Tuesday, November 24, at 11 AM

Where can you get a three-star experience at one-star prices? Which hot new restaurant merits the scorching hype? The answer to all these questions and more can be found Tuesdays at 11 AM on Kliman Online.

From scoping out scruffy holes in the wall to weighing the merits of four-star wanna-bes, from scouring the ‘burbs and exurbs to hitting the city’s streets, Todd Kliman covers a lot of territory.

Winner of a James Beard Foundation Award in 2005 for the country’s best newspaper column about food, Kliman is food and wine editor and restaurant critic for The Washingtonian. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Oxford American, The Daily Beast and Men’s Health, among others, and he has been selected four times for inclusion in the Best Food Writing anthologies.

He is the author of The Wild Vine, a literary exploration of two entwined mysteries: an obscure grape that rose to prominence, only to disappear, and its present-day evangelist, a foul-mouthed transgendered multi-millionaire vintner on an obsessive quest to restore the legend of an antebellum southern doctor.

Can’t wait a week to talk to Todd? Follow him on Twitter for dining reports, tips, and breaking news from the culinary world. Or write to him: tkliman@washingtonian.com


W H E R E T O E A T N O W . . . . . . .

Garrison, DC

Rob Weland’s cooking is thoughtful, meticulous, and often exquisitely rendered, and, in an age when so many menus read like mixtapes — eclectic and unified — the thematic coherence here is remarkable. It extends from the cooked-to-order poppy-seed gougeres to the desserts, among them a selection of stone fruits baked in parchment that puts you in mind of the kind of tossed-off-but-not-so-simple thing Martha Stewart might serve at a dinner party in the Hamptons. The dish to get: the tortellini, whose egg-rich wrappers are thin as tape.

Bad Saint, DC

There’s a lot to love already: the Filipino flavors are uncompromisingly complex, and the interpretations smart. Don’t miss a loose, lacy fritter of shrimp and sweet potato and okra and a bowl of clams with Chinese sausage and black beans in a rich, gently spicy and unexpectedly balanced broth. Both stunning. But a lot of what’s coming out of this kitchen with its leaping flames of fire is.

MGM Roast Beef, DC

Not new, no. But I went back recently and fell in love with it all over again. It used to be just ham and roast beef, roasted on site and carved to order. Now they have turkey and brisket, too. Wonderful stuff, and all the better when it’s piled thickly on one of their onion rolls.

Nido, DC

Things have gradually been moving east, but this small, soothing spot has launched near the Maryland border in Woodridge, across from the onetime home of the seedy Kirk’s Motel. It’s one of the boldest moves in years. Red Hen is a clear inspiration, but that doesn’t detract from the simple charms of the place, which, early on, has made a lot of smart moves and almost no bad ones. Get the chicken-stuffed grape leaves, the Sicilian chickpea puree and the pan-seared cod with romesco and fingerlings.

Clarity, Vienna

Jonathan Krinn is working in a more accessible vein this time out, and partnering with Jason Maddens (ex-Central Michel Richard). Don’t assume, though, that the chef’s downscaled ambition is synonymous with a half-hearted effort. The cooking is smartly thought-out and cleanly executed, recalling, a times, his years spent ringing variations on timeless French classics.

Taqueria el Mexicano, Hyattsville

Best Mexican cooking in the area right now. Nothing else comes close. Get the pork in adobo, the mole poblano, the posole, and the sopes. And don’t skimp on the handmade tortillas.

Ray’s the Steaks, Arlington

Go and get the hanger steak. It can be a chewy cut, but this one wasn’t, not even close. It was richly succulent, a fat rope of wet-aged, corn-finished meat that I all but devoured, in spite of my avowals to self to save half for later. I had to keep reminding myself that it cost (this is not a typo) $20. And that’s with complimentary mashed potatoes and fresh creamed spinach. At a time when many other steakhouses charge $15 for shareable sides, that essentially means that the best steak I’ve eaten this year — one of the few that was not just a flavorless but calorific hunk of protein — costs $5. And I still can’t get over how good the key lime pie is after all these years.

