Archive for Featured

Early look at Thally

 

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad

 

 

After its first full week of operation, Thally is plagued with notable hiccups in the front and back of the house.  I hope for Thally’s sake that it finds its footing in the next few weeks or months given the stiff competition in the Shaw neighborhood it calls home.

 

 

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Early look at Azur

Octopus & pork belly

Octopus & pork belly

Open for just over a week, Azur seems to be getting off to a mediocre start.  Who hasn’t been looking forward to the opening of Frederik de Pue’s second DC restaurant (Table, being his first) in the former Cafe Atlantico/Minibar space?  (Read my write-up on the Daily Meal here for more background.)

Azur has many ingredients for success.  Among other things, there’s the chef’s experience at acclaimed seafood restaurants abroad; the seafood-centric menu, which includes a raw bar replete with a variety of East and West Coast oysters, house cured salmon, and caviar; and the lack of seafood restaurants in DC.  So far the reality has not lived up to its potential.  In the words of a young girl in an often-played ad about a cellular provider, “We want more, we want more.”  Overall, the food was fine, the portions were too small, and the price tag was too hefty. » Read more..

Döner Bistro

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Courtesy Döner Bistro

Amsterdam Falafel better watch out. Döner Bistro is only a few blocks away and, like Amsterdam, its food tastes good to both the inebriated and sober alike. Plus, Döner has beer and wine!

On its website, Döner Bistro explains what it’s all about:

But what the f*** is a Döner?
The Döner Kebab (meaning “turning meat”) is a traditional Turkish dish served with rice on a platter.

In the 1970’s, a Turkish entrepreneur in Germany altered this dish by stuffing the Döner meat into a flatbread with salad and sauce.

This form better suited the German taste and hectic lifestyle, and its popularity quickly spread from Germany throughout Europe into Australia, Canada and across the world.

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Daikaya: now serving ramen

20130217-103031.jpgDaikaya was greeted with long lines when it opened the doors of its first floor ramen shop on Valentine’s Day. With the Sushiko chef/owner Daisuke Utagawa and co-founder of Eighteenth Street Lounge Yama Jewayni at its helm, it’s no surprise that the restaurant is off to a good start.

Daikaya offers four types of ramen: shio [salt ramen], shoyu [soy sauce ramen], mugi miso [barley-miso], and vegetable shio [salt ramen with vegetable stock].

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DGS Delicatessen ….$40 later

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I was feeling happy-go-lucky one Saturday morning until I got the bill at DGS. I ordered the pastrami, which takes over a week to make and is massaged by hand for three hours a day (ok that last part may be a lie). $13.

I couldn’t pass up the matzo ball soup. $7.

As I was waiting for my to-go order, I overheard the bartender pushing the DGS Bloody Mary on another patron, so my upbeat self said “hey can I have one too?” $10.

Plus tax and tip. $40. Yes, I was generous on the tip and no it wasn’t well deserved. More on that later.

I know these prices don’t seem patently unreasonable. Yet, on closer inspection, the food and the experience weren’t worth the price tag. The sandwich was good, but not that impressive. Plus, whoever layered the strips onto the bread, lined up all the fat on one end. So for half of my sandwich, I was biting into pure gristle. The matzo ball soup was awesome but small. The Bloody Mary was mediocre, in a small glass with ice and celery taking up most of the real estate, AND they don’t do spicy, according to the bartender. What self-respecting Bloody Mary provider does not do spicy. Oh, wait, here’s some house made hot sauce and cracked pepper to spice up your drink. Thanks….

As for the service, the bartender was not good at multi-tasking. I sat at a nearly empty bar for a few minutes before any eye contact or verbal acknowledgment because the bartender was having what can only be called as involved small talk with the only other two patrons at the bar.

The best part of the experience was the lady that walked up to the bar a few minutes after I sat down. She was trying to place a to-go order for her son or husband or some other beloved man in her life. She ordered the pastrami and had a very drawn out conversation with the bartender about what toppings she could get:

Can I get mayo? (No)
He likes his sandwiches smothered in cheese, can we add cheese? (No)
Can I swap out the mustard for cole slaw? (Um, we can hold the mustard and add a side of cole slaw that your prince can physically place on top of the meat with his delicate hands).
Ok, can I add lettuce and tomato? (That’s not really an option, ma’am).

Wait, this sandwich is $13??? It better be really good. I’m used to paying $5 for a sandwich. (Yes, it’s really good. Trust me).

Well, said, lady. By the way, where’s the nearest Subway? Pot Belly? I could go for a six inch, smothered in cheese and topped with lettuce and tomato.

All kidding aside, I’m willing to pay considerably more than $5 for a good sandwich as long as I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth. I’m not sure DGS has convinced me of that yet, but I may give them another shot.

DGS Delicatessen
1317 Connecticut Ave NW
Ph: 202.293.4400
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30am-2pm, Sat-Sun: 11am-2:30pm
Sun-Thurs: 5:30 – 10pm
Fri-Sat: 5:30-11pm
DGS Delicatessen  on Urbanspoon