Pinkberry

I love Pinkberry. I think the froyo trend is kind of overrated, but I have to make an exception for this place, because their frozen yogurt is the bomb. It’s not too mouth puckeringly tart, and it still tastes like it’s not a thousand calories. (I don’t actually know though – I’ve never checked the data). I work near one, which is pretty dangerous. Thankfully it’s been a little too cold lately so I haven’t been showing up there every week.

My favorite is the mango, and though they always have an ample selection of toppings to choose from, I usually only get two items: the mochi and the homemade gummy bears. The mochi doesn’t really taste like much but I love the chewy texture of it. The gummy bears are quite possibly the best I’ve ever had, and they’re coated in a crust of sugar.

I also love that these come in a ‘mini’ size, which is usually just the right amount for me when I need a quick sugar fix!

28 Aug 2011, 11:25pm
dessert dinner:
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Kaz Sushi Bistro

Hey everyone! Hope you all survived Hurricane Irene this weekend! I lost power for about three hours early this morning, but other than that, things are pretty much back to normal. I’m quite shocked that the outage didn’t last longer. Pepco is either stepping up at last, or things weren’t as bad as expected around here. I’m accustomed to being out of power for days in such situations, though “accustomed” doesn’t mean it’s any less annoying…

In any case, hello again! I figured it would be quite remiss of me to end August without having blogged once during this month, so here I am. (^__^)/

Today I’m posting about Kaz Sushi Bistro, a place that I actually went to a few years ago and just had a so-so impression of at the time. I’m not sure why that was. Maybe it had something to do with high expectations. I went there shortly after a presentation I’d seen at the Smithsonian on Japanese cuisine, where Chef Kazuhiro Okochi and the illustrious Chef Masaharu Morimoto both did presentations. (This included an awe-inspiring demo of Morimoto breaking down a large fish with masterful knifing skills. It’s not the same watching him on TV vs live-action. I was in the presence of greatness). I am a huge fan of Morimoto, so when I heard that he’d sat down with Kaz at his restaurant and talked shop with him, my expectations just skyrocketed. Perhaps this was somewhat unfair. Regardless, I just never had a chance to try Kaz’s for a second go, so I went back again about a month ago, with optimism.

It probably helped that I was with an equally enthusiastic food-lover (the “Digital Nomad” Drew). I find that when you dine with other food aficionados, the meal just ends up tasting better. Such was the case this time.

Pictured above is the sushi we ordered a la carte. They were all quite fabulous, though my particular favorites were the sweet shrimp and the Walu (Hawaiian white toro). Everything was fresh and tasty. The rolls could have been a little more tightly bound, as some were falling open at the seam, but the flavors were spot on, at least.

The rest after the jump:

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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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19 Oct 2010, 8:00am
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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.

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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1 Jun 2010, 10:55pm
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El Floridano

OMG an update. (o____O)!! It’s been a lazy month, what can I say? I think once you get out of the habit of posting, it’s easy to just put things off until the next day, and the next day. Pretty soon, you end up giving up the month for a lost cause. And now here we are in June. (What?) June 2009 is actually the month I started this blog, though I’m too lazy at the moment to go back and figure out exactly which date it was. So, happy 1st birthday, blog! XD ♥

Today I saw on Twitter that El Floridano (on Twitter @FLmeetsDC) was around my neck of the woods, so I decided to give them a go. They are one of the newer food trucks to hit the streets of DC, and I don’t think they’ll be the last, either.

I tried their “Turkey Bahn Mi with Pickled Green Mango and Tamarind BBQ Sauce.” As you can see from the photo, it’s like a turkey meatloaf type thing, and it also had arugula, cilantro and julienned carrots. My first bite was excellent! But then…I’m not sure what happened, but the flavors didn’t quite come together again for me. Perhaps there wasn’t enough cilantro, which (for me, anyway) adds that extra something. I think the tamarind sauce could have used some more punch, especially since the turkey was a little subtle (or under seasoned). Something needed to counteract the sweetness of the pickled mango.

