More Food in DC

I was back in Washington this week and tried two more food trucks:

I was ready to walk right by DC Taco Truck when I saw the sign that said, “Fresh Avocado”, for which I am a total sucker.  They offered chicken, steak, shrimp, vegetable..and I am probably missing one.  Also, there were two types of sour cream.  I ordered two chicken and one steak, with the milder sour cream.  And they also came with a lime wedge:


They look awfully green, but that is because I asked for no pico de gallo.  Luckily, Stefphanie brought back two small containers of hot sauce and I used some of that.  OK.  Five drops.  On each taco.

We agreed that the chicken was better than the steak, and that DC Taco Truck is worth visiting again.  Three tacos were $9 and they take Amex.

Across the street from the taco truck was a cupcake truck I have not tried before – Cupcake Joy.  Lemon was on the menu that day, so I tried it:

The bright frosting made me a bit nervous, but it was very tasty.  Incidentally, the flavor of the day was Sweet Potato, which doesn’t interest me in itself.  However, I am always encouraged when a bakery is doing the southern thing and if I see them again, I will go back.

Finally, we went back to Central Michel, my new favorite place in town.  I remembered that I’d had a fabulous dessert, but didn’t remember what the heck it was, so I ordered the Celebration Cake:

Yeah.  I would have remembered ordered a flaming dessert.  We thought about it while we were eating, and determined there must have been an apple tart of some kind that wasn’t on the menu just then.  (A review of an earlier blog post confirmed.)  But we totally demolished this:

Credit to Stefphanie for the cake pics.  We agreed that it is completely acceptable for us to go to this place and order exactly the same things every time we are in town together.

Frozen Dog Treats

Several weeks ago, when Chicago was in the midst of the heat wave, my social media feeds were all talking about ways to keep our pets cool.  One that I found interesting was chicken broth ice cubes.

I am already in the habit of making pumpkin pops for my dogs.  Literally take canned pumpkin, spoon it into ice cube trays and freeze.  They think it is the best treat ever and the extra fiber does them good.

So I went looking for some low sodium chicken broth and found that one is way lower sodium than the others.  Makes sense since it is organic:

I used two cups (half the package) and two cups of water, which was more than enough to fill three ice cube trays.  The dogs love them.  And seriously, between this and the pumpkin I am not feeding them a whole lot of cookies.  And you gotta believe this is way less expensive.

Dog Treat Kitchen has several more recipes for the creative types, and I will hang on to the site in case my dogs start to get bored.  But so far, so good.

Louisville – Day 1

I spent the better part of the week in Louisville, Kentucky for a meeting.  We stayed at the Seelbach Hotel, one of the historic places.  (Read as: smallest hotel room I have ever used in my life.)  Very pretty, clean, pleasant staff, $10 a day for wifi and I was unimpressed by the pecan pie.

We had breakfast at a Panera across the street from the Convention Center.  Seems they have a Horses on Parade thing going on:

We did one fancy dinner, at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse.  The bonehead that put it on the FourSquare map called it a sushi place.  Sushi is on the menu, but puleeze.    Several of us started with the Freddie Salad.  Very basic, but the awesome smoked bacon made it fabulous.  I ordered the petite filet and was not mocked or glared at for requesting it well done.  And this was dessert:

Brownie base, peanut butter mousse, chocolate shell and peanut butter ice cream (made on site).  Two of us couldn’t take it down.  This was a serious meal and I am glad we walked over there.

Went straight back to the hotel and pretty much right to sleep.


Seven Glaciers Restaurant

The awesome day of touring ended with dinner at Seven Glaciers Restaurant at the Alyeska Ski Resort.  This was the transportation that I neglected to mention to my mother:

And this was the view from the dining room:

So yeah.  Good stuff.

The waiter insisted that my Appetizer & Dessert strategy would leave me hungry.  “The chef portions the meals so that you can order a salad, an appetizer, an entree and a dessert.”  So I ordered two appetizers and a dessert and still couldn’t eat half of my “Baked Alyeska”.  I am told the steak was absolutely fabulous, though.  Another thing: the waiter said that we had to order dessert when we ordered our entrees, claiming they take so long to prepare.  I am sure there is some truth to Baked Alaska taking longer to prepare, but since it was obvious that my table would have ordered half as many desserts if we had waited, it seems like a marketing gimmick.

I am glad to have had the Seven Glaciers experience, but the next time I am in Anchorage, I will be returning to Moose’s Tooth.

Bare Distillery Alaska

After lunch, our group visited Bare Distillery Alaska, where they make Truuli Peak Vodka.  They have a website, Twitter feed and Facebook page and I still had to add them to FourSquare!

We met Jeremy, who the website calls “founding manager”.  He explained that they were in the middle of tearing the place apart because they just picked up some serious funding and were buying all new big equipment so as to increase their capacity by.. alot.  But here is what it looks like now:

The stuff goes up into the thing and…forget it.  I wasn’t really following.  But Jeremy taught me one very important thing: you can make vodka out of pretty much anything – ’cause you are just going to distill it anyway.  But they only make Truuli Peak with local barley, glacier water and honey.

