Opening alerts

Sotto: opening next week in the basement of Ghibellina. This spot will serve cocktails and smoked meats. The Young and Hungry has more information, including information on the inspiration behind the desserts (spoiler alert: STATE FAIRS!).

The Dabney: finally some developments on this restaurant opening up right in my neighborhood! PoP reports that a liquor license has been posted.

Jack Rose’s owner, Bill Thomas, has purchased the two spaces a few doors down from Jack Rose, formerly belonging to the De Vinos wine store and Dahlak restaurant. He does not have immediate plans yet, but I’m looking forward to whatever this next project will be.

The three hour cab ride

The second guy I met through Tinder, let’s call him…. Chase, was a fioooooone male. Unfortunately, his inflated ego got in the way of establishing any real connection so that ended right before Christmas. Right before that ended, he invited me to his apartment’s annual Christmas Party. I arrived with my friend Abby, and found Chase posted up at the beer pong table (you read that right: beer pong. And no, I am not in college anymore, I guess I just date guys who think it’s attractive to be reliving their frat glory days) when we got there so we decided to mingle with other people. There was an overload of Georgetowners (not kids who go to Georgetown because it’s a great college, I am referring to adults who voluntarily decide to move and live in Georgetown and frequent bars like George or Smith Point), so the number of interesting people to mingle with was severely limited. At one point, two guys approached us and after making small talk for a few minutes, one of them asked for my number. During the conversation, I recognized this guy as one of Chase’s friends “JCC,” who he had referred to multiple times. They had attended the same law school, and Chase referred to him as an “sometimes lovable, entitled asshole.” I explained to JCC that I had been very casually dating Chase for a couple of months and he immediately apologized for not realizing that he had overstepped boundaries. Then he took out his phone and requested a cocaine delivery from an Uber driver (this is not a joke). I have absolutely no idea how he did that, I did not even know that you could use Uber for that purpose.

Fast forward over a month later, Chase and I are not longer dating, and I am sitting on a bar stool in the back room of Solly’s (my favorite dive bar on U street) on a Saturday night. I turned around to survey the scene when I recognized JCC talking to a group of guys behind me. I went up to say hello, and when he introduced me to the group as Chase’s girlfriend, I quickly corrected him. He paused and asked, “So, does that mean we can hang out now?”

Hmmm. Well, he is an attractive guy. Definitely my type physically, which tends to be a skinnier, bordering on scrawny, Caucasian male wearing a plaid shirt (the heart wants what it wants, amirite ladies). And I do not owe anything to Chase. If anyone is going to make the call on whether or not it is appropriate to hang out, it’s the friend (him), not the ex (me). Sure, he comes off as a little overconfident, but I really had only spent a total of perhaps seven minutes with the guy. I could always give someone (attractive) the benefit of the doubt. And okay, the Uber driver cocaine delivery situation is super sketchy (especially since the only things I put up my noise are Nutella and Trader Joes Cookie Spread fumes), but also maybe slightly funny in an insanely ridiculous kind of way? I mean, what else do I have going on right now. This could be a potential distraction, and better than nothing, right (the answer to that question, as I would learn later, is NO. It is not better than nothing). So in response, I shrugged and gave him my number.

We made plans to meet up for drinks on Wednesday night by my apartment. The day of, he texted me to let me know he was behind on work so he would have to reschedule. This also happened to be an evening where the temperatures got down to single digits, so I was not too upset about staying in. After some back and forth messages about our days, I passed out and assumed that he would just follow up with another time to meet up the next day. I did not hear from him for another week and half, and thought this was just another scenario where a guy expresses interest and disappears (I was on streak at this time). Then one Saturday morning, a text pops up on my phone:


Well, this was a pleasant surprise. I told him that I was relatively busy that weekend with friends, but would be relatively free during the week, to which he responded:



You. You just asked me if I want to hang out. What the hell kind of response is that?

Er, whatever. I don’t even know what to respond to that, so I just continued on with my day and eventually my night. Around midnight, I felt my phone buzz with a text from JCC, saying he was in a cab and asking if he could come meet up with my friends and me. I told him my location (Blaguard in Adams Morgan) and told him he was welcome to come by. After radio silence, I decided to hop over to Masa 14 at 1am to meet up with some other friends. At 1:30am, I felt my phone buzz again with a text from JCC, checking to see if I was still at the Blaguard. I quickly responded that I was now at Masa on 14th street. At 2am, I get a call from him, so I stepped out onto the roof and answered it.

