Monday, December 15, 2014

Arlington: Dama Pastry and Restaurant

Last month for Daring Diners we decided to check out Dama Pastry and Restaurant, an Ethiopian restaurant in Arlington – right down the road from the Air Force Memorial. 

While I have had Ethiopian a few times, I thought it would be a very big cultural leap for a few of my friends to try out. We chose this restaurant because they had a bakery attached to it – best decision EVER (and I will devote a separate post to it).

One of things that I personally think is the biggest hurdle/difference in Ethiopian food is the way it is served. Often food is served on a big spongy/sourdoughy like tortilla called injera. This is probably what keeps me away from Ethiopian food as I am not a huge fan of the tortilla. Served on injera, injera is also the “utensil” you use to eat the food.
We started off with a ginger tea – which was just hot water infused with ginger and a tea packet. Who knew water and ginger would taste so good together – will be using this technique at home.
3/5 of us ordered the veggie platter which came with 5 different vegetable dishes. One of the girls ordered Doro Watt, which was very unique - it came with a chili like sauce, two drumsticks and two boiled eggs. Although we really were not sure what the chili like substance was - it was quite tasty. The other ordered Awaze Tibs - cubed beef in spices - flavored well and very plentiful - she had leftovers for the next day.
If you like Ethiopian food then you will like this place. If you are looking to try something way outside of your box, this is definitely the cuisine to try. 

Would I come back? I am still not a huge fan of Ethiopian food. That being said, the bakery portion of this visit – I will definitely be back in the very near future, a piece of delicious cake for UNDER $5…yes please! 

1503 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA
Dama Ethiopian on Urbanspoon

Other Ethiopian Restaurants visited
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

DC Chinatown: Happy Hour at District Chophouse

Last week some coworkers and I headed to District Chophouse for happy hour before the CAPS game. We got there on 4 on a Friday and got the last table in the bar area that held more than 2 people. By 5/530 this place was packed.

Cocktails were on happy hour for $6 so we made sure to take advantage and try a variety of them. The initial favorite was Gary’s Shandy (not sure the official ingredients but it included beer, gin and grapefruit juice). I know it sounds like an odd combo but it was ridiculously delicious. My coworkers all tried it and we agreed it was the favorite. However for our last round of the night we all ordered it and they put WAY too much beer in it. Bleh. Other drinks ordered were the Geisha – very fresh but absolutely no hint of sake/wasabi like the description suggests, the Spice Orange and Cinnamon Martini – the perfect fall/winter cocktail, however it was very strong and took me awhile to drink. My other coworkers ordered the Cosmo, the One Martini and the Margarita. All were happy with their choices.
We also tried and assortment of the food happy hour specials (all $7): Chophouse Brown Ale Meatballs, Shaved Prime Rib Sliders, BBQ Chicken Flatbread and BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders. My favorite was the Chophouse Brown Ale Meatballs – I really enjoyed the sauce (although one coworker thought it was a little too sweet) and the caramelized onions on top. None of the appetizers were standout but they did their job (or would have had we ordered more…whoops!).
Their service was slacking – even before it got busy. Appetizer specials were just ok, but the drink specials were on point. Most of the drinks we ordered were made well and delicious except for the last round of the Shandy’s, which were pretty bad.

Would I come back? Sure, like I’ve mentioned before, I really like it when places have happy hours that include things other than rail drinks - $6 is pretty good for specialty cocktails.

509 7th Street NW
Washington DC
China Town
Gallery Place Metro red/yellow lines 
District Chophouse & Brewery on Urbanspoon

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