• 31Aug

    kangaroo_patties.jpgIt’s juicy and delicious! It’s environmentally sound and low in calories! Yes, to everyone who wanted to know where to buy Kangaroo when we ran the initial article a couple months ago, your entreaties have been heard!
    I swear I searched for hours with no luck, when apparently all I should have done was try the simplest URL I could think of. The aptly-named Exotic Meats store (www.exoticmeats.com) have all the Kangaroo muscle protein you desire. As long as what you desire are patties and sausages.
    Now, granted, those may indeed be two of the best ways to experience these bouncy marsupials, but if you were hoping for a long-legged steak, you’re still out of luck. In which case, allow me to suggest some antelope, elk, caribou, or rattlesnake- all of which can be provided here. Hey, is that an alligator/crocodile sampler? Well, I didn’t want to pay rent this month anyway.
    It looks like shipping to DC is expensive but it could be worse- I say group up with some friends and place one large order, then split the shipping costs. Don’t have any friends? Buy some.
    Update: Between the time I wrote this and the time I’m posting it, they just started offering Kangaroo Striploin, which I think is a lovely, delicate, and most importantly, un-ground muscle (someone correct me?). So now you really don’t have any excuse.

  • 30Aug

    genmaicha-tea.jpgSuch precious first memories: the first class of 7th grade, the first guy you turned down, the first time you heard the White Stripes. If you’re young enough, they may have all happened within the same hour. And yet, all these pale in comparison to the first time you drink Roasted Rice Tea.
    Ooooh that toasty nuttiness. That sweet starchiness. That warm, brown aroma of chestnuts and smoke. It’s possible that this is the most perfect of liquids.
    But first, the evidence. The Japanese word Genmaicha technically translates as Popcorn Tea and I don’t know why. It’s definitely made out of green tea (bancha) combined with roasted rice grains (genmai) …maybe they were being poetic? It’s lower in caffeine, and of course, it tastes awesome.
    I get mine at Oriental Supermarket on the Rockville Pike where they have a four or five different brands. As I type, I am sucking down Yamamotoyama‘s lovely version, but all of them are delectable.
    But for those of you unwilling to spend the $1.75 for a box, here’s what to do:
    Roasted rice green tea
    Put 2 tablespoons of basmati rice in a small, cast-iron skillet and set over a low flame. Stir them until they turn patchy-dark and give out a nice roasted aroma. Don’t burn ‘em no matter how cool that would be!
    Put the kernels into a small pot. Add 4 cups boiling water and two teaspoons of good quality green tea- two teabags work too. Simmer for 1 minute. Cover, and turn off the heat. Let the tea steep for 3 minutes, then scoop the liquid off. Or strain- whatever floats your thing.

  • 26Aug

    carpool.gif
    This sixth installment in the series will continue to focus on happy hour and daily food specials. The listed prices are after discount, but before adding tax and tip.
    Rhodeside Grill in the Courthouse area features a half a pound of shrimp on Thursdays for $4.95 anywhere in the restaurant from 4-7 pm. Rhodeside Grill features wings or nachos for $4.95 Wednesdays upstairs or at the downstairs bar from 4pm until the kitchen closes.
    CarPool in Ballston features half price ($4) burgers from 4pm until closing on Tuesdays, and 25 cent wings (minimum order of 10) Wednesdays from 4pm until closing. They have selected half price appetizers during happy hour (from 4-7pm Monday through Friday) including Buffalo wings, Jalapeno poppers ($3), chips & salsa ($2), taquitos ($3), mozzarella sticks ($2.50), chips and guacamole ($2.50), and chicken quesadilla ($3). Their happy hour beer specials (from 4-7 pm Monday through Friday) include $2.25 Miller Lite and $2.75 Yuengling, Sam Adams, Sam Adams Seasonal, and Killian’s.
    Mackey’s Public House in Crystal City is owned by the same group as CarPool. Mackey’s has the same burger night, and happy hour beer and appetizer specials, but does not have a wings night.
    The Continental modern pool lounge in Rosslyn has half price appetizers (Monday through Friday 5-8 pm and Saturday and Sunday 6 pm-9 pm). These featured appetizers are basket of fries ($2.50), hot pretzel basket ($3.00), red hummus with tortilla chips ($3.00), two grilled 2 beer-soaked, all-beef hot dogs ($3.50), chicken tenders ($4.00), Caribbean jerk wings or hot wings ($4), and grilled veggie quesadilla ($3.50, plus an additional $2.00 for beef or chicken). These happy hours also feature $2.50 drafts (Miller Lite, Red Hook I.P.A, Yuengling Lager, and Widmer Hefeweizen), and $3.50 rail drinks (not including margaritas or martinis).
    Sine’ Irish Pub on Pentagon Row has half price burgers all day Mondays, including beef, turkey, or veggie burgers. Tuesdays, Sine’ also has $9.95 prime rib all day, and half price appetizers from 4:00-7:00 pm.
    Rhodeside Grill
    1836 Wilson Blvd.
    Arlington, VA
    703 243-0145
    CarPool
    4000 Fairfax Drive
    Arlington, VA 22203
    703 532-7665
    Mackey’s Public House
    320 South 23rd Street
    Arlington, VA 22202
    703 412-1113
    The Continental modern pool lounge
    1911 N. Fort Myer Drive
    Arlington, VA 22209
    703 465-7675
    Sine’ Irish Pub
    1301 S. Joyce St.
    Arlington, VA 22202
    703 415-4420
    Where To Eat In Arlington When You Are Nearly Broke I
    Where To Eat In Arlington When You Are Nearly Broke II
    Where To Eat In Arlington When You Are Nearly Broke III
    Where To Eat In Arlington When You Are Nearly Broke IV
    Where To Eat In Arlington When You Are Nearly Broke V