JCC: “Where are you?”
Me: “I’m still at Masa.”
JCC: “I’m in a cab on my way to 14th. Do you want to grab a drink?”
Me (checking the time, it’s now 2am. Sigh. I suppose there is time for one more beverage if I sleep in tomorrow): “….. Okay. I’m at Masa.”
JCC: “Where should we go?”
Me (I was not about to venture far at this hour): “I could go next door to Pilar for a drink..”
JCC: “Okay perfect. I should be there soon.”
Me: “Text me when you’re close.”

After he texted me a few minutes later, I bid my friends good night and headed next door to Pilar. Now I love Pilar. I like the Saturday night bartender, a sweet bearded guy who always tell me how much he hates everyone, I like the drinks, I like the unpretentious vibe. But I do not like to go there and wait for 45 minutes for some guy when it is almost 3am. Luckily, the people at the end of the bar were friendly and my Dolin Blanc with a splash of soda water and lemon was refreshing (my go-to drink when I want something light that won’t get me drunk but will maintain my buzz), but I was not in the mood to be hanging around for some guy. Also, this guy has literally been “in a cab” since midnight. Have you just been riding around the city for the last two hours and forty-five minutes?! Here is a list of things that can be accomplished in two hours and forty five minutes:

  • Drive from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia
  • Run a marathon at 6:17min/mile pace
  • Run a half marathon at 12:35min/mile pace
  • Watch Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
  • Make Ina Garten’s tomato basil soup, let the soup cool for twenty five minutes, and still have thirty minutes for a leisurely lunch
  • Listen to Beyonce’s entire album Beyonce, Drake’s entire album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and Maroon 5’s entire album

When he finally got into the bar, I asked him where he had come from and he responded “Georgetown.” Georgetown is a mile and a half away. Maybe two miles if you go deep into a Gtown neighborhood. I have walked from Georgetown to 14th street in literally thirty minutes. Did he make a pit stop in Baltimore before heading over to 14th street…? Maybe he stopped to take a nap on the side of the street on the way? I just… don’t even… know how to process this information in my mind.

Then because he showed up at 2:45am, it was already last call and the bartender was closing up the bar. So he suggested going back to his place for a drink. Dude, this is already two hours later than I usually make it on a weekend night, and I was exasperated with these antics. You might be cute, but you ain’t cute enough for me to be dealing with this. When I thanked him for the offer but declined, he looked at me with complete surprise. “But I came all the way here to meet you.”

…………………. Excuse me?

  1. I don’t owe you anything because you came here to meet me.
  2. We started texting at midnight. You are just now showing up. You would have had the chance to order fifteen drinks if you wanted to in the past three hours if you had not been “in a cab” for the past three hours.
  3. Also, you literally live two blocks away. If I look outside the bar, I can see your building around the corner. You did not go out of your way in any way to meet me. Coming all the way to 14th street was basically the same as you coming all the way home to end your night. You were going to end up here eventually. Don’t make it sound like you ventured far and wide to see me.
  4. You have done absolutely nothing to earn me coming home with you. I have no idea what your deal is, you haven’t shown that you are not a sociopath, there is no way I am going inside your apartment.

I firmly reiterated that I was going to be home, alone. He then goes (wait for this gem), “What am I going to do, go home alone and drink by myself?”

What? How are those the only two options for your night? Either I go home with you or you go home and drink alone? Also, I don’t really care what you do when go home. That’s really not my problem. I just stared at him and go, “I don’t know what you’re going to do. I just know that I am going home to my apartment.” I tipped the bartender, and walked out with JCC. As soon as we exited the bar, he turned toward his apartment and goes, “see you” without even asking how I was getting home, if I was getting cab, or waiting for me to find a cab (don’t worry everyone, I made it home okay thanks for worrying). Chivalry was so dead for this guy. I’m pretty sure this guy murdered chivalry.

The next afternoon, I received the following texts from our sweet gentleman:


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I can’t even pretend like I was surprised by this. But come on. If you’re a jerk, you’re a jerk. But don’t you know better than to not even pretend like you’re a better person? Like, at least try to act like you care in the beginning. Those texts did not even warrant a response. I’m seriously not even going to start talking about the weather. What a waste of time.

