Saturday, September 26, 2009

How to give yourself a heart attack in 10 minutes

Shortly before my departure for Ghana and the day after Aaron left DC for Pakistan, Shanon and Greg took me on a long bike ride to Alexandria for lunch to cheer me up. Once we made it Alexandria, we dragged our sore butts up King Street looking for a place to eat. We settled on Eamonn's Dublin Chipper because we all agreed that we were in the mood for burgers and fries. The ambiance in the restaurant was great and the owner was extremely welcoming. They sold Strongbow cider which basically gave them four stars in my eyes right then and there. I completely forgot about that 5 mile bike ride back to DC and proceeded to have two Strongbows (which I would regret later).

Everything seemed quite promising until Shanon prepared to order to burger. She (unlike me) actually read the menu fully and I overheard her asking if she could have her burger grilled. It was then that I realized everything on the menu had the words "battered" next to it. My favorite line of the day and perhaps the week was the kind server's reaction: "everything is fried...that is what WE do here." And, the man spoke the truth. Our burgers were delivered to us deep fried in batter and bun-less. Greg made the wise decision to order a fish sandwich which was quite tasty. The fries were delicious and the Strongbow was extremely tasty (as mentioned above). I really could not get over the burger though. Shanon and I both ended up scraping the batter off and just eating the burger but we left to climb back on our bikes, it felt like we had a brick in our stomachs. I would certainly go back to Eamon's but I think I would take the Metro and stick with the fish sandwiches next time.

Eamonn's Dublin Chipper
728 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Back Again!
















I have not updated the blog in almost four months now which is pretty sad considering how much eating I have been doing. I was away for the summer in Ghana and then vacation in India with friends. The Internet connection did not lend itself well to updates and now I feel too overwhelmed to update much. So, I am taking the lazy way out and presenting you with a montage of my eating adventures over the summer. In sum: Ghana not so great in the food department except for the Jollof Rice; India made me gain 10 lbs.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Success!

During my recent trip home, I made my sister and Dean take at least a dozen photos of me with Lewis on the chance that they would have to post something on their blog: http://lew-bear.blogspot.com/.

I am happy to report that I achieved my goal and was featured on the illustrious blog last week:
http://lew-bear.blogspot.com/2009/05/sarahs-visit.html

I can die happy now :)

The Marx Cafe

I have been MIA from the blog for the past couple weeks, but it was entirely beyond my control. Aaron and I have both been preparing for a summer away for work and keeping hours that are not exactly conducive to hobbies.

At any rate a few weeks ago, Janette joined us for beers and a game of dominoes on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We chose the Marx Cafe because it is one of the few places near us that catches the good afternoon sun. Janette sat down in the sunniest spot possible and curled up like cat in heaven. Janette and Aaron enjoyed the Sunday special on Pabst Blue Ribbon and I splurged a little on Peroni. I lugged my 10 lbs domino set with me and we ended up playing a domino tournament which Aaron won as usual.

I have yet to have any food at the Marx Cafe but it was a great Sunday afternoon spot for having a couple beers and hanging out with friends. During nice weather they open the front windows allowing for fresh breezes and excellent people watching. Rumor also has it that they will be opening a roof deck soon. I would highly recommend Marx Cafe for those with time to kill on the weekend. And don't forgot the dominoes.

The Marx Cafe
3203 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-518-7600
http://www.marxcafemtp.com/

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Hotel Congress

Mom and I made a little trip down to Tucson to take Jill home and visit Dean and Lewis of the famed Lew-Bear blog (http://lew-bear.blogspot.com/). After a long walk around their neighborhood in Barrio Viejo we decided to take Lewis with us to dinner and headed toward the Cup Cafe at the Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson.

The Hotel Congress gained fame as the site of the Dillinger Gang's arrest in 1934 after the hotel caught fire. Now a days, the Hotel Congress is still an operating hotel with a great bar and restaurant, the Cup Cafe. Mom and I snuck upstairs and wandered around a little bit while we waited for a table. After a couple drinks on the bar's patio, we moved over to the restaurant and enjoyed a really great meal. Jill and Dean have been to the Cup Cafe many times before and seemed to know exactly what they were going to have. It was the Sonoran Crab Cakes (pan-seared blue crab cakes with anaheim, red and jalapeno peppers, bread crumbs and sonoran spices) for Jill and the Rib Eye Au Poivre (pan-seared, thick cut rib eye crusted with black peppercorns served over garlic mash potatoes and seasonal veggies) for Dean.

