Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sala Thai- Bethesda, MD

I bought a $20 for $40 worth of food at Sala Thai deal from LivingSocial a few weeks ago, so I took my dad and bf to lunch on Sunday. I was so mad at myself because I was rushing to print out the deal that I forgot my camera. So here's another Iphone post, sorry!

You can't miss this restaurant while driving down Woodmont Ave. I've driven by it so many times because it's located on a street corner. The parking situation is either metered parking or a metered garage a block north, which are all free on the weekends.
I love the huge bay window we sat next to. It adds a nice circular feel to the restaurant, which has a second floor too.
The bf and I ordered a 'Thai Tea' for $2.95. It's one of my favorite drinks, but this one seemed more creamy than usual.
They have a big menu with weekday lunch prices and dinner prices for some of their items. We each ordered a dish, but ended up sharing them. Every dish came with a small bowl of rice too.

My dad ordered the 'Chicken Lemongrass (Sliced chicken sauteed with bell pepper, garlic in yellow lemongrass sauce) for $11.95. I found it to be slightly bland and I wish there was more sauce.
I ordered the 'Panang Gai (Chicken in peanut curry sauce) for $10.95. Usually Penang is spicy, but this wasn't spicy at all. I also wish there was more sauce.
The bf ordered the 'Wild Pork (Stir-fried sliced pork in red curry sauce and tomato with fresh pepper) for 11.95. This dish was AMAZING. The pork was so tender, there were fresh peppercorns and a really nice sauce with the tomatoes. I loved it because it had a great balance of flavor.

The service was really nice, I thought the place was cute. Perhaps we didn't order the right dishes because I thought the chicken dishes were slightly bland. The pork however was very special. Water glasses were constantly refilled, and the music was really cool house. They have a live jazz band playing Thursday-Saturday nights.

4828 Cordell Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814-3011
(301) 654-4676

Mon-Thu: Sun 11am - 10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am - 11pm

Sala Thai on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sweetgreen- Bethesda, MD

One of my coworkers eats here every week, so when I was in Bethesda for a lazy afternoon with the bf and doggie, I grabbed lunch at Sweetgreen. It's a customizable salad and frozen yogurt place. There is a metered parking garage down the street and metered street parking that are free on the weekends.

I loved the decor. I'm a wanna-be tree hugger, so the green and bamboo inspired decor was nice. There isn't much seating aside from 2 benched tables, and a small round table. There are a couple tables and benches outside, which is where we ate lunch.

Their menu consists of signature salads, mix-your-own, soups and tart frozen yogurt. If you create your own salad, you get to choose greens, 3 veggies, a crunch a dressing for $6. Add a meat for $2-3 and cheese for $1.
They have some unique salad items like brie, mint, baked falafel, wasabi peas, and black truffle oil. Their tart frozen yogurt is $2-$7 and each topping is $.50.

It was too overwhelming for me to pick, so I went with the 'Guacamole Greens (mesclun with roasted chicken, avocado, grape tomatoes, red onion, crushed tortilla chips; topped with a lime cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette & a fresh lime squeeze) for $9.50.It was a really good salad. It was large enough that I could only finish 2/3 of it and gave the rest to the bf. I like onions, but I could've done with a little bit less.

The line was very long, kind of slow. The portions are large but seriously, close to $10 for a salad is expensive. I didn't get to try the yogurt, but I saw a lot of people buying it. There is a separate line if you just want froyo. I would come back because it tasted good, but I couldn't afford to make it a routine visit. Apparently there's a Sweetgreen truck too!

4831 Bethesda Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 654-7336
Mon - Sun: 11am - 10pm

SweetGreen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Georgetown Cupcake- Bethesda, MD

This was a very on the whim visit to Georgetown Cupcakes, so it was taken by my iPhone (sorry).
After having dinner with my old friend Mia at McCormick & Schmicks, we walked to Georgetown Cupcakes for dessert. I've never been to an actual store, but these are probably the most famous cupcakes in the DMV, so we were eager to eat some. There is a metered garage right across the street and regular metered parking, which are all free on the weekends.

Look at this display!! This place is a very tiny bakery with one table inside and a couple outside. The display is so cute with the cupcake towers. It is very inviting and makes you want to buy every flavor.

