Friday, July 30, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 30th, 2010

Pete's New Haven Pizza, Tenleytown-Friendship Heights

M, S, and I recently met up at Pete's New Haven - Ten-Frien (Tenleytown-Friendship Heights) location to check out their New Haven-style pizza.  I was pretty excited to try it out because I had heard lots of good things about their original Columbia Heights location, but had not yet been to that location.

The restaurant is located in sort of a random spot, especially for Metro-riders.  It's more or less equidistant from both the Tenleytown and Friendship Heights metro stops, so it's a little bit of a hike (especially in this heat).  Once we found it though, everything was a totally positive experience :o)

The space is v. bright and welcoming, with a v. neighborhood and family-friendly vibe.  The employees at the registers were friendly, informative, and patient, as we spent a little time deciding on what to order.  

M and I decided to split a 18" pizza with half The Staven (Pepperoni, Hot Sausage, Roasted Garlic, Caramelized Onion, Italian Cherry Peppers), and half Merritt Parkway (Prosciutto de Parma, Kalamata Olives, Caramelized Onion, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil).  Both were awesome!  However, if I had to pick one of the two, I'd go with The Staven - super garlicy, meaty, rich, and delicious.


S ordered the 12" gluten-free pizza, which came with unlimited toppings- woo!  She got the pizza with spinach, roasted garlic tomatoes, and extra buffalo mozzarella.  She says, "It was good!  My GF pizza actually tasted like the "real thing"".  I thought it was surprising for a pizza place, of all places, to have a gluten-free option, but definitely nice!   They also offer a gluten-free beer to wash down the pizza with :o)  Also, speaking of drinks - I'm not a big soda drinker but I liked their selection of Boylan Sodas fountain drinks- all-natural, with no HFCS.  

Overall we had a great meal there, and I would definitely come back again.  Everything on the menu sounds delicious, and eventually I'd like to try one of their non-pizza options...although honestly, it might be hard to not get a pizza!   

Pete's New Haven- Ten-Frien
4940 Wisconsin Avenue
Washington, DC 
202. 237. PETE (7383)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 29th, 2010

Prize Pack from Annie's Homegrown


I was super super excited to receive this prize pack from Annie's Homegrown (I entered one of their Twitter contests).  So many different Annie's products!  Besides the Cheddar Bunnies and their Macaroni and Cheese, I had never really noticed/tried any of the other items before.  I especially like the Honey Bunny Grahams, they're so addicting!!  Thank you, Annie's Homegrown, for such an unexpectedly varied and large prize pack!  

Check them out on Twitter here, or their official website here

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 28th, 2010

Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Bar Brownie Pan

After holding off on buying it for so long, I was super excited to see that the Chocolate Bar Brownie pan was on sale at Williams-Sonoma, woohoo!  Say what you will about it being totally a novelty/silly item to buy, I think it's friggin adorable, especially when it's on sale, haha.


Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I look forward to using it soon, probably to bring brownies into work.  If your local Williams-Sonoma is still having a sale, you should definitely check it out.  There were a few other baking items on the sale tables, as well as oven mitts/towels and other basic things too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 27th, 2010

Pureology HydraWhip

I came home from work one day to this fab tub of Pureology Hydrawhip waiting for me, woo!  I'm assuming it's from an online magazine contest, but there was no letter or any information included.  Either way- definitely excited to have it, I really, really like it a lot so far!  It smells fantastic (slightly sweet, but hard to describe beyond that), and the little comb is a nice touch.  It really is a souffle-esque texture like it says on the website- light and fluffy.  I'm always on the lookout for hydrating/color-saving products, and this one has been great to use so far.  So thank you, whatever magazine I won this from, for giving me a chance to try out on my it's-too-expensive-but-I-do-it-anyways-highlighted hair!  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 26th, 2010

Buzz Bakery at the Bethesda Farmers Market: Buzz Cupcake


I recently headed down to the Bethesda Farmers Market one Sunday morning, mainly to pick up my Black Tea Gelato order from Pitango Gelato (SO good!!!!!!!!!!).  Little did I know that a fabulous surprise was there as well- a Buzz Bakery stand!!  Apparently they started selling at the market a few weeks back, woohoo!  Since I was already getting a giant carton of gelato, I decided to pick up just one item from the Buzz Bakery stand.  