Mom and I took a little longer to select our dishes but it ended up being Tournedos of Beef for me and the linguine for Mom. The Lindsey Linguine was tossed with fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese and Mom found it to be a great, light meal for a late spring evening in Arizona. My dish was a little heavier and consisted for grilled medallions of beef, braised red cabbage, whole roasted rosemary potatoes and a Gorgonzola cream sauce. I'm not a huge fan of cabbage, so a great deal of that was left on my plate, but the rest of the meal was fabulous.

The meal was great and I would highly recommend the Hotel Congress and the Cup Cafe to anyone who finds themselves in Tucson. The special treat for us was Lewis and Dean's dog show at the end of the night which can only be described as priceless.

The Hotel Congress
311 East Congress Street
Tucson, AZ 85701
520-622-8848
http://www.hotelcongress.com/

video

Take your daughter to lunch day...

The last time I was home, my dad introduced me to Humble Pie Pizza. I absolutely fell in love with their wood-smoked prosciutto pizza. From the minute I landed in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, I started talking about Humble Pie. It was not until my last day in town, however, that Dad and I found the time for an early lunch at my favorite pizza place. I should not really call Humble Pie my favorite pizza place because I have only been there twice and only tried one of their pizzas. However, the wood-smoked prosciutto pizza with mozzarella and a sunny-side up egg, is the thing of dreams. The egg is really what does it. That and the fact that they cook the prosciutto to the point that it is practically bacon.

Dad branched out and tried the BLT Pizza which was on special. This proved to be a bit of a mistake. The pizza was basically a prosciutto pizza with a large salad on top of it. Normally, I would think that sounded pretty interesting, but in this case it was basically romaine lettuce covered in a dressing of mayonnaise. This was not appetizing.

So Dad and I order another round of beers and he focused on the pizza under the coleslaw. Humble Pie has Four Peaks Kilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale which is my favorite beer on draft, so that would make up for almost any shortcoming. We did not fit a visit to the Four Peaks Brewery onto the schedule this time around, but if you are ever in AZ, Four Peaks should definitely be a stop on your agenda (http://www.fourpeaks.com/).

The morale of the story is that Humble Pie is still one of my favorite places in AZ, but I would stay away from the pizzas that involve mayonnaise. Unless, of course, you really really like mayonnaise.

Humble Pie Pizza
6149 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
480-556-9900
http://www.humblepieusa.com/

Off to AZ...


I had the pleasure of going home to Arizona this past week, so the next few posts will be of a slightly different nature. Dad sold a house a few days before I arrived, so he kindly requested that my mom take Jill and I out for a little shopping and lunching. It has been quite awhile since I searched through the sale racks at Anthropologie with my mom and sister, so I was pretty excited. After about three hours, however, I was also pretty hungry and exhausted. The three of us wandered over to the Zinc Bistro in Scottsdale's Kierland Commons. Mom and I had eaten there once before and had vague memories of it being tasty. Plus, it had outdoor seating and on such a nice day it seemed like a crime to sit indoors.

I instantly felt at home in the establishment, because the prices were basically the same as Washington, DC. A disappointing discovery in Arizona. Mimosas were $12 and the burgers were $11 without a side of fries. After I had taken a few minutes to recover from the shock of the prices, I went with a Stella Artois rather than the mimosa and ordered the Basiled Chicken and Brie Sandwich ($10) for my meal. Jill went with the Grilled Curry Chicken Sandwich ($10) with shaved almonds and raisins. I strongly considered the curry sandwich myself, but bad childhood memories involving curry and raisins changed my mind at the last minute. Mom went with the $11 Bacon Blue Cheese Burger. As a table we caved and ordered the House Fries with marjoram and paprika.

Overall, the lunch was great (but that was mostly as a result of the company). The Basiled Chicken Brie Sandwich was tasty but a little too rich for my tastes. I could barely get through half and the family had to help me out with the rest. I tasted Jill's curry chicken sandwich and realized that I was right about the evil raisins. Mom's burger was the winner in my opinion and I got over the fact that we had to pay $5 for fries.

Zinc Bistro is a great place if you have some extra cash to burn, the weather is nice and you like watching all the fabulous Scottsdale women lunching on a Saturday afternoon. Otherwise, you could probably find more affordable and perhaps more interesting food somewhere else.

Zinc Bistro
15034 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
480-603-0922
http://www.zincbistroaz.com/index.html