Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yuraku - Germantown, MD

The bf and I were in Germantown to pick up my younger cousin, so we stopped by this popular sushi joint - Yuraku. Sorry I forgot to take a pic of the sign, but envision a plain, red sign in an old shopping center...the interior is much nicer. There is plenty of parking in the front lot. The closest metro is Shady Grove on the red line.

I've been a few times before for their famous lunch buffet. It's around $13 a person, and offer a wide selection of special rolls and other buffet items.

It's a small place that gets packed very easily. When I used to work in Gaithersburg, my coworkers and I used to leave the office at 10:30am to get a table. The bf and I even came with a reservation on a weekend evening and ended up leaving because it was taking forever.

I like sushi places that give you free miso soup, yummy.

They also gave us japchae (Korean noodles), caesar salad, and apple salad.

So the menu has a HUGEEEEE selection of special rolls (close to 80). They cheaper than I've seen anywhere else, which contributes to their popularity. Other than their sushi, they offer noodles, tempura, grilled meats, and other typical Japanese items.

2 large boys and myself split only 4 rolls because they were MASSIVE. The photo doesn't show how much food you're getting for the price. Each of those pieces were two bites full.

Double Spicy Tuna Roll (Spicy tuna, tempura flake rolled and topped with more spicy tuna) for $7.95 - I'm not a pro when it comes to spicy foods, so this packed more of a punch than I wanted. It was also too mushy.

Crazy Horse (Chopped tuna, salmon, white tuna, yellow tail, red snapper, crabmeat, mayo, cucumber, avocado, masago, scallion) for $8.95 - I've realized that I'm not a fan of the chopped fish all blended together. You couldn't taste any of the ingredients.

Dr. Zhivago (Salmon, avocado, cucumber, crab, masago) for $5.75 - This was my favorite because salmon and avocado is an amazing combination.

Soft Rock & Roll (Fresh water eel, avocado, cucumber) for $6.50 - Unfortunately there was almost no eel in the roll.
I have many friends that are die hard fans of this place (and are going to think I'm insane). I think it's a great "bang for your buck", however I'm not impressed by the creations or the quality. The roll flavors are one-noted even with a good amount of ingredients. The pieces are made too big and don't feel delicate when eaten. I felt the same way when I tried their buffet but thought it would be different ordering off the wasn't.

19773 Frederick Rd
Germantown, MD 20876
(301) 515-7448
Yuraku Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Take a Bite Out of Breast Cancer at Chef Tony's

As an Ambassador for Take a Bite Out of Breast Cancer, I ate with the bf at Chef Tony's in Bethesda last night. It was a rainy night, but it contributed to the cozy, dimly lit atmosphere.

We went to town on this seafood menu! From the complimentary flat bread to the tiramisu, it was all delicious. We cleaned every single plate. The menu changes daily depending upon what fresh ingredients are available.

I had a chance to chat with Chef Tony and he enjoys giving back! Aside from the 10% each Wednesday in October to this cause, he donates 2% of sales for certain dishes to Help Save the Chesapeake Bay.

From the warm and friendly staff to the high quality ingredients, you can't go wrong with dining there and supporting a good cause.

Stop by Chef Tony's the last Wednesday of October! If you can't make it, check out the other participating restaurants.

For everyone that has already supported, THANK YOU!

Monday, October 17, 2011

$25 Blackfinn Gift Card Winner is....

#5 - Dew! Thanks so much for commenting and I'm sure you'll enjoy trying Blackfinn's new menu.

Giveaway winner was chosen using

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blackfinn's New Menu & $25 Gift Card Giveaway

The bf and I were invited to try Blackfinn's new menu at their DC location (8 locations nationwide). We've been to the Bethesda location a couple of times to drink with friends, but never tried the food. This classic American restaurant is moving away from "bar food" and using more seasonal and local ingredients. Old favorites remain on the menu, but there are a lot of new items to try. The restaurant chose the following dishes for us:

We started off our meal with the Blackfinn Crab Tower (chilled jumbo lump crab salad, coconut curry rice cake, wakame, tobiko, miso vinaigrette) for $14.99. Each part of this tower was tasty on it's own, however the flavors didn't meld together to create an overall taste.

They replaced their pizzas with flatbreads. We had the Roasted Vegetable Flatbread (asparagus, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, balsamic portobello and feta served on Mediterranean lavosh) for $10.99. The lavosh reminded me of matzah. I usually order vegetables on my pizza/flatbread, so I liked that they were roasted. A sauce or olive oil may have added more flavor to it.

Rarely do I order fish as my entree, but this was such an AMAZING surprise! Hong Kong Style Chilean Sea Bass (Asian spices, coconut curry rice cake, soy sauce, spinach) for $26.99. The fish was cooked perfectly leaving a flaky texture. The rice cake soaked up the slightly sweet sauce very well. There was nothing left on this plate when we were done.

The presentation was beautiful on this one! Queen City Chicken (bacon-crusted chicken stuffed with sweet sausage, sweet potato mash, asparagus) for $14.99. The three meats wrapped inside one another reminded me of a Thanksgiving turducken. The dish was good, however it was opposite of the crab tower in that it was more one noted, and I couldn't taste the different elements involved.

Right when we were about to explode, it was time for the Blackfinn Hot Chocolate (fallen chocolate and peanut butter souffle served warm, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, caramel drizzle) for $6.99. Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations, and this dessert fell short for me. The bf liked it and ended up killing it.

I was in love with the Individual Key Lime Pie (classic graham cracker crust, fresh lime custard, whipped cream, raspberry sauce) for $6.99. Everything tasted and felt homemade! The crust had a great texture and the key lime had a good balance of sweet and tart.
I would say overall the menu was decent, with a few memorable items. The price range is $10-20 with an exception of a few items. Other new features: free wifi, an expanded wine list and fresh squeezed signature cocktails. I was given a $25 gift card and I want to give it away!

$25 Gift Card Giveaway:
1. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook
2. Comment in this post and tell me what you'd try if you won (Menu)
3. Leave your email address
4. Enter by Oct. 15th 11:59PM
5. Winner chosen by

1620 I Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
BlackFinn American Saloon on Urbanspoon