Taking the Bar. Hope I pass.

FYI, I'm on bar hiatus. It's day 3--wish me belated luck (this was scheduled in advance). I'll be back in August. Miss ya.


Bayou Bakery NOT Coming to Clarendon

News from Metrocurean via Twitter (@metrocurean via the PR rep) says Bayou Bakery isn't opening in the old Murky spot, as we originally thought/hoped. The p'ship between the Lib Tav Folks and the Bayou folks dissolved. We know how that goes--under NY law, p'ships automatically terminate at the death or resignation of any partner, absent contrary agreement.


Anyway, Bayou Bakery is still going to open...somewhere else. And the Lib Tav crew will set something else (I have no clue what) in the Murky spot.

Sidenote, we had a really yum dinner at Restaurant 3 (or I guess 3 Bar & Grill?) last night--they lowered their prices a little, took the stick out of their patootie, and now they rock.

Not Sure What
3211 Wilson Blvd
Metro: Orange Line to Clarendon


Mr. Hibachi Out, Chez Manelle In

Not sure what awaits me here, but I guess I'll find out when I get back. Crepes? Croque monsieurs? Maybe comedy club/tiki bar/bad fake European-inspired food? (Re comedy club, see here).

Goodbye Mr. Hibachi, hello Chez Manelle. Hope you are worth saying hello to.

No news yet (from me at least) who is going into the Marriott space at Adams & Clarendon.

Chez Manelle, coming soon to
2313 Wilson Blvd
Metro: Orange Line to Courthouse


Happy Belated Birthday To Me

Or rather, to this blog. Only 2 years ago, several intern colleagues berated me with their food questions, usually involving nearby cheap places to have a date. We were rising 2Ls. Now we're all sweating it out with the bar less just 2 weeks away.


In other news, Boccato Gelato is driving me crazy in good and bad ways.

GOOD: Dark chocolate sorbet is ridiculously amazing and apparently fat free (put this in the HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE category along with Greek yogurt and devil's food chocolate pudding). And my new favorite gelato flavor is the Minty Chocolate Oreo or something along those lines (maybe Chocolate Oreo Mint? Chocolate Mint Oreo?). SO GOOD.

BAD: J decided (and I agree) that Boccato should have at least 2 people scooping and 1 person ringing up nightly from July 4 (that's conservative--probably should be Memorial Day) until Labor Day. On recent weekday evenings we've endured long lines stretching out the door (not tough, it's a small place). I don't mind a line, except for when it takes FOREVER. At DG we move swiftly; after all, we're not at either place for the ambiance. At Boccato, we do not. Recently, part of the problem is the people who order an affogato (espresso with a scoop of gelato in it) or a coffee. Of course, the real problem is understaffing--not the people.

I admit, I don't have much patience for anything anymore. But if I pay $3+ for a cone of gelato, I'd rather it not melt before my eyes while I stand in the adorably cozy (read: small and hot) establishment.

A melted cone never did one much good (except in that great Princess Diaries scene where Anne Hathaway "cones" Mandy Moore).

But we're not going to stop going; the place it a few blocks away and eating there is synonymous with "Let's take a walk!" So this is just a whine. ::whine::

Boccato Gelato [delicious, if you don't get cranky from a wait and can endure the possibility of meltage]
2719 Wilson Blvd
Metro: Orange Line to Court House or Clarendon


Podcasts, Ya'll

I still listen to podcasts, mostly because nothing, not even this, can keep me from running while listening to podcasts.

Brad Kessler bounced from NYC, bought an abandoned farm in NYC, and started making awesome goat cheese. MMMMMMM. CHEEEEEESE. Listen to the podcast. Don't you love that Leonard Lopate???


Postcard from NYC

[Yep, Shellyn wasn't a huge fan of my camera-usage in or near eateries, so here is a Google map street-view original, complete with blurry dude.]

My friend Shel lives on what she (and others?) call Curry Row. Raj Mahal, Calcutta, Taj Mahal, Spice Cave, etc—the line of Indian restaurants and the proprietors standing outside to convince to come in remind me of the narrow alleys in Brussels. Menus look the same and you can’t tell from the outside if one is better than another.

