From the fun gadget and technology website Gizmag.com, here’s an invention that may permanently leave a greasy stain the fabric of the Universe: The Cheeseburger in a Can
The Europeans are once again taking the lead in burger technology. How can we as Americans stand by and remain idle while our counterparts across the Pond continue to push the boundaries of the modern meat patty? What was our last major breakthrough, the McDLT? We can’t let the Germans show us how to perfect our national food that we so blatantly stole from them!
Somebody should do something about that.
Tonight will be the final night (party!) for the Arlington institution, Dr. Dremos. There will not be a cover. They had a nice crowd last night (and a $10 cover), but expect tonight to be insane.
Dremos: Thanks for many years of good beer, good times, live music and comedy – and Elvises, many many Elvises.
This is from Dr. Dremo’s Website:
Dremo’s closing end of January 2008
Dr Dremo’s will close the doors at the current location on Sunday, Jan 27th, 2 AM.
Dremo’s huge ass farewell party: It starts Jan 2nd and goes full bore until Jan 26th. Be there!!!
Auction: Monday Jan 28th 7:00PM @ Dremo’s
PRE-AUCTION BIDS ACCEPTED: Stop by Dremo’s and give your bid to the manager. Almost everything must go: totem pole, pool tables, 200 gallon stainless steel beer tanks (perfect for homebrewing or a small brewery), kitchen equipment, general restaurant stuff and various odds and ends. Questions?
Dr Dremo’s new location: Stay tuned to this website, or the Dremo email list, for info about a new location. Investment opportunities may be available. We are actively scouting for a new location. If you know of any spaces for sale or lease in the Clarendon/Courthouse area, please contact us.
The Dr Dremo and Taco Bell property has been sold to Elm St Development. Plans call for 141 residential units and 34,685 sf of ground floor retail.
“Thanks to all who have helped make Dr Dremo’s a success. From the patrons to the staff. Hope to see you soon.” -the Doctor
Della Notte Ristorante nestled in the center of downtown Baltimore is a charming restaurant offering good service, a romantic atmosphere, and delicious Italian cuisine.
Its dim lighting and understated elegance set the perfect tone for a quiet intimate evening in a public place. The lighting is soft and the linen is real, so your date will be impressed with your choice and clearly receive the message that they are someone you want to get to know up close and personal.
Unlike most Italian restaurants offering American favorites (lasagna, spaghetti, garlic bread with cheese) Della Notte boasts more authentic cuisine for your pallet. Dishes such as Merluzzo, pan-seared Atlantic Cod over braised lentils and topped with tomato-caper sauce or Pollo Arrosto, a half roasted chicken, with fresh herbs, lemon zest and white bean ragu. This creates the perfect opportunity to “share” one another’s dishes in a variety of ways encouraging play and intimacy all under the guise of ‘tasting’ new foods. Guys, try feeding her, better yet kiss her after she’s taken a bite, you be able to taste the lingering flavors on her lips. Gals, try feeding him — use your fingers (as food and manners permit). It’s very sensual for both of you!
Just in case your date’s not the adventurous type or you haven’t been able to escalate things to a playful intimate level (and this would be the perfect opportunity if you have not), the menu includes a few favorites we can all recognize like Fettuccini and Ravioli with a variety of toppings including the usual marina or white sauce with a bit of a twist. They also had some classics as well, NY Strip Steak and MD Crab Cakes capturing the essence of the Chesapeake.
I enjoyed the herb rubbed Salmone Filet, served with braised leeks and fennel and a very rich sauce with butter as a base. It was divine! The salmon was perfectly prepared, light flakey, and melted on your pallet. The sauce was quite rich and enhanced the flavor of the seared herbs on the salmon. I also enjoyed Broccoli di Rabe with sliced garlic and olive oil. This not your typical broccoli florets; it was the leaves of the broccoli and their stalks that were prepared and seasoned. Quite delicious! And no meal would be complete without a sample of the restaurant’s chocolate. I choose Al Cioccolato a deeply chocolate cake, enrobed in chocolate, and filled with – you guessed it – more chocolate! And it a warm molten chocolate . . .mmmm deliciously sexy . . . with all the licking . . . of the silverware . . ., and I digress . . . . Where was I . . .yes Al Ciccolato . . . which also has a bit of warm chocolate drizzled on top and is ornamented with fresh raspberries for color, texture and tartness, enhancing the flavor of the chocolate perfectly! I guess you can tell I am a dessert lover.
