Red Hook Lobster Pound

The Red Hook lobster truck has been around for a while by now, but I did have occasion to try them a few months back. I took an hour out of my lunch break to wait in line on a cold winter’s day in a queue that went down the length of a city block. What was I thinking? But I suppose that the blogger part of me felt somewhat obligated to give it a go! By the time I got to the front of the line, I ordered practically everything on the menu, just because I doubted I’d be back again very soon. I got one Maine style lobster roll ($15), New England clam chowder ($7), apple cider ($3) and a whoopie pie ($3.50). The service was really nice, and I think they appreciated that you’d waited in line for so long.

I think I made a mistake when I ordered the Maine style. Actually, I didn’t even know there were two different kinds of lobster rolls, which was an oversight on my part. I don’t remember if they asked me what kind I wanted, because I would’ve asked them what the difference was and would probably have ordered the other kind had I known. Anyway, the Maine style is served cold, with mayo. The Connecticut style is warm, with butter. Clearly the Connecticut style sounds superior! I was expecting it to be warm, so was very disappointed when I bit into the cold lobster meat. I think the flavors are more robust when they’re warmed up. The bread was nice and buttery though, so that was good.

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Les Delices Bakery

A friend of mine highly recommended a bakery in Rockville called Les Delices a while back. (I did a post on their Christmas cookies a few months ago). I love this place! It’s off of Gude Drive in Rockville, in a rather smallish strip mall. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you walk in and the buttery aroma wafts around you, you know you’ve come to the right place. ♥

I’ve only tried their mango and black currant cakes so far, and they’re both quite delicious! Pictured above is the black currant cake. It was a great balance of tart and sweet. I loved that it wasn’t too heavy or cloying!

Remember to bring cash, as they don’t take credit cards there.

A few more pics:

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10 Jul 2011, 11:51am
japanese snacks:
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Shiroi Koibito

Shiroi Koibito (which means “white lover” in Japanese…hahaha) are langue de chat butter cookies with white chocolate filling. I looove these cookies. Unfortunately they’re not so easy to procure stateside, so one has to rely on the kindness of strangers (namely, my dad’s Japanese colleagues) to gift them to you. Here’s the open box that I’ve already dug into as you can probably tell.

As with a lot of Japanese snacks, each cookie is meticulously wrapped individually. I guess it prevents you from pigging out TOO much, though I always think it creates so much waste.

Here’s a close-up:

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29 May 2011, 6:28pm
beverage cafes:
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Pacific Place Tea Garden

After shopping around the numerous shops at the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu, my friend and I stopped at the Pacific Place Tea Garden kiosk for a drink.

I got the matcha (green tea) latte, pictured above. I’m not sure why I got the hot version – it was pretty warm that day, and Ala Moana is an outdoor mall. Still, it was tasty enough, and I always enjoy the calming flavor of matcha. It wasn’t overly sweetened, which was nice.

My friend got something called a pink bamboo float:

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Easter

Happy May Day everybody! I’m veering off my slowly trickling Hawaii posts to write about last week’s tour de force of culinary mastery known as the Easter Pot-luck Dinner of Epicness. Hosted by my friends who also brought you their Christmas Dinner (where, if you recall, we couldn’t congratulate ourselves enough for a job well done), the event was filled to the brim with so much food and fabulosity that the guests hardly knew what to do with it all. And to make matters even more intense, we had a rowdy game of Taboo afterward that I don’t think I’ve recovered from yet. (Ever notice that when you’re playing this game, your voice keeps rising and rising until you realize you’re screaming at the top of your lungs? I think somehow this contributes to the effectiveness of your strategy, because everyone gets so crazed that they shout back anything, everything that comes to mind, and ONE of those things has to be the right answer!!)

Pictured above is the ham, which our lovely hostess made using Alton Brown’s City Ham recipe. Alton is always a good bet, and it certainly was the case here. The ham actually came out quite late in the evening, but I still scarfed down a few succulent slices despite the fact that I’d already eaten enough food for 3 people. The crust was wondrous and crispy, and the meat perfectly cooked.

