Java Green

We need to talk about Java Green. I have days where the only thing that gets me up and brushing my teeth is a promise to myself: You can have JG for lunch. The phone number is saved in my cell, and I often call from work to pick up lunch on my "way" to school (OK, it's three blocks out of the way--like I care).

I'm not a vegetarian, but I used to be. But I'm still recovering. That makes me susceptible to cravings for fake meat products (some of you may think this is super weird), like the orange chicken from JG. Although JG isn't vegan, they have everything available to make your meal vegan (like soy cheese instead of the real thing).

You know I'm not a fan of just a sandwich, or just a salad. I like a bunch of things all mixed together (or at least in the same container or on the same plate). That's why Java Green's RICE AND BEYOND is the best thing ever. First of all, rice is just one of many things, so it's a lot more BEYOND than rice.

1. Slaw-like cabbage/carrot
2. Green veg (kale, maybe?)
3. Purple rice
4. Jobche noodles - these clearish, happy noodles have a little bit of heat!
5. Surprise! Sometimes "meat" on a stick, sometimes a little potsticker
6. Topping. This is your protein, people. I'm a HUGE fan of the orange "chicken."

JG can be a little expensive, but they love the Earth (with their fancy recycled and recyclable containers and utensils) and this food will fill you up. I don't know about you guys, but I eat a turkey sandwich at Potbelly's (skinny wheat, turkey, lettuce, tomato, mustard = 4g of fat) and need a snack in a few short hours. And it's great that Potbelly sandwiches are cheap, but for $11 (or $9ish if it's a daily special) that Rice & Beyond will last me hours and hours. Depending on the size of my breakfast, I've stretched the old R&B to be lunch and dinner, followed by a late snack.

We'll see if my obsession continues into the spring. I know part of the cravings is the whole "hot bowl of steaming happiness in the freezing weather" thing. Yummmeeeee.

Java Green

1020 18th St NW
Metro: Orange and Blue Lines to Foggy Bottom or Farragut West; Red Line to Farragut North
Java Green on Urbanspoon


Poste Moderne Brasserie

I apologize in advance that I forgot my camera and only have phone photos for you. It is my submission that a not-perfect picture is better than no picture at all in most instances, so that's why I'm sharing.

I'd been eying Poste for a long time, and we finally made our appearance there before A Chorus Line. I didn't realize they had a pre-theater menu (it wasn't originally offered to us, despite our 6:00pm reservation), but when our server realized we were on our way to ordering a three-course meal she suggested that option. We never actually saw the pre-theater menu, but she told us what was on it. Both of our appetizer option were on it, but J ended up with not-his-first-choice (but still yummy) entree, and I gathered that all of the desserts were available. Let's do a hit list.

French onion soup: Yum. Hot. Cheesy.

Arugula salad: It says "mint, figs, basil, parmesan, aged sherry vinaigrette," but I saw and tasted a pile of arugula dressed with the sherry vinaigrette with approximately 5 pieces of fig underneath, topped with a single 3 inch shred of parmesan. Gathered on one side of the plate, the clump of arugula resembled a pile of leaves. It was fine, but it wasn't that good, and the presentation was underwhelming.

Beef bourguignon: J enjoyed the ribs and cheeks served in a little pot with soft roasted vegetables (including fingerling potatoes). The meat was so tender that we barely had to chew, which was relaxing.

Goat cheese ravioli: I looooved this, with its crispy shallots, organic beets, and pine nuts. The goat cheese was creamy and sweet, and the salty/sweet contrast in the dish was exactly what I love and what I was looking for. The portion was dainty, so I'm glad we were on a three-course track. Next time I'd like to try the poussin (baby chicken, essentially)--the words apple and cider appear in the description, so that's an obvious pick for me.

The gingerbread cake with roasted pears was the night's biggest disappointment. The cake was dry and generally not good; I honestly prefer J's homemade spice cake (and the man is no pastry chef) to what was on our plate. The pears were kind of dry, too. They could have used a little bath in something gooey, maybe.

The red velvet cake was GREAT! It was like having two chocolate brownie-like cakes, one covered in delicious raspberry sauce, and one naked. Our server recommended the tasting of salted caramel and the red velvet, but how was I to know that what she possibly meant was "these are the only good desserts"? I felt confident that those were just her favorites, and that I'd like most of the desserts on the list. Not true. Then again, at Central D was assured by our server that the Kit-Kat Bar is better than the chocolate lava whatnot, and that's probably not true.

Wine: I asked our knowledgeable server for a recommendation for a glass under the "Eclectic Reds" list and got a really really good Malbec. The list had a range of options, including very reasonably-priced bottles and half bottles.

