Saturday, November 17, 2012

BRB - One Year Later

Almost a year ago (Wow is time flying by) I reviewed a new meat temple at the RTC. One year later, I am still convinced it is one of the best burgers in town. In that year, it seems the collective noses in Reston and beyond have started to catch the scent of the luscious burgers cooking just around the corner.
So now I provide an update.  

 Do I still sing the praises of BRB? YES! Especially now when they upgraded their soda fountain machine to the sleek ultra modern number shown in the picture below.  These new fountain machines are just da bomb! You have many sodas which you then program a flavor. For example, grape Sprite Zero. There are a few of these little treasures sprinkled across the area, BRB can claim to have one. They have also expanded the menu to include wonderful hand dipped milk shakes. The usual suspects appear here, chocolate and vanilla, and one with a seasonal flare. I highly recommend the current seasonal flavor, pumpkin. If you like pumpkin pie, this is the shake for you.

I am a traditionalist when it comes to burgers. I like to eat them in a casual environment, some place I can feel relaxed and not humiliated because the ketchup fell on my shirt (A guaranteed occurrence every meal). There are certain foods that should be this way. Pizza and burgers are the main ones that come to mind. For me, BRB just feels fun, not to mention the staff is great! Still a top pick for le gastronomique dc, that’s me!

Contact Information:
Be Right Burger on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bob & Edith's Diner

There has been something missing all these years since I returned to Northern Virginia. It is a pain that stems from a missing piece from my collective culinary memory. The diner. The no frills, great home-style inexpensive food diner.

When living in the south, you see them everywhere. The no fuss no muss country fried dining options. They are not the healthiest choices, but oh so delicious. They are the kind of places that are opened late, or even 24 hours. Basic black coffee and waitresses that call you sugar. No I am not being sexist, so do not even start.

I had my favorite back there, in Charlotte. A wonderful Greek owned establishment called Sunrise, excuse me while I hush all the groans coming from my friends and family. They have heard of this place nonstop since my return. 

I noticed something when I came back to the DMV, these sorts of small local diners were nowhere to be found. The streets were an endless vista of Cheesecake Factories, Outback Steakhouse, and Red Lobsters. This is one of the main reasons I started this blog. I wanted the world to see those little places still left fighting the good fight.

It seems there are still a few rebels out there amongst the Chipotles. Bob and Edith’s Diner in Arlington is one. There menu small, inexpensive, and drool causing. They have breakfast 24 hours a day. You may laugh, but in my younger years, during the summers I would get together with a friend or two and off we would go to a 24 hour diner for coffee and convo. This is a very fond memory.

I have been there once, but it was delicious, all of it. Here is my run down. Country fried steak with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, check. Garden salad and key lime pie, check and check. I can also say the French fries were habit forming as I discovered after hijacking one, or two, or five off my hubby’s plate.

I loved this joint, it was small, sparsely decorated, but bursting with character. A lot of that came from the awesome servers/employees there that night. Luis (gosh I hope I remember that correctly, I am a moron at remembering names) and Tom were both awesome. Full of smiles and willing to share. It was just the 2 of them serving the entire diner, and never a drop of sweat did I see. They really liked being there, and it showed. 

Recently I have seen a recurrence of the food truck, maybe diners will see a resurgence as well. Until that time, B&E will see my patronage many more times to come.

Contact Information
2310 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 920-6103

Hibachi Sushi Supreme Buffet

Here is a little secret. I am not a foodie. I am one who enjoys  food that tastes good, regardless of the source. One of my weaknesses is the Chinese buffet, but not just any kind. When I lived in Charlotte I was spoiled by a buffet there called Buffet Dynasty. The food was high quality and there were many new dishes not commonly seen in typical Americanized buffets. There is where I tried my 1st char siu noodle soup. Pure heaven and impossible to find.