It felt to me like Bare Distillery Alaska was a drunken frat house idea that someone had the moxie to launch.  Which is awesome on several levels.  No samples were provided (I believe there are rules about that sort of thing in this particular trade) so I can’t speak to the awesomeness of the product itself, but these guys seem to know what they are doing.  Recipes on the website and everything.  And seriously.  Alaskan Vodka!

Alaska Potato Chip Factory

While in Anchorage, my group toured the Alaska Chip Company, a small, family owned potato chip factory.  I was all excited to post my pictures, but when I went to their website, I found they have an online tour with more and better pictures than mine.

Well.  They think they’re so great.  But I’m the one that put them on FourSquare!  (I seriously wanted that Check In.)

Mr. Carney, the proprietor, told us all about the process and I managed to take an action shot of the peeler/slicer shooting chips into the fryer:

He also said that he made the rookie mistake of thinking that he could save money by stirring the chips manually.  Corrected that one pretty quick.

When they are done, they are lifted out and spread on to this thing where they are seasoned (lightly salted, bbq, sour cream and onion and jalapeno – all with kitschy Alaskan names):

Of course, we were invited to taste some.  Awesome.  Even though I think “lightly salted” is for pansies and chips should be heavily salted.

Then they cool off and are bagged:

Among our questions were, “How do you decide on the recipe for seasonings?”

Answer: “I eat a lot of chips.”

“How are these potatoes different from baking potatoes?”

Answer:  “Less sugar.  We want as little sugar as possible.”

And, “Are you considering a Baked line?”  Answer: “The oil is really what makes it hold the flavor.”

“How do you distribute?”  Answer: “We use a broker.”  In fact, they can be found in Safeway stores in Alaska and The Midnight Sun Brewery served them with my grilled cheese later that same day.  But I believe they said Washington state is the only place in the lower 48 where they sell retail.  There is an online store.

Alaska Chip Company is now producing flavored pop corn and Mr. Carney showed us the ridged slicer he has been toying with.  I was thisclose to whispering “dill pickle flavoring” in his ear, but that would be presumptuous.

If I lived in Alaska, I would absolutely be buying these.  And if they ever start selling a dill pickle flavor, I might actually have to pay for shipping and order them.  I am hoping they get in with one of the sandwich chains, like Zapp’s contracting with Potbelly.  Oh, man.  Alaska Chips and Jimmy John’s!

Until then, Alaska Chip Company, I will await your arrival in Chicago.

Another Trip to DC

Back in Washington this week, but everything was goofy.

United Airlines shifted stuff around at DCA, so I was all confused.  I stayed at a different hotel, so I was more confused.  L’Enfant Plaza Hotel is not fancy.  I understand from my meeting planner guy that I was on a not-renovated floor that could use some renovation.  But the location is great, the room was clean, the bed was comfortable and it was much quieter than the Holiday Inn Capitol.

I arrived at the office, thinking I was going to grab Stefphanie and go to our favorite deli for lunch.  But then I saw this:

I seemed to recall my online friend Darth Kittius mentioning it once.  She does DC restaurant reviews on her blog sometimes and has included the food trucks.  I ordered the Mt. Fuji – whole grain bread, brie and fuji apples.  It would have been the best grilled cheese ever except that I ate it with my favorite chips – dill pickle – and the sweet of the sandwich didn’t quite complement.  But I would totally eat there again.

So the meetings all went well and then last night I had an awesome dinner.  I don’t normally do the fine dining thing on the road, but our 401(k) people were in town and Stefphanie made the reservations. She knows that I am a picky eater.  We went to Central Michel Richard, which seems to specialize in upscale comfort food.

My friend Jim agrees with me that if one is at a nice restaurant and Mac & Cheese is on the menu, one must really go for it.  So he ordered the fried chicken, I ordered the Lemon Chicken burger and we split a side of the macaroni.  The Lemon Chicken burger is chicken that is grilled and kind of diced up, then mixed with just enough lemon-y batter to hold it together in a patty and then seared.  Very tasty and not greasy at all and serious points for creating something interesting that even I will order.  I tried Jim’s fried chicken and it was also fabulous.  David ordered the lamb which I did not try, but he was quite pleased.

Happily, I saw the dessert menu early and decided against appetizers.  We ordered the apple tart, Michel’s chocolate bar and the lemon tart for the table.  All three came with ice cream.  I would order all three again.  The apples were positively infused with cinnamon-y goodness, although my standard complaint of Too Much Pastry Not Enough Fruit applies.  The chocolate bar had a wafer-y thing going on and avoided being too heavy or too light.  The lemon tart had just the right tartness and the best merengue I have ever had.

This meal was so good I wish I had taken pictures.  We had reservations at 6pm and got in just ahead of the crowd.  Highly recommended.