Thursday, December 30, 2010

Metro to accelerate escalator modernization at Gallery Place and Union Station

Metro is accelerating the modernization of some escalators at Gallery Place and Union Station.  A great idea after some of the problems these escalators have caused.

What exactly does modernization mean?  Metro will be overhauling the escalators, including the removal, refurbishment or replacement of all escalator parts including existing escalator steps, handrails, safety devices, and the electrical systems within the units.

At Gallery Place, Metro will be accelerating the process on four escalators at the 7th Street entrance to Red Line platforms.  While they do these renovations, one escalator will be removed from service and another will be stationary, but can be used as a regular staircase.  Only two will be operating as escalators.

At Union Station, four escalators will also be renovated, those at the First Street entrance platform to the mezzanine level and from the mezzanine level to the Amtrak level.

Metro promises to use double work shifts, which means the escalator modernization will be done in 8 weeks instead of the expected 12.  They will begin work in early January 2011 and will finish by the end of February.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Penn Quarter does well in the new Census

The 2010 U.S. Census gave us a lot of information, among it the increase in the number of housing units around the District.

In that figure, Penn Quarter did quite well.  The map below shows that the largest change in the number of housing units was in downtown and particularly the Penn Quarter area:


Hopefully this increase will create a reaction in Penn Quarter to make our urban life more convenient.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Capitol Bikeshare CLOSED due to inclement weather

Because of the snow, Capitol Bikeshare is closed today.

The entire system is closed, and there is no word on when it will open again - all depends on the weather.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Penn Quarter Insider.

Thank you for your readership - we hope it continues in 2011!

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from PQInsider!  We are very appreciative of your support and promise you an even better blog in 2011.

Please send us your comments (our New Year's resolutions) for 2011 at

Have a great Christmas and holiday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Museum (bar) closed?

Taken December 19th at Museum's Grand Opening.
Just last Sunday, PQInsider was at the opening of The Museum of Arts and Sciences, an upscale bar venue in the old Platinum space.  See our review with pictures here.

TBD is reporting, along with an Urban Daddy tweet, that the place has now closed.

Can it be true?  They told us last Sunday that their real grand opening will be on New Year's Eve.  Maybe they are just getting themselves together?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Antique store moved to 7th and E

The antique dealer that used to be at 9th and F must have some sort of deal with Douglas Development.

After a final sale because they "lost their lease," another antique dealer has opened on E street where the National Journal headquarters were during election season.  Also a Douglas Development property.

We are not certain this is the same antique dealer--this one does have printed signs instead of handwritten ones on cardboard. But it certainly looks a lot like it.

Hopefully it's worth browsing through!


Actress Gabrielle Union was spotted at Penn Quarter's newest establishment, Redline, on Friday night.

Yeas & Nays reports that she was in town to visit the troops at Andrews Air Force Base.

She was also apparently at the Wizard's game with Actor Hill Harper.

No word on what she ate or drank or why she chose Redline.

More sightings after the jump.

Restaurant/Nightclub at 14th and F streets to be open 24 hours a day

When Borders closed at 14th and F, the Clyde's Group quickly rushed in to grab the space.  Not for another restaurant, but for a concert venue.  That left a lot of people scratching their heads.  What exactly did they have in mind?

Well, 14th and U reports that Clyde's has now filed their alcohol permit applications, which gives us a little insight.

For now, the venue is being called Hamilton Square Grill.  It is going to have a 15,000 square foot nightclub on the basement level with a 20,000 square foot restaurant on the ground level.  There will also be a 96 seat outside patio

Not much word on the fare, except that there will be sushi and, in Clyde's fashion, a raw bar.

The real surprise is that they are planning on keeping the massive operation open 24 hours a day.  The outside patio will be open until 2 a.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and until 3 a.m. on the weekends.

Madame Tussauds to complete their collection of presidents

Madame Tussauds currently has sculptures of 16 presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, but there are 28 missing.

Now, NBC Washington reports, the museum is underway to complete the 28 "missing" presidents to be housed in a new $2 million gallery.

Each figure takes three to four months to complete, with artists using hundreds of photographs and hours of video footage.  Of course in the case of the older presidents the artists have to rely on paintings and historical accounts.

Mayor Fenty unveiled artist renderings of the new gallery.  “Among the many museums and entertainment options in Washington, Madame Tussauds uniquely combines art, popular culture and entertainment,” said the Mayor. “The presidential gallery now adds the important component of education while celebrating the unique heritage of our city.”

