Friday, February 29, 2008

I need your help...

If we could all have such problems, life would be a lot better. So here's my deal: one of the anchors on the show I work on wants to take my team out to dinner. Where? It's our call.

Which means it's your call. It has to be moderately priced and in Washington DC, but aside from that, no restrictions.

Ok folks, go nuts. Tell me what you'd pick.

Have some time and money to kill this weekend?

Then make it down to the Washington D.C. International Food & Wine Festival, which is being held at the Ronald Reagan building.

The festival actually started today, but you can still get tickets for this weekend by going here.

A one day ticket is going to cost you $95, and will give you access to some of the best chefs in the DC area, including Cathal Armstrong and Todd Gray.

I for one won't be going, as I'm long on time and short on money. But if you go, take pictures and let me know how it went.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Found: Pizza by the slice

Thanks to the fine readers of, my co-worker and I found a good slice of pizza, at Washington Deli on 20th and K St. NW.

If you're coming in from K St, you'll have to enter at the 1990 K St. entrance and go up to the second floor, and walk all the way to the back, where you then walk down stairs again. Confusing? Yes. But the pizza is pretty decent.

A slice is $2.75, and you can get a slice and a soda for $4.00.

As I said, the pizza was decent. It could have been a little warmer, but then again it was -50 degrees outside, so I'm surprised the slice didn't freeze on impact once I brought it outside.

So mission accomplished. Now if I could only get some good dim sum.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wanted: Pizza by the slice

A co-worker and I went out an hour a go in search for a slice of pizza. You know, a good ole' fashion NY style slice.

What'd we find? Nothing. Evidently Luigi's on 19th St NW has pizza by the slice, but when we asked the hostess, she said it was sit down only, no carry out.

I knew when we left the building (on the corner of Desales St and Conn. Ave NW) that we wouldn't find anything. This isn't surprising considering DC is still very much a button down lunch town, but a by the slice pizza place would really do an amazing business here.

Don't get me wrong, DC is a great pizza city, but it's great because of places like 2Amy's and Comet, neither of which are pizza by the slice.

So, for those of you who work downtown, or even just find yourself in the city casually, would you frequent a by the slice pizza place (that's better than Jumbo Slice)? Do you think it would succeed?

Food Day: It's going to be quick edition

Brevity is the word of the day, here's what's going on in the world of food:

When a taste is more than just a taste: WaPo food critic Tom Sietsema puts forth his arguement why tasting menus are simply too much food that takes up too much time.

But when are we getting ours?!?: The NYT food section has an article about the flood of frozen yogurt joints throughout NYC as the trend from California starts to make its way east.

So far there's no Pinkberry or Red Mango (the two leaders of the movement) in DC, or as far as I know, slated for DC. The closest you could probably come is getting the yogurt at Sweetgreen in Georgetown, which is very good (expect a full first look at Sweetgreen to come).

Life outside of the city: Another article from the NYT, critic Frank Bruni is venturing outside of the city to check out his top ten new restaurants in the country. The first restaurant he visited? Our very own Central.

Falls Church to get real pizza place: According to Don Rockwell (as posted on his website), Edan Macquaid, formerly of 2 Amy's, along with the owners of 2941, plan on opening up a pizzeria in downtown Falls Church, VA. Details are still hard to come by, but Rockwell believes that this, "has the potential to be one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2008."

Hank's to house Oyster Festival: On Sunday, March 30th, Hank's Oyster Bar near Dupont Circle will house its first annual Hank's Oyster Fest. For $65 you'll be able to drink such beers as Allagash White, Allagash Dubbel, and Victory Prima Pilsner, while eating oysters from both coasts.

Tickets can be secured by contacting Hank's at 202.462.4265 or visit their website.

Let me know if I missed anything out there, or if there's a story you'd like to add.

