Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zaytinya: Summer Restaurant Week 2011

Well folks, the rumors are true. Zaytinya is everything I have heard it would be, a little bit of amazingness. As soon as I got the email for restaurant week, I jumped online to Opentable to make a reservation. Luckily my friend Carrie was also dying to try the place and jumped on board with me.

The outside of the restaurant (as well as the inside) was very artistic. Thank goodness the interior matched the exterior's appeal, it would have been a disappointment if the food was poor.
Our reservation was at 6, but we decided to get there at 5 for their "Mezza Ora." We each got a Pom Fili (white wine, vodka and pomegranate) for $4...wow, packs quite a punch. although, you couldn't tell while drinking it, just the after affects.I also tried the red wine they have for $4, Agiorgitiko, Hercules, Nemea '09. This was not bad-in between dry and sweet, good for the price :)
For restaurant week, Zaytinya offers 4 courses (with 4 options for each course! I love choices) and a dessert with 2 choices for $35.11.

To begin our meal they brought out pita bread and olive oil with pomegranate vinegar in the middle. I have never had a fruit/olive oil combo and I really liked it-packed a nice zing with every dip. The pita, however, was just average. 
First Course
Fattoush (tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper, radish, pita chips, pomegranate vinegar dressing): different than other versions of this salad that I have had. I thought that the chunks of veggies were a little big for my personal tastes, the onions in particular, but overall the flavors meshed really well.
Grape-Leaves Dolmades (grape leaves, rice, fennel, tomato, pine nuts, raisins, lamdeh) This is one of my favorite dishes, and I was pleasantly surprised. Many restaurants I order this from serve the grape leaves too briney, but these were just perfect and the dipping sauce on the side was a perfect addition.
Second Course
Falafel (chickpeas, tahini): Very tasty but I would have liked to have a little more tahini to dip or a yogurt sauce
Garides Me Anitho (shrimp, dill, shallots, mustard, lemon): Sauce was amazing, I loved dipping the pita in the sauce. C said this dish was delicious and the waiter said it was his favorite thing on the menu (I don't eat shrimp)
Third Course
Bantijan Bil Laban (eggplant, garlic yogurt sauce): Heaven on earth, I don't know if eggplant can melt in your mouth but it sure felt like it. This is one of the dishes that would bring me back to this place in a heartbeat. The garlic yogurt sauce was equally amazing.
Keftedes Kapama (beef and lamb, feta, tomarot, cinnamon, allspice): Tender meatballs, very tasteful.
Fourth Course
Adana Kebab (lamb, tomatoes, onions): Salt overload, I would almost compare it to swallowing a mouthful of ocean water...I couldnt even finish this dish.
Kotopoulo Youvetsi (chicken, orzo, tomato, kefalograviera cheese): This was ok, probably would have liked it better if it was not so similar to the chicken dish C had for her Third Course.
Dessert
Greek Yogurt and Apricots (apricots, yogurt, sorbet, pistachio): Good, but I wish I ordered the Turkish Delight. Loved the pistachio addition.
Turkish Delight (walnut icecream, goats milk mousse, honey gelee): Very good, C thoroughly enjoyed it.
Overall this was a great dining experience.Great Mezza Ora prices, I will be back for that update...no more Mezza Ora :(. I also will be stopping by here to eat some of their delicious dishes-mainly their wonderful Eggplant dish I can't stop thinking about. I was a little disappointed by the 4th course, my lamb dish was not edible due to the salt intake- a real let down after the first 3 courses.


(202) 638-0800
701 9th St NW
Washington, DC
Zaytinya on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grevey's

The other day G and I went to Grevey's to try out some of their burgers. Grevey's is a sports bar located in Falls Church with TV's at every table-pretty good for sports enthusiasts, as well as a hopping outdoor bar (check out their happy hour specials below).

We decided to split two burgers. The first burger was the California Burger $9.95 (jack cheese and guacamole). The burger was tasty, just your basic burger with a little bit of amazingness-guac :)
The 2nd burger was the BBQ Burger $8.95 (bbq sauce, cheddar and french fried onions). This burger wasn't too bad, the french fried onions were awesome, but there were not enough on the burger.
 
Happy Hour Specials
For a sports bar, this bar is dead on: good drink specials, decent food, cool outdoor bar and plenty of TVs. Service was average. I would def come back here if I wanted to catch a game.


Grade: C+/B (food alone I would not come back here, but for sports&food I would)

703-560-8530
Grevey's Restaurant & Sports Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Delivery Wings @ Wing Zone

I recently moved into a new place with my friend (and fellow diner) L. I am still in the process of moving in, so the other day my lovely friend C helped me move some stuff. I was looking for a place that was quick and cheap near my new apt, and I found Wing Zone which does delivery and carryout.
 
C and I both ordered the Boneless wings 10 piece combo (2 Flavors) for $8.99 and we got 4 different flavors.

