Monday, April 30, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 30th, 2012

CVS Deals - Week of April 29th, 2012

Lots of great Extra Bucks deals this week at CVS, woohoo!  Mostly toiletries (which are always great to stock up) but one great snack deal as well.

Nivea lotion: Buy 2, get $5 Extra Bucks back.
- Nivea Extended Moisture hand cream: $4.89, $2 manufacturer's coupon.
- Nivea Extended Moisture lotion: $8.79, $2 manufacturer's coupon.

Crest or Oral-B Clinical Gum Protection products: Buy one, get $3 Extra Bucks back (limit 2).
- 2 Oral-B Pro-Health Clinical Pro-Flex toothbrushes: $6.29 each, two $1 manufacturer's coupon, $6 Extra Bucks back.

- 2-pack Colgate 360 Sonic Power toothbrush: $9.99 on sale, $2 manufacturer's coupon, $2 Extra Bucks back.

- Pantene shampoo and conditioner: 2/$6.97 on sale, Buy One Get One Free manufacturer's coupon, $1 Extra Buck back.

Skinny Cow snack packs: Buy Two Get One Free.
- 3 Skinny Cow chocolate snacks: $1.19 each, Buy One Get One Free manufacturer's coupon.

Happy shopping everyone!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 27th, 2012

Shake Shack - PB & J Custard


Another new (to me) Shake Shack custard, woohoo! 

This one is the PB & J custard, which I was a little iffy about - mainly because I'm not a huge jelly/jam/fruit topping type of fan.  But, that turned out to be a non-issue, as you might be able to tell from the photo above... my cup was about 99.999999999% peanut butter custard and a smidge of jelly, hahaha.  The peanut butter custard was awesome, super creamy and really peanutty (go figure).  

I have to say, if you're actually a peanut butter AND jelly fan, it may not be so great, depending on what type of scoop you get.  But for me, this was great, hah!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 26th, 2012

CVS Deals - Week of April 22nd, 2012

So, I realize today is Thursday, but there were two great deals at CVS this week that I wanted to share with you all:

- Buy 3 Hallmark cards, get $3 Extra Bucks back: If you buy three of the $0.99 Hallmark cards, you will still get the $3 Extra Bucks back, essentially getting the cards for free!

- Blink eye drops: $8.99 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon, $8.99 Extra Bucks back.

Happy shopping, everyone!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cali, Cali!

I'm headed to California for a few days for work - have a great week everyone!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 20th, 2012

Bandolero DC Takeover

I love it when restaurants (or people in general, haha) take advantage of a bad situation and turn it into a great one.  Case in point - Chef Mike Isabella's Bandolero restaurant is currently under construction in Georgetown.  However, with construction delays, it wasn't going to open any time soon.  So what do they do? Use a recently vacated restaurant space in Cleveland Park and create a two-week pop up restaurant so people can preview the Bandolero menu! 

Last night N and I checked out the preview ($65/person including tax and gratuity) - here's the menu below:


The first course was the same for everyone:

Guacamole served with salsa pasilla
Sikil Pak - pumpkin seed, jalapeno, orange, cilantro
Chicharrones & chips

Chips and guacamole will always be great in my book - but this Sikil Pak was really something else.  Great texture and flavor, definitely different from anything I've eaten with chips before.  The orange added a brightness to the dip that I really enjoyed.  I could see this being spread on a sandwich or a pita too and being delicious, haha.  Oh and the addition of Chicharrones to the basket of chips was a rich and tasty bonus.  

Blue Crab Taquitos - coconut, red chile, lime

In addition to the 3 (each) dishes we picked out, the restaurant graciously sent over a few dishes, these taquitos being one of them.  These were small and super cute, with fresh crab and radish-based slaw on top that really went well together.  I have to ask though - I always though taquitos were rolled up like cigars? Or is that just how other places have done it and that's all I've seen before?  Or is taquito also a word for "little taco"?  So many questions, haha.

Sopes - Lamb picadillo, chipotle goat cheese, pickled jalapeno

At first these reminded me of little Sloppy Joes, and I guess it's not too far off in terms of the texture of the lamb, haha.  I have to say- I am SO glad we ordered these.  The sope was crisp and worked as a great base for the meaty topping.  I loved the jalapenos, pickled in-house, that added a spot of color and flavor to the dish.

Mahi Mahi Tacos - Basil, avocado, lime

These fish tacos reminded me of fish sticks, but thankfully they tasted much better than regular fish sticks haha.  The fish is coated in the crushed tortilla chips which made these super crunchy.  The slaw which is not mentioned in the description was red cabbage based and I liked that a lot as well.

Nachos - Crispy goat, white beans, goat cheese, chile de arbol, epazote

This was sort of a last-minute decision when we were deciding which dishes to order - the idea of nachos with goat sounded really interesting and definitely not something you'd see everywhere.  The goat was tasty, but my problem with these is the problem I always have with nachos - it's so hard to get the perfect bite with a little bit of everything! Either you get a bite with 50% of the cheese, or just some of the sauce, or in the worst case, a chip off to the side with nothing at all, haha.

