Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Chili's Got More Game: Nationals Park

Who visits two ballparks on consecutive days?  We do!  We watched the Mets beat the Nationals at Nationals Park.
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Ben's Chili Bowl > the game >>>>> Third Eye Blind.  I can't believe that Charlize Theron dated this guy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Let's Get Physical: Hotel Madera

We stayed one night in Washington, D.C. at Hotel Madera, which is conveniently located in Dupont Circle close to the Metro stop.
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Our room only cost $99!  Apparently, nobody else wanted a room with a treadmill.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Bold Brunch: Volt

During our Northeast quasi-road trip, we took a detour to eat at Volt, Chef Bryan Voltaggio's restaurant in Frederick, Maryland.  If you are a Top Chef fan, this may be as exciting to you as it was to me.
Unlike his brother's restaurant, Bryan Voltaggio's restaurant is airy, bright, and somewhat more formal, although not to the point of stuffy.  Servers are clad in suits but rock Chucks on their feet.  And you eat while listening to Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Shins.  I loved the music.

Amuse bouche -- celeriac macaron with foie gras.
This light salty meringue-like cookie was a great start.  Mr. Monkey gave me the macaron with the larger dollop of foie.  Yay for me!

Cheddar-jalapeno biscuit and bourbon pecan sticky bun.
The bread basket was nothing short of incredible, and it kept coming!  Piping hot and glorious!  I only had these two, but Mr. Monkey indulged.  The biscuit was so perfectly flaky and cheesy with just a bit of kick.  The sticky bun was like candy.  I can't believe I'm raving about complimentary bread, but it was seriously rave-worthy.

We got the five-course brunch tasting menu for $55 -- a great bargain for food of this caliber.

Kampachi, ginger, chive, green apple.
Fresh and brilliant.  Do you know what brilliant tastes like?  Have this, and you will.

Ravioli, garlic scapes, Marcona almond, goat cheese.
Dreamy.  Creamy.  Garlicky.  Fab.

Halibut, asparagus, hen yolk, caper.
Possibly the best halibut I've had in recent memory.  Meaty yet delicate.

Beef, Kennebeck potatoes, green garlic, English pea.
A terrible miss.  Yes, you read that right.  This sucked.  The meat was full of chewy tendon.  We both left an ample portion on our plates.  Really disappointing after the previous excellent dishes.

Chocolate marshmallow, caramel, peanut.
This reminded me of the dessert that my friend had when we went to ink.  Deconstructed and delicious.  Good comeback.

Crumb cake to take home.
Who is the person baking stuff here?  I really want to know because that person deserves a medal.  I ate this the next morning and mmm-mmm-mmmed.

This meal was great, even with the sad meat.  You should take this detour, too.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

BroMo's British Birthday Bites: The Parish


I interrupt our anniversary weekend coverage to bring you Brother Monkey cheer!  I know there are many fangirls out there!

BroMo is having a gigantic joint birthday bash tonight.  But we celebrated on a much smaller scale on Wednesday night at The Parish, which has moved into the old space of the departed Angelique Cafe.
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The Parish purports to "bring you a true twist on the English gastropub."

Translation: British small plates.

Disco Nap -- grappa, aperol, muddled lemon, mint ($16).
Black Bee -- bourbon, lemon juice, honey, stout ($12).
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I had the Disco Nap, and BroMo had the Black Bee at the bar while we waited for his friend Aziz.  Mr. Monkey had a housemade ginger ale.  Good drinks, all.

Deviled eggs ($6).
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I opted out of this one, but the guys each had a bright bite to start.

Grilled corn with honeycomb butter ($6).
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Rest assured, we got two plates, so we each had half a sweet buttery ear.

Poutine of crispy pork shoulder with paneer, mint, and peas ($14).
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Doesn't this sound incredible?  I thought so.  But it was disappointingly only "very good."

Haricots verts, grilled peaches, garam masala, burrata ($13).
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Refreshing and summery.  Green beans were crisp.  Burrata and peaches were a delight.  The menu fails to inform you that there are random pieces of potato in here.  Those were not a delight, especially when I thought I was going to eat a peach.  Boo on you, potato interlopers.

Mojama, duck egg, truffle, potatoes ($16).
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Mojama, mo' problems.  Very very salty.  But apparently it's supposed to be.  Mojama is salt-cured tuna.  Think lox but with tuna.  And much saltier.  I wasn't a fan.  I don't think Aziz was either.  BroMo and Mr. Mo ate most of this.

Fish and chips ($20).
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My second-favorite dish of the night.  Golden, crunchy, and not laden with oil.  Excellent batter ratio.  Definitely get this.

Telegraph porter sausage, pickled cherries, parsnip puree ($14).
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Mr. Monkey was amused that the sausage looked like a hockey puck.  And that was the most interesting thing about this yawn of a dish.

Meat pie -- braised beef, Stichelton, escarole ($20).
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My third-favorite dish of the night.  Flaky crust.  Tender beef.  Strong bleu.  And just enough bitterness from the greens.

Fried chicken, grilled peaches, tomatoes, and currant vinaigrette ($23).
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I saved the best for last.  It was close call between this and the fish and chips, but I'm awarding this chicken my gold star of the night.  So crunchy.  So juicy.  So flavorful.  You want this.

The Parish is off to a good start, and I can confidently state that somebody in the kitchen is a master fryer.  I hope I'm not too full to try dessert next time.  Happy birthday, BroMo!
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