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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Four Sisters Grill: Best Pork I’ve Had

Four Sisters Grill

RESTAURANT:  Four Sisters Grill

DATE OF VISIT: 6/3/17

ADDRESS: 3035 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201 (right outside the Clarendon Metro Station, WMATA Orange/Blue/Silver line)

GENRE: Vietnamese Food

AFFORDABILITY: Entrees are under $10 and are filling!

PARKING: Limited paid street parking available on streets nearby.

VENUE: The restaurant itself is really nice. Great for casual lunch or something a little bit more formal. The interiors are well-done and there is outdoor eating space as well. You walk in and order your food, similar to a deli, and then have the option to take a seat at the table and have a server wait on you or just leave with your food.

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

GENERAL: Overall very impressed with the restaurant! When I ordered my Banh Mi, it was very nice of the cashier to double-check if I wanted jalapenos in my Banh Mi (as I bet a lot of people probably don’t want that spice). Although my friends all ordered our food to-go, we decided to sit outside. A server brought our “smoothies” outside which was really nice. There was a mishap with an order – accidentally brought out coconut water instead of a coconut smoothie with bubbles but they took care of it and resolved the problem super professionally and quickly. And a server came by and brought us sauces even though we weren’t officially “dining-in” which was very awesome.

THE FOOD: I ate the Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng (Grilled Pork Sandwhich) and a Large “Mango Smoothie with Bubbles”.

When I opened the Pork Banh Mi, it was so much larger than I expected and I appreciated that. It was by far the BEST BANH MI I have ever had. The pork had such a delectable flavor, I honestly can’t stop thinking about it. It. Was. So. Good. The onions were very fresh and the bread was moist. It was a great amalgamation of textures and flavors, I strongly recommend.

The “Mango Smoothie with Bubbles” was comparable to a Mango Slush bubble tea you could order elsewhere EXCEPT it was clear how fresh the mangos were. I like to think of myself as a bit of a mango aficionado and I could really tell the freshness and the quality of the mango used and I appreciated that. I ordered a large, which was 24 ounces for a really great price. Super refreshing. I only wished there were more bubbles.

I honestly feel like every time I go I would order the same thing, but maybe ask for more bubbles in the “smoothie”.

ACCOMODATIONS: Had Vegetarian and Gluten-Free options.

OVERALL: Wonderful experience. Parking nearby. Fresh and scrumptious food. Filling portions. Really well-kept venue. I plan on coming back and 100% recommend!

Melt Shop: Meeting Grilled Cheesus

So this is my first review. I haven’t read many professional reviews nor do I know what these should even look like. I love to eat and always love trying new foods and always have lots of thoughts. So I thought it would be fun to start casually writing about them!

RESTAURANT:  Melt Shop

DATE OF VISIT: 5/16/17

ADDRESS: 877 8th Avenue New York, NY 10019 (Eight Locations Nationwide, mostly in New York)

GENRE: “Comfort Food” (Sandwiches, Tater Tots, Milkshakes, etc.)

AFFORDABILITY: A sandwich is $5-$10 which isn’t too bad for Manhattan. Decent portions that are fairly filling.  

VENUE: A short walk from Times Square in the Midtown West/Hell’s Kitchen area. The inside reminds me of the inside of a lot of new, trendy grab’n’go restaurants you find in cities like DC or NYC: sleek and modern. A few tables and high chairs for seating but you probably won’t find a seat during peak rushes.

From my experience and observations, the restaurant seemed LGBTQ+ and POC friendly. Had a single gender-neutral bathroom with an entry code given to customers (pretty standard for city restaurants like these).

GENERAL: If you are looking for sandwiches in NYC and don’t want to go to a random deli, this is definitely the place for you. A good variety of tasty options that can be taken on the go if need be. The staff was super friendly, patient, and worked fairly fast. The food was made fresh so that was really nice.  The restaurant itself was clean, nice, and sleek; a great place for tasty food after a long bus ride into the city.

THE FOOD: I ordered the Fried Chicken Sandwich, Shop Tots, and a Chocolate Truffle Milkshake.

 The Fried Chicken Sandwich was absolutely scrumptious. My biggest concern when ordering it was that the chicken would be soggy, but it was nice and crispy. I’m also not usually a big fan of slaws, but the tangy red cabbage slaw and melt sauce went perfectly with the crispy, hot piece of fried chicken and sourdough bread. Great combination of contrasting flavors – I definitely do recommend!

I ordered the shop tots because how could you not order something called “shop tots” (it’s just so fun to say!). They were your standard tater tots. Not disappointed (but I wouldn’t say they were mind-blowing. if you like tater tots you most definitely will love these shop tots!)

I ordered the Chocolate Truffle Shake just because “Chocolate Truffle” sounded so good. The consistency of the shake was amazing: nice, thick, and creamy. It was too chocolatey for me, but at least the chocolate drizzle around the cup made it look really nice. 

I think next time I go, I would definitely order one of the other four shakes because I feel like there is less chance the flavor would be too strong. And I would definitely order cheesy tots or loaded tots – you can’t go wrong with “Tots covered with stuff”.

ACCOMODATIONS: Vegetarian options available and sandwiches can be substituted with Gluten-Free Bread.

OVERALL: Scrumptious meal with a decent serving size at a decent price (for Manhattan). I could see this being one of my favorite lunch places – I would definitely come back! I strongly recommend The Melt Shop if you’re watching a Broadway show or are visiting Times Square and want a filling meal with a variety of options!