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The Official TracyFest 2004 Thread

TracyK's picture

Hello!


It's high time we get planning! I am going to use this thread to post general information about hotels, restaurants, etc. However, some folks have expressed some concern about posting specific information about hotel locations, etc. given the fact that we cannot be entirely sure who all is reading this board... so in order to assuage any discomfort, I am going to start a Yahoo group in a while, open to any CTer interested in coming to the Fest. That way we can eventually share the private info without having to worry about anything.


But in the meantime, let's drum up some ideas here! I am in no way as knowledgable about DC cuisine as Mean et al are about Seattle cuisine... but I do know some things, and am willing to visit any restaurant in which people express interest to determine if it's a good place to go.


Past Fests seem to have somewhat of a theme... Thursday and Friday night dinners at less formal but still fabulous ethnic restaurants, then Saturday's tasting menu w/wine pairing at someplace absolutely stellar.


I would like to offer the suggestion for one of the ethnic meals to be Vietnamese ... the DC metro area is home to a sizable Vietnamese community and I have had ample opportunity to enjoy a number of memorable meals... one in particular gets consistently excellent reviews (though I have not yet been) and I think would appeal to this lot... here's a link to the review by the Washington Post food critic, Tom Sietsema (upon whose judgment I rely a great deal): Huong Que/Four Sisters Restaurant. I plan to go soon and will endeavor to steal a menu for scanning/posting purposes.


Another option that would be fun for a non-tasting-menu night would be Jaleo, or Zaytinya ... respectively, Spanish and Mediterranean tapas. Also Palena. Or, if we'd like to repeat the sushi excursion, Kaz Sushi Bistro. And for a better look at the place I talked about in the other thread with the fried mozzarella in garlic/anchovy butter, here's a review... but keep in mind it's pretty much just your basic neighborhood Italian joint (which happens to specialize in Bolivian saltenas on the weekends), though very well-executed. Brunch at Colorado Kitchen would be a good idea, too.


Tasting menu venue suggestions include:
Todd Gray's Equinox
Michel Richard's Citronelle (WashPost review)
Galileo/Laboratorio del Galileo (WashPost review) (Laboratorio seats a maximum of 28 people)


Here's the link to the Washington Post fall 2003 Dining Guide... feel free to peruse and suggest at will!


OK, that's enough for today. Hotels next week. :-)



 



"Given enough time, the proper resources, and access to some really toxic stuff, one can probably dissolve just about anything except Peep eyes."


http://www.peepresearch.org

TracyK's picture

(post #56726, reply #40 of 136)

To the corner with you!! :-)


"Given enough time, the proper resources, and access to some really toxic stuff, one can probably dissolve just about anything except Peep eyes."


http://www.peepresearch.org

jwoods's picture

(post #56726, reply #12 of 136)

There are two very good south Indian restaurants in Langley Park. 

MadMom's picture

(post #56726, reply #13 of 136)

My problem is that I'm so ignorant that I don't even know whether I ate southern or northern Indian cuisine...somebody needs to help me...Glenys, Mean, Peter, Sandra? 

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #56726, reply #14 of 136)

eclectic fusion

MadMom's picture

(post #56726, reply #15 of 136)

You are, as always, a big help!   ;)


Edited to add that you have to try the short rib recipe.  I'm still amazed at how good it tasted...no wonder Glenys wouldn't share with me!



Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin


Edited 5/1/2004 3:52 pm ET by MadMom

PeterDurand's picture

(post #56726, reply #21 of 136)

Why not simply eat and enjoy? They will tell you later what you put in your mouth.

Cheers

 

Aberwacky's picture

(post #56726, reply #66 of 136)

I will eat wherever you lead--it all sounds great!


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
TracyK's picture

(post #56726, reply #67 of 136)

Honestly, it sounds like the non-sushis outnumber the sushis, so unless anyone absolutely has their heart set on sushi, I think I'll come up with an alternative. And if people DO have their hearts set on sushi, we could always plan a sushi lunch. :-)


"Given enough time, the proper resources, and access to some really toxic stuff, one can probably dissolve just about anything except Peep eyes."


http://www.peepresearch.org

Li's picture

(post #56726, reply #68 of 136)

Sushi lunch works for me.