Have a great day folks!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

First Taste: Big Buns Gourmet Grill

I don't know what it is, but for some reason it just seems that Arlington, Virginia is a breeding ground for good hamburger joints. The first Five Guys was built down the street from where I live now, and it's turned into a national phenomenon. But now there's a new guy in town, a restaurant that, in a lot of ways, I actually like better than Five Guys; Big Buns Gourmet Grill.

You'll notice a lot of differences from Five Guys, or any fast food place when you walk into Big Buns. The atmosphere is cleaner, crisper, and more open. While this doesn't have a direct impact on how your burger tastes, I've got to say I enjoyed sitting there and eating a lot more than I ever have at Five Guys.

The concept is very similar to Five Guys, but with more options. Instead of just a hunk of meat, you can get a hunk of meat, or chicken, or mahi mahi, or a portabella mushroom, and then decide to put that on a bun or in a bed of romaine.

On top of that, you can pile on all kinds of good stuff, and one of four kinds of dressings.

The burgers here are good. Not Palena great, but good. I like them better than Five Guys because they're not covered in grease and they just taste cleaner.

But it's all of the other stuff that Big Buns does that really did it for me. The option of sweet potato fries as opposed to regular fries, the fact that they brew their own beer (and their beers are CHEAP), and the fact that they've got a syrup bar that lets you make your own Shirley Temples and Vanilla Cokes.

There's only one Bug Buns, and it's hidden in the depths of Ballston, but if they keep doing what they're doing, Arlington will have another burger success story on its hands.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Beyond Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

Spring training has started, trade rumors are flying, and it's almost time to break out the is upon us!

Thanks to Apples for the heads up (since she's just as excited about the beginning of the season as I am), as the Washington Nationals have announced their local food vendors for the new stadium.

Among some of the big names: Ben's Chili Bowl, Boardwalk Fries, Gifford's Ice Cream, Red Hot and Blue, and Hard Times Cafe will all have locations at the stadium.

Rounding up the line up will be Cantina Marina, Krazee Ice, Kosher Sports, Le Piccola Gelateria, Mayorga Coffee, and Noah's Pretzels.

I'm glad to see the inclusion of so many truly local establishments, though it would have been nice to see more diversity. A Julia's Empanadas would have been perfect, as would some kind of local mircobrew operation to add some diversity to your normal choices of Bud or Bud lite.

Still, this will be a huge improvement over RFK. I just can't wait for the season to start!

Now I'll have to be extra careful

Between Apples and myself we've got our fair share of kitchen gear. As of late though, Apples has been outpacing me by a lot, particularly with the addition of a Wusthof knife and an immersion blender to her kitchen collection.

Well this weekend I closed the gap with the purchase of my very own, brand spankin' new Wusthof Classic Icon chef's knife.

Isn't it pretty? It looks particularly good next to my other two primary knives, which needed a break after years of use.

The new knife though is (ironically enough), a double edged sword, as I'm prone to "kitchen accidents", i.e., requiring a lot of band-aids over the course of a given meal.

So I promised Apples I'd be extra careful with this thing, and I'm hoping that my fingers outlast the blade.

So does anyone out there have any new kitchen gadgets they want to brag about? Anything on your wish list?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Other People's Breaking News: Awards Edition

In the spirit of the Academy Awards season, this edition of Other People's Breaking News involves, well...awards.

Fresh from DCist, it looks like the James Beard award nominees are out, and DC has quite a few. Now I'm not sure how the Beard does their awards, I don't know if you can't be nominated if you've won too many in the past, or if you won last year, but it's hard to believe that Michel Richard or Thomas Keller is nowhere to be found on this list for best chef (though Richard's Central is up for best new restaurant).

Luckily however, there are quite a few DC chefs and other food related folks on the list, such as Apples & Bananas favorites Jose Andres (Outstanding Chef - which was won last year by Michel Richard), Koji Terano (Best Chef - Mid Atlantic), and Eve's Todd Thrasher.

Good luck to all of our local boys and girls. Make us proud.

