My time in Kansas City was limited, but I still managed to do a few things.
1) Went to a Royals baseball game at Kauffman Stadium (will post separately)
2) Ate barbecue (at Arthur Bryant’s and Fiorella’s Jack Stack)
3) Drank beer at Boulevard Brewing Company (and elsewhere)
4) Visited the National World War I Museum and Memorial
The barbecue was most excellent. And I learned about a new meaty item – burnt ends! Legit.
Well, the story goes that one week saw 400 Kansas City residents killed in battle and the city put up a memorial for those soldiers. They continued to raise private funds and expanded over the years.
The memorial and a small museum opened in 1926; and the museum exploded in size in 2006. The museum is worth visiting, as it’s jam-packed with all manner of WWI propaganda, war-time items, tanks, planes, movies and interactive displays. The coolest part was a life-size recreation of a trench that you can only view through little portals or holes. Go.
Finally I drank some suds at Boulevard Brewing Company downtown, whose operation and tasting room are booming (since 1989)! After the Royals game and a significant lightning storm (full sky lightning strikes!), I went downtown to Double Shift Brewing Company until the power went out and they shooed people out.
My goal in October and November was to visit a ton of new places. And I did it! So I say. Chalk one up to persistence.
I went to a fair number of new places in DC, mostly restaurants, and I discovered many more new places in Chennai (India), Manila (Philippines), New Orleans (LA), Montauk (NY) and Frederick (MD). I traveled a lot…I explored a lot. So now I’m resting a lot while I write.
October/November Goal: Visit 32 new places (70% have to be in DC)
Result: 32 reached and plenty more!
23+ in DC
New places in DC:
Fathom – A nice space for a wedding.
Radiator – A nice bar for an after wedding party.
The Haymaker Bar – Updated space (formerly The Atlas Room) on H St NE. Not a huge fan.
Seoul Spice – Korean tacos, if you like.
BKK Cookshop – Decent Thai food.
REI – The new flagship store! Your outdoor gear fix is here!
La Colombe (at REI) – Coffee with your outdoor gear!
Walmart (on H Street) – I finally went inside. And now life continues.
HalfSmoke – If you want a half smoke, hit Ben’s or Meats & Foods.
Library of Congress Tunnel – Went on a private tour…secret things happen down there. Very bookish secret things.
Sonoma – UW reception with wine and sliders.
Smoked and Stacked – Good sandwich with DC prices!
Kahlil Gibran Memorial Garden – A poet, and you didn’t even know it.
Spanish Steps – Supposed to look like the famous steps in Rome. Okay.
Soho Tea & Coffee – Coffee they have, did not confirm the tea.
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop – The Bobbie because it was close to Thanksgiving!
Zero Milestone – Just a thing to commemorate the center of the city.
Renwich Gallery – Very cool art museum brought to you by the letter ‘S’ (for Smithsonian). Surprised it took me this long.
Thip Khao – Laotian food. I avoided the ‘Jungle Menu’ but could be convinced next time.
All Purpose Pizzeria – Oh yeah, they do pizza here. Try it.
Peirce Mill fireplace – For starting fires in Rock Creek Park post-hike.
Donburi – Curry katsudon. Katsudon with curry.
On Rye – Reubens with a some sort of bread!
Just a sampling of the new places I visited while traveling. I whittled it down…
People’s Palace – (Manila, Philippines) A cool Thai restaurant in the heart of the trendy Greenbelt Park (in Makati).
SM Mall of Asia – (Manila, Philippines) The second largest shopping mall in the world! And by mall standards (which I try to avoid if possible), it was a good one. Manila loves malls. Loves them!
Ente Keralam – (Chennai, India) Serving food from Kerala, they love coconuts. It seemed like everything was peppered with coconuts. Most of it was good, all of it was interesting.
Cane & Table – (New Orleans, LA) A boozy brunch to start the day before the real weekend drinking starts.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome – (New Orleans, LA) Seattle Seahawks lost to the New Orleans Saints, but it was still fun.
Courtyard Brewery – (New Orleans, LA) Post-game beer sipping.
Montauk Brewery – (Montauk, Long Island, NY) A brewery at the end of the Earth.
Goldberg’s Bagels – (Montauk, Long Island, NY) Needed bagel sammies at the end of the Earth.
Sabor De Cuba – (Frederick, MD) Tasty cuban food right in the middle of Frederick’s downtown.
Maybe I’ve forgotten what it means to write/post here. What does Random represent now? The future is still new and bold, we’ll find out.
Since I’ve failed to post my monthly Five Random Photos all year, let’s get frisky. How many photos from 2016 so far should I post? 1000? 50? 10? Yes, zero is an acceptable answer, but too late, I already did not go with that number.
