Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lost Dog Café in South Arlington

I’d like to start this post off by saying congratulations to one of my good friends, Rommie for getting a job!! I’ve known Rommie for a couple of years, and this photo goes wayyy back. 7821_671980618447_15610050_38580381_7184084_nI was talking to his girlfriend, Lili (the girl who kicks butt at trivia) earlier that day and she wanted to go out for a celebratory dinner and asked me if I had any suggestions for places that had Sandwiches. After some careful thinking, I remember this awesome sandwich I had a few weeks ago and suggested Lost Dog which has I believe 53 different sandwiches to choose from. Lucky for us there is a 2nd Lost Dog location in South Arlington which is about 5 minutes away from both of our houses.
I got there a little early and looked around at their awesome beer collection, decided that I wanted to try a Hoegaarden, something I have been wanting to try for awhile. Once we were seated…big issue with where we were seated but I’ll talk about that later, I ordered the Hoegaarden and Rommie go the Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier. I loved my beer, and Rommie and Lili liked the Blackberry-I wasn’t a huge fan.IMG_1543[1]After many deliberations and an overload of choices I decided to get what I got last time, the amazing Irish Gyro (roast beef, feta cheese, garlic mayo, lettuce, tomato and green onions). Just as amazing as before. As you can see, I forgot to take a picture of my sandwich until about halfway through. IMG_1550[1]Lili got the #12 New York Yankee (Genoa salami, corned beef, pastrami, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, oil & vinegar) which she was not a huge fan of, and her and Rommie ended up switching halfway though because he liked it. Rommie got #32 The Falcon (Char-grilled chicken breast with sautéed onions and green peppers, tucked inside a warm pita with melted mozzarella cheese and garlic mayo).
IMG_1547[1]IMG_1548[1]We all got a side of fries with our sandwiches 2.99. This is part of where things were not so great! Our fries were cold, and the bigger ones were not cooked all the way in the middle. It would not have annoyed us that much except for the fact on where we were seated, no one would check up on us. Rommie finally got up and wandered to find some guy (not our waiter) which brought us new fries-which were mediocre. Didn’t need them (sandwich was more then filling) and they just were not very good.
IMG_1549[1]As far as the service/experience goes, we were seated in the back corner, no one else was around and there was a door that workers kept on opening that was right by my face. Our water glasses were never refilled. The waitress was nice but she either had to much on her plate or just forgot about us the entire time.
IMG_1552[1]IMG_1545[1]The food was good, but as far as sitting down and eating here, I will skip it next time or head to the original lost dog location.
Grade: C+
2920 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
703-553-7770
Lost Dog Cafe (S. Arlington) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Peanut-butter, Pretzel, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Its pretty much a given now in my office that if there are baked goods, its known that I made them (ok, the office is like 15 people, but still). I haven't received any requests until recently when one of my coworkers posted on my Facebook wall she wouldn't mind sampling these cookies if I were to make them. I looked at the recipe and it sounded AMAZING so I decided that they were next on my list.The recipe is my own, but I got the idea to add stuff from the blog linked above. You can follow this recipe or take your favorite chocolate chip recipe and tweak the add-ins to your liking (I made this twice before I figured out my perfect ratio!).

Peanut-butter, Pretzel, Chocolate Chip Cookies

These babies combine the best of everything, the salty and the sweet, adding pretzels, sea-salt and chocolate chips.

Ingredients
2 1/4 Cup flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 sticks butter room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 large eggs
1 Cup chocolate chips (I like ghirardelli 60% cacao)
1 Cup Peanutbutter chips
1 Heaping cup of broken pretzel pieces.
Sea-salt


Directions
preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. In a seperate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. 
2. In a big bowl blend together butter, both sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Then add in one egg at a time, making sure each one gets blended in.  Gradually add in flour mixture. 
3. Once everything is blended together, fold in the chocolate chips, peanutbutter chips and pretzels. Once everything is mixed put in refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes for the dough to harden up (optional, I have cooked it right after making too)
4. Using a spoon/tablespoon/cookie scoop but balls on a baking sheet about an 1-1/2 inches apart and then sprinkle sea salt on top of each one. Bake 9-10 minutes, just until the edges brown. 
5. Let cool on pans for a few minutes before transferring to a baking sheet. 


I have made this several times and they are a hit everywhere I bring them!

Tandoori Nights

My friend Lili got an amazing groupon deal to Tandoori Nights, $10 for $40 worth of food...and I was luckily enough to score an invite out with her and Rommie. The pictures are bad...the restaurant was dark and had a romantic sort of ambiance.

