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College Football Week 4 Best Bets: Oregon State vs Washington State

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College Football Week 4 Best Bets: Oregon State vs Washington State


Vaughn Dalzell breaks down a Pac-12 matchup between the road-favored Oregon State Beavers and the Washington State Cougars.

Oregon State (-3) at Washington State: O/U 56.5

Washington State has won four straight home games against Oregon State and seven of the past eight meetings overall but Oregon State is favored by -3 on the road. Oregon State hasn’t won at Washington State since 2013.

Oregon State won 24-10 at home last year to snap a seven-game losing streak against Washington State. In this matchup, both teams are ranked for the first time since 2003, so this was 20 years in the making.

The Cougars Cam Ward has completed 77 out of 107 passes (71.9%) for 990 passing yards (6th) nine touchdowns and no interceptions through three games. The Beavers sacked Ward six times last season, so that will be the key to this meeting as he’s been sacked seven times through three games this year.

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D.J. Uiagalelei is new to this Pac-12 matchup and in three games, he’s tossed 630 passing yards on 42-of-68 (61.8%) for six touchdowns and two interceptions. Uiagalelei hasn’t been asked to do much in the three wins over San Jose State, UC Davis, and San Diego State.

Washington State has played and beat Wisconsin, Colorado State, and Northern Colorado averaging 48.8 points per game to start the season and feel like the better team through the first month of the season.

I played the Cougars at +3 at -110 odds as the home underdog and sprinkled the ML at +125. I’d play this down to +1.5.

Oregon State was 9-0 ATS in the last nine games until failing to cover -24.5 versus San Diego State last week, so, now is the time to fade Oregon State ATS.

Pick: Washington State +3 (1u), Washington State ML (0.5u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

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Join in the college football conversation Saturdays at 11AM ET. From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A.





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Review | Taqueria Sabor Mixteco showcases Oaxacan specialties in Silver Spring

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Review | Taqueria Sabor Mixteco showcases Oaxacan specialties in Silver Spring


Two of us are a few chomps into a tlayuda at the youthful Taqueria Sabor Mixteco when the chef approaches our table.

“Want to make it even more Oaxacan?” asks Juan Solano, 54. He says this with raised eyebrows and a smile. We nod and go back to eating the feast, an enormous tortilla packed with cheese, vegetables and chorizo, doubled over to form a dome above the contents and blistered from the grill.

A few moments later, the chef reappears with a ramekin of something black and mysterious and invites us to guess what’s in the little bowl.

Having visited Oaxaca before, I think I know the answer. Sure enough, Solano wants us to complete our tlayuda with fried grasshoppers, expectedly crisp and jolted with lime.

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Similar vignettes play out every time I’ve eaten at this charming storefront in Silver Spring, close to the Wheaton Metro stop and co-owned by the chef; Apolinar Cervantes, 47; and Marisol Gonzales, 52. The trio bring a lot of hospitality to the business. Solano previously cooked at the late and admired Mixtec and Enriqueta’s in Washington. Cervantes worked his way up from dishwasher to waiter at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, where he spent 22 years, while Gonzales, a onetime hostess at a children’s party restaurant in her native Mexico City, works as a nanny when she’s not at the restaurant.

Day or night, I’ve never visited without seeing Cervantes. His quiet enthusiasm alone pulls me back. The host takes his time detailing the dishes, instructs diners which of the three housemade salsas are best for which presentations, and offers free refills of agua fresca. (One glass of tamarindo or pineapple juice with hints of peach is never enough.) The food is apportioned as if you’re eating at Madre’s house. “Any sauce you want to take?” asks the host as he bundles the inevitable leftovers. I like the mild green tomatillo and the racy red arbol salsas, but the sauce sprung from the smoky morita chile, recommended for the tlayuda, lights my fire.

The chef is from La Mixteca, one of eight regions in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, which explains the restaurant’s name and the sweetness of his mole. A sauce made primarily for celebrations, Mixteco mole is offered with sugar for guests to pass at the table, he says. At Taqueria Sabor Mixteco, the sauce is created from raisins, cinnamon and chocolate as well as almonds, oregano and dried peppers including guajillo and ancho. The inky black combination drapes the very good shredded chicken enchiladas, striped with white crema and shored up with tomato-tinted rice and (vegetarian) refried black beans redolent of the garlic and onions that “go into everything,” jokes the chef.

The chef left Washington for Mexico City in 2008 to run a taqueria for several years before returning to the States. How delicious to have him back. I appreciate whatever meat — zesty chorizo, earthy braised beef tongue, pork sweetened with pineapple — dresses his warm, saucer-size corn tortillas. The canvases — thin enough to fold, thick enough to hoist without tearing — pick up color and texture from cilantro, sliced radishes, sweet chopped onion and your salsa of choice, although a simple spritz of lime is plenty sassy.

Maybe you’re in the mood for a torta. Credit for the two-fisted pleasure goes to Gonzales, whose mother made and sold tortas and tacos to workers building Mexico City’s metro when Gonzales was a young girl. As with so much that leaves the kitchen, the taqueria excels with the sandwich. Fluffy-crumbed telera bread is sliced in half, toasted and slathered with creamy mayonnaise (on top) and black beans (on the base). A choice of filling — make mine flame-colored al pastor — plus shredded, slightly rubbery Oaxacan cheese and crisp lettuce truly elevate the slices and make for one of the best tortas I know.

