Nick’s Riverside Grill: Dining on the Georgetown Waterfront

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RESTAURANT:  Nick’s Riverside Grill

ADDRESS: 3050 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (On the Georgetown Waterfront next to the fountain)

GENRE: American – Seafood

AFFORDABILITY: More on the expensive side for the quality and quantity of food you receive, but that’s probably to be expected given that you are eating on the water in Georgetown. You are paying for the view.

PARKING: Limited street parking available not too far away, but there are plenty of parking garages. A little less than a mile from the closest metro station (Foggy Bottom – GWU).

VENUE: The main reason to eat at Nick’s is the Georgetown view that can’t be beat. Right on the Potomac River with views of the Kennedy Center and the Georgetown Fountain. There is quite a bit of outdoor seating and an outdoor bar. For those who don’t want to deal with the heat, there is also indoor seating and an indoor bar.

GENERAL: I came here for lunch and drinks with coworkers on a sunny June day, ready for a good time with great company. We had a group of over a dozen and did not come in with a reservation. Arriving in the early afternoon on a Friday, we did not expect to have too much trouble finding an outdoor table. There were plenty of open tables but it seemed to be a bit of a struggle for them to combine multiple tables to accommodate our group (we definitely needed to add another table to accommodate everyone and it came to the point where we were going to ask if we could move the table ourselves…) The Hostess and our Server, however, were both kind and service was good – no complaints there.

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View from the outdoor bar

After the meal, we moved to the outdoor bar area and the bartenders were great – social, conversational, and they made some quality drinks. The outdoor bar itself is a little bit closer to the fountain; you still get a great view of the water but it’s a little bit cooler with some shadier spots.

THE FOOD:  As far as appetizers go, we ordered the Chicken Wings, Charcuterie Board, Crispy Calamari, and the Chicken Nachos. The wings were a solid choice – crispy and flavorful and a decent portion. The Crispy Calamari was standard, fulfilling your deep-fried cravings. The Charcuterie Board was kind of disappointing. It just felt lacking in quantity for the price and tasted pretty average. The Chicken Nachos was this colossal dish of nachos with a ton of toppings. Honestly, it could have been a person’s meal. It was definitely delicious and a worthwhile appetizer.

There were several intriguing options to order from for my entrée. I was so tempted to try one of the Indian or Asian dishes; but I realized they would probably be subpar. I ended up ordering the Crab Cake Sandwich (I was by the water, the seafood had to be great, right?) I didn’t come in with high expectations, and was pleasantly surprised with how good the crab meat was. The sandwich itself was pretty great. I’m not a huge fan of coleslaw and the slaw that came with the sandwich did not convince me otherwise. The fries were super disappointing; among the worst I’ve had at a restaurant. Definitely frozen and they gave so many and they were just not tasty or filling. Another thing that disappointed me was that I think seven people at my table ordered the Crab Cake Sandwich and only about half of them came with the white dip/spread for the sandwich.  But overall, the crab meat was absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend ordering the crab cake sandwich or something with crab meat.

For drinks during the meal, I ordered a Ketel Crush and a Dark’n’Stormy. Both were solid cocktail choices. Later on at the bar, the bartenders did a great job of making a variety of drinks

ACCOMODATIONS: They have vegetarian options available.

OVERALL: To quote my coworkers paraphrasing me, “The view was good. The service was pretty good. And eh, the food was pretty good.” Jokes aside, I really did love the crab cake and the venue/bar facilitated a great time with a large group. And of course, the view was phenomenal. It definitely wasn’t the best meal overall, but for the view and experience with friends, Nick’s is definitely worth coming to!

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American Tandoor: The Indian-American Fusion Restaurant That Was Better Than I Expected

American TandoorRESTAURANT: American Tandoor

I want to preface this review by saying I am an extremely harsh critic of Indian restaurants given the fact that I can get any authentic Indian food made amazingly well at home and I’m often eating at these restaurants with those very chefs.

ADDRESS: Tysons Corner Center 1961 Chain Bridge Rd, Tysons, VA 22102 (2nd Floor next to entrance near Chipotle, McDonalds, Shilla, etc… They have some pretty heavy advertising in that section of the mall so you can’t miss it! Just don’t get it confused with the Indian Street Kitchen right outside of it)

GENRE: Indian (though I would say it’s an Indian and American fusion restaurant)

American Tandoor Venue

VENUE: The venue was very nice, with lots of traditional Indian décor and ample indoor and outdoor seating. Clearly a lot of effort went into it and it was elegant but not too formal. There was a view into the kitchen, which was also cool. The AC was blasting, but the warm Indian food quickly solved that problem!

GENERAL: Seating was quick and service was phenomenal. If you get a chance, definitely ask for Aly as your server, she was fantastic and my family very much enjoyed her energy and thoughtfulness. It was pretty busy for a late Sunday afternoon, which is always a good sign.

AFFORDABILITY: Although we ate at the same time as the Sunday brunch buffet, we opted not to go with the buffet option. $25 per person was a ridiculously high price for an Indian buffet (sorry, but Tysons Corner is not DC and I wasn’t willing to risk paying those prices), especially for an Indian restaurant that we had never tried before.