However, this was a pretty big sandwich, so you definitely feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. Sandwiches are $7, and the other two kinds are: “Classic Roast Pork and Ham Cuban Sandwich” and “Chicken Chiang Mai with Charred Tomato Salsa, Avocado and Pickled Onions.” They also have soup, but I didn’t try any.

On a non-food related note (re: Floridano’s Twitter feed): It’s a pet peeve of mine when I click on a link in Twitter and it takes me to a Facebook update that just reiterates what was just posted on Twitter. Ah, a petty critique, I know. XD;;;

Captain White’s Seafood

Captain White’s Seafood City is located on the Southwest Waterfront, right on the water. It’s pretty chaotic getting in there, and trying to find parking is pretty tricky business. However, it’s worth the effort if you’re a seafood lover! My friends and I checked it out last Saturday afternoon, and the place was swamped with people. We waited for seemed like forever to get our food. (O____o);;

I got the clams and fries box, pictured above. It’s a lot of food for a good price! I should have gotten some packets of cocktail sauce, but I was too lazy to walk back there from the seating area to fetch any. XD;;

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sâuçá

Out of all the Twittering food trucks of late, I’ve been most impressed by the branding and marketing of sâuçá. Take a look at their awesome website and you’ll see what I mean! I was very excited about the launch of this truck o’ food, as their menu looked so diverse and intriguing. Their dishes are inspired by cuisines from several continents, with a minor twist in that they’re served as “sâuçá” – their term for a flatbread sandwich. Their multi-colored logo is a reflection of that global concept, with each color representing a different region of the world.

They’ve been coming by the Chinatown area for a while now, and last week I finally got the opportunity to check them out. And it was great timing too! Not only was the weather sunny and fabulous, but it also happened to be the same day that NPR (I think it was NPR, anyway) was out by the truck interviewing folks on their sâuçá experience. I got to chat with the owner of sâuçá, who was very enthusiastic and pleasant. I asked him how they came up with the name, and he explained that their concept was based around sauces and having a great variety thereof. Originally, they wanted to call themselves “Sauce,” but they were told that they couldn’t trademark a real word. Thus, they changed it to sâuçá, adding a few accent marks here and there for added flair. Their abundant sauces are incorporated into their dishes, but you can also add extra if you want (they have a small fixings area next to the pick up window).

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Crepes on the Walk

Crepes on the Walk is a cute little crepes stand by the Verizon Center (which I still call the MCI Center sometimes), and it’s part of the Crepes a Go Go family of creperies. Their website has mysteriously disappeared, so I can’t link you, but hopefully they’re still around?

I imagine that this stand gets a lot of business because of its prime location, and also because crepes are the ideal sort of streetfood. Sweet or savory, whatever suits your fancy, they’ve got it. It comes folded up and tucked neatly inside a paper cone for easy handling. X) They have a nice menu of items, but of course, you can select your own combination of ingredients as you like, which is nice…if a little daunting. (You can check out their menu over on The Thrillist).

I popped over to pick up a crepe (or two) during my lunch hour a little while ago:

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18 Feb 2010, 8:37pm
bakeries:
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Hello Cupcake

Today, The Washington Post reported that New York’s Crumbs cupcake shop will be opening their first D.C. store in May at the corner of 11th and F, NW. The owner was quoted as saying that Washingtonians are cupcake n00bs and that we need to be schooled (by them, I guess) on the true magnificence of The Cupcake. This threw a few locals into a bit of tizzy, which I found rather amusing. So a New Yorker wants to talk smack about cupcakes. “Whatever, whatever,” as Mike Isabella would say. Hell if I care, just give me my cupcake!!!1! \(^O^)/

…on that note: Hello Cupcake! I’ve blogged this place before, but that was only one flavor, so thought I’d revisit it again to post a few more. This isn’t really my favorite cupcake shop in town, but they do have a lot of flavors, which is nice. It can be hit-or-miss, so it’s important to select wisely.

