Five For Ten

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I worked all last weekend so I didn’t take the time to blog.  Good news – that means I have tomorrow off with a three day weekend!  Here were the top five eats for the last ten days…

{1} Oatmeal for lunch

Prepackaged with vanilla almond butter and citrus on the side.

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And a homemade mix with chia seeds and sliced almonds.

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With fresh strawberries stirred in and melty cookie butter on top.  P.S. Cookie butter probably should have gotten its own bullet point!

{2} The last of the Tahini Granola in yogurt bowls

With plain Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries and blackberries.

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I need to make a 2nd batch of granola asap, it made the last two weeks of lunches an absolute delight.  I’m going to give myself a lower sugar week with Heritage Flakes first though.

{3} Epic sandwiches

The cafeteria-assembled breakfast sandwiches were particularly epic but this turkey ‘which from home was nothing to sneeze at.

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TJ’s quinoa bread with turkey and cheddar.  I put the chips inside the sandwich for some needed crunch.

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Cinnamon-raisin toast with smashed hard-boiled egg, veggie sausage, and Greek yogurt cream cheese.

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Egg and cheese croissantwich.

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I’ve decided I don’t eat egg sandwiches often enough, a gap in my culinary habits that desperately needs to be filled.

{4} Starbucks’ s’mores bar

Holy crap this was good!

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I swear the graham cracker layer has coffee in it.

{5} Mexican-flavors dinners

Deconstructed tacos, aka taco filling bowls scooped with tortilla chips.

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Shredded chicken, sautéed orange bell peppers and onion, cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and fresh cilantro.  Plus brussels sprouts that I roasted with taco seasoning. <– so good

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Another night we made chicken and zucchini enchiladas.

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I don’t know why I never make enchiladas, these were so easy!

{Bonus} Near misses – don’t try this at home

These two seemed like they’d be great and instead were total let downs.  I did not want a 2nd bite of this cookie dough bar.

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And we were expecting to love Bunsmith, they have a cookie butter bun for god sake.  And a boozy banana milk and spice cocktail.

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Mega meh.  The veggies in our bowls came out of a can and there was entirely too much rice.  We’ll have to stay loyal to Bao Haus.  In fact, it’s on the agenda for the three-day weekend!

Eating Madison Square

This week’s flavor themes: coffee (always), cheese (almost always), lavender, yogurt, fresh herbs, and tahini granola (<– my newest, greatest recipe!).

We work all weekend – actually we work every day straight until next Friday – and we made the most of our shared Thursday off.  And we went on a dinner date on Tuesday!  Good times.

My seasonal allergies hit hard this week and I was a sneezy, disoriented mess so dinners were basically a disaster but my lunches were on point.  And dinners were fun, just lacking in greens; the “healthiest” meal of the week was veggie-packed nachos!

foods that were good

This week’s coffee – Black Hand with lavender sugar.  Very yummy with fat-free milk and half & half.

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Also with the last of the Nutchello.

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And paired alongside a lavender kombucha.

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Important note – this pomegranate sangria seltzer tastes and smells exactly like Pez candy!

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The serenity now blend from David’s Tea also deserves a mention, the spearmint is lovely.

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Bonus – maple iced latte from Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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My packed lunches were all about the tahini granola.  With plain yogurt and berries.

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Though one day I did have Chobani watermelon with fresh watermelon.  If you haven’t had watermelon in a yogurt bowl yet, go for it, the combo is fantastic.

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And yesterday we did a lunch date at Madison Square Eats. <– a food tent situation similar to Smorgasburg

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It was great to sit outside and eat in the sun.  We shared a salmon belly dosa waffle from Inday.

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And a green papaya salad with lemongrass chicken from Hong Kong Kitchen.  Served on a giant bed of lettuce.

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But our true raison d’être was the Ice & Vice ice cream and Squish marshmallow collaboration.  We had a scoop of Detention (malted vanilla with brownie and fruity pebble dust) with a toasted Birthday Party (sprinkles) marshmallow.  Yummmm!  Best marshmallow we’ve ever tasted.

