than the negiri as it seems you need some of the "extras" to perk up the fish.

I will definitely follow some of your other recommendations next time as they certainly sound worth checking out. Thanks for your help, everyone!

Apr 21, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

nice dinner, student budget, boston commons?

forgot to mention that this is for TONIGHT...

Apr 20, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

nice dinner, student budget, boston commons?

In the midst of thesis writing, need a place for a nice dinner in vicinity of boston commons - close enough walking distance so that we can make it to a 10:30 movie. Any recs on a place with nice atmosphere, interesting selection, but that will fit a grad student budget? We probably won't be ordering more than one appetizer to share, and then 2 entrees. Trying not to go over $25/person.

Apr 20, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

I love East Asia.

I love this place too. Shrimp Humapun is delicious -- order it almost every time. I wasn't too thrilled with the tofu either when I ordered it for delivery - too fried/rubbery. I think I may speak with the owners about recommending something on the softer side. In house dining service is excellent! Very attentive, clean. And I agree that the slaw and fried wontons are definitely a nice touch.

Mar 22, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

Dinner at Hana Sushi last night (long)

Just tried this place myself (for takeout). Coming from San Francisco, I'm a bit picky about my sushi. I must say the cuts of fish were fresh and melt in your mouth good. I was happy with my nigiri selections (hamachi and saba). The rolls, however were a bit disappointing. While still tasty, they were a little skimpy and --my pet peeve-- the rice was too loosely packed. If you weren't careful, the rolls would fall apart, or the center would fall out unless you squeezed the roll flat with your chopsticks. Not ideal. Still, I'm willing to give it another shot, but I'd eat in and sit at the sushi bar to watch the chef make them this time.

Feb 11, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

Boston Kebab House - Downtown hope for vegetarians

we've spoke with the owners several times. Definitely Turkish.
We went again as a group of 4 and were thus able to order 8 of the 11 available appetizers with our dinner specials. The baba ghanous (patlican salatasi) was an enormous hit. Definitely the star of this weekend's meal, with a deliciously smoky flavor. Perhaps a bit creamy, but savory enough that we contemplated getting another order.

The meze are virtually all vegetarian so there are plenty of options for any non-meat-eaters.

Afiyet olsun...

Feb 11, 2007
mselin in Greater Boston Area

Boston Kebab House - Turkish

I've been testing out the different Turkish restaurants in the area and wanted to make another recommendation: Boston Kebab House. As a semi-vegetarian (no meat, but I sometimes eat fish), I had been avoiding the place for a bit, as I assumed it was all Kebabs.

I was pleasantly surprised that in addition to the numerous meat kebab options, I could also order grilled fish kebabs, as well as other veggie options like falafel (not traditionally Turkish though).

In the evening, you can order the dinner special, which consists of soup, 2 meze dishes, a main course, desert and Turkish tea or coffee for about $14.95. We went with that option. The soup was a very good lentil soup (with excellent bread). For the meze, you have a choice from several. I ordered the spinach with pinenuts and eggplant with yogurt. Both were quite good.

The swordfish kebap had a wonderful grilled flavor (although was perhaps a bit dry for my taste) and was accompanied by rice, bulgur and shepard's salad. After the soup and appetizers, I was getting full however, and to save room for desert, I had this packed up take home after a few bites (it kept well and made a delicious lunch the next day).

My friend ordered kofte kebab and while I didn't taste it, I could smell the cumin spices (very nice).

Neither one of us are huge fans of sweets, but the baklava that we ordered was nice. Not too soggy or syrupy, which often happens if it has been sitting around all day. It was very fresh tasting. The portions were huge (at leat twice the size of a baklava serving in Turkey).

I can't speak to the Turkish coffe, but being a big tea drinker, the Turkish tea brought tears to my eyes - very aromatic. Not your typical teabag tea that you often find in restaurants.

If you are looking for a great atmosphere, this is not really your place. It still has a fast-food joint feeling to me. The dining area downstairs is clean and tastefully decorated with a minimalist touch of artwork on the walls. It is pleasant enough, but not what you'd be looking for if you wanted a special evening out. Even Brookline Family Restaurant would be a better bet on this front. But, the prices are reasonable and the food is good.

Not a great deal of variety, particularly for those not keen on kebabs, but it is possible to also order several different meze and make a meal from that.

Dec 10, 2006
mselin in Greater Boston Area

"Family Brookline Restaurant Turkish Cuisine"

We went there recently and as a vegetarian (of Turkish decent) I'd like to make a little plug for turning the meze into a meal. I got a combination of warm and cold appetizers and was very full. I recommend sigara boregi (rolled up filo dough with beyaz peynir (feta) in the middle), domatesli patlican (eggplant with tomato sauce). We all got mücver (like zuchinni patties/pancakes) and were very happy.

My meat-eating friends were salivating over their respective kebaps (one was a mixed grill and the other was a doner kebap).

Two of us also ordered ayran (the yogurt drink) and while the consistency was good, we both found we needed to add quite a bit more salt.

We intended to go for a light, late lunch, but couldn't resist the choices and ended up stuffing ourselves and then bringing the rest home, along with some favorite deserts.

I agree that the ambience wasn't anything amazing, but it was clean and felt like a nice little neighborhood place. I don't know, but a friend told me that they have Greek music on the weekends.

Dec 10, 2006
mselin in Greater Boston Area

seeking the SF/Ten Tables/Central Kitchen paradigm--the neighborhood place you'd take the T to

I'm also from SF and Chez Henri (if you only count the bar part) is much closer to what I'm looking for here. Any others along the same line? Small, casual, ambiance, with good and unique food.

Oct 21, 2006
mselin in Greater Boston Area

Fish and Chips

Once again, a friend and I rehashed the "Where can we get good Fish and Chips" in Boston question. Preferably in the city proper or Cambridge/Somerville. I've been reading previous posts and wonder if there have been any updates besides Matt Murphy's and Morse Seafood?

Oct 21, 2006
mselin in Greater Boston Area