Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bobby's Burger Palace - College Park, MD

What a storm! I hope everyone is safe because Sandy was quite destructive, but thankfully our part of Rockville wasn't affected much. Just a few hours without power.

So we haven't started our 'wedding' diet yet, so I'll just continue to write about fattie places like Bobby's Burger Palace. The Fi (I guess that's his new name? Let's test it out.) visited the University of Maryland location. We met at UMCP, and things have changed. We never had nice buildings and restaurants like this when we were there! I'm not that bitter though...

The name is self-explanatory - they serve burgers. Gourmet ones created by Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay to be exact. The interior is bright with warm lighting. It's filled with bar seating/communal tables and very comfortable chairs that spin! It's a casual place where you order/pay at a register, they give you a number, and they bring food out to wherever you are sitting. 

Many of the burgers are named after cities and characterized by a food that represents them. For example: The Fi ordered The Philadelphia Burger is topped with Provolone Cheese, Griddled Onions and Hot Peppers ($7.75). He thought it was good, but nothing out of the ordinary. 

If you're not in the mood for a burger, they offer sandwiches, salads, sides, milkshakes and other beverages. Also, if you don't eat beef, you can substitute the beef patty with turkey or chicken breast.

I wanted a flavor explosion so I ordered the Bobby Blue Burger with Blue Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato $7.75), and it wasn't as pungent as I was hoping. Again, it was an ok burger, but nothing particularly special. Ray's Hell Burger's equivalent is much better.

I love Sweet Potato Fries ($3) and these came with a Honey Mustard Horseradish Sauce which was awesome.

If you like dipping sauces, they have a variety including Jalapeño Hot Sauce, Chipotle Ketchup, Burger Sauce, and Barbecue. Sadly none of them really stuck out for me.
Overall, we weren't wowed. So if we were visiting our Alma Matar again, we'd probably stop by Cluck U. However, I will say their service was impressive. We weren't there for long, but 3 different times someone would check on us. Pretty nice!

8150 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
Bobby's Burger Palace on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy News + Michigan Recap

For those of you that don't already know...we're engaged! It's been a long but wonderful road (next month will be 8 years together), and he finally popped the question when we were in Michigan visiting his brother. We drove up to Traverse City near Lake Michigan (4 hours north of Ann Arbor/Detroit) to check out Sleepy Bear Dunes and wineries. He asked me along this quiet sandy beach, and I said yes. Thank you to everyone that has supported us! I guess I need to figure out a new nickname for him since 'The bf' doesn't apply anymore...
If you're up in the area, visit Chateau Chantal and Chateau Grand Traverse. They are beautiful wineries that you can also stay at.

While up in Traverse City, we went to Frenchie's Famous (3 pics on the left) for their famous pastrami sandwiches. Best I've ever had in my life! FYI, the dining room only seats 8 people and is always packed. We stopped by 7 Monks Taproom to celebrate! Nice bar with amazing food.   

While back in Ann Arbor, we went out to eat a lot! I know this isn't the typical format I use for my recaps, but I'll spare you guys since we went to MI earlier this year.

Try Curry Up (cute name) for fast, delicious and spicy Indian food!

We got to go to a University of Michigan Football game! OMG the "The Big House" was overwhelming. It fits 120,000 people! Lots of UM pride in Ann Arbor. My college experience as a Terp was nothing like this.

After the game, we grabbed pizza at New York Pizza Depot (NYPD, haha), which was ok, but seemed to be a popular pizza place around campus.  

The best pie ever at Achatz! All handmade pies. We bought a Four Berry pie with Michigan cherries, and I was in heaven.

Thankfully we missed the long line wrapping around Zingerman's Deli when we got lunch! We split a roast beef sandwich at one of Ann Arbor's most popular deli's. It was good but I wouldn't wait in line for it.

While we were walking around town, we stopped into Jolly Pumpkin for some local brews on tap. The Bam Biere (left) was one of the best beers I've ever tasted, and is one of Men's Journals' Top 25 Beers in the US.