All of their cupcakes looked good, but the guy manning the stand recommended the Buzz cupcake, a signature item on their regular menu.  It's a cute lil thing, all fluffy and poofy-looking on top, chocolatey on the bottom.  The frosting is fantastic- light and super tasty, texture-wise v. similar to Georgetown Cupcake's cream cheese frosting.  The cake was moist and really rich, really nice along with the light frosting.  The crushed Oreos on top added a touch of texture - and I loooooove Oreos, so this was a total WIN in my book.  I would definitely get this cupcake again!  One of these days I'll have to make it to their Alexandria shop; but until then, I'm excited to try out more of their goods at the Bethesda Farmers Market!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 23rd, 2010

Review: SEI Restaurant

I was recently able to meet up with M and try out SEI Restaurant a few weeks back- sushi lovers unite!  SEI  is v. similar in atmosphere to Oya - should be, since they're owned by the same company, haha.  It's smaller though, so it feels a little more intimate than the club environment of Oya.  I came into this dinner thinking that if the food was anything like Oya, we'd be set, since I really liked it in the many times I've been before. 

Wasabi Guacamole

We split the Wasabi Guacamole to start- it was definitely one of the more interesting variations of guacamole I've had.  Definitely has a kick to it but not too much (I don't like wasabi, to be honest, and I still liked this).  The wonton chips were crispy and a welcome change from the regular tortilla chip.  Sleek presentation as well!  A great start to the meal while we were chit-chatting.


SOS Roll + Triple Tuna Roll

I got the SOS roll and the Triple Tuna roll - neither of which are currently on the online menu, so I can't tell you exactly what's on it...sorry!  But one of the components in the SOS roll is strawberry- yup, you read that right, strawberry.  Definitely sounded weird enough for me to try it, haha.  I have to say, the addition of strawberry was pretty good!  Added a light, sweet but not overwhelming component - much like adding fresh strawberry slices to a salad, I guess.  The Triple Tuna was really yummy, and though I couldn't exactly discern the three types of tuna in the roll, it was happily eaten, haha.  

Sorry that this post is vague, but I forgot to take notes on my Blackberry about the menu items (dorky, yes, but prevents memory loss like in this case).  I will say that the sushi was really tasty and there was LOTS more on the menu that we would've liked to try.  Check out M's post (including what she ordered) here.  The dining room was quiet when we got there but got a little more noisy by the time we were leaving.  I could see it being a fun weekend dinner-type place, especially since the decor is so modern and sleek.  I think there's also a bar-only happy hour that might be worth checking out.  I'll be back for sure! 

SEI Restaurant
444 7th Street NW
Washington DC 20004

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 22nd, 2010

Georgetown Cupcake: Blueberry Coffeecake + Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

Blueberry Coffeecake + Chocolate and Vanilla

Something old, something new.  Well, the Chocolate and Vanilla cupcake isn't old, per se, but moreso a regular menu item that's been around since the beginning.  I'm sure I've had it before at some point, but since I haven't blogged about it- here ya go!
The Chocolate and Vanilla cupcake is essentially Georgetown Cupcake's signature chocolate cake with vanilla frosting- what makes it special are these little tiny square French chocolate sprinkles.  An interesting variation of regular sprinkles, and I can't say I've seen them at any other bakery before here.  I enjoy sprinkles in general, but sometimes don't like how they rounded shape makes it hard for them to adhere to frosting.  Not so with these flat, square ones!  Actually, maybe these should be called "confetti" instead of sprinkles, because that's what they look more like, haha.  Taste-wise, this is a classic flavor combo with a little something extra.
The Blueberry Coffeecake is one of the July cupcakes, and v. different from their usual flavors.  As you can see- there's no frosting- it's more of a sugary glaze topping the cake portion.  There were plenty of fresh blueberries inside the cake, with a slight lemony taste too which I liked.  I'm not a fan of blueberries, but my mom is, and seemed to enjoy this one, especially because there wasn't any frosting on it, haha.  I do agree though that a swirl of frosting would've been overkill on this particular one, especially with a name like Blueberry Coffeecake.  A cute option for those of you that are fans of: a) blueberries; b) no frosting; c) brunch-type flavors :o)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 21st, 2010

Lady Gaga: Madison Square Garden, NYC (July 9th, 2010)

I had the unbelievable opportunity to see Lady Gaga at Madison Square Garden on July 9th, thanks to a contest held by InStyle magazine!!!  The show was crazy, super energetic, and fun times in the ways of Gaga.  Totally different experience from the more intimate Radio City Music Hall performance earlier this year, that's for sure! 

