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Bawstin and Lem

Bawstin and Lem

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Something about that seems really…adult.

I don’t really know how grown-ups are supposed to act, but I am working on it. That meant drinking water all throughout Saturday night as I celebrated.  Also, I didn’t fall even one time.  I am a lady.

What I do know is this: I looked around the crowded bar Saturday night and I felt incredibly lucky to have so many amazing friends. I was throwing the party with Cindarella, one of the best friends anyone could ever ask for, and everyone was having a great time. I felt really loved. Life? It isn’t so bad.

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Irish Lebowski and Lem

Then I snapped the hell out of it and continued drinking…birthday are not for self reflection, but mindless drunkening.

Yesterday, I spent the day with three of my most favorite people and doing what I do best…eating. The day started with brunch at Ardeo with Irish Lebowski. They’ve recently revamped the brunch menu and they seem a bit off balance. While my butternut crostini was delicious, everything else was subpar. The custard toast was soggy and burnt (a tough combination to pull off) and our food took ages to arrive. I was a bit let down–Ardeo is usually better than what I experienced yesterday–but I enjoyed the company and harnessed my chi about the whole ordeal.

Dinner was with Aunt LifeSaver and SuperBoy at the always tasty Comet. God, I cannot get enough of those melted onions…all I really need is some pizza and a wheat beer and I am a happy little clam.

dscn1044Finally, Cindarella picked me up for a late night treat at Buzz and I had the best carrot cake cupcake…ever.  Nutty and full of raisins, it was perfectly moist with just the right amount of cream cheese froting.  Also, isn’t that carrot on top just adorable?  I was in heaven.

If the next 28 years are like this weekend, I think I can handle being an adult.

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Filthy Gorgeous

I was sitting in the backseat of my mother’s car, zoning out. My mom and grandmother were talking about…something. I have no idea. Then, all of a sudden, I saw it. I interrupted my elders and screamed out, “Did we just pass a Sonic?”. MamaBear answered in the affirmative. “Holy Crap, I feel like I just saw a unicorn!”, was my giddy reply.

A plan was hatched. OK, not a plan as much as an edict: It was absolutely essential I eat at Sonic before I headed back to DC. I have had conversations with multiple people about Sonic’s taunting ads and it’s complete inaccessibility in DC. Seriously, Sonic is a huge tease and I do not like being denied. St. Augustine, Florida brought me the answer to my prayers. I was about to pop my Sonic cherry.

First off, I had no idea Sonic was a Drive-In. I nearly died of sensory overload. Fried treats and car service? My little heart can only take so much. It really was quite glorious. Alas, this was only the beginning.

Now, on to the food: The tots were greasy and full of potatoey goodness. Now, my love for burgers is well documented and I never met a slice of Texas Toast I didn’t like, so I was pretty excited about the Bacon Cheeseburger Toaster…even though it had bacon. It was featured in a prime spot on the menu-I had to try it. Anyway, it was pretty awesome. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the following things: bacon, bbq sauce, onion rings, cheese, meat and/or Texas Toast. I was totally on board. The one disappointment was the Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup Sonic Blast. It was watery and lacking in actual peanut butter flavor. I will take a McFlurry any day.

The one downside of the trip to Sonic? The soul crushing shame. I ate half of the burger and still wanted to flog myself after that meal. I slurped down the Sonic Blast so fast I got a brain freeze. I am sure you are thinking “She said she didn’t like the Sonic Blast”. You are correct in that thought, but something overtakes you when you are at a Sonic.  You become the stereotype of a fat, lazy, glutinous American. The urge to stuff your face possesses your whole body and you find yourself scarfing things you don’t even particularly like. There is some sort of evil within those burgers which leave your stomach aching and your head hung with contrition, but you still want more.  I hated myself.

Not surprisingly, I will take self loathing for one of those tots any day.

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Photography by MamaBear. We took others, but they didn’t make the cut. She has since been fired as the official photographer for Culinary Couture. Also, please note that double chin sprang up as soon as I sunk my teeth in that burger.  The Baby jesus was punishing me.

