Mike and I normally eat out once or twice a week, generally on weekends because
we’re cheap we like to cook. This weekend, we ate out five times, which is a huge anomaly for us! Okay, two of those were froyo places, because I’m kind of obsessed. Needless to say, it was an awesome weekend.
Our foodie adventure started out on Friday night at a two-peater (that means it was our second visit. yeaaa i use urban slang) , Curious Grape (I had a Groupon). Why this place had a Groupon at all is beyond me – usually the places that run Groupons around here are rated 2 stars on Yelp and have reviews like, “I found a rat inside the bread” – but Curious Grape is actually good food. They started out as a wine store in Shirlington (small yuppie neighborhood in Arlington, VA), and when they moved to a bigger location (still in Shirlington) last year, they added a dining section to their shop with a small menu (about 6 appetizers, 8 entrees, and 4 desserts) with suggested wine pairings. We had gone there once before and were pretty blown away by the quality of the food! So when their Groupon came out, I read the fine print expecting statements like “must be used between the hours of 11pm and 1am” or “cannot be used for food or drink, applies to chocolate only” (probably would have bought it anyway), but seeing nothing strange, I bought one right away!
We started out with their delicious store-made rosemary bread and decided to be brave and try the “Korean shrimp with kimchi” appetizer; obviously we’re not scared of Korean food, but it’s always an experience eating Korean food at a non-Korean restaurant! I think it’s because Mike’s and my tastebuds are so conditioned to tasting our culture’s food the way our moms made it for us, so we’re sensitive to variations in recipes. Not that all Koreans cook the same way…we almost had a fight when I made a dish with beef broth and Mike insisted it was supposed to be made with chicken broth, lol. Anyway, back to the shrimp appetizer – it was actually quite good and the shrimp was cooked perfectly :) hooray for happy endings.
Mike ordered gnocchi with mushrooms and I got the agnolotti with duck confit, because as apathetic as I am about cheese, I loove stuffed pastas. It was very good – I just could have eaten about 2x as much. I guess we’ll have to go back, since I apparently forgot to take or lost the pictures I took there, lol.
Next stop, frozen yogurt at Yogiberry, just around the corner. Who eats frozen yogurt in the wintertime? Me. I live for this stuff. My favorite place is Yogurtland, but sadly there’s no DC store. I’ve given serious thought to joining the franchise and opening one in DC, because I’m pretty sure it would dominate the froyo scene here. It’s self-serve with 15+ magical flavors, fresh toppings, and dirt-cheap prices. Anyway, Yogiberry is pretty good too. I particularly like their Taro and Lychee flavors. When we lived in Shirlington, I basically kept them in business for their first year.
On Saturday, Mike accompanied me into DC to try out a new (to us) Japanese restaurant and help me pick up my race packet for the Pacers St. Patrick’s Day 8K the next day. The fact that he came with me on the subway is proof of how much he loves both me and food (but mostly me), because his motion sickness is worse than mine. It was a bit of a travel debacle, because we had to get off at a different stop than planned since there was track work going on, and we weren’t getting good 3G signals for some reason on either of our phones. Not being GenX-ers, we were unsuccessful in our attempts to navigate using the position of the sun and moss on the side of buildings, so we wandered around until I was able to figure out where we were going.
We had worked up quite an appetite by the time we got to the restaurant, and when that happens, my eyes get bigger than my stomach. The restaurant was nice and spacious on the inside, with an open kitchen in the middle. There were small sections that were curtained off, but still looked like dining areas, and I’m not going to pretend to know what happens there. There was a small lunch menu, and while Mike got the grilled skewers, I got the two sushi rolls and asked if I could order some of the daily sushi specials as well. Our waiter looked at me a little strangely (no I’m not bulimic, or pregnant – just hungry), and said they’re usually just served at dinner but that he would ask the chefs. Turns out they only serve the lunch menu during lunch, but they were able to make salmon and tuna nigiri. I’m glad I got it, because mr. picky “i only eat sushi in california” actually approved! It was definitely the freshest sushi we’ve had in DC, and the slices of fish weren’t stingy, either. Also, the pork belly skewer was amazing. We’d be back just for that.
After the meal, we wandered around the corner and found a froyo place (what a coincidence!! yea, i planned that one) – it isn’t actually just froyo, it has healthy salads and things like that too – called Sweetgreen. My sister J would have loved this place, because they don’t have a trash can – just a recycling container and a bin that goes to compost, because all of their stuff can be either recycled or composted. I loved this place because their froyo was first rate! They have only one flavor (original or whatever), but it was tangy and smooth, and their toppings were delicious as well. We shared a large and I ate most of it. Yes, I was a little piggy =P
Sunday, after my race in DC (this will be a separate post because this post is starting to rival “The Iliad” in length), I really wanted brunch because the weather was really nice and I was hungry. We went to the Evening Star Cafe in Del Ray, another two-peat for us. I think they have just about the best brunch on the Virginia side of the DC metro area, and their decor is just the coolest: shadow boxes on the walls made with techy stuff. I was trying to take pictures but all the booths by the walls were full and I felt awkward pointing my camera at people. I was going to be good and order two egg-whites with half an avocado or something else dainty…but I got chicken and waffles instead. Boy, am I glad I did. The chicken was super crispy, and there was this hot sauce syrup on the waffles – both sweet and spicy – I’m pretty sure they serve that in Heaven. Mike got eggs with biscuits and gravy on the side, and that was good too.
Evening Star Cafe
Question for Readers: What’s your favorite type of dessert shop: frozen yogurt, ice cream, cupcakes or something else?