For an appetizer we split the Assorted Platter $13.99 (Assortment of vegetables pakora, samosa, chicken tikka, lamb seekhkabob, chicken and Fish Pakora). Everything on this was delicious, I highly recommend getting this dish, it was probably my favorite dish of the night. I even ate the fish pakora!
 They served it with 3 chutneys, all delicious!
Then we got the Chicken Tikka $14.99(Barbecued cubes of chicken cooked with onion, bell peppers in tomatoes sauce). Good but the tikka was lacking something.
And the Chicken Vindaloo $14.99(fresh ginger, garlic, and potatoes in fiery sauce). Very good, spicy like it should be but not to overwhelming.
Plain Naan $2.99. Just your typical tasty naan.
 
Our 2 entrees were served with 2 sides of rice. Good vessels to get the extra sauce into our mouths. 
I also ordered a Mango Lassi ~$4.50. It was delicious, everything a lassi should be but it was a little pricey.
 
Everything was good-nothing speculator, but really expensive (all the food was good quality, which was nice). I was very glad we had a groupon. The total came to about 60 dollars, which I thought was a little pricey for 2 entrees, an appetizer and some naan-the amount of food vs the price did not match.

I feel have to say I kind of want to come back and just get naan, they have a million different variations so I think it would be fun to go with a group and try all the different types.

I also suggest making reservations to be on the safe side, Tandoori Nights gets pretty busy.

Grade: B-

703-248-8333
2800 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA
Tandoori Nights on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 17, 2012

TurCuisine

Way back in high school, one of my good friends and I were trying to go to an Indian restaurant in the Worldgate Shopping Center in Herndon which ended up being closed. We stumbled upon TurCuisine and found an instant favorite. Fast forward many years, I saw a deal on Tippr for $15 for $30 worth of food and I knew I had to make the trip to Herndon again to try it. 

I decided to invite my friend Carrie to go with me since she has been to Turkey a few times and she has been craving Turkish food. We actually talked about going to this place a few weeks ago so the deal worked out.

I suggested splitting two things and said she could choose as long as it didn't involve seafood or anything with the bone in it. Both items we chose came with a garden salad and if you added $1 then you got to get a Greek or Coban salad. From what I could tell the Coban was a Greek with no lettuce and some more veggies. I got the Greek and Carrie got the Coban (not pictured).
The first entree that we split was the Iskendar Kebab $14 (Thinly sliced doner kebab place over small cubes of pita bread, topped with tomato sauce). This was really good, the tomato sauce was a little much for me, but mixed with the amazing yogurt sauce, just delicious.
The next thing we decided on was the Kofte $14 (Grilled ground lamb and beef patties prepared with onions, parsley and spices). Delicious. I loved every aspect of this dish from the meat, pita, rice, onions and especially the yogurt. 
Carrie decided to get a Turkish coffee to end her meal. When she asked for it plain, the server tried to talk her into adding sugar, so she ended up getting it semi-sweet. I understand that some people may not know what Turkish coffee is but they were way to pushy and went about it the wrong way.

I do have a bone to pick, and I am not sure if it is the restaurant or Tippr, but the deal I bought didn't work and we were told halfway through our meal. I guess the server called the manager and said that it wasn't working. I was then told I could come back in at 5 and talk to the manager (about what...I am not sure). I emailed Tippr and they gave me a full refund, but it could have been a potentially chaotic event.  I am trying to find out what went wrong.


The food was good, the prices were decent, I just wish I didn't live so far away from Herndon. 

Grade: B+


571-323-3330
13029 Worldgate Drive

Herndon, VA
TurCuisine on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sabzi Kabobs and a sneak peak of Caribbean Corner

I had to run some errands during my lunch break so I decided that I would experiment and try something new in Old Town Fairfax. Fast forward a wasted hour of looking over menus at work I finally decided on Sabzi Authentic Persian Kabobs.

Before I wandered to Sabzi, I wanted to pick up a current menu for Caribbean Corner, located just around the corner. I got to chatting with the guy behind the counter and he asked if I wanted to try a sample of the jerk chicken, which I of course said yes to. To my surprise he brought me out a nice little collection of some of the food that they offer. If I was already wanting to try this place, but the niceness of the guy working there and the deliciousness of the food solidified my decision to return in the near future. I LOVED the plantains, the cabbage, rice and the jerk chicken, but it was bone-in, something I have to work at getting over.
After getting the sample I went to Sabzi to put my order in. I was looking forward to getting the Kubideh Kabob, but they ran out so I had to make another decision. I ended up deciding on the Spicy Chicken Kabob Platter $11.99. This was delicious! Would have preferred a little more spice to the chicken but all in all a good dish. They give you the option of getting all rice or getting 1/2 salad 1/2 rice so I chose to be healthy and go with that. They didn't give you any dressing with the salad, and I didn't have enough extra yogurt sauce so I didn't really eat much of it.
Bread, Yogurt and Green Dip (don't remember what it is called) are served with their meals.All delicious. The yogurt sauce was a good balance between the yogurt and the cucumber.
Overall a very good meal. I was a little upset about the kubideh being out since that is one of my favorite dishes, but luckily the deliciousness of the chicken made up for it. I split both of these meals with my coworker, and he liked them both a lot although he though the jerk chicken was a little spicy.

