Kansas City

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.

Kansas City has the National WWI Museum and Memorial (read: this country’s official museum). Why you might ask? Shouldn’t it be in Washington, DC?

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.

Photo time.

Continue reading “Kansas City”

New Places, and Other Inspiring Palavers

Victory!

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
  • 9+ elsewhere

New places in DC:

  1. Fathom – A nice space for a wedding.
  2. Radiator – A nice bar for an after wedding party.
  3. The Haymaker Bar – Updated space (formerly The Atlas Room) on H St NE. Not a huge fan.
  4. Seoul Spice – Korean tacos, if you like.
  5. BKK Cookshop – Decent Thai food.
  6. REI – The new flagship store! Your outdoor gear fix is here!
  7. La Colombe (at REI) – Coffee with your outdoor gear!
  8. Walmart (on H Street) – I finally went inside. And now life continues.
  9. HalfSmoke – If you want a half smoke, hit Ben’s or Meats & Foods.
  10. Library of Congress Tunnel – Went on a private tour…secret things happen down there. Very bookish secret things.
  11. Sonoma – UW reception with wine and sliders.
  12. Smoked and Stacked – Good sandwich with DC prices!
  13. Kahlil Gibran Memorial Garden – A poet, and you didn’t even know it.
  14. Spanish Steps – Supposed to look like the famous steps in Rome. Okay.
  15. Soho Tea & Coffee – Coffee they have, did not confirm the tea.
  16. Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop – The Bobbie because it was close to Thanksgiving!
  17. Zero Milestone – Just a thing to commemorate the center of the city.
  18. Renwich Gallery – Very cool art museum brought to you by the letter ‘S’ (for Smithsonian). Surprised it took me this long.
  19. Thip Khao – Laotian food. I avoided the ‘Jungle Menu’ but could be convinced next time.
  20. All Purpose Pizzeria – Oh yeah, they do pizza here. Try it.
  21. Peirce Mill fireplace – For starting fires in Rock Creek Park post-hike.
  22. Donburi – Curry katsudon. Katsudon with curry.
  23. On Rye – Reubens with a some sort of bread!
Just a sampling of the new places I visited while traveling. I whittled it down…
  1. People’s Palace – (Manila, Philippines) A cool Thai restaurant in the heart of the trendy Greenbelt Park (in Makati).
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Cane & Table – (New Orleans, LA) A boozy brunch to start the day before the real weekend drinking starts.
  5. Mercedes-Benz Superdome – (New Orleans, LA) Seattle Seahawks lost to the New Orleans Saints, but it was still fun.
  6. Courtyard Brewery – (New Orleans, LA) Post-game beer sipping.
  7. Montauk Brewery – (Montauk, Long Island, NY) A brewery at the end of the Earth.
  8. Goldberg’s Bagels – (Montauk, Long Island, NY) Needed bagel sammies at the end of the Earth.
  9. Sabor De Cuba – (Frederick, MD) Tasty cuban food right in the middle of Frederick’s downtown.

Peace out!

Kerala foodKerala food in India

 

Five Random Photos Shared for July ’16

Make America great again! In the form of photos. And by not voting for Trump!

 

Keeping Krishna’s Butter Ball in place (Mahabalipuram, India)
Krishna's Butter Ball

 

About to be a swimming Hole (Cedar Run Trail, Virginia)
Swimming Hole along Cedar Run Trail

 

Beer! At Caboose Brewing Co.
Beer Flight

 

Hammocking on the roof
Roof deck DC

 

That’s Susquehanna River (from Conestoga Trail, Pennsylvania)
View of Susquehanna River

Five Random Photos Shared for January-June ’16

I haven’t been writing much here on A Random Journey in 2016. Feel free to slap me around a little.

Yet, I have been writing, don’t worry, just more on the blog Parklife DC, about happenings in Washington, D.C. Go have a look see, I’ll be here when you get back. For example, things about beer and breweries or concert reviews.

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.

Let’s say…20.

Skiing!

