Tag Archives: Arlington

Sunday Notes & Letters for Week 23

While I didn’t grow up listening so much to the likes of Minor Threat, Fugazi, Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü, my brother Ryan did. So I am familiar with some of the music. When Ryan and his wife moved to their current home in Arlington, VA they quickly learned that they lived only a block away from the house where Minor Threat and Fugazi got their start. In fact, on more than one occasion, he has mistakenly received mail for frontman Ian Mackaye.

I saw this tweet last week:

Photo: @FooFighters

Photo: @FooFighters

Dave Grohl, living in Springfield, VA, was just 14 when he sent that letter to Mackaye. And it was probably sent to the house next door to Ryan and Mandy. Grohl didn’t post more than the last page where he asks the Mackaye to give him a call – between 3-10pm no less! I love it. I’ve read a few things that insinuate that they are friends today. Very cool.

Thirty-two years later, Grohl is now one of the most successful musicians on the planet. Enjoying early fame from his days as the drummer for the band Nirvana, today he’s been leading Foo Fighters for more than twenty years.


Day 83: Mr. Landrum, Ray’s The Steaks

I don’t think this letter needs a lot of intro – go ahead and dig in. The only thing that might be helpful is to know that Mr. Landrum, whose first name is Michael not Ray, has a bunch of restaurants in the DC area that all have the name Ray in them.

Happy reading!

Day 83

Dear Mr. Landrum,

My brother and sister-in-law had their second child on Wednesday, March 18th – little baby Mackenzie. She weighed 6lbs 15ozs. And both Mom and Mackenzie are doing well – not that you asked but so many people ask those two questions I thought I’d go ahead and get them out of the way.

Anyway, my sister-in-law was really craving mashed potatoes as she recovered from her C-section and I went out with my brother Ryan to pick up some of your delicious streaks and mashed potatoes from Retro Rays only to find that it no longer existed. I love your food, but with all respect it seems like the locations are always changing in some respect I never know which Ray’s is open and what they are selling.

Just a little embossed return address...that's all.

Just a little embossed return address…that’s all.

I suggested to Ryan that we could just get the order next door from Ray’s The Steaks but Ryan told me Ray’s The Steaks doesn’t offer take-out. Now, I’m a bit stubborn (and long-winded as I guess you have discovered) and insisted on going in anyway and asking. And so it is – I learned that Retro Rays doesn’t exist anymore and Ray’s The Steaks indeed doesn’t offer take-out.

The maître d’ suggested we try Ray’s: To The Third but almost immediately acknowledged that they don’t sell steaks and more importantly that specific evening – they also don’t sell mashed potatoes. We knew that because we actually went there first! Then without missing a beat he said, “Don’t worry. I’ll get you some mashed potatoes.” Two minutes later we had a large container of piping hot mashed potatoes in our hands. He wouldn’t accept our money – just smiled and said to Ryan, “Congratulations on your daughter…enjoy.”

Thanks for saving the night.

Reed Sandridge


P.S. In case you’re curious about the steaks, I ended up getting some filet mignons from Trader Joe’s and cooked them on the grill. They were very good – but not as good as yours!

Day 43: A letter to Jesus

That's Jesus taking an order for pick up.

That’s Jesús taking an order for pick up.

No, this is not a letter to that Jesus…it’s a letter to Jesús – my favorite taquero. If you are in the DC area you have to try Jesús’ tacos. I lived in Mexico for a year and Tacos El Chilango is the real deal. If you have any doubt, check them out on Yelp.com – I kid you not that this truck has the highest rating of all restaurants in Arlington County. That’s insane – and awesome all in one. I love these guys – they are part responsible for my overall happiness in DC and also part responsible for the 15 pounds I can’t seem to lose.

You can find Jesús at the corner of 14th Street N. and N. Quinn Street every day but Sunday. Jesús’ brother Juan Antonio has opened a brick and mortar shop at 1119 V St NW which is the same, actually it has a bit more expanded menu, but I still prefer the truck.

day 43-2


day 43(English translation)

Dear Jesús,

I wanted to send you a letter to tell you that you have the best tacos! I think that this month marks 5 years since the first time I visited the truck. The meat is always tasty – cut just the way they do in Mexico. The diced onion and fresh cilantro (and cucumber slices) complete each taco. They’re delicious and authentic. You and your team always are kind and treat your guests like friends. Even my Dad, who lives in Pennsylvania, asks about you guys.

Congratulations and best regards,

Yelp.es user: Prairie S

Yelp.es user: Prairie S