Buzzfeed takes on DC’s cheap spots

According to Buzzfeed, here are 21 bargain dishes in DC.

Some thoughts:

1. Still cannot believe I haven’t been to &pizza yet (the line at 3am at the U Street location is insane). They just opened a new location near my office, and my mouth is already watering when I think about inhaling some cheesy bread at my desk.

2. Baked and Wired makes the best cucpakes in DC, hands down. I still do not understand the people who wait in line at Georgetown Cupcake when you have the option of B&W’s red velvet cupcakes a few blocks away. A couple of years ago, my ex-bf got me a red velvet birthday cake from there, and I had cream cheese frosting smeared over my face for a week afterwards.

3. Pho Viet makes the best pho is DC proper (definitely better than Pho 14), but Pho 75 is the best pho is the DMV.

4. The Takorean taco bowl is THE BOMB. Even if I have had lunch already at Union Market, I will take a taco bowl to go because it holds up well in the fridge and keeps me full for hours afterwards (a very difficult task to accomplish).

5. I still have not been to Astro Doughnuts. Do I ever have a right to be writing a food blog?

6. Missing spots IMO: El Rinconcito, Donburi, Fast Gourmet

Ripple: A food coma Friday

As I have mentioned before, SM and N live in the building right behind me and their couch has become my second home. It is so convenient to have good friends a few yards away at all times. I will bring my smelly roasted vegetables over to eat if I need some female company after the gym, or force them to try the latest experiment I’ve conducted using the food processor my sister got me (life game changer, by the way). SM and I grew up together, so we have been very close for years. Although N and I went to the same college and were a part of the same sorority (so technically I paid damn good money for her friendship), we hung out different groups and I did not get the chance to really get to know her until she moved in with SM last February. Fast forward a year later and she is now one of my closest friends in the city. I was super excited to celebrate her birthday at the beginning of the month, especially since a group of us had booked a session at The Escape Room on Wisconsin Ave. Basically, we paid someone to lock us in a room together with a bunch of puzzles that we had to solve in 45 minutes in order to be released. As strange as that sounds, I highly recommend it! It was challenging but really fun and made me realize that I could never be James Bond because I am apparently horribly unobservant. After pretending to be spies in a Georgetown basement, we headed over to Cleveland Park for the a birthday dinner at Ripple.

Ripple opened back in 2010 and has gone through a number of chef changes in the past few years before settling with Marjorie Meek-Bradly. The restaurant seems to have found a star in Meek-Bradley, who was nominated for a James Beard Foundation award for Rising Star, a Food & Wine award for Best New Chef, and Rising Culinary Star of the Year by the RAMWs. Her menu focuses on seasonal ingredients, and the dishes change almost every week to reflect this. I have not been back to the restaurant since Meek-Bradley took over the kitchen, and I was excited to finally get to experience what people (including my extremely picky roommate) have been raving about.

This warmly lit restaurant is located right on Connecticut Avenue. We were seated in the very back at a long table and admired the cozy atmosphere. Everyone was ready to chow down so we decided to order a few small plates for everyone to share: the spicy Amish chicken wings, deviled eggs, and brussel’s sprouts with pastrami. While waiting for these, the waitress brought out two skillets with warm cornbread. This moist, slightly sweet bread was served with honey butter and disappeared quickly into our mouths.

Deviled eggs are one of my favorite hors d’oeuvres so of course I enjoyed this starter. They were slightly spicy, and served with cornichons. The Amish-style chicken wings were also tasty, although not very remarkable. The brussel’s sprouts with pastrami were my favorite appetizer. I always love when brussel’s sprouts are fried until crispy, but when they are also cooked with well seasoned pastrami it just ups the delicious factor up by ten.


Then came our entrees. I had been looking forward to the lamb leg all week, and it did not disappoint one bit. That big piece of baby sheep was the most tender, perfectly cooked lamb I have ever eaten. Each piece fell right off of the bone with a light touch of my fork, and every bite was a smoky, luscious, heavenly experience. The lamb was served over some cooked radishes and sausage. I did not want this plate of food to end, even as my pants were starting to feel much more snug. This was the perfect dish to warm up my stomach on a frigid night. Everyone else at the table raved about their entrees as well: N ordered the Berkshire pork and gave it a birthday girl approval, and the fish was also received praise.

