My first meal of the summer season dining al fresco was perfect. The weather, the food, and my dinner mates made it great. Restaurant 3, owned by the Whitlow’s folks, has a nice patio section on Clarendon Blvd. where people-watching is prime. The first thing I spotted on the menu was ‘mac & cheese’ and it was hard to pass up. Turns out, I’m glad I went with my cheesy instincts. 3 doesn’t use traditional elbow noodles or just one kind of cheese. Linguine is the noodle of choice and it was a nice surprise. The dish is very rich and the bowl is deceptively deep, so eating the whole thing would probably bring on a stomach ache for most, but I powered through. I’d definitely order it again after I try a few other menu items that have been calling my name. Next time I’ll get Dickey’s Fried Chicken & Waffles. Hopefully, it will live up to the hype!
3 Bar & Grill
2950 Clarendon Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
To my delight I saw the Metro Halal Food Cart parked in front of the Arlington Courthouse Metro station today during lunch. I’ve never had a chance to try it because it’s usually parked in the Rosslyn area. I always wanted to compare their chicken and rice to the famous 53rd & 6th cart in NYC. I’m happy to report they are very similar in taste and presentation. Bonus points for the man in the cart for being super nice! Hope the cart parks in Courthouse more often. For $5.99 (chicken & rice) and $4.99 (chicken pita) it’s a great lunch option for people working in the Arlington area.
Chicken & Rice
Found my new favorite beer. PranQster is a Belgian-style golden ale made with a mixed culture of antique yeast strains that produce a floral nose, a full fruity flavor and a clean finish. If you like Blue Moon you’re bound to enjoy this brew too (BM is a Belgian-style wheat ale).
Besides the taste, the best part about PranQster is that it’s traditionally served in a goblet rather than your usual pint glass. Classy.
You can find PranQster at Marvin – a bistro/bar that serves “home cooked classics from Belgium to the American South”. I can’t speak to the food at this establishment, but their selection of Belgian beer is extensive. The decor and overall feel of the place is really fun too. It feels like you’ve stepped back in time a few decades – in a good way :)
2007 14th Street, NW
My first trip to the Reston Town Center landed me at The Counter for dinner. From the website it looks like they are a California chain expanding to other states. I’ve never heard of it, but was really excited to build a custom burger once I took a look at their menu. There are all kinds of toppings to choose from. Some are expected like lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, but there are some really interesting options like black bean and corn salsa, spicy sour cream, and fried eggs to name a few. The one I put together (pictured below) was a 1/3 lb beef burger on a honey wheat bun, with spicy sour cream, sauteed mushrooms, scallions, gruyere cheese, jalapenos, lettuce, and tomato. It was REALLY good. Cooked medium – pink with a warm red center.
The burger was juicy and the toppings were fresh. If I didn’t gobble a complementary slider while we were waiting on a table, I might have been able to eat more than half. I was probably also stuffed by all the sweet potato fries and onion strings we ordered. I’d definitely recommend either of those over regular fries. If it were at all possible, I would have tried a milkshake, but I definitely didn’t leave enough room. Maybe next time!
The Counter Reston
11922 Democracy Drive
Reston VA 20190
I had mini cupcakes from a small storefront in SoHo called Baked by Melissa last time we were visiting NYC. The cupcake craze is everywhere, but this concept was a little different so I thought I’d get in the massive line and try some. I can’t say they tasted that great though. The stuff my friend Krissy bakes is WAY better. Anyhoo, Melissa is making a killing – charging about $1 each for cupcakes the size of a quarter!
Baked By Melissa
New York, NY 10012
The most delicious coffee in the world is Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Something about the cream makes it addictive. So good. And good on your wallet.
Well, my favorite coffee place is letting US decide what the next Dunkin’ Donut will be! How cool is that? They’ve widled it down to 12 finalists and voters can cheer on their favorite creation once a day till May 27, 2009. I’m feeling the “Mexican Hot Chocolate.” VOTE!
I tried takoyaki for the first time while in NYC’s Japantown earlier this year. They were the perfect street food and I hope I’ll have the chance to try them in Japan sometime. Gloria loves takoyaki and they were just as good as she said they’d be.
Takoyaki: chopped octopus in hot savory wheat-flour balls
At Otafuku, a 6 piece order of octopus takoyaki is $5. Otafuku only has 3 items on their menu. Takoyaki, yakisoba, and okonomiyaki. There aren’t even tables in the place. You either stand inside at the “bar”, but only if there aren’t any other patrons inside or sit on the small bench in front of the restaurant to enjoy some yummy Japanese treats.
Lucky eaters of said takoyaki
236 East 9th Street
Between 2nd & 3rd Ave.
New York, NY
Crabcakes – one broiled & one fried with a side of sour cream cucumbers and steamed veggies
The BF took me and Wonton to Baltimore a few weeks ago. The original plan was to go to the aquarium, but by the time we were done eating our crabcakes at Obrycki’s, tickets were sold out! Not to worry, I spent the day kicking BF’s butt in arcade hoops at ESPN Zone and sipping coffee on the balcony at the waterfront Barnes & Noble. It was a fun date. We took Wonton on a long walk and he enjoyed all the attention he was getting everywhere we went.
We decided on Obrycki’s for lunch because we heard they’re known for their authentic Maryland crabcakes. We thought they were ok. Kinda small and for $30 you get 2 crabcakes and 2 sides. I was a little turned off because I chomped down on a couple of those pesky shells that separate the meat. We also ordered the fried clambits and oysters for appetizers. The best part of the meal were the oysters for me. They were very fresh and jumbo sized. BF ordered a Obrycki’s house beer too. Pretty tasty.
1727 E. Pratt St
When I go out to eat, I tend to gravitate towards the seafood section of the menu if they have one. Scallops are my favorite and shrimp is my little brother’s. Our grandma – Popo – always mixes it up and heaps a huge pile of scallops on my brother’s plate if we’re having them. I miss that lady, can’t wait to see her.
Jetty’s in West Palm Beach, FL is an awesome seafood restaurant right on the water. Our friend took us there while we were visiting and the seafood was super fresh. The view of the lighthouse at night was pretty spectacular. We dined under outdoor heaters in February and it was very comfortable and romantical. Thanks E!
My friend Eric took us for Cuban food at Havana in West Palm Beach. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Finishing off the meal with a cuban coffee was a great idea too. If you’re ever in WPB check this place out – there’s a 24 hr take-out window as well as indoor dining. Our waiter was friendly and the decor makes you feel like you took a trip down to Cuba. Very good food and affordable too. Average entree between $6-$11.
6803 S Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach, FL 33405