If you want to try a local coffee chain, Sweetwaters has delicious drinks! We needed our caffeine fix, and this hit the spot.

Angelo's is still my favorite place in the world for a mind-blowing reuben. I refused to share!

For good and cheap sushi, we went to Saica for dinner with the family. They give you tons of food!
Thanks for reading and more posts to come!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DC VegFest 2012

Hi Everyone! DC VegFest is back for it's 4th year this weekend, and I will be there again to support! Whether you don't eat meat, want to be healthy or enjoy new things, it's free and fun!

What: Free outdoor vegetarian celebration 
Where: Yards Park, 300 Water St. SE, DC (near National Stadium), closest metro stop is Navy Yard on the green line (New Jersey Ave exit)
When: Sat. Sept. 22 from 11AM - 6PM

Co-organized by Compassion Over Killing and the Vegetarian Society of the DC, you can enjoy free food samples, dozens of vendors, and special guest speakers:

Jane Velez-Mitchell, CNN Journalist
Rich Roll - Vegan Ultra-Athlete and author of Finding Ultra
Michael Greger, M.D. Dir. of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the US
Terry Hope Romero - Cookbook Author, Viva Vegan!
Bruce Friedrich - Director for Strategic Initiatives, Farm Sanctuary
Afya Ibomu - Nutritionist and Cookbook Author, Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy
Doron Petersan - Author, Sticky Fingers' Sweets
Mariama Taifa-Seitu - Young Activist
Wendy Rieger - News Anchor, NBC4, Washington, DC

The first 1,000 attendees will get a chance to take home a free 2012 DC VegFest commemorative bag filled with samples from Cascadian Farm, Michele’s Granola, Bumble Bar, Beanitos, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Wholesome Sweeteners, Tasty Bite, and more. Plus, there are product coupons and other free items from some of our speakers and sponsors.

See you there rain or shine!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Iron Age - Rockville, MD

Hi Everyone! Recently, the bf, my cousin and I went to eat a super late lunch at Iron Age. We figured since we had another boy around, it would be worth getting All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ.

The place is bigger than it appears from the outside. Sticking to its name, the interior is clad in metal/iron, not wood like many Korean restaurants have. Lots of TVs and a huge projector screen play Kpop music videos. They are open until 2am on the weekends, so I'm sure it's pretty popping at night.

The menu is very easy - pick Gogi A ($18) for 3 meats, or Option Gogi B ($22) for 5 meats and sodas. Each of us selected option B because it was more meats and drinks for $4 more per person.

We were given 3 meats, 1 skewer of veggies, 3 frozen triangles of rice, a pancake, egg soufflé, 4 ban chan sides, a soup and salad. The meats we were given were the first 3 on the menu. They weren't marinated, so they were bland, and tough. Both my cousin and I broke our chopsticks! The rice took 30 minutes to warm up thoroughly on the grill. The ban chan didn't include kim chi! The egg soufflé and soup were bland too. Thankfully the pancake wasn't too bad, so we had a few.

They also provided 4 dipping sauces: chili sauce, soybean paste sauce, sesame oil with salt/pepper, sweet sauce. I didn't think they were too special, but the bf liked the sweet sauce the best.

On our table had a call button, which we used at least 5 times because the service was poor. There were about 4 tables in the restaurant and it took them 10 minutes to take our order. They only gave us 3 out of 5 meats, and we thought they were bringing out the others later, but it never happened. We ended up cooking our own food, and using the call button for refills/requests because we weren't checked on. Towards the end of our meal, a server even blew out our grill before we were done cooking all of the meat!
I have a bunch of friends that will probably disagree with me, but lunch took forever, and it wasn't even good. I'd rather drive to VA or even buy marinated meat at H Mart and cook it myself for cheaper. My cousin who hasn't had Korean BBQ before thought it was fine. The Korean bf of mine liked the amount of meat, but not the taste. As a girl, I don't eat that much, so paying $22 for mediocre food and poor service isn't worth it.

