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Short Trip to Brussels, Bruges, and Amsterdam

Nordzee is a great idea....and if you'd like a good beer or two, with a cheese/meat board, check out Moeder Lambic Fontainas, in between Nordzee and Midi station.

Jul 22, 2012
strawberryfrog in Europe

Brussels and Antwerp -- A place to sample many different beers?

Exactly right, most beers by far in Belgium are in the bottle, as most undergo a second fermentation in the bottle. So, you'll see draft in a few places (and Delirium has the most taps I've ever seen in Belgium (bottom floor (basement) in Delirium is bottles, ground floor is taps, and top floor is apparently non-Belgian beers). But most places serve in bottles because the of the fermentation process.

Jul 22, 2012
strawberryfrog in Europe

Brussels and Antwerp -- A place to sample many different beers?

I'm an American living in Brussels for 3.5 years now. I definitely agree with all of the Brussels recommendations listed by od_sf. Those are the places with the biggest selections, I can also add Bier Circus, near Madou metro stop. They have very helpful staff who are happy to help you pick a beer if you tell them what you fancy (bonus that they have a menu of dishes cooked with beers, if you're hungry). Delerium is best on a Sunday or weekday afternoon or evening as it tends to get very "frat-tastic" on Friday and Saturday nights and the bartenders are just too busy to give you any advice.
Most small cafes and restaurants (Ultimate Atome excepted) only offer a couple of different beers (usually Maes or Jupiler, both of which are like the Miller of Belgium, or maybe Grimbergen or Leffe, which are good, if from big brewers).

For Antwerp, I agree with Kulminator, though it was closed on a recent Saturday when friends and I took a bar trek in Antwerp. Here are some other places we visited (bonus of a jenever bar if you need a break from beer):

't Oud Arsenaal: Maria Pijpelincxstraat 4. 2000 Antwerpen.
Small, dark and cosy

Het pakhuis : Vlaamse Kaai 76, 2000 Antwerpen. (
This is a brewery pub, a 30 minute walk from the center

Stamineeke : Vlasmarkt 23, Antwerp
Stamineeke is the one true specialist beer café. It's a two-storey affair, in another 17th century house in the Antwerp style.. This bar has Westvleteren a hard to find sixth trappist beer

Not beer, but jenever (Belgian gin drink): De Vagant: Reyndersstraat 25, Antwerp • This is (alledgely) one of the best jenever bars in the world

De grote witte arend: Reyndersstraat 18, 2000 Antwerpen
Good atmostphere, courtyard, they have their own chapel – make of that what you will

Pater's Vaetje: Blauwmoezelstraat 1, 2000 Antwerpen.
A rather pretty drinking venue right next to the cathedral.•

Kulminator : was closed when we tried to visit on a Saturday night in June
Vleminckveld 32, 2000 Antwerpen :
This is the local beer institution of Antwerp and has approximately 700 beers on offer.

You can't go wrong ordering almost any beer in Belgium, they're all FANTASTIC!

Bon voyage!

Jul 22, 2012
strawberryfrog in Europe

A Vegetarian Travelling with Omnivores - Primarily Belgium and Paris

In Brussels, I can heartily recommend Soul Restaurant: (might want to mute your speakers first, music alert!). Although it's not traditional Belgian (hard to get vegetarian and traditional), they do some really tasty food and as a bonus it's deep in the Sablon, down a little alley, so it's fun to find. You definitely have to book here as it is super tiny! It's also not too hard on the budget.
I've also taken vegetarian friends to L'Ultime Atome. (Having trouble finding the link to their website even though I've used it in the past, but this is their page on the local restaurant directory website: They have the traditional Belgian dishes here (an excellent roasted pig knuckle and great carbonnades flamande) but also several vegetarian friendly pasta dish and a fantastic hot goat cheese salad. The dauphinois potatoes are an excellent side dish to the lamb brochette, but you could ask for them separate. Bonuses: L'ultime Atome serves later than some other restaurants, is very easy on the budget, has an extensive beer list for a restaurant here, and is certainly off the tourist track but in a buzzy, social area called St. Boniface.
Bon appetit!

