Friday, March 27, 2009

dogfish head alehouse

dogfish head alehouse
6220 leesburg pike, seven corners shopping center, falls church, VA, 22044
tel: 703) 534-3342
hours: monday-wednesday 11:30am-11:00pm; thursday-saturday 11:30am to 12:am; sunday 11:30-10pm
what was consumed: beer, beer, and more beer! chipotle chicken dip, bacon chedder burger, slow roasted roast beef sandwich, ahi tuna sandwich, chocolate cake, bread pudding, apple crisp
dogfish head has a great line of beers. when i found out that they had an alehouse (totally by accident - it happened to be next to the chinese place i was at. we head over to the alehouse for dessert the first time, and then for dinner at a later date), i totally had to go. so, after taking tyler to his first experience at the korean market, we head over for some good eatin's.i started off with a nice black and tan. i'm usually not so much a fan of darker beers (though i'll drink them. you know i'll drink them), our server suggested that to us (our server was also well informed about drink selections - that's always impressive). and i'm glad we took him up on his suggestion! we then proceeded to begin our meal with a great chipotle chicken dip that was on the special menu, and also suggested by our server. it was nice and cheesy, totally delicious. we then proceeded to consume (rapidly - omg, i was so hungry that night) our respective sandwiches. i had the tuna sandwich which was cooked more than i liked (and more than i asked for), but hey - the delicious fries made up for it. i also got to try christine's and tyler's sandwiches, both of which were totally delicious. dogfish head alehouse also has a nice selection of entrees in additon to their varied sandwiches, salads, and small plates/appetizers. yum~
they also have a series of desserts that you should totally try out (which is what i had, in addition to beer of course the first time i visited the alehouse) ... though i wonder if the selection changes:
there's just something about places that have good beer. tyler also says that other parts of their menu are also worth trying. i will have to visit again to do so!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

full kee

full kee
509 h street nw (between 5th street & 6th street), washington, DC 20001
tel: 202) 371-2233
hours: monday-sunday 11am-2am
what was consumed: wonton soup; seafood pan fried noodles
there's something about having a chinatown in the city, but not knowing where to get good chinese food. there are loads of take-out chinese places all around town (i miss young chow in SE!! i need to find a new place near where i live now), to which i am often perplexed because you can get kung pao chicken AND fried chicken wings at the same time! it's GREAT. chinese food in DC is, apparently, schezuan and cantonese-esque (as though i would know), whereas chiense food in so.cal (and even in nor.cal, i guess) is more taiwanese. i.e., when you order chow mein here in DC, you're not going to get noodles. but that's ok - it can all be delicious.
so, friend chris mentioned wanting to go have wonton soup at a place in chinatown, to which i happily agreed. we took the metro to chinatown and head out to full kee. apparently, they have great wonton soup (i think i read somewhere that they have a number of good things, but i don't remember), and do they ever! we visited full kee on a cold and rainy day, so the delicious wonton soup totally hit the spot. in addition to the won ton soup, i ordered what chris says is his favorite noodle dish - seafood pan fried noodles. i love noodles in all shapes and forms, so i was happy to take in chris's fav~
the wonton soup was nice and hot, with some really flavorful broth (don't ask me about msg - i can't really taste it. i will say, though, that i love it. hahahahahaha). add a bit of pepper for a bit of spice. yum. the soup was really simple - just wontons and broth. i think i could go for a bit of egg in the soup, but i can go for egg in most things (hee hee).
the pan fried noodles were also good. not greasy (i've had greasy ones before) with just enough sauce to mix in with the noodles to soften them up just a bit, while also being a bit crispy. i could go for s'more veggies, but (again) i could usually go for more veggies in most things.
so, a lunch of wonton soup and noodles - t'was the best! i look forward to seeing what other delicious things full kee has to offer. hurrah!

Monday, March 16, 2009

bittersweet chocolate cafe

bittersweet chocolate cafe
2123 fillmore street (between california street & sacramento street), san francisco, CA 94115
tel: 415) 346-8715
hours: monday-thursday 10am-8pm, friday-saturday 10am-10pm, sunday 10am-8pm
what was consumed: soy hot chocolate, latte, coffee
after a nice lunch in the makeshift "little italy" area of san francisco, nick, jenny, and i head back to the japantown/pacific heights area for a bit of after meal eats. wendy had mentioned a nice hot chocolate place; so, after a bit of blackberry googling, we found bittersweet and head over for some warm drinks and good conversation.
coffee shops like bittersweet seem pretty common in hip towns like SF (and even in some areas in DC, like georgetown). there isn't that corporate sense (even though that may be the case). there's something about the woodsy decor, bench and stool seating (in addition to other sorts of chairs) and the latte art that separates places like this from what more mainstream, corporate, mass production coffee shops have (unfortunately) become.
nick, jenny, and i grabbed a seat by the window. it wasn't until later that we noticed a whole 1 1/2 level area of seating. but that's alright because we had a good view of people going in and out, back and forth, on the rather busy fillmore street. there certainly are a lot of interesting people who walk by - people watching is great!
we each decided on different drinks - soy hot chocolate for jenny, latte for nick, coffee for me (to add to the over-caffineition that was necessary for me the weekend of SFIAAFF 2009 - yeehaw!). i'm glad one of us got the hot chocolate because that's what bittersweet is known for. and let me say, for those who love that sweet, milky, chocolately hot chocolate, bittersweet is for you! it is as though they melt the chocolate, splash in some milk, and serve it to you hot. that's how hot chocolate should be, mind you (totally different from that swiss miss deliciousness that i grew up with). the chocolate is think and creamy, helping it last through much time of good conversation and time with friends. and you always know that when the baristas take time to draw hearts, flowers, etc. with the milk in your drink, they know how to make you feel special and draw you in for another cup.
on a side note, i did comment on a note that was taped to their register that said something like, "all sales are final." i don't know why i thought that was so funny. i mean, do people take a bite of their cookie or a sip of their chocolate and come back in dissatisfaction, asking for their money back? i suppose it applicable to some of their other products (e.g. unopened packages of coffee beans), but really? really? there is no doube in my mind that the note was put up after someone complained that they were not taking returns. i dunno, it just seemed so ridiculous to me.
no matter - i enjoyed my time at bittersweet and look forward to sharing this chocolate haven for those with extreme sweet toothes (teeth?). i will sip on my rather delicious bittersweet coffee while you enjoy~