Right Proper Brewing

Hot Chocolate

Halo-Halo>

The Capitol Stone Yard
Kirin and Blossoms

Continue reading “Five Random Photos Shared for January-June ’16”

Five Random Photos Shared for December ’15

Let’s just say December involved a lot of football; either watching on TV, attending a game or playing flag football.

Make merry and check out a few examples.
UW Flag Football team
2015-12-06 11.23.24

 

Seahawks at CenturyLink Field
2015-12-20 15.17.04

 

Seahawks at MT&T Stadium in Baltimore
2015-12-13 13.06.29

 

Snowy cabin
2015-12-29 11.07.54

 

Any beer called Reign Man ESB is okay by me (7 Seas Brewery)
2015-12-23 17.43.25

 

Food Bonus!

Ramen in Portland
2015-12-29 13.25.21

 

Seattle dog
2015-12-20 11.16.17

 

More beer
2015-12-28 13.02.47

 

Extra Extra Bonus!

Nick Offerman’s Yule Log is okay by me
2015-12-06 13.27.46

Five Random Photos Shared for November ’15

Hey now! It appears to be time for photos. Queue up and get some!

 

Find the ToFurkey! (A new Thanksgiving tradition where no actual turkey was eaten.)
Thanksgiving 2015

 

Seahawks at Cowboys and other ways to barely win.
AT&T Stadium - Texas

 

Hot sand, good for dune bashing.
Dubai dunes

 

Waterslide inside a shark tank? Check.
Aquadventure - Dubai

 

Colorful and woody.
Outside

 

Bonus!

Hooligans
Seahawks vs. Cowboys

 

Dunes in Dubai at sunset
Dubai dunes at sunset

 

Marina
Marina & the Diamonds at Lincoln Theatre

Five Random Photos Shared for October ’15

Giving the masses what they don’t want!

 

That’s far.
Army Ten-Miler 2015

 

Excuse me, there are purple things in your stew.
Stew?

 

Jaunting the Billy Goat Trail, Section B.
Billy Goat Trail Section B

 

I suspect that is a leaf. Thoughts?
Fall Foliage

 

Oh my! Texas barbecue at Angelo’s in Fort Worth.
Texas BBQ at Angelo's

Five Random Photos Shared in September ’15

A dark beer for a wet day…
Snallygaster 2015

 

Ohhh, orangish!
Malaysian Candles

 

Let’s eat a Walking Taco (slop in a bag) and play with our bobbleheads.
Walking Taco and Bobblehead

 

Something is over there, hope it’s not a bear.
Hiking

 

Nice tombstone.
Nice Tombstone

 

BONUS!!!

Busch Stadium (St. Louis)
2015-09-26 17.05.50

 

Eat it? I did.
Cendol

 

So cute.
So Cute

Five Random Photos Shared (after) July ’15

I’ve missed the boat and failed to share five extremely useless photos. Are you sad?

No? That’s what I thought. Oh well, no time like the present to correct such an egregious error.

P.S. No 4th of July photos, because that’s been done.

P.S.S. No good photos, because I don’t do those.

 

Some beer I needed to drink.
Beer

 

Mudhoney screaming at me. Read about their show if you dare. Mudhoney

 

Use the ‘trike’ and you know you’ll be safe!
Trike in Boracay

 

This existed for a brief time in the Seoul Airport, but unfortunately went in my belly. I still don’t know why.
Tasty?

 

This exists. Humanity has won. Their contribution to this planet has reached the pinnacle.
Philippines Toilet

 

Bonus? Bonus.

 

Witnessing the Presidents race on the 4th of July.
President's Race

 

Good tip.
Atlas Brew Works cans

 

 

22 for July/August: New Restaurants Encore

I have a bit of travel coming up in July and August (some of it will be vacation!) and will need to eat. In theory. There are also a fair number of restaurants I want to check out in Washington, D.C.

Since I’m short on new goal ideas, why not recycle another one I did last year? Why indeed.

