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For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.


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Minerva: A favorite taste of India

Another review of my work on this blog again shows me that I continue to promote a diet of fried food and beer — and flash fiction.And although those pursuits are not without their merits, I do have other interests and I do avail myself of Northern Virginia’s wonderful ethnic cuisines.

A longtime favorite in the Fairfax area is Minerva, where we’ve enjoyed their authentic Indian offerings for the past nine years. Among our favorites: the spinach pakora appetizer, the chicken vindaloo (for those who love a very spicy treat), and from the vegetarian menu, the navaratan korma. If you’re feeling hungry, get the dinner; if you’re looking for something not as filling, get the entrees a la cart and order a side of their fabulous naan or rice.

Where: 10364 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22030
Also locations in Chantilly, Herndon and Gaithersburg, Md.

Phone: 703.383.9200

On Google Maps:

On Yelp: Here

On Gowalla: Here

On foursquare: Here


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Foursquare: 3400% growth in 2010

Foursquare’s 2010 was much better than mine.

The location-based mobile service saw an astonishing 3400% growth in the Year of Total Suckage.

That’s a lot of check-ins.

This terrific graphic breaks down the hot spots in travel, dining, art and music, while this blog post, wait. Never mind. The sad-bastard tech writer I was going to link to is just exactly that: a sad-bastard tech writer who doesn’t get Foursquare. Never mind.

Hat tip to @scottdbowers for the heads-up.


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Videos: John Pistole on TSA pat-downs and policy

Video shows John Pistole at the Monitor Breakfast. He’s eating breakfast, folks. Not crow.

Holy Victoria’s Secret! Here’s where Pistole talks about the many bra bombers that TSA thwarts each year.

In an update, CBS reports that the TSA is responding to the video that features a so-called strip search of a boy.


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Eat it up at EatBar

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nowhere from Here is now defunct.

Over at Nowhere From Here Forks and the Road, which is starting to look slightly less neglected,By J. Barrineau I begin babbling about Northern Virginia restaurants with EatBar in Arlington. It’s one of my all-time favorite restaurants, and I’m sad to say that I don’t get there nearly enough. The small-plate menu is always interesting, so much so that if you’re on a first date, you can relax — the menu can easily inspire conversation.

Read my whole review here.

EatBar on Facebook: Here

On Yelp: Here

On Gowalla: Here

On foursquare: Here

(Photo by J. Barrineau)


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Back home at EatBar

Now that I’ve covered some of my favorite places on the Outer Banks, it’s time for me to come home, so to speak. I’ll begin my Northern Virginia recommendations with EatBar in Arlington. It’s one of my all-time favorite restaurants, and I’m sad to say that I don’t get there nearly enough.By J. Barrineau The small-plate menu is always interesting, so much so that if you’re on a first date, you can relax — the menu can easily inspire conversation.

Years ago, we went for the mini-corndogs, which are not featured on this year’s fall menu, but that’s OK. We had plenty of other tasty treats to sample. On our most recent visit, we had the OG burger slider — a must — and the Sloppy Joey pulled-pork sliders (with pickle!!!), which were simply divine. And because my husband and I are 7 years old at heart, we ordered the both the frites and the onion rings because we saw no point in having to choose between the two. We also tried the Dirty Risotto fritters, which weren’t what I had expected, but they were fun to taste.

On tap was the lovely Allagash White, a food-friendly Belgian wheat, and Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, a seasonal favorite.

Of note: Sunday nights are Movie Night. Current line-up is here.

Where: 2761 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

Phone: 703.778.9951

Reservations: No. (Go anyway.)

Hours: 4 p.m.-1 a.m., Monday-Thursday, and Sunday
4 p.m. – 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday

On Google Maps:

On Yelp: Here

On Gowalla:
Here

On foursquare:
Here


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Beer does a body good: Outer Banks Brewing Station

Continuing this blog’s inadvertent-but-grand tradition of reporting on mostly fried food and beer, my next recommendation comes just in time for the 5th Annual Outer Banks Marathon.By J. Barrineau I have several friends running in the 2010 race – friends who are far superior athletes than I – and although I wish I could be there, and I certainly wish them well, I don’t envy them.

After my friends run 26.2 miles, they should head to the Outer Banks Brewing Station at MP 8.5 in Kill Devil Hills. What better way to recover than throwing back a pint or three of expertly handcrafted beer at the nation’s first wind-powered brewpub?

Vintner-turned-brew master Scott Meyers, formerly of Berkeley, Calif., delivers some truly exquisite brews. My personal favorites are the Olsch and the Lemongrass Wheat Ale, which certainly speaks to the beers’ wonderfully complex flavors because I tend to favor darker beers. However, when we visit the Outer Banks Brewing Station, it’s usually after a hot day out and about, so it makes sense to quench a thirst with these food-friendly brews.

And although the beers are the stars of the show, the food cannot be missed. The menu is much more sophisticated than the usual bar fare: I’ve had the petite filet, which was tender, flavorful and cooked perfectly. The Veggie Chipotle Burger – a black bean burger – is much better than most veggie burgers, and according to my husband, the Cuban sandwich is a must-taste. If you’re just looking for a beer and something fried to take your mind off your aching feet, calves, thighs and hips, try the onion rings or fried okra. Or check out the new Jalapeño Bottle Caps, which I’ve never had, but I’d bet they’re nearly perfect. (Editor’s note: In my book, the only fried food more perfect than a fried dill pickle is a fried jalapeño.)

So if you’re in KDH the weekend of Nov. 13-14 – or ever – be sure to stop by to one of the coolest dining establishments on the Banks. In addition to the beer and fine foods, the OBB Station also has a full entertainment calendar featuring such acts as The Influence, which will be performing Nov. 19-20.

Where: MP 8.5, 600 South Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, NC

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m., seven days a week

Phone: 252.449.2739 (BREW)

On Google Maps:

Outer Banks Brewing Station on Facebook: Here

On Yelp: Here

On foursquare: Here

On Gowalla: Here


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Wood Chicks: A pit stop in Chesapeake

A couple of years ago while vacationing down at the Outer Banks, my husband and I ended up stuck in Chesapeake, Va., for an entire day.Wood Chicks BBQ in Chesapeake, Virginia We would say the day was a waste, but we stumbled on Wood Chicks BBQ and are mighty glad we did.

I’m not one for breezy, breathy descriptions of food, so I’ll just say that Wood Chicks served us some of the best pork barbecue I’ve ever had and ever will have.  Lee Ann Whippen — who is featured on TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters — cooks up a meat that is juicy, tender, flavorful, and although the sauces are delightful, you don’t need them because the pork is so well-seasoned with the signature dry rub, which you can buy here.

My favorite on the menu: the pulled-pork sandwich and fries.

Where: 1025 N. Battlefield Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23320

Phone: 757.549.9290