Taiko Japanese Restaurant, Springfield

The fish at this strip mall spot has been impressive early on, even if the platters are cheesy (miniature model house, palm tree, changing cube of color beneath a heap of daikon.) In particular: excellent yellowtail belly, yellowtail, and salmon.


Tableside Dishes:

One of the things I used to love about the Majestic before the Armstrongs divested of it was the table side caesar. Decidedly old school, garlicky and fantastic.

Are there any places that come to mind that replace this gem? (And no, table side guac doesn’t cut it.)

Todd Kliman

Boy, I loved that dish. Best Caesar I’ve ever eaten. And not even close.

Decidedly old school is right. And just — you know, fresh. So many just don’t taste fresh. Or there’s not enough anchovy depth. Or not enough brightness. Or garlic. Or crunch.

This one had it all.

I can’t think of any other place that does this. Can anyone?

And I’m drawing a blank on other table side preps …

Morning, everyone.

I’d love to know what you’re going to be cooking Thursday, or, if you’re not cooking, what you’re going to be eating — so preface your comments or queries with a brief menu description, please. 🙂


Restaurant saturation?:

Hi Todd,

I found your chat last week to be fascinating. I have tried for two weeks now to participate and have been unsuccessful. Nothing at all shows up on my screen for the first 20 minutes of the chat, and then it all comes in very slowly. Do others have this issue and does anyone on your staff have any solutions?

I do have a question for the chat.
Restaurants have been opening in the DC area at a rapid pace, and every day there is news about more on the horizon. I am concerned about some of the good ones being unable to sustain themselves with so many buzzy new options available. Do you think we are reaching a saturation point?


Todd Kliman


I’ll start with your second question.

I think the thing to look at is consistency. Yes, the city is flooded with places right now. And yes, every couple of weeks you see the first responders rush to the hot new destination, and the tables are all full, and you think: this is amazing; the city is restaurant-mad. But what happens after the buzz wears off? Can these new places sustain the excitement?

And where are all the line cooks going to come from? Not even the sous chefs — the line cooks. What about front of the house folks: where are they going to come from?

Looking around this past year, it seems to me that you have good waiters and waitresses jumping to new places, and leaving their old places a little in the lurch. This isn’t a hospitality-driven city, like Vegas, or Charleston, or New Orleans, where you have a slew of people to choose from, both front and back of the house.

So, great-sounding places, yes, but, to borrow an analogy from football, you need good line play to be good; you need to be strong in the trenches to succeed. Line cooks and servers are your linemen, in this case.

I see a lot of inconsistency out there right now.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been to a lot of places that I’ve previously been high on, and guess what? I’ve had meals that didn’t come close to what I was used to.I had a disappointing meal at Rose’s Luxury (note to the kitchen: that Peruvian-“style” chicken has got to come off the menu; it’s underwhelming in the extreme), a thoroughly middling meal at Red Hen, Montmartre was bad …

As for the chats … I have some news!

We’re going to be moving the chats to Facebook when we change over to a new website, which will happen in the next couple of weeks.

I know this may be a bit jarring for people used to the old format — it will be even more jarring to me, having done this thing this way for ten years (ten years!) — but all of us on this end think you’ll find them to be a terrific way to converse.

The deal is, we’ll still announce each week’s chat with a blog post, and we plan for the chat to remain on top of Washingtonian’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/washingtonian) while it’s going on. We’re still looking at the best way to archive them, but we’ll figure out something good. All the old chats will be archived on the new site, and they should be a little easier to search for.

Here are some examples of Facebook Q&As:

Anyone with concerns should feel free to contact the magazine’s web maestro, Andrew Beaujon: abeaujon@washingtonian.com


Special occasion restaurants?:

This may seem odd, but outside of the ubiquitous steak house there seem to be a real paucity of special occasion restaurants in D.C.

