Lib Tav--Major Downer Contained W/In!

BTW folks, I'm sorry to mention that Lib Tav does NOT have a lovely brunch menu that makes you want to frolic over there for a delightful late morning meal.

Besides a few scant a la carte items, the brunch is a buffet. And you know what I say about buffets. Oh wait, maybe you don't!

"We don't need to eat all we can eat. We're not bears." See Ellen at 5:35.

If you like buffet brunches, then I apologize--I feel bad for you, you like your food to be same food everyone else is eating, made in big group bunches and placed under a heat lamp for gosh-only-knows-how-long. You must enjoy using the big serving spoon to hack away a piece of eggs from the 20 egg omelet that sits in the tray.

I want an INDIVIDUAL PLATE with a planned-out, comprehensive dish on it, to be SERVED to me with my COFFEE on a weekend morning. So we went somewhere else. Review pending.


Restaurant 3

Restaurant 3 is named such because it's the 3rd restaurant I'd go to if I was really hungry in the Clarendon area and wasn't allowed to go to Five Guys or Whole Foods. Maybe not, I'm not sure.

There's nothing wrong with Restaurant 3, it just annoys me because it's new and sort of snazzy looking, the food is okay but not fabulous, and it's on the pricier side for the quality of the food. Also, someone should do the owners a favor and steal that awful fluorescent "3" they've got hanging--it's totally out of place, and doesn't match their decor at all.

We started with the lettuce wraps of duck confit and bourbon molasses, which were actually very good--maybe the best part of the meal. The meat was very soft but almost drowning in the sauce, and its accompaniments were also very tasty (a crunchy salad mixture and nuts to wrap in the lettuce). Grilled brie with a side of grapes was pretty good, but the oil-saturated slices of toasted bread that came with it were unnecessary--not quite warm, and with an almost stale-like texture. I ended up just eating the brie with a fork in combo with the grapes, which I wish were colder for a greater contrast with the warm brie.

My dinner was okay, but I probably wouldn't order it again. The menu at Restaurant 3 just didn't call to me, it wasn't my style. I wasn't freaking out about ordering the way I usually do, wondering how in the world I'll be able to choose between choices X Y and Z which are all making my mouth water. I got the vegetarian croquettes, described as grit cakes with salsa verde. They were large, not too dense, yellow mounds of what seemed like cornmeal and some veggies and lots of butter, tasty, but I would have rather had ONE of them on the side of something else than two of them as a meal. I wasn't sure what to expect but went for it figuring I'd try it sooner or later. Plus, nothing else was really floating my boat.

J had better luck. He ordered the cider-brined pork chop, which came with a three-apple relish and deliiiiicious mashed potatoes (three potato mash). I guess that's the three theme going on.

We've already been back to Liberty Tavern for dinner, and will probably go again soon to try their brunch. R3 has yet to have iEat feet walk through the door again. We'll give it another chance eventually, but it just seemed like it wasn't really worth it.

Restaurant 3
2950 Clarendon Boulevard
Metro: Orange Line to Clarendon


Liberty Tavern

Liberty Tavern is a new kid on the Clarendon block (or more appropriately, the Wilson block). Mrs. K (not of Tollhouse fame, but of restaurant recommendation fame) recommended this new corner spot for my next local dinner.

Although I was lucky enough to taste the summer menu on its last week, we are now in AUTUMN at LT, so I'll return soon for some of those delicious sounding dishes, including pumpkin ravioli--yummmm.

I started with the Clarendon Market Salad, which had pole beans, diced potato, greens, and goat cheese. The herb dressing had a very refreshing and light flavor, and it was GREEN! Yes!

For my main course I chose the Summer Pizza sans ham, because it was its last hurrah on the menu. Fontina and sweet and sticky figs made this pizza truly heavenly. There were some greens on top, so I guess that added a health factor, but I could've left them aside. Also, this pizza was HUGE. It was priced as a meal for one person, but I only ate about 1/3. J had a gnocchi appetizer that had tiny gnocchi pellets mixed in with veggies and other things I couldn't identify but liked the taste of. I know, very descriptive. If you want that kind of detail, see Mr. Sietsema--he's all class and I'm all sass, and that's just the way it is. J's dinner was the fish and chips--again with the REALLY generous portions! He liked it, which means they did a good job not messing up what's easy--fried food. Fried food tastes good, but it's not to die for. It's fried, and whatever you fry like that will basically taste the same.

Our service was attentive and not smothering, the space was--hmm, we sat outside, so it was lovely to watch the traffic of Wilson Blvd, and overall I had a great time. I had an allergic reaction later that caused me to delay the writing of this post, but as it turns out, NOTHING I ate at LT caused it. Yay, now I can return there soon.

Liberty Tavern
3195 Wilson Blvd
Metro: Orange Line to Clarendon


El Pollo Rico

Going to El Pollo Rico with my friend E made it obvious that sometime soon--VERY soon--we need to have an Orange Line Chicken Showdown between El Pollo Rico, Pio Pio, and that place that smells ridiculously delicious across from the Ballston mall parking deck.

The menu at EPR is easy, just decide if you want a quarter, half, or a whole chicken. Or two. Accompanied by a seasoned pro, I ordered the quarter chicken "with everything" and got a can (yes!) of CAFFEINE FREE Diet Coke, which you usually just don't find anywhere. The Everything included really delicious and HOT steak fries, a pile of coleslaw, and two sauces--one mayonnaise-based and one that was green and spicy.

My chicken was flavorful and delicious--I'm not the biggest fan of bones and all, so in a perfect world someone else would deconstruct for my leisurely consumption, but I was mentally prepared to go the distance, and I did.

My can of soda, quarter of a chicken, fries, and coleslaw cost a grand total of...$5.45. Right. And I was so full after (seeing as I had cleaned my plate), that I barely even wanted any dessert later! What kind of crazy is that?

By the time we left EPR, the line was out the door. 1/3 of the line was made up of Arlington County police offers. EPR is fast, cheap, delicious, and safe, too!

I had an allergic reaction last week and didn't want to report on my latest adventure until it was figured out--luckily, it wasn't anything I ate at Liberty Tavern. That review, as well as Restaurant 3, is coming up soon!

El Pollo Rico
932 N. Kenmore Street (Across from GMU Law)
Metro: Orange Line to Virginia Square