Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brasserie Beck - McPherson Square, DC

If you guys got a nickel for every time I would fall off the face of the blogger planet and come back, you'd be rich. My apologies! Here is another of my many occasions trying new restaurants with either a Groupon or Living Social deal. I've heard about this contemporary European restaurant, Brasserie Beck, in the past and wanted to try it. There's street parking with the closest metro station being McPherson Square on the orange line.

The outdoor patio is pretty big along the side of the restaurant.

The interior is big with high ceilings and accented with their signature blue. The restaurant isn't an open space, but sectioned off areas with the kitchen in the center.

This was the 1st time I got to test out my new camera! So don't mind me...

I like when they give lots of bread and butter. We were so hungry we went through 3 of these...

The menu consists of contemporary European dishes with many classics like Croque Monsieur, Onion Soup, Duck Confit, Belgium Frites, etc.

For our appetizer, we shared the Crispy Veal Sweetbreads with Path Valley Squash Risotto and Sage Butter for $12. This was our 1st time trying the thymus glands of a baby cow and we liked it. Then again, anything fried is good. However, the dish had a heavy hand of salt.

Onto our main dishes, the bf ordered the Beef Carbonnade (Beef stew enhanced with Kasteel Bruin Beer) for $27. He thought it was good, but once again overly salty.

I ordered the Long Island Duck "Cassoulet" (Roasted breast, leg confit, pork trotter, braised mustard greens, flageolet bean ragout) for $27. I love duck, but this dish didn't do it for me. Overly fatty cuts of duck on top of flavorless greens and hard beans.
The service was attentive, so I'd say that was their strong point. Thankfully I had a deal because the food was not worth the high $20's. I wasn't a fan of the sectioned off interior either because I like beautiful open spaces. Overall, the bf and I weren't impressed.

1101 K St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 408-1717
Brasserie Beck on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies

Is it unfair that when I want to bake I turn to the amazing Smitten Kitchen? Perhaps I should give other bloggers a, maybe later.
The bf loves these brownies and so do I. They may look fancy, but whip up in no time. FYI: These taste the best cold! No one likes hot cheesecake (eww) so same principle applies here.

Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies (adapted recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

Brownie batter
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake batter
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup white chocolate chips (use whatever kind you want)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
2. Heat butter and chocolate in a double-boiler  (Heat an inch of water in a small pot, place a heat resistant bowl on top and let the steam melt the ingredients. No need to boil or let the bowl touch the water)

3.  Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

4. Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

5. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula. Smitten suggests folding the brownie batter over the cheesecake batter too. Works great!

6. Sprinkle white chocolate chips over the batter.

7. Bake for about 35 minutes. Chill the brownies in the refrigerator and ENJOY!

Friday, June 3, 2011

American City Diner - Chevy Chase, DC

The bf needed to get his car worked on at my friend's auto shop - DP Auto Service. While we were waiting, we checked out American City Diner for some brunch. This diner has been around since 1988. There is street parking with the closest metro stop being Friendship Heights on the red line.

It's very small on the inside but filled with things to look at.

The food is, well, diner food. There is breakfast, burgers, pizza, etc. Good 'ol American favorites.

The bf ordered the Philly Steak and Cheese (sub roll, sautéed onions, mushrooms and melted provolone cheese) for $7.95. He liked it a lot because it was very cheesy, greasy and tasted like he expected it should.

I went with the Vegetarian Omelette (Mushrooms, Onions, Tomatoes, Jack Cheese) for $9.50. Came with home fries and toast. I loved the omelette because they didn't add the ingredients to the batter, but filled it like a burrito. They did not skimp on the cheese, so it was very gooey. The home fries had bacon in it, so it was very fatty. I didn't find the home fries special, so the bf ate most of it.
Overall, we both enjoyed our meals. The service was quick and nice, and the place was packed. Prices were good since we got a lot of food. Every night at 8pm they show a classic movie on their Movie Deck that you can watch while eating dinner!

5532 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015
(202) 244-1949
American City Diner of Washington on Urbanspoon