brownstew

PS 7

In American, Dranks on June 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm

As you might imagine, I watch a lot of food on TV. Despite all the flack that chefs and foodies give Food Network, I thoroughly enjoy most of it’s programming. On Tuesday nights, I usually stay up so I can watch Chopped. It’s my secret late night pleasure….hehehe. (Yes, 10pm is late night for me.) Anyway, Chopped is a good place to catch a sneak peak of up and coming chefs from restaurants that you probably never heard of and watch them fumble around a foreign kitchen trying to make something wonderful out of some crazy ingredients in an ungodly short amount of time. If you can make those judges happy under those circumstances, then I bet you’re a beast in your own kitchen.

The bartender's attempt to put hair on my chest

All this to say that I was watching Chopped one night when I saw sous Chef Andrew Markert from PS 7 and was impressed. I added this to my mental Rolodex and within one week of me moving here I pranced right on over. We really just went for drinks or that’s what the “plan” was, but since only one of us had eaten since lunch, we all ended up ordering something. Chef/Owner Peter Smith should thank him

Let’s start with drinks. S-money had the Gnome’s Water, a refreshing and cucumbery concoction composed of Hendrick’s Gin, cucumber water, and lemon lavender syrup. It’s good if you like cucumber. I heard some people juice cucumbers. I don’t think I’m quite ready for that. Either way, it was pretty refreshing. I ordered the Questionable Content, which is exactly what it sounds like- whatever the bartender feels like giving you. I told my waiter I didn’t like coconut rum and that I prefer sweet to savory drinks and what he brought me back was foamy goodness in a glass with some herb or another sprinkled on top. I’m ashamed to admit that other than knowing that the foam was made from egg whites, I had no clue what was in my drink. Later I coaxed my handsome dreadlocked bartender to tell me what it wasà Jack Daniels, sour mix, St. Germain (an elderflower liquer), and the herb on top was lavender. What?!? Was he trying to put hair on my chest? Jack Daniels?!?! My girl, S-whineup, is a big fan of whiskey, but other than an occasional Jack and Coke I pretty much stay away from the stuff. After this drink, however, I think I may venture out into whiskey land more often.

Our other two girlfriends have names that start with T and S and I’ve pretty much run out of nicknames for those letters for the time being. One of them was watching her caloric intake and opted for the “Tighten the Belt” from the 100 calorie drink menu. Made from Bluecoat Gin, grapefruit, and ginger, she described it as “vacation in a glass” and “amazing in a glass.” So much so, that she opted to leave the sauce off her food and have a second “Tighten the Belt” instead. The other friend had a simple grey goose gimlet and eventually had them add more grey goose.

Tuna Sliders

As for food, they started us off with herbed popcorn, that was kinda salty, but still soooooo good. They probably give it to you at the bar cause the salt makes you drink more. I don’t know that that’s true, I’m just sayin’… Given the menu with all its yummy descriptions it took us a while to decide on Tilapia Tacos, The OMFG Dip, Tuna Sliders, and the Quiet Doggies. Tilapia Tacos and Tuna Sliders are self-explanatory. Both were good. Note that the tuna sliders use tuna tartare and regardless of how good they were, next time I would share them cause I really only needed one…two at most. They give you three.

Quiet Doggies

The quiet doggies were hush puppies with beef hot dog chunks inside….mmmmmm….genius…they give you a lot of them…I would order them again and share them. They come with this horseradish mustard sauce that’s tasty, but not really necessary. By the way, did you catch that play on words…quiet doggies…hush puppies and hot dogs…hehehe.

The OMFG Dip

The OMFG Dip is not a dip or sauce or anything of that sort, but instead a gi-normous  sandwich that they have the audacity to serve with pasta salad and a pork fat dipping sauce!! Made of stacked seared porchetta (see wiki), caramelized onions, and melted gruyere on toasted foccacia. Of course, this was S-money’s dish. It was so good, that she said so after each bite and ate the other half of the sandwich for breakfast the next morning. There was nothing amazing about the pasta they served with it, but I like pasta salad so I ate it…all…shrugs. I’ve started working out again. It’s ok.

Anywho, I will be seeing PS 7 again…probably really soon. So glad Chopped hasn’t led me astray.

