Friday, July 29, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 29th, 2011

Shake Shack DC - 4th of July Foods

I'm not normally a corn dog type of gal, but tell me something is "limited edition" and I will all over that like a bad habit.  Shake Shack only sells these bad boys on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day (I think?), so the only time to catch them is a few select days a year.  

These are dipped and fried to order, so expect to wait a little bit to bite into this corn dog, unless you're looking for a nice char on your tongue for the day, haha.  The outer coating was thinner than I expected but pretty good.  The hot dog (Vienna beef) was pretty salty which got sort of gross after a while.  The corn relish on the side was really tasty, I wish we had more of that.  Although it's sort of hard to imagine eating the relish on the corn dog, given the rough texture of the corn relish - it doesn't exactly stick to things well like mustard or ketchup would.  I happily ate it on the side though. 

I also enjoyed a small cup of that day's custard, Chocolate chip cookie dough.  It came complete with a flag cone - actually I don't know if it was just for 4th of July weekend or their cones are always that way, haha. 

Overall, it definitely felt like summer when I was eating these, and patriotic thanks to the cone wrapper.  I'm glad I got a chance to try the oft-mentioned Shake Shack corn dog!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 28th, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake - Mint Julep Cupcake

Squeezing this post in before the end of July, haha.  One of Georgetown Cupcake's July flavors was brand-new, called the Mint Julep cupcake.  It is "Georgetown Cupcake's version of the classic Southern drink — white chocolate cupcake infused with a hint of bourbon topped with a mint buttercream frosting and a fondant mint leaf".

First off- love the light green fondant mint leaf, super cute!  Also, the cake with the white chocolate inside was really moist and delicious.  I didn't really get much of a bourbon taste which is good since I don't like the taste of it.  Also, I assume it would've cooked out in the baking process haha. 

The frosting though... was like straight up toothpaste.  Which might be great if you really enjoy that type of mint flavor, but not really my thing.  I wound up eating more of the cake than the frosting in the end, because I couldn't really get past the "I'm eating toothpaste" feeling.  Maybe an updated version will be available next year?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 27th, 2011

Baked Sweet & Salty Brownie


What a fantastic surprise package in the mail- my friend A sent me this sweet & salty brownie from Baked after her trip to South Carolina!

True to its name, it was a great combo of sweet and salty flavors mixed into one delicious brownie!  I'd definitely recommend these if any of you happen to go to Baked (in NYC or South Carolina)!  Thank you A for a lovely surprise!! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 26th, 2011

Sprinkles Cupcakes - Pumpkin Cupcake


Pumpkin foods might seem a little off-season for some of you, but I personally can (and do) enjoy pumpkin pretty much year-round, haha.  So I was excited to try out the Sprinkles' version of a pumpkin cupcake recently from their Georgetown store. 

Their pumpkin cupcake is a "spiced pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting".  Unfortunately I didn't think to take a cross-section photo of the cupcake so you can't see the cake, but it was tan with lots of specks in it from the spices that are used.  The cake was delicious, as was the frosting.  The frosting probably could've been a smidge less sweet and it would've been better for me - both the cake and the frosting were equally sweet.  However I'm sure anyone that loves sweets and pumpkin will have no complaints about eating this cupcake, haha.  It's a great option with a cup of tea, any time of the year!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 25th, 2011

June Dessert Meetup - PAUL Bakery + Central Restaurant

For our June blogger meetup, we hit up two spots- PAUL Bakery and Central, yummmm.  This was great because I had not yet been to PAUL, and I had not been to Central in a long time!

There was row after row of pastries and other foods in the cases at PAUL - so much to look at!

If sweets aren't your thing, PAUL is also a great place to pick up a quick lunch or dinner on your way home from work.

We split a bunch of items at PAUL, which was a great way to try out a little bit of everything.  Two highlights for me were a lemon tart and a quiche that were both delicious.

Moving onto Central - we ordered a LOT.  And I mean A LOT.  Here's the rundown from what I can recall:

- Celebration Cake
- Banana Split
- Chocolate and Cherry Meringue
- Michel's Chocolate Bar
- Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce
- Michel's Napoleon

... I may even be forgetting a dish or two, haha.  The craziest dessert is hands down the Celebration Cake.  It comes out with a giant sparkler on top, and a hard chocolate shell that opens up to cake, ice cream, fruit, cream, you name it.  It's definitely a show-stopper of a dessert!

I took a photograph of the one dessert closest to me when they came out, which is also one of the most fun ones in my opinion - the Banana Split.  I looooooooooooooooooooooove this dessert.  It's whimsical and fun but the flavors are all on point as well.  The ice creams and all of the toppings are delicious.
It's hard to choose just one dessert at Central, as this is where Chef Michel Richard's pastry background really shines through.  I'd highly recommend Central for real food too, but don't skip dessert!!!