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One of the biggest comforts on a menu full of them is alambre, a rib-sticking collaboration of your choice of meat, onions and poblano peppers under a blanket of melted cheese. Those who like variety should ask for the juicy duo of braised beef and chorizo — and plan for a siesta afterward.

The list of daily specials might include one of the best chiles rellenos in memory. Fluffy egg clings to the velvet-textured poblano, which oozes warm cheese when it’s cut. A light sauce of tomato, onion and garlic burnishes the pepper. The one off note across several meals: chileajo, a Oaxacan pork stew from the chef’s hometown of Tezoatlán whose occasional bites of dry meat were partially salvaged by potato chunks swollen with the flavor of fruity costeno and guajillo peppers in the mix.

Gonzales whips up the flan, dense with cream cheese and scented with Mexican vanilla. Ask for a caramel-glossed slice to go if you’ve filled up on tacos, tortas or alambres. The dessert is a sight for sleepy eyes late at night: soothing nursery food no matter your age.

Color-drenched Oaxaca is channeled in a bright orange dining room where tables are covered in oil cloth and the ceiling is dressed with papel picado, Mexican paper cutouts. A few sombreros and upbeat chilena music complete the Mexican theme.

This cooking deserves something spirited to wash it back; the owners say they’ve applied for a license to sell alcohol. For the moment, if you ask about cocktails, the trio shows off ready-to-go jicaras, the small, shell-like cups used to serve mezcal.

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The biggest problem I see? Too few diners. That might be music to the ears of people who don’t want to raise their voice at lunch or dinner but not to the owners, whose labor of love deserves to play to a larger audience. Frankly, I’d trade the quiet for some noise, even a line out the door. Hence this shout-out.

Taqueria Sabor Mixteco

2462 Ennalls Ave., Silver Spring. 240-500-3833. sabormixteco.com. Open for indoor and outdoor dining and delivery and takeout, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Prices: Dinner appetizers $3 to $14.95, tacos $3.75 to $4.95, main courses $12 to $29.75. Sound check: 69 decibels/Conversation is easy. Accessibility: No barriers to entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.



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Arlington spot makes Washington Post’s short list of ‘great affordable restaurants’ | ARLnow.com

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Arlington spot makes Washington Post’s short list of ‘great affordable restaurants’ | ARLnow.com


A longtime Rosslyn eatery was recently recognized in the Washington Post’s list of “great affordable restaurants in the D.C. area.”

Pho 75 at 1721 Wilson Blvd, in the Colonial Village Shopping Center, was one of five restaurants on the list compiled by food critic Tom Sietsema.

The Post raves about the Vietnamese restaurant’s pho beef broth, “fragrant with star anise and cinnamon, crammed with thin rice noodles and scattered with cilantro and scallions.”

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Most of the 17 pho variations mix and match different cuts of beef. Sietsema ordered the No. 7, “thick with thinly shaved eye-round steak, well-done flank and softly crunchy beef tripe.”

The pho is accompanied by “a party of garnishes,” including Thai basil, jalapeños and chili sauce.

The restaurant, which sports a simple interior and has a wall full of past recognitions, also serves meatball pho and chicken noodle soup, which Sietsema describes as the “headiest chicken soup in memory.”

A “regular” size bowl of pho — almost enough to serve two people, according to Sietsema — is a mere $10.45. A “large” serving costs $1 more. Notably, Pho 75 is a cash-only establishment.

Le Thiep and Binh Ngo founded Pho 75 in 1985, naming it after the year of the Fall of Saigon. The founding duo first met as Vietnamese refugees in California, according to Northern Virginia Magazine.

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Today, the restaurant is managed by Ngo’s son, Chi Ngo.

Pho 75 now has a total of eight locations: six in the D.C. area and two in the Philadelphia area. The original Rosslyn location is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.



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Iran denies plot against Trump, after U.S. reports unspecified threat

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Iran denies plot against Trump, after U.S. reports unspecified threat


Iran on Wednesday denied any involvement in the recent assassination attempt on former president Donald Trump at a Pennsylvania rally, while also rejecting allegations that it had any “intention for such an action.”

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Biden administration had informed the Secret Service of an unspecified threat to Trump from Iran before the July 13 campaign rally. U.S. officials said they believe the attack on the rally, where one attendee was killed and two were critically injured, and where Trump said he was shot in the ear, was unrelated to any Iranian effort.

In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said Iran “strongly rejects any involvement in the recent armed attack on Trump or claims about Iran’s intention for such an action, considering such allegations to have malicious political motives and objectives.”

U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Iran may seek to avenge the death of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in 2020 in a U.S. drone strike authorized by Trump. The military action, Trump said after the strike, was intended to “stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.” Earlier in 2018, Trump had withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, imposing sanctions that debilitated the country’s economy.

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In a statement to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Wednesday, Iran’s U.N. mission described Trump as a “criminal” who deserved to be prosecuted for Soleimani’s killing. “Iran has chosen the legal path to bring him to justice,” the statement said. In January, the Tehran Times reported that Iran was planning to petition the International Court of Justice over Soleimani’s assassination.

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“As we have said many times, we have been tracking Iranian threats against former Trump administration officials for years, dating back to the last administration,” U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said Tuesday.

She added, “We consider this a national and homeland security matter of the highest priority.”

The Secret Service enhanced its protections for Trump in light of the Iran-related threat alert, said a national security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss security decisions. CNN first reported that the United States had “intelligence from a human source” about an Iranian plot to assassinate Trump.

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Authorities are still searching for clues as to why 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pa., opened fire at the rally on Saturday.



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