Their menu switches up daily too.
1- $2.75
Half Dozen- $15
Dozen- $30

I bought Mia 1/2 dozen for her belated birthday and 1/2 dozen for myself (don't judge me!), and asked them to pack them separately. Well the girl working there said she knew exactly who's box was for who and I didn't want to break the cute flower seal, so I believed her. Wrong, lol. So I have Mia's flavors, which were still very good.

Top: Chocolate Ganache, Lemon Berry, Chocolate & Vanilla
Bottom: Red Velvet, Cookies & Creme, Vanilla & Chocolate

Once I got home, the bf and I tasted them all. Lemon Berry was SO refreshingly good. I loved the lemon cake and the raspberry frosting. Their signature Red Velvet was also one of my favorites because the cream cheese frosting was so flavorful and balanced out the cake. The bf loved the Chocolate Ganache because it tasted like dark chocolate. The other flavors were good as well, but more normal. All of the cupcakes in my batch were very moist.

I loved the cupcakes. I thought they were moist and flavorful. I liked how perfect the display was, and how they frosted the cupcakes and put a little edible charm on them. Their changing menu adds a bit of variety if you go there often. I'd love to try their maple and peanut butter fudge ones next. These cupcakes are expensive in my eyes, but are a nice treat or gift once and a while.

4834 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814

Mon-Sat: 10am-9pm
Sun: 12-6pm

Georgetown Cupcake at Bethesda Row on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bethesda Row Restaurant Week- Spring 2010

Bethsda Row Spring 2010 Restaurant Week
Monday, April 26-Sunday, May 7
two course lunches: $15 three course dinners: $30

Participating Restaurants: Jaleo, Lebanese Taverna, Parker’s American Bistro, Raku, Assaggi Mozzarella Bar, Mon Ami Gabi, Redwood, Le Pain Quotidien

Restaurant Week Menus

Lebanese Taverna
7141 Arlington Road, 301.951.8681,
Reservations at

Choice of Traditional Mezza Platter:
Sampling of hommos, tabouleh, grape leaves, falafel, m’saka, baba ghannouge, lubieh bel zeit, sambousik, and kibbeh

Vegetarian: Sampling of fatayer b’jibne, m’saka, foole m’damas, baba ghannouge,
hommos, fattoush, fatayer b’sbanigh, lebneh, and falafel

Mediterranean: Sampling of sambousik, tabouleh, grape leaves, shakshouky, fattoush,
fatayer b’sbanigh, lubieh bel zeit,baba ghannouge, and lebneh


Iced Tea or Soda

First Course:
House Salad

Rack of Lamb -Marinated with garlic, rosemary, zaatar over Morello cherry cabernet
reduction. Served with whole wheat burghul pilaf, fava beans, and grape tomatoes

Awamet- Lebanese donuts with honey saffron syrup and a yogurt milk pudding

Le Pain Quotidien
7115 Arlington Road, 301.913.2902,

First Course: Choice of:
Soup of the Day
Shrimp and Mango Avocado Creme
Small Mixed Green Salad

Entrée: Choice of:
LPQ Turkey Club
Tuna Nicoise Salad

Mon Ami Gabi
7239 Woodmont Avenue, 301.654.1234,
Reservations at

First Course: Choice of:
Petit Salad
Mixed Field Greens and Olive Vinaigrette
Chicken Liver Mousse Pate- Red Wine Mustard, Country Toast
Soup Du Jour- Chef Andrew’s Daily Offering

Entrée: Choice of:
Ham and Cheese Crepe
Whole Wheat and Chive Crepe, Dijon and Frisee Salad
Prime Cheeseburger and Frites- Bleu, Brie, Gruyere, Cheddar
Grilled Cheese and Short Rib Sandwich- Pommes Frites

Single Profiterole

First Course:
Petit Salad Mixed Field Greens and Olive Vinaigrette
Chicken Liver Mousse- Pate Red Wine Mustard, Country Toast
Warm Brie Cheese- Black Pepper Honey, Hazelnuts, Crostini
Soup Du Jour- Chef Andrew’s Daily Offering

Steak Frites with choice of:
Classique, Au Poivre, Bordelaise, Roquefort, Béarnaise or Dijon
Lemon Chicken- Paillard French Green Beans and Lemon Butter
Seared Salmon- Melted Fennel, Diced Celery Root and Lemon Crème Fraiche