I don’t care for guacamole. It’s like…whatever. If you want to prepare it at my table while I watch, okay I’ll eat it. But 9 out of 10 times, that lump of green goo is the only thing left on my plate at a Mexican restaurant. And the same for avocados. Just stop.
In ‘N Out Burger is not the greatest burger ever. Not even close. Plus between chicken mole in Tijuana for lunch and an animal style In ‘N Out burger for dinner, I got food poisoning. You know which one my money is on. In then out!
Kale is just weeds in a bowl. As a kid I would sample the dandelions in our yard. Neither wise, nor good. Same thing with kale, only dandelions are free. And kind of cool when they turn to white puff balls. I wrote balls.
Citizen Kane is not the greatest movie ever made. And Titanic was not terrible. Stop winkingly trashing it like you’re in the know. You are not.
The New England Patriots are proven cheaters. But the NFL doesn’t care. I didn’t write balls.
I do not like the word foodie, nor being called one. But call yourself what ever you want. You Epicurist.
I like snow. Shut down DC all you want. But the same does not go for Congress, no more shut-downs for you.
Pretentious and self-important people are annoying. Including me. Especially me.
I like the fact that suddenly so many in America are against Seattle and its sports fans, because of the brash and cocky Seahawks. Boom.
Overly opinionated lists of things are deflating. And ballsy.
That doesn’t faze me. But since there is always new places opening, it’s a never ending quest. I can die trying.
I went to 15 restaurants that opened in 2014. I didn’t make it to all the new openings. Most notable one I missed: Rose’s Luxury.
Here is a completely pointless and randomized bracket to declare the winner of the new restaurants I visited.
Driftwood Kitchen vs. Impala Cantina y Taqueria – Do have the Brussel sprouts at Driftwood, but I’m more about the tacos. Advances: Impala
Ocopa Peruvian Restaurant vs. Bye. Advances: Ocopa
Driftwood vs. Ocopa – Ocopa’s ceviche is fabulous. No comparison.
Advances to the Final Four: Ocopa
DC Harvest vs. Shake Shack (Union Station) – I like the idea of Shake Shack when it’s hard to get and I can only go occasionally. Opening one in Union Station ruins that. Advances: DC Harvest
The Spot Deli vs. Bullfrog Bagels – The tacos at The Spot Deli were fine, the space is not. Advances: Bullfrog
DC Harvest vs. Bullfrog – The Rueben bagel is quite nice, but DC Harvest’s food is nicer. One is more of an upscale restaurant, the other is a breakfast/lunch counter. Both are worthy.
Advances to the Final Four: DC Harvest
Sona Creamery & Wine Bar vs. Pizza Parts & Service – Not sure why they closed Taylor Charles Steak & Ice, depriving us of Philly cheesesteaks, in favor of another pizza joint on H St. Also, the pizza is nothing special. Advances: Sona
Copycat Co. vs. Micho’s Lebanese Grill – This is a tough one in the first round. That’s what happens when you create a randomized bracket. I’ll visit both again. The dumplings at Copycat are good. But Micho’s gets the edge. Advances: Micho’s
Sona vs. Micho’s – Micho’s has become a standard lunch spot for people at my office. It’s really good, cheap and very close. I go here more than any other place on this list. Having said that, the scones at Sona are amazing. And the owners are from Washington state.
Advances to the Final Four: Sona
ShopHouse (Union Station) vs. Barrel – Seems like ShopHouses are opening everywhere. Okay. Pass. Advances: Barrel
Medium Rare vs. Po Boy Jim – Medium Rare does one thing and does it well. Steak frites. But the shrimp po boys at Po Boy Jim are not to be missed. Advances: Po Boy Jim
Barrel vs. Po Boy Jim – All the po boys I’ve had at Po Boy Jim deserve your attention and the upstairs space is decent (don’t sit downstairs), but I can’t choose it over the sleek new bar serving ‘brown water’ aka bourbon. And I don’t even drink bourbon.
Advances to the Final Four: Barrel
Ocopa vs. DC Harvest – DC Harvest’s S’mores Pot du Crème and friendly bartender are ultimately thwarted by Ocopa’s straight amazing Peruvian food. All of it. In my mouth. Now.
Advances to the Finals: Ocopa
Sona vs. Barrel – Sona is a good place for brunch. And someday I’ll try the wine and cheese. But I’m giving Barrel the nod here, because Penn Ave. SE will do well to keep adding good bars. The burger is tasty and the rest of the menu looks intriguing.
I messed with Texas in September. Some of it anyway. Houston, Fort Worth and Arlington.
What random facts can I claim knowledge of?