 

July/August Goal: Eat at 22 new (to me) restaurants (at least half should be in D.C.)

 

It would be fairly easy to go to new restaurants while traveling, so I added the twist at the end.

Good eating to all!

Refresh your memory on last year’s (same, same) goal: 10 for November/December: New Restaurants in D.C.

Maybe the food will look like this?

Maketto

Five Random Photos Shared in June ’15

Photos get taken. Photos get posted.

I winnowed it down to the least offensive. The least interesting. The least of the least.

That is the least I could do. Quite literally.

 

I’m so flushed. On the plus side, the urinal will electric shock you for a nickel.
Toilet Story

 

When it’s wrong, it’s wrong.
The Wrong Tree

 

Bobbleheads and rain.
Nationals + bobbleheads + rain

 

For the record, I did not die during that 1 minute of panic.
Gimme Shelter

 

The photo is not blurry. You are drunk.
Red, White & Brew

 

I’m hungry. Let’s get an empanada.
Plate of Empanada

Out!

Food Stuffs from the Pacific Northwest to Immediately Cram into Your Piehole

There are certain things you know you should be eating if you grew up in Washington state.

As often as you can.

Non-negotiables.

Print this and carry it with you at all times.

Do not delay.

 

Fair Scone
Where: Washington State Fair (né Puyallup Fair)
Puyallup Fair Scone

Ivar’s Fish and Chips
Where: Ivar’s of course! Multiple locations, but we* like Ivar’s Salmon House on Lake Union.

 

Mocha (16 oz, hot or iced)
Where: Roadside coffee stands (Located everywhere, including the Bikini barista ones if that’s your thing…)

 

Dick’s Deluxe Burger
Where: Dick’s Drive-In (Five locations in Seattle and one in Edmonds)
Dick's Deluxe

Taco Time Soft Taco (Crisp burrito is also acceptable)
Where: Taco Time (Many PNW locations)

 

Salmon (Grilled on a cedar plank)
Where: Any restaurant that serves it or any backyard BBQ that grills it
Salmon BBQ

Jo-Jo’s (From the hot case)
Where: Any convenience store/gas station that has them

 

Cream Cheese Dog (aka a Hadley Dog before a game or at 2am)
Where: Any street hot dog stand that serves it in Seattle
Cream Cheese dog

Mac & Jack’s African Amber
Where: Mac & Jack’s Brewery in Redmond or any local bar or stadium that serves it
Mac & Jack's

Garlic French Fries
Where: Safeco Field or CenturyLink Field

 

Chicken Teriyaki
Where: Teriyaki restaurants (Located everywhere. Yelp lists 1,627 near Seattle and 893 near Tacoma alone…)
http://www.seattleweekly.com/2007-08-15/food/how-teriyaki-became-seattle-s-own-fast-food-phenomenon/
Teriyaki

Apples (Get Honeycrisp. Cramming your face in pie form is also acceptable)
Where: Everywhere, but we like Prey’s Fruit Barn near Leavenworth.

 

What would you add? Thai food? Geoducks? Ewww.

 

*We equals me.

16 for May/June: New Coffee Shops Encore

Last year I did a random goal to visit new coffee shops. Originality is not my strong suit, so let’s do it again.

To make it more interesting, let’s up the ante and do more than last year.

May/June Goal: Visit 16 new (to me) coffee shops

I have two goals in May, just to keep the blood flowing. Coffee and exercise. What could go wrong?

Best Coffee

 

Blasphemous Things I Just Wrote

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.

Oops, I blasphemed!

No-Kale

New Capitol Hill Restaurants in 2014

Skip the family time and read this post instead. Sorry, I meant vice versa.

Just do both.

One of my ongoing goals is to ingest food stuffs at all eateries on Capitol Hill. It’s a big area. Check out the map here: Capitol Hill and Surrounding Areas.

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.

bracket

Bracket 1

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

Bracket 2

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  

Bracket 3

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

Bracket 4

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

Semi-final 1

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

Semi-final 2

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.