Here's a few photos that actually turned out (my camera's horrible in dark settings and we were pretty far back in the floor section) - hope you enjoy them! 


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 20th, 2010

Garces Trading Co., Philadelphia

During my recent weekend trip to Philly, I cajoled several of my friends to go to Jose Garces' Garces Trading Co.  It was close to the hotel and I had heard good things about this casual spot.  As you may or may not know, Jose Garces is the most recently named Iron Chef on the Food Network, and owns a few places in Philly.   

Entrance/Cheese section

Dining Room/pastry area in the back

As you can see, this place is much more than a restaurant - there's a cheese section off to one side, a full pastry retail area in the back, and a wine cellar on the opposite side of the restaurant.  Housemade coffee, olive oils, and other items are also available for sale.  There's a lot to look at inside the space while perusing the menu to eat. 

Bread, yum.

We started with a basket- or box, rather- of bread and olive oil, both house-made.  V. yummy- the olive oil was strong and spicy, which I really liked with the light-tasting bread.  A little sprinkle of salt to finish, yum. 

Cheese plate

My friends split one of the cheese plates, which everyone seemed to enjoy.  The condiments that came with the cheese were interesting, especially the one garlic dulce de leche... yup, you read that right!  Sounds scary, yes, but really interesting!  I liked it, I think it's definitely a tasty companion to cheese.

Everyone else got pizzas and sandwiches to share- I decided to go with the 3-course brunch menu, haha.  The items looked interesting, and I thought it'd be a good chance to try out what the restaurant has to offer.  There are a good number of menu choices in both the appetizer and entree section so it was hard to choose just one from each section.  Drink, appetizer, entree, and dessert for $25 - not too shabby! 

Salmon tartare

I started with a rosemary lemonade to drink, which was really herb-y and delicious.  Super refreshing!  For my appetizer I went with the salmon tartare - which I unfortunately forgot to take menu notes on, and is not on the online menu.'s a salmon tartare.......haha.  It was really delicious, especially with the spice from the microgreens mixed in.  

Lyonnaise Duck Salad: duck confit, poached egg, bacon lardons, mustard vinaigrette

I could've gone with a more traditional brunch option for my entree selection, but I couldn't pass up DUCK + BACON haha.  Super elegant presentation, perfectly poached egg, and LOTS of duck in the salad.  Really decadent, probably too decadent to eat every day, but hey, go for it if you want, haha! 


Raspberry lemon....cake?
Ok clearly taking notes wasn't exactly a priority since I was there with friends, talking the whole time, haha.  I chose this raspberry + lemon cake dessert, which I cannot remember the name of.  It was good, but nothing really special, to be honest.  I liked the decorations on the top though, v. pretty.
Overall, a great brunch with great friends!  I would love to have a place like this near my apartment - you can pop in and pick up items for dinner/picnics, or come in to sit and eat in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.  Loves it!

Garces Trading Company
1111 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 19th, 2010

Georgetown Cupcake: New Website

Georgetown Cupcake has a FABULOUS new website!  The best part is clearly the menu page- where you can check out photos of each of the flavors.  Fun times, especially for checking out any new ones that are coming up later in the year!

Also- as S pointed out to me not too long after the website's debut - my friends and I are part of the website!!!!  On the Community page, a photo that I took of S and B (from our Georgetown Cupcake Crawl circa 2008), and A's engagement ring (in the Georgetown Cupcake box) are both in the photo collage, woo! 

Take a look around- lots to read and see, although I don't recommend looking at it if you're hungry. :o)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 16th, 2010

"DC Cupcakes" Airs Tonight!

Just a quick post to let you know slash remind you that "DC Cupcakes", the new TLC series about my favorite favorite favorite cupcakery, Georgetown Cupcake, airs tonight at 10pm EST on TLC!!!!!!! 

Here's more information on the TLC site here.  It's hard to believe that what started as a small shop on the side street of Georgetown has turned into the amazing business that it is today.  I can't wait to see this series, YAY Georgetown Cupcake!!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 15th, 2010

King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Brownie Mix from Zoe Bakes

"Thank you!" to the Zoe Bakes blog and King Arthur Flour for having this great brownie mix giveaway!  I was able to pass this along to a recently GFree friend, so the timing was perfect!  Hope they try it out soon so I can find out how they turned out, haha.  