  • 24Aug

    sam Adamsss.JPGLast night, several of your esteemed DCFUD writers met at Murphy’s in Woodley Park for a pint or three and good ole’ fashioned pub grub. (mini-review – the Murphyburger rocks, the seafood bisque is dandy, and the meat pie was fine; avoid the overly spicy and greasy shellfish soup. Avoid musicians baffled by feedback coming through the sound system).
    We were approached by a marketing rep from Sam Adams who asked if we’d like to sample a few of their future beers. We said “Yes!” faster than Jennifer Lopez accepts a marriage proposal. The rep poured us samples of the classic Boston Lager and their Light to get us started. A wise move, as none of us were drinking a Sam Adams’ product beforehand, and the small samples would get us prepared for the brands’ general taste. She then poured us Type A and Type B – two potential beers that they’d release next year. “A” was a Honey Porter, and “B” was a Smoke Ale.
    “A” was delicious, with ZAF summing it up that “(we) could get along nicely.” It’s a nice, smooth beer, not terribly heavy, and the honey notes add a softer touch. Amazingly, it doesn’t taste sweet, but a little less acidic than the standard Sam’s.
    “B, “ however, was an alcoholic travesty. Comments from the table ranged from “it tastes like smoked ham” to “it tastes like smoked gouda” to “it tastes like they added that Liquid Smoke stuff.” As a rule, beer should not be described as tasting like a barbecue sauce. The best we could say is that it would make an excellent marinade for the Thanksgiving turkey.
    In the interests of full disclosure, The FPBBC used to work for Harpoon Brewery in Boston, and has always been partial to his former employer. The Sam Adams’ rep said that a survey found that over 72% of Bostonians preferred Sam Adams over Harpoon as “the” Boston beer. The FPBBC calmly pointed out that Leno has higher ratings than Letterman, proving that popularity has no bearing on taste.
    Murphy’s
    2609 24th Street NW
    Washington DC 20008
    202-462-7171

    Permalink Filed under: Drinks 1 Comment
  • 24Aug

    snakes%20on%20a%20plane.gifWe at FUD have been remiss. How is it that the months have gone by without even one Snakes on a Plane parody? Could we perhaps be defying the mindless parroting of memes? Oooor, are we just culturally illiterate?
    Well, whatever the motivation, Grapeseed‘s chef’s table in Bethesda shares none of our scruples. And so, this Friday and Saturday, NM has tipped us off that they are presenting, yes,

    SNAKES ON A PLATE

    An evening of a snake-themed set course menu and wine.
    To be fair, some of the items would more accurately described as Snake-tribute, like Grilled Baby Octopus ( eight snake like tentacles!), Fresh Tomato, Lemon, and Bucatini (the most snake-like of all pastas), Carbonara. Others are strictly literary: Fresh Churros, Cinnamon Ice Cream (venom served on the side). What other wackiness can Grapeseed come up with? Wait and find out!!!
    All that aside, I’ve heard Grapeseed is supposed to be really tasty, so you might as well ride the bandwagon on up to Bethesda and try it out.