Also from DCist, the 2008 Golden Clog nominees have been announced. For those of you who don't remember from last year, these are the awards that food bad boys Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman pass out every year. The categories include "The Alton", or, "For being on Food Network and yet, somehow managing to Not Suck", and, "THE CAT CORA AWARD", for, "most fame based on least actual culinary achievement."

Finally, from the NYT (by way of my friend Polson), a follow up to the post I wrote a few days ago about the slew of stars that Michelin has awarded in Tokyo. It seems that there's been a bit of a backlash against the French company's king of all food guides. According to the Times, "Food critics, magazines and even the governor of Tokyo have questioned the guide’s choice of restaurants and ratings", and some chefs have even turned down a chance to be listed, something that would be unthinkable in Europe or even here in the states.

That's all for now folks. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bye Bye Georgetown Bagelry

Restaurants come and go, but this one I'm really going to miss. While it's been a while since I've been inside Georgetown Bagelry, Apples and I have some pretty fantastic memories of the place.

From Apples getting pizza the morning after her 21st birthday in a futile attempt to sober up before work, to the two of us arriving drunk one night and ordering an item that was clearly marked on the wall, but that we were told didn't exist, I always enjoyed going in there, and never walked out hungry.

Georgetown Bagelry, your bagels were good, your pizza fantastic, and your orange juice fresh. When you close tomorrow we'll miss you.

But then again, we can't wait for the seafood shack that Barton Seaver is building in its place to open either!

Funny, I don't remember eating that...

Most of the time I don't even look at the bill when it comes. I just slip my card in and hand it back to the server.

However, if I ever make it over to Joe Delucci’s Italian restaurant in Staffordshire, England, I'll be sure to look twice.

According to a BBC article, a party of 10 recieved this bill after dinner.

For future reference, it's good to know that the first item on the bill is free.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Food Day: Beat the Cold Edition

Happy Food Day folks. Unless you're my parents reading this in South Florida (where I've been told it's in the upper 80's today), you're probably cold. So here are some stories that are sure to warm you up:

Warm up with soup: It's hard to go wrong with soup at this time of year, and the WaPo food section has 36 great recipes for dinner (enough for the next month).

Warm up with stew: If you're looking for something a little heavier than your average soup, the Boston Globe might just do the trick with a traditional Sicilian fish stew recipe that uses dried salted cod, otherwise known as "baccala".

Warm up with a little sip from the bottle (and a bite off the plate): Thanks to Jose Andres, Spanish Tapas is all the rage here in DC, but out west, the Russian version of tapas, Zakuski, is really taking off. According to an LA Times article, Zakuski, which literally translates to "small bites", is meant to be served with vodka (no surprise there), and usually includes, "savory, salty or highly seasoned snacks such as smoked salmon, stuffed eggs, meatballs, vegetable "caviars," small servings of salad or big wedges of hot cheese or mushroom pie."

Warm up with some whole grains: Among the many things Apples can take credit for, I would say that switching me from white rice to whole grain rice was probably the hardest. But now that I've seen the light, I'm hooked, and eat more whole grain rice than probably anything else.

So if you're looking for a warm rice dish tonight, but don't have the time it takes to usually cook whole grain rice, check out this NYT article and get cooking.

Warm up with a little chocolate: In a city that can use all the help they can get in the warming up department, the Chicago Sun Times has a great article about Mexican Hot Chocolate; where to get it, its history, and how it's made.

Have a great day everyone, and stay warm!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wealthy TV food personality bought out by Wealthier TV food personality


Sorry Emeril, but every time you say that from now on, your new financial master, Martha Stewart is going to get a piece of the pie - which Emeril seems to be knee deep in these days.

According to an AP report, Martha Stewart bought the rights to, "the Emeril Lagasse franchise of cookbooks, television shows and kitchen products for $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock at closing."

While the final payoff for Lagasse could reach up to $70 million, he'll still keep his eleven restaurants under his control.

