Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oohhs & Aahhs

I had a dream about macaroni and cheese and it was magnificent. Before you think I'm weird, let me tell you what inspired this dream; Oohhs & Aahhs Soul Food Restaurant on U Street.

It was a Saturday night and we were in search of a new place to try. We didn't want to change out of our weekend jeans uniform, so B pulled up the Washingtonian's Cheap Eats page. After some debate (and ranking, and voting... B is an engineer) we decided to check out the soul food at Oohhs & Aahhs.

This place is the antithesis of fancy with mismatched tables and chairs, giraffe statues, and a TV with horrible reception. Somewhere behind that blizzard on the TV screen is the UCLA vs. Washington basketball game. If you saw the game, you'd realize we were lucky to have terrible reception.

Anyway, back to the dream. I read that the mac & cheese at Oohhs & Aahhs was the stuff of legend, so I had to order it to see if it was hype-worthy. Holy crap this mac & cheese is worthy of its own army of hype men (waving towels and all)! It was so cheesy that you could twirl the cheese strings around your fork, pasta style. The best part? It wasn't trying to be fancy. I've had truffle mac & cheese and lobster mac & cheese and mac & cheese with 45 different gourmet cheeses, and I have never liked it more than the Kraft blue box. The thing that made Oohhs & Aahhs' mac & cheese shine was its simplicity. They managed to pack so much flavor into their mac without using too many ingredients. However, I don't think I want to know what ingredients they used. All I know is that it was amazing and caused me to dream that I was floating on a cloud of mac & cheese.

Though the mac & cheese was the star, I also really liked the chicken wings. Chicken wings can be annoying when they are all bone and no meat, but these babies were plump and meaty. You get two side dishes with your order and I also had some tasty cornbread, but would probably try the greens or sweet potatoes next time to add some different color to the plate.

B ordered the fried chicken breast and let's just say that my wings kicked the crap out of his breasts. Go with the wings. Also, they forgot the gravy for his rice n' gravy, so we didn't get the full side dish experience.

Before you go running off to U Street with visions of mac & cheese dancing in your head, stop by the ATM because Oohhs & Aahhs is cash only. It is also not dirt cheap; we spent over $30 for two dinners and two drinks (but the portions were so large I took some home for lunch the next day). Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to daydream about mac & cheese.

Second Thoughts from B

Anyone remember the Barenaked Ladies? They had a few hits in the mid-90's and have achieved cult status in Canada. They're also hilarious and wonderfully entertaining live. So what does a pudgy group of Canadians have to do with soul food in DC? Bear with me, I'll get there. I promise.

The highlight of any Barenaked Ladies concert is the song, "If I Had a Million Dollars." It is this goofy song about all the things they would buy with, you guessed it, a million dollars. Ultimately it's a song about wanting love, but in between all the other desires in life (house, car, a monkey, etc.) they mention mac & cheese, or "Kraft Dinner" if you're from the great white north. (Ah hah! The connection... finally.)

The song goes like this:
If I had a million dollars
We wouldn't have to eat Kraft Dinner
But we would eat Kraft Dinner
Of course we would, we’d just eat more

Like our Canadian friends, J and I love our mac & cheese, and given the choice that great riches could provide, we still prefer that familiar favorite from our childhoods. So when we place the "best ever" title on Oohhs & Aahhs' mac & cheese and place it above Kraft's version, that's saying something.

So have you picked up this not so subtle hint yet? The mac & cheese is good. Go get some. I could easily end there but it wouldn't do justice to J's wings. Second only to those found in Puerto Rican winter baseball stadiums which I'm convinced are laced with crack, these are pretty tremendous in their own right. The problem is that they'll always play second fiddle to the mac & cheese in my book. But oohh what a combo they make. Trust us on that and stay away from the chicken breast.
Oohhs & Aahhs on Urbanspoon


Alix said...

I remember Bare Naked Ladies! I consider "It's All Been Done" to be the theme song for my job. I saw them in concert once, opening for Bon Jovi, obvi!

Now I want wings ... I love wings! And cheese!

Avocado said...

I, too, love BNL. I saw them several times in the late 90s early 00s! They are great onstage. "Broke into the old apartment!"

Victoria said...

Best mac n' cheese!
Fried chicken and mac n' cheese is like my favorite meal in the world. Throw in some french fries too.
Seriously, I need to go eat lunch.

Amy said...

I want to try the mac n'cheese from Oohhs & Aahhs which you say is the best.

Alix said...

Best mac and cheese.

Sesi Miller said...

Back in the day I worked at a music club in a suburb of DC in Alexandria, VA, the BNL played there several times &:yes they were hilarious & fun & drew a huge crowd as I recall... However at the end of the night we were left with tons of dried macaroni noodles to clean up & boxes of Kraft were everywhere. I guess back then it didn't occur to us to donate the undamaged remains to a food bank, lol, we just took em home and ate Mac & cheese for like "one week", sans ketchup, its an American thing...