Check out the Zoe Bakes blog for great photos and lots of yummy recipes to try out!  Also, if you haven't before, I'd highly recommend checking out all the stuff that King Arthur Flour offers for sale.  I have used their regular flour before from the grocery store, but I had no idea that they sold SO many different items.  Lots of recipes too! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 14th, 2010

Philly/PA Treats

A quick post about some yummy PA/Philly treats from my recent trip up for a friend's wedding:

My friend T and her fiance G were nice enough to pick up some real-deal Pennsylvania whoopie pies, woo!!!  I loved both the flavors but especially the pumpkin whoopie pies, sooooooooooooooo tasty any time of the year!  Thanks guys, these were so so good! 


Vanilla + Avocado 
The hotel was close to one of the Capogiro Gelato locations, much to my excitement.  We weren't even really hungry but I forced T and G to go with me, because that was the only time I would've been able to go during this trip, haha.  I decided to go with one "base" flavor and one specialty flavor to try a little bit of each.  The white scoop on top is their Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, which was rich, v. vanilla-y, and delicious.  I would absolutely get this flavor again.  The bottom scoop is their Avocado- interesting, to say the least.  Creamy, rich, and definitely avocado-y, go figure.  It was good for a few bites but I probably would not get a full cup of it anytime soon.  Glad I tried it though!  I'd love to try out more of their flavors- so many to choose from!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 13th, 2010

Caramoo Caramels from The Nibble


"Thank you!" to The Nibble for having this awesome Caramoo Caramels giveaway!  I couldn't believe that the prize included ALL of their flavors- such an exciting surprise!  

The flavors that I got are: Caramel Crumble, Caramel Crumble Honey, Creme Fudge Vanilla, Creme Fudge Dark Chocolate, and Creme Fudge Mocha.  I've tried one of each, and they're unlike what you'd expect from a traditional caramel, in a good way.  The Crumble versions especially are lighter than what I expected, and don't feel like they're going to pull your teeth out when chewing, haha.  But fear not, caramel fans- they still have that rich, buttery flavor you'd expect from regular caramels :o) I'm hoping to use one of the Creme flavors in brownies in the near future- only problem seems to be choosing which ones to use, I think they'd all go well, haha!  The packaging is v. cute and these would be a good gift for any sweets fan.  

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 12th, 2010

Georgetown Cupcake: Orange Blossom + Free Coconut Key Lime Cupcakes

Two fresh and summery flavors for you today, from Georgetown Cupcake: Orange Blossom, and a special free flavor that day, Coconut Key Lime.  Once again, these specific flavors aren't exactly on my "Likes" list of life, but I bravely charged through these for the sake of trying every flavor- haha.

I will admit- for as much as I was assuming I'd hate these, they were v. fresh-tasting, unique, and "summer" in every way.  First- the Orange Blossom.  I don't have an issue with orange itself, I love oranges on their own.  My problem is with most fruit + something flavors, particularly Creamsicles, which I expected this to be like.  However, this was a good balance of fresh orange flavor with a hint of vanilla, so I enjoyed this one more than I expected.  I love the little candied orange peel and the specks of zest in the frosting too, v. cute.  

Now onto the Coconut Key Lime, the free off-the-menu cupcake for this particular day.  I had expected a coconut cupcake with lime frosting, but they got all fanci-fied on this one :o)  This turned out to be a coconut cupcake with a coconut and lime frosting, topped with both fresh and toasted coconut and a candy lime wedge.  I can't say that I'm a fan of coconut just yet, but the few bites I had of this weren't so bad, haha.  I loved the presentation, and how they really incorporated both components into the cucpake on the whole.  If you're a fan of coconut and/or lime, this would be fantastic- and for your sake, I hope they have it again soon!  

