Archive for the ‘Clarendon’ Category

No Reservations With El Pollo Rico

l I had a fever today. I’m not talking about the possible fallout from a night of debauchery. I’m not talking about a fever who’s remedy is more cowbell. I’m talking about a fever for chicken- Peruvian Chicken to be exact.

It all started when my intern was watching No Reservations in D.C. it featured a few places I was familiar with, including some Vietnamese restaurants in Eden Center. Then Mr. Bourdain randomly stops by El Pollo Rico, one of the many Peruvian chicken shops in Arlington. Peruvian chicken is one of the many cuisines that run rampant just like Kebobs, Sushi, and Ethiopian. He gave a glowing review of the place as he went behind the counter to see it first hand.

Now my only experience wit El Pollo Rico has been at the catered lunches that will sometimes feature the cuisine from El Pollo Rico, however it’s been awhile since that’s happened and since watching the program the conversation between my intern and I has often included trying to find this world renown El Pollo Rico.

So this past weekend I found myself starving and I decided I was going to go online and find it. It’s actually just down the street from my house in Clarendon, so I happily drove down and found it without any problems. It is a bit off the beaten path over on 932 N Kenmore St in Arlington.

The building is a plain brick building with no markings other than a yellow sign and the smell of roasted chicken in the air. The parking lot was already full and when I walked inside there were two long lines of hungry patrons waiting to get their chicken on.

The restaurant itself is pretty simple, wooden chairs and tables fill the sparsely decorated space. The shop is cash only and offers nothing but chicken in three sizes (quarter, half, and whole.) I was pretty hungry so I got the half chicken with fries and cole slaw. I was impressed with the amount of food I got for only $8. Definitely a cheap eat.

I wasn’t a big fan of the lime hot sauce but I quickly fell in love with the yellow mustard/mayo like sauce. I used it for dipping my fries in as I scarfed down the take-out order at home.

After eating every finger-licking bite I believe I have now found a new staple to my lazy weekends. Is anybody elseĀ  in love with this local favorite? I know I am.


Mini-Steamroller.png Check out this Mini-Steamroller spotted in Clarendon. But what’s really awesome about it? There’s no one driving it. It’s entirely remote controlled. Folks, the revolution is coming, and this is the start. Soon, a whole army of these mini-steamrollers will come for us all. Wait, why’s this man with the white coat coming for me with a butterfly net and a tinfoil hat…

Neighborhood Day Street Closures

From Arlington Alert:

The Arlington County Police Department will close several streets in the Clarendon, Courthouse, and Rosslyn neighborhoods on Saturday, May 10, 2008, for the Battle of the Boulevard 10K Race and the annual Neighborhood Day Parade.

The Battle of the Boulevard Race and after-race activities will begin in Clarendon, at 9 am and finish at approximately noon.

The Neighborhood Day Parade will begin at Court House and proceed up Wilson Boulevard at 1 pm. It will end at Irving Street, at approximately 3:00 pm.

The streets that will be affected are listed below.

From 6 am to 3 pm:

*Clarendon Blvd. from Washington Blvd. to Highland Street
(Clarendon Blvd. will have a sound stage set up on it, from 7 am to 3 pm. The road will open when the stage is removed)

*Wilson Blvd. from Washington Blvd. to N. Highland Street

*N. Highland St. from Clarendon Blvd. to Wilson Blvd.

From 8 am to 11 am:

*Wilson Blvd. from Highland Street to Rt. 110 North @ I-395


Market Season Upon Us

When you’re out walking to lunch today, in the glorious spring sunshine, take a moment to think about what you’re having. Is it trucked in by Sysco after being canned somewhere in the midwest? Or is it hauled in from area farms?

I’ve fallen in love with the area farmers markets, which are about to start their season again. The Post sent over a very neat Google Maps Mashup with a bunch of local farmers markets. Be sure to play with the days of the week on the map, as that made me miss my two favorite farmers markets initially.

If you’re interested in Farm Shares, please check out the VABF’s listing of CSA farms in the northern virginia area, most of whom will have dropoff points in the District. It’s not too late!

Strawberries — Originally uploaded by tbridge

The Morning News: Wait, Super What?

It’s going to be warm and grey today, with temps in the mid sixties and a decent amount of cloudcover. Rain’s not likely til tomorrow, but carry an umbrella for the heck of it. People may think you a dandy.

Lawyers Present Argument for Guns

The lawyers for Dick Heller, principal defendant in District of Columbia v. Heller, presented their case yesterday by filing their brief with the Supremem Court. Oral arguments won’t be heard until the 18th of March. In the intervening 70 years since the last firearms ban review at the high bench, the AK-47 was invented, as was the TEC-9, and several other firearms that perhaps the founders hadn’t yet envisioned in the hands of the general public.