Suckling Pig Tacos - apple, habanero mustard

I wasn't really sure how these tacos would be, but turns out I looooooooooooooooooooved them, haha.  The combination of the tender pork with the apple slaw on top was delicious.  The mustard tasted almost like a honey mustard to me, and not spicy at all considering the "habanero" in the menu.

Mole Negro - short ribs, sesame

I'm not even close to being a mole expert, but this one had a lot of rich flavor and complexity that I think makes it a good mole.  You'd have to ask maybe Chef Rick Bayless to really know if it's a "good" mole or not, haha.  I prefer fatter cuts of meat and this particular piece seemed a little dry to me, even if it was fork tender.

Enchilada Rojo - Chicken, cascabel chile, mexican chocolate
Alambres - Spiced hanger steak, chimmichurri

The Enchiladas (there were two in the plate) was filled with tender chicken and sauce.  For some reason the taste reminded me of a Thai sweet potato soup I had just had for lunch.  It's not mentioned on the menu but I wonder if there's any coconut milk in the sauce? 

The Alambres was the other gratis dish sent out to us, and they were bites of YUMMMMMMMMMM.  I would order multiple orders of these myself.  Which isn't too surprising because I love chimmichurri and could put it on anything and it would taste good, haha.  

Cookies - Coconut

Coconut Flan - Pineapple, rum

We had initially ordered the Tres Leches Parfait and the Flan when we ordered the rest of our meal, but I guess there was a miscommunication because our server asked again what we'd like for dessert when we were done with our other dishes, and then told us they were out of the Tres Leches Parfait.  The Coconut cookies were pretty basic macaroons, and I assume you all know how I feel about these, haha.  The Coconut Flan though was not coconut-y at all and therefore I liked it haha.  

If anyone is interested in trying out Bandolero during this preview period, you can make reservations through City Eats here.  I'm excited to check out the Georgetown location when it's finished!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 19th, 2012

40% off at Ann Taylor & Ann Taylor Loft

You all know that I always love a good sale!

Today kicks off the Friends & Family event at Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft, woo!  This is a great time to pick up that new dress you had your eye on, or to get a bunch of basics that will work year-round for a great price.

The online code is FRIENDS for both sites.  I hope everyone finds some great new pieces!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 18th, 2012

Birch and Barley Dinner

I've recently blogged about Birch & Barley's fantastic Boozy Brunch, but this time we're here to talk about dinner!  A few friends and I enjoyed a lovely dinner earlier this year, and the restaurant did not disappoint!

Amazeballs bread platter, including PRETZEL ROLLS! They also included a bowl of roasted chickpeas for S (gluten free!)

1/2 order of Ricotta Cavatelli with Roasted Pork, Broccoli Rabe, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Aged Provolone

The bread and the pasta were delicious.. but then... THEN... the dessert tasting!!!  I have ZERO regrets about forcing my friends to partake in an order of the dessert tasting.  It was so fantastic!!


Buttermilk Panna Cotta


Passion Fruit Cheesecake

"Coffee and Donuts"

Petite Fours

Needless to say, I would HIGHLY recommend making room for dessert when you eat here for dinner!!!  In other words, if you go, and skip dessert, and I find out about it............ haha!  The presentation of each dessert was really pretty and each component complimented the different flavors.  Is there anything Birch & Barley can't do well??

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 17th, 2012

Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream


I've mentioned BB creams on this blog before, but since then BB creams have become more widely available as more brands are coming out with their own versions.  I love the one I have from Japan, but having a US version readily available that I like is great and much more convenient!

I started trying this Garnier Skin Renew BB cream initially because of a deal at CVS, which coupled with a coupon essentially made this tube only a few dollars out of pocket for me, haha.  But, after using it consistently for a few weeks, I would definitely buy this again!  It has a creamy consistency that isn't too thick, and the two different shades make it easier to get a color that blends with your natural skin tone.  It has a built in SPF15 which is always a nice plus, and is a great base for my regular daily makeup routine.  If anyone's been curious about BB creams but didn't want to pay too much to try it out, this one is a great choice!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 16th, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - Easter 2012

For pretty much every holiday, Geogetown Cupcake makes super cute themed cupcakes, and this Easter was no exception. 

On the left is the chocolate version of this year's Easter cupcake.  The chocolate (or vanilla) cupcakes are topped with green vanilla "grass" frosting and a fondant egg or rabbit.  Over on the right is Easter Sunday's free off-the-menu cupcake of the day, called the Easter Celebration cupcake.  It was a caramel cake with light pink vanilla frosting and a fondant egg.  Both were super festive and a sweet way to celebrate spring and Easter!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Hi everyone! I'm taking a blog break this week since I'll be in NJ for work and then for my best friend's bachelorette party weekend!!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 9th, 2012

CVS Deals - Week of 04/08/2012

There were no coupon inserts in this Sunday's paper because of the holiday, booooooo.  However, there are still a few good deals at CVS with coupons from previous coupon inserts!