I almost forgot to mention the Happy Hour Specials–Mon 4p-close (burgers half price every Monday night), Tues-Fri 4-7p…$3 beer, $4 wine, $7 daily seasonal punch, all flatbreads 1/2 price, $5 salami poppers, and $7 fried mac and cheese.

 PS 7

777 I Street Northwest
Washington D.C., DC 20001-3722
(202) 742-8550

Happy Hour at The Source

In Asian, Celeb Chefs, Dranks on June 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

Since most of you reading this are my friends, I’m sure you already know that I’ve moved to WASHINGTON D.C!!! Despite my new location and the slightly unfamiliar food scene, the blogging must go on!Friday, T-diddy, S-money, and I found ourselves at the Source, Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant here in DC. Well, we didn’t quite find ourselves. I was reading a good DC food blog (Young and Hungry) and read that the Source was one of Top Chef contestant, Mike Isabella’s favorite DC restaurants.

Dragon's Fire

Happy hour starts in the bar and lounge area at 4p and goes until 6p. We got there at 5…imagine our surprise when NO ONE WAS THERE!! Word? Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant is not poppin for a Friday happy hour??? LIES…within a half hour of sitting the bar seats were filled and huge party doing the tasting menu showed up. Not to mention the people pouring in for their 6pm reservations. I guess people  in DC just don’t get off work until 5. I thought government workers got off early on Fridays…guess not.

Passion Fruit Mojito*

Oddly enough, happy hour at the Source doesn’t really have any drink specials…at least not from what I could tell, BUT you do get 3 food items from the lounge/bar menu for $20.11, which is a pretty good deal since each item is around $8-$12.

Let’s start with the drinks. I got a Passion Fruit Mojito, which is pretty self-explanatory and equally as wonderful. S-money had the Dragon’s Fire, a compilation of Resposado tequila, grapefruit, and, you guessed it, jalepeno! She’s on a tequila and spice thing right now, so she really enjoyed it. I, personally, prefer my spice on my plate, but I can still recognize good and that drink was good.

Asian Pear Drop

T-diddy initially ordered the Hemmingway but it had this weird licorice taste because of the absinthe. The bartender graciously took it back and made her what he recommended initially, the Asian Pear Drop, which was just as great as he said it would be, made with Absolut Pear, pear puree, and something else yummy. All in all, I’d say this is a great place to pick up a good $12 cocktail while waiting on dinner.

So we got 3 dishes each. It was just enough to fill us up without feeling like we had gorged ourselves. T-diddy and I even had leftovers that managed to fill me up for lunch the next day.

Pork Belly Bao Buns

S-money got the Pork Belly Bao Buns,  Sichuan Chicken Dumplings, and Chinese BBQ Spare Ribs. T-diddy ordered the Chinese BBQ Spare Ribs, Stir Fried Yaki Udon, and the Shrimp Dumplings. I got the Tempura Green Beans, Stir Fried Yaki Udon, and Sichuan Chicken Dumplings. Overall, the food was good. Mr. Puck’s people do not dissapoint.

Tempura String Beans

Our favorites were the Udon noodles made with wild field mushrooms and slow cooked oxtail (oxtail is like bacon…it makes everything better), Spare Ribs, which had an amazing sauce that left you wanting more, and the Tempura Green beans, which really should be shared, but had great notes curry and pickled ginger.

Udon Noodles with Slow cooked Oxtail

The shrimp dumplings were too salty. The chicken dumplings were super flavorful, but also just a touch heavy on the salt. The pork belly bao buns were tasty but left you wanting more pork!

I would love to go back for the Prime Beef Sliders and maybe some of the sushi rolls that I saw them getting at the other table, but I really want to go back for dinner!! Ooh and dessert! I saw them bring out carrot cake to a couple behind us and I really wanted to lean over and put my fork in it, but I resisted…I deserve a cookie.

Chinese BBQ Spare Ribs

I was thoroughly pleased. I think this is a good place to do the celebrity chef thing in a relatively inexpensive way.

Try it out. Tell me what you think. Better yet, make some recommendations for where else we should eat in DC!

The Source

P: 202-637-6100
F: 202-637-6101
575 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington DC, District Of Columbia 20001
wolfgangpuck.com
*forgive the camera phone…it’s hit or miss and my camera is out of commission for a while

Tweed

In American on April 12, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I contemplated titling this post something super corny comparing tweed and plaid, but I decided against it. It was probably for the best…lol.