Even though everyone was feeling relatively stuffed, we knew we had to get dessert, but birthdays need to end with butter and sugar (unspoken rule, right?). We ordered the butterscotch pot de creme, and the brown sugar bar spread. The waitress was kind enough to put a candle on the butterscotch pot de creme, and after N blew it out we all dug in.


A word of advice for future Ripple patrons: the desserts are worth your time. The pot de creme was rich and buttery, and the brown sugar bar was a crunchy treat. We finished off these desserts and thanked our waitress for her fantastic service.

This restaurant is a neighborhood gem worth venturing over to Cleveland Park for. Once I dropped some girls off and parked the car, I went upstairs to my apartment and immediately unbuttoned my pants. I briefly debated making my way out again in the cold to meet up with some friends….. but after such a good meal, I ended up curling up under the duvet and reveled in the pleasure of having a delicious baby animal digesting in my stomach.

Boss Sheperd’s: fried chicken perfection


On a cold, windy Friday night, I headed to Boss Sheperd’s in downtown DC for some comfort food with some girlfriends. Boss Sheperd opened in July 2014, next door to the Warner Theater. I had not heard much about the restaurant, until Tom Sietsema’s Fall Dining Guide was released at the end of summer and rewarded Boss Sheperd’s with a glowing review. I put it on my list of places to try, and when I heard they were celebrating “Boss Sheperd’s birthday” by offering their signature fried chicken for $18.73 at the end of January, decided to finally make my way over there.

When we arrived at 7pm, the bar was a surprisingly packed. Granted, this is an area of DC that I normally avoid due to the number of tourists who take over the entire sidewalk (why do people think it is acceptable to walk four across?), completely oblivious to runners and idea that people could possibly be trying to get to their destination in a timely manner. We posted up at the bar and ordered a round of drinks while waiting for one of the tables in the large lounge area to open up. The restaurant, which is located underground, has a warm, cozy ambiance to it with a old school vibe and  the crowd ranged from large, loud groups of coworkers enjoying end-of-the-week-drinks, to couples on dates.

After about twenty minutes, the four of us were seated in the lounge area and served a complimentary plate of pimento cheese spread with homemade crackers to start. We all loved the pimento cheese spread and devoured the crackers within a few minutes. Our first appetizer was the pot pie fritters, which were fried balls of panko crusted chicken pot pie with a gravy sauce.  They were warm and filling without being too heavy, although that may have been because we only had one each. I’m sure if I had eaten the entire plate alone (not unheard of) I would have had a different opinion about that. The sage sausage gravy was so creamy and flavorful that I wished I had a spoon instead of a fork to make sure not a single drop was left on the plate. And since I did not want to completely embarrass my friends, I resisted the urge to pick up the plate and lick it. Yeah, I’m a lady like that. Our second appetizer was the hamburger sliders (from the bar menu). I always love caramelized onions with my burger, and cheddar cheese makes me appreciate not being lactose intolerant, so these sliders were a solid choice.

Of course, we had to order the fried chicken (two orders). Each order is half of  a chicken, served with fingerling potatoes and a buttermilk biscuit.  The three large pieces of chicken (one breast, thigh and leg) for each order are brought to you on a wooden butcher’s board with three different sauces: honey, smoked egg yolk sauce (similar to a hollandaise), and hot sauce. The waiter recommended dipping the chicken in the egg yolk sauce first, followed by the hot sauce and honey. This chicken is phenomenal! The meat is brined and fried to perfection, with the flavor going all the way to the bone. Each bite filled my mouth with such succulent flavor and I savored every drop of juice coming out of the moist meat (if that sounds sexual to you, it’s because it’s supposed to). The skin was so crunchy and I picked up the pieces that had flaked off and ate them like chips (I am not kind of person is going to let fried animal skin go to waste). I wished instead of one buttermilk biscuit, there were 12 with each order because these carby nuggets were so buttery and fluffy. I slathered each bite with the egg yolk sauce and honey. We also ordered a side of roasted cauliflower, which made us feel slightly less guilty about inhaling so much rich food.

For dessert, we decided to split the sweet potato cheesecake and also got an order of the salted caramel ice cream..

IMG_1017The sweet potato cheesecake was so rich and fudgy but wasn’t overly sweet. I really liked the light and flaky crust, and the caramelized pecans which added some crunch to the dish. And of course, what is there not to like about salted caramel ice cream? It went perfectly with the cheesecake and was a great note to end our meal on.