- Lady Speed Stick: $2.99 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon, $1 Extra Buck back.

- Tampax Radiant: $3.99 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon, $2 Extra Bucks back.

Finally, if you spend $15 on John Frieda, Jergens, Curel, or Biore products, get $5 Extra Bucks back.

-  Biore pore strip pack, Biore cleanser: 2/$15 on sale, Buy one pore strip pack get one cleanser free manufacturer's coupon, $5 Extra Bucks back.

Happy shopping everyone!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 6th, 2012

Tout de Sweet - Earl Grey Macaron


Another new (to me) macaron flavor from Tout de Sweet, woo!  The Earl Grey macaron caught my eye immediately - I love tea flavored foods so this was a no-brainer.  Of course I also had to pick up my favorite, their vanilla macaron as well.

The Earl Grey macaron had a lovely tea scent and I knew I would love it even before I bit into it, haha.  The purple color sort of threw me off but taste-wise this was a fantastic tea version of a macaron.  I would absolutely get this macaron again!   

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 5th, 2012

Wine & Food Truck Pairing Event - 02/28/2012

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to try out a bunch of DC-area food trucks, wine, and spend time with other food bloggers at the Wine and Frood Truck Pairing Event.  This was especially exciting for me, since I don't work in DC and therefore don't often get the opportunity to try out the food trucks.  It was great to hear each food truck owner present their dish, you could tell that they had a passion for their food and the whole food truck community in general.  An added bonus was that the event was held in the National Press Club, where I had never been to before.

The event was fun and delicious - I hope there's more food truck events like this in the future!

Here's all of the food from the night - enjoy!


1st Course: The Big Cheese
Mt. Fuji Grilled Cheese 
w/ Mt. Tam Brie, Fuji Apple, Honey on Multigrain
Paired with Prosecco, Zardetto, 'Brut', Veneto, Italy NV

2nd Course: Go Fish!
Capitol Crab Cake with Homemade Tomato Tartar on Potato Roll
Paired w/ Bordeaux Blanc, Chateau Ducasse, Graves, Bordeaux, France 2010

3rd Course: Lemongrass
Vermicelli Noodles with Lemongrass Chicken
Paired w/ Albarino, Licia, Rias Baixas, Spain 2010

3rd Course (continued): Lemongrass
Slow Roasted Pork Taco
Paired w/ a lovely Pinot Noir that was not listed on the menu :o)

4th Course: DC Empanadas
La Venganza de Tio Shawn – Chipotle Chicken, Onions, Garlic, Black Beans, Monterrey Jack Cheese, Corn. This empanada was not the one that was listed on the menu, so I'm pretty sure it was this one.
Paired w/ Malbec, Catena Vista Flores, Tupungato, Argentina 2009

5th Course: BBQ Bus
Smoked & Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs with Black Cherry Molasses BBQ Sauce and Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Paired w/ Shiraz, Shoofly, McLaren Vale, Australia 2010

6th Course: Curbside Cupcake
Chocolate Delight Cupcakes
Chocolate City Beer's Cerveza Nacional Dark Vienna Lager

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 4th, 2012

Shake Shack - April Custard Menu

New month = New custard flavors at Shake Shack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday: Orange Rhubarb Meringue
Tuesday: Honey Roasted Peanut
Wednesday: Malted Marshmallow Milk Chocolate
Thursday: Fromage Blanc Raspberry Swirl
Friday: Red Velvet
Saturday: Boston Cream Pie
Sunday: Strawberry Blonde

Yum! Lots of fun flavors this month, a good mix of classic ones and unique ones.  This month I will NOT miss the Boston Cream Pie custard!!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 3rd, 2012

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day!

Happy Free Cone Day everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get thee to a Ben & Jerry's today between 12-8pm for FREE ice cream!!

I always try to get a new or scoop shop-only flavor during free cone day to try it out - What is your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry's? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lunchtime Links for April 2nd, 2012

CVS Deals - Week of April 1st, 2012

Happy April everyone!  There's lots of great deals at CVS this week as usual.

First, a "free" item with coupon:

- Allegra 5-count: $6.99 on sale, $7 manufacturer's coupon.

Also, a few deals on toiletries:

- Complete multi-purpose solution: $8.99 on sale, $8.99 Extra Bucks back.

- Oral-B Pulsar toothbrush: $4.99 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon, $2 Extra Bucks back.

Spend $15 on Garnier or Fructis products, you get $5 Extra Bucks back.

- 2 Fructis shampoos, 2 style products: 4/$15 on sale, four $1 manufacturer's coupons.

Finally, there's some deals on Easter candy this week.  With any $10 Easter purchase, get $2 off (Sunday through Wednesday).  The coupon will come out of the in-store coupon center.

- 2 Easter M&Ms bags: 2/$6 on sale, $1/2 manufacturer's coupon, $2 Extra Bucks back.
- 2 Lindt chocolate carrots: 2/$7 on sale.

Happy shopping everyone!