The entrees aren’t too expensive – mid-teens to $20. The quantity of food is appropriate. It’s pretty comparable to other Indian restaurants in Northern Virginia

American Tandoor Food

Food Spread

THE FOOD: We ordered the Chicken Tikka Naanwich, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Chops, and two orders of Traditional Naan. Our server implied that many guests order Naans as breads to be eaten before the meal, but we made sure to request it to be brought out with the meal to eat with the Chicken dish. Kudos to the server for checking with us as to when we wanted it.

American Tandoor Chicken Naanwich

Chicken Tikka Naanwich

The Chicken Tikka Naanwich (clever name!) was essentially a marinated chicken wrap in naan with masala aioli. It was honestly really good and I think it is probably one of their more popular dishes. It was simple, and really not too difficult to recreate at home. I will admit the masala aioli was kind of flavorless and very much overpowered by the marinated chicken, but it added a nice moistness to the naan. The fries that came with out were above-average as far as restaurant fries go. It came with an “Indian Ketchup” which was a tamarind-based ketchup that was very sweet with a spicy after taste. Tasted good and was especially useful as a dip for the Naanwich (again, the aioli didn’t really add much flavor and the chicken wasn’t with a curry in the naan so it was a bit on the dry side). It was a simple Indian-American fusion item (almost to the point that I almost wish I ordered something I bit more complex), but it was filling and delicious. Definitely something I would recommend!

American Tandoor Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

The Chicken Tikka Masala… was good. But it was most certainly not an authentic Chicken Tikka Masala. Just a curry chicken. It was a good quantity to share between multiple people and tasted decent. The chicken were breast pieces that were a great size and not overcooked – being a chicken thigh fan myself, it was great to find an Indian restaurant that cooks breasts the right amount and cuts them to the right size. I don’t think there were any major complaints from my family – a good chicken curry dish, just not an authentic Chicken Tikka Masala… (which is a common problem with many Indian restaurants in the area).

American Tandoor Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops

We ordered the Lamb Chops well done. They were good and had a really nice Dijon sauce with it. The quantity was a bit small, but it came with two sides so we ordered Cumin Potatoes and Dal Makhani. The Dal Makhani was really nice (soupy with a great lentil flavor). The Cumin Potatoes, as our server suggested it would, tasted like home-style fries. It was not spicy which was exactly what we were looking for. Overall happy with this dish.

American Tandoor Dal Makhani and Cumin Potatoes

Dal (Lentil) Makhani left and Cumin Potatoes right

ACCOMODATIONS: They have vegetarian options available. They are also able to control spice levels for many of their dishes.

American Tandoor Fries

Fries with Sweet-Spicy Indian Tamarind Ketchup

OVERALL: Honestly we were satisfied. The three entrees we ordered were filling for four people. I’m a pretty harsh critic of Indian restaurants, but the venue was really nice, the service was phenomenal (ask for Aly!), and it was reasonably priced with good food. I also appreciated the amount of effort they put into presentation – some of the food items seemed to have some more traditional presentations that take more effort, and I definitely noticed that. This is definitely one of the few Indian restaurants I would feel comfortable bringing back my friends to (both Indian and non-Indian).

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Via Brasil: Tastiest Adventure on Little Brazil Street

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RESTAURANT:  Via Brasil 

DATE OF VISIT: 5/14/17

ADDRESS: 34 West 46th Street New York, NY 10036 (A short walk from Times Square on “Little Brazil Street”)

GENRE: Brazilian Food

AFFORDABILITY: Entrees are on the expensive side (high teens but mostly higher) but are extremely filling!

VENUE: The restaurant itself is really nice, spacious New York eatery! Great environment to bring friends for a fancy time or family for a great family-meal in the city.

From my experience and observations, the restaurant seemed LGBTQ+ and POC friendly. Did not take note if there were gender neutral bathrooms.

GENERAL: My friends and I had no plans for dinner after 9pm on a Sunday night and were just walking around Midtown and we stumbled across this restaurant. We were super indecisive, but I am so glad we decided to stop at Via Brasil! The service was fast and the menu was super expansive. Beyond the large regular menu, there were several specials, which was super great.

THE FOOD: I ordered Chicken Milanesa off the specials menu which was a breaded chicken dish with mashed potatoes. I honestly did not expect the serving to be so large – it was a great portion size. The potatoes were creamy and silky smooth and I absolutely loved them. The chicken was tender and cut easily, but has a great flavor to it. It was expertly breaded and overall delicious dish.

My friends ordered beef dishes and loved them as well. I think the next time I go I would definitely order Fried Yucca!

ACCOMODATIONS: Has some vegetarian options and appetizers, but a strong majority of the cuisines include meat.

OVERALL: Although slightly on the more expensive side, the food was filling and absolutely delicious. Definitely recommend if you want authentic Brazilian food! It’s a great time with family or friends and short walk from the Theater District and Times Square.