Thursday, May 26, 2011

Royal Thai

As the weather heats up, the idea of standing next to a stove or oven to cook dinner seems less and less appealing. It has become a perfect opportunity for me to seek out new takeout places on my walk home from work. Taking tips from comments on a Penn Quarter Living post about the best local thai food, I called Royal Thai and placed an order. Ten minutes later I headed off to 6th and H streets NW and, much to my pleasant surprise, discovered Royal Thai nestled in a cute little rowhouse. I expected a sketchy atmosphere but was very impressed with the gleaming dark wood interior. It would definitely be a nice place to sit a spell.

I headed home with bags heavy with Thai possibility, fingers crossed that I didn't just schlep home with a sack of blah food. Things started off on the right foot with a firey red curry with shrimp. Not inventive, but a very good rendition of one of my favorite Thai dishes. They also get 50 skillion bonus points for offering brown rice. Call me a California hippie if you want, but I love brown rice.

I ordered the eggplant with chili, basil, and black bean sauce hoping to re-create the magic of an eggplant dish we had at Full Key in Wheaton (no, not Full Kee). Full Key's eggplant was doused in a bowl-lickable sauce that hovered somewhere between hoisin sauce and magic sauce. Suffice it to say that Royal Thai's wasn't as good, but I was setting it up for a letdown.

Because I do this awkward nervous phone ordering thing where I throw in one extra item at the last minute (cue B's eye roll here), we ended up with the crispy duck roll. Luckily this was one of those times where my awkward ordering paid off. The duck was wrapped in soft roti (see our roti obsession here) and had a nice bbq flavor paired with a cool cucumber crunch. A fun alternative to greasy spring rolls.

And because I absolutely can't order Thai food without ordering a fat noodle dish, we tried the Kee Mow noodles which were gloriously fat rice noodles stir fried with garlic in a chili-basil sauce. It was pleasantly reminiscent of my favorite basil noodles at Asia Nine and a couple bucks cheaper. w00t!

While sometimes my "let's see what I can find on my way home from work" takeout adventures aren't huge wins, I can see Royal Thai entering our regular rotation. The staff was so friendly during my short visit (bringing me water while I waited for my food), I'm eager to mosey over for a sit-down meal.

Second Thoughts from B

My mom always warned me about going to the grocery store on an empty stomach because everything looks good and you end up buying too much. Unfortunately she never warned me about blogging right before lunchtime. Let's just say that my salivary glands should put in for overtime.

Oh what I would do for some Royal Thai right about now. Unfortunately all I have to look forward to is Queen, the grumpy sandwich lady in the cafeteria downstairs. But I digress...

As picky as I am about Chinese food, Thai food seems to do no wrong. I apologize to all of you who grew up eating this glorious cuisine and are now shaking your head at my ignorance. Still, coming from our recent trip to SE Asia, I feel that we're not blindly endorsing the Panda Expresses of the Thai food world.

So let's recap: I'm blinded by hunger and ignorance. Great. Why would anyone believe a thing I say? I'll give you one reason. Give Royal Thai a try and you might just get to meet J because I'm sure we'll be enjoying this regal cuisine again soon.
Royal Thai Cuisine & Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Zola Wine and Kitchen

A few years ago, we told you how a turkey from Zola Wine and Kitchen saved our Thanksgiving. Recently, Zola Wine and Kitchen's daily lunch specials saved us from another blah sandwich.

The sibling of Zola Restaurant around the corner, Zola Wine and Kitchen is part wine shop, part cooking school, and part lunch counter. Each day during the lunch rush, chefs take over the cooking school kitchen and serve a selection of rotating daily special entrees such as scallop risotto or chile rellenos, along with a full menu of sandwiches and salads.

Many area office workers can be seen grabbing