They have amazing BBQ – We tried Riscky’s in Fort Worth and Rudy’s in Arlington.
Their Major League baseball teams sucked (this year) – Yes, the Houston Astros (70-92) and the Texas Rangers (67-95) finished 4th and 5th in their division respectively. And the Rangers were the worst team in the American league! We went to two games in Houston and one game in Arlington. More on that in another post.
They have more tacos then there are stars in the sky* – Tacos are good.
They have fairly decent breweries – Saint Arnold Brewing and Karbach Brewing (Houston) and Rahr & Sons (Fort Worth) Brewing all saw their liquid gold pass through my lips and down my throat. Visionary Brew (pumpkin) by Rahr & Sons and Oktoberfest by Saint Arnold were both solid.
They like turning ‘ice houses’ into beer gardens/bars – and why wouldn’t you after electricity made the ice houses obsolete?
Everything is big, including the portions – At the Old West Cafe in Arlington they have a 5-page breakfast menu separate from the lunch menu! Or at the Embassy Suites, you get free breakfast and can eat like a pig. Or just get the chicken and red velvet waffle at Onion Creek.
They like a bit of art – We went to the Menil Collection museum in Houston and had a bit of wander about the exhibits. No photos! Next door was the Rothko Chapel, which literally had 14 paintings of black. Nothing but black. Look it up. Or don’t. Instead stroll around the Discovery Green in Houston.
They want you to fear the frog – and you should. The TCU Horned Frog is no joke.
* This claim lacks research, and frankly plausibility.
I’m participating in a community supported agriculture (CSA) half-share this summer. I’m splitting it with others, but I’ll get five weeks worth of veggies to amuse myself with.
This is notable only in that I rarely buy vegetables myself and cook with them. Sometimes I’ll buy an onion for tacos. Sometimes I’ll buy lettuce for salad.
It’s a chore to figure out what to do with all these veggies!
Thus far, I’ve sautéed bok choy in balsamic vinegar. I’ve had a mixed salad with various leafy options. I’ve boiled collard greens and radice and fava beans with an assortment of sauces. I’ve made leaf tacos. I’ve chopped up all sorts of stuff and put it in scrambled eggs.
I still have three more weeks coming in the next few months, let’s see what I can do!
Note: For those of you that recognize the inherent contradiction in this blog post’s title, I apologize. For those of you that don’t, I’m an avowed anti-abbreviationist (especially bad acronyms…). But it rhymed. I’m not above self-contradiction.
I’ll add a few more into the mix and plan to check out a minimum of seven different restaurants. Maybe more.
Over the years, Washington City Paper readers have also voted the below in the Top Three Thai Restaurants. I’ve already been to all these restaurants, but I’ll attempt to visit most of them again for the purposes of comparison.
Allow yourself to bask in the astonishing glory of the following life-changing innovations.
The shelf above the men’s urinals – Great for your beer, your plane tickets, your coffee, or anything in your hands at the time of cozying up to the urinal. Two hands are needed. Resting anything directly on the urinal itself is unacceptable.
…read four ‘classic’ science fiction novels. From this list.
…participate in three races. Maybe even a sprint triathlon?
…prance about in at least one new country. Maybe Croatia?
…visit 2-3 new baseball stadiums.
…attend another music festival. Maybe the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware?
…find a new job.
…hike more than last year. Benchmark: 17 hikes/177.5 miles.
…finish watching the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 100 movies and all the Oscar Best Picture winners. Don’t get too excited, I only have 18 movies remaining.
Let’s look at how I fared from my 2013 list:
Success rate: 8.5/10
…go river rafting. It’s been awhile. Nope. Fail. Boo.
…read four ‘classic novels’. You know War and Peace and the like. I did. ‘Read‘ about it.
…turn a certain age. Yes! It was so easy.
…play some tennis. Indeed. I managed to play 10 matches (4-6 record) in the Summer and Fall.
…run in two races. Like a 5K, 8K or other. I ran the Semper Fi 5K and the Prevent Cancer 5K. I also did the 50K One Day Hike (I ran and walked).
…go to three new major league baseball stadiums. Thinking of Boston and Pittsburgh to start. I went to Fenway Park (Boston) and PNC Park (Pittsburgh). It wasn’t three, but I’m calling it success. Sue me!
…visit a new state (not the state of denial, but one of those US States) and a new country. I went to Rhode Island for the first time. No new country for old men. .5 credit.
…explore Washington, D.C. more. Even though I’ve seen a lot, there is always something new to discover. Yes. In fact I spent a whole month on this.
…publish more blog posts than last year (45 is the number to reach). Boom! 51!
…do something crazy. I am crazy, so everything I do is crazy.