Advances to the Finals: Barrel

Finals

Ocopa vs. Barrel – Peruvian food. That is all.

Winner: Ocopa

Peruvian food wins
Peruvian food wins

Eat and Be Merry

Happy Christmas! My second to last random goal of 2014 was to visit a plethora of new restaurants in D.C.

November/December Goal: Eat at 10 new (to me) restaurants in Washington, D.C.

How did I do?

Result: 15 restaurants. Success!

(Pause here while I run my victory lap)

–huff huff —

Okay, I’m back.

I’m too good at this self-refereed random goals game…undefeated so far this year. Witness. Maybe I cheat?

Food Highlights

DC Harvest’s S’mores Pot du Creme. Damn!

DCity Smokehouse’s The Brisket Champ. Oy!

Sona Creamy & Wine Bar’s scones. Gimme!

Yoon Ha’s Kitchen and Deli’s bibimbap. Boom!

Food Lowlights

Not a fan of ShopHouse’s peanut sauce. (It’s like a Chipotle or Roti for Asian cuisine)

Bolt Burger is nothing special.

Here’s a handy list, restaurantwise, to put on your refrigerator.

Print This!
Print This!

Dessert porn…

S'mores Pot du Creme at DC Harvest
S’mores Pot du Creme at DC Harvest
Scones at Sona Creamery & Wine Bar
Scones at Sona Creamery & Wine Bar

Five Random Food Porn Photos Shared in November ’14

Since November is the month for turkey and for cramming all manner of edibles in your pie hole, I’m sharing only food photos.

I’ve made my choice, but don’t expect any turkey or pie.

A CSA veggie melody
A CSA veggie melody
Get you some Bi Bim Bap at YoonHa's Kitchen
Get you some Bi Bim Bap at YoonHa’s Kitchen
Cachapa at The Corn Factory food truck
Cachapa at The Corn Factory food truck

 

Meatless Thanksgiving Dinner! (well there's salmon)
Meatless Thanksgiving Dinner! (well there’s salmon)
S'mores Pot du Creme at DC Harvest
S’mores Pot du Creme at DC Harvest

Now stay hot and bothered with a nice latte.

Latte

 

 

10 for November/December: New Restaurants in D.C.

To end the year, my random goal is to scope out a cornucopia of new restaurants that have thrown open their doors to D.C. eaters.

I also have a never-ending goal to visit all the fooderies on Capitol Hill. With fresh ones always popping, I’m behind. Even more are slated to tempt the D.C. denizens in the next month or so.

The restaurant doesn’t have to be new new, it only has to be somewhere I haven’t eaten at yet. New to me, see?

November/December Goal: Eat at 10 new (to me) restaurants in Washington, D.C.

 

Tasty!

tasty

___________________________________________________________

Now let’s look at how I fared for my September/October goal…

September/October Goal: Watch, play in or attend enough sporting events and run enough miles so they total 75

Final stats:

  • Running = 56.11 miles
  • Sporting Events = 19

Total: 75.11

Result: Success!

I don’t want to say this was easy, running never is for me, but I had a chance to shatter this goal. But.

My back went out mid-October, so it kept me from running the last three weeks. It also prevented me from playing a few more flag football games and volleyball matches.

I didn’t attend as many watch parties as I had hoped, for various reasons including vacation.

Oh well. I did it!

Here’s the list of sporting events:

  1. Flag football games played = 1
  2. Volleyball matches played = 8
  3. Ran the Army 10-miler
  4. University of Washington Football Watch Parties attended = 3 (at Lou’s City Bar)
  5. Seattle Seahawks Watch Parties attended = 2 (at Acre 121)
  6. Seattle Mariners road games attended (in Houston) = 2
  7. Texas Rangers games attended (in Arlington) = 1
  8. Monday Night Football games attended: Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Football Club = 1

 

No peace for the wicked

'Nuff said.
‘Nuff said.

Things About Texas You Probably Already Know, So Don’t Mess With Reading This

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.