Choice of:
Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Mousse
Sorbet Du Jour

Parker’s American Bistro
4824 Bethesda Avenue, 301.654.6366

Choose one from each group from the entire menu:
Soup or starter salad Sandwich or entrée salad Dessert

Choose one from each group from the menu:
Soup or starter salad Choice of three entrees Dessert

7240 Woodmont Avenue, 301.718.8680

First Course: Choice of:
Mesclun Salad
Ginger Pumpkin Soup

Entrée: Choice of:
Japanese Hamburger Steak
Korean Grilled Spicy Chicken
Sushi Assortment

Dessert: Choice of:
Croissant Pudding
Chocolate Cake

Choose 3 out of 4 groups from the entire menu:
Soup or Salad Appetizer Dessert

7271 Woodmont Avenue, 301.913.0003,
Reservations at

First course: Choice of:
Gazpacho estilo Algeciras
Sopa de cebolla y tomillo con queso Idiazábal*
Endibias con queso de cabra y naranjas
Ensalada verde con queso Idiazábal
Remolacha con cítricos
Ensalada campera tapa

Entrée: Choice of:
Croquetas de pollo
Patatas bravas – 2009*
Chistorra envuelta en patata frita
Setas al ajillo
Dátiles con tocino‘como hace todo el mundo’
Manzanas con hinojo y queso Manchego
Gambas al ajillo*
Trucha a la Navarra
Calamares a la romana
Vieiras con calabaza y clementinas*
Lomo de cerdo con salsa de cabrales
Butifarra casera con ‘mongetes’
Pollo al ajillo con salsa verde*

First course: Choice of:
Gazpacho estilo Algeciras
Sopa de cebolla y tomillo con queso Idiazábal*
Endibias con queso de cabra y naranjas
Ensalada verde con queso Idiazábal
Remolacha con cítricos
Pan con tomate y queso Pasamontés

Entrée: Choice of:
Cebolla asada con queso Valdeón
Espinacas a la Catalana
Pimientos del piquillo rellenos de queso
Garbanzos con espinacas ‘que bien cocinas Tichi’
Arroz cremoso de setas
Trigueros con romesco
Croquetas de pollo
Patatas bravas – 2009*
Chistorra envuelta en patata frita
Dátiles con tocino‘como hace todo el mundo’
Tortilla de patatas
Gambas al ajillo*
Salmón con coliflor y frambuesa*
Calamares a la romana
Vieiras con calabaza y clementinas*
Butifarra casera con ‘mongetes’
Lomo de cerdo con salsa de cabrales
Pollo al ajillo con salsa verde*

Choice of any of our homemade ice creams, flan, or chocolate torte

Soup of the Day or Market Lettuce Salad
Duck Banh Mi Sandwich or Tortellini with Spring Vegetable PistouIce Cream Sandwich

Soup of the Day or Market Lettuce SaladMarket Fish with Spring Vegetable Tart, English Pea Pesto and Shaved Parmesan
Rotisserie Amish Chicken with Truffled Macaroni and Cheese and Grilled Asparagus
Ice Cream Sandwich


Spinach and ricotta cheese filled ravioli with butter and sage sauce
Blu Bass with cream of garbanzo bean , balsamic vinegar, sautéed broccoli rabe
Sicilian Tuna and fennel Panini with olive and tarragon salsa

Assortment of gelato with house made cantucci
“Tyrolean” carrot cake with a lemon cream sauce

Grilled calamari stuffed with spelt, Swiss chard , squid ink sauce
Crispy hearts of Romaine with “bagna cauda” dressing, and grissini
Spinach and ricotta cheese filled ravioli with butter and sage sauce

Blu Bass with braised lentil and red wine reduction sauce
Risotto with mushrooms and sliced veal roast
Muscovy duck leg stuffed with swiss chard marsala wine sauce, cinnamon potatoes and carrots

Ricotta cheese cake
“Low fat” yogurt mousse with fresh berry puree and fresh berries

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oriental East- Silver Spring, MD

Hey Everyone! Rarely do I do anything before noon on a Sunday, but my friend Big Joe asked me if I wanted to try this popular dim sum place called Oriental East. Located in a shopping center, there's plenty of free parking. The closest metro stop is Silver Spring on the red line.