Given that demand is not that high for these places here as opposed to say, NYC, maybe this is not surprising. I am not talking about a gastronomic experience like Komi or Mini-Bar, but “fancy” restaurants that are excellent and have an ambiance that feels special.

It is great generally that a more low-key aesthetic has taken hold, but it does leave a gap when you are celebrating one of life’s big events.

It seems like in the not-a-steak-house camp we have Fiola, Fiola Mare, Blue Duck Tavern, Marcel’s and ??

Todd Kliman

I think the list is longer than people realize.

So here’s what I’ve got (and I’m building off of the list you started): Fiola, Fiola Mare, Blue Duck Tavern, Marcel’s, Casa Luca, Ananda in Fulton, the forthcoming Eric Ziebold restaurants (Kinship and Metier), Rasika, Bombay Club, Plume, Corduroy, can we say the Inn at Little Washington?, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Del Campo, L’Auberge Francois, Restaurant Eve, and Petit Louis in Columbia.

Are there others I’m missing?

I think that’s a pretty decent-sized list, actually. It just doesn’t seem as though there are many of these places anymore, because the restaurants that are doing the really exciting work are smaller and more casual and often more intimate.


Thanksgiving previews, cont.:

What I’m eating Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner at Charleston in Baltimore!

Family arrangements didn’t work out this year, so we’ll do it up in style locally! No idea what we’re eating – they haven’t posted their holiday menu – but I bet it involves some of the best turkey I’ve ever had! Looking forward to some low country sides as well…

Todd Kliman

That sounds pretty great.

Enjoy it.

And I’d love for you to come back next week and tell us how it was.


Thanksgiving previews, cont.:

hi Todd,

The usual: turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, brussell sprouts, cranberry sauce and stuffing!

The Chart House in Annapolis used to do a tableside Caesar salad.

Todd Kliman

The Chart House! I haven’t thought about that place in ages.

I still remember going there one year, as a kid, for my parents anniversary (yes, they sometimes took me along to dinner with them).

I like the sound of your menu. I made brussels sprouts last year; they’re pretty divisive, even with their rising profile. Some people just hate them.

How do you prepare them?


Thanksgiving previews, cont. :

Doing Kenji from Serious Eats’ spatchcocked turkey (pretty sure I’m the one who sent it to you), the gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing (Kenji again).

Wife is making mashed potatoes and the pies.

Mother-in-law is making a squash casserole and green beans. She picked up a honey ham and my father-in-law is grilling a beef tenderloin. Will be tons of food, but a great time.

Plus, as a Panthers fan, happy they’re playing on Thanksgiving for once so I’ll get to watch.

Todd Kliman

Well, yeah, and they’re a juggernaut now, too. (It’s nice to see some new teams and new players doing really well, isn’t it?; I get so tired of hearing the analysts talk about the Packers and the Pats and Brady and Rodgers, and … I’m so tired of it, I don’t even feel like typing the rest of the names I’ve so tired of. There are 1,500 guys in the league, and all you ever hear about are 25 of them. If that.)

Anyway: food. What a menu you’ve got going! Sounds wonderful.

What sorts of leftovers do you do?

And, everyone: do you do anything special with leftovers each year? Soups, special sandwiches?

I’ll again be doing the spatchcocked turkey (thank you for that tip: I love this method), along with cornbread stuffing with pecans, Caesar green beans, braised red cabbage with apples and mustard seeds, mashed potatoes. There’ll be bourbon sweet potatoes, fresh rolls, cranberry sauce, maple custard pie, pumpkin cream cheese pie, some dips and cheeses to start, some cocktails, some wine …


Restaurant saturation, cont.:

Todd first off, Tgivings wise: Pastrami brined and spiced 48 hour short ribs, turkey with homemade worcestershire & honey glaze, some foie parfait w/ pumpkin biscuits, pommes aligot, kalette caesar – the list goes on and we are gonna have some fun this year!

The discussion you are having above, that you brought up last week, does worry me as well. I find places that I used to find quite solid or very good slipping in ways that are hard to describe. They are still good, but just seem to lose that same spark.