Pictured at the top is the triple coconut, which is one of their better ones. The cake was light and airy, and I thought the icing was creamy and nice! Made with a trio of coconut cake, coconut cream cheese frosting, and toasted coconut flakes.

More after the jump:

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Sweet Green

sweetgreen yogurt

Mmm…lovely Sweet Green! Among the latest in food trucks to hit the streets of D.C., Sweet Green serves up some tasty frozen yogurt and salads, Tweeting their location as they go. They’ve recently started coming to Metro Center on Fridays, so I finally had a chance to try them out.
The yogurt came in a couple sizes, with three toppings included in the standard cup size for a total cost of $5. For toppings, there was a pretty good selection of fresh fruit, nuts, coconut shavings and mint. I got mine with baked apples, strawberries, and mint. (*____*) Soooo good. The yogurt was very fresh, and had a little tartness to it, but not too much. (I always found the popular froyo’s too sour for my taste). Loved it!

I also got a salad:

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Curbside Cupcakes

curbcupcake ppmint

I still haven’t managed to set aside the block of time that will be necessary for my San Fran dinner post. m(_ _)m So here’s another quick post update, to bring you something that’s been popping up more and more in my area – and in all variations – the Twittering food trucks!

I think it all started with Fojol brothers, the Indian food vender who now comes by my neighborhood once a week with their tasty offerings. =9 Curbside Cupcakes launched a few weeks ago, and they too, work out of a truck and Twitter their location once they arrive.

So far, they’ve come by Metro Center a few times, and yesterday they were just outside my building! ♥ I had to try their holiday flavor, the chocolate peppermint (pictured above). Delicious! The frosting was not overly sweet, and didn’t taste too much of fake mint. Loved the crushed candy cane sprinkled on top.

Two other flavors, which I had occasion to try on a different day:

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22 Sep 2009, 7:00am
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Red Velvet Cupcakery

red velvet

For my birthday earlier this month, my dear friend bought be a dozen cupcakes from Red Velvet Cupcakery! \(^O^)/ Red Velvet is a cupcake shop located dangerously close to my office in downtown D.C. Actually, it’s not exactly an easy distance for a quick break, so I don’t find myself in there too often. This is a good thing, because it’s much too tempting, otherwise!

Their Penn Quarter shop has been open for a while now, and they recently opened a new one in Dupont Circle as well. (Whoa, rivalry with the other Dupont cupcakery, Hello Cupcake!) These cupcake shops seem to be springing up everywhere. Is there room enough in this town for them all!? Georgetown Cupcake may have the best in the city, but Red Velvet has an edge over Hello for the Dupont shops in my opinion. Hello may have better flavor selections and slightly cheaper prices, but I think Red Velvet cupcakes have better icing, and moister cakes that stay fresh longer.

But here’s something rather vexing about them: I can’t look up the exact cupcake flavors because Red Velvet has mysteriously changed their website! It’s now a very ugly and unhelpful single page (no links to flavors or anything), which looks neither appetizing nor inviting. They used to have such a pretty website. What happened?

Anyway, enough with the rant and on to the cupcakes:

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15 Sep 2009, 6:58am
dessert market:
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Penn Quarter Farmer's Market

PQ market tomatoes

First off, apologies about the previous post on Cafe Atlantico. I was messing around with the edit function on WordPress’s iPhone app and managed to delete the majority of the post! It’s been fixed (in other words, rewritten from scratch), so if you were wondering where the rest of the post was, it’s back. (^___^)b

So, Penn Quarter holds a farmer’s market every Thursday from 3~7pm between the months of April and December. They’re relatively small in comparison to markets I’ve seen elsewhere, but it’s quite accessible at least. It’s located on 8th Street near E, close to the Gallery Place Chinatown Metro station.

I popped over there a few weeks ago and picked up some nectarines. They were incredibly flavorful and juicy! But I suppose it’s never a guarantee from week to week, and I found that the nectarines I picked up the following week weren’t as juicy.

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