Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm Outtie!

Sup y'alls, you should probs know that I bounced! Visit me at my new home at fullisastateofmind.com! Go, now, it's cute, promise!

New home:
http://fullisastateofmind.com

Friday, August 17, 2012

Don't Read This...Please

OK, so like I finally went to Mintwood Place after 9000 other food bloggers have made me drool tweeting about it. The thing is, it was so good I don't even want anyone to know about it.

We got there early and I honestly thought there was an Instragram filter - on my eyeballs. It was so adorably decorated, with no detail overlooked. The hook under the bar for my purse? An old bathroom faucet knob. Handmade-looking lighting fixtures, mason jars with flowers, antiquey mirrors, the whole deal. I imagined my group of friends, sitting in the corner by the window, chatting and laughing all night and I don't want you to take our spot with your friends that probably aren't as funny.



The bartender talked to us like we were old friends (in my mind, we are now), tough to find in Adams Morgan where most bar-goers want their drinks delivered to them in condiment squeeze bottles or want to beat the clock at happy hour. We got some "nibbles" at the bar and were shooting the shit 'til our whole party arrived for dinner. How long did we wait? 15 minutes? An hour? It didn't matter.
Maple pork cracklin with zesty dipping sauce
Pickled deviled eggs
And then of course there was the glorious, three-course, Restaurant Week meal. I don't even want to tell you how good it is or you'll take our spot on the outdoor patio too, you jerks.

The octopus salad was light, refreshing, and the octopus perfectly cooked. This portion was huge and a great deal for just being an appetizer course.
Octo close-up

mmmm, tentacles
My main course was a whole boneless American Seabream (never even heard of it, but just a basic white fish). Look at that thing! Super simple on the seasoning, accompanied by braised fennel, tomatoes and possibly the best olives ever.
No head attached for you scaredy cats. I missed the eyeballs cause I'm Asian and weird
Look, I like pasta, I just don't get impressed by it all that often. But this, the trofie bolognese, this was something pretty different. A little sweet with a bit of a kick and dreamily creamy. And seriously, look at that cheese.

This trofie was a lot tastier than my volleyball trophies. #seewhatIdidthere
  I have been craving a strawberry rhubarb dessert all summer. This, this, is what I was waiting for.

Strawberry rhubarb crumble. Hubba hubba

If I see you there you better not be in my seat, punk.

Mintwood Place
Somewhere in Adams Morgan, not telling

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Restaurant Week Dinner at Westend Bistro

Eric Ripert - amazing chef, adorable French dude, BFFs with Anthony Bourdain. What else needs to be said? Oh, right, you probably want to know how good his food is. Thanks to good ol' Restaurant Week, I can now tell you.

Westend Bistro, tucked inside the fancy schmancy Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown, has been on my target list for a while now. It's a lot smaller inside than I thought it would be, and had nice, big windows ideal for people watching. Happy hour? Yes, please. I love a discount beverage while waiting for my table. **Make sure you know if that delicious wine you're sipping on is on the HH menu. There's a big difference between a $6 glass and a $15, ya dig?

Otherwise, the service was fantastic. We felt taken care of, yet not rushed, each course came out in perfect time and we probably forgot we were in a restaurant at many points because we were allowed to be our ridiculous selves here. (Not common at a place at this price point. Seriously, you haven't met my friends.)

And, duh. The food was totes the bomb. Notes:

  • The mac and cheese ($3 at the bar during HH) was retarded good and is a MUST-have
  • I don't think I've ever had a piece of fish cooked as perfectly as the grilled trout. Hands down, perfect texture
  • Lamb sausage - so simple, yet so frickin good. Ridiculously hearty 
  • Dessert - look, I'm not trying to get all NSFW but the warm chocolate tart and panna cotta were pretty sexual. Serious dirty thoughts in remembrance

baked mac and cheese, seriously heavenly
Sweet corn soup with ricotta and chili oil. Plus they do that fancy thing where its a bowl with just the stuff in the middle and they pour the soup around it. It doesn't take much, does it?
Fennel and arugula salad
Pork and duck pate. Those pickled peaches tasted so much like actual pickles it was trippin me out dude.
There she is. Grilled Carolina trout. Huge portion with a perfectly balanced mustard vinaigrette
Lamb sausage with tabbouleh
Panna cotta with berries and mint, perfect summer dessert

Thinking about this chocolate tart again is giving me hot flashes

Westend Bistro
1190 22nd Street, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20037
(202) 974-5566








Monday, July 30, 2012

Capital Grille "Plates" Menu Summer Additions

Oh my gosh y'all. I've been so busy having the best summer of my whole entire life that I haven't posted in the hottest of 100-degree-day minutes.