The restaurant is in an old building, and somehow that translates into the closest bathroom being out the door, through the hotel lobby, and up one floor. Don't drink too much and limit your visit to one. Also, somewhat amusingly, the elevator has a typo--it lists floor 2 as the one with "Post Restaurant."

I'll definitely go back to Poste--not only for the main meals, but also for the delightful afterthoughts (like white chocolate-covered gooseberries).

Poste Moderne Brasserie

555 8th St NW
Metro: Red, Yellow, and Green Lines to Gallery Place-Chinatown

Poste on Urbanspoon


Foodie Visitors

Readers, I need your help. We have foodie friends coming to visit in April. We want to show them a good time, aka, we want to eat everything in the world. These foodies are like us: whether they're served an amuse bouche or passed some delicacy from a street cart, these guys appreciate good food. And I'm not sure when these friends were last in the District. They may not be familiar with certain D.C. fair (I'm talking about chili dogs, people).

We need to be prepared for a Friday night or Saturday arrival, and both good and bad weather. As much as I'd like to feel confident enough to say "brunch then walking around Eastern Market," I know that bad weather would make that sad. Yeesh, even August heat makes that itinerary depressing. My poor sister almost melted a couple year's ago because I insisted that we LOOK AT ALL THE PURTY CRAFTS.

Where would you take your food-loving friends to eat? What do you think of my ideas?

Here are some of my ideas:

Ray's Hell-Burger
Ben's Chili Bowl
Farrah Olivia
Cafe Atlantico dim sum brunch
Matchbox (Capitol Hill) brunch (so long as we can also have burgers)
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (for the movie/schtick of it, not the food)
Dairy Godmother
Boccato Gelato


Velocity Five Sports Restaurant & Bar - Court House OPEN

Just a little announcement: I walked by Velocity Five last night (it replaced King Street Blues) and it was OPEN. Over the weekend the sign said "coming soon" and a nice flat-screen TV was playing sports to the sidewalk from above the door.

Good for them on the quick turnaround. If I was working on opening a sports bar during March Madness, I'd have a similar fire under my tush to get started.

Just trust me that it's open--the web site doesn't yet have any news/pages about the new location. And if it's true that appetizers are half-priced between 5-7, then consider me psyched.

Velocity Five Sports Restaurant & Bar
2300 Clarendon Boulevard
Metro: Orange Line to Court House


Postcard from Paris

La Mere de Famille: This chocolate shop is a delight. The caramels (both fruit flavors and decadent morsels like salted dark chocolate) are divine. You'll probably get a taste of a chocolate cookie at the cashier, too. I can't imagine a better place to buy me a gift on your next trip :)
Several locations. See the web site for the most convenient one for you.

Arnaud Delmontel: Macarons, macarons, macarons. B got one of each flavor, and I think my favorite was the yellow with red spots. We *think* that the filling might have been fig. Although B didn't love the taste of the green (pistachio), she most enjoyed the texture of the filling. Apparently it was fluffiest. I'm going to start tasting the ones I find in the US and see if anything compares. There's this place, Michel Patisserie, but although you can order some macarons for "pick-up," they don't give an address. I can call and find out the address or just give up, thinking "Why would I buy something online for 'pick-up' from a place that doesn't bother giving me the pick-up address?" Am I being too harsh? Another option is Bethesda--see DC Gastronome here. That'll be for a Sunday morning hike, but I've GOT to do it.
Several locations, but I've only frequented the one at 39 rue des Martyrs. It's the perfect stop on your way to or from Sacre Coeur.

Random sandwich place in the Jardin des Tuileries: Is it a sunny day? Are you in Paris? Grab a crepe or sandwich (and some mulled wine if it's on the cool side) and pop a squat on a nearby bench or at a table.

Aux Meilleures Crêpes de Paris: We just call it "World's Best Crepes," because if they are the best crepes in Paris, and we assume that Paris has the best crepes in the world...you get the reasoning. Whether you get sweet (banana and nutella? Strawberries and cream, anyone?) or savory (four cheese; mushroom, tomato), this place has the hugest crepes around. The employees make those crepes really work for their keep, stuffing them with your desired fillings and wrapping them around before handing you what looks like an enormous prized bouquet. Be careful: snack on one of these too late, and you'll have to forgo dinner. And steer clear late at night when the window is frequented by loud, possibly-drunk teens.
2 rue du Faubourg-Montmartre Link to map.


Le Pain Quotidien - Clarendon Opened Monday 3/9

LPQ Clarendon opened on Monday after teasing local residents all weekend by appearing open with an informative sign on the door that said "Training in Progress." J and I shamelessly peered in the windows at the tables; Georgetown is far, okay?!

I intend to try the pastries. The more guests I have, the more pastries I get to buy/try.