The gallery will open on February 17, 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

D.C. Restaurant Week is January 17-23, 2011

January's Restaurant Week has been announced and will be January 17th - 23rd.  Just as Congress comes back into session, and restaurants business generally starts to dip.

The deal, as you would expect, is a three-course lunch for $20.11 or a three-course dinner for $35.11.  Those prices don't include alcohol, though some restaurants give you special deals.

All the restaurants participating are listed here.

You better make your reservation quick, as Penn Quarter restaurants are often the first to book up.

Magnolia Bakery coming to D.C.?

DCist reports that New York's Magnolia Bakery -- widely credited for starting the cupcake trend -- may be coming to Washington.

No word on where they will locate, but with Red Velvet and Crumbs, Penn Quarter is cupcake central.  Or will they move closer to Georgetown Cupcake?  There may be multiple locations, as they are opening a Harlem-based distribution center that could serve D.C.

Many don't welcome the bakery - what are your thoughts?

Fate of Central Liquors sign hangs in the balance

The Historic Preservation Review Board has recently heard an appeal from Joe's Souvenir, who now occupies the space on F street where Central Liquors was, to alter the historic Central Liquors sign.  The sign probably dates back to 1936 and is currently in its third location.

Central Liquors moved to Terrell Place on the E street side of the building.  Because of the residences above that space, the sign was not allowed on that building.  The sign now belongs to the owner of the F street building.

The new tenant obviously wants the sign to say "Joe's Souvenir," with an American Flag at the top (where the "C" is currently).

The Location reports that the Board has held over Joe's Souvenir's application to be considered at it's next meeting.

The board's Staff Report and Recommendation (available here) says that they have not reviewed an historic sign in "recent memory."  The staff recommended the sign remain as is.

Here is part of their opinion:

The Central Liquor sign, by its design, size and original materials, exhibits distinctive characteristics representative of the vibrant signage once common in Downtown. The applicant’s proposed alterations would replace so much of the sign’s original material, that the final product would fundamentally be a completely new sign, with only the structural supports remaining from the historic sign. The drawings provided do not convincingly assure Staff that the new neon can replicate the original, or that the proposed Plexiglas can replicate the finish and color of the current sign panel. The applicant has not provided evidence of corrosion or structural weakness that would make preservation unfeasible.  Replicating the existing sign with a new sign of the same dimensions is not allowed because it clearly conflicts with the D.C. Building Code

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Museum of Arts and Sciences (bar) in review

The Museum of Arts and Sciences opened yesterday, and PQ Insider was there.

You may remember the controversy that surrounded this "museum."  The proprietors, who paid $10 million for the space at 915 F Street N.W. that used to be the Platinum Nightclub, originally filed an application for a beverage license saying the "museum" would be used for "lectures, poetry readings, comedy acts, and chamber music."  However, in real life it is clearly a bar.  Neighbors were weary after Platinum closed in 2008 after a shooting there.  The application included late hours, alcohol, and three dance floors--not exactly necessary for poetry readings.

The "museum" was allowed to open though.  After several soft openings, the Museum of Arts and Sciences opened last night.  They will have what they call a "real" grand opening on New Year's Eve.

The space is incredible.  It has an incredibly high ceiling with an enormous skylight.  Hanging from the skylight are massive chandeliers and all sorts of dance-floor lighting.  Yet the bartender told us they expect it to be a place "where people can sit and talk."  The building was originally one of D.C.'s first savings and loans.

Upstairs there is a private party room and a balcony where you (and security) can see all the action below.

There were small bites on the menu, which features foods from neighbors Cowgirl Creamery and CoCo Sala.  They had an extensive drink menu, and the bartenders put a lot of work into each drink - making them just right.

There was a lot of staff - both wait staff and security.  They are continually updating their list of wines and beers, and the staff was trying them all at the bar last night (they didn't give PQ Insider any samples, however).

It is hard to tell what kind of crowd this venue will draw and what it will turn into.  For now, it is an incredible space with a very polite and attentive staff.  PQ Insider will definitely be back.

UPDATE: Less than a week later, Museum closes

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Museum of Arts and Sciences opening tonight!

The Museum of Arts and Sciences (bar) on F Street is opening today! It is in the same historic space as Platinum Club was, which was purchased for $10 million.