I also picked up a loaf of PAUL's signature sourdough bread to take home.  They will slice it for you if you ask, which is a nice plus.  I wrapped these up and froze them and they held up really well.  It was great to be able to take out a slice or two when I wanted them. 

PAUL Bakery
801 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 22nd, 2011

Shake Shack in DC!

HOORAY for Shake Shack having a location in DC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For my inaugural meal, I went with the Shackburger (added pickles) and the AMAZING Red Velvet Custard, which included Georgetown Cupcake's red velvet cupcakes mixed into the vanilla custard. Oh. Em. Geeeeeeeee.  SO good.  I wish they would do a Georgetown Cupcake-inspired custard every month!

If this is not a perfect meal, I seriously don't know what is.  <3 Shake Shack!!!

Shake Shack DC
1216 18th Street NW
Washington, DC

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 21st, 2011

ATL Visit - Brunchalicious!

Mmm, brunch!  I'm not normally a big "breakfast foods" person (aka, I don't love eggs), but it's slowly starting to grow on me.  Of course, the great thing about brunch is that you can get breakfast, lunch, or a little of both!

Our first brunch spot was Murphy's in the cute Virginia Highlands area.

I really liked the look of this restaurant right from the start- lots of bright, open space, a bakery right when you walk in, and cute patio seating, which is where we sat for brunch. 

Starting things off with a biscuit and a mini muffin, mmm.

D went with the Eggs Virginia Highland: spinach, mushrooms, poached eggs on focaccia, sundried tomato hollandaise.  Also, a side of grits, I believe.  I love that they used foccacia bread on this, a great bread to soak up the egg yolk and  hollandaise!

I'm pretty sure that A's dish was the Eggs T. Murphy: poached eggs, honey cured ham on english muffin, hollandaise.  Sorry, I can't remember for sure but it seems like that's what it is.  If it doesn't look like a "normal" eggs benedict to you, that may be because the hollandaise is on the side, haha.  Update: This was the corned beef hash, haha.

I went with the Eggs Slum Mulligan: poached eggs, potato hash, bacon, cheddar cheese.  And yes I mainly picked it for its name, just thought it was funny, haha.  This dish was ENORMOUS.  Even after eating as much as I could, it looked like a full plate of food.  The potatoes were crispy and delicious, I couldn't stop eating just the potatoes for a while, haha. 

Another brunch spot that we tried out was Einstein's - not to be confused with Einstein Bagels, which is a perfectly fine establishment but not really worth traveling all the way to Atlanta for, haha.

We got a yummy bread basket filled with what we thought was banana bread and pumpkin bread - reallly really hard to not fill up on the bread here!

I started off with a Summer Wedge Salad: sweet corn, citrus beets, sunflower seeds, baconbleu cheese vinaigrette.  I really enjoyed the charred corn and the crunch of the sunflower seeds especially in this salad. 

Being that it was my last full meal in Atlanta, I went all out with the Shrimp and Grits: French beans, patak sausage, pepper jack.  This was really delicious!  Not at all gritty or anything - the crunch of the French beans went really well with the smooth grits.  And the shrimp were really tasty- I'm so glad I ordered this!

A went with the Spinach feta omlette and got the side of creamed corn hush puppies so that I could try them- thanks!! Unfortunately we didn't find these as good as we had hoped - they were sorta mushy and didn't have a crispy coating on the outside like we had expected. 

Overall the brunches in Atlanta are a good mix of Southern classics and Brunch staples- a great combination if you ask me!

997 Virginia Avenue NE404.872.0904
Atlanta, GA 30306

1077 Juniper Street
Atlanta, GA 30309

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 20th, 2011

ATL Visit - Tasty Foods, Part 2

And here we have MORE FOOD from my visit to Atlanta, haha!

We tried out the fried chicken at the Colonnade, which appears to be a real-deal Atlanta institution of sorts.  The inside of the restaurant seemed completely unchanged in MANY years... as you might imagine, we were probably one of the youngest groups of diners there that night. 

As you can see, the restaurant serves up old-school size portions as well- haha.  


We got the sweet potato souffle and the celery dressing as our sides mainly because there were about 50 side options and we couldn't decide, so we went with the wild cards.  The fried chicken was piping hot when it hit our table, but as we were eating it we noticed that it was not greasy at all, as you might expect fried chicken to be.  I was downright confused that eating this chicken didn't mean having to wipe my hands on my napkin every 5 seconds.  This chicken was really good, and wasn't a gut-buster like fried chicken tends to be. 

Ok so Pinkberry isn't exactly Atlanta-specific, but I love it so of course I'm going to go if we're by one, haha.  I got the mini cup of Original froyo with honey, strawberries, and almond slivers.