He tells me he's getting there 30 minutes early to stand in line before it opens. Line?! lol. The picture only shows half of the line. The rest of it is wrapped around the back of the building. Thankfully we were a little bit ahead of the halfway point.

Once the doors opened, the line moved VERY fast and we were seated immediately. It's a very large dining room with a lot of tables. Seems like a wider path for the dim sum carts to roll through too.

We shared 6 different items, and tried not to fill up on veggies, rice or noodles. This might not look like a lot of food, but we were stuffed!

'Taro Dumpling' ($2.75). This is a favorite of mine.

'Steamed Shrimp Dumplings' ($2.75). Really good with the pre-poured soy sauce.

'Shrimp w/Garlic, Green Onions and Jalapenos' ($?). It is more flavorful to eat it with the shell on.

'Dried Scallop Dumplings' ($2.75). Joe heard the word 'Scallop' and we had to get one.

'Shui Mai' ($2.75). This is a dim sum classic.

'Fried Fun-Gor' ($2.75). Reminded me of an empanada, but fried.

Every item was delicious, and I didn't have to use any soy sauce because they were all seasoned well. The service was fast and the carts were constantly coming by. If you like a more relaxed environment, I wouldn't recommend this place because it's crowded with lots of stuff going on. Cheap food with items ranging from $2.50-3.00. Sunday is the biggest dim sum day, so it is recommended that you come early to get in with the 1st seating. The food is fresher and your favorite items won't be sold out yet.

1312 E West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 608-0030

Sun-Thurs: 11am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm
Dim Sum (Served Daily): 11am-3pm

Oriental East on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bake Sale Recap/ Port City Java- Eastern Market, DC

Yesterday was my 1st time at Eastern Market.

Other then it being super windy, it was a nice day to walk around, check out the vendors, sell baked goods and sip on some coffee.

The night before I made 3 different kinds of pound cake for the sale using the original Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe as my starting point. I made: Almond with Kahlua Glaze, Lemon & Poppy Seed with Lemon Glaze and Chocolate Chip with Peanut Butter Glaze.

Look at our little table! Earlier in the day the treats filled the underside of the table too. We raised over $600 for Share Our Strength, yey! Nationwide, all of the bake sales collectively raised over $16,500. Thank you everyone that came out and supported! It was a fun time meeting other bloggers and yelling out "Bake Sale" for a couple hours, haha.

Before my bake sale shift, I stopped by Port City Java on the corner to help wake me up. It's a tiny coffee shop that has a couch and a lot of outdoor seating.

I ordered a grande 'Iced Vanilla Coffee' for $2.92. Refreshing and I didn't have to add any sugar to it.

There were so many people and cute doggies that day. I'll definitely come back with mine whenever the weather is nice.
Port City Java on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This Saturday is the DC Blogger Bake Sale! I decided to try something I've never made before: Pound Cake. This was my 1st test trial before actually baking up a storm tomorrow night. The recipe from Smitten Kitchen (loveeee this blog), has an amazing flavor and crispy crust that I've never seen with store-bought pound cake. I also tried making a lemon version (not pictured) by replacing the almond extract with lemon extract.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia brand cream cheese*, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract plus 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons vanilla but I liked this mix better)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
* Philadelphia cream cheese is often recommended for baking for consistency purposes, as in, bakers know this brand works, and because it contains less water than other brands.

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter a 10-inch tube pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Alternately, you can use a 12-cup bundt pan, and simply butter and flour it.
2. Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.

3. Add the sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and airy, at least five minutes.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the vanilla, almond, then the flour and salt all at once. Beat just until incorporated.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 1 1/4 hours.

6. Place the pan on a cake rack and cool for 20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely. Serve at room temperature. Why did my cake rise so much?

Then I made a glaze to pour on top of the cake:

Kahlua Glaze

2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Kahlua

Place sifted powdered sugar in a medium size bowl. Add melted butter, milk, vanilla & Kahlua to powdered sugar. Stir until smooth. Add more milk if necessary. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Ta da! It's a very easy and yummy recipe. Not overly sweet but full of flavor. It's quite addictive, and the bf loved it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

DC Food Blogger Bake Sale REMINDER

This Saturday April 17th, 2010, The Great American Bake Sale will feature food bloggers from all over the US selling yummy baked goods/desserts in their hometowns to help benefit Share Our Strength's efforts to end childhood hunger.