Spicy BBQ: Not bad, I would try another sauce though unless your heart is set on BBQ
Hot: Good, just your typical hot wings sauce
Hot Honey Teriyaki: I really liked this, the combo of sweet and spicy was really good.
Kickin' Ranch: Not too bad, for ranch lovers this is a must

The French Fries were delicious and they had good ranch dressing. I would suggest ordering an extra side.

The sauces were not bad, good for a place that is so convenient. I do have to say that their boneless wings were on the softer side (yuck!-luckily not TOO soft so I could still eat them), whereas I prefer crispy. I will probably have to test the wings at least one more time because of the location and convenience of this place.

The servings were pretty substantial, we both finished half of our meals and were stuffed. Look at our classy eating arrangements.  Haven't moved in the kitchen table yet, so we just have a few chairs and a couch :)

Grade: C+ (It pains me to give this review, but hopefully it will change with my next experience here) If you like soft wings, then this is the place for you!

(703) 299-9464
3817 Mount Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA

Wing Zone on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 5, 2011

1/2 Priced Burger Night @ Brion's Grille

Who isn't a sucker for deals? 1/2 priced burgers and I am there at least once to try it. I actually used to go to Brion's Grille all the time in college for Burger Night. I haven't been here in a while and since I have been here they actually completely changed their burger menu (I think that this is a good thing). This place is located within walking distance from GMU and draws a huge crowd on Tuesdays. You will prob end up waiting for about 15-20 minutes if you get here around 6...which of course we did. If you are a fan of College Basketball, this is the place to be after the Patriots play a game.
Wegs started off his meal with a large beer, it was huge! Def got his money's worth (~6$) out of it. I chose to get Iced Tea which tasted funky, so I just switched to water.
All of the burger choices at Brion's are pretty intense, but I settled on the "B-Wing" which includes guacamole, jalapenos, jack cheese and their secret wing sauce. It was pretty good if you don't mind things with a kick. I was impressed by their guacamole, it was not overly processed.
Wegs got the "Alan Merten" (president of GMU) served with sauteed mushrooms and monterey jack cheese. He seemed to like it, and I have a lot of friends who have ordered this in the past, if you like mushrooms then this is the burger for you.
G ordered the "Emma's Patty Melt" served on toasted rye with swiss and grilled onions.This burger was not too bad- he didn't read in the description that it was rye bread and other than that he thought it was good.
I haven't really eaten too many other items here and normally just come for 1/2 price burgers, but it's your typical school sports bar. The food is just mediocore, but you get what you expect so no one leaves disappointed. Next time you have a free Tuesday and are in the area, stop by and get a burger! Or after a Mason basketball game stop by and you might be lucky enough to see/meet one of the players or our new Couch Paul Hewitt who I have heard great things about :)

All of the burgers were about $4-5 with the discount, great price for a meal!

Grade: B 


(703)352-7272
10621 Braddock Road
Fairfax, VA
Brion's Grille on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Smokey Bones...

I almost didn't write this entry. In fact, I wanted to forget this experience but I realized that the purpose of the blog is to write about the good as well as the bad. A means of expressing my frustrations when I don't have the gall to do it at the restaurant- I thought I was past being meek after my experience here but I guess not. 
I was at Ikea the other day and I decided to get a bite to eat after. I have often passed by Smokey Bones and I finally decided to give it a try.

To start off G and I both ordered drinks because they were pretty cheap. I'd say about 15 minutes after we ordered them, we received the watered down (from the melted ice) and condensation coated glasses. We both ignored the drinks and left them at the edge of the table.

Appetizer: Kettle Chips 4.99. I've been itching to try something like this because I have seen it on a ton of menus. Tasteless, a waste of money all around. 
I ordered a Combo Platter and selected pulled pork and beef brisket. Neither meat left any sort of impression. The waitress asked how I liked the corn salad and when I told her it tasted kind of weird she said "yeah that's what the kitchen thought" and offered me another side.
G got an Half Rack of Ribs with 2 sides, the cheese fries were the highlight of the meal. Nothing here was bad, but it was not good either.
 
So many things were wrong I am just going to list them:
  1. We waited for about 10 minutes before anyone even came to our table, and no the restaurant was not overly crowded.
  2. After someone finally showed up, we ordered our appetizer and drinks. Drinks came by 15 minutes later, watered down and full of condensation. 
  3. Appetizer...FRIED CHIPS....came out 20 minutes later and was horrible
  4. The "manager" came over to our table because he could see that we were unhappy and gave us a special coupon to make up for our unhappiness...the coupon he was clearly leaving on all of the tables and giving to everyone. He did take our drinks off the bill but we shouldn't have had to ask for that small service.
  5. We waited almost an hour for our food, I kept on saying we would leave in 5 minutes because I am not the type of person to walk out, but right as I finally got up the gall to leave, our food arrived. 
There were other minor things that went wrong, and I am usually one to give second chances but I do not think I will be visiting this place again, ever.

Grade: D- (at least the food was edible)

(703)491-0390
2601 Prince William County Pkwy
Woodbridge, VA
Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill on Urbanspoon