Lubbock, Texas notes

Hill BBQ is perhaps the best I have had — ever. It is open Thursday and Saturday only, get the burnt ends and beef ribs. Next in line is Evie Mae’s, better known on the barbecue circuit, but still mostly unsullied by tourists and so the lines remain manageable.

There is no real center of town, but you can visit the world’s largest windmill museum (it is windy there), a prairie dog park, and Robert Bruno’s self-constructed, funky Steel House on a nearby lake. There are Confederate memorials remaining by the main courthouse. You will see tumbleweed. There is a strange man walking around town with a tricolor hat.

The economy is cotton, health care, and Texas Tech at about 40,000 students. Buddy Holly was from Lubbock.

It still has a strong regional feel, much as say parts of the Dakotas do. The dinosaur displays in the museum are labeled “The Original Longhorns.”

I would go long on Lubbock: no NIMBYs (yet), the housing stock is rising in quality, they are opening an entertainment center downtown, and it could be the next Marfa but on a larger scale. What’s not to like?

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.


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Balagger Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar

Balagger Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar, web site, Build America Plaza, 3813E S. George Mason Dr, F, Falls Church, VA, you have to go around the back, usually they open at 10 a.m. and close at 2 a.m., soccer on the big screen. (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Ylp]

Probably the best Ethiopian restaurant of the entire lot right now. The best yellow lentils. The yeyashe kitfo is currently my favorite Ethiopian dish in the area. It doesn’t even look like kitfo, it “feels” cooked, and tastes more like South Asian food than an Ethiopian dish. Very good breakfast entries, and some of the best injera. Consistent all around.


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Wang Dynasty

Wang Dynasty, web site, 4929 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD, 301-654-1188 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | TripAdvisor | Bethesda Mag | Ylp]

Run by the people who used to do Michael’s Noodles in Rockville, this place is easy to describe: “Good for Bethesda, not nearly as good as Rockville.” Voila! They have dry hot pot, dumplings, noodles, and many other dishes along Shaanxi and Sichuan lines. Again good for the area, but I would not make a special trip to eat here.


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Kith and Kin

Kith and Kin, web site, 801 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC (in the InterContinental Hotel), 202-878-8566, Afro-Caribbean (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Washingtonian | TripAdvisor | Michelin | Reddit | City Paper | NYT | WaPo | Ylp]

An impressive and important addition to the local repertoire. The chef is from Trinidad and Nigeria, and the food matches those origins. Most of the dishes here you can’t get in good form anywhere else in this area. I recommend the goat, the whole fish (expensive but feeds two), the egusi fufu (properly West African in its smokiness, not for all eaters, note it seems to be vegetarian), and the jollof rice with trout. None of those are cheap, ranging from $25-35, with the fish at $65. Note also the menu changes seasonally. The bread they serve you at the beginning is wonderfully Caribbean, with an excellent spicy red sauce. In contrast to most places these days, the appetizers are worse than the main courses. Furthermore, the appetizers are criminally expensive, often $25 and up, without being so large or so amazing. So you can do very well here, and I am happy to recommend it, but I would say be aware of the basic deal going in. The place is also very good for people-watching, and many of the seats have excellent views of the water and the wharf.


Interview with Chef Kwame Onwuachi of Kith and Kin restaurant in Washington, DC



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Nazret Ethiopia Resturant

Nazret Ethiopia Resturant, web site, 3821 S George Mason Dr D, Falls Church, VA, 703-347-9911 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | TripAdvisor | Ylp]

Now plausibly considered the best Ethiopian restaurant around, they have the freshest tibs, excellent yellow lentils, consistent vegetables, and perhaps the most fragrant kitfo. Their breakfast foul is not my very favorite, but it is still good. The proprietor is on-site almost all of the time. There are huge screens showing soccer games most of the time. If you eat Ethiopian at all, this is certainly a place you should try.


Why Ethiopian Cuisine In Washington, D.C. Will One Day Be As Popular As Pizza – MOFAD



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Airline markets in everything – AirAsia’s Santan


AirAsia’s Inflight Food Behind-the-Scenes


    Out of the many repulsive things about air travel, airline food probably ranks high. But not for AirAsia.

    Asia’s largest low-cost carrier is betting people love its food so much that it opened its first restaurant on Monday, offering the same menu it sells on flights. It’s not a gimmick, either: AirAsia, based in Malaysia, said it plans to open more than 100 restaurants globally within the next five years.

    The quick-service restaurant’s first location is in a mall in Kuala Lumpur. It’s called Santan, meaning coconut milk in Malay, which is the same branding AirAsia uses on its in-flight menus.

    Entrees cost around $3 USD and include local delicacies such as chicken rice and the airline’s signature Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak dish, a rice dish with chilli sauce. Locally sourced coffee, teas and desserts are also on the menu.

Here is the full story, via Michael Rosenwald. P.S. Pablo Escobar’s brother is now selling a folding smart phone.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.


AirAsia Santan | Chicken Teriyaki with Rice


Santan & T&CO opens first flagship restaurant in Kuala Lumpur


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Punjab Grill

Punjab Grill, web site, 427 11th St. NW, Washington, DC, 202-813-3004 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Washingtonian | TripAdvisor | Reddit | City Paper | Ylp]

I have mixed feelings about this fancy Indian place. I only went once, and probably won’t go again, simply because the acoustic and noise volume by 7 p.m. became for me almost unbearable. I believe I tried nine dishes, and the vegetables were generally quite good. The venison was excellent and original, and the other courses I thought were mixed, never terrible but not consistent either. The mains were priced in the $20-$35 range, pricey for Indian. There are not many decent Indian options in DC. I visited their private room before leaving and thought it pretty spectacular, maybe the best one in town. Overall, I believe there are worthwhile ways to use this restaurant, and some of you should try it, but it doesn’t quite fit into my current portfolio as I see it.


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Thamee, web site, 1320 H St NE, Washington, DC, 202-750-6529, dinner and three days brunch, no usual lunch. (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Washingtonian (also) | TripAdvisor | City Paper | Ylp]

As far as I know the only Burmese place in town right now, other than the small bodega in Union Market. It is not afraid to go stinky and ferment, a real plus for me, though that is not the most obvious crowd-pleasing move. The menu could be more comprehensive, for instance I would like to see a bigger selection of salads. I would put this in the “pretty good” category. I tried a few of the recommended dishes, liked them all, but no killer item. The prices are reasonable by DC standards, though not the kind of bargain you might be expecting in the suburbs.


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Fresca Tacqueria & Rosticeria

Fresca Tacqueria & Rosticeria (Tacqueria Rosticeria on the front sign), web site, 701 H St. NE, Washington, DC, 202-544-1579 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Ylp]

I ended up having one meal here “by mistake,” as other plans fell through. But it was excellent, with both the tamale elote and the chile relleno among the best in the area. I am not sure I will get back here soon, but thought I should pass the word that at the very least this place has potential. If I lived nearby I would go all the time. Note that the seating plan is countertops with seats, not proper tables.







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El Habanero Tacqueria

El Habanero Tacqueria, FB, 7321 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA, 571-378-0185 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Ylp]

I was happy right off the bat when the chips and salsa were decent. The fried mojarra (trout) is the best around. The rest is not spectacular but pretty good, certainly better Mexican than anything Annandale or nearby environs has given us to date. So I will go there pretty regularly. Not worth a big trip, but put this in your repertoire if you live in the area.


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