Della Notte’s also has an impressive wine list with dessert wines, totties, brandies, and cognacs. If you know wine you’ll certainly be able to make an impression.
You don’t have to have a reservation, but on the weekends, I recommend getting one. Or you can enjoy the wait at their piano bar; an intimate area with music and warm people to chat with while you wait. It is a smoking bar, which can ruin your ‘smell-good’ status after prolonged visitation, but I recommend checking it out anyway!
Minutes from Baltimore’s Inner harbor, on the edge of Little Italy, Fells Point and around the corner from Canton, Della Notte is also a prime locale for after diner dancing or clubbing. The harbor is in walking distance as is ESPN Sports Zone, Baja Beach Club, and The Latin Palace to name a few. Want to check out a concert, Peer Six and Rams Head Live are also close by and on the way.
Della Notte’s also offers a jazz brunch on Sundays and Wine Nite on Mondays as well. I haven’t personally checked it out, but anything with live music and wine as a backdrop is usually is worth it!
Della Notte is a great spot for a romantic intimate evening. It has great ambiance for soft words, sweet gestures, and sexy dining, and it’s in the perfect locale to continue the date with a variety of venues available for your dating pleasure. This dating coach gives its three stars for ambiance/dining experience, workability (you can play here), location (you can move the date to other venues easily).
The only reason it didn’t earn the fourth star is pricing. Della Notte’s is moderate to expensive depending on your wine selection. Diner could easily run you $50+ per person, not including alcohol, that’s appropriately priced for the experience you get. Since money is relative, I don’t give this star unless you can do if for free or under $25 bucks, which makes it available to everyone.
-By Guest Blogger…Coach Ivy of One Life Coaching.
NOTE: Due to my busy catering schedule during the holiday season, I haven’t had a whole lot of time for blogging. Now that it’s January, things are slowing down, so I’m going to post some articles that I’ve wanted to post for a while. The first in this series regards a restaurant I discovered in Atlanta during a recent trip. The restaurant’s menu has since changed, but many of the items are similar with some seasonal differences. If you’re in the Atlanta area at any point soon, give this place a try! -YB
The restaurant business isn’t exactly known for its flexibility in scheduling, so it’s not often that I find myself with an entire weekend off. Recently, however, I managed to find myself in Atlanta, attending the wedding of a couple good friends. Whenever I go somewhere, I like to try and see what kind of culinary scene the place has. Since I found myself with lots of time on my hands, I had a few places in and around the Atlanta metro area that I wanted to check out. Previously, I had spent some time in Atlanta’s airport, and used a few restrooms, but other than that, I had no clue. I only know that MAW has often complained vociferously about, well, everything. I was certainly not expecting anything all that Earth-shattering. Boy was I wrong.
The first day there, the wife and I went to the Centre of Puppetry Arts, which has a whole wing (soon to be a whole building) dedicated to the Muppets. There’s something pretty cool about seeing the actual Swedish Chef chilling with Dr. Teeth and Ernie. During the afternoon, we tooled around Decatur, and realised just how expensive it is to live in the D.C. area, spent some time in Buckhead, and killed a good amount of time during the day, but what I was really looking forward to was the place where we had dinner reservations. Initially, we made reservations at The Watershed Restaurant, as I’ve always heard good things about it, and it’s owned by Emily Saliers, of Indigo Girls fame (yes, I know, what can I say? I’m a straight guy that likes the Indigo Girls). I was ok with going there, but I ultimately wound up canceling my reservations when I found The Food Studio in the King Plow Arts Centre. In the world of culinary jargon, a lot of people are ceasing to call the room in the back of the restaurant a kitchen, and instead call it a food studio, with the implication that they are creating some sort of art back there. Sometimes that’s true, and sometimes, well it isn’t. Luckily, this was a clear case of the former (which is good, since they named the restaurant in such a manner).
