First, SORRY to all the Google Reader subscribers who saw a Franklin's post the other day and got super excited, only to see it blank--I published by accident and even though I deleted it, I cannot control the feed.  AHHHH I AM OUT OF CONTROL. Please accept this apology, and this internet hug as token of my affection ::hug::


I drove past Franklin's in downtown Hyattsville literally hundreds of times before having lunch there recently.  And now I can't wait to go back!  Preferably after work-hours though, because by the way, this place is also a brewery, and the brewer, Mike Roy, started last month--he's blogging here.  On this particular lunch day I went for Franklin's root beer--not particularly fizzy, but a nice change from the old brand and name.  If it's local, I want to try it.

First E had a cup of chili.  I tasted it, and it was just delicious.  Really flavorful, not spicy, and filled with veggies and beans. 

Next came the sliderfest--I had a seasonal special: Chinese Barbecued Duck Sandwiches.  Three little sandwiches (on the most delightful cornmeal crusted buns) with shredded duck drenched in hoisin barbecue sauce. I LOVED that this wasn't one big ducky sandwich, because something shredded and saucy would have turned the bread into a soggy mess.  And there were THREE, so I could trade one with E for one of hers.   My shoestring-type fries were pretty good, but they weren't super hot.  I could see how piping hot they would be awesome, though.

E got the Nickel Curves--3 housemade merguez burgers, or lamb sliders, topped with tzatziki.  Super yummy lamby flavor, and a major texture shock after eating my sandwiches.  I was transported to a place quite Mediterranean, and if I made a giant bowl of Israeli salad I'd love to serve these little gems at my house. 

This place gets a big lunch crowd, but there's plenty of space.  Check out that upstairs!  With the TVs and everything!  And by the way, there's a "general store" connected to it--knick knacks, toys, tchotchkes, and also wine & beer.  And I spied this across the street, knitty friends.

Options in this area are slim, but if you work in the area or it's in between a friend's place and yours, definitely go to Franklin's.  There are at least half a dozen things on the menu I'd like to try next time--I should bring some friends. 

5121 Baltimore Ave
Hyattsville, MD
Metro: Red line to Rhode Island Ave or Green Line to College Park, then a Metrobus that gets you to Franklin's on Route 1.  There's gotta be a few.  Or drive!  Parking in the lot next door is 25 cents per hour--major bargain compared to the meters in Arlington.

Franklin's on Urbanspoon


Fridays are Fahbulous, and So Are Sesame Street Cupcakes

So the people have spoken (the people = YOU), and 16/26 (about 62%) of you say you'd go into Crumbs (one of the 9274 locations coming soon) and eat Georgetown Cupcakes to their faces.   Interesting!  Just don't start with anyone, readers.  Fighting is unladylike (and also, ungentlemanlike).  And now the week's (most important) news:

Speaking of cupcakes, heeeeey these cupcakes look like Sesame Street characters!  Via EBG.

A few weeks ago I read this article in the Times about growlers, and then on Saturday I saw one!  Thanks Shel for having friends hipster-ish enough (as opposed to old-school beerlovers, the other sect that seems to have 'em) to have a growler.  I love when I learn about something (I didn't know what a growler was prior to reading the article) and then encounter it shortly after--knowledge is power.

Announced this week on Twitter by Dairy G itself (herself?), Dairy Godmother will be featured on Tastiest Places to Chowdown: Presidential Edition, airing March 7 at 10pm.  Set your DVR accordingly.

In honor of the holiday, The Shiksa Blog brings us "Hamantaschen and the Story of Purim."  These treats are delicious and those of you who follow me on Twitter know how hard it can be to keep these little triangles CLOSED.  Via LB.

Yearning for summer Restaurant Week? Restaurants Unleashed Week, March 1-7.  The deal that caught my eye first was at Tabaq, yummm.

Also, watching curling is like drinking merlot, apparently.  NICE!  I guess watching aerials is like drinking 5 Hour Energy.

Have a great weekend!  It's supposed to be nice out, so go out for brunch--what's your first pick these days?


Cuba de Ayer

I'm sure you've gone to Cuba de Ayer for lunch after all of your curling excursions.  If not, you should go!  Honestly, I wasn't sure where to dine on this outer-beltway excursion, so I did what I always do:  ask the Washington Post.  I'm not sure I've ever had Cuban food (I can hear the clucking of my Florida friends from here--I'm sorry!!!), but I've been meaning to go to Cubano's in Silver Spring for a while--it just hasn't happened yet.   

First we shared the two orders of the papa rellena and tostones rellena.  The first is a lightly breaded stuffed potato with beef filling, the second came with 3 fried green plantains, again stuffed with beef.  These were both super tasty, but J liked the papa rellena better.  If these were hors d'oeuvres at a party, I'd totally fill up on them and not bother with dinner.  