Last Friday, I joined T-dubbs and her family to celebrate her birthday. In true T-dubbs fashion, she waited until 3pm on Friday to try and make a reservation for 7 people. Good job, T-dubbs…you shoulda let me make the reservation when I asked you 3.5 weeks ago. However, also in true T-dubbs fashion, she was blessed with a 7:30 spot at Tweed- a restaurant we’d been meaning to try out for some time.

The El Dorado

T-diddy and I got there a little early so we sat at the bar and treated ourselves to a drink and the eye candy at the bar. This girl was standing in front of a bar stool, had her purse on another, and was chit-chatting it up while blocking prime seating real estate. To my surprise, the hostess kindly asked her to choose a seat. I really appreciated that! I don’t like it when people take up space that I could be sitting and drinking in. Anywho, we both got the $12 El Dorado, a tequila based drink. It was really good. My favorite part was how we ordered it and it magically appeared before our eyes before we could even blink-thanks to that hunk of a bartender. (Sidenote: I think all bartenders should be attractive. It makes my drink taste better.)

Once everyone arrived, we were seated in a roomy booth on the second floor. The restaurant has a really nice atmosphere…modern yet comfortable. It looks like a place that you would want to return to over and over again. While we perused the menu, we were served water infused with cucumber. That was new for me. The jury is still out on how I feel about it. It was refreshing, but I dunno…I just started liking lemon in my water, like, yesterday. T-diddy prefers the cucumber to the lemon. There was also bread and olive oil for the table. The bread had mixed reviews. It was whole wheat with walnuts and raisins in it. I think I would have liked it better if it was warm. The top was yummy cause it was salted, but the bottom part was kind of bland. I ended up eating a lot of it because they took FOREVER to bring our food.

Lollipop Chicken Wings

For appetizers, Lil Bro (not to be confused with my lil bro…lol) ordered the lollipop chicken wings and T-dubbs had the Tweed Chopped salad minus the salami (she and her beau are on some crazy Daniel fast for lent). Lil Bro looked a little surprised by the look and size of the wings. He’s 18 and I think he was expecting something more similar to the wings they check out at http://wingquest2011.blogspot.com/. But to me and T-diddy and pretty much everyone else at the table, those little “drummettes” looked delightful…and they were! The picture really doesn’t do them justice. Really good blend of spices and super juicy! We decided they must have detached then re-attached the meat to the bone…I don’t know how. Actually, I’d kind of like to go back for happy hour this Friday so I can have a whole plate of those wings and some more cocktails. T-dubbs’ salad was good too with an interesting mix of warm and cold vegetables, but I need to get on to the rest of the meal.

Salmon

Both Father and the Beau got the salmon. Lil Bro got the trio of burgers. T-dubbs got the cod. I got the shortribs. Mama got the Petit Filet (which isn’t on the online menu). T-diddy got the special for the night, a 12-14 oz steak!!

Mac and Cheese

We also got spinach and macaroni cheese as sides.

Baked Market Cod

Generally speaking, everyone was pretty pleased with their food. Both men cleaned their salmon plates with no complaints. It looked good from my point of view, but I didn’t taste it.

Trio of Burgers

Lil Bro opted for 2 hamburgers and a lamb burger instead of the duck. He liked the hamburgers, but wasn’t quite ready to branch out to the lamb and it’s yogurt sauce. T-dubbs’ cod looked and tasted really fresh and healthy.

Mama’s beef was served with arugula and even though it looked good to the rest of us, I think she would have prefered it be served with something else. T-diddy’s steak was HUGE!!! It was cooked well. I thought it could have used a little more seasoning, but T-diddy enjoyed it as it was. My shortribs were braised perfectly and served with a parsnip puree. YUMMO!!

Shortribs!

For dessert T-diddy, Lil Bro, and Mama all got the pound cake ice cream sandwich. I resisted since I’d already had cake and ice cream for lunch…smh. Everyone loved the dessert! The pound cake was lightly toasted on the inside and simply delightful! I have some cake in my kitchen right now. I wonder if I can toast it….hmmm, we’ll see…

Anyway, we had a great meal at Tweed and I’m sure I’ll go again. Have you ever been? What did you like? If not, try it out and tell me how it went!

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