So does Emeril's deal with Martha Stewart change your views on him? Will you watch his shows on Martha's network?

First Taste: Ravi Kabob House

"I don't know what the hell is going on here" whispered my roommate to me as we tried to make sense of the madness that is any given evening at Ravi Kabob House in Arlington.

Just one of the neon lit storefronts in an ambiguous strip mall on Glebe Road, this might be the last place you'd look, or expect to find a good solid meal.

But the crowds are often wrong, and you'll find them here. Meeting up with Emac (a friend and former co-worker of mine), we went right to work in trying to figure out what to get.

The menu is fairly limited, but in the good kind of way. Odds are, you're going to get some sort of protein (either chicken, beef or lamb) and rice with chickpeas, or you'll get one of the three kinds of karahi.

The three of us decided on kabobs, and were not disappointed.

The lamb that I got was very tender and seasoned very well. The real star of the meal for me though was the rice and chickpeas. The rice was sweet and the chickpeas had a bit of a kick to them, and went very well with the lamb.

Emac and Barss (the roommate) both got the chicken, which, again, like the lamb, was well flavored - just enough spice and heat to notice, but not to overwhelm the chicken - and very tender - enough to cut with a plastic knife.

Accompanying the dishes are fresh made flat bread which goes perfectly with the kabobs, and a yogurt sauce which is deceptively hot.

Ravi isn't without its faults though. It's cash only (which is a problem for a guy like me who never has cash), and the service is painfully slow at times (which I'm willing to endure for freshly made food). But when it comes down to it, Ravi Kabob House, with all of its madness, fighting through the crowds of people, is a steal, and will make it onto my list of go-to places.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Movie Night at Tallula

Sunday nights usually aren't for going out and getting crazy, but if you're in the mood to get out of the house, catch a movie, and maybe get a little something to eat, head down to Tallula in Arlington for their Sunday night movie night.

Apples surprised me last night and brought me down there. Get there early if you actually want to see the movie, as the seats at EatBar (the section of Tallula where the movie plays) get filled up quick.

Aside from the full EatBar menu you'll be given all the free white truffle popcorn you can eat along with free movie concessions.

Apples and I both split a side of onion rings and each had a mini burger before the movie (Life is Beautiful...which was an odd choice as it's about the Holocaust and all) started.

The onion rings were fine, nothing special, but the mini burgers were quite good (though I could have used a little more meat in mine).

If you plan on going in the next few weeks, here's what you'll be watching:

24 February: Some Like it Hot
2 March: St. Elmo's Fire
9 March: The Sweetest Thing
16 March: Thelma & Louise
23 March: Pretty in Pink
30 March: Wedding Date

Great Deal Suddenly Less Great

For the past few years Tono Sushi was my go-to spot in Woodley Park. While the sushi is above average, and the bar is one of my favorites in town, the real draw was the 7 day a week sushi happy hour, between 5pm-7:30pm which offered discounts on rolls and $1 pieces.

However, the week long deal is no more. When I walked past Tono yesterday the sign above the door has been altered to read, "Happy Hour, Monday-Thursday".

The deals are still there folks, you've just got less time to enjoy them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Next Stop, Tokyo...and other stories pertaining to Japan

Not a whole lot of motivation to post today, but it looks like the king of food guides has declared Tokyo the king of food cities, according to an article today in the Washington Post.

And dinner last quote Apples

"we had sushi. it was good. the end!"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What's Next in Food?

Food, like any other industry, is dominated by trends. So what's next, what's up and coming? I've got to credit Agatha for sending me this link, because it's always good to get a glimpse into the food future.

According to Good Magazine, some of the next big things in food will include Dosas (Little Indian crepes), Pupusas (Salvadorian corn patties with meat inside), and Singapore street foods such as "laksa (a spicy coconut broth with seafood, noodles, and vegetables), roti prata (fluffy pancake-bread dunked in curry), [and] kaya (a coconutty breakfast custard spread) toast will be household names before too long.

