Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Austin Grill, Washington, DC

25 August 2010

Austin Grill on Urbanspoon

This is another I-found-the-receipt-in-my-bag so it’s sort of late posts…

It was 07 July. We had visited the National Archives and were looking for a place to eat. We literally walked past Austin Grill and decided to try it.

We got there about 1815, and the place was only 15% full.

We got chips and salsa at the start of the meal. It was tasty, not spicy, and very thin. We ordered a bowl of queso, and none of us liked it. It was some sort of melted velveeta. We also got some nachos, and they were terrible. They were covered in the queso, and had embedded jalapenos and some other unidentifiable stuff. Not good at all.

I got steak carne asada. I had never had carne asada, but I liked it. It was applied to a skirt steak (like you would use for fajitas), and it was pretty good, with a good spice heat to it.

Ian got chicken fajitas, without bell peppers or onions. The chicken was very good, and if he had included the onions, it would have been outstanding. Darn teenagers.

Erin got cheese quesadillas and liked them very much. Hard to go wrong with cheese and tortillas.

Raegan got chicken quesadilla and they were good also. I know this since I had some!

We all ended up getting some desserts. Ian and I got vanilla bean ice cream, Raegan had cake, and Erin had a brownie.

We left about 1930. Our check was $85.17. Kind of expensive, but it was DC, after all. Was it worth it? If I were in OKC, I’d say no way. Being that it was DC, I’d have to say it was OK. Not getting the crummy appetizers would have knocked $12 off the bill, and the desserts added about $25, that would have priced the meal at about $50, which would have been reasonable.

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Silver Diner, Tyson’s Corner, VA

12 August 2010

Silver Diner on Urbanspoon

Update, 23 Aug 2010: I found the check from this meal, and this is an update based on that.

It occurred to me this evening at dinner that we had eaten here during our trip to DC, but I had forgotton to write about it. Raegan and the kids and I had been to Great Falls National Park, and came through Tyson’s on the way out of the DC area, and stopped at Silver Diner in Tyson’s Corner.

I had eaten at the Diner several times over the years. It was really good, then there were a couple times it, to be frank, sucked. This visit was good!

A couple of us started with milk shakes. My vanilla shake was excellent. The iced tea was also.

I got a cheeseburger that I really liked. Well cooked, a good size, and good beef. Ian and Erin both got a chicken fried steak and it was outstanding! The gravy was good. Ian ate all of his, but Erins was way too much for her. Raegan got a “Choose Two” soup and salad, with a crab soup and a Club sandwich; she liked them both.

We all got milkshakes as well. There were a couple vanilla and one chocolate. They were cold, and large, and great!

Our check was around $55.45, and I thought it was good value for all we got. They have wifi. The service was pretty good. Recommended.

Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington, DC

15 July 2010

Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle) on Urbanspoon

After Raegan and the kids had an almost day-long visit to the National History Museum, and then all of us visiting the Air and Space Museum, we wanted pizza. I did a Google Maps search, and saw this place had good reviews, so we took a change and hopped on the Metro. We went to the Dupont Circle location.

When we got there around 1915, there were enough people waiting that it was a 40 min wait. But… we could be seated outside immediately. It was about 90F outside, but not terribly humid, and we were in shade with a breeze, so it wasn’t that bad.

The tea was GOOD, not least because it had been hot (100F) all day, and we had been walking outside for a while.

Now, Paradiso isn’t Pizza Hut. It’s arty pizza to be sure. You get an 8″ or 12″ pizza, so the encouragement is get it personal.

All of the crusts are thin and kind of crunchy. We all got 8″ pies. Erin got a white pizza with a bit of ham on it. Raegan got a Bosco, which was Mushrooms, Spinach, Red Onion, Mozzarella, and she got had the onion removed. Ian got a sausage pizza, and I got pepperoni and sausage. The sausage was shaved (like our pizza in Philly) instead of crumbled. All of the pizzas had chunks of tomato, and little pizza sauce. It was all very good. Was it the best I’ve ever had? No. I am significantly biased towards loaded pizza like Hideaway. But I really liked it. I think that the price was reasonable.

As busy as Paradiso was, I was surprised that the servers kept up. We all had water and another drink (it was hot!), but they were kept full. We left about 2040. Out check was $61.44.

Washington, DC

9 July 2010

We are getting ready to leave the DC area after three days. I first came here back in 1985, and was just amazed as I stepped out of DCA to see the Washington Monument and the Capitol across the Potomac. I brought Raegan here back in 1988 and we really enjoyed the couple of days then.

This time we brought the kids, and they spent most of the two days seeing several of the important monuments and museums. We were able to walk around a bit also.