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 9th, 2010

Cargo Multi-mix Bronzer

In case you didn't know by now, I'm a huuuuuuuuuuuuge fan of bronzer.  I've tried lots of different brands/types, but never tried a liquid face bronzer before.  Thanks to CARGO cosmetics, I now have a chance to try one!  I was lucky enough to win a full-sized Multi-mix Bronzer from them via Facebook.  Thanks CARGO!
What's interesting about this bronzer is that it can be used on its own, or mixed into your regular items, such as moisturizer, sunblock, or foundation, to add an extra glow.  I really like that aspect of it, especially for foundation, because lots of people have to switch foundations in the summertime.  This product also allows for a custom color- because you can add as little or as much bronze color as you'd want to have.  Right now is the perfect time to try out this bronzer, so if you're in the market for a liquid one, check it out for yourself!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 8th, 2010

Blogger Brunch at Four Seasons DC, Seasons Restaurant - Part 2

Continuing from yesterday's post, here's my favorite part of the Four Seasons brunch - the DESSERTS!  Not to be outdone by all the yummy savory food, there is a separate room dedicated to *just* desserts...swoooooooooon.  Lots to look at here, so let's move on to the photos!

Chocolate fountain

One side of the main table
Creme brulee, mousse parfaits, macaron cakes, etc.

Side table: mini pies

S'mores, "Banana split" (scoops of flavored mousse)

Mini red velvet cupcakes!

Full shot of the main table

Mint lemonade, Berry cobbler

I swear, I didn't finish this plate, haha

More "artsy" angle

The pastry chef at the Four Seasons also surprised our table with an adorable Twitter-theme cake to celebrate their 1-year anniversary of being on Twitter!  Everyone was stuffed to the gills by the time this came out, so they generously provided slices to take home.

One thing I noticed about this cake is the interesting way they layered it.  You might notice that the inside layers aren't flat, but look like little circles of frosting.  Instead of frosting a cake using an offset spatula in a flat layer, it seems like they piped the frosting layers in a circular pattern (like a big carnival lollipop if you looked at the layers from the top, haha).  Doesn't really change the taste obviously but just thought it was interesting- I've never noticed that sort of frosting process before, haha. 

So this concludes ALL of my photos from the Blogger Brunch - finally, right?  Hope you enjoyed the mini tour! 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lunchtime Links for July 7th, 2010

Blogger Brunch at Four Seasons DC, Seasons Restaurant - Part 1

I was recently invited by O to join her as her guest to a blogger brunch at the Four Seasons in Georgetown, and I'm still so happy that she was nice enough to invite me- Thank you!!

And when you see these photos, I think you'll know why- this was unlike any other brunch I've ever been to.  Abundant elegance- that's the Four Seasons way!  This blogger brunch was a great way for DC-area bloggers and guests to meet/chat, as well as a way for the Four Seasons to showcase the Summer menu at the Seasons restaurant (located a floor below BourbonSteak).  The chefs definitely make use of what's fresh, in-season, and most of all- delicious.  Their brunch consisted of a RIDICULOUS amount of options; I thought my head was going to start spinning just from reading the menu and looking around.  

Believe it or not, these photos don't even cover everything that is offered- there's a hot breakfast station with sausages, potatoes, bacon, etc.  Also, you can order regular breakfast items like pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict, etc. directly from the kitchen, so they are made-to-order.

But enough chit-chat, on with the photos!

Bloody Twitter, haha

Hot Seafood/Meat Station: Skirt Steak, Grilled Shrimp, etc.

BBQ Station!

BBQ Station: Ribs, Pulled Pork Sliders, Brisket

Farmers' Market Station: Lots of fresh salad options

Seafood Station: Three types of smoked salmon

Seafood Station: Gazpacho, Avocado and Crab Salad, Mussels, Scallops,

Seafood Station: Old Bay Poached Shrimp, Oysters, Crab Craws

Cheese, Cured Meats, Fruit Station

My mainly seafood plate

Meats and Salads plate

Surf n' Turf plate, haha

The Four Seasons also gave us cute gift bags on our way out, which included fresh herbs from the hotel's garden, a Twitter logo cookie, information about the hotel breakfast menu, and a few recipes, woohoo!  

You might notice a lack of desserts- well fear not, friends, there's a reason for that: there was SO much dessert, a whole ROOM of it in fact, that I decided to dedicate an entire separate post to it!  As you can see, even without the desserts, there's a lot to take in (and pack into your belly, haha) at the Four Seasons Brunch.  Hope you enjoyed my mini photo tour! 

*Side Note: Just FYI, in case it wasn't clear from the "blogger's brunch", this event was sponsored by the Four Seasons as a way to showcase the new seasonal menu, and as a guest, I did not pay for this brunch.  Ok, that's it!