DC will be participating from 9am to 12:30pm at the farmers market at Eastern Market (7th Street & North Carolina Avenue, SE). Come on by and support this great cause! 

My girls Sqrl from Squirrels and Sweets and Maiya from Beans Rice Life will participate with me and we'll be manning the table starting at 10:30am. Come visit! Rain or Shine! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Addis Ababa- Silver Spring, MD

I had promised my friend for years that I would try Ethiopian food, and it FINALLY happened! A group of us went to his uncle's place called Addis Ababa in Silver Spring. There is a metered parking lot across the street, as well as metered street parking, which are both free on the weekends. The closest metro stop is Silver Spring on the red line.

There are 2 levels to this restaurant. This is the 1st floor, which seems to have lower tables, seats smaller groups and has more traditional decor.

We had a group of 8, and we sat on the 2nd floor. It was a very large room, which felt like we were sitting outside. There were heat lamps around to keep us warm when the sun began to set. There was a TV and a bar and the tables were standard size.

Before trying Ethiopian cuisine, people were scaring me, "It's tastes weird or the bread is gross". However after trying it, I actually really like it! Granted, I think I have a pretty adventurous palate and I'm a huge fan Bizarre Foods, so this wasn't that odd to me. It reminded me of Indian food because of the texture, use of many spices and bread, but it doesn't have the same flavor when you eat it.

The Injera (bread) is what is used to pick up the food. There are no utensils and food is also served on a big plate of it. Once the meal is over, you can eat the bread because it has soaked up the flavor from sauces. It tastes similar to sourdough and is very flat, spongy and slighlty cold.

Everything had great flavor, nothing was overly spicy either. Sometimes its a bit messy or difficult to rip the meat off of the chicken bones, but nothing to dampen the mood. Every dish had a unique flavor and I really liked the raw Kitfo too! That might scare some of you (like the bf) but I'd order it again. I ordered the only vegetarian dish (Yatakilt Wat) and everyone liked it too.

Here's what we ordered (the numbers correlate with the photo below):
1. Dora Alitcha (Curried chicken cooked with seasoned butter, onions, green pepper, garlic and ginger. Served with hard boiled egg) for $11.25.
2. Kitfo (Minced meat seasoned with herbed butter and hot red pepper. Served with special seasoned cheese. WELL DONE) for $12.
3. Yatakilt Wat (Fresh carrots, potatoes, string beans and peppers cooked with turmeric, seasoned and spiced) for $9.25.
4. I'm not sure what this is, because by process of elimination, this should've been the Sambusa appetizer, but it's not. Sorry guys!
5. Yeburg Alicha (Fresh and tender lamb cooked with turmeric, onion, garlic and pepper) for $11.
6. Doro Wat (Chicken leg seasoned with onions, garlic, fresh ginger, hot peppers cooking red wine, and finally simmered with berbere sauce. Served with hard boiled egg) for $11.25.
7. Kitfo (Minced meat seasoned with herbed butter and hot red pepper. Served with special seasoned cheese. RAW) for $12.

I took a sip of this Ethiopian 'Harrar Beer' ($5.50) from one of my friends, liked it so much and ordered my own. It was a little sweeter in flavor.

I've known these guys for a long time and as we grow older it's hard to keep in touch, so it was a good time to catch up, eat and laugh. We headed to McGinty's after dinner for some drinks. As you can see, I was sporting the 'Asian Glow.'

Who says you have to go to Adams Morgan for good Ethiopian food because I had a great meal there. Our server was super nice and humored me when I tried to pronounce my dish's name. Our water glasses and Injera baskets were always being refilled. The price for 8 people including alcohol was $117, which is a great deal considering we were all stuffed and were able to taste 9 different things on the plate. Our appetizer was missing, however no one noticed it and I only did because I had to write about it, so it didn't mess up our night at all.
It's a fun dinner since everyone is huddling around the food and comparing each item. My friends who have never had Ethiopian food really enjoyed the meal too. I'd say for those who are skeptical, take baby steps and order something like a chicken curry as opposed to raw beef. Also, just think of the bread as the soft inside part of a sourdough loaf, and you'll be fine. Try something new people!

8233 Fenton Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910-4503
(301) 589-1400

Addis Ababa on Urbanspoon