Let's eat some BBQ at Riscky's
Let’s eat some BBQ at Riscky’s
Hells ya
Hells ya

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.

Houston
Houston
Texas
Texas

They have more tacos then there are stars in the sky* – Tacos are good.

A la The Taco Diner
A la The Taco Diner
Dessert tacos!
Dessert tacos!

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.

Saint Arnold at the ballpark
Saint Arnold at the ballpark

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.

Chicken and red velvet waffle!
Chicken and red velvet waffle!

 

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.

Outside The Menil Collection
Outside The Menil Collection
Balling on Discovery Green
Balling on Discovery Green

 

They want you to fear the frog – and you should. The TCU Horned Frog is no joke.

TCU

 

out

* This claim lacks research, and frankly plausibility.

Coffee First

2014-06-13-16a

 

poem

 

My goal in June and July was to check out some new coffee shops in whatever part of the world I happened to be in at the time. I did that. Congratulations to me.

June/July Goal: Visit 14 new (to me) coffee shops

Final stats: 14

Result: Triumph!

What can I say about it?

  1. I sipped coffee in five different states and the non-state of Washington, D.C.
  2. 50% of the new coffee shops were in D.C.
  3. While drinking an iced mocha, I ate one Puyallup Fair scone (not sold at the Fair mind you) for the first time in 10 years (or since moving to D.C.). I regret not eating all of them.
  4. La Colombe was the best place. Tucked away in an alley, with the side that opens to the outside.
  5. 29% were Starbucks! Take that!
  6. 14% were in airports.
  7. 93% involved me drinking an iced mocha. I regret it wasn’t 100%.

 

The full list of coffee shops visited:

  1. Kafe Bohem (Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C.)
  2. Starbucks (Pentagon Centre, VA)
  3. Chesepeake Bay Roasting Company (BWI Airport, MD)
  4. Caribou Coffee (Minneapolis Airport, MN)
  5. Central Perk and Deli (Puyallup, WA)
  6. The Coffeehouse Stage (Firefly Music Festival, DE)
  7. Starbucks (H St NW, Washington, D.C.)
  8. La Colombe (NW, Washington, D.C.)
  9. Starbucks (Alexandria, VA)
  10. Killer E.S.B. (Alexandria, VA)
  11. The Wydown (14th St NE, Washington, D.C.)
  12. Filter Coffeehouse (Dupont NW, Washington, D.C.)
  13. Lot 38 Espresso Bar (Navy Yard SE, Washington, D.C.)
  14. Starbucks (Navy Yard SE, Washington, D.C.)

coffeestats

scone

 

 

peace!

Eat Tokyo

I’m not ゴジラ (aka Godzilla) stomping on buildings and chomping on the chewy denizens fleeing underfoot through the streets of Tokyo.

But I am one to feast on all culinary offerings plucked down in the scant space between my bowl of rice and Yebisu lager. When in Tokyo, feast. I did.

Let’s join hands and skip hungrily among the blurry, uninspired food pornesque photos I display for your indulgence.

Okonomiyaki:  a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. Okonomi, meaning ‘what you like’, and yaki meaning ‘grilled’ or ‘cooked’.

 

Mix up your ingredients and start cooking!
Mix up your ingredients and start cooking!
Looking good...
Looking good…
Oh yeah! Wait, is that mayonnaise over there?
Oh yeah! Wait, is that mayonnaise over there?

 

Okajoki – Izakaya seafood restaurant: a series of small plates served as courses, the last was a delectable fish.

Nice tofu
Nice tofu
Crab legs, eggplant, edamame. Check.
Crab legs, eggplant, edamame. Check.
Final course!
Final course!

 

Sukiyaki: soup you cook at your table and eat directly from the hot pot.

Let's boil these.
Let’s boil these.
Lots of goodness.
Lots of goodness.
It is on!
It is on!

 

Choco Cro: a chocolate bar cooked inside a croissant!

Chocolate in a croissant. Yes, please.
Chocolate in a croissant. Yes, please.