  • 20Aug

    shortribsfud.JPGAs much as we must applaud restaurants that update their menu to reflect seasonal ingredients or new experiments by the chef, it’s always a disappointment when a favorite dish disappears. This happened to me at Tallula, a favorite brunch spot of mine. Sadly, they no longer serve their short ribs and cheesy grits on their brunch menu.
    So when the meat guy at the Arlington Farmer’s Market was offering, among other things, short ribs, I decided that the only accompaniment could be cheesy grits. Though my recipe doesn’t precisely invoke Tallula’s (it’s less spicy, for one, and doesn’t feature any green tomatoes), it has a rich, full-bodied flavor and provides the same kind of comfort that my former favorite brunch dish did.
    Bourbon Spiked Short Ribs
    6 short ribs (from Farmer’s Market)
    flour
    salt
    pepper
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    some bourbon (a half cup or so)
    oil
    white pepper
    beef stock (you need almost one of those refrigerator-sized cartons)
    thyme
    red wine (just a little)
    handful of chopped carrots
    2 red potatoes, chopped
    handful of cherry tomatoes (from Farmer’s Market)
    some chopped parsley
    Season short ribs with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Brown in olive oil. Deglaze pan with bourbon. Add all ingredients except broth to a casserole. Pour broth over casserole just below submerging point. Braise for 2.5 hours.
    Cheesy Grits
    1 cup polenta
    1 cup heavy cream
    5 cups water
    salt
    dash of tabasco sauce
    1 cup shredded aged cheddar (from Farmer’s Market)
    Combine water and polenta in pot. Bring to boil, then simmer for twenty minutes. Add a generous amount of salt. Stir in cream, cheese and tabasco. Heat through.
    Serve ribs over grits. I added a side of steamed spinach.

  • 19Aug

    Jason 1913r.jpg
    I was recently in New York City, and a group of friends and I ate with at my favorite Thai restaurant, Sripraphai in Queens. They have expanded since I last visited, which is great because the restaurant is very popular. The menu is available here, but may be a bit outdated.

    One of Sripraphai’s strengths is that they have a refrigerated case filled with Thai desserts, instead of only having a couple of dessert options. We ate so much on this visit that we did not have room for dessert, but past standouts included custard with pumpkin, banana sticky rice, Thai marzipan, and coconut rice squares.

    Another of Sripraphai’s strengths is that the restaurant really will give you spicy food. The soups tend to be hotter than the entrees, so a “Thai Spicy” soup can scald those who don’t enjoy very spicy food.
    We had an excellent salad (which is pictured above), fried soft shell crab with mango sauce. The crab was crunchy, and went well with the tangy sauce. We also had the shredded green mango salad with squid, shrimp, and chicken. We generally fight over the (off-menu) garlic and pepper shrimp, so we requested two orders of it. I am not a fan of their pad Thai, but someone wanted it, so it was ordered.

    The noodle dishes I usually order are the rice noodles with ground beef and onions, or (spicy) rice noodles with beef and basil. The curries are great at Sripraphai, including, the red, green, yellow, and jungle curries. The duck with spicy sauce and eggplant was good, as usual, as was the tom zap soup with Cornish hen. In the past, tom zap was only available on the menu with beef offal –which it still is– but we used to substitute seafood for the beef. The fried red snapper with ginger sauce was excellent, and it is the first time we have ordered it at Sripraphai.

    We spent about $20 a person including tip, but we did order an extra dish, and several people were drinking Thai iced teas.
    Make sure –unlike us– to leave room for dessert. You may need something sweet after all that spicy food.

    Sripraphai is walking distance from the 61st Street stop on the 7 train.

    Sripraphai Thai Restaurant
    64-13 39th Avenue
    Woodside, NY 11377
    (718) 899-9599

