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Restaurant Talk Column: Ideas?
  • Nick Freshman June 3, 2013 - 4:49 pm #75313 Reply

    There's been no shortage of comments after each column so far, and I think we should put it to good use. I'd like to know what you think I should write about next. My goal is to create more of a forum here and to have you all help shape the conversation. So let me have it! Another food truck piece (please don't ask for that one)? More cooking tips? More politics? No more columns at all? Here is your chance to set the agenda, and you all never miss an opportunity to speak up, so go for it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    NF

    AKB June 3, 2013 - 5:54 pm #75324 Reply

    Nick, Howdy. Why don’t you write about the lack of good vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the Courthouse to Ballston Corridor? The only way out of the health crisis is to be focused on healthy eating.

    newty25 June 3, 2013 - 6:25 pm #75325 Reply

    I didn’t know there was a restaurant talk column.

    AKB has a good point. How about highlighting healthy creations that taste great at local restaurants too.

    How about the ever hard to find “properly prepared seafood” in an area this close to Chesapeake Bay. The seafood is SO bad around here.

    Legal seafood should be illegal. That place is disgustingly bad.
    McCormick and Schmick’s is serviceable, but not very good either. Step above Legal Seafood though.
    Bonefish might as well be grossfish. Awful place to eat. I’d rather have take out from Long John Silver.
    Chart House has a Chilean Seabass that’s dynamite, but everything else is bad and since it’s hard to mess up CS, it’s not hard to see why it’s good there. Too bad, because I like the atmosphere and the service.
    Phillips is a tourist trap and bad as well.
    Oceanaire sucks. The service, the food, the everything. Nothing else I can say about that.
    The Georgetown waterfront is a joke, though I’ve had a few good meals at Sequoia. It might just be hit or miss.

    Carlyle and the other Great American Restaurants actually prepare good seafood.
    Blacksalt made me one good meal, but I’m not ready to crown them kings of seafood.

    bornnraised June 4, 2013 - 1:35 am #75331 Reply

    Why don’t you write about how the restaurant industry is one of, if not the most, profitable industries in our country. Restaurant owners rake in tons and tons of money and won’t even pay their employees minimum wage. What other industry relies on its customers to pay the salaries of its hourly employees? Not to mention that there are no benefits like 401k, medical, or even paid sick days.

    US Restaurants made $49 billion in April.

    Owners are keeping the money for themselves.

    Perhaps you could explain…

    Deadite June 4, 2013 - 8:58 am #75339 Reply

    ^^ This guy’s a little confused. If restaurants are so profitable, why do so many of them fail? And if they’re so profitable, why don’t you go ahead and open one yourself? And as far as which industries rely on customers to pay their employees’ wages — try ALL of them. Whether the money comes from the customer directly via tips or indirectly via higher menu prices, the customer ultimately will pay the employees’ wages.

    ballstoncmyk June 4, 2013 - 11:01 am #75385 Reply

    hi Nick. as another veg-head, a piece on veg-friendly options (not just full of vegetarian restaurants! most of my friends are omnis) is always appreciated.

    the seafood angle newty mentioned is interesting too — i’d read it, even if i don’t eat seafood. particularly if you were able to track down who in the area actually uses local seafood? last year my friends went out to Annapolis just to have some Chesapeake crabs… only to be told at the end of the meal that the crabs were flown in from Louisiana!

    or, since so many folks seemed to really appreciate the piece the other day about the Ballston Mall vendor who has been there for what, 20 years… what about a piece on some of the ARL restaurants that have been around for a long while?