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The days I didn’t eat granola at lunch I had it as an evening snack!  I’m a woman obsessed; that stuff is delicious.  This was caramel Noosa with granola, melty cookie butter, and blackberries.

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Speaking of evening snacks, the cookie butter is a very tempting thing to have open.

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Take-out Pad Thai for dinner.  This wasn’t even my weak take-out, this was Adam’s leftovers from a night shift.  Like I said, dinners weren’t fantastic.

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Pizza pizza.

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Our dinner date at Pok Pok was a win.

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That’s a tamarind whiskey sour.  Enjoyed with complimentary chili lime peanuts.

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The food is served family-style and the waitress recommended sharing three dishes so that’s what we did.  Khao Soi Kai – Northern Thai mild curry noodle soup made with a secret curry paste recipe and coconut milk.  With chicken on the bone and crispy noodles.  Served with house pickled mustard greens, shallots, and roasted chili paste.

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Cha Ca “La Vong” – Vietnamese catfish marinated in turmeric and sour sticky rice, fried in turmeric oil with scallions and dill, served on rice vermicelli with peanuts, mint, cilantro, and mam nem (fish sauce).  The fresh herbs took this over the top!  I have been loving the use of mint in our restaurant dishes lately.

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Finally, Hoi Thawt – crispy broken crepe with steamed fresh mussels, eggs, garlic, chives and bean sprouts.  This was my favorite dish, you can’t go wrong with fried eggs.  I only recently started eating mussels but I really enjoyed them served this way.

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We also had an amazing dessert.  A clever play on Thai iced coffee, this was a condensed milk ice cream affagato in Stumptown espresso.  With Thai doughnuts on the side.

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Our homecooked dinner for the week was loaded nachos.  Corn chips, shredded cheese, shredded chicken, pinto beans, roasted broccoli, sautéed orange bell pepper and onion, avocado, and tons of fresh cilantro.

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The dog was pretty pleased with this too, because he got several bites of chicken and avocado during the assembly stage.

three exciting non-food things

{1} How long the dog is in this photo Adam snapped of us in bed.

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{2} The Egg and the Spoon.  I’m halfway done and loving it.  All of Gregory Maguire’s books are enchanting but this story is particularly so.  I’m going back and rereading every other page  because the wording is just so beautiful.

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{3} I convinced one of my friends to start watching Hart of Dixie and now she texts me regular updates about how great it is!  I’m way too excited to have someone sharing my shame.

Bushwick And Beyond

Weekend theme flavors: rose, tahini, coffee, and duck.

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I am super lucky that my husband feels the same way that I do about trying new foods and sharing foods; splitting things means we get to have tons of tastes!  I feel lucky to have him in general too! (<– see also: the gorgeous flowers below that he surprised me with after work on Friday)

For Saturday breakfast we shared a soursop smoothie. It couldn’t compare to the fresh stuff I had at home but was still yummy.  Frozen soursop puree, caramel almond milk, and cinnamon and nutmeg.

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I also had an iced Americano while we did a big grocery restock trip.  Pro tip – ask for “light water” so you can add some milk without losing espresso.

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Lunch was a smorgasbord at SmorgasburgDuck bun, smothered in sweet chili sauce.  The crunch from the fried shallots makes this our favorite bao in the city.  {A+}

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I cooled my mouth down with an earl grey egg cream. {A}

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We tried a savory crepe with egg, chili sauce, and a crunchy cracker.  {B}  The texture ended up not really being our speed, we both wished we had gone for the extra egg in it.

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Palm sugar with tamarind caramel ice cream for dessert. {A+}  This had such a unique flavor.

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I tasted a bite of cinnamon rose and it was pretty amazing as well.  We grabbed an unphotographed coffee at some point in there too.

Our evening plans included a tasting/tour of Owney’s Rum at The Noble Experiment so we wandered around Bushwick a bit.  We were parked about a mile from the distillery so we got to see a few cool spots.  And the tour was great; we really love factory/brewery/etc visits.

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I also had a vodka soda with cherries.  <– desperately needed lime

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For dinner we fell head over heals in love with Faro.  Gorgeous tableware, locally and humanely sourced foods, and delicious dishes.