Sep 24, 2011
strawberryfrog in Europe

Best Mexican & Margaritas in DC Metro?

Guajillo in Arlington is excellent, and to my understanding, authentic Mexican (not Tex Mex). A woman I know from Mexico City who is a chef (not at that restaurant) recommends it highly. I've never had a bad meal there.

Ethnic Vegas--Up to Par?

Once again the Chowhounds do not disappoint! Thank you all for your thoughtful and very interesting responses, plus good ideas for new places to try.

Happy eating!

Feb 29, 2008
strawberryfrog in Southwest

Las Vegas - great meals on the strip for a solo diner

I almost forgot L'Atelier in the MGM. A wonderful splurge...Absolutely amazing...every bite is worth the price. It is set up as a bar around the kitchen, so is really perfect for solo diners, and completely comfortable for a female solo diner. If you don't want to spend money for the tasting menu, I highly recommend at least going for one of their delicious desserts!

Jan 23, 2008
strawberryfrog in Southwest

Las Vegas - great meals on the strip for a solo diner

HI there:
As a single female dining solo, I've really enjoyed the bar at Bouchon in the Venetian on several occasions. Consistently delicious French bistro food and the bartenders are warm but not overly friendly (if you don't want them to be). I've never found the bar area too crowded to eat (even on a Friday night) and the other patrons have always been respectful.

I ate in the dining room at Nob Hill and had delicious food, and the bar looked similarly low key and inviting for a female solo diner.

I have a female friend who ate alone at Daniel in the lounge-y area and really enjoyed it.

Those are the pricey places, for a cheaper casual lunch, I recommend 'wichCraft in MGM...tasy creative sandwiches in this Tom Colichio establishment.

And for a casual lunch or dinner, I really enjoy StripBurger, right outside Cafe BabaReeba at the Fashion Show mall (incidentially I like BabaReeba too, but have never been there alone). Just ate there last night and they have indoor seating during the chilly weather right now. I think StripBurger is much tastier than BurgerBar, having eaten at both several times.

Happy eating!

Jan 23, 2008
strawberryfrog in Southwest

Ethnic Vegas--Up to Par?

HI All: I'm asking this with the best of intentions, not wanting to get anyone riled, but a lively debate is always interesting! What do the 'hounds think of ethnic food in Vegas? I ask this because I've been to several places recommended on these boards (Lotus of Siam, a Malaysian restaurant, the Moroccan place on Paradise, the Indian place on Paradise) and come away pretty disappointed.

While none of the meals have been terrible, they haven't been as good as the Thai or Indian or Moroccan I've had at home (I'm from the Wash, DC area). Are my taste buds just off, or is there something a little amiss in the Vegas ethnic restaurant scene?

Jan 23, 2008
strawberryfrog in Southwest

Group Dinner in Vegas

Greetings hounds: My colleagues and I are in town again for work and being treated to dinner by the boss! We're looking for a good, nicer restaurant that can seat 15 people together and come out to about $75 each including wine, tax, tip, etc.

The group is fairly open to cuisines and we've tried and like places like Bouchon, Border Grill, Fleur de Lys, and Postrio (and many more, those are just a few examples).
We do have a vegetarian in the group.
We are also open to going to a place we've been before if they have a group room or big enough table for all of us (except Bouchon...bc they require a fixed menu and minimum charge per person).

We'll be doing this on Wednesday or Thursday night, so any quick suggestions are much appreciated. On or off-strip is fine.

Thank you!!

Jun 04, 2007
strawberryfrog in Southwest

flaming desserts

Granted, I haven't been there in about a year, but I had a wonderful (and ENORMOUS) baked alaska at Oceanaire on my birthday. It could easily feed 4 people. The cake and ice cream flavors vary...mine was chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream...mmmmm...