Not cool (literally) I know, but I just needed to tell you that I just had the yummiest work day lunch ever. This is like, beyond rare, for most 9-5ers so let me divulge the 411. 

You know I love me a Capital Grille lunch and now they added some noobs to the "Plates" menu for the summah time. We're talking seared scallops with tomatoes and Israeli couscous, carrot ginger soup and a tomato and watermelon salad with feta. Summerlicious. 

The scallops were my absolute fave though and must be ordered again ASAP. All of these join an already amazing selection and you can get either a soup or salad, entree and side for only $18. Check in to your local Cap Grille and check it out worker bees!

Seared scallops, sweet and sour tomatoes, asparagus and Israeli couscous
Capital Grille (locations nationwide, but this is the one near my office)
1861 International Drive
McLean, VA 22102
703-448-3900



Thursday, May 31, 2012

But I am Le Tired: My "Eat Like a European" Phase

You guys, all I wanna do is drink wine and champagne and eat cheese, charcuterie and fresh-baked bread. All the time. For every meal. I've started speaking with a European accent (which I've been told just sounds like Borat, whatever country's accent I am attempting to emulate), I want to nap in the afternoons and I want a tall Italian man to ask me to out. Is this too much to ask?! I mean, I just kinda wanna be European.

Well as my almond-shaped eyes convey, I am Asian, I live in the U.S. of A and all I can do is try to eat like a European. And I have. A LOT.

Here are some of my favorite cheese/meat/accompaniments/bread platters around the DMV:

Red Red Wine Bar - During a trip to Annapolis I discovered the magic of a sharp cheddar with honey. The tang of the cheese with the sweetness of the honey was an unexpectedly amazeballs combo that blew my mind. I don't even remember what kind of cheese we got but one order came with all this yummy for only $7. Also, loved the reasonably priced wine flights and seriously swank decor.


Northside Social - I am OBSESSED with their coffee and enough trips will make you wonder about their upstairs wine bar in the evening. Almost as good as the coffee but a bit on the pricey side for little mouse-sized portions. However, the lomo (like a cured ham, super lean and not too salty) and the cheese selection were all REALLY good and the people there really know their stuff if you're not sure what to order.

Pinzimini - I didn't even know they had charcuterie, how embarrassing for a wannabe European! And even better, it was the kind of good that Americans are scared of. Fattier and that much more delicious. Their plate comes with coppa, guanciale, lomo and spicy olives.

Society Fair - First off, this place is like Candyland for foodies. Most things are made in-house, they offer cooking demos, have a little market for fantasizing in and they have a fab patio for your late European lunch/dinner/time for eating yummy things. By far and above the largest portions and best bang for the buck - "The Big Bad" - was more than enough for 3 people to share and very, very good.


You want this? Oui? Oui.

189B Main Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-990-1144
 
Northside Social
3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
703-465-0145
 
801 N. Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22203
703-537-4200
Society Fair
277 S Washington St
Alexandria, VA 22314 
703-683-3247

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Night I Was a Drunken Noodle

Sometimes you are what you eat. And sometimes, that means that a night that starts with you eating drunken noodles, ends with you walking like a drunken noodle to bed.

On one particular night, this sequence of events started at one of DC's newest Modern Asian additions, Zabb.

The new resto near Dupont is like cute and all but I knew it was fate when I saw the magical a-frame out front with the magic words - "$2 Singhas." Yes. Yes. Yes.

Not only did we drink about 100 each and make complete fools of ourselves, the staff was incredibly accomodating and the service was impeccable. And we were being LOUD.

After about 4 hours of noshing/drinking/singing songs from Saturday morning cartoons, we really ended up eating some delicious food.

I had the drunken noodles with tofu (so good I had to learn how to make them at home) and other highlights included the lobster ravioli and some super fun sushi rolls.

I wished I looked that good by the end of that night
I heard after dinner was fun too, just a little more... noodley.

Zabb Modern Asian
1836 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-299-0399

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Barcelona Via Boqueria

It's pretty gutsy for a brand spanking new restaurant to host a bunch of food bloggers for happy hour, let alone make them all happy. But the latest NYC import, Boqueria, just about nailed it on the head.

In Penang's old space on 18th and M in Midtown, Boqueria brings the kind of energy you would expect from a restaurant in the Big Apple but don't normally see in the office building-ridden area near Dupont. And dammit, after only being open less than two weeks, you can see why this place is already getting packed.