A proprietor told PQ Insider they are opening at 5:30 p.m. to the public.  PQ Insider will be there.

UPDATE: Less than a week later, Museum closes

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tennessee Williams to be celebrated at Ford's Theatre

Tennessee Williams in 1965.
The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, in collaboration with Ford’s Theatre will present “America’s Playwright at 100: A Salute to Tennessee Williams” on Monday, January 31, 2011.

The one-night only event kicks off the centennial year of Tennessee Williams. Academy Award-winning actor Eli Wallach and other notable American voices will read excerpts of classic plays, rare poems, and family letters, creating a portrait of America as seen through the eyes of Tennessee Williams.

Tickets range from $30 to $60, but there is a $500 VIP option open to "a few dozen guests."  VIP guests will get to meet Eli Wallach at a champagne and dessert reception and get special seating.


I'm not sure that senators really count as a sighting in D.C., but in case you're interested Yeas and Nays reports that buddies and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham were spotted on Tuesday night at The Source.

McCain ordered the Assam prawns while Graham had the pan-roasted chicken.  Good choices.

Email us your Penn Quarter sightings at

Food Trucks in Penn Quarter today

A roundup of the food trucks making stops in Penn Quarter today.  Note that all locations are approximate, as the trucks will have to find parking:

Curbside Cupcakes has several stops in and around Penn Quarter with two trucks:
  • 12th and New York Ave N.W.
  • Metro Center
  • 9th and H N.W.
Food Chain:
  • 4th and E  N.W.
  • 7th and F  N.W.
Sidewalk Sweetsations:
  • 12th and G  N.W. 
  • 12th and G  N.W.
Yellow Vendor:
  • 12th and F  N.W.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Penn Quarter roads are mostly clear now

Our earlier post showed you the snow on the ground and the street. 

Thanks to some rain and the subsiding of the snow, the roads seem to be mostly clear.  Here are pictures of the same intersections as before:

7th and Pennsylvania:

9th and Pennsylvania:

We're in the Kindle Store!

PQInsider is now available in Amazon's Kindle Store!

If you read a Kindle on the way to work (or any other time), check us out!

You can get it here.

It's Snowing in Penn Quarter

It's snowing in Penn Quarter!   DDOT says up to 3 inches is possible.  WMATA says there should be no change in service until there is 8 inches of snow, which is highly unlikely.

Here is 7th and Pennsylvania, it is rapidly building up in the median:

Here is 9th and Pennsylvania:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pets want presents, too

Last weekend, Fashion for Paws held an event at Hotel Monaco to encourage pet adoption.

For a small donation, pet-owners could get a picture of their pet with Santa. 

More importantly, the pets got a little lap time to ask for what they wanted for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hill Country "Winter 2011" signs are back up!

You may have heard that the signs announcing Hill Country BBQ's Winter 2011 opening had been taken down.

Well, rest assured - they are back up!

Now the issue is what do they mean by Winter 2011?  THIS winter?  That starts next week and goes into 2011?  Or next winter that starts in 2011?

The construction makes it look like the latter, but here's to hoping . . .

Suspicious package at Penn Quarter-Archives-Navy Memorial metro stop

Metro is reporting that they closed the Navy-Archives-Penn Quarter metro station at about 10:00 a.m. because of a suspicious package.

No trains stopped at the station.

While shuttle buses were requested, they could not get close.  Even the Circulator was detoured because of the package, and was not going down 7th Street between Pennsylvania and E Street.

There are Circulator stops at 7th & E and 7th &Pennsylvania that were simply taken out of service.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Penn Quarter Restaurants open Christmas Day

Looking to get out of the house on Christmas and maybe avoid cooking?

Fortunately for you, many Penn Quarter restaurants will be open on Christmas Day.

Carmine's will be offering their full menu, as will La Tasca and SEIRosa Mexicano will have their usual menu with some added holiday bonus items.

Cure, at the Grand Hyatt, will have several entrees you can order along with an unlimited buffet of appetizers and desserts.

ZPizza Open at 8th and H

Zpizza has opened it's first location in the District and it is in Penn Quarter at 806 H street N.W.

Penn Quarter insider was there last night and the pizza is good.  The space is open, but there seems to be a shortage of tables that seem comfortable (i.e. there are none).

However, the staff couldn't be nicer, the food was delicious, and they deliver.

You can also order online.  Use the promo code BOGO1210 for buy one get one free rustica pizzas.  Sign up for their email list, and get $5 off.