    Sunshine June 4, 2013 - 1:19 pm #75419 Reply

    How about an article on a restaurant serving an interesting cuisine like Ethiopian, Afghan, Bolivian, Indian etc. Perhaps talk with owner/chef and find out what is their most popular dish and how it is prepared. I would like to see some of the kitchens of the restaurants around here; see how big/small they are, what they cook on, how they are equipped,  learn about some of the people working in the kitchen to bring us great food every day.

    wimmer201 June 4, 2013 - 1:50 pm #75424 Reply

    Thoughts on more healthy options (and the lack thereof) at restaurants would be appreciated.  The nutritional info of some places is just staggering.  It would be great to see the nutritional information listed for more local restaurants, not just the chain restaurants.  It can be eye opening for sure.  I was browsing Gordon Biersch (realize its DC and not Arlington)…but I think if people could see just how bad things are they might think twice about what to order.  For example…Lobster and Shrimp Mac and Cheese with bread – 1824 calories….125 grams of fat.  That’s a full day of calories and 2 days worth of fat.  Even the veggie burger (not including sides!) which many probably assume is healthy still has 914 calories and 40 grams of fat.  Hardly a healthy option.

    Would love to see more vegan options as well.  Thanks!

    JamesE June 4, 2013 - 2:17 pm #75428 Reply

    If you are really concerned about health just cook at home.  Even “healthy” food at a restaurant is probably cooked in 15 lb of lard and butter.  As for seafood, American Seafood off of lee highway is supposed to be good.

    KalashniKEV June 4, 2013 - 2:20 pm #75429 Reply

    1) We need more 24 hour places in the corridor.

    2) We need more counter service in the corridor.

    Suburban Not Urban June 4, 2013 - 2:36 pm #75442 Reply

    How about where you can get a good Shawarma sandwich or maybe a good real Philly Hoagie.  What about the best food at the Nats or Redskins game?

    nom de guerre June 4, 2013 - 2:42 pm #75455 Reply

    Nick-I would like to see an article that discusses some of the challenges in running a restaurant/eatery that are unique to Arlington.  I’m guessing that high rents, competition, meal tax,  lack of parking for both patrons and staff (as most staff can’t afford to live in Arlington) may be some issues, but I am sure there are more and I would value your opinions.

    Nick Freshman June 4, 2013 - 3:28 pm #75471 Reply

    Great stuff, folks. Thank you for weighing in. Evidently, I need to write a piece about the billionaire vegetarian restaurant owners–I hear they are everywhere…

    Seriously, the healthy/vegetarian/vegan topic is one that I know a lot of Arlington residents care about. Especially the dozens I see jogging by my bar every morning. I get tired just watching them.

    I also think that Arlington does present unique challenges to running a business, but like many popular areas, unique opportunity as well. Both sides could be worth exploring.

    NF

    hbar June 4, 2013 - 3:49 pm #75484 Reply

    Nick — one suggestion is to talk about restaurant atmosphere. One of the issues I have is that so many restaurants feel like they have to have blaring music on at all times. Some of these places have music up so loud you can’t even talk to the people you’re sitting with. I understand that loud music is appropriate in some types of restaurants, and at some times, but why do so many restaurants use it so much? Even a Fro-Yo place I go to has blaring music at all times, even in their outdoor seating area. I’d go more if it weren’t for the music. I start avoiding places where I can’t have a reasonable conversation due to the music volume. And it’s not an old fogey thing–I’ve been wondering about this since I was in college.

    AKB June 4, 2013 - 9:51 pm #75509 Reply

    Nick, Howdy again. You see, here is what I want. I want to go to a vegan restaurant with a generic menu. I say I want this and this and the chef(s) prepare it. A restaurant with many top-vegan chefs (from around the globe) ready to cook exactly like you want. The concept of Chipotle or Vapiano taken to another level. This is the future of restaurants. You are the consumer/customer. We want your money. You say what you want and how you want it to be prepared. And, this is how we will prepare. Plus, if you want to call as you leave your office, we will have the food prepared to your preferences.

    You see, I cannot believe that there is no such restaurant in the corridor. Simply Amazing. If you are a businessman/businesswoman, this is your business plan. The venture capitalists will be knocking on your door 24/7.

    Eat Vegan Your Way at Your Restaurant.

    Thoughts?

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