Choco Cro 2

Wait! Don’t Throw Those Pesky Vegetables Away Until You Read This!

If the CSA gives you veggies, you might as well use them!

Wait, those tomatos are fruit...
Wait, those tomatoes are fruit…

‘Just a Burger’ Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Roma tomato – sliced
  • 1 Hungarian Hot Wax pepper – sliced
  • 1/8 White onion – sliced
  • 1/8 Green cabbage – de-leafed
  • 2 potato roll buns – toasted
  • 2 hamburger patties – grilled
  • 2 slices Harvarti cheese
  • 2 parts mayo – squeezed
  • 2 parts mustard – squeezed

Directions

  1. Slice veggies. Avoid fingers.
  2. Pull off some cabbage leaves. Feed any pet rabbits.
  3. Toast your buns.
  4. Grill your patties. Add cheese until melted.
  5. Squirt mayo and mustard on your buns.
  6. Apply veggies in progressive layers.
  7. Drop a hot mess of meat and cheese on there.
  8. Squish it all together. Don’t worry about presentation, it’s just a burger.
  9. Bite. Chew. Repeat.
  10. Have water handy, in case your Hot Wax pepper is too hot to handle.

 

Just bread and salad?
Just bread and salad?
Add some blurry meat and cheese!
Add some blurry meat and cheese!

Fin.

 

 

PSA on CSA

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!

 

What do we have here?
What do we have here?

 

Sautéed bok choy plus...kale? Sadly, yes.
Sautéed bok choy plus…kale? Sadly, yes.

 

Scrambled
Scrambled

 

Boiled greens
Boiled greens

 

Taco? Why yes!
Taco? Why yes!

 

Eat it!

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.

Five Random Photos Shared in June ’14

There went June! Later!

Let’s take a moment of silence…

 

My first round of CSA veggies. Bok choy and some random stuff.
My first round of CSA veggies. Bok choy and some random stuff.

 

Having a beer before the Mariners game in Seattle.
Having a beer before the Mariners game in Seattle.

 

Having another beer in Seatle just before...nothing really.
Having another beer in Seattle just before…nothing really.

 

Random purple bike at Firefly Music Festival in Delaware.
Random purple bike at Firefly Music Festival in Delaware.

 

Tailgating before the Sounders game in DC.
Tailgating before the Sounders game in DC.

Speaking of soccer…USA will beat Belgium in the World Cup!

 

 

14 for June/July: New Coffee Shops

I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake. – Lewis Black

Quote

 

For my next goal, I wish to drink coffee. Lots of it. So, let’s go find some new coffee shops in Washington, D.C. or other random places.

June/July Goal: Visit 14 new coffee shops

I rate a good coffee shop with the following Yes/No criteria:

  • Is the coffee good? (Doesn’t matter, I’ll just order a mocha or vanilla latte).
  • Good ambience?
  • Plenty of seats? Roomy?
  • Outside seating?
  • Does it offer free, do-it-yourself water?
  • Free wi-fi?
  • Food or baked goods?
  • Non-key access bathroom?

I’ll probably try to work from a few coffee shops once a week or so, to escape the office!

Drink up!

___________________________________________________________

Let’s look at how I did for my April/May goal!

 

April/May Goal: Hike and run 140 miles

Final stats: 140.11 miles

Result: Success!

Totals breakdown:

  • Running = 8.55 miles
  • Hiking = 131.56 miles

Analysis:

I busted out a 12 mile hike on the last day and completed this beast.

I did not run as much as I intended to. I also missed the Semper Fi 5K because I was flying home from hot and rainy Thailand.

But I did complete the One Day Hike (31.1 miles) and a practice hike (26.6 miles) that saved the day!

C & O Canal Towpath
C & O Canal Towpath

 

Take a bow.

Seven for February/March: Clash of the Thai-tins

My goal for the months of February and March is to find the best Thai restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Hence the name ‘Clash of the Thai-tins’. See what I did there? Not punny enough for you?