We chose Raj Mahal because of the friendly guys standing on the street, and I think our pick was top notch. She’s vegetarian, and because I <3 vegetarian food, we shared two entrees and some garlic naan. I love the beghum bartha (I see it sometimes as beigan bartha or some other spelling incarnation at other restaurants); it’s eggplant based, and at Raj Mahal it was so nice—a little sweet, and very light. I’ve had it spicy, I’ve had it a little salty, but this was my favorite version. We also got a spinach and chickpea dish, chana saag. I thought about pallak paneer (spinach with cubes of cheese), but it can be sort of creamy and heavy, and we were planning our dessert from the start. Plan ahead and ye shall watch what you eat. I loved both dishes and would go back and get the exact same ones. The garlic naan was ok—not the best naan I’ve ever had, but it was fine. We drank water, got two vegetarian dishes, one order of naan, and there were some fun sauces on the table (albeit mostly too spicy for me). Shel got herself a side of hot sauce so she could free herself from the constraints of my mild-loving tastebuds. We didn’t even clean the serving dishes clean (we had a bit leftover), we each got a complimentary scoop of mango sorbet at the finale, and we did it all for $23. In New York City. ::pats self on the back:: Raj Mahal
E. 6th St (Between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

We had room for dessert after taking a stroll to 16 Handles.

AND THEN we went to 16 Handles. Yes, another yogurt place. I know, enough with the yogurt already, but this place is different, I swear. 16 Handles is for people who want to get what they want in the amount that they want with whatever they want on top of it. There are 16 flavors (obviously) of non-fat fro-yo and you pay by the weight. Get as little or as much as you want. Toppings are decadent (cookie dough pieces, tiny brownie pieces), funky (mochi), and fruity (blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, mandarin oranges, etc).

With so many flavors to choose from, I decided to forego all the fruit ones and also the original plain tangy. I had pistachio, mint, chocolate, peanut butter, coffee, and I think cookies & cream. I topped it with almonds and blueberries. I thought about coconut, but decided to save that for a day when I would make a “normal” cup. Maybe I’d go back one day and have peanut butter yogurt with nuts and coconut. But not this day. On this day it was totally necessary for me to have a zillion flavors.

I thought it was going to be unbelievably expensive, but trying all those flavors and having a fairly sizable portion didn't cost me anymore than cobbler & custard at DG.

As all the young folks gathered and hung out on the street with their crazy yogurts, the Tasti D-lite across the street looked so sad and empty. For now, anyway.

16 Handles
E. 10th St & 2nd Ave


It's true! We ate all that stuff at Elements Asia!

See my friend's blog, eNJoy: what tastes great in the Garden State for her review of Elements Asia!

I wholeheartedly join her opinion! Also, my in-laws, who are quite learned foodies, also love EA--but I swear we "found" it on our own. Through F&M. Our visitors. You remember them. My sentences are short.



Italian Store

What can I say that hasn't been said?

At the Italian Store in Arlington you can get every shape of pasta you ever dreamed of. Like stellini--"little stars." Also, any kind of European cookie, cracker, wafer, candy, etc, that you want is there. AND there are homemade pastas, raviolis, and other treats hanging out in the fridge area. Seriously, you could only eat from this place for the rest of your life and be fine.

We were always beleivers in Italian Store pizza. Call me a snob, but I won't touch anything made here, here, or here. If you were raised anywhere in the NY Metro area then you wouldn't either, at least not with your head held high. But Italian Store's pizza (which is offered both by the pie and by the slice) is the best real pizza in the area, in my opinion. I enjoy Faccia Luna, but that's fancy-pants pizza.

Lately we evolved into the sandwiches--they rock for a picnic or just a casual weekend lunch. A "small" hard roll is enough for any adult's lunch. My favorite is smoked turkey/lettuce/tomato/mustard. I like their "special dressing" or plain ol' oil & vinegar, but find that unless I'm eating right away on the--er--patio, the liquid saturates my roll in a semi-sad way. No one wants a soggy sandwich. [For ex., if you are going to say...Chrysalis, then maybe get it dry for safe keeping. It's not a terribly long ride, but ya know.]

You can get any regular deli meat you like (J likes the roast beef/turkey combo) OR get a super fun Italian sandwich with capacola, genoa, prosciutto, pepperoni, etc. There are always a few of the favorites pre-made because they know their customers. I recently picked up a Napoli for a friend. The description reads as follows: "Pepperoni makes this our spiciest creation, with lean capacola ham, and buttery soft mozzarella cheese." Spicy!

Oh yeah, and then there are these cookies. Do you like black & white cookies? Then go right now and buy yourself some Berger's. Oh wait, maybe not yourself. Warning: we finished these by ourselves in barely a day and a half. Find a few friends before purchasing them. Apparently if you are from Baltimore they need no explanation.

The Italian Store
3123 Lee Highway
Driving or hitting the bus is best, but...
METRO: Orange Line to Clarendon--it's almost a mile walk. Doable and worth it.
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