Fire at Metro Center

We are hearing there is a fire at Metro Center, which is causing delays on the blue and orange line in both directions.

One tipster told us their train operator said they won't be moving "for awhile" and may be completely offloading in Arlington.

WMATA confirms there are reports of smoke on the trackbed.  Trains are sharing tracks between McPherson Square and Federal Triangle, though we hear the delays go much farther than that.

Update: A tipster who had to get off the train early was told by a WMATA driver that they are offloading half of the trains.
Update: D.C. Fire/EMS confirms the fire in the Metro Center station.  They say it is "smoldering" and is under control.  They are scaling back, but not leaving the scene entirely.  Blue and Orange lines are still delayed.

Update: Apparently the fire was caused by a light fixture in the tunnel that caught fire because of an electrical problem.  The fire then caused the light fixture to fall and hit the tracks, where the exhaust fans were activated.

Update: WMATA reports the "situation" is resolved.  They also say delays continue in both directions.

Update: Trains are no longer sharing a track and service has returned to normal.  However, major delays will continue for some time.  DCist has posted a picture of the fire at Metro Center:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snow plows spotted in Penn Quarter

Snow plow during a previous snowstorm
Although we have only seen the slightest sprinkle of snow, DDOT has deployed.

Tipsters indicate that they have seen snow plows parked and ready to go in Penn Quarter.  One tipster specifically saw one on 7th street at Gallery Place.

I guess they learned something after snowmageddon.

Man who died in hit-and-run accident is locally famous

DCist is reporting that the man who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run bicyclist in an alley near the Convention Center is somewhat of a local celebrity.  He was an old Chinese man who has been around since Gallery Place was just Chinatown.  A real Chinatown.

Andy Carvin of NPR writes about him:
Several times a week, first thing in the morning, I'd see them strolling counterclockwise around the block down 7th Street. No — strolling is too strong a word. They shuffled at a slow, deliberate pace: The elderly gentleman slightly dragging one foot as his wife ambled at the same pace, sometimes supporting his arm.
I probably saw them hundreds of times over the last four years. Apart from colleagues I'd routinely see coming and going from NPR, they were the most recognizable people in our neighborhood. They rarely ever spoke; over those four years, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I heard them talking softly in Chinese. With quiet dignity, they'd stroll down the street, she in a sweater and he in a cap, his hands held behind his back as if deep in contemplation. Sometimes he had a mysterious smirk of authority on his face, almost like a small-town mayor making the rounds in his community.
I never got to know him. I don't even know if he even recognized me each day in the same way that I always recognized him. But I feel a profound sense of loss with his passing — not only for his wife and family, but for Chinatown itself.

Snow in Penn Quarter?

Hearing reports of snow flurries in Penn Quarter-- which is making some people groan and some people cheer up.

However, the small amount of snow seems to have stopped: says there is a 25% chance of more snow flurries in the next hour -so maybe we'll see some more.

If you're working elsewhere, but keeping an eye on your Penn Quarter home, Penn Quarter Insider always has Penn Quarter weather on the right side of the page.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Capitol Bikeshare live mapping (conclusion: it's cold outside)

Speaking of real time mapping, Capitol Bikeshare also has real-time mapping for where bikes are being checked out.

Their website will show you what locations have bikes, how many have been checked out, and you can look at different days and times and see what the typical bike usage is.  The map will even animate for you to see the flows of bike traffic.

Here is the Penn Quarter area right now.  The size of the circles corresponds to how large the bike rack is (obviously bigger in Penn Quarter than most places) and the color coding is this: 

You can see that none of the machines are very full or empty right now.  3.5% of the bikes are in use (well it is 30 degrees out), which the site says is "fairly low" (we should hope so).  That's 1.5% lower than yesterday at this time.

Real-time bus information shows exactly what you'd expect

Today WMATA released real-time bus data to the public.  However the data is raw and in API form, so hopefully some apps to digest it all will be coming soon.

The Washington Post has already come out with one, and here is what they found today:

 At 10:30 this morning, there were 266 buses navigating the region, and a quarter were running 7 minutes or more behind. (Ten percent were at least 13 minutes late.) Ten percent were two minutes early, and 18 percent were right on the money, within a minute of schedule.