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We started with ricotta gnocchi with ramps, morel mushrooms, fava beans, and cured egg.

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Plus a little gem lettuce salad with miso anchovy vinaigrette, pistachio, soft-boiled egg, and mint.  It was amazing, truly the very best salad we’ve ever had!  Adam and I both thought it was the best dish of the day.  The mint made it absolutely perfect.

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Drinks were a meh rosé and a sour porter which we loved.

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We shared our entrées (more tastes!).  Squid ink corzetti with peekytoe crab, uni, shiro dashi, and sorrel.  I really dislike long pasta – I should have looked up corzetti before I ordered – but Adam was swooning.

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And I lost my mind over our dry aged duck breast.  It was served on a fantastic turnip puree.

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Key lime tart with fresh strawberry sorbet for dessert.

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We will be back!

Sunday baking project – tahini granola.  Best granola I’ve ever made; I ended up eating a big bowl with milk for dessert at the end of the day.

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For breakfast I ate it on top of plain Greek yogurt, with fresh berries, and a single Luxardo cherry.

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Plus a rose latte in an amazing cup.

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We spent our afternoon wandering around Chelsea Market to get out of the unseasonable cold.

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Lunch was a sharp cheddar grilled cheese with a chocolate milk stout.

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Seed + Mill served the highlight of the day – goats milk yogurt with the best tahini I’ve ever had.  We couldn’t believe how delicious this was!  I can’t wait to take my parents there this summer.

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My home-cooked dinner was delicious as well, thanks, crockpot!

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Chicken, potatoes, and baby carrots were cooking away with 40 cloves of garlic while we spent the day out of the house.

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Served with roasted green beans with a sprinkle of almonds and cheese.

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Yum.  And I am basically stuffed again reading through this post!

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Back At It

We are back at the old grind.  The first week of real life after vacation felt loooooong.  It’s good to be back at work though, and great to be back with the dog!

Here were some of the best bites this week…

This week’s coffee was fan-freaking-tastic!  Blackhand that I brought home from my trip to Richmond.  It was super strong and roasty.

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With strawberry watermelon Polar that’s my new favorite flavor.

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I also tried the caramel almond Nutchello.  It was pleasant but not as strongly flavored as I was hoping for.

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Midmorning snack of baby carrots and wonderful red cherries.

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Cafeteria lunch.  They are making a fancy new hybrid burger that is half turkey half veggie; it was good!  My korma veggies were not so good, I ended up swapping them for fries.

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Yogurt bowl.  Salted caramel noosa (<– yum!) with blueberries and blackberries and awesome gorp-style trail mix my aunt gave us.  Plus a golden nugget mandarin orange on the side.

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Better yogurt bowl.  Plain Greek yogurt, berries, red plum, Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes, nature’s sprinkles (chia) for healthy fat, and Amy Sedaris’ sprinkles for joy.

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This ridiculously adorable cookie from Starbucks made for a fun end of the day snack.

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And carrots with caramelized onion dip was the perfect thing to crunch through while I cooked this week.

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We also really enjoyed lemonade with pink lemon!  Perfect with mint sparkling water.  The lemons were orange on the outside, pinkish on the inside, and sweeter than their yellow counterparts.

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Brinner for the win.  Banana pecan pancakes, berries, and amazing turkey bacon, with maple syrup poured on after the picture.

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Breakfast for dinner is always a good idea, but it’s a great idea when your drink and dessert are also on theme.  We planned the pancakes because we both had coffee-flavored beers to try.

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And we tried the crazy expensive, crazy good Compartes donuts & coffee bar.  I thought it was totally worth the price.

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Our other dinners were also winners.  Nachos!  Maple bacon kettle chips with TJ’s low-fat three cheese blend, turkey bacon, shredded turkey breast, broccoli, and green pepper.

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And Greek salad night.  Greens with Greek feta dressing, cucumber, tabouli, TJ’s stuffed grape leaves, and crunchy roasted chickpeas.

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Last night we ate Chipotle and caught up on TV. <– kind of the best date night

Spring In The City

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As of this morning our spring vacation comes to a close.  We did St. Thomas, DC, and a few wonderful days in the best city on Earth (aka our hometown, NYC).  After a month apart while Adam was in Texas the past two weeks have been fantastic.  I’m going to miss him a lot this workweek.