tanpopo

tanpopo
address
: 1740 buchanan street, san francisco, ca 94115 (in japantown)
tel: 415) 346-7132
hours: monday-friday 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; saturday-sunday 11:30am-10:30pm
what was consumed: ramen, ramen, ramen.
almost immediately after arriving in san francisco's japantown, my friends and i head out to tanpopo for ramen. while i had never been there (and someone else later mentioned that tanpopo is not what it used to be), the others seemed remeniscent about past experiences there. i was just looking forward to eating real japanese style ramen - yum!
there was a large group of us and as we entered the restaurant, we seemingly overwhelmed the staff (there were 8 of us). they gave us a few seating suggestions, but we opted to squeeze into one u-shaped booth with a few added chairs. this was more than enough space for us. once we got seated, the wait staff seemed pretty attentive, took our orders, filled our water glasses, and made sure we were taken care of.
tanpopo has a large selection of ramen, among other japanese fares; however, i think everyone in our group ordered some version of ramen. some ordered their ramen "chashu" (extra pork) and while i love me some pork, i am usually satiated with the delicious flavors in the broth, so i opted out. i don't remember which of the ramens that i had (a result of the absence of japanese linguistic abilities), though i am told that it was the kyushu ramen (as pictured), where the broth is milkier in color most likely the result of having been stewing with the likes of meats, bones, and other delicious flavor-makers. the pork, mushrooms, green onions, ginger, and half egg that accompanied my ramen were quite delicious. granted, i picked out the ginger and green onions (there's just something about how they feel in my mouth that displeases my otherwise non-refined palate), but they need to initially be included to garner the desired flavor! leave me and my texture crazies alone.
i must admit, my broth was far saltier than i would have liked. i initially thought that that was because i have a penchant for less salty food, but others agreed with me regarding the overwhelming salty flavor. of course, this didn't stop any of us from eating all of the noodles, the added fixings, and much of the broth. some even preferred it salty! if i had some hot water, i probably would have done a bit of flavor alteration for myself, but doing the asking for that sort of thing became secondary to my overwhelming hunger (haha).
oh, and $5ish japanese beers in frozen glasses that yielded shaves of ice in the beer is definitely something to commend. fantastic!

Monday, March 9, 2009

westside brewery

westside brewery
340 amsterdam avenue, between 76th street & 77th street), new yrk, NY 10024
tel: 212) 721-2161
what was consumed: beer, a burger ... on an english muffin! ... side salads, onion rings, sweet potato fries, regular fries ... yum~
so, christine, willie, and i head to nyc, the big apple, for a weekend of fun in the big city. we get into the city pretty late, get settled in our "hotel," then head out to christine's old hood for some good eats. willie told us of a place he had been to before, as did christine, that had good beer, sweet potato fries, and burgers on english muffins! i was totally looking forward to trying it out.
of course, dinner didn't start as soon as we had liked. much like everything else in nyc, we seem to remember the location of things just a bit differently from where or how they actually are. we walked around and around and around, looking for the wetside brewery. we finally found it (hooray!) and got a chance to stop by the money store (aka atms) which was also convenient.
by the time we sat down at the brewery, we were starving. luckily, we already knew what we wanted and ordered right away, in addition to a number of beer. if i recall correctly, they had quite a nice selection of beers, as is the nyc way. i remember the food being delicious, but i think my overwhelming hunger prevented me from enjoying the culinary aspects of my food more ... but that's ok.
yelp.com says that the wetside brewery is now closed. is that true? i mean, it has been 1 1/2 years since the fateful trip, but ... so sad ... we'll just have to find another place to enjoy burgers made with english muffins and sweet potato fries~ -sigh-

bar pilar

bar pilar
1833 14th street NW, between n. swann street & n. T street, washington, DC 20009
tel: 202) 265-1751
what was consumed: beer ... some tapas ... i forget
ah, bar pilar.
i'd read and heard about bar pilar and was excited about getting a chance to check out the eatery before catching a show at the source theatre just next door.
bar pilar is a small place, which i hear gets pretty crowded on the weekends and during happy hours. being on my own, i sat at the bar where there was a seat, just for me. they had a pretty wide array of beers on tap, wines, and other drinks. prefering beer, i began my debauchery (haha). it was also a hot day, so the intoxication happened a lot faster ...
i wanted to make sure i ate some food that would hold me over, as to not ruin the planned dinner after the show. luckily, bar pilar is a tapas place, so anything i order would not overwelm my belly (though that would've been easy because there were quite a few things on the menu that i would've wanted to try). since it's been some time since i visited bar pilar, i don't remember what i consumed (though there's a lovely picture of it here). a sort of bruschetta of sorts. i was looking at the menu, but couldn't find it. or maybe it's there and i just don't remember. or maybe a combination of all those things? maybe.
next time, i want to make sure i go with a number of other people (and update this entry). we shall all get different things so that i can try other things too - woohoo! i'm totally looking forward to it ...