Besides the news of its opening, the only LPQ Clarendon info I have is that I ran by it this morning and it smelled divine. But maybe it's like Disney, and they spray the scent of fresh-baked-goods along the walkway.

And yes, although B was surprised, LPQ is indeed Belgian.

Le Pain Quotidien
2900 Clarendon Blvd
Metro: Orange Line to Clarendon



We recently re-visited Central with our sophisticated NY guest. We've only had good experiences there, and this dinner was no exception.

What DIDN'T we eat? We had fried chicken, fish and chips, lamb, a side of mac and cheese, and who knows what else. Everything was delish (at least everything I tasted). The mac and cheese is SO good but very rich, so please share--maybe with several people.

For dessert we got a handful of things. We'd had the Kit-Kat before, and it's okay, but I think other desserts shine brighter. If you're really jonesing for chocolate, the Kit-Kat might not do it for you. Moving on to more delicious things: THE BANANA SPLIT. Ridiculous. The portion is huge (please share, once again) and the ice creams are so rich. The chocolate isn't some watered-down Breyers situation, it's deeeeep and quite wealthy in chocolatey flavor, and covered by a semi-hardened fudgey shell. You need to have it to believe it. Stop denying yourself the power of the chocolate.

Excellent service, excellent food, a touch of fanciness, and all without [completely] breaking the bank. You really can't go wrong.

Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Metro: Blue or Orange Line to Federal Triangle or Metro Center
Central Michel Richard on Urbanspoon


Belga Cafe

Belga Cafe is a totally cute place in Eastern Market. When J (the girl part of J&J) said that she goes there all the time and we would love it, we did the usual: took her words very seriously, and made an almost-immediate reservation (at least for the next weekend Sunday we had free).

I'm surprised Belga takes reservations; it seems like the sort of place where you're just waiting on line for a bit (but liking it). Like Good Enough To Eat (my experience here).

We obviously had a side of fries. They were definitely better than run-of-the-mill fries, but not as good as Beck's.

J had the waffle, which was a solid choice. Very waffle-y.

And I had the green eggs! Eggs scrambled with fresh herbs on an English muffin with some tasty cheese on top. Someone at the table next to ours had it, and in true child-like fashion, I was all "I want that! It's green! I want it! Gotsta have it!" It was flavorful and filling and pretty. The ol' two Fs and a P.

Our service was a little spotty. I think they tried to give us J's side of eggs before our drinks (and the rest of our food), then fries, and then the waffles and green eggs. Oops!

So you need a touch of patience :)

Also, we were there on that freak 60-degree day, and walking down 8th street after brunch was perfect for getting rid of that super-stuffed feeling AND buying something cute at homebody. Then, of course, head to the market.

Belga Cafe
514 8th St SE
Metro: Orange/Blue Lines to Eastern Market
Belga Café on Urbanspoon



Zola has bathrooms hiding behind a swinging piece of "wall." Shadows of PIs in fedoras and identical rooms that make you double-check whether or not you're actually looking into a mirror are the norm here.

Yup. It's next to the Spy Museum.

B and I agonized over where we'd do Restaurant Week lunch--she's a veg, so we wanted to make sure the vegetarian options would actually be worth the $20.09 lunch, and she didn't feel like having fish necessarily (like at Hook). We wanted a place that would be new to both of us, and exciting enough for our sophisticated guest from the Big Apple, L.

Zola offered their entire menu for RW. NICE.

First L and I had the soup of the day: roasted eggplant, tomato, and basil. I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I got was silky smooth and just a touch smoky. Really delish, and not too rich/creamy (a common offense with some tom/bas soup).

B noshed on the Butter Lettuce Salad, which was topped with gouda, almonds, oranges, and a flat, chip-like crouton.

For lunch, I enjoyed the grilled romaine salad with roasted chicken. It was good, but not out-of-this-world. To be honest, I went with a salad entree to ensure some room in the belly for dessert. Still, not the best grilled romaine I've ever had. B had the lobster mac and cheese, which I gather was delicious but veeery rich. And L had this unbelievably moist and flavorful lamb burger. It was so juicy and so well-seasoned, it was aaaamazing. L was also a huge fan of the tzatziki-esque sauce on the side.

Dessert was lovely. Pumpkin pecan roll (with brown sugar sour cream ice cream), key lime cheesecake (with tequila anglaise), and warm apple-quince pie (with gingersnap ice cream. My favorite was the pumpkin pecan roll.

My overall impressions: good service, restaurant is bigger than I thought, not too loud, full of ladies lunching, food was overall delicious--some things more than others, but still a very strong showing.

800 F St NW
Metro: Green, Yellow or Red Lines to Chinatown/Gallery Place. Or take a short walk from Archives/Navy Memorial or Metro Center.
Zola on Urbanspoon