    Sripraphai on Urbanspoon

  • 17Aug

    logo_neyla.gif I was supposed to sign up for a gym membership sometime this week, but opted to go out every night for Restaurant Week instead. (I love writing for DCFud. Anywhere else I would have to defend that choice, but you….you guys really get me! *sniffle*)
    The Boy took me to Neyla in Georgetown the other day. Neyla is named for the Mediterranean spirit of prosperity, abundance, and success, but while the regular menu includes dishes like baba ghannoug, stuffed grape leaves, and chicken shawarma, executive chef Faisal Sultani has mysteriously created a restaurant week menu showing almost no sign of Mediterranean inspiration–an olive here, some goat cheese there. I briefly considered ordering off the regular menu, as I am usually helpless in the face of Mediterranean temptation, but that idea fell by the wayside when I saw, I kid you not, watermelon gazpacho on the restaurant week menu. I was not about to pass up the chance to try watermelon gazpacho.
    Of course, the problem now is that I have a fever, and the only prescription is more watermelon gazpacho. It was fruity and sweet but not overpowering, with rock shrimp and tiny scoops of pickled canteloupe and honeydew. The Boy, who practically has a black belt in gazpacho, also detected some red wine vinegar, which kept it from being dessert-y. In any case, this dish was the best thing I have had so far during this RW go-round. I wanted to pick up the bowl and drink from it, but figured that sort of thing would go over especially poorly in Georgetown. We also had the sauteed calamari tossed with scallions and shaved garlic served with a lime-tomato fondue, which was tart and spicy and tender.
    We usually don’t order the same thing in restaurants, but neither of us could pass up the pan-roasted New York strip served with sweet and sour dandelion greens. That meant we didn’t taste the swordfish or the egg pappardelle, but I regret nothing. The steaks were beautifully marbled, tender, and juicy, and I thought they involved gorgonzola, but that might have been a beautiful dream, because it does not appear on the otherwise-accurate online menu. The coconut panna cotta was fine but not amazing, although I may have liked it more had I not just had the transcendental amaretto panna cotta at Coeur de Lion the night before. One thing–the server, who was mostly excellent, was a little taken aback when I asked for the panna cotta without the pistachios on top, due to a nut allergy. I understand that chefs don’t like omitting ingredients, but when your only real dessert option (nope, berries don’t count) includes a topping to which many, many people are allergic, you have to be prepared for the request.
    Another nice thing about Neyla–it’s very pretty. When I heard that it was a “place to be seen,” I naturally assumed that it had the same kind of masculine, ultra-modern steel-and-glass decor found in Zaytinya, IndeBleu, and to some extent Rasika, but despite the huge windows, Neyla is softer and more feminine than other hot spots in DC. The windows look out onto a gorgeous old brick courtyard, and the light glow rather than gleam. The front patio is a great space to people-watch.
    I highly recommend this for restaurant week, but I can’t vouch for the regular menu yet. More research is clearly needed!

  • 16Aug

    And why shouldn’t they, I mean, we really are just that cool. And needy. Thanks Express!
    restaurantexpress.gif

    Permalink Filed under: Etc 2 Comments
  • 16Aug

    bvs_piano.gifBack when the Restaurant Week lineup was announced in July, I scanned the list and saw that Bobby Van’s was one of the participants. I quickly made reservations, given their sterling reputation in New York. I used to work with a young lady from Massachusetts who summered in the Hamptons, and she raved about Bobby Van’s Bridgehampton location. Now, I’m just a relatively middle class guy from Maryland. I’m guessing that “summered” is rich person code for “sunbathed in an expensive resort and did nothing but revel in luxury.” I’ve never “summered” in my life. I’ve “weeked” – well, if you consider Ocean City’s or Dewey’s crowded beaches, all-you-can-eat buffets and sexually-suggestive t-shirt stands luxurious.
    In my previous Restaurant Week entry, an anonymous commenter told me I made a mistake in selecting Bobby Van’s for dining, saying that they catered only to the VIP crowd. I took the comments seriously – perhaps this anonymous person is a former employee, wrongfully terminated, or a diner who received shoddy service when they dared pay for their meal with a Discover card instead of an AmEx Titanium Card. Or, conversely, since the commenter chose to remain anonymous, perhaps it was a former employee rightfully terminated with an axe to grind, or somebody associated with a competing restaurant, hoping for a good plug. In the end, I chose to keep my reservation, and had four friends join me.
    Let me assure you of this – a full 15 hours after dining there last night, I can still taste the perfectly-prepared medium rare Petite Fillet Mignon, accompanied by slightly-smoky mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. The Caesar salad, and the rich chocolate cake and incredible New York cheesecake rounded out the courses, and each bite was fantastic. I had feared that a “Petite” filet would be small 5 or 6-ounce serving, but our steaks were closer to 12 ounces. Even the well-done filets came out thoroughly cooked, and not butterfly-chopped like in other establishments. Our server was professional, friendly, and made a distinct point to make us aware of the Restaurant Week courses on a separate sheet from the regular menu. One of their chefs, Eric, made a friendly tour of the dining room, making sure everybody was enjoying themselves. The table adjacent to ours had a bit more menu diversity than my steak-obsessed crowd. Somebody there had the Crabcakes (the recipe is on their website) and another had the Andouille Sausage and Pulled Chicken Rigatoni, both of whom raved about the quality.
    For a high-end steakhouse, the atmosphere was professional, yet relaxed. It’s classy, but not stuffy – there’s no dress code, and patrons wore suits or jeans in nearly equal numbers. Valet service is a manageable $6. The anonymous commenter’s fears couldn’t have been more dispelled – if not for a four-course tasting menu at Palena in May, last night was the best meal I’ve had in D.C. all year. Everything was so tastefully done that I have already planned a September dinner there, where their acclaimed “Porterhouse For Two” sounds less like a luxury and more like a rite of passage. I am so impressed by Bobby Van’s strong Restaurant Week showing that I practically walked out singing The Happenings’ classic tune “See You In September.”
    Bobby Van’s
    809 15th Street, NW
    Phone: (202) 589-0060

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