For lunch we mostly got sandwiches, except for one veggie platter.  The sandwiches clocked in at about $7, and they were pretty huge.  SOME people couldn't finish theirs, but I had no issue (as per usual).  Curling can really work up an appetite, people.  I enjoyed the pan con ropa vieja (shredded beef in a tomato sauce on a baguette) and I'd get it again.  We even had a carafe of the very-fruit-filled sangria--if you don't like grape juice-type sangrias, then this one isn't for you.  But we finished it.

For a quick & cheap meal Cuba de Ayer really hit the spot.  Spelling sticklers, I apologize in advance.  The menu is rife with error.

Cuba de Ayer
15446 Old Columbia Pike
Burtonsville, MD
Metro:  You gotta drive.

Cuba de Ayer on Urbanspoon


Postcard from Austin

Austin.  WOW.  What a city---it's a constant barrage of breakfast tacos and food trucks (or trailers), and both are things I love.  I want to thank EVERYONE who gave me suggestions both on and off the site for places to go in Austin--first, thanks for even taking the time to respond to my open-ended question.  Second, thanks for leading me in the right direction, as you'll see below.  I couldn't get everywhere, but I hope to go back sometime in the not-so-distant future.

I'm gonna go through the highlights of where we went, throw in the links, etc.  Mostly I'm just trying to make you hungry, possibly early in the morning at work, and then you'll have to go to the vending machine and get something nasty.  Whoops.

First we went to the Saturday 4th & Guadalupe farmer's market. Some vendors had the most adorable names, like Seriously Sourdough.  We got a pumpkin spice mini loaf (bread, not cake, which is what is ounds like) that was chewy and tasty, a-ok to sustain you for 13.1 miles.  We also got some local olive oil and balsamic, and also jams from certified-organic Gundermann Farms.

Juan in a Million: Fresh chips, very creamy guac (not full of onion/tomato/cilantro like some people like it, so beware of your own preferences, ya'll), and DAMN some fine migas.  This meal provided my introduction to migas.  I ordered huevos rancheros, which was fine, but when I tasted my friend's dish I knew I'd messed up.  I made up for it a few days later at Jo's, though, so no worries.  Migas (at least in this case) = scrambled eggs with tortilla chips in them, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and cheese.  Dude. It sounds so simple, maybe even strange, but it's delightful!  Where oh where can I find Austin-style Tex-Mex migas in the DC area??? Anyway, there might be a wait, but JIAM is a great place.  Go for breakfast and go nuts.  We like their queso.
Juan in a Million on Urbanspoon

Saturday night we found ourselves at Annie's for a light meal at the bar.  We wanted some carbohydrates before the morning run but also something relaxed.  The restaurant was empty when we arrived, but the host informed us that we couldn't be seated because they were "all booked up for the night."  I looked around sort of puzzled, and asked if we could eat at the bar.  Several times during this trip we ate at the bar, and the hosts informing us that we a) couldn't be seated or b) had to wait at least an hour never suggested the bar option--both times we asked.  Hi, who wants to wait an hour and 20 mins if they can sit at the bar???  Not this girl!  Our pizzas (tomato, basil & mozzarella; prosciutto, arugula & parm) were yummy and perfectly personal-sized.  Maybe next time we'll actually go into Spaghetti Warehouse, instead of just laughing at the URL (meatballs dot com, ya'll).

Annie's Cafe and Bar on Urbanspoon

On Sunday afternoon we were happy to find some cheap eats at mmmpanadas, conveniently parked alongside other food trucks after the race finish.  By then the sun was warming up the city and lots of sweaty hungry people were walking (or limping) around.  It shouldn't be a surprise to you that the empanada I chose had spinach, mushroom, goat cheese, and pine nuts.  Really.  It's as if I crafted it custom-style and called it the iEatDC-panada.  I'd love to try a sweet one, like Peach Cobbler or Mango Ginger.  MMM.

If I lived in Austin I'd be following them on Twitter for sure.

So I'm not sure about your travel strategies, but we made sure to check in with our favorite Travel Channel and Food Network stars before making any plans. So if Giada loves South Congress Cafe, then by golly, so do we.  And we did.  Ya'll, the mimosas are the bomb.  And have I mentioned that they serve brunch DAILY?  As in, every single day.  I basically licked my plate after I downed the smoked brisket hash--the chipotle adobo marinade gave it a nice kick, the fingerling potatoes were awesome, and I'm all about tortillas coming with every meal.  L loved her super omelet full of fun, but the real star of her plate was the smoked gouda potato pancake.  It was unlike any latke we've had before, with a rich creaminess and a tangy jab of flavor that was truly captivating.  We ate at the bar because of the hour+ wait, and it was plenty roomy, and the service was great. 