The first thing I noticed about this place was how bloody difficult it was to find. Even with GPS, I drove right past it about three times (why is it that everywhere in Atlanta is only four or five miles away from you, yet it takes at least a good half hour to get there?). Once we finally found the place and got seated, I was really amazed at the décor of the place. This place used to be a plow factory, and unlike other factories or warehouses that are converted to restaurants, they left the original fixtures intact as décor. As a result, the place has an authentic feel, and doesn’t look like they designed it to look like a factory. Despite the spacious dining room, everything seemed very intimate, yet very dark. Dark enough that my waiter carried a pocket flashlight to help us read the menus. That was perhaps the only negative I found with this restaurant.
The menu was incredible. Being a chef, I tend to like to sample things, if possible, and the Food Studio’s menu had small plate sizes for items. During the course of the dinner we had there, executive chef Mark Alba came by to our table and chatted me up about their restaurant (apparently, he and I share the same way of eating when we go out somewhere, and he
says he always likes meeting other chefs), and gave me a tour of their kitchen operation, which was quite impressive. Our chosen menu included:
Heirloom tomato salad with grilled peaches, prosciutto, red onion, and basil
Seared white shrimp with sunchoke purée, chanterelle mushrooms, and lemon vinegar
Seared lump crab meat with watermelon-cucumber salad and curry aioli
Veal sweetbreads with figs, arugula, and gremolata crème fraîche
Duck confit agnolotti with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil
Fettucini with braised lamb, English peas, and mint
The tomato salad easily ranks as one of the best salads I’ve ever had. The sweetness of the peaches acted as a nice counterweight to the acidity of the tomatoes, with the prosciutto bringing everything together (I swear, porcine love makes the world go round). The shrimp and the crab cake were done exactly the way I like them: with very little filler, and paired with items that showcase the seafood well. The sweetbreads were very succulent, and I usually don’t order offal meats, as they’re very rarely cooked well. The pastas were perfectly done. The agnolotti was rich and tasty, and the fettucini was light and tender. Our waiter made a very good
wine recommendation to go with all these dishes, and the lemon-basil bombe (their signature dessert) was the perfect way to wrap up an exceptional dinner.
The Food Studio at King Plow
887 West Marietta Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
The Rotten Rabbi’s Rating:
A funny thing about my West-Indian tinged upbringing is that I’ve been exposed to so many amazing foods and cuisines, but not often directly enough to learn to execute them properly. So many of the dishes I grew up loving and still think of as supreme comfort food, I have no idea how to deal with preparing. Breadfruit is a prime example: the sweet, starchy fruit’s luscious perfume transports me instantly to warmer climes and friendlier faces, but once home with one, I’ve always been a bit perplexed. A wonderful substitute for potatoes or yams, the stuff is a royal pain to cook.
Despite this knowledge, the gorgeous aroma as I walked by the breadfruit bin at the farmers market overpowered my better judgment: if at first you don’t succeed, et cetera. Picking a medium-sized, about 1/3 green one (meaning that it was close to ripe, but not all the way), I headed home. First things first, I preheated my oven to 300, washed the fruit and skewered some holes in it, and wrapped it in foil. I roasted it for an hour total, quarter-turning every 15 minutes.
During the last 15 minutes, I diced a small white onion. Out of the oven, I let the fruit cool enough to cut it, remove the center bits, peel it, and dice it, while warming my skillet to medium-high. To the pan I added some butter and the breadfruit, and tossed it with some Vegeta. After 5 minutes or so, I added the onions. When the onions were a bit caramelized, but not charred, I removed everything to a bowl, and deglazed the pan with a cup of dark rum (Gosling, in this case), letting that reduce about 75%. I tossed the sauce into the bowl with everything else, and had a lovely accompaniment to the grilled chicken and spinach salad I’d also made.