Hell, sushi breakfast works for me.

Central Scrutinizer; Cooks Talk moderator

Only connect.

ashleyd's picture

(post #56726, reply #71 of 136)

The thing about sushi is it's so...uncompromising, in a sushi bar if you don't like sushi then there's nothing you can eat. With practically everywhere else there is usually something you can pick "to be sociable" even if it's not the most exciting thing going.

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."
Voltaire

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #56726, reply #75 of 136)

I can't decide who is worse - you or Madmom. LOL

MadMom's picture

(post #56726, reply #77 of 136)

Oh, don't be silly...you know I am much worse than Ashley!

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

TracyK's picture

(post #56726, reply #78 of 136)

I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree. Tempura, donburi, tonkatsu, various teriyaki dishes, all of these avoid the raw fish aspect and offer a delicious meal option.


That said, I have no particular attachment to sushi during this fest, though would be happy to accompany a sushi lunch contingent. :-)



"Given enough time, the proper resources, and access to some really toxic stuff, one can probably dissolve just about anything except Peep eyes."


http://www.peepresearch.org

ashleyd's picture

(post #56726, reply #79 of 136)

I bow to your greater knowledge, US sushi bars must be different to the UK.

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."
Voltaire

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

CTI's picture

(post #56726, reply #80 of 136)

The few, maybe 5, sushi bars I've been to in the US have many, many - actually most - items that do not include raw fish, which I think is more accurately referred to as sashimi, but don't ask me about exotic foods as I don't know. Also, these "bars" are often just a very small portion (seating 12-24) of a much larger restaurant that serve all manner of fried and otherwise cooked foods. The deal is that you really can't get raw fish elsewhere unless you buy from a monger and prepare it yourself. You will not have to eat raw fish in any sushi bar I've frequented unless you want to, but being seated in a position to watch the chef is worth a try at edamame and a veggie roll. Knife skills galore!! 


But I shouldn't dare talk after seeing your griddled or grilled veggie things from that expensive book! Awesome!

TracyK's picture

(post #56726, reply #81 of 136)

OK, I'm making my first executive decision: Huong Que is the place for one of the non-tasting-menu dinners.


It's a cab ride from downtown, but not too far of one (probably about as far as Racha from the hotels in Seattle). The fried squid and roast quail got me. I will try it out in the next two weeks, just to make certain it's up to the task. :-)


Actually, the Eden Center is kind of a neat place, an entire Vietnamese shopping center. The market there is the only place I have been able to find fresh rambutans locally (yum, yum, yum).


Huong Que/Four Sisters Restaurant
As many times as I've been to this bustling Vietnamese dining room in the Eden Center, I always leave feeling as if I've just scratched the surface of its charms. That's what happens when a menu runs to more than 200 choices. Thank goodness the sisters in the restaurant's English name actually work here (along with two brothers). All of them serve as expert guides to the possibilities, one of them recently helping to orchestrate a meal for my friends and me that danced between hot and mild, sweet and salty. Inevitably, I order lightly fried squid invigorated with a dip of lime juice and seasoned salt, and bronzed roast quail, both heady addictions. This time around, I added to my list of favorites shrimp draped in black bean sauce; sea bass in a sweet-tart tamarind sauce; and, from the menu's "exotic" side, a hot pot of tender goat in a gentle curry enriched with coconut milk, cooked at the table with fresh greens and onions and eaten with thin, wiry noodles. The generous service and thoughtful cooking unfolds in a large room made attractive with fresh flowers, recessed lighting and the kind of aromas that support the translation of the restaurant's Vietnamese name: "taste of home."



"Given enough time, the proper resources, and access to some really toxic stuff, one can probably dissolve just about anything except Peep eyes."


http://www.peepresearch.org

Geoffchef's picture

(post #56726, reply #82 of 136)

I love it when you talk dirty!


I'm sitting here fanning myself after your description of Huong Que and its charms, wishing I could be there.