The restaurant is fun and lively, the drink menu makes you thirsty and the food is the perfect change of pace from other tapas restaurants in the D.C. area at an incredibly reasonable price. It's the kind of place you want to go, eat, drink and hang with a big group for hours.

This is definitely already a hit with the after-work crowd and the happy hour menu is exactly why. It features drinks and bites from $4-6, with highlights including the Alhambra Negra beer ($4), sangrias ($5), patatas bravas ($4), conjonudo (toast points topped with caramelized onions, fried quail egg) and toast point topped with a white anchovy, tomato and tapenade (BY FAR my favorite thing I had).

patatas bravas

Don't be scared of the 'chovy, y'all, SO GOOD!

Wittle baby quail eggs

Bacon wrapped dates - never fails

Blistered shisito peppers with coarse sea salt


Pork belly skewers, need I say more?

 Boqueria
1837 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202.558.9545

Monday, April 2, 2012

Me Gusta Stuffed Arepas

Ah, sketchy hotels. When I think of sketchy hotels visions of adultery, police stings and cheesy straight to television movies pop into my head. But now, that might change and I might start thinking about frickin delicious stuffed arepas instead.

Inside a super sketchy motel in Falls Church, there is a little ol' place called La Caraqueña. (Just in case you were wondering, ñ is made when you hit ALT+164. Thank you AP Spanish class)

You are probably also wondering what the esse an arepa is, non-Latino eating friends. I'll have you know it is a delicious, airy corncake, usually served as a side, and at La Caraqueña they're stuffing these bad boys with all kinds of yummy.

I had the JP's Favorite, and it came jam-packed with thinly sliced steak, sauteed onions, tomatoes and cilantro. Besides, making a huge mess, it was SO GOOD. Also got the fried yucca that came with homemade salsa and that was amazing too.

Fried yucca and plaintains
 
JP, whoever you are, you are a genius

I mean, the food is great and pretty cheap and all that but really there is one main reason I know I am coming back here.

Amidst the Spanish music playing that might as well be the same song over and over cause it all sounds the same, for someone's birthday they BLASTED 50 Cent's In Da Club while they brought out birthday dessert. That definitely deserves another arepa trip.

La Caraqueña
300 W. Broad Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
703-533-0076




Friday, March 9, 2012

My Bon Chon Problem

When I first heard someone mention Bon Chon chicken, I thought they were mocking how Asian people talk. Like "Bon Chon, ching chang chong."

Even though that's actually what it sounds like, that would still be effing rude, right?!

Ok, well you know I'm an idiot cause what Bon Chon really is, is THE BEST FRIED CHICKEN EVER POSSIBLE.

Yea, no, but really since I've had it I can't stop thinking about the crispy, crunchy, perfect skin, spicy sweet flavor and juicy meat - to the point where I think it might be affecting my social life. It's definitely a problem.


When ordering, things you should know about the Bon to the Chon:
  • It takes like 40 mins of kitchen magic, possibly dark Asian sorcery, to prepare. So, order early and be ready to wait.
  • They have two different flavors - soy and hot. Both are good. Hot is pretty hot but so flavorful it doesn't matter. I like ordering both and alternating.
  • The chicken is double-fried which makes the skin texture something you've never had before and will never forget. It might change your life.
  • It comes with pickled daikon and Asian-style coleslaw. You need this to survive the spice and it goes perfectly with the chicken.
  • There might be crack in the marinade. Be prepared for Bon Chon dreams and severe addiction.

Go. Now.

Bon Chon Chicken
Annandale
6653 Little River Tpke, #H
Annandale, VA 22003
703.750.1424

Centreville
14215-10 Centreville Square
Centreville, VA 20121
703.825.7711

Fairfax
3242 Old Pickett Road
Fairfax, VA 22031
703.865.5688

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Capital Grille Lunch

Eight hours is a long time to go without a good meal, especially when you, um, work for a living. So what's a girl to do but constantly seek out a fantabulous weekday lunch?

Unfortunately, fantabulous sometimes = longer than my hour lunch break so the quest can be difficult. WAH.

But wait, what's that you say, Cap Grille? You're gonna serve me three courses for $18 in an hour? We'll see about that.

You could definitely say that when I got invited to try out the new "Plates" menu options I was a little skeptical. Three courses? For $18? What is this like a tasting menu with wittle baby portions?

NAHHH. Not even.
OK, maybe not everyone is going to choose the Wagyu cheeseburger topped with a fried egg and crispy onions as their main course, but man, you really should. For a place known for their dry-aged steaks, it's pretty tough to turn down a red meat option. Also, NOM. Jeebus, make sure you don't have any afternoon meetings.