Arlington Gives Go Ahead on New Clarendon Development

If you’ve walked up Wilson Boulevard from the Clarendon Metro, you’ve seen the all-but-abandoned buildings that line Wilson from Highland up to the Clarendon Ballroom. If you think that’s what the country chose to issue demolition permits for, you’d be wrong. Instead it’s the building at the corner of Wilson and Highland, across from the DIA offices, that got the go ahead. Go figure.

Security Barriers Cause Accident

Chance are you have seen the barriers at Constitution and First north of the Capitol. Most of the time, they’re recessed below the street and folks drive over them just fine. Except last Friday, when one popped up in the middle of traffic, causing a serious accident. The malfunctioning barrier sent two people to the hospital as their van crashed in to the barrier when it was raised unexpectedly. Jeez, guys, that’s pretty scary. How many times does that get to happen?

The Rocket’s in Town

Accused-steroid-user and all-around asshat Roger Clemens is in town to testify before Congress under oath about his behavior concerning steroids and human growth hormone. The Mitchell Report, released this winter, has testimony from Clemens’ trainer swearing that he was on drugs for much of the last few seasons. But, fear not, the hearing is behind closed doors and won’t be on C-SPAN. Feel free to call him a jackass if you see him on the street.

Clarendon Day today

Just a quick note for those browsing MetBlog this morning looking for something to do this afternoon, today is Clarendon Day (oh frabjous day calloo-callay). So, blocking the main road to my house will be lots of fun food, art, 4 stages of music, and shopping in what the organizers say is “Arlington’s Biggest Party”!

It goes from noon to 7pm and is obviously metro accessible (I suggest you get off at the ‘Clarendon’ stop). There’s a burritto eating contest at 3pm, and an ice cream eating contest at 4pm. I’d suggest entering both.

Shoe repair economics


A few months ago, in an empty lot that used to be a used car dealership here in Clarendon, some enterprising soul opened a shoe repair business. I was passing by today and I took a moment to reflect on what the repairman’s financial situation must be like. I’m sure he pays only a minimal rent, but I couldn’t imagine that he did much business. I mean, in this age of disposable consumer goods, how many people actually get their shoes repaired? It can’t possibly be cheaper to get a repair than to just buy a new pair of shoes. I thought about how lonely it must be for that guy, sitting alone in his little shack day after day waiting for people to come with shoes and money, but probably going home without even repairing one sole. “Maybe it’s a front for the mob,” I thought to myself. “Maybe I’ll plug his store on Metroblog, just because I feel bad for the guy.”

But then, miraculously, in the five minutes that I stood their pondering this guy’s fortunes, not one, but two cars pulled up and customers with armloads of shoes ran into the store. Shows what I know about entrepreneurship.

Around 100 in line for iPhones at Clarendon

I waited until I’d had a nice lunch before I joined the line here at the Clarendon Apple Store, which stretched down into the shopping center from their front door past the various outlets into the alley between South Moon Under and the Barnes and Noble. Folks got here early, and the smart ones brought chairs. Me? I’m just the guy with the extra battery and an umbrella. Conditions are currently fair, but threatening rain.

AT&T, though, can bite my shiny metal ass, as their wifi node at the Barnes and Noble oughtta be free today for all those people who’re about to spend $60/mo for two years with them, but instead it’s $4/2hours.


Nice folks in line, come join us. I’m around the corner in the black polo typing on my MacBook Pro.

Updated at 4:25p: The line’s probably 120 or so now, and has been relocated to the horseshoe here:

iPhone Line

Folks are pretty low-key, and Apple’s been great about checking on everyone, up to and including bringing us all some water, which was really kind. There’s a good mix of folks getting 1 or 2 phones, and everyone’s been really great. Not shabby.

The line is gone from the store as of 8pm. All the Apple folks look a bit weary, but good.

This entry sent from my iPhone.

People won’t wait all night, but they will wait all day


As a follow up to my previous post about the lack of iPhone frenzy in Northern Virginia, I noticed that as of 8am this morning there were 10-20 people waiting on line at the Apple store here in Clarendon. So if you are still hoping to get one today you’d better hurry on down. I’m not sure what makes someone so excited about a phone that they are willing to miss a whole day’s worth of work to wait in line for one. But on the other hand, here I am being late for work so I can write a blog entry about these people. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Nobody willing to wait all night in the rain for the latest consumer gadget?


I went to the Apple Store in Clarendon this evening. Looks like, as of 11pm tonight, no one is waiting on line to buy the iPhone. There was this one lonely chair on the sidewalk, but it didn’t look like anybody was sitting there. I suppose there’s no real reason to wait around until there is someone else waiting in line behind you.

As you may remember from a few posts back this iPhone is supposed to be generating long lines of fans all around the country, desperate to plunk down their $599 so they don’t have to carry around a phone and an iPod. Maybe DC is more of a Microsoft town…

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