Be aware: breadfruit has a very strange texture, if you’re not expecting it. It is a bit spongy, and can be chewy, but don’t let that deter you from this wonderful, and healthy ingredient!
I love calamari, squid salad, and Italian squid pastas, but I’d never tried cooking any such cephalopod myself. As usual, cheap produce lead me to new adventures: fresh squid rings were $2.00 per pound at YDFM today, and Thai basil was $0.99/lb. So, I decided to try a Thai-esque dinner. I used:
For the sauce:
1/4 cup Thai basil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh grated)
2 tsp hot pepper flakes
3/4 tbs. light soy sauce
3/4 tbs. fish sauce
2 squeezes honey (1 tsp?).
3/4 lbs. fresh squid rings (or whatever bits you prefer)
White hominy (I used 1 can)
I first asked Professor Google how long squid need to be cooked (I’m still not clear on the answer: mine were a bit rubbery), and then set to considering my sauce options. Combining a number of mixtures I’ve used over the years and the ideas I remember from squid dishes I’ve eaten, combined the above-listed sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl, and stirred them together.
Having done that, I threw some sesame oil into my wok and got it going. When the oil was hot (just beginning to sputter), I lifted the wok for a few seconds, threw in a handful of chopped basil, and returned the wok to the burner, beginning to toss the basil and oil about. Once the basil was crispy, I added my squid, stir-frying it with the oil and basil for about 1 minute.
Then, I turned down the heat to medium and stirred in my sauce. As that simmered a bit, I put my hominy in a sauce pan over low heat with a couple splashes of oil, a few of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of ginger.
My accompaniment in the works, I added the remaining basil to the squid and stirred. Then I added a few squirts of Sriracha and maybe a quarter cup of rice wine to moisten it. When the squid seemed done, I removed everything from the heat.
I served the squid over the hominy, the latter’s lemony starchiness balancing the former’s slightly sweet spiciness. All in all a successful and satisfying dinner in almost no time (total fridge-to-plate: less than 10 minutes), plus the sauce is a definite keeper: it’d be good on almost anything!
At 7:45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, I was getting into the rental car at my hotel in Orlando, all dressed up pretty and psyched for the succulent-sounding Mediterranean fusion dinner and champagne waiting for me at an elegant downtown restaurant called Fusion 7.
At 11:00 p.m., I was texting all my friends to tell them I was at the worst restaurant in the history of cuisine, and begging for rescue.
To be perfectly honest, once it became clear that we were not going to have a great (or even a good) New Year’s Eve dinner, I allowed myself to be entertained by the glorious disaster of the evening. The ballet of ineptitude, it unfolded thus:
The hostess had previously told us that our suburban hotel was about ten minutes away from the restaurant, but we couldn’t help noticing that her original directions took us in exactly the opposite direction of downtown. So we called at 7:50 to make sure we were going the right way. She told us that when she’d said “left,” she’d actually meant “right,” so we should turn around. Twenty minutes later, we called again. The same hostess tells us that when she said “turn around,” she actually meant “keep going straight.”
And that’s how we showed up for our reservation an hour late, to a “downtown” restaurant located in strip mall in the outer suburbs. They recognized us the party they have just sent on an hour-long detour, but no apology was forthcoming.
Other infuriating things:
I asked for details about an unfamiliar wine on the list. The waiter shrugged. “…Is there a sommelier?” I asked, meaning, Is there someone smarter than you? Apparently there was not.
I asked about the preparation of the fish on the menu. I got another shrug. He called over another waiter. Shrug. Repeat. Eventually there were four waiters clustered around my table, shrugging. No one went to ask the chef. Finally, one waitress said, “Oh! I know! It’s a sauce!”
Does this have nuts? I’m allergic to nuts. Shrug. Could you ask please? Waiter trundled off, never to return.