1054 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 424-1474

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kraze Burger - Bethesda, MD

Quick update on my last post: I did the Whole30 diet for 4 days and quit because I wanted to die. So here I am back to eating whatever I want, yet practicing moderation...as I write about a delicious burger joint.

Last week before the "Caveman Diet", the bf and I grabbed dinner at Kraze Burger, which is a Korean-owned burger chain. (As I'm typing this post, I just found out it's pronounced 'crazy' not 'craze'.....hmmmm, interesting.)

They recently expanded the place and added a frozen yogurt portion because the last time I was there, this whole section that you're seeing wasn't there. Overall, very bright, clean, green, modern interior.

The place is small (10ish tables and a bar stools along a wall), so we found it interesting that they give you a buzzer to alert you when your food is ready. Slightly unnecessary, but either way, it's cool!
Onto the menu! They use all-natural, pesticide-free, 100% vegetarian fed beef.  You can expect some Korean inspired sauces, however the menu is pretty normal with sides of fries, chili, salads, and sandwiches, except for the side of grilled asparagus, which I found unique.

I ordered the the Matiz (beef patty, grilled, onions marinated in Kraze BBQ sauce, American cheese, bacon, pickles, tomato, mayo and lettuce). Yummy! The patty was juicy, and everything together worked well. On the flipside, I didn't like how messy it was because of the sauce (look at the bottom bun), so just get lots of napkins.

The bf ordered the Maximum (beef patty, spicy Maximum sauce, bacon, tomato, onions, lettuce, mayo and American cheese), which he added jalapeños. He also found the patty to be juicy. They told us that our burgers would be cooked 'medium', but even though they weren't, they were still fine. He enjoyed the burger though it wasn't as spicy as he wanted it.

As if burgers weren't enough food, we split Chili Cheese Fries (crescent fries topped with chili and cheese). I've had their regular fries before which are skinny. They use thick-cut fries for this dish because they can withstand the toppings. I felt it was the best chili cheese fries I've had, however the bf still thinks Ben's Chili Bowl is a bit better. 
Solid burgers that we think are at the top of our MoCo list. Size-wise, the burgers are slightly smaller than I was expecting. The fries I've had are very good. The burgers are around $8-9, which is typical, but pricey since the patty isn't huge. We'd definitely go back.

4733 Elm St.
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 215-9068
Kraze Burger on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 13, 2012

Food Blogger = Fattie Girl

I'm typing to you guys as I'm lying on my living room floor in exhaustion from my first night of Insanity workout. I'm sure many of my fellow food bloggers that write restaurant reviews can agree with me - it's HARD to stay in shape and write about bone marrow, pork belly and crack pie. I have ZERO will power when it comes to snacks, which is why I had sweet potato chips and chocolate for dinner.

Tonight I've decided to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Oddly enough, I'm canceling my gym membership tomorrow morning because I don't go, (bores me) so I'd rather use that $ towards something else. I'm going to give Insanity workout a try, and be more active in general like breaking, wall climbing, riding my bike, hiking, hot yoga, etc.

I'd like to try this Whole30 Program, which is pretty much eating like a vegan for 30 days to cleanse your system (meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.) Seems SUPER hard, but could be beneficial. I'll let y'all know!

I appreciate all of you that read on a regular basis. Hope to get my next post, which is about burgers (how ironic) up this week!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Recap of Denver, CO

Hey Everyone! My brother and his family moved to Denver, CO from Phoenix, AZ earlier this year. The bf and I have never been to Denver before, and were excited to see the fam and scope out a new city. If you're ever planning a trip out there, check out some of the places we went to and ate at!

Day 1

8000 E. Belleview Ave
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
(303) 770-1005
Yogurtini Self-Serve on Urbanspoon

My brother and his family live right outside of the city in the suburbs, so there were a lot of strip malls with yummy places to eat. Almost right off the airplane, the kids wanted to get frozen yogurt. Hey, I'm always down! At $.39/ounce, they have at least 10 self-serve flavors. Lots of fruity ones, unique 'martini' flavors and toppings like Sriracha. We ended up going twice during our trip, and I was IN LOVE! So cute and clean in there. Compared to all of the other froyo places in the area, this is my family's fav.   