Grade: B+

4008 University Drive
Fairfax, VA
Sabzi Authentic Persian Kabobs on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pupatella Take 2

I am surprised that this is only my second visit here after falling in love with Pupatella the first time. This visit definitely solidified that love.

I started off with the side salad $3.50 containing arugula, tomatoes and balsamic dressing (I got it without the kalmata olives). Light, delicious and fresh. I thought this was a good sized portion, enough for 2 people to split if you are both getting a pizza.
 I ordered the Prosciutto Arugula $12 with Prosciutto di Parma, organic baby arugula, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan. Delicious, one of my favorite types of pizzas.
Teddy ordered the special, Meat Ball Pizza. He said that is was really good.
Of course I can't leave a restaurant without taking some sort of amusing photo of Teddy eating.
I love the crust here. When I started to get full, I ate the crust and teddy finished off my toppings. Another successful trip.

I have some friends that live right around the corner, how lucky are they? I would def be lazy a lot more and just walk over and get dinner if I lived that close. Teddy and I stopped by afterwards and caught up/had a baller after party/they talked about work stuff while I was distracted by the deer hanging over the fireplace with beer bottles hanging off its antlers. Also a special thanks to Matt for driving us the 100 feet to our cars because we were to lazy to walk back.

Grade: A  

571-312-7230
5104 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA
Pupatella  on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lost Dog Cafe

Hope everyone had a wonderful Superbowl Weekend. I know I had a great Sunday of eating delicious food and not paying attention to the game. Saturday was equally wonderful and lazy. I got to go watch one of my very good friends try on wedding dresses, and she looked gorgeous in all of them as well as finally getting to try Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington.

Some friends and I decided to do carryout for Lost Dog, but it smelled amazing inside, I would just be happy sitting there smelling the smells. Luckily my friend was willing to split a pizza and a sandwich with me so I got to try the best of both worlds. His only requirement that nothing include mushrooms or olives...perfect for me because I hate both.

We got a personal sized Spinach Feta Pie $10.95 which included tomato sauce, spinach and crispy bacon, feta and mozzarella cheese. This was good, but it was really salty. I chugged water like crazy Saturday night and all day Sunday.
Now onto the highlight, one of the best sandwiches I have had in awhile, the Irish Gryo $7.50 which had roast beef, feta cheese, garlic mayo, lettuce, tomato and green onions in pita. Everything was delicious about this sandwich, it made me sad that I had to share it.
 
My other friend ordered the California Dressing $7.50 with a whole wheat sub roll, lean spiced turkey breast, lettuce, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and guacamole. He also ordered a side of onions rings, or "Dog Collars" $3.95. He enjoyed both of his choices.
Last week I was able to sample a sandwich that my friend ordered, the San Diego $7.50 with fresh chicken salad or tuna salad, guacamole and crispy bacon with lettuce, tomato and mayo. I hated this sandwich...well the chicken salad part-it left a weird taste in my mouth, however my friend enjoyed it, so to each his own.

I am very excited I got to try this place, and I will be back. There are so many different sandwiches and pizza that need to be tried-it took be a good 15 minutes to decide what to order.

Grade: B+

703-237-1552
5876 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA

Lost Dog Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Eastern Market, 7th Hill Pizza and Pitango Gelato

Back in August Teddy and I decided to go explore Eastern Market and get some lunch. Teddy bought some fruits and veggies and I bought some wonderful peaches...I miss summer. He was very excited about the mushroom.
I had told him that my last experience at 7th Hill was delicious we decided to split a pizza. I believe we got the Navy Yard 8" for $10.95 which includes tomato, toulouse sausage, oregano, pecorino. It was tasty except for the fact that I don't eat meat on my pizza, I prefer my previous choice of Barracks Row...delicious
Grade: B+
202-544-1911
327 7th Street SE
Washington, DC
7th Hill Pizza on Urbanspoon

Afterwards we wandered over to Pitango Gelato and had a couple of free samples before we decided on what to get. They allowed you to get two different flavors so we both did that.
Not sure what I got, chocolate and strawberry by the looks of it, and I don't remember what Teddy got. However I do remember that it was awesome.

Grade: A
202-701-6222
660 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Washington, DC 
Pitango Gelato on Urbanspoon

Pretty picture of the Capitol...I just love DC.