Fish bones in the tasteless ceviche. Crab shell in the tasteless crabcake. Bandaids on the face of the tasteless waiter.
I’d like that medium rare, please. Would well done be okay?
Here’s your sorbet, to, uh….(as he waved his hands frantically in the air, probably trying to remember big words like “cleanse” and “palate”)……you know!
To my friend as he was eating his risotto (pronounced at this fine establishment as riz-otto): Are you done with that?
And finally, they brought the check. Up until this point I have alternated between flinty stares at the waiters who most annoyed me and hysterical laughter, and if the check had come without incident this article might be a little more gentle. How-the-hell-ever. I already mentioned that the hostess’ bad directions sent us an hour out of our way, so we arrived Fusion 7 at about 9 p.m. for our 8 p.m. reservation. Did we get an apology? A round of drinks to make for their ineptitude? No.
Instead, they charged us $10 each for being late.
This article has been brought to you by Karen, the Bitter, Ranting, Italicizing Food Critic, more for your amusement than edification.
I enjoyed Ray’s Year In Review post so much that I figured I’d do one of my own. Here are some of my notable meals from 2007:
Bamian probably wins my award for best new discovery this year. The one thing holding me back – I stopped there last week in an attempt to introduce some out of town friends to Afghan cuisine. After 15 minutes without a host (and overhearing a cell phone conversation from a patron calling FROM THE LOBBY to say he had reservations a half hour ago and hadn’t been acknowledged), we were forced to walk out of the beloved joint. Still, I’m probably willing to give them another chance – the food is amazing for the price.
Old Hickory Grille is the kind of place that makes you feel like a regular even if you’re not – the Cajun-influenced cooking is homey and the booth-style seating is comfortable. I wish their hours were a bit more extended and regular, though. The place I actually BECAME a (semi) regular is Piratz Tavern, despite living in VA and its being in Silver Spring (it helps to have a pirate-obsessed boyfriend). The dining and service are inconsistent at best – it’s not unusual to be served a dish cold, wait a long time for food, or experience an order mix-up. Plus, order a Black Strap Betty one night, and it’ll taste completely different the next. But I can’t get enough of the vibe of the place, have gotten to know and love the servers, and can shrug off any hassle once I have some Grog in me. Try the Squid for a drink if Grog isn’t your thing, and be sure to sample the piri piri chicken, the salmagundi stew and the prego no pao steak sandwich.
Despite being a (local) chain, Sweetwater Tavern kind of became a de-facto special occasion spot, mostly due to location, late hours and reliable food. The service is expedient, and I’ve never had a bad dish there, and many of the offerings, particularly fish dishes, are very good indeed. I could eat my weight in their chicken con queso, and I love anywhere that brews their own beer, even if the beers themselves (Dogfish Head Ale House, I’m talking to you), are not to my taste.
One of the problems with developing a writing persona named the “Five Paragraph Bitter Food Critic” is maintaining that mantle of bitterness even when surrounded by a sea of competence, class and quality. When I started the 5PBFC, I figured that given my average of 4 meals out a week, I’d have at least one clunker fortnightly, thus providing DCFUD.com plenty of bitter material. However, as I looked over my 2007 notes of the year, I discovered something quite shocking: I had ten bad meals the entire year; and six of them came from two places, Bangkok 54 and Dad’s Backyard Burgers. That means the vast majority of my meals were anywhere from “decent” to “incredible.” It’s hard to complain about such a high batting average.