 South Congress Cafe on Urbanspoon

Next up was Hey Cupcake!  Like "Yahoo!" with the exclamation there.  With a hilarious menu and super tasty cakes, this truck has it goin' on.  I had the Michael Jackson, a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese icing.  And as if getting a cupcake to go wasn't enough, we stopped for ice cream at Amy's.  I really wanted to try pretty much every flavor, but I had to limit myself.  I went with dark chocolate and strawberry.  They were both REALLY good. The dark chocolate wasn't as dark as I thought it would be--I was picturing the deep dark super chocolatey sorbet at Boccato.  They had a bunch of toppings and even "crunch in" situations (like blend-ins at Thomas Sweet), but I wanted to taste the flavors for what they were.  If you want a crunch in, be specific, otherwise it seems like your topping will just be...a topping.  

 Dinner time! There was a limited menu at La Condesa because of Valentine's Day, but on regular days the menu is HUGE, and the appetizers look amazing.  Along with our round of margaritas, we started with the pork croquette (crispy browned outside!), red lentil salad (::raises hand guiltily:: Yes, that's so something I'd order).

The salad was a little low on the flavor I expected, but really--salad?  I could do better.  For dinner L enjoyed the seared scallops and I had the grilled Texas quail, topped with a fried quail egg, huitlacoche (remember the diseased corn?) and ancho-spiced fig marmalade.  This dish was super delicious, and had so many things I love--eggs in my food, fruity jamminess...it was an easy pick, considering my last quail experience.  Besides some complimentary homemade marshmallows & cookies (sort of a lovechild of the Oreo and whoopie pie), we also enjoyed the chocolate-orange flan with champagne sorbet. We ordered this without the menu and L's fine palate discerned and named the champagne!  We knew there was something going on in there!

Service was super friendly (our waiter suggested we hit up Pie Slice for migas, but there was no time!), food was delightful, and the location was convenient.  And I know if I go back to La Condesa with eNJoyNJ, I know we'll be getting the huitlacoche again. 

La Condesa on Urbanspoon

Jo's is a great spot for breakfast, lunch, or whatever.  We split a migas plate and had endless mugs of coffee while being stared at by adorable babies on a Monday morning.

On to the barbecue.  When close friends make suggestions, they cannot go ignored.  Even if we need their parents to pick us up and physically bring us to the suggested place.  I'm talking about the Salt Lick.  C's fabulous family made sure that we had our fill of delicious barbecued meats and even some cobbler and ice cream.  If you don't want to go for the $14.95 All You Can Eat (at lunch), then settle on the meat plate, which is pretty much All Most Of Us Can/Should Eat.  Brisket, sausage, ribs, potato salad, cole slaw, and beans.  We also shared a side of turkey (I know, why?) but to be honest, after all the real meat, turkey just seemed goofy.  I was like, "Oh, hey turkey!  Yeah I usually like you a lot, it's just that everyone else on my plate is 10x more awesome than you. <3xoxo."  The sauce was awesome, and they sell bottles there so you can go home and get all Salt Lick on your kitchen.

Did I mentioned this joint is Bring Your Own?  Oh, we brought it.  And can we discuss the cobbler for a second?  Not the thin crumb top that you may remember from cobblers from the now-distant past, but a thick, bready, cakey, top that would be delicious (and could stand up) on its own, without the fruit!  But with the fruit it's just a double whammy of awesome.  We had half blackberry and half peach.

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

If you're at the Salt Lick in Driftwood, you may as well stop at Driftwood Vineyards for gifts, the view, and of course some wine tasting.  I was doing little comparisons in my head v. the Virginia wineries---the viognier seemed much sweeter at Driftwood, for example.  I'm all about going to wineries in unexpected places.

On our last morning we stopped in the Hideout Theater for a coffee, muffin, and the obligatory breakfast taco (spinach and cheese, stocked by Torchy's).  We decided it would be a great place to sit if you were looking for a super hipster boyf.  They have improv shows every single weekend all year round, according to their web site, but it was 9am, so no improv was found.  But my latte was decorative.

I'd like to also thank L for her food opinions, planning, and patience--she rules.

Happy travels, everybody.  Who's going somewhere tasty for spring break???


Friday Favorites: No-blizzard-but-also-no-right-lane Edition

Heyo!  It's been a great week!  I spent half of it in Austin (and you'll read more about that soon, ::drool::), and half in our fair city.  Some good reads this week:

From NYTimes: Ooh, chefs bringin' the heat on Twitter.  I think this article may have given Mr. Top Chef himself, Michael Voltaggio, some hints on making a scene--he recently publicly ranted about issues with his produce people.   Apparently they made up, though.