8000 E. Belleview Ave
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
(303) 779-0093
Larkburger on Urbanspoon

For lunch, we had burgers at this Colorado-based gourmet burger place. Everything is all-natural, biodegradable, and energy-efficient. We ordered a Larkburger (beef), Truffle Burger, Tuna Burger, Kids Meals, Fries and Truffle Fries. The burgers themselves are actually pretty small, but I guess that helps with portion control.  Even with their size, they pack a flavorful punch! We really enjoyed them as well as their fries. Sad we don't have them in DC.

701 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 860-2929
Bones on Urbanspoon

We drove into Denver for dinner an Asian-fusion restaurant. Cute neighborhood, and the weather was perfect for eating outside. Even though I thought it was a pretty nice place, they had crafts for the kids. 

We ordered Steamed Buns, Egg Noodles, Ramen and Soba. We all tried one another's dishes and they were good! I enjoyed the different noodles, but thought the buns were a little dry. 

REI Flagship Store

To work off our dinner we headed over to the flagship REI store to walk around. It's actually in an old  converted railroad building. It's HUGE!! They have a wall climb, multiple levels, an awesome bike testing area outside, class rooms for workshops, and every item you could ever need to be outdoors. The building is right next to a river, so we saw people fire-twirling and biking in the dark. If you are a lover of the Great Outdoors, you must stop by. 

Paris On the Platte
1553 Platte St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 455-2451
Paris on the Platte on Urbanspoon

After working off dinner at REI, we went for 'after-dinner' drinks at this cafe/bar. The vibe was hippie-chic. Dog paintings on the walls for sale, people with laptops and sketch books surrounded us. We ordered Milkshakes, Rootbeer Floats and an Egg Cream Soda. It was an interesting place to stop into since we were in the area. My Chai Milkshake was the bomb.com, and I need to find a place that makes one around DC.

Day 2

The Buff Restaurant
1725 28th St
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 442-9150
The Buff Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Our destination for the day was the Rocky Mountains for hiking. We stopped by Boulder, CO to fuel up on a hearty breakfast. It is located right next to University of Colorado - Boulder, which I've heard is an awesome place to go college especially if you like being active. I ordered Sourdough French Toast, which sounded different, but I ate the entire thing! My belly was happy. 

Our family chowed down on Breakfast Burritos, Pancakes (The biggest ones I've ever seen! They were on Man Vs. Food), Eggs Benedict, Kid's Menu Bacon and Eggs. The place has delicious food and large portions. It's located next to a motel, so it's not anything fancy, but check it out if you're in Boulder. 

Rocky Mountain National Park

I have so many nature pics, but decided not to freeze your web browsers, so here is a small taste of the Rockies. The park is 415 square miles of wilderness that goes all the way up to 14,259 ft high! It would've taken hours to drive up there, so we ended up kind of driving and stopping in places we thought were nice like one of their many waterfalls. It's only 1.5 hrs NW of Denver, so go breathe some fresh air, enjoy the silence and take in the beautiful sights!

Boba and Crepes
1154 S Colorado Blvd
Glendale, CO 80246
(303) 759-2737
Boba and Crepes on Urbanspoon

It was a LONG day of hiking and driving, so on our way home we quenched our thirsts with some bubble tea. Good bubbles, sweet and flavorful tea. I got their Almond Milk Tea, which I gave my stamp of approval. The place smelled so good! The smell of crepes is similar to fresh waffle cones.

Day 3

Biker Jim's Restaurant
2148 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 746-9355
Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs - The Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Typically when I'm on vacation I do a ton of research on where I want to eat. This trip I decided to go with the flow since it was to visit family, and figured they knew where to eat. However, this was the only place I insisted we try! They specialize in hot dogs made of game animals! We originally tried finding their cart using the address on Yelp, but they aren't always there as we learned the hard way. So my suggestion is to just go to the actual restaurant. We shared some Deep Fried Mac and Cheese, and Charred Tahini Cauliflower.