So, do any of these sound good to you? Will you be rushing out tonight to get some Bibimbap? Was anything left off of the list?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Anyone have any plans tonight?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Now kids, get out your forks and your # 2 pencils...

We may be two months away from the tax deadline, but it's never too early to think about where you're going to eat on April 15th. Zola, the unofficial restaurant of Apples & Bananas, is having a tax day special, where you not only get a three course meal at the bar for only $20 (for both lunch and dinner), but Zola will comp your tax, making it a truly tax-free meal!

Along with such entree and side dish options as Rabbit Salisbury Steak, Truffle Gravy/Mash Potatoes and Greens Beans, you get a free IRS extension form, a # 2 pencil, and a calculator.

Again, this is something I post at my own peril, as I know it'll be packed, and Apples and I plan on going. So again, please go...just save us a seat.

Food Day: Sweet Lovin' Edition

Happy Food Day lovers and friends, here's what's new in the world of food:

I like roses, but the chocolate tastes better: Much like New Years and champaigne and Thanksgiving and Turkey, Valentine's Day is pretty synonymous with chocolate. If you're flipping through the food pages today you'll find plenty of articles on the sweet stuff. The Washington Post alone has three, ranging from chocolate of the hot liquid variety, to chocolate of the milk variety.

The NYT food section also has a good piece on milk chocolate, which seems to be quite in right now.

If you'd prefer to actually do something with your chocolate however, you might want to check out the Boston Globe's food section which has a wealth of quality recipes.

Spice up your dinner: Forget spicing things up in the bedroom, the kitchen is still king when it comes to turning up the heat. The Denver Post has a great article about the science of spice; why we like it and exactly what it does to and for us.

I've got 99 problems but food ain't one: Apples and I may not be perfect, but we see eye to eye on the important stuff, like food. Unfortunately not everyone has this luxury. The NYT food section addresses the phenomenon of mixed culinary couples.

I can't imagine how hard this would be on a relationship. Especially some of the cases the article brings up, such as omnivores dating vegans, people who eat everything dating people who eat three or four things, or people who are strict Kosher dating those who are not. I guess that just means I'm a pretty lucky Bananas.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Other people's breaking news: Everything's Free Edition

You heard it here first folks...unless you read it somewhere else. If you're a little strapped for cash, today is going to be a good one for you, because two restaurants are offering free food.

If you're in the Dupont Circle area, starting at 11am until they run out of food, DC's second location of Chop'd will be offering free salads and sandwiches. According to Metrocurean, a third location will be opening in Rosslyn in March.

But if salads really aren't you thing, perhaps pancakes will hit the spot? If you go to any IHOP today between 7am and 10pm you'll get a free short stack of pancakes for considering making a donation to the Children's Miracle Network, or other local charities. So go out there, have some pancakes, and give back.

Also, on an unrelated note, if you live in Maryland, Virginia, and DC, don't forget to go out and vote!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Virgil? Hello?

One of my all-time favorite works is Dante's Divine Comedy. For those of you who missed that part of AP English in High School, the Comedy is about Dante's journey through Hell and Purgatory to get to Heaven, and his beloved Beatrice.

Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory is Virgil, the Roman epic poet and author of the Aeneid.

I don't think I've ever said this, but I could have used ole Virgil this past Saturday night, as the crew, Apples and myself went ot Club Heaven and Hell in Adams Morgan.

Heaven and Hell is a dance club separated into two sections; we went upstairs to Heaven (probably the closest I'll get to the real thing), and took a look around.

Looking for food? You're probably not going to get it here - though if you've spilt something on yourself (food, drink, other bodily fluid), you'll see it loud and clear due to the black lights illuminating the dance floor.