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In spite of the rain and bitter cold over the past few days we managed to pack a lot of fun into our Friday/Saturday/Sunday.  We walked more than 10 miles around Manhattan on Friday, most of them in the downpour!  We had enough reprieves from the weather to appreciate how insanely gorgeous our city is in the spring.

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Here were our top five eats from the end of vacation…

{1} Breakfast at Back Room

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Breakfast in a fancy hotel with a view of the city?  Yes, please!  And it was one of the best meals of the weekend.  Adam got an amazing fish platter with herring and smoked sturgeon, smoked salmon, belly lox, pastrami salmon, fingerling potatoes, eggplant salad, and cream cheese with trout roe.  I’m usually a bit too squeamish for lox but I happily stole bites of everything from this plate.

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I had duck confit hash topped with a duck egg!  With a cheddar biscuit with honey and butter.

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You really can’t go wrong with duck on duck; my meal was almost too rich.

{2} Brunch at Du Jour Bakery

It was so good the last time that I had to go back and take Adam.  I ordered an iced latte (made with Brooklyn Roasting Company) immediately.

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And I went savory with an egg and cheese croissant sandwich.  My meal came with a tasty side salad and Adam’s came with fries so we were in business!

{3} Donuts from Underwest

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A Hells Kitchen spot inside of a car wash.  We tried halvah and vanilla-lavender.

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They were a bit cakey for my preferences (Adam disagrees) but the glaze was top-notch.

Plus coffee from Laughing Man, Hugh Jackman’s Tribeca shop that donates all of it’s proceeds to the Laughing Man Foundation.

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That’s a honey lavender latte to fit with our donuts.

{4} Ice cream from I CE NY

Smashed and rolled ice cream!  They spread your base flavor and mix-ins on a giant frozen metal plate.

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I got Thai iced tea ice cream with sprinkles mixed in and popping boba, mochi, and condensed milk on top.

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It was fun, and also some of the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten.  The base ended up being amazingly chewy! <– here is some info on why “chewy” is a compliment

{5} Dinner at Ten Ichi Ramen, a newish spot in Park Slope

We started with duck bao.

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I got the veggie ramen, with an aged egg on top.

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Not as good as Chuko but still pretty darn good.  The broth was so creamy!  Plus their chili garlic oil was wonderful, which is good for me because I add it to my ramen by the scoop.

Quick Trip To DC 2016

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Part 2 of our vacation – a quick trip to DC/Maryland.  We had to squeeze it in between St. Thomas and time in the city so our visit was short but sweet.  We were drove to the District Tuesday morning and left to visit family in MD on Wednesday afternoon, but we still managed to fit in two museums, a long walk around Georgetown, and a visit with friends.  Plus of course we found time to celebrate May 4th, aka May the Fourth be with you!

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Our first sightseeing stop was the Museum of Natural History.  I love the human origins hall (did you know I strongly considered going back to school for anthropology instead of dietetics?) but the gems and minerals exhibit is always our favorite.  The stones all look like candy to me so I was very excited to buy some edible rock candy on our way out of the museum.

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The next day we did the Renwick Gallery.  The Wonder exhibition was fantastic.  The instillations are stunning and incredibly moving.  My pictures can’t do it justice but artist Gabriel Dawe turned string into light!

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My favorite was Maya Lin’s marble river.

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It flowed around the room in a way that was just breathtaking.

I skipped taking photos of most of our eats so I only have the really exciting stuff {coffee and sugar!}  The Coffee Bar was our first stop after the drive in.

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We went adventurous with an Americola – Americano with Mexican Coke – and the Honey Badger – cream, honey, and tons of espresso.

We also really enjoyed Compass Coffee.

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I had a yummy mint cold brew and Adam’s cortado had some of the best espresso we’ve ever tasted.

Baked and Wired was an obvious stop in Georgetown, their funfetti cupcake is called the Uniporn.

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We also tried the Texas Sheetcake, chocolate cinnamon cake with chocolate pecan frosting.

