Sunday, October 23, 2011


I don't know if I'm qualified for restaurant reviews. I've never been the best at judging food, and the highest job I ever had in the food service industry was as Prep cook at Scordato's.
But, I do like food, and food is definitely something that helps define a culture, and is one of the easiest ways to go out on the "long tail"- so, it's part of my mission statement here. So, if I screw this up entirely, please have mercy- I know I'm not a food critic.
I've heard people disrespect our local restaurants, and, frankly, I don't understand why. We've got some Zagat rated restaurants, a renowned Wine scene, a top-selling microbrewery, and even celebrity chefs. But, so be it, I guess. I still like some places around here.
I mean, if you don't like Volt, I question your credentials. The Voltaggio brothers are nationally known, and Bryan has his finger directly on the pulse- he's into gourmet pork, local and seasonal offerings, and even can do the so-called molecular cooking. What could be more of-the-moment, eh? Well, despite all that- the food really is spectacular. Yes, I'm unafraid of spending cash on food. I've had 2 and 300 dollar bills for meals. So, no, it's not cheap- but I defy you to say that anything offends your palette.
On the other end of the cost spectrum, I was a massive fan of That Cuban place, now That Cuban Truck. I'm a slave to good yucca fries, and black beans and rice. It's a weakness.
I also like fusion cuisines, so, a few yards away from my home, I dig El Sloppy Taco. Yes, because Tex-Mex meets Memphis BBQ is an awesome idea.
I've written about it before, but I'm also a massive fan of the Doner Bistro . It's everything a good teutonic boy, like myself could want.
But, I'm not picky. I also dig the deli counter at The Common Market and at Wegman's. I can do without decor, hence my abiding love for the exploded potato at AKA Frisco's.
So, in that spirit of simplicity, but really amazing food, my latest random discovery is Haute Dogs & Fries in Purcellvile, VA. I had the Lamb sausage, sliders, fries, a brownie, and the owner brought over the Eskimo dog. Oh, my. Just plain awesome. The buns are butter covered then grilled to caramelize the outer edge. The meat was fresh and flavorful, the condiments, especially the mint sauce on the lamb were exquisite, and the the place was beyond friendly. Lionel is smart, and a good chef. He knows his area, and, like Bryan Voltaggio, won't stay a local secret for long. Though I didn't meet Patricia, I'm sure she has an equal flair. Are they out of the way? Well, look at a map. My wife and I found the place completely randomly, out of a photo safari, but I'm very, very happy we did. It's a seriously worthy contender as a restaurant, selling what could otherwise be consider street food.
My wife thinks that this area- between Frederick County, MD, Loudoun County, VA and Jefferson County, WVA is an under-rated hotspot. Well, food-wise, with places like the Haute Dog and Fries? I'm more than happy to agree. That, my friends, is exactly why we shouldn't tolerate mass culture.