'these voices - they're a kind of bridge back to the human world.' Aldous Huxley "The Doors of Perception"

 

ADAM'S APPLE, n.
A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

 

MadMom's picture

(post #56726, reply #88 of 136)

Tracy... I've heard of a really neat cooking store in the DC area.  Are you familiar with La Cuisine?  The web site is http://lacuisineus.com/index.php - maybe we could hit them on a side trip one day.  So many places to see and places to go...maybe we should make this a month long excursion!

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

RuthWells's picture

(post #56726, reply #69 of 136)

Leigh, I didn't know you were coming!  Hooray! 


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Aberwacky's picture

(post #56726, reply #72 of 136)

Yep, I already have my vacation scheduled.  So, while I won't be at Ruthfest, I will still get to meet you!


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
RuthWells's picture

(post #56726, reply #76 of 136)

Huzzah!  I'm so glad!

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

MadMom's picture

(post #56726, reply #70 of 136)

Leigh - you planning to drive or fly? 

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Aberwacky's picture

(post #56726, reply #73 of 136)

I was thinking about flying, but a roadtrip might be fun. 


Hmmmm, if one were to drive from say, the Dallas area, one would have to come right through Little Rock, to get to DC, wouldn't one?  Why, one could meet up with, say, someone who lives in that area, and they could whoop it up all the way there--I mean, politely enjoy one another's company and share the driving.


Was that where you were headed?


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
MadMom's picture

(post #56726, reply #74 of 136)

Actually, I was thinking that might not be a bad idea.  Besides, maybe if we make a road trip out of it, there might be someone else along the way who would want to join us...we could pick up hitchhikers along the trip!  The last time I drove to the DC area from here, we drove like maniacs and made it to somewhere in Tennessee the first night, then went on into DC the next day (younger DD was driving, and her DH was stationed at Fort Belvoir and she was anxious to get there!)  I'm thinking that maybe driving to Little Rock, taking a short break, then getting up the next morning, it might be an easy drive on to DC from there - two days max.  Of course, don't know how much time off you have...I have no life!  I just think that would be a beautiful time of year to drive through the Smokies.  We can discuss as time draws closer.  Of course, there's always the shorter 3-hour plane ride...and if you come to DFW to catch a plane, you're welcome to stay with us and fly out the next day.  Don't know what the normal routing would be from Little Rock, but I know from New Orleans we often flew to Houston to catch flights to DC, so who knows?  Let's keep in touch.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Aberwacky's picture

(post #56726, reply #83 of 136)

Yes ma'am--very tempting idea.  I'll think on it and weigh my vacation days.


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
PetiteOne's picture

(post #56726, reply #84 of 136)

Tracyfest???  This is sounding very interesting!!  Is there room for two more at your table, Tracy??


Tracy, Hi!!  This is Bev from ......well, you know where.... ; )  Dan and I would love to see you again!  We enjoyed ourselves so much last October meeting with you all in Arlington.  I finally got around to posting on these boards, and I am so glad I did!


Bev

ßev

ashleyd's picture

(post #56726, reply #86 of 136)

Not sure if you got an answer, but to get on the list you'll need to visit the TracyFest Attendees list thread 19339.1 where Biscuit is keeping official score, for hotel details (if you need one) the TracyFest Hotel Booking thread 19233.1 is the place to go.


“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

PetiteOne's picture

(post #56726, reply #87 of 136)

Thanks, Ashley!  I'm still learning my way around here and I appreciate the link ; )  My husband and I live in the DC area and if we attend it would only be for a dinner.

Bev

ßev

PeterDurand's picture

(post #56726, reply #89 of 136)

Hello All,

I didn't know where else to put this.

Does anyone have any recommendations on car rentals around Washington Regan airport? LoML and I are arriving a few days early and plan to visit a number of places around DC

TIA.

Cheers,

Peter

 

Gretchen's picture

(post #56726, reply #90 of 136)

Bid on Priceline.  I look on HOtwire first to get a bid. This tells you how much the taxes, surcharges are so that when you bid on PL you know what the "add ons" will be.  I honestly find there isn't a hill 'o beans differences in the car rental agencies.

Gretchen

Gretchen