One 32 bus to Friendship Heights was 38 minutes late, and another on the N8 Glover Park line was 39 minute early. An S4 Federal Triangle bus was a half hour early, and an S80 to Metro Park was 35 minutes behind.
The post also came up with this nifty map, which we have adapted to show buses going to and from (and within) Penn Quarter.  Green dots mean a bus is five minutes early or five minutes late; Yellow dots mean a bus is 5 to 15 minutes outside of its scheduled time; and Red mean a bus is at least 15 minutes late (or early).

Free Hot Cider at today's Farmer's Market

The Penn Quarter Farmer's Market (8th street between D and E from 3:00pm to 7:00pm on Thursdays) will close on December 23rd.  That means there are three market days left.

Today there will be free hot cider to make it a little more bearable to buy produce in 30 degree weather.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Walmart coming to Penn Quarter

It won't be here until 2013, but Walmart is coming to Penn Quarter (well just over Massachusetts Ave.  You can leave comments about how that's not really Penn Quarter).

It will be at 801 New Jersey Ave, which is just down H street.

What may surprise you is that this Walmart is expected to have an urban architecture:

“D.C. residents want more convenient access to quality jobs and affordable groceries,” said Henry Jordan, Senior Vice President, Walmart U.S. “We want to be part of the solution and look forward to building even more support for what our brand can deliver.”

Walmart has also set up a webpage just for residents of Washington:

Walmart expects to open 4 stores in the District in the next 2 years, creating 1,200 new jobs and 400 construction jobs as well as an estimated $10 million in tax revenue.

Update: Although it's in the comments section, we thought we'd pull up the most accessible ways of getting to this new Walmart by public transportation.  The site is four tenths of a mile from Union Station and four tenths of a mile from Judiciary Square, though the latter a harder route because of the bridge going over I-395.  There is also the X2 bus, which stops right there at 1st and H, and the 80 bus, which stops at Massachusetts and New Jersey Ave.

Free entry for kids at the Newseum with special visitor SANTA CLAUS

The Newseum is having "Yes, Virginia" Family Day this Saturday.  The day is to celebrate a classic editorial by Francis P. Church in the New York Sun entitled "Is There a Santa Claus?" (duh there is a Santa Claus).

Children will be admitted free if they bring a toy for Toys for Tots.  Adults will still be required to pay admission.

But Santa Claus will be in attendance, and there are a host of events going on. 

Here is the schedule:

Breaking News! Let it Snow!: All Day
NBC News Interactive Newsroom, Level 2
Record a Santa sighting or report on blizzard conditions at our "Be a TV Reporter" experience.

Newshound Scavenger Hunt: All Day
Information Desk, Level 1
Sniff out all the great holiday information at the Newseum.

Hands On!: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Annenberg Theater Lobby, Level 1
Make your own snow globe using classic Thomas Nast illustrations or your own design.

Editorial Roundtable: 11:30 a.m.
Learning Center, Concourse Level
Gazette editors David Simon and Melissa Chadwick explain the role of newspaper editorials. (Limited seating for this 30-minute program.)

NewsMania: Noon
Knight TV Studio, Level 3
Compete for prizes in our special live, holiday-themed current-events game show.

Editorial Roundtable: 12:30 p.m.
Learning Center, Concourse Level
George Washington University student newspaper editors Lyndsey Wajert and Annu Subramanian, and University of Maryland student newspaper editor Justin Snow explain the role of newspaper editorials. (Limited seating for this 30-minute program.)

"Yes, Virginia," with WTOP's Chris Core: 2:30 p.m.
Knight TV Studio, Level 3
Join WTOP commentator Chris Core for a reading of the famous 1897 New York Sun editorial "Is There a Santa Claus?"

Editorial Roundtable: 3 p.m.
Learning Center, Concourse Level
USA Today writer Saundra Torry explains the role of newspaper editorials. (Limited seating for this 30-minute program.)

"Yes, Virginia": The Story Behind the Famous Editorial: 3:30 p.m.
Knight TV Studio, Level 3
American University journalism professor and author W. Joseph Campbell tells the story behind the famous 1897 New York Sun editorial "Is There a Santa Claus?"

Penn Quarter Walking Tour

A Walking Tour of Washington, DC - Downtown (Look Up, America!)This walking tour of Downtown D.C. is in fact a walking tour of Penn Quarter. 

While the cover depicts the Chinatown arch, the description says "this tour takes in the part of downtown between Pennsylvania Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue between the Capitol and the White House."