Now, I must go off on how absolutely disappointing Dad’s was. For a store that took nearly 3 years to build, I had hoped for a burger experience that didn’t taste like a green onion explosion. My first bite there was sadly the best; repeat visits were lousy and hardly worth mentioning. I’d love to support an independent burger joint, but their burgers tasted more like a kabob-spiced meatloaf – they may want to think about competing with nearby and always-packed Merrifield Kabob than routinely-good Five Guys and sometimes-brilliant Elevation Burger…that is, depending on whether they can stay open. While a banner touts “Now Open,” a paper sign on the door says that Dad won’t reopen until Virginia Power finishes work on the building, though neighboring businesses are open. Hmmm….more mystery from Dad’s. As for Bangkok 54, the former shining star of Northern Virginia’s Thai dining scene has declined in terms of food quality and handling; prepare to give birth to a food baby if you eat there and don’t stray far from the restrooms, just in case. Their dining room is lovely; it’s a shame the back of the house is having issues. They easily have been eclipsed by longtime stalwart Duangrats at Bailey’s Crossroads and the newish Mint further up Route 7 towards Seven Corners (review coming soon).
However, I will concede to the goodwill of the Holiday season to concentrate on the positive. My dining year started off on a high note with the DCFUD.com staff at Bobby Van’s, followed by a delicious Restaurant Week experience at Taberna del Alabardero. 2 Amys continued to churn out quality pizzas, Ella’s did the same, and the chainy-but-good ZPizza offered a delicious pie with high quality ingredients for a decent price. Matchbox’s dining room expansion didn’t dilute the quality of their food one bit, and the District Chophouse provided a fine meal in a casual, but classy, environment. My well-publicized visit to La Perla offered better tortellini than expected, and Georgetown’s Filomena may be considered hit-or-miss, but I had two hits there in 2007, and enjoyed their good Sunday brunch, too. The new Liberty Tavern in Clarendon offered surprisingly good upscale bar food, though those looking for a quiet meal should head elsewhere – that place is louder than the wails of a screaming child at a southern Wal-Mart. Eamonn’s proved to be a welcome addition to the Alexandria scene, and I’m anxious to try owner Cathal Armstrong’s makeover of The Majestic with Shannon Overmiller’s cooking on King Street in 2008. Hank’s Oyster Bar in DC stars in the background with Trio in a new car commercial, and a new location in Old Town is promising. Fogo De Chao and Texas De Brazil fed my churrascaria dreams of well-seasoned Argentinean meat, and Macchu Picchu did a fine job representing South American neighbor Peru. Huong Que at the Eden Center served fine Vietnamese fare on multiple visits, and impressed some good friends from Chicago. Spices in Cleveland Park did a good job of clearing my sinuses while on a first date – yeah, thanks for that, by the way. No, that wasn’t embarrassing at all – but damn it tasted fine, and nearby Indique’s tamarind-enhanced drinks made even the rainiest of days much more delightful.
Bebo Trattoria opened up with much fanfare in Crystal City, though complaints about lousy service stick to the place like stink on a hobo. The Tortoise and the Hare opened up on Crystal City’s 23rd Street, taking over the former space of Stars and Stripes. Can’t say I’d complain about that a bit – Stars and Stripes had a big TV and good beer but a lousy crab cake, and T&H promises a good American contemporary menu. Urban Thai still served quality food at a reasonable price, and the recent expansion of the Crystal City Sports Pub just gives more folks a chance to dine on their good bar food while following their favorite sports’ teams. Summer’s at the Courthouse Metro did the same, plus they put with my wails of anguish every weekend as I watched my beloved Ravens go from Super Bowl contender to laughing stock of the NFL in one calendar year. Al’s Steaks in Del Ray single-handedly made me gain a pound, and that was before I discovered the glories of Gladys Knight and Ron Winan’s Chicken and Waffles at the Largo Town Center. In my neighborhood of Shirlington, a new Cakelove outpost opened up; Busboys and Poets put in a second location with some fine Belgian beers on tap; Bear Rock Cafe’ offered good sandwiches and breakfast chow, and the brand-spanking new Saigonique fed me a wonderful ginger noodle dish on Christmas Eve in a beautiful dining room. And damn if Weenie Beanie didn’t bring the goods every time I craved a half-smoke.
Heck, even the Pentagon got a decent eatery, the All-American Grill. Thank God for Sport and Health or else I’d be the size of a Beefcake-era Eric Cartman.