I’ll pick on Rose’s as well, since you brought it up Todd. I’ve been going since the first week they opened and have been regular since then. (Yes, the lines and the madness make it harder to go now and it get’s irritating. But, I make do late on the weekdays mostly now.) What is the deal with the Peruvian chicken and the 2-3 large format dishes they have had on their menu before then? They don’t even compare to large format dishes the restaurant served in their fledgling days. Servers themselves have told me that a dish like the previous large format dish, the Hawaiian pork, didn’t stack up, that’s no good and it was on the menu for faaaarrrrr too long.

Inconsistency and slipping in former glory/quality seem to be popping up all over the place. I understand there will be off nights and things can’t always be perfect. However, DC restaurants are charging top dollar these days and want to (and should) compete nationally.

I don’t know what the fix is and won’t act like I do. However, I’ll be on the sidelines watching intently.

Todd Kliman

As will we all.

Slipping: it’s a thing, it’s a problem. It’s almost impossible to avoid when a place is expanding and the chef is spending time at the new venture. In the case of Rose’s, that means chef Aaron Silverman is right next door. But right next door is, as we all know, not in the kitchen and on top of everything at every moment. (Impossible, of course, I know; but you get the idea).

Rose’s has the new place in the works, the Red Hen has a new place in the works … It’s to be expected. Disappointing, yes, but it happens all the time. I mentioned last week that The Riggsby appears to have slipped from where it was in the weeks and first months after opening.

Restaurants are really hard creatures to sustain. I admire the hell out of the ones that keep that high level week in and week out, month in and month out. There are some rare birds that are good year in and year out. It’s a phenomenal amount of work.

To have talent at the very top is not enough. You have to have a great and loyal and hard-working team, too. And you have to keep that team motivated and excited and avoid burnout, etc. And you have to keep that team intact as best as you can.

Lots of places opening means lots of temptations for people to leave, and in some cases lots of incentives. I feel for the restaurateurs who are doing all the right things and still losing key personnel. It’s got to be tough.

Rose’s has lost some key people. It has retained key people, too. But the losses are not nothing. I don’t think the vibe is the same as it was in the beginning. It’s still a good staff, and a passionate one. But that exuberance, that collegial tone, isn’t quite there. My last time in, I didn’t even get the customary “good night” at the host stand. Sustaining that phenomenal level of warmth and welcome and camaraderie and fun they had for so long is hard. It was bound to happen. But the thing is, it’s apparently happened.

As for your T-day menu, all I have to say is:
Lord have mercy!

Are you the cook? Tell me more about the foie parfait. And that turkey glaze — worcestershire for umami and honey for sweetness, and I’ll bet it also makes for a good color, too. The short ribs sound amazing — untraditional, but amazing.

Have you done this menu before?



Sigh. Guess I’ll be giving up on following the chats live, given my workplace blocks Facebook entirely. This old software may have its problems, but it least it works on the open web.

To move on to a food-related topic: have you heard any updates on when Ogawa, in the old Pines of Florence space, might finally open?

Todd Kliman

I just spoke yesterday with Can, the GM at Sushi Capitol, and he told me that they’re looking at either the last couple of weeks of 2015, or the first couple of weeks of 2016.

And I’m sorry to hear we may be losing you — I know, from your email address, that you’re a dear contributor to this chat every week. I’ll miss you. If you send me questions via email, I’ll promise to include them in the conversation.

The hope with the move is that everything will run more smoothly and efficiently. We’ll see.


Thanksgiving previews, cont.:

We’re hosting some friends for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. It’s a mostly traditional spread. One thing I am going to try was inspired by reading a recent recipe on a turkey leg confit.

I like dark meat, but the legs often tend to get overdone as they’re sticking out in the hot oven. So, I liked the idea of taking the legs off and cooking them slowly in duck fat. I was a bit short on duck fat and so picked up a duck and rendered the skin (cooking the breasts that night at reserving the legs).