Where do you go to treat yourself, when you are flying solo?

I enjoy eating solo at the bar at Rasika in downtown DC, the bartenders are very friendly and very knowledgeable about the food.

Where to Take Out of Town Guests?

A few ideas for you:

How about some soul food, like Oohs and Aahs?

Lebanese Taverna (I like the food and atmostphere of the one at Pentagon Row)

Zaytinya for a late lunch/early dinner...I find this to be a great option after spending time touristing with visitors downtown.

Ghana Cafe for west african.

Have fun!

Family eatin' in Dupont Circle

I would second Hank's Oyster bar, with the warning that you should go early (like 5 pm) to get a table right away. There's not really a place to hang out if tables aren't available. Same thing with Pizzeria Paradiso. Both have tasty food items that will appeal to adults and kids alike.

As for Kramerbooks, I think the food has gone way downhill there. I've really wanted to like it the past few times I've been, but I've found things overcooked and/or cold, which is an odd combination. I do continue to like their pies though, so it could be a fun place to take the family for dessert. By the way, it is NOT "kind of a gay bookstore" rather they have an good selection of political, philosophy, religion, food, travel, and fiction titles, and lots of people browsing at any time of day or night.

Looking for a great cup of hot cocoa

I think people are divided on it (I'm kind of neutral myself), but have you tried the $5 hot chocolate at Murky (on Capitol Hill)?

Favorite Thai restaurants in D.C., nothern Virginia?

Has anyone tried Chala Thai in Merrifield? (in the same shopping center as the 5 guys on Gallows Road) I had takeout from there recently and thought it was delicious, but I'm no expert on the authenticity of Thai food (I do love Bangkok 54 though).

Charlotte: Gift Certificate for Mom's birthday

Thanks for your input everyone! I perused some of the other Charlotte postings and I ended up getting her a gift certificate to Noble's, which she was very excited about! She said she ate lunch there a few years ago and enjoyed it. I liked their menu and the info on their website about local/seasonal food.

Post-funeral lunch near Arlington?

I was at Orleans house years ago and just thought it was really awful. The prime rib sandwich I got was terrible, cold and chewy, so I was glad they had a big salad bar. When I was there, the salad bar is the standard "old school" type with lots of creamy dressings, little corn cobs. I honestly wonder how the place stays in I missing something and I should try it again?

Been to Viridian lately?

Has anyone been to Viridian lately? All the posts I've found are dated before the chef left (in late October?). I'd like to know if it's still worth a visit.


Talulla in Arlington--any good?

Ah yes, completely forgot to mention that! I walked by yesterday and they're doing quite a bit of work in there...can't wait to check it out!

Top Restaurants To Try in 2007 - Washington D.C. area

In no particular order:

Del Merei
Blue Duck Tavern

I'll add on a bar too: PX ;-)

Washington D.C. for a weekend

I second the Dino recommendation. Wonderful Italian food, great and accessible (not intimidating) wine list, and a comfortable, homey place to be.

Just up the street from Dino, you might try Palena if you want something pricier and fancier. Their food is upscale, but still very accessible I think.

For a casual lunch/brunch or even dinner, maybe check out Luna Grill and Diner on Connecticut just south of Dupont. Soups, sandwiches, pasta options, all quite can get crowded though.

Post-funeral lunch near Arlington?

When I went to a funeral at Arlington Cemetery, we came out of a different gate, so we didn't get dumped right onto 110 (which runs into Jefferson Davis Hwy). We came out onto Lynn Street, right into Rosslyn. Also, I was thinking since Crystal City has some one-way streets while others aren't, it might be confusing for a newcomer.
You definitely could take metro to Crystal City, but it's a 10-15 minute walk at least to the Crystal City restaurants, or there is a bus you can pay $1.25(?) to ride, called the 9S. It runs a loop around Crystal City. If everyone is up for a walk or bus ride, Crystal City could work ok.

Talulla in Arlington--any good?