Looking for drinks? Yeah, they've got them here, but don't ask for anything with more than two ingredients, or where the ingredients aren't spelled out in the name of the drink (i.e., vodka tonic). Apples ordered a Tom Collins and the bartender had to ask me if that was with Gin or Vodka. She should have given me a tip for helping her out with that one. (Also, on a side note, Tom Collins shouldn't glow. I don't know why, but that's just wrong)

Looking for dancing? If you want to relive your high school prom, this is the place to do it, except for here, you're not awkwardly standing by the wall drinking Shirley Temples like they're going out of style and watching the five girls who turned you down dance with other guys.

I've been to worse bars, and in fact, I actually had some fun. The bar wasn't very crowded so you can get drinks very easily, and with enough booze in ones system, dancing becomes a lot easier.

Heaven and Hell wouldn't be my first choice (or my tenth) in Adams Morgan, but I'd go if forced to again. Let's just say though, that next time I'm inclined to visit either, I'll just crack open a little Dante.

Date Night!

Phew. This kid has been working like nobody’s business. Luckily I have a gentleman friend, the one and only Bananas, who is willing to do silly things like take me out on “dates,” even though we’re a little past the dating stage.

Last Saturday night, when I demanded to be taken on a date that I didn’t want to plan or know anything about, we ended up at Mourayo, a charming, unassuming Greek place just north of Dupont Circle, where the waiters all wear sailor suits (love it!) and the tables are set with cheerful gerbera daisies.

We started with a shared plate of 8 or so different spreads, including taramosolata, my all-time favorite; a garlicky hummus; a fava-bean puree; and a spicy potato cream, among others. Tasty, and made even better by the pleasantly greased pita bites they came with.

For our mains, Bananas got a seafood stew type thing, with mussels, clams, and fish in a tomato-based broth that tasted pretty much just like ocean (in a good way). I had the special crab ravioli, which was clearly freshly made and perfectly al-dente, with a big crab flavor inside and a subtle tomato-basil sauce on top. I probably could have eaten twice as much, but that is usually the case, and is more a reflection on my gluttony than the restaurant’s small portions. The service was efficient and effective, and I really did enjoy those boys and their accents in their sailor suits.

After dinner, the plan was to head up the street to Veritas for a glass of wine, but it was too crowded for proper date conversation, so instead we landed at Firefly, which I’ve been intending to try for a while.

I had two cocktails—one, the “garnet,” was mostly blood orange juice with a sprig of rosemary and gin, I think. It was good, but the real star for me was the “ruby,” a bubbly concoction of champagne, grapefruit juice, and cardamom-infused vodka. Heavenly. I need to go back for another one of those.

Bananas and I also split a banana split done Firefly-style; the banana was caramelized like the crust of a fantastic crème brulee, and topped with scoops of sweet potato, vanilla, and peanut butter ice creams, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. The overall effect was rich, comforting, and just new enough to command attention.

Date night was a rousing success. Next up: Valentine’s day dinner at Asahi.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Fatty Fridays: And you still have a hand free for pie

When we were all little science promised us so many things. Flying cars, the end to disease, killer robots.

But somewhere along the way these scientists found the bong in their parents closet and came up with this.

The Col-Pop is, as labeled on, a "two food, one cup" item, that contains both chicken nuggets and soda. According to the website that found this technological marvel/horror, there are some flaws; the difference in temperature between the chicken and soda creates condensation that cool your nuggets and water down your soda.

Regardless on how you feel on the issue, you've got to admit that this is a pretty awesome idea, one that I should have come up with a long time ago.

So, the real question is, if you had one cup, what two foods/one food and drink would you put in it?

Coming Soon: Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon

If you read as frequently as I do, I'm sure you've noticed a number of posts recently from Dave Pressley, who is tagging himself as, "Managing Partner/GM, Eventide Restaurant - Opening in Clarendon, Spring 2008".

Well last night a little light was shed on Eventide. According to Pressley, the restaurant will be located at the corner of Wilson Blvd and Hudson St, right across from the Clarendon Metro.