In the fine tradition laid down by every critic in every conceivable subject, this time of the year demands a “Best of…” list. I could try to spawn an internal dialog about which meal in the previous 12 months was the best, and categorize restaurants by price or location or cuisine. Instead, I’m choosing to look forward to 2008, to which places I missed in 2007.
* Central – we at DCFUD have been trying to have a writers’ outing here for months, yet somehow we went to the otherwise-fine-but-it-ain’t-Central Malyasian Kopitiam instead of an affordable offering from Michel Richard? We’re going this year, kids. Jay, save your money. You’re going. Even if I have to carry you in there kicking and screaming. You made me eat at Kam Fong; I’m making you eat at Central.
* The Majestic – the restaurant formerly known as the Majestic Cafe’ was a delightful, charming outpost, and the recent takeover and reimagining by Cathal Armstrong should make this one of the best mid-priced restaurants in Northern Virginia in 2008.
* West End Bistro – the early buzz over Eric Ripert’s newest restaurant was that the food was definitely good, but not imaginative. I would have to guess that as the staff becomes more situated and comfortable, this restaurant will bring more international buzz to the DC dining scene.
* Hook – Barton Seaver’s ambitious plan to serve only sustainable seafood deserves the respect of all diners with a soul. Plus, the guy can flat-out cook.
* Hooked – I grew up next to the Chesapeake Bay. I love seafood. Sue me. And a seafood restaurant out by Dulles and Ace Photo that doesn’t have cheap plastic fishnets on the walls and meals made of a mysterious element known as “krab” has my support.
* Station 9 – U Street keeps getting hipper and hipper, and this place promises an updated look on American standards.
And, hopefully the DC area will honor a few New Year’s Resolutions, and this year’s theme is to be A Little More Like Baltimore:
1) To have a good Jewish deli like Attman’s near the Inner Harbor East developments. Sometimes a nice Catholic boy like me wants a good corned beef on rye.
2) To have a decent BBQ place somewhere between Dixie Bones in Woodbridge and Urban in Rockville to compete with Rocklands. They’re the only game in NoVA, and while they’re a fine establishment, it’d be nice for something likeAndy Nelson’s in Cockeysville.
3) To have a pit beef place anywhere. I don’t care where, but pit beef is a Baltimore delicacy that should be brought forth to the Nations’ Capital post haste.
4) To have more waterfront dining options. The Inner Harbor, Fells Point, Locust Point, Canton, Essex, Middle River – all loaded with everything from mega-chains to cozy family seafood places, and they all have serene water views. DC has a couple of high-end places in Georgetown and Phillip’s at the Waterfront. Advantage – Baltimore.
5) To be like bICYCLE. If you ever find yourself on Light Street, south of the Inner Harbor between Federal Hill and Locust Point, you’ll see this charming, delicious bistro. It’s been open for nearly 8 years, and it’s still as good today as it opened. They strive for good food and consistency, and they hit far more often than they miss.
and, the most important:
6) To create a vibrant neighborhood near the new stadium – granted, this will be a work in progress, but one of the best things about Camden Yards is the proximity to great bars, restaurants and attractions…cos’ it ain’t da O’s, hon. Redeveloping an area best known for the desperately-missed dance club Nation, light industrial brown zones, and a grouping of *ahem* adult establishments is all going to take some time, but for the love of God, city planners, do not dare turn it into a soulless strip of chains and fern bars. D.C.’s trying to do it with Chinatown/Penn Quarter, where fairly soon the only thing Asian in that neighborhood will be the tourists in town to watch the Wizards play Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets. You know darned well Prince George’s County will botch it with the National Harbor, as they’ve failed to put in anything with personality near FedEx Field, and that’s been open for almost a decade. But really, D.C., you can do it. Look at U Street. Adams-Morgan. H Street. Cleveland Park. Those are areas where the city is trying to express itself with mostly-independent businesses. Please, don’t replicate a Loudoun County strip mall complete with a chain restaurant park on South Capitol Street and lie to yourself, saying “it’s progress.” It’s regression to a mean, and the city deserves better.