The book describes Penn Quarter as "a land of office buildings and hotels, Chinatown and the Verizon Center, home of Washington’s professional indoor sports teams."

Check it out and maybe you'll learn something about our neighborhood.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free food at Central

You may have seen our previous post suggesting Michel Richard's Central has lost its touch.

Well, it looks like they are trying to fix that--and you stand to benefit.

WeLoveDC reports that until December 21st, each night at 9:30 p.m., Central is giving out free samples of potential new dishes.  And if you show up there at 9:30 p.m., you get to try those dishes for free.

After your free bites, you'll be asked to rate each dish on taste, presentation, marketability and value.

All of the tallies from every night will be put into a hat at the end, and one lucky winner will win dinner for two at Central.  Hopefully a dinner with a new, improved menu.

Water running into Gallery Place metro station

Picture from twitter user @IMGoph
 Water is running down into the Gallery Place metro station. 

This is becoming a common occurrence at metro stations, after we have seen waterfalls coming from the ceiling in several metro stops.

Send us any pictures you have if you happen to be down there.  Hopefully it won't cause any delays on the tracks.

Bedbugs in Penn Quarter?

Roll Call reported yesterday about the ongoing bedbug scare at the IRS.

IRS headquarters are in Penn Quarter at 11th and Constitution.

The reported bed bug was found on an employee's clothing.  The IRS has since hired exterminators to sweep the building.

But bedbugs travel on people's clothing.  Meaning if downtown government buildings have them, then workers will likely travel home with them--and many government workers live in Penn Quarter.  And condos make it very easy for bedbugs to travel from apartment to apartment, as New Yorkers have recently seen. 

Is Penn Quarter ripe for a bedbug infestation?  Are the condo and apartment buildings ready to respond?

Road Closures: National Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday

The National Christmas Tree Lighting will take place at the ellipse on Thursday evening, and with it come several road closures that could affect Penn Quarter residents/workers.

Beginning at about 4:30pm on Thursday:

- 15th Street will be closed between E Street and Constitution Ave N.W.  Keep in mind that E street and Pennsylvania merge there.

- 17th Street will be closed between Constitution Ave N.W. and New York Ave N.W.  This won't have as much of an effect since that is blocked by the ellipse anyway when coming from Penn Quarter.

However, these closings will affect you if you are traveling westbound from Penn Quarter on E, Pennsylvania or possibly Constitution, though you'll probably be able to get through.  Furthermore, these closures will push traffic to other westbound roads, such as Massachusetts Ave.

Monday, December 6, 2010


NJ Governor Chris Christie
The Hill reports that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ducked in to Proof last Tuesday after speaking at the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

No word on who he met there or what he ate, but he was followed by a "phalanx of security."

Has Central lost its touch?

We have long considered Michel Richard's Central to be one of the best restaurants in D.C.

However, recently, Michel Richard opened a new restaurant in the Ritz Carlton in Tyson's Corner called Michel.

Has his attention be turned elsewhere?

A recent visit to Central seemed like an entirely different restaurant.  The hostess didn't even say hello when we walked in the door and hovered at the podium.

Once we sat down, the service was mediocre at best.  The fried chicken, usually one of their best dishes, was dry and had a rubbery texture.  The french fries were soggy.  The wine came warm.

Yes, our expectations were very high.  But this evening did not even come close.  Hopefully it was a one-time thing. 

Has anyone else has similar experiences?  Let us know in the comments section.

Traffic lights still out at 6th and E

Eastbound on E street at 6th street.
The two stoplights--one above the road and one to the right--on E street eastbound at 6th street are still out.

Look to your very left and there is a light there; however, this morning it was causing a little confusion for drivers.

That intersection is confusing anyway, with left turn lights that you can't see, which often make it look like all traffic is stopped on red.

The lights have been out since Friday morning.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hill Country coming Winter 2011

Hill Country BBQ on 7th street has put up signs assuring us they are coming Winter 2011.

Of course, we have heard much more optimistic dates before, and the restaurant doesn't look like it is anywhere close.

It was originally supposed to open in July 2010, then by the end of 2010, now by "winter 2011."

The real question is do they mean THIS winter (i.e. by March 2011) or NEXT winter (i.e. November 2011)?

With the empty Wagamama space and Hill Country under construction the side of 7th street opposite Carmine's is quickly becoming a dead spot.  Thank goodness for SEI and Jaleo