Also from NYT, apparently NY's best pizza, served up in Brooklyn and the East Village.  Now, I already declared that NY's best pizza was at DiFara, in that post where I discussed the futility of this "best pizza" argument, which, by the way, is neverending.  This can only mean one thing:  PIZZA CAGE MATCH!!!!  I think the best time for this head-to-head is after the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May.  It'll take careful planning because of the likely wait times at each eatery.  C'mon guys, let's make it happen!

From Washingtonian, the making of a Valentine's Day dinner at home for under $20.

I've been meaning to go to Ris, and I hope I will soon--the namesake was on the Kojo Nnamdi show this week!  KN was talking about the dream of owning a restaurant.  [I just browsed the brunch menu and said the words "chicken fried skirt steak, poached egg" and sent J into a frenzy of "I want that I want that I so want that, what are we doing Sunday????"]

Apparently yesterday was National Drink Wine Day...I'm also skeptical about the legitimacy of this holiday, and I think it's much better celebrated on non-workdays.  Just sayin. 

Have a great weekend, everybody!




::ahem:: back to your regularly schedule food-blogging.

On a recent blizzard-y evening, a few of us went out to try Sushiko.  It was quite nice!  Not as dive-y as our former neighborhood sushi places, but not totally out of reach (price-wise), either.

The menu is pretty huge, and one "problem" I encountered was that I wanted to try all the soups and salads.  Warm baby spinach salad with mushrooms and bamboo shoot?  Yes, please!

Here's what we enjoyed:

Edamame:  Keep in mind that when your server asks offhand, "would you like some edamame?" before you've cracked your menus (in a way that other restaurants mention bread) that it's not free.  Just FYI.  It won't break the bank though, $4.50.

Smoked mussel and eggplant miso:  T liked this dish a lot; at first she was hesitant because she tends to shy away from smoked fish/seafood, but our server told her it didn't have that saltiness that you find in lox or anything, it's basically like normal mussels with a little smokey flavor, in a good way.  She believed him, and it turns out he was pretty trustworthy.

Aged tofu with chili daikon and ginger broth:  Mm, yum.  I love me some cubed, lightly fried 'fu. And look at those teeny tiny mushrooms!  Freakin' adorable!!!!!


Pan-fried chicken shiso gyoza:  AKA potstickers!!!   These were tasty and light, you could pop 'em all night long.

Next dish was a special, something about tuna + Napoleon, and they were basically little tuna sandwiches on these thin crisps.  Bite size treats!  They came highly recommended by our server, and I'd definitely get them again.

Next up: ROLLS! California, spicy salmon, spicy tuna, and eel, avocado, & egg.  I liked them all, but could definitely order a few of the eel rolls just for myself.  That sauce is yum yum yum.

Now, we needed dessert the way the DC area needs more snow--seriously, we were full.  But J sees "fried" and his eyes light up like a pinball machine.  Enter the fried banana and coconut ice cream.  It was pretty good--I probably wouldn't do it again.  I'm not sure I can get behind the concept of fried fruit, despite the fabulous alliteration.

We'll definitely go back to Sushiko soon, either to dine in or takeout.  Friendly service and good food, even in a blizzard.

5455 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD
Metro: Red Line to Friendship Heights

Sushi-Ko Chevy Chase on Urbanspoon


Friday Favorites: Blizzard Edition

Morning, ya'll! Welcome to the first weekly roundup sort of thing, a little list of my favorite links of the past week.  You know, just in case you aren't "following" me on Google Reader.

Of course, I had other things to do this week besides play on the internet---Scrabble, cleaning, cupcake-eating (that's peanut butter chocolate, with PB chips in the cake part and amazing PB icing), challah baking, best hot chocolate ever making/drinking...


But mostly I played on the internet.  Here were my faves this week:
  • My Baking Addiction's Red Velvet Whoopie Pies may be a little more than a week old, but I'm still waiting for someone to make these for me for Valentine's Day.  It seems like the type of semi-complicated task I'll leave to inkpadchocolate; I can't be trusted with food dye.
  • matzo&rice's review of Morimoto in Philly--any lover of Iron Chef (and sushi) will enjoy this review of the big tasting menu here.
I also want to give props to Georgetown Cupcake, Cashion's Eat Place, Clyde's, Sushiko, Chef Geoff's/Lia's, Chipotle, and the patient, brave staff of my local Giant Food for keeping us fed, warm, and even out of the house over the blizzardy extra-(extra-)long weekend.  Also a high-five to all the restaurants and neighbors who tweeted #opendc to keep everyone informed. 

If you read blogs/magazines or listen to podcasts with fun, yummy recipes or reviews that you want to share with me, send them to ieatdc at gmail dot com!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Be careful when you're walking, watch for ice.