Then it occurred to me that I have turkey legs and duck legs. So, why not add some chicken thighs to the confit and prepare a deconstructed turducken! I’ll separate the meat for the purists, but it should be a fun meaty side dish.

Todd Kliman

Deconstructed turducken!

That’s hilarious. (And delicious-sounding).

I’d love to hear how this turns out. Take lots of good notes. 🙂


Chefs opening shops:

I’m thrilled to see high-caliber chefs continuing to open much more casual, accessible spots like Tim Ma’s sandwich shop in Vienna, Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s upcoming pastrami-focused place in Shaw, and the soon-to-open restaurant from the Aaron Silverman that will have a café up front for coffee/pastries/sandwiches during the day.

I’d love to see these sorts of places continue to proliferate, and I’m curious what you think is driving these chefs.

Do you see this as part of a larger trend? Are they passion projects to finally cook what they would most prefer to eat? Opportunities to spread their offerings to people they don’t typically reach? Or just an easier way to make more money?

Todd Kliman

It’s a great question — and, I agree with you, a great trend. I hope more chefs join the party.

In the case of chef Silverman at Pineapple and (not &) Pearls, it’s a way to make money during the day without doing lunch (which is a bigger expense and more involved).

I think it’s also, in a way, part of the larger trend of chefs and restaurateurs opening smaller and smaller places. Chefs have seen, in recent years, really small places get a lot of attention. In some cases, these are really small places that offer only a handful of dishes. Look at Bad Saint — 12 dishes. Rose’s only has 14. Some places don’t even have that many. The smaller the operation, or the tighter the focus, the easier it is to produce consistently delicious food.

A sandwich shop, for an accomplished chef, is a way both to streamline and to have (potentially) really good quality control.


Steakhouses :

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to the chatter’s and your enthusiasm, I’m going to try a hybrid of the spatchcocked turkey recipe from Serious Eats with this recipe from the head chef at Aldea in NYC: http://www.tastingtable.com/cook/recipes/portuguese-turkey-recipe-best-thanksgiving-recipes-how-to-brine-turkey-george-mendes-nyc. I’m still trying to figure out how to avoid brining the turkey while still getting some of the flavors that Chef Mendes manages to work into the turkey.

Also, the big star for us every year is the oyster stuffing. Though frankly, it’s just an excuse to buy 50 oysters, eat 40 of them, and then put 10 into the stuffing. Any tips on the spatchcocked turkey recipe to make sure it works out right?

Additionally, I would argue that special occasion restaurants are completely in the eye of the beholder. For me, my last couple birthdays I’ve gone to Toki Underground and Fiola Mare. Obviously Fiola Mare is a special occasion restaurant to most folks (or at least I hope it is), but Toki Underground felt every bit as much a special occasion. It was my first time trying stinky tofu, after all.

Finally, I wanted to note that my wife and I made a stop at Ray’s the Steaks last night resulting from your write-up. It was a great steak, great sauces, great sides. The server grinned from ear to ear when he asked why we had decided to come that night and I said that Todd Kliman’s steakhouse write-up was the reason.

But is it sacrilege to say this? It was still just a steak. When I eat out, I’m usually looking for things that I don’t think I can do myself- that’s why I pay the extra money. And I just feel like I can get close enough at home that I still don’t quite get it. Maybe next time I have to get the dry-aged steak. Still don’t have the patience quite yet to do that at home.

Todd Kliman

It may be sacrilege to some, but I understand those sentiments exactly. If I’m going out to a restaurant, I want to order things I can’t do myself (or come decently close to doing) at home.

But to a lot of people — a LOT — a steak is a special thing when they go out. I mean, hell, President Obama ordered a steak when he went to Citronelle. At Citronelle.

And yes, I couldn’t agree more re: occasions. Anything is special if it’s novel, or if it speaks to you. (How’d you like the stinky tofu, by the way?)