I digress. Many people who call themselves foodies would never want to go to any buffet. I think great food can come from anywhere, and pretentiousness is what I like least when it comes to cuisine.

Now for the purpose of my blog article today, Hibachi Sushi Supreme Buffet. The sign caught my eye whilst driving down Clopper Rd in Gaithersburg, I swore I would check it out. I checked it out alright, and returned the next week to check it again. 

Let me say this is the place if you are a steamed crab fanatic like I am. I was floored by the size of crabs they had on the bar. They were not breaded and fried pieces you tend to see at buffets, but whole steamed and seasoned. As a crab expert, I can tell you these are some of the best I have had.

The crabs are great, but it is not the only thing HSSB has going. There are many taste worthy items there. Do not let the name fool you, there is not really hibachi here, more a Mongolian Grill, and it is pretty good, but not why I come.

There is a wide assortment of authentic dim sum, including chicken feet, if you enjoy this treat. There is bao, among others. They have interesting items like cuttlefish, and the Korean galbi, like steak or short ribs, is amazingly delicious. Along this line of carneferific delights, their BBQ ribs are the best I have had at a Chinese buffet.

Seafood is where their treasure lies. They have boiled seasoned shrimp that are monstrous as well as some of the best salt and pepper shrimp to ever tip toe across my tongue. There are even delicious Chinese greens, like Chinese kale or mustard greens.
The sushi bar is huge and provides an assortment of rolls, even sashimi. I tried the raw clam and was pleasantly surprised by the mild flavor. I admit I am not as schooled in the world of sushi, and even I was impressed. 

The desserts are lovely. There is an interesting mix of American desserts with some traditional thrown in, like the sesame balls with sweet bean paste. Very yummy. There is also a freezer that dispenses frozen treats like ice cream bars fruit pops, and ice cream sandwiches. 

Most importantly, the staff is very friendly. They truly want you there. There may be some language barriers, but do not let that blind you to the fact that they really try to make your stay a memorable one. Mine have been.

Contact Information:
28 Bureau Dr
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 208-7305

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ann's Soul Food ~ Stafford, VA

One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is finiding the diamond ring in the sand when you were not even looking.  Today I had a diamond ring moment. 

Whilst driving down route 1 one afternoon I was scoping the area for good eats. I wanted something new, a place I had not already tried. Most places were not restaurants in this part of the highway, and I did not see the sign for Ann’s Soul Food till we zipped right on by. It was small, and unassuming. The only proof that good ol country cooking resided inside was that sign. For true soul food, we needed to turn around,  it is not something you usually see in these parts. 

Upon entering the dining area, I had the immediate sensation of entering someone’s home. The kitchen was open, so we spent our time talking with Ann and a family friend working the counter (I apologize for not getting her name) as if we were old friends. 

I had my sidekick with me on this culinary adventure, my husband. He ordered the fried chicken, and I decided on the pigs feet with mac and cheese and cabbage. First thing I knew for sure was that everything was handmade, the second was all the recipes were passed down from Mama. No air conditioning, so the restaurant door stood wide open. There were regulars sitting outside conversing and gospel music playing over the radio. This is the real deal.

Décor was a collection of furniture pieces scrounged together. I have read other reviewers who talk about the shabbiness of the building, but this is the experience. I did not want a place any shinier than that, for that would be the façade. What Ann is giving you is not a show, but food prepared with love. 

This is not Cracker Barrel (Thank goodness). If it were, then there would be nothing to separate it from the pack of boring cookie cutter food establishments. Everything I was served was fantastic. The pigs feet had great flavor, as did the mac and cheese and cabbage. The corn bread was just sweet enough, and the fried chicken is worth driving to Stafford for sure (The best fried chicken I can remember having in a long long time). There are certain cuisines that are about the food, but also the experience. Everything about Ann’s was the perfect experience to me. I would change nothing.

Contact Information:
3349 Jefferson Davis Highway
Stafford, VA 
(540) 288-1806