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Chat Leftovers: Beef cheeks, beer and baklava

Here we are, Christmas Eve eve already and barreling fast toward 2010. If you’ve still got lingering holiday entertaining questions, this is a perfect day for you to tune in to our weekly Free Range chat. We’ll be joined by David Hagedorn, our Real Entertaining columnist, who for today’s Food section produced an impressive cassoulet and a dazzling crepe cake. Both, believe me, are delicious. See you there at 1 p.m.

We try, but we can never get to every question during our hour, and that’s especially true during holidays, when the volume really builds. Here are a few leftover where-do-I-find-this queries from last week’s chat. As always, if some of you out there have suggestions that might help, by all means add them. Here we go:

Looking for beef cheeks! I have a Christmas day menu with an Italian theme and have been looking in vain for beef cheeks (to be braised in red wine). Struck out at Shopper’s Food, Grand Mart and WalMart in Northern Virginia. I would be so very grateful if anyone can tell me where else to turn.

By now, maybe you’ve either found your cheeks or changed your menu. But on the off chance that you’ve done neither (and to help others who might someday need to find this ingredient), I’ve got the answer for you. I tested a veal cheeks recipe a couple of months ago and found the cheeks at Wagshal’s Market in the District. I also could have gotten them from Organic Butcher of McLean or from Let’s Meat on the Avenue, in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. The catch is that at all of those places, you usually need to order the cheeks in advance, but possibly not too far in advance (I got them from Wagshal’s with just one day’s notice).

I am in search of my husband’s favorite beer, De Koninck, as a Christmas gift. We have not been able to find it at the local stores since moving to Rosslyn. Any ideas?

Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits carries this Belgian brew, and it’s in stock right now, according to the staff member who answered the phone when I called. If anyone out there knows of other stores where our chatter can snag some De Koninck, please weigh in below, in the Comments field.

If you just want to take your husband out for a night on the town, the picture is a lot brighter. Several restaurants and bars, mostly in the District, carry De Koninck. Check out some of the Belgian places; Belga Cafe in Southeast, for instance, has De Koninck Amber on its beer list. Marvin in Northwest also carries the brand.

Alexandria, Va.: Can I find some decent Baklava at Harris Teeter or Giant?

I’ve never bought baklava from either of those stores, so I can’t help you there. But if you live in Alexandria, maybe you’re not too far from the Mediterranean Bakery and Cafe? The baklava there is good, and besides, it’s such a kick to shop there.

— JaneTouzalin

By Jane Touzalin  |  December 23, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Chat Leftovers  | Tags: Chat Leftovers, Free Range, Jane Touzalin  
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Next: Holiday favorites: Main-course meat

Comments

Norm's Beer and Wine in Vienna often has whatever hard-to-find beer your looking for, and if not, they'll get it for you.

Posted by: MacGruber | December 23, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Union Meat, at Eastern Market, is also a good place to look for unusual cuts. Or for that matter, usual cuts. They have good stuff.

Posted by: SAF_dc | December 23, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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