Thursday, May 30, 2013

Arlington: Rus Uz

It's time for another dining adventure with the dining club my friend and I started a couple of months ago (past here & here). This months adventure lead us to Rus Uz, a Russian and Uzbekistan restaurant. 
They don't have a liquor license (yet!) so no vodka flights. We decided to try the Russian drinks they had available. The first was a Russian Rootbeer (don't remember the name). This didn't taste like root beer, can't quite explain what it was but I wouldn't get it again. The other was a Fruit drink with sour cherries, apricots and other fruit. Very interesting, tart and better then the later but still not my favorite. The others liked it.  
They start off the meal with bread and butter. A very different sort of bread and butter. The butter is more of a sour cream, cream cheese mixture. The bread was also heavier and denser then what most are used to. It wasn't my favorite but a lot of the girls liked the change from the typical bread you usually get.

Appetizers

Blini Pancakes $6. Meat in a sort of fried pancake. Delicious. And a safe option if you are new to Russian Cuisine. 
Samsa $6. Baked puff pastry stuffed with minced lamb. Very good, another safe option. 
Vinegret Salad $6. Potatoes, carrots, onions, pickles, green beans diced and seasoned mixed with olive oil. This was probably the least favorite appetizer. Pickled veggies are not my thing but this was the only salad on the menu that did not have mayo in it.
Borscht beet soup with cabbage and lamb. This was amazing. Not having a lot of experience with beets I was not sure what to expect but this was hands down one of the favorites of the night.

Entrees
Goluptsi...Cabbage Rolls, ground beef and rice stuffed inside cabbage rolls. This was pretty good, this was a favorite of a lot of the girls. I personally prefer it cooked a different way so I was not a huge fan of this dish.
Dolma...Grape Leaves, diced lamb and rice with spices wrapped in grape leaves. This was the other favorite, including mine. I still prefer grape leaves the Middle Eastern way but this was still delicious.
Manti large stuffed dumplings with meat. A very good dish, was liked around the table.
Beef Stroganoff sautéed beef served in a sour cream sauce $15. Another classic, Russian dish, good. 
Qovurma Lagmon homemade pasta, fried with lamb, tomato, spices. Their homemade pasta was really good and the dish was different from your typical pasta but good. 
Another dish with meat dumplings. Pretty tasty.
Soup with the homemade noodles. Not sure of the name as it's not on the online menu. It was good, but if you want soup go for the Borscht.
Overall this was a great experience. Russian food may not be my favorite cuisine but everything that we ate today was quality. The favorites were the grape leaves and cabbage rolls but I would recommend everything ordered today except for the vinagret salad. On a side note, their french fries were amazing.

1000 North Randolph Street
Arlington, VA
Rus Uz on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Restaurant Revisit: Pete's New Haven Style Apizza

I feel like I have been to Pete's a million times and I am never disappointed in their food. They have groupons every couple of months, $10 for $20 worth of food so keep your eyes open and stock up. 


In order to get some greens into our system we split a small order of the Spinach Olivada Salad baby spinach, goat cheese, slow roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, olivada dressing $4. This was a good basic salad, but I hated the dressing because I didn't realize it was an olive dressing.
For an appetizer we decided to split a slice of Cutler's Pizza Pepperoni, Hot Sausage, Prosciutto di Parma, Milano Salami. This was a good slice but a little to meaty for me.
Lili ordered the Fettucine House-cured Pancetta, English Peas, Walnut Sage Cream Sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano $13. We were both not fans of this- it was too sweet and not creamy enough however she brought the leftovers to her bf and he scarfed it down with no complaints. 
It goes against almost everything I believe in but I decided to order a panini at a Pizza Place.  I went with the Olivia Grilled Chicken, House-made Pancetta, Fontina, Haas Avocado Mayo and a side of mixed greens with champagne vinagrette $8.50. This was delicious and it kept well for leftovers. 
Except for the fettuccine Pete's has never failed me and I will keep coming back. I've only blogged about Pete's once before but my favorite pizza here is the one they have on special sometimes, just the plain veggie pizza (slow roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions & spinach)...it's wonderful :)

3017 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA
Pete's New Haven Style Apizza on Urbanspoon


And of course the obligatory puppy shot. 

Pete's New Haven Style Pizza on Foodio54

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fairfax Corner: Fanfare Eatery

This past Monday I caught up with my friend Carrie and we decided to head over to Fanfare Eatery in Fairfax Corner. I was expecting more of a sports bar type environment when I walked in, but it was set up like a burger place where you order at the counter and they bring you your food. It's not a bad thing, just not what I was expecting but there is sports memorabilia all over the place and on the seats they have those stadium cushions that people use when they go to games. 

Got to have beers in a sports bar.
Carrie ordered boneless wings and a side of fries. The wings were good texturally but the Hot Sauce was a little off, they were still pretty good.
I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger with a side of fries. The fries were awesome and I was really impressed with the burger. It was flavorful and juicier then I was expecting. The bacon and bun were both delicious. 

They have a whole bunch of dipping sauces which I always love try.  They were all pretty good except for the garlic which was just like a hunk of mayo with a little garlic mixed in. 

This place is a great deal. We both spent around $10-11 for our meals including the beers and the food was your typical sports bar food but in an even more casual environment. As of right now they have a deal with the movie theater that you can get a movie ticket, burger and fries for $14.99.  

11861 Palace Way
Fairfax, VA 

571-323-2575
FANFARE Eatery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hot Barbecue Chicken

I just LOVE grilling season. This is a combo that I got from one of my friends and it is one of my favorite and easiest  recipes. Just 3 ingredients for flavorful, awesome chicken. Perfect for all those summer barbecues, a no fuss, impressive dish. 