Can't go wrong with Alaskan Reindeer, Duck Cilantro, Rattle Snake/Pheasant. OMG....so cool and yummy! The reindeer was a hit for us, while the duck and rattle snake were more mild in flavor. You can also get different toppings on them including cactus, wasabi aoili and cream cheese. I recommend coming here! When else can you say you've eaten Elk or Wild Boar?

Ferril Lake at City Park

More after-food exercise! Rented a 4-person bike cart and paddle boat. Surprisingly, both of those items were a lot of work to get around. The park has museums, a lake, trails, playgrounds, etc. Unlike Central Park in NYC where a bazillion people are all up in your space, there is a sense of peace and relaxation even though you are in the middle of the city.

Pho Saigon
9555 E Arapahoe Rd
Englewood, CO 80112
(720) 873-8899
Pho Saigon on Urbanspoon

After monkeying around, we fed our new appetites with some noodle soup. You probably cannot tell, but the bf's bowl was ginormous, and I didn't think he could finish it...but he did! The pho was satisfying, and the place was pretty packed. Out of all the pho restaurants in the area (I didn't even know Vietnamese people lived in Colorado), my family recommends this place.

Cherry Creek State Park

This was my first time swimming in a lake, and at first I thought it was going to be one of those algae, mosquito-covered lakes you see at camp. Thankfully I was wrong! It is HUGE, and surprisingly clean. They brought in sand, so it's a nice place to hang out and catch some rays. There is a picnic area with grills, a playground and lots of trails for biking. I was surprised to feel how hot Denver can feel. Since the elevation is higher, you're technically closer to the sun, so the rays are strong. 

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill 
630 S Colorado Blvd
Glendale, CO 80246
 (303) 757-5900
Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill on Urbanspoon

Starving once again! My family loves to eat. Similar to Chipotle, but with a Mediterranean twist. We all ordered pitas with either chicken, shwarma or falafel. They have so many toppings that you can add to your dish. The falafel was drier than I prefer. You get a ton of food and it's a healthy option for lunch or dinner. It's funny that they offered burritos, which the bf ordered and adored.

Dry Dock Brewing Co
15120 East Hampden Avenue
Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 400-5606
Dry Dock Brewery on Urbanspoon

The bf and I took my bro's car to a local brewery for a mini-date. They do not serve food, however they have free popcorn in a machine. It's literally a tasting room with some TVs and view of the brewery. I got a pint of their Apricot Blond and the bf got the sampler! I loved my beer because it was light and fruity as the name suggest. The bf's favorite was their Vanilla Stout since he likes dark beers. You can buy bottles and sodas to-go.

Big Bill's NY Pizza
8243 South Holly Street
Centennial, CO 80122
(303) 741-9245
Big Bill's New York Pizza on Urbanspoon

Last dinner of the trip was spent at their favorite pizza joint. Pizza, bread sticks, wings and ice cream! The place was packed. The ice cream was a local brand and their Key Lime Pie flavor was a big hit with us. I wouldn't characterize the pizza as being close to authentic NY Pizza, but it's ok in its own way.

Day 5

Illegal Pete's
5312 DTC Blvd. #400
Denver, CO 80237
(303) 771-2277
Illegal Pete's on Urbanspoon

Last meal before we left was a Chipotle-inspired place. The bf and I got burritos that we'd order at Chipotle. He always gets chicken, and thought Illegal Pete's meat was seasoned better. I always get vegetarian, and I didn't think it was as good, but not bad. My sis-in-law and niece shared fish tacos that they thought were tasty, but too messy.

Dazbog Coffee
Denver International Airport

There are a lot of locations around the city, but we didn't get a chance to try it other than right before our flight. We ordered blended coffee drinks, which was surprisingly delish! I ordered a White Chocolate drink and the bf tried their Vanilla

Thanks for reading guys! Hope this was helpful, and I will bid you adieu with a picture of my niece and nephew's Pillow Pet collection =)