As for spatchcocking the bird, I would make sure you get yourself a really strong, good pair of kitchen shears. Cutting that backbone out is a lot of concentrated work. It’s not snip, snip, and done.

Also, when you’re done the cutting, make sure you smash the breastbone. Really flatten it. The flatter, the better, so you give yourself more surface area.

Be sure to keep the backbone and use it to make or strengthen a stock. It’s really valuable to have.

Finally, you’ll need a larger-than-usual pan, since the bird will take up a lot more space. If not, expect fires. 🙂

Good luck. Drop me a note next week and let me know how it — how all of it — turned out …


Thanksgiving previews, cont.:

Hello from Zanzibar, Tanzania!

Love following your chats and keeping up with the DC/NOVA scene. Your perspective is always interesting.

This our first year outside of the USA and we are excited to be doing an American Thanksgiving Zanzibar style.

We are roasting a whole goat on a beach. We’re also serving cranberry, ginger chutney, honey roasted carrots, spicy rice noodle salad and grilling small lobsters.

Not much of a question here, but love sharing food ideas and meals with other food-lovers.

If you’re ever in Tanzania, you are most welcome on Zanzibar.

Todd Kliman

That’s sweet of you — thank you.

What a beautiful-sounding meal. It’s got to ease any homesickness, I would think.

Your posting reminded me of Art Buchwald’s famous column, explaining Thanksgiving to the French. Does anyone remember this? Every Thanksgiving day for, I want to say, thirty-some years, that was the piece that filled the column space.


I wonder if people nowadays would find it funny. I’m not sure people thirty years ago found it funny.

The best part to me — the part that has stayed with me all these years — is the name Kilometres Deboutish.

Does anyone else find the name funny? Or amusing?

(Which, by the way, reminds me of a handbill I saw once in New York for a play that the Times had reviewed. The handbill said: “savagely amusing.” You know what savagely amusing means? I don’t either, but I think it’s effete-speak for really not funny.)



The chat, cont.:

Well, I’ve enjoyed the chats but looks like the Washingtonian facebook page requires a facebook login. Since I don’t have a facebook account, that’s not going to happen. I’m even a subscriber to the magazine. Thanks for the hard work and taking the time to chat each week.

Todd Kliman

Oh no … another one bites the dust …

Can you do me a favor, please? Can you write to Andrew Beaujon — abeaujon@washingtonian.com — and share what you just shared with me? I’d hate to lose loyal, longtime readers and chatters just because of a switch to a new system …


Thanksgiving previews, cont.:

First off, your menu sounds amazing. I want out of my job and in on your tgiving!

Yes, I am cooking. For the turkey, that actually is a nod to Blue Duck Tavern. They have a whole duck special on certain nights which they do that way, with the worcestershire and honey, it is truly amazing – I highly suggest giving it a go. The Foie parfait is pretty traditional foie custard cooked en bain marie. I’ll make some pumpkin biscuits, you spread and add some quince preserves and happiness ensues.

I use the same rough menu each year, but change things up. Last year I glazed the turkey in a pomegranate molasses and mustard-anchovy mix. Bone marrow and black truffle mash is now getting switched up with pommes aligot. Short ribs are new this year. I love pastrami and wanted 48 hour sous vide short ribs to taste like it.

As for quality slipping, I have all the faith Rose’s will get those slight shortcomings back on track. Other spots, like the Red Hen – I have actually had great/better meals there the last few trips than anytime in the past. So, consistency is something that really needs to be nailed down across many of these spots. All spots, which I consider good restaurants that just need be awake at the wheel, 100% of the time and not 90%.

Todd Kliman

Your menu sounds amazing-er. 🙂

So, for that glaze, just blend the two ingredients and paint it all over the bird, reapplying as the beast roasts?

I’d love if it you would share the recipe for those pumpkin biscuits. Pretty please?


Rose’s Luxury wait times:

Question not for you, Todd, but the poster who said he goes to Rose’s late on weekdays. Does that mean that if you go late on a weekday they still have reservations left and the wait isn’t too horrendous?