 

Ingredients
Chicken (I use breasts)
Hot Sauce
Barbecue Sauce

Directions 
1. Cube chicken (I prefer this method but you can leave it whole too) and place in large ziploc bag, bowl, baking dish, etc and completely cover in hot sauce. 
2. Place in fridge and marinate for at least 1 hour, the longer the better (I usually do it 3-4 hours and it gives it great flavor, over night works too).
3. When you are ready to cook, place in new bowl and cover with barbecue sauce of your choice. If you are going to grill, skewer it and cook over grill until done (you can also put this in a baking dish in the oven, but I prefer it grilled)

Tips/Comments
-I don't give cooking times because everyone's grill is different, there are plenty of websites to direct you on times....here is one by Rachel Ray


Monday, May 20, 2013

Margarita Mondays: Lemonade Margarita

After the success and deliciousness of the last two margaritas (pink lemonade and limeade) and I decided to finish off the trio with lemonade. This one is a double whammy of awesomeness for the summer. Lemonade+Margarita=winning. 
Luckily I had my friend with me to taste test and drink this one. I was alone with the limeade (don't worry, I had it throughout the day...so basically one an hour-these keep great in the freezer!).


Lemonade Margaritas


Ingredients
1 can of lemonade concentrate
4 cans full of ice
1 cup of tequila (1/2 can)
1 pour (shot worth) of triple sec

Directions
1. Put everything in a blender and mix it all together. 
2. Serve. 

Tips/Comments
-It may seem like a lot of tequila but it doesn't taste like it...and I like my drinks strong, if you want less tequila just put however much you think is appropriate in. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Margarita Mondays: Limeade Margarita

After the popularity and deliciousness of my Pink Lemonade Margaritas last year I decided it was time to play around with some more fun combos and relaunch my blog (I've been really slacking lately, but I am back!).

So here I am, introducing MARGARITA Mondays!!! A new segment that will be going on throughout the summer where I will post a new margarita recipe each Monday. Bad news for my liver, good news for you! Lucky I have a few friends who are willing to share the burden of taste tasting with me.
Limeade was a flavor I have been wanting to experiment with for awhile and let me tell you, it's delicious. This is kind of the basic margarita that everyone knows and loves. If frozen margaritas are your thing, I suggest putting aside the bottled mixes and picking a can of limeade concentrate. Cheaper, more delicious and less labor intensive. 



Ingredients
1 can of limeade concentrate
1/2 can (1 cup) of tequila
3-4 cans of ice
Limes for garnish optional
Triple Sec optional

Direction
1. Put everything into the blender and blend until ice is crushed and everything is frothy. 
2. Serve (fills 4 margarita glasses, makes 5 cups total)

Tips/Comments
-If you want to make them weaker, just use less tequila...I realize it is a lot but you can't taste it.
-Also if you want to add orange liquor, substitute a little of the tequila for the triple sec

Friday, May 3, 2013

Restaurant Revisit: Pupatella

Pupatella is one of my favorite restaurants. I don't blog about it every-time I go (although I have done it a lot) because I go so often but because I took some photos this past trip so I figured why not throw a little more good publicity their way.

Teddy started off his meal with the side salad Organic baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives and balsamic dressing . It's a good, cheap way to start your meal. We also split a pitcher of sangria which was pretty good, but you don't really get a lot. I would just stick to beer or wine. Then we ended our meal with some donuts, one plain and one vanilla cream filled. Not a huge fan of the plain, but the vanilla was good. The nutella cream is my favorite but it was sold out. 
I got my normal pizza, Prosciutto and Arugula and per usual it was heaven on earth. Teddy got his norm too (lucky guy lives with in walking distance) Spicy Diavola Spicy salami, fresh mozzarella and basil. We switched slices but I think we will still be sticking to our own pies in the future. 
As always, everything was awesome and the service was great. This is the pizza you eat and get happy feelings while doing so because it is that good. Highly recommend this place if you love pizza, particularly Neapolitan style. 


5104 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA
Pupatella on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DC: La Tasca Happy Hour

This past week I went to a networking happy hour with a friend at La Tasca in Chinatown. 

La Tasca's Happy Hour runs from 3-7 Daily (according to the menu) at the bar. Normal sangria prices range from $6.75-$7.75 while pitchers run from $25-$32.
We sampled a couple different sangrias. Our favorites being the Tinta and the Watermelon Kiwi (although the actual fruit in this one was not good to eat). The Cava tasted too much like grape juice and the La Tasca was like drinking straight cinnamon. We also sampled the seasonal, Cherry Blossom, which was not very good at all (my friend said it reminded her of hookah) and it was the least touched one of the night-they have them in jars along the bar. 
We also split a few tapas. My all time favorite tapa, and one of the best potato dishes ever, Patatas Bravas ($6) fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli top left. Potatoes Churreria slice potato, deep fried to a golden crisp and served with an avocado mint dip top right. This was not very good, the avocado mint dip tasted nothing like avocado or mint. Tabla de salmon ($8) lightly toasted rustic bread layered with lemon infused cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers & red onion bottom left. This was really good but it could have used a little more cream cheese to hold the salmon on the bread. Pan a Catalana ($5) toasted airy rustic bread served with our grated vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic and olive oil spread bottom right. This was anti-climatic and it got soggy quickly. 
I've been going to this restaurant periodically over the last 8 years and the food has always been a hit or a miss. I pretty much just come here if there is a good deal on the food or if I am in the mood for some sangria. 

Most of the bar seats were full for happy hour, but people were still able to squeeze in. However if you come during a sports game (especially the Caps) this place will be crazy. 

722 7th Street NW
Washington DC
La Tasca on Urbanspoon