The rest:

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Panya

After dinner, we headed into Waikiki to meet up with my friend B, who – quite coincidentally – happened to be vacationing in Honolulu at the same time as myself! o(^__^)o We met up at the Panya in the Royal Hawaiian Center. This Panya is a relatively new branch and is small – it’s just bakery items and coffee. The Panya branch in Ala Moana is more like a restaurant. (I had lunch there on my last day, which I’ll be posting about later).

[I have to say, it makes me LOL a little that some websites are even worse than I am re: updating. The Panya website’s monthly feature is catering for Thanksgiving! Ahahaha. XD]

I got the bread pudding (pictured above). It wasn’t so bad, but it was a bit dense and a little cold to boot, which made it difficult to enjoy. It came with a lovely creamy sauce, which I made the mistake of pouring all over the pudding. The sauce flooded over the tiny container and onto the table, making a big mess of things. I ended up taking most of it home. I warmed it up the next day, and it was much, much better. Bread pudding should always be served warm, in my view! It had soaked up all the sweet sauce from the night before, and the heating managed to soften up the pudding and bring out its flavors.

There was also tiramisu:

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Matsumoto Shave Ice

Along the northern shore of Oahu, we stopped at a beach to hang out and watch the high surf coming in. Definitely not the kind of beach for novice swimmers, but ideal for experienced surfers. (I think winter is a good time for surfing). We then continued on to Haleiwa, a surf town near the end of the road before it starts turning back south. There we had shave ice at the famous Matsumoto Grocery Store. It’s not really a grocer anymore, but it used to be, before their main attraction became their shave ice. The sign out front still says Grocery Store though, probably for nostalgic reasons.

We got three different flavors: lychee, honeydew and coconut cream. There was azuki beans at the bottom, though most of it didn’t get consumed because by the time we got to the bottom, it was a soupy mess. The flavors were amazing though, very natural tasting, despite the strange colors. I think lychee was the red and coconut cream the bright pink.

Definitely pay the extra few cents for the blue plastic holder thing – you’ll need it if you don’t wanna lose chunks of shave ice as you try to chip away at this delicious mound with the flat wooden almost-spoon type thing they give you. (^O^)v

Bogart’s Café

Aloha!! You’ll have to excuse my long absence, as I’ve been living it up on the beaches of Hawaii for the last week and a half! I reluctantly left the sunny shores behind a few days ago, and I’m back at my computer ready to report on my foodie adventures in Oahu and Kauai. I tried quite a range of things during my trip, from local fare and classic Hawaiian comfort food to sushi and high tea. There were a few unfortunate low lights, but for the most part the food was excellent, and a delicious time was had by all.

I begin with Bogart’s Café, a cute little coffee shop not far from my friend’s apartment. We stopped in here on the morning after my arrival to get a pick-me-up before hitting the road to tour around Oahu.

My friends got a breakfast quesadilla to share, pictured above. You could pick the ingredients for the quesadilla, and I think my friends chose wisely with the mushroom and spinach combo. I had a bite, and it was quite tasty! A side of toast came with it.

I just got a coffee:

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Holiday Cakes

What’s any holiday without a tasty cake to celebrate it? Every Christmas for the last few years, I’ve gotten a Bûche de Noël – Christmas log cake – and each year I try to get them from different bakeries.

This year I decided to try one from the aforementioned Les Delices bakery in Rockville. They had a choice of praline or chocolate, and I went with the former (pictured above). I thought it was okay…maybe a little subdued in flavor? At least the icing wasn’t too oily or thick, but it left me feeling like it could’ve been a little sweeter. Perhaps the chocolate was the way I should’ve gone.

More after the jump:

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31 Dec 2010, 4:41pm
dinner holiday
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Christmas Dinner

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! I still have quite the backlog of posts to get to (*glances uneasily at the folder filled with pic files from months ago*), but those will have to wait until next year. XD I’m going to make it my new year’s resolution to try and get posts done in a more timely manner, but in the meantime, I wanted to share pics from my Christmas dinner! My friends cooked up a festive meal – to which I contributed one dish – and it was absolutely fabulous. In fact, we spent most of the night congratulating ourselves on our culinary masterpieces, and declared the dinner to be a smashing success that deserved all the praise we lavished upon it.

Pictured above is the roasted chicken (one of 2), which was accompanied by a nice mustard seed gravy. The chicken was perfectly cooked and juicy. o(^___^)o

The rest –

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Christmas Cookies

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

Just wanted to drop in with this cookie post, since I got such cute and colorful ones at the Les Delices Bakery today. (I’ll be doing another post on this bakery later). I ♥ this bakery very much! This cash-only place is off of Gude Drive in Rockville.