Tried this with Little Serow a couple years ago (went at 8:30 on a Tuesday) and was told they were all booked up for the night. I would have thought Rose’s would be similar.

Todd Kliman


I’ll just add that if you go, go upstairs to the bar, which — shhh, don’t tell everyone — has a separate wait list that tends to move more quickly.


Chefs and sandwich shops, cont.:

Regarding chefs and sandwich shops, I agree this can be a good thing and makes great area chefs more accessible. But it reminds me of what a huge disappointment Bryan Voltaggio’s Lunchbox in Friendship Heights has been.

I stopped going after I got a disaster of salad ($14 for brown-tinged lettuce, two grape tomatoes, two slices of avocado and tasteless crab).

More recently, a coworker waited 20 minutes for a sandwich that was inedible (I don’t remember the details but she’s not a complainer, in general, so it must have been awful). She asked for and got her money back. Anyway, at the risk of this just being a rant, have you or any of the chatters been there lately?

Todd Kliman

Have not.


And as for your broader point, I hear you. Loud and clear …


Milk Bar and hype:

Hey Todd,

Is the Milk Bar hype justified? And in particular, are there any musts for those of us who drop by? I’m trying to decide whether the time and waistline commitment are worth it.

Thank you!

Todd Kliman

Well, to begin with, I don’t think any place could justify that kind of hype.

The must is the Crack Pie. If it’s given to you cold, let it come to temperature. It’s really a terrific pie. Every bite is so intense and substantial. And sweet, it’s a very, very sweet pie.

If you don’t like sweet desserts — I mean, sugary sweet desserts — you’re probably not going to be a fan of Milk Bar.

I find a number of things to be too sweet for my taste, and you all know how I feel about cakes and pies and pastries.

After Crack Pie, I’d say get the chocolate chocolate chip cookie and the blueberry cream cookie.

Would I, personally, wait in line for any of them?


But I wouldn’t wait in line for much of anything. At that point, it’s really not about the food. It’s about being able to tell people the story of getting the food — about being able to show that you were first, or that you took part in the phenomenon, that you were there.


Thanksgiving previews, cont.:

I roast brussel sprouts with cranberries, pecans, salt and olive oil.

Two leftovers I make are turkey noodle soup and turkey pot pie with pearl onions mushrooms and peas and carrots. And always sandwiches with stuffing on them and cranberries sauce.

Todd Kliman


We’ve got some terrific cooks and eaters out there. Wow. I’m hungry just reading all these great descriptions.

Thanks for chiming in …


Rose’s, Thanksgiving specs, etc.:

I’ll answer the question about Rose’s first, honestly – it can go either way. You could walk in later on a weekday and still be turned away. But, more often than not the wait is less on weekdays and I find that most of the time there are still spots with shorter waits. Todd is right as well, the bar has a separate list which is also a good way to go.

For the turkey, I am going to paint it with worcestershire throughout the cooking process and as it is finishing I will mix some honey with the Worcestershire and start to glaze. (I don’t want the honey to burn at any point in the process.)

For the pumpkin biscuits, I don’t have my biscuit measurements on me. They are at home, but I am glad to share when I have it. I will say, that I roast a pumpkin or butternut squash and once it’s cooked down, I puree it with some spices and add that puree (obviously the amount of puree you add is up to you and how much biscuit dough you are making) and incorporate that to the wet ingredients. Brush the tops with some maple cream and finish with some Maldon salt flakes.

Todd Kliman

What’d I just say?


Would love to see that recipe, yes.


The chat, cont.:

Have already sent an email to Andrew Beaujon (thanks for sharing his email address.) to let him know I’ll miss the chat since I won’t join Facebook. As my husband says, if I wanted to be “friends” with people I went to high school with years ago, I would have kept in touch with them.

Sorry I’ll miss the chats…guess that just leaves the other one on Wednesday

Todd Kliman

I’m glad you did that. Thanks for taking the time to drop him a note.