Anyway, multiple sources say these two Thai restaurants are arguably the current best in Washington, D.C.:

Thai X-ing (http://www.thaix-ing.com/)

Little Serow (http://littleserow.com/info.html)

So, let’s find out.

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.

Beau Thai (Shaw) (Best 2013; 2nd 2012; 3rd 2011)

Thai Tanic (14th St NW) (Best 2011, 2010, 2009; 3rd 2013)

Thaiphoon (2nd 2011, 2010; 3rd 2009)

Rice (2nd 2009; 3rd 2010)

Don’t curry any favors!

clash

Some actual dishes from Thailand. To whet my appetite.

Good old Pad Thai
Good old Pad Thai
Duck curry
Duck curry
Green Noodles - Bangkok
Green Noodles – Bangkok

Startlingly Life-Changing Innovations

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.

Nerf guns – Don’t hide. I want to shoot you.

Clotted cream – Slather it on your scones along with robust amounts of strawberry jam and a spot of tea on the side, and you get Cream Tea. The best food to ever come out of England. Now why don’t they make this in the USA?http://www.365connections.com/assets/cream_tea_los_cristianos_tenerife.jpg

Sappo – A crazy game I played in Colombia that involves throwing metal discs into a metal frog’s mouth. Exciting after two carafes of aguardiente. Because you can’t, you won’t and you don’t stop.

Sappo
Sappo

Sports Illustrated 3D Swimsuit Edition – Eye popping. I assume.

Plastic coffee lids that close – Finally! I won’t have to spill coffee everywhere while walking or driving or sitting still!

http://www.tiphero.com/img/tip_pages/coffee_lid.jpg

Pumpkin beer – Pumpkin pie, life-changing. Beer, life-changing. Pouring it in my mouth, glorious.

Lists – The best way to provide extremely valuable content with the least amount of effort.

Keep up!

Five Random Photos Shared in January ’14

Start your day off with a slew of randomness.

...this exists. Literally the most awesome packaging ever conceived.
…this exists. Literally the most awesome packaging ever conceived.
All the way to Portland, OR to find Daddy's Chocolate Milk. Don't touch!
All the way to Portland, OR to find Daddy’s Chocolate Milk. Don’t touch!
(In) Edible delights from the gas station Hot Case.
(In) Edible delights from the gas station Hot Case.
Oh boy, US government  cheese straight from the teat, all for me!
Oh boy, US government cheese straight from the teat, all for me!
The Polar Vortex Strikes Again
The Polar Vortex Strikes Again

 

Bonus! Because I can.

Just the way I like to start the day!
Just the way I like to start the day!

Bold Predictions for 2014

In 2014, I predict I will…

…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.

…cook more.

…win.

________________

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.

boom

Random To Do List 2013: Washington State

Whenever I return to Washington state (usually during the holiday season), there are certain things I must do, drink or eat. These are not possible in Washington, D.C.

(Author’s note: To avoid lyrical confusion, henceforth: Washington = Washington state. D.C. = Washington, D.C.)

Cut out this list for future reference.

  1. Teriyaki – Dear D.C., you don’t do teriyaki. Why? No idea. So I must get my fix in Washington.
  2. Mac & Jack’s African Amber – Only available in the Pacific Northwest via draft (or kegs from their brewery). Must drink.
  3. Dick’s Drive-In burgers – One Deluxe and one Special. I crave them.
  4. Drive-up coffee stands – No such thing exists in the D.C. area (or the East Coast from what I’ve seen), yet you can’t throw a rock without hitting one of these places in Washington.
  5. Seahawks game – I need to use at least one of my season tickets and go to CenturyLink Field to cheer on the SeaGals…errrr Seahawks!
  6. Skiing – Good places to ski are few near D.C., so I always do at least one skiing trip in Washington (sometimes Whistler…). Lately I’ve gone to White Pass.
  7. Pyramid Snow Cap Ale – What, another beer? Yes!

Happy holidays