I really liked these cookies! Nice, and not too sweet. They paired perfectly with my cup of Prince of Wales tea with milk. (^__^)

I also got a tin of Christmas themed cookies from Yoku Moku, a Japanese cookie company. (Not at Les Delices – these were a gift). I love their smooth, buttery cookies! It’s a bit of a hassle to unwrap each one when you just wanna dive in and eat them all in one go, but I suppose it helps to restrain yourself so you don’t consume an entire tin at once.

Obviously, I took the above picture after several cookies had already been eaten, but you can still see how cheerful it looked with all the pretty colors. As for the cookies themselves:

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19 Oct 2010, 8:00am
cafes dessert:
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Point Chaud

I dropped in to Point Chaud Café & Crêpes (website under construction) on 14th Street a few weeks ago. Places like this make me wonder why there aren’t more crêperies in this area! The crêpe is the perfect café food. It’s fast, it’s sweet, it’s savory…and it can be eaten on the go or savored slowly over a hot cup of your favorite beverage.

The menu at Point Chaud is just a long list of suggested combinations. Customers are welcome to pick and choose whatever ingredients they want. I would take forever if left to my devices, so on my visit here, I went ahead and picked something straight off the menu – the honey and almond powder crêpe.

It was absolutely lovely. The crêpe was airy and light, the honey was just sweet enough, and bits of crushed almonds added a nice bite. I had a frothy cup of cappuccino with it. My only wish is that there was more, but the “to stay” portion of cappuccino only came in one size.

7 Sep 2010, 10:52pm
japanese snacks:
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Dango

I love Japanese desserts, and these are one of my favorites – kushi dango (skewered rice balls). As with all rice-cake desserts, it’s easy to go sweet or savory, and this pair does both. The one on the left is a “mitarashi dango,” drizzled with a glaze made from soy sauce and sugar. The one on the right is your standard “anko” – topped with sweet red bean paste. Both were excellent!

These dango came from my local Japanese grocer – in a pack of four skewers (two per flavor).

Yellow Bulgogi Truck

A few weeks ago, I was walking back from lunch when I spotted a yellow truck parked at the corner of 12th and G that I had never seen before. Naturally, I had to get a closer look, and it turned out to be a bulgogi truck! They seem to keep a low profile both on the street and online. I found their Yelp page and rather sparse Twitter account, which isn’t very helpful in pinning down where they’ll be everyday.

They have a short and sweet menu, bulgogi, bibimbap, or chicken teriyaki. You can also choose between medium or spicy on the spiciness scale. I got the medium beef bulgogi, pictured above, which came with sticky rice and sides of kimchi and iceberg lettuce with citrus vinaigrette. I thought the portions were pretty good for the money. The kimchi’s spiciness was a nice addition to the relatively muted flavor of the beef. Apparently the bibimbap is a better deal because you’ll get more veggies with your meal.

They don’t tweet their location on a daily basis, but it seems like they try to hit the same spot on the street everyday…at least, for a month. Their last tweet seemed to indicate they’d be on 12th street for a few weeks. The last I saw them, they were at 12th and F, by the metro entrance.

19 Aug 2010, 8:44pm
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sweetbites

I was pretty excited when I heard that there was going to be another sweets truck coming to DC, especially since this one served more than just cupcakes! Unfortunately, the Sweetbites Truck never came around to my part of the city. (-___-) Finally, I just had to seek it out myself! I took an extended lunch a few weeks ago and metro’d over to Farragut Square to snag myself some sweetness. X)

I ended up getting only cupcakes after all, since the non-cupcake items I had wanted to try had already been sold out. Pictured above is the cookies and cream cupcake, described as having “creamy Oreo-infused frosting swirled atop a rich Belgian chocolate cupcake.” It’s topped off with a half-Oreo. It looked so good I had to scarf it down right there in the park! The icing was oozing from the sweltering heat but still tasted fabulous.

I had to set the cupcake down on a flat surface to photograph, so I grabbed the only thing I had on me at the time. (Any guesses as to what book that is? Lol).

I got one more cupcake:

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