The targeted open date for Eventide is this May/June. Once it's open Eventide will be two stories, with the first consisting of a bar serving, "inspired, well-crafted cocktails and a bit of a more elegant atmosphere than a bunch of Clarendon restaurants play host to", and the second floor containing 90 seats with 3 semi-private areas for groups.

While the chef and bar staff haven't been declared yet, the GM (Pressley) and Assistant GM, Nick Freshman, have come from Olives and Poste in DC, so no doubt they come well prepared.

This is exciting news for me, as I pass through Clarendon in one way or another at least twice a day. The restaurant scene there has already been upgraded through Liberty Tavern, I hope that Eventide can only add to it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Well this can't go wrong...

In the spirit of love, free food, and lieing to the public, Apples and I have decided to crash a singles night tonight at the Whole Foods in Clarendon.

From 6-9 if you show up you'll get free food and wine pairings, and a chance to "mingle" with other single people.

In other words, Whole Foods will be serving up a big plate of awkward with a nice side of rejection.

If you go, keep an eye out for me. I'll be the one not paying attention to anyone and stuffing free food in my pockets.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What's your favorite restaurant?

Since I've gotten to the point where I get a handful of comments on most of my posts, I'm going to go out there and ask a question I've been wanting to ask for a while:

What's your favorite restaurant?

Mine is 2 Amy's. Not only is it the best pizza I've ever had, but everything else I've had there has always been great. The atmosphere is inviting, and while it may be loud, I've never had a problem holding a conversation there.

I won't limit this to DC (where most of my readers live), but I'd like to get a sense of where you all like to eat, and the kind of places I should look into reviewing in the future.

I'd really appreciate the feedback, and perhaps I'll even make a visit to whichever restaurant wins out.

Food Day: I'm running late edition

Happy food day folks. I hope everyone is fully recovered from Super Fat Ticker Tape Tuesday. Here's a taste of what's going on in the world of food:

Happy New Year: Tomorrow marks the Chinese New Year, and for those of you who are celebrating, or who just want a solid meal, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has some great recipes for celebrating the beginning of the year of the rat.

For once I'm looking forward to April 15th: Look out RFD and Brickskeller, it looks like the folks at Neighborhood Restaurant Group are looking to take the crown of the best beer place in the city. With a target open date of April 15th, the WaPo reports that the bar/restaurant (which doesn't seem to have a name yet) will be two levels and have its menu designed by Rustico chef, Frank Morales and beer director, Greg Engert.

Aside from the, "500 labels, 100 styles and 50 draft beers" that will be offered, the menu, designed by Morales, will feature everything from pizza to tapas.

Add another one to the list: For a city already claiming so many talented chefs, it's always great to see it add another. Fresh from such restaurants as Aureole, Restaurant Daniel and the Plaza Hotel in New York City, Chef Bobby Varua will be the new Executive Chef at 701 in Penn Quarter.

Varua claims his cooking styles come from the belief that, "the art of cooking is to express more than to impress, and my background is very deep in flavor profiles including Asian, Italian, French, Japanese and even a little Brazilian."

I hope Varua decides to stay in DC for the years to come.

Change the Chop: Chopped salads are relatively new to the DC scene (at least from what I can tell). And as I had yet another great salad last night from Chop'd in Chinatown, I thought this article in the LA times was particularly interesting.

LA is the home of the chopped salad, and now they're looking past the traditional and into the next generation.

So what's next? How about beets, roasted butternut squash, fennel, and celery. Let's hope the new wave of chopped salads finds its way out east faster than the first did.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Well isn't it just a super week?

First a Super Bowl and now a Super Tuesday? Well isn't this just a super week?

But if you're more interested in the candidates calorie count than their delegate count, stop on by's Trail Mix site, which chronicles who's eating what on the campaign trail.

As expected it's a lot of fast fried foods; don't expect any of them to sit down to a pre fixe 5-course meal any time soon.