Dinner was one of the best parts of the trip.  One of my best friends (my maid of honor) lives in DC and travels a ton so it is always a big treat to get to spend time with her.  Her sister just opened a restaurant in Adams Morgan so we got to enjoy great food with our great company.  Real talk – Tail Up Goat easily makes the top three list for meals we’ve loved this year.

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I started by asking for the Hibiscus Agua Fresca with vodka in it because I’m a genius.

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This was the first of several rounds of drinks so please excuse the fact that my pictures are pretty rough.  I promise the food was actually as lovely as it was delicious.

There were four of us at the table and we ate family-style so we ended up getting to try a lot of the menu.  Crispy salt cod with smoked cauliflower and pickled red onion.  It was fun to try a different iteration so close on the heels of our salt fish patty back home.

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Brown rice bread with roasted carrot, blood orange, and hazelnut picada.  This was a great blend of textures.

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“Potato salad” with trout roe, spring onion, and dill.  I hate real potato salad but I would happily eat roasted potato with charred onion, pumpkin seeds, and pops of roe anytime.

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Adam wanted to order the asparagus the minute we sat down. Served with almond skordalia, cured egg yolk, and pecorino.  He came very close to licking the plate.

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I was more excited about the carrot ravioli with ramp greens, pistachio breadcrumbs, and apricots.  The pasta was perfect.

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We tried two of the entrees.  A stunning whole stuffed porgy with sunchokes, black walnut, and ramps.

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And smoked hen of the woods mushroom with burnt bread sauce and chicken crisps.

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This was my favorite dish of the night!  I’ve now had hen of the woods smoked and fried and I am obsessed with them.  Between the mushrooms and the burnt bread sauce this plate was perfectly umami.

We weren’t too stuffed for dessert.

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almond cake with mascarpone and rhubarb jam.  Fyi – tepache is a sweetened and fermented pineapple beverage and budino is a type of Italian pudding.

A fantastic meal all-around and it was really neat to get to see another high-school classmate rocking it in the culinary world.

I soaked up family time in Baltimore and didn’t take a single picture.  Coming up – the last leg of vacation is time off in NYC.

 

 

 

Ocean 362 {Dinner In St. John}

St. Thomas has to be my favorite island because it’s where I was born, but during our trip home our absolute best meal was enjoyed in St. John.

One of the boys from my high school class grew up to be an amazingly cool chef who opened a restaurant in Cruz Bay.  Ocean 362 does modern takes on traditional Caribbean dishes using ingredients that are fresh, local, and sustainably sourced.  It’s a total 10/10.

The space is pretty and open and we got a seat on the patio with a progressively more beautiful view of the sunset.

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The setting sun also means that my photos get progressively less lovely!

Adam and I went alone for a date night and ordered a truly ridiculous amount of food for two people.  We started with a local fish dip with citrus, herbs, and cream cheese, served topped with crispy capers, with radishes and crostini on the side.

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We also had fresh bread with delightfully sweet butter and the chef sent out an assortment of pickles that were stunning.  The mushrooms were good and the dilled cucumbers were the best I’ve ever tasted.

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Cocktails included the Bean-a-colada with pineapple and vanilla infused vodka and pineapple juice.  That dollop on the top is coconut milk and lime foam.

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Plus a sparkly Seaplane with cava, orange bitters, and housemade hibiscus flower liquor.  The foam is thanks to vegan “egg” powder.  You can never go wrong ordering a cocktail with egg and especially not ordering one with hibiscus.

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Adam said his pork tenderloin was scrumptious, but I’m sure it couldn’t have been better than my duck.  Cast iron seared duck breast / duck confit / buttermilk dumplings / maple glazed carrots / crispy brussels sprout leaves.  The dumplings were perfectly seasoned all the way through but the best bites were obviously confit.

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We couldn’t choose so we got two desserts – torched brie with rum raisin conserve and a chocolate tart with a plantain crust, a passionfruit marshmallow, and dulce de leche.

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We were swooning from the first bite to the last.  Plus we continued to gush about the meal while we rolled ourselves back down the hill to the ferry!