Tallulah is right around the corner from where I live and I've stopped in on numerous occasions for a bite and drink (usually sit at the bar alone). I think overall it's very tasty, a little pricey, and a good addition to the neighborhood. There are a few things on the menu I just didn't like much. Love the fried green tomatoes, and the desserts.

For super casual bar-type food that is tasty, I love Galaxy Hut. Funky and divey, but where else can you get a decent burger or chilli AND play table-top Galaga or Ms. Pac Man in Arlington? ;-) Good selection of beers (limited wine and no booze) and a tasty brunch on weekends (sloooow though). You might like this place if you're coming from Brooklyn.

Ethnic-wise, I also really like Guajillo for Mexican and Pho 75...these are between Rosslyn and Courthouse. El Pollo Rico...sooo good, that's my comfort food.

More pricey, Ray's the Steaks is fantastic..but prepared to run the gauntlet to get in or wait for a very long time.

For coffee or good chai, check out Murky Coffee.

For wood oven pizza, Faccia Luna is good, if sometimes inconsistent.

Post-funeral lunch near Arlington?

Crystal City is not terribly close to the cemetery and is kind of confusing to find your way around if you're not from the area.

I recommend the Rosslyn/Courthouse area.
You might check to see if Rhodeside Grill is open during the time you want to go, I haven't been in a while but they have a varied menu and it's casual. It's just down Wilson Boulevard (at Wilson and Rhodes), pretty close to the cemetery.

If folks like barbecue, you could try Red Hot and Blue which has a big back dining area and is located on Wilson Boulevard between Rosslyn and Courthouse, very close to the cemetery. Very casual and inexpensive, and I think the barbecue is decent (being from SC, I'm pretty picky about that) plus I think they have burgers and other casual fare too.

Eastern Market, what is it and where is it?

Eastern Market on Saturday is wonderful for handmade jewelry, photography, handbags, and other acoutrements. I'll second about the farmer's market at Eastern Market...most of the sellers there just pick their stuff up from a warehouse. If you want to check out a producer's farmer's market (or mostly producers), try Dupont Circle on Sunday or Arlington (in Courthouse) on Saturday. The market breakfast inside the building is quite the attraction and pretty tasty southern-type fare IMHO, but it's a bit of a time investement and a hassle in terms of seating, etc.

What is your favorite tomato/marinara sauce in a jar?

I like most of the Trader Joe's sauces because they are usually lacking in extra sugar, gums, preservatives, etc. They seem to be lacking that weird chemically taste that's in Ragu and some of the cheapie supermarket brands. I tried Rao's once and it was delicious, but I can't bring myself to pay $8 for a jar of spaghetti sauce! :-)

Jan 03, 2007
strawberryfrog in General Topics

Charlotte: Gift Certificate for Mom's birthday

If I ask my Dad where he wants to go, the answer would be Wing King or something like that. ;-) And he really has no concept of who serves good food, even in his own town (which is about 30 miles south of Charlotte) long as they have some kind of domestic beer to drink, he will usually go along and tolerate it.
Yes, I do 2 people with such different tastes have a 35 year marriage? Something is working for them!

Charlotte: Gift Certificate for Mom's birthday

Would love to get the 'hounds help on this one! My Mom's 60th birthday is coming up in a few days and I think I'll get her a gift certificate for dinner for 2 at a good restaurant in Charlotte. Something nice with very good food is what I'm looking for. But not too nice, because she'll never get my Dad to dress up without complaints.
My parents eat out fairly frequently (at places like Greek Isles, Pewter Rose, and South End Brewery), but I'd like to give her a chance to branch out and try something new/nice for a special occassion. I'm thinking $100 for dinner for two (my dad will drink a few beers and my Mom might have a glass or two of wine). They're open to just about any type of food.
Any suggestions are much appreciated!

Boston next week

Wow, some great quick replies...thanks all! And nah, don't work for Strawberry Frog...I'm just a strawberry blonde who likes combined it for my handle. :-)