And as for Facebook, yeah, I hear you. I’m not a Facebooker. I find the whole thing kind of tiring. The maintenance of a public self. The updates about cupcake purchases. The constant need to affirm people. Etc.

But the hope is that it will be a good thing for this chat. I hope it will. In any case, I’ll miss you. Please stay in touch. You have my email.


Bun Bo Hue:

Wanted some Bun bo Hue yesterday but didn’t feel like driving out to White Oak to go to Pho Hung & Grill (never been just saw it on the menu). I decided to go to Pho75 off University Ave because it is closer to my house.

I really enjoyed the Pho and thought it was a pretty good deal but it just wan’t Bun bo Hue (what is)?

But it made me think, how come Bun bo Hue hasn’t caught on like Pho has? Is it because of the ingredients in it, or maybe because Pho is more customizable in regards to the meat you can order?

I just think Bun bo Hue tastes so much better than Pho yet I don’t see it offered at too many places outside The Eden Center.

Todd Kliman

It’s certainly more robust. Beefier, spicier.

It’s an interesting question. I don’t really have a notion as to why it’s not more popular. Other than to say that you don’t see it around as much, which of course is a chicken and egg sort of thing.

Pho may be easier to like. It’s customizable, as you say — and not just with regard to the meat, but also the condiments. It’s also milder.

Incidentally, since you’re a fan and I have a general sense of the area you live in, try the M-9 at Mi La Cay in Wheaton. Fantastic. Spicy, rich, and complex.


Thanksgiving previews, cont.:

Am I one of the few who avoids restaurants for Thanksgiving dinner whenever possible? I’ve yet to find a meal that is as satisfying as the home-cooked version. That said, I had an awesome Thanksgiving meal in Paris many years ago, at a Tex-Mex restaurant no less.

I’m another fan of Kenji’s turkey prep:
Spice-Rubbed Butterflied Smoked Turkey (on my Big Green Egg)
Spicy cornbread stuffing with jalapenos and bacon.
Cranberry port gelee.
Hellfire cranberry salsa
Hasselback Potato Gratin (another Kenji recipe)
Green Bean Casserole (Alton Brown’s recipe)
Vegetarian Mushroom Thyme Gravy. (Food52.com, and simply one of the best gravies you’ll every make)
Meta Given’s pumpkin pie (food52)
Caramel Cake
Copius amounts of wine

Happy Thanksgiving

Todd Kliman

Wow again.

It all sounds delicious

I’d come just for the caramel cake. 🙂

Cranberry port gelee intrigues me. Whose recipe?


The chat, cont.:

Sorry to bring this up, but I went to the three facebook chat links you provided. None of the questions and answers showed, just the initial post. The change would be even worse if we couldn’t go back and read the old Q&As on facebook.

Todd Kliman


Well, as I said, best thing to do at this point, with things still to be determined, is write to our web maven, Andrew Beaujon.

Not just you — but all of you, even all of you who are not following live. If you have a comment to make or a question to ask, please drop him a note and let him know.

Here’s the email: abeaujon@washingtonian.com


Cranberry port gelee:

The cranberry port gelee is also from Food52.com. Fresh cranberries, port, peppercorns, and juniper berries are cooked, strained, and then chilled. (I find it to be a great resource)

I almost forgot the Momofuku brussels sprouts…
Fish sauce vinaigrette, chilis, mint, etc. I served it on a whim once, and it was a hit.


Todd Kliman

Great. Thanks for sending these along …

Gotta run, everyone. Have a safe and delicious and meaningful Thanksgiving. I loved reading about, and living vicariously through, your menus. Store up some good anecdotes from the table for next week.

Be well, eat well, and let’s do it again next Tuesday at 11 …

Oh, and meantime — the new OtherWise is up. A column on pho, whose lightness and non-turkey-ness you may be craving by Friday or Saturday.


https://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/bestbites/todd-kliman-otherwise/everything-you-need-to-know-about-pho.php [missing you, TEK … ]