As if all of this wasn't enough over the course of my visit, we of course had to stop in Cafe Intermezzo for some decadent desserts!  We picked up two cakes, which took a while since we literally could not decide from the bazillion cakes and cheesecakes they had out on display, haha.  Soooooooo rich and so good!

The Colonnade
1879 Chesire Bridge Road
Atlanta, GA 30324

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 19th, 2011

ATL Visit - Tasty Foods, Part 1

There's always SO much food involved on my visits to Atlanta, haha.  Not that it's a bad thing obviously, but I normally have to split up my visit into a few posts so that it's not one enormous post of all photos.

For lunch one day, A and I went to Community Q in Decatur for some tasty tasty ribs!  A had also mentioned that the mac n' cheese was good, so of course we had to get that too.  The ribs were falling off the bone and super delicious, even without anything on them!  The sauces on the tables added an extra punch of flavor to the already tasty ribs.

We later stopped in Little Cake Bakery, also known as the bakery that A and D got their wedding cupcakes from!  I finally tried the red velvet cupcake from there because I mistakenly did not try one at their wedding, haha.  It was delicious, especially the cream cheese frosting!

A and D had what I believe were the Black Bottom and Chocolate Vanilla cupcakes.  The Black Bottom cupcake is: Chocolate cake topped with a cream cheese and chocolate chip filling.  Both are super cute!

For "dinner" one night, A and I weren't super hungry after a big day of eating, so we had a romantic outdoor patio table with some wine and appetizers at Ecco, haha. 

On the left is a plate of Piquillo peppers stuffed with braised shortrib, which were rich and just the right size to go with our wine.  And then...... THEN..... on the right is the famous Fried goat cheese, honey, and black pepper appetizer!!!!!  And yes it warrants this much excitement because these were delicious!!!  When I first heard fried goat cheese, I guess was expecting something akin to a mozzerella stick - cheese with a breaded coating on the outside.  Much to my surprise, these were more batter-coated, crispy on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside.  The addition of honey and black pepper added an interesting contrast and taste to the dish as well.  If I were more hungry at the time, I probably would've just continued to order the goat cheese appetizer, haha.

Community Q BBQ
1361 Clairmont Road
Decatur, GA

The Little Cake Bakery
3792 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30342

40 7th Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 18th, 2011

Vermont Brownie Company - Chevre Brownie

Before heading to Atlanta, I decided to use my 1/2-price coupon for an order of the brownie sampler pack from the Vermont Brownie Company, so that we could all try these out.  If the name sounds familiar to you, it may be from their numerous appearances on food-related shows and blogs.  Most notably, their chevre brownie went up against Bobby Flay on an episode of "Throwdown!". 

I really liked the packaging on these brownies- what can I say, I'm a sucker for cute things, haha.

The half dozen sampler pack consists of the following brownies: Signature, Dark Chocolate Chevre, Espresso Dulce de Leche, Peanut Butter, Maple Toffee Crunch, and Walnut Chunk.

We tried out the Dark Chocolate Chevre first since that is their most known brownie.  At first, it tasted just like a regular chocolate brownie.  But then, another bite led to a full on punch of goat cheese, haha.  I think the rich dark chocolate flavor lends itself well to the strong goat cheese flavor- if this had been a lighter, milk chocolate brownie, it would've been completely overshadowed by the goat cheese.  Unfortunately D is not a fan of goat cheese but we tricked him into trying it- and he still hates it, haha.  I think that overall if you're a fan of goat cheese, this is a great, interesting type of brownie for you.  If not, the flavor is pretty strong, so be forewarned :o) 

Friday, July 15, 2011

DC State Fair Bake Sale on Sunday

I wanted to put up a short post about a great event going on in DC on Sunday, July 17th - There is going to be a bake sale at Zorba's Cafe in DC as a fundraiser for the DC State Fair

There should be lots of yummy homemade treats and fun bloggers/bakers in attendance hopefully - so if you are in the area, definitely check it out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seattle or Bust!

Hello everyone!

I normally wouldn't be taking a break from blogging, but I am heading out to Seattle to visit my family for the rest of this week, so I figured my blog could take a little vacation as well :o)

A few things I'm especially looking forward to:

- Visiting the Cakespy store;
- Belltown restaurant tour with my mom;
- Finding lots of cupcake shops!

I'm excited for lots of food and fun to blog about when I get back! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 11th, 2011

ATL Visit - Grindhouse Killer Burgers

A trip to Atlanta wouldn't be complete without trying 29374923742938749823743 places for food, haha!  This visit to see A and D was no exception- we tried out a bunch of places alllllllll weekend.