I really enjoy coming here. I have been in DC probably 40 times, and yet I never tire of coming here. I lot of times when I am here, I will take the Metro down to the National Mall in the evening and just walk up and down it. I’ve walked the length of Embassy Row, Rock Creet Park, and otherwise explored most parts of town. The sense of history that is here is almost palpable.

“Security” In The Nations Capitol

9 July 2010

This evening the kids and I took a walk around the White House, the Washington Monument, and other areas in our nations capitol.

Today we saw a lot of “security” as we went into our great museums. However, as we walked just to the east of the White House, next to the US Treasury, I saw yet another example that just seemed ridiculous.

A couple had been walking about 20 meters ahead of us. I noticed a uniformed guard ahead of them, standing next to the building. As we passed the Treasury building, the couple ahead of us stopped and sat down together on the steps.

I will say right away, there we no warnings, no barriers, no doors into the building, *nothing* about the two short steps that ran probably 30 meters along the building.

The guard swung into action, and SHOUTED at the couple “Hey, you have to get up! No loitering! This is a security zone!”. They moved, while the guard muttered to himself as we walked by him.

This to me is emblematic of what is wrong with the security culture of DC.

First of all, what is the threat? The couple was not bearing bombs, or carrying guns. They were sitting facing away from the building. There were no signs, and the road had traffic on it.

The guard over-reacted. But the reason is the culture of security, the desire to keep everybody away from important things, even in the absence of a threat. Or rather, *everyone* is a threat

This is our fault as a society. We bought into the culture of fear encouraged by Bush and Cheny, who were the accomplices of the 9/11 terrorists in this respect.

We need to shake this fear off, to survive as a country.

Phillips Seafood, Washington, DC

16 October 2009

Phillips Flagship on Urbanspoon

OK, I have to be up front. There is very little that swims or lives in water that I like to eat. Every once in a while, we’ll get Long John Silvers, or my very cute and fish-loving roommate will crisp up some breaded fillets, or I will have some clam chowder, but that’s about it. I like bird and mammal much better. I eat the stuff mentioned above without complaining, but with little relish.

But, one of my work buddies loves seafood, and Phillips in particular, so when we come to DC we always go here.

Phillips is like a triple-sized Golden Corral of stuff that swims. They have a menu, but it’s quite limited. The real reason to go here is the seafood buffet – huge amounts of shellfish, finned fish. Steamed, broiled, boiled, etc. Everyone I have been here with says it is all excellent. I’ll take their word for it. It’s all you can eat/stuff yourself silly with.

They have non-seafood. There is a pasta saute, and they usually have roast beef. Tonight they had a big pork roast, and broiled chicken. And roast turkey in gravy (I had two helpings of this). There is a decent variety of veggies (some excellent skin-on red mashed potatoes tonight). There is also a pretty good salad bar. There are a number of odd things (there was jambalaya, and two different kinds of curry this evening). I had some risotto that was very good, if not less creamy than I would expect.

They have about six flavors of ice cream for dessert, along with a number of cakes, pies, cobblers, and other stuff.

Service is usually very good, they have outstanding iced tea. The place occasionally has quite the wait (tonight not a bit, even though we got there at 1930). My check for buffet and iced tea was $30.

There is also a Phillips we have eaten at in the Inner Harbor at Baltimore. It’s a bit smaller in offerings than the “Flagship” in DC.

You can walk along the waterfront and look at the boats when you are done.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

15 October 2009

I have heard about Five Guys burgers for a couple years now, and I have been trying to make it to one of their locations. On Tuesday I had a meeting in DC, and conveniently enough there was a Five Guys about 300 yards away from my meeting location.

I expected, I guess, a well-appointed place. Instead, the place was pretty basic. Not a dump, but certainly not a, say, Fuddruckers. The cheeseburger, however, was first class. The burger was cooked to order right in front of me.

The beef was really tasty, it had a lot of flavor. It was juicy, but the juice didn’t run all over the place. I got the burger with mayo and pickles. The burger was a 1/4 lb, I think, and thick. Not a scrap was left.

You can order fries. They come in two sizes, standard and large. If there are three of you, get one standard order of fries. There are a LOT of them. The large size looks like more than twice as many. I almost never leave food behind, but I left fries behind in this case. They were good fries, also.

They did not have iced tea. They had tea concentrate out of the soda machine, vile and horrible. I had Coke.

It was really good, and it was fast. My check was $10.76.

15 October 2009 update:

A work friend and I ate at the Five Guys location at 800 N H in DC. It was just as good. I got a bacon cheeseburger this time. One bonus: this location had real iced tea! Yea!