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Casa Oaxaca: FAIL

Restaurant week is often met with groans from local eateries.  General consensus is it draws amateur diners, folks who are only looking for a bargain and who do not possess a true appreciation for food. While I can sympathize with this mentality, I (and many others) look at restaurant week as an opportunity to test drive an establishment and see what they have to offer.  I discovered one of my go to places, Rasika, during a restaurant week visit. I have been there multiple times since and have recommended it dozens of people.

This past weekend I headed over to Casa Oaxaca…and they did everything they could to ensure I never return again.

We had reservations for 8 o’clock. They were running behind and said the table should be ready by 8:15.  We stood and watched as 8:15, 8:30 and 8:45 ticked by. We were seated at 8:55, with barely an apology or a visit from the manager.  I wasn’t looking for a free drink, but some common courtesy would have been nice.

The food was…subpar.  My appetizer, queso fundido con chorizo, could have been warmer and a bit more seasoned.  The cheese was already starting to solidify when it reached the table, leaving the dish oily and difficult to eat.  The chorizo was quite tasty, though, and I was able to overlook the temperature issues and enjoy it.

I ordered short ribs for my main entree…and they were awful.  Terrible even.  First off, they were NOT short ribs. I know short ribs; they are my absolute favorite piece of meat. These were an affront to short ribs. The meat was tough and sliced; short ribs are supposed to be tender, meaty and on the bone. The marinade was syrupy sweet and too abundant. My side, an orange salad with tamarind, contained way too much onion; it was toxic.  A friend of mine almost recoiled when he took the first bite of his. Bawstin ordered a filet, which was cooked much too rare (he asked for medium rare) and the cut of meat was fatty.  Another pal complained of his chicken being dry.

Yet, worse than the wait, worse than the food, was the service.  It was horrific.  It didn’t seem we had a server; whoever was available stopped by, whisking away plates that had been cleaned for ages and filling glasses that had been empty for far too long. Service by committee never works; we felt ignored and unappreciated.  I most definitely would have had another margarita, but it was impossible to waive down anyone to actually obtain one.

I had been to Casa Oaxaca before…and it was much better.  I have even recommended it to folks looking for authentic Mexican.  My meal there this weekend was unacceptable.  This place does even deserve two thumbs down; instead, I give it two middle fingers up.

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Dear Barton:

I have a confession; I’ve a bit of a crush on you. I think you are crazy delicious. I know, I know. You aren’t really my type; you are blond and, at 29, a bit young for my tastes. You actually seem like a pretty swell guy, what with your dedication to responsibly sourced seafood and locally grown produce, and I generally do not tend to gravitate towards nice guys. Compassion and caring isn’t really my style. Yet, the sly grin in most of your photos tells me there may be a bit of bad boy lurking underneath. Maybe there is hope for us.

Today, I finally made it to Tackle Box, your new casual dining destination in Georgetown. Barton, this shows how deep my devotion runs…I went to Georgetown for you. You and your food are worth it.

Your fries are dark brown, salty and delicious; they are made even better by a healthy dousing of malt vinegar. The fried oysters are creamy, crispy, and fresh. I found the blueberry pie supremely enjoyable; not too sweet and the wonderfully flavorful crust left me wanting more. Your staff was stellar as well. Everyone was friendly, warm, and accommodating. They even checked on us half way through our meal; at such a casual joint, this little touch did not go unnoticed. Even the decor was cheeky and charming.

But Barton? Baby? Please don’t get mad because you know how perfect I think you are, but I have one teeny, tiny complaint. The lobster roll could have used a bit more salt and some celery. A little bit of crunch really helps highlight the rich creaminess of the delicate lobster salad; it is a wonderful contrast in most other rolls that I missed in yours. But kudos to you! You used the perfect amount of mayo in the roll. The toasted bun was also divine. But maybe can you reconsider the celery/salt situation? I promise this will be the only thing I ask of you. OK, maybe I will ask for the occasional back rub, but my skin is incredibly soft. I bet you’ll like it, too.

I promise I will be back to see you. This small difference of opinion regarding a silly little lobster roll is not enough to keep me away. After all, no relationship is perfect and you sure do bring a lot to the table. Maybe next time you will come out and talk to me? I promise I won’t bite…unless you ask.

Yours in devotion,

Lemmonex

xoxoxox

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