We got things started with a late dinner at Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Piedmont location), after they picked me up from the airport. 

After a bit of confusion about the availability of sliders (which was our original order), we wound up getting the following:

Here we have the single Apache Style burger: pepper jack cheese, grilled onions, roasted new mexico green chiles.  Alongside the burger is an order of fried pickle chips. 

And over on this tray, from left to right: Vidalia onion rings, Grindhouse beef chili, and the Dixie Style burger: fried green tomato, pimento cheese, Carolina cole slaw. 

Both burgers were great, but the clear favorite was the Dixie Style - I loved the cole slaw especially, and the layering of flavors was spot-on.  I also enjoyed the fried pickles, obviously, cus hello, they are pickles. Fried. Haha!

What a great way to start off a fun weekend- this place was delicious!

Grindhouse Killer Burgers
1842 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30324

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 8th, 2011

Love, Love, Love: Madden Girl Sookie Glitter Pump @ DSW

Photo courtesy of DSW

Looooooooooooooving these Madden Girl Sookie Glitter Pumps, which are currently available at DSW.  Let me count the ways:

- As you may already know I love the Madden Girl brand and own approximately 29387492374932743 pairs of shoes by that brand.
- They are sold at DSW, meaning they are cheaper, and I can use DSW gift certificates towards them.
- Platform front = my BFF.
- GLITTER. And not in the horrific Mariah Carey movie sort of way.
- Adjustable heel straps are always a welcome detail.

All in all, a fabulous pair of shoes - I just need a reason to get them!  And no, I don't think I can convince myself (or my company) that these would be good work shoes, haha.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 7th, 2011

Martha Stewart's Magic Blondies

Sometimes it's nice to bake without a real plan going into it - I've had a good run with the Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook, and figured I'd flip through it to see what I could make based on what I had on hand.  This time around, I found that I had a bunch of random mix-ins in my kitchen cupboards - a small bag of walnuts, 1/2 a bag of mini marshmallows, some peanut butter chips, to name a few.   

Enter: Martha Stewart's Magic Blondies recipe.  As you can see based on my photo above and the original recipe, I swapped out a number of items.  But that's the beauty of a recipe like this one - with so many ingredients involved, it's easy to swap one ingredient for another, based on your personal preferences and what you have on hand that day.   

The finished product is by no means fancy-looking, but really delicious!  I especially loved how the mini marshmallows on top got toasted a lovely golden color.  The base of these blondies was super vanilla-y and delicious on its own, but was enhanced by the texture and flavor of the other mix-ins.  I also liked the idea of baking these in individual cups - they were super easy to transport to work, and people can just grab one vs. needing a knife to cut off pieces.  This is a great recipe that can be adjusted to all different types of flavor preferences!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 6th, 2011

DC Foodie Community Survey

Part of the fun of having an online presence (via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is having the ability to share information among people that share interests.  I came across this DC foodie community survey project via Twitter, and thought it was interesting to pass on to you all.

It only took me a few minutes to take this survey so I promise it won't take forever! 

Here's the survey for food bloggers here.
Here's the survey for non-food bloggers here.

I hope that one of us wins the dinner gift cards, haha!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 5th, 2011

Shake Shack's July Custard Calendar

A new month, a new set of custard flavors at Shake Shack, woo!

Monday: Peaches 'n Cream
Tuesday: Mud Pie
Wednesday: Sour Cherry Cinnamon
Thursday: Blueberry
Friday: Salted Caramel
Saturday: Chocolate Chip Cookie
Sunday: Sweet Corn

The obvious winners for me are Mud Pie, Salted Caramel, and Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I gotta say, the Sweet Corn sounds incredibly random, but I might just try it out just to say that I did, haha.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  For those of you that are enjoying a day off today, I hope it's full of relaxation and grilling!

If anyone has any tasty eats from the holiday weekend they'd like to share, please post them in the comments so we can all enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lunchtime Links for July 1st, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake - Gluten-free Lava Fudge Cupcake

As you may realize by now, I didn't *need* to get this gluten-free cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake since I am able to eat their regular cupcakes, but for the sake of the blog, I bought one to try it out :o)

It looks pretty much identical to their regular Lava Fudge cupcake, but with a pretty light orange fondant flower on top, so that people don't get this one confused with the regular one. 

Taste-wise the frosting tasted pretty much the same - I'm assuming that there were no changes made to this recipe.  The cake portion didn't taste that different, but had a bit of a "chew" to it, like a little bit of a gummy texture.  It definitely helped that there's a fudge core in the middle to add more of that fudgy taste. 

Overall I wouldn't pick this version over the original, but I think it's great that Georgetown Cupcake has expanded their menu to the growning number of people with a gluten intolerance, so we can all enjoy their cupcakes!