I mean, yea.
 Other noobs include a roasted red pepper soup (very rich and flavorful) and roasted root vegetables (oh hayy health), but I also tried the lobstah roll, clam chowder, green beans and truffle fries and they were pretty damn clutch.
Clam chowdah


Looks pretty plain, but this def packed a punch

You know I love my lobstah baby. Almosttt as good as in Boston.

Alright, so I guess you can say I'm a believer now. You can find me napping under my desk if you need me.


Capital Grille (locations nationwide, but this is the one near my office)
1861 International Drive
McLean, VA 22102
703-448-3900

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Finally! Graffiato

Life can sometimes be mysterious and make us question a lot of complex issues. What is the meaning of life? Am I on the right career path? What will my future entail? Why did I do those things in college, and why are there so many photos to document said actions?! (thanks a lot, Facebook timeline!)

Lately, two questions have been plaguing my troubled mind: why the EFF did it take me so long to try Graffiato, and why am I so lazy I haven't posted about it?! Sometimes, all we can do is ponder, but in this case my roommate just yelled at me to write and she's the boss so here I am.

Ah, Graffiato. More than a year ago, I was borderline peeing my pants in anticipation for your arrival to Penn Quarter and now I've finally had Mike Isabella's treats sans the Jose Andres umbrella.

Loved the restaurant space, the location and the slightly hipstery vibe. And the food? Everything was good. I mean, seriously, everything.

PEPPERONI SAUCE - get it now, I'm serious and it totally lives up to the hype. It's like 9 billion pepperoni slices were pureed to liquid pepperoni perfection. I would swim in this and nothing could be wrong with the world.

Porky's Revenge pizza - sopressata, pepperoni, sausage, tomato, stracciatella
Jersey Shore pizza - fried calamari, tomato, provolone, cherry pepper aioli
Glorious pork belly
Brussel sprouts with pancetta, maple and egg
Warm pistachio cake, dreamy
Pork belly was so good we ordered it twice. Jersey Shore pizza was spicy bomb-ness but Porky's Revenge was THE truth. Also, brussel sprouts. With egg? OK with me. Also, let's talk about this pistachio cake. Never had anything like it. It was light and heavenly and not too sweet, comes with honey mascarpone gelato and I want it as my birthday cake (HINT, HINT).

I'm pretty sure you could order anything here and leave with that stupid I-just ate so good-smile on your face. You get that too, right?

So when you're pondering life's complexities and it...makes you hungry... do yourself a favor and find something to dip in the pepperoni sauce. THAT might actually be what this whole life thing is all about anyway.

Graffiato
707 6th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
202-289-3600

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Little Bit o' Naw'lins in D.C.

I have a lot of friends that went to Virginia Tech and they are all crying and sad today after last night's loss in the Sugar Bowl. WAHHH. I don't usually watch NCAA sports but hey, that catch looked legit to me too.

I didn't even know where the Sugar Bowl was played, but as the true fat girl that I am, I found out it was in one of my favorite places to eat, New Orleans, and immediately thought happy thoughts of gumbo, crawfish etouffee and beignets.

I was lucky enough to visit N.O. way before Katrina and fell head over heels in lurve with the food. Tons of fresh seafood, spicy flavors and stuff that you can't eat all the time or you will die of congestive heart failure. PERFECT.

This cold weather has me desperately needing it lately, so here's where I've satisfied my latest Bayou region cravings:

Acadiana

This upscaley, fabulously decorated resto near the convention center is exactly what I needed after walking around this cold city at night. The sweet and creamy jalapeno pepper spread that comes with the complimentary biscuits is to die for, but try to save room for the heaping portions in the main courses.

I opted for a classic seafood gumbo and it did not disappoint. Spicy and chock full of crab, shrimp, oysters, redfish and crawfish, it was just what I needed.

The duck was also excellent - tender, flavorful and cooked perfectly.


Seafood gumbo


Pan-crisped roasted duck

This smaller restaurant near Adams Morgan was a little more like walking into someone's home for a holiday party. Nicely decorated but a lot more cozy with more of a neighboorhood establishment vibe. The fare here was fantastic as well and definitely hit the spot for my Naw'lins craving.

I went with the seafood gumbo here too and tasted some of the jambalaya. The portions here are huge too,  but it's realllllyy hard not to want to eat it all right then and there. However, the leftovers are money in the bank so feel free to doggy bag it home.

Unfortunately the desserts here still made me want some Cafe Du Monde, so I would skip those the next time out.



Seafood gumbo

Jambalaya

Beignets

Pecan pie
Acadiana
901 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
202.408.8848

The Cajun Experience
1825 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
202.670.4416