Telling You What's Good

Value

Diamonds in the Rough: the We Ball Harder Guide to Adams Morgan

Adams Where? The Weekly 18th Street shitshow? What does WBH have to do with that? Well, your author lived for two years on Calvert Street, just past the insufferable weekend crush of shwasty-faced hoodrats, gang-bangers, interns, fake IDers, and drunk-ass bros, and despite having a sweet apartment, was not thrilled with said swarm of ragers providing a ruinous end for an otherwise nice night out in a different part of DC.  So why the hell am I writing this? Because nearly three years later, new delights have opened, old stalwarts have remained, and I’ve discovered under-the-radar gems that I overlooked in my previous desire to avoid 18th & Columbia and environs at all costs.

DISCLAIMER: 18th Street is still chock-a-block with absolute SHIT bars – and I’m gonna name them: Grand Central, Tom Tom, Town Tavern, Columbia Junction or whatever it’s called, Shenanigans, and many others. Avoid. It also still home to most dubious pizza by the slice ever – Jumbo Slice and its derivatives.  No level of drunkenness makes this a good idea. Also avoid.

So with that out of the way, let’s get on with it, starting from the top of the hill to the bottom.

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Curry Craving: Ravi Kabab

Next time somebody claims you can’t get good Indo-Pak food in the DC area, throw some dal in their face and slap them with a hot chapati, and call them out on their ignorance.  For the meatier side of things subcontinental, I present: Ravi Kabab, an Arlington institution steeped in Lahori deliciousness.

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Buy a Case, Quick! Château Haut Blaignan 2010

Buy as much of this as you can

I make no pretensions of being a wine critic, as I find that profession mostly full of hyperbole and bullshit, and I won’t go into “bits of jam and twig with sniffles of cherry ice cream and hints of fairy breath” here. I do know a damn good wine when I drink one though, and we have a winner here: Château Haut Blaignan 2010, from Bordeaux’s elite Médoc region, home to some of France’s most superb wines.  For $7, Haut Blaignan is making a bloody good effort.  Yes, $7, if you can find at your local Trader Joe’s.  It normally retails for about $16, and I’d put it on par with $30 bottles I’ve had.  It’s really that good.  Seriously, buy a case if TJ’s has one, or just get a few bottles to enjoy at home by the fireplace or to take to a small gathering and wow the hell out of everyone with your awesome erudition in oenology.  Cheers!


We Fail Harder: How NOT to Sell a Car

NOT what I’m in the market for.

Some of you that know me personally may know that I’ve been car shopping.  I’ve been seeking used (no, I will not use this idiotic “pre-owned” term), simply because let’s face it, I’m about maximizing value, and finding a well-taken care of car that’s a bit older but otherwise immaculate is a VASTLY better value than a new car.  I’ve been at it for several weeks, and 90% of the sellers out there FAIL HARD.  Here’s what not to do:

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The Discerning Drinker: What to look for in a bar

So, for those that have read my recent glowing writeup of Little Branch, as well as my comparison of Passenger and Gibson and my review of El Centro, I thought I should clarify what I look for in a drinking establishment that you too ought to consider.  Don’t spend money and waste time at crappy bars (or anything else, for that matter), use this handy guide.

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Hangover Helper – Phở, Sinh Tố, and the Other Delights of the Eden Center

It’s noon on a Sunday, the light slowly filters in through your blinds, and you curse the copious quantity of Cristal of last night as if it was a soul-sucking vampire.  Realizing that, damn it, you may have earned a day off with that legendary party, but you’re not gonna let a whole day waste away (half is quite enough), you need something to pick you up, set you straight, and let you get on your way.

What is that something?  If you’re in the DC area, it’s a visit to the Eden Center for something like this:

Steaming bowl of Awesomeness

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Value vs. Expense (part 2 – or: How to Avoid Impulse Buys)

Link to part 1

Right so here’s the sequel.  So I’ve established that sometimes certain things cost a certain amount without many options, and should you want said thing, you’re stuck (the example I used was plane tickets).  I’ve also said previously that when you have options, it’s sometimes beneficial to go for a more expensive option.  But don’t go rushing out to drop $1000 on something that you could get for $500 and be just as good.  Here are my rules:

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