If you were running for office what would your favorite trail snack be? Would you go out of your way to eat healthy, or would you be a man/woman of the people?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Surprise

So our Super Bowl plans got derailed, but when life gives you lemons, what do you do? You cut them into quarters and squeeze them onto to some crabcakes, that's what you do!

I've never made crabcakes before, and as Apples has been craving them for a month now, I figured why not give them a try?

I kept the recipe pretty simple. A lot of crab, and not a whole lot of anything else. I broiled them instead of fried them, and surprise, I think they came out pretty good. Not greasy, but nice and firm and very flavorful. I didn't even need any sauce with them, which is rare for me because usually I find a way to drown things in a sauce.

Super Bowl Crabcakes:

1 lbs: Crab meat (I used backfin because it was cheapest)
1 tablespoon: Mayo
1 tablespoon: Old Bay
1: Egg
1/3 Cup: Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon: Dill
1/4: Large lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Scoop them out using a 1/2 cup measuring cup and flatten them on a baking sheet. Broil for 7-9 minutes, or until golden brown.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Sunday

It's going to be awfully hard to top this game today. Either way history will be made, and I'm not just talking about the record numbers that will be spent on the commercials.

But as millions nationwide gather to watch the Patriots and Giants square off, one question above all will be asked - what's for dinner?

So what are your Super Bowl food plans for tonight? Sticking with good ole chips and salsa? Firing up the grill? Or maybe you're ordering a few pizzas.

Apples and I were supposed to go to a friend's to watch the game, but Apple's day job seems to have gotten in the way, so we're scrambling for ideas of something to make.

Anyone out there have any suggestions?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Passport to Spain" to debut today

If you happen to read this in the next hour and a half, and live in the Washington DC area, and have a TV handy, turn it to WETA and you'll catch the debut of Jose Andres' new show, "Passport to Spain".

If you're still recovering from last night, and happen to catch this after 12:30, don't you worry, Andres has a deal signed with WETA for 26 episodes.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fatty Fridays: Big Government, Big Portions

War not going well? Economy slipping down the tubes? Currency plumetting in value? Screw it, let's pick on fat people.

It's good to see the Mississippi state legislature has its priorities in order as three Representatives, Republicans W. T. Mayhall, Jr. and John Read, and Democrat Bobby Shows (it's good to see that stupidity has no partisan preference) have drafted a bill that would prohibit restaurants from serving obese people.

You can read the whole bill here, but essentially the Mississippi Department of Health, in conjunction with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management would establish what exactly obesity is, and how they would ensure that those whole fall under that label could be prohibited from restaurants.

A couple of quick observations:

-Mississippi is a conservative state. That used to mean small government. This seems a little big brother to me.
-The National Restaurant Association can't like this one bit. That's like prohibiting people who want to get engaged from buying diamond rings; it's not going to be good for business.
-No one in their right mind will vote for this.

So what do you think? Do you think the obesity problem in this country is so bad that we have to force restaurants not to serve people?

Cheap: It's what's for dinner

This is usually how it goes down: I'm sitting at work, not doing a whole lot. Apples is sitting at work, doing something. It's around 4:00pm, and we're both getting hungry. She says, "I could really go for a _______." I respond with, "Well why don't I make you a ______________ for dinner?"

Last night Apples wanted grilled cheese, which was fine with me because there are so many ways you can take grilled cheese it's hard to get bored of it.

So after walking around Harris Teeter looking for, and finding the perfect cheese, we had ourselves some nice grilled cheese and tomato on wheat bread.

The cheese we selected was Morel & Leek Jack cheese from Great Midwest Cheese. The cheese melted perfectly and was sharp enough to really taste, but mild enough not to overpower the tomato or the bread (or the little bit of pesto I put on mine).

All together we paid about $8 for the whole meal, which honestly could have used a little tomato soup (so make that $10). Still not the cheapest thing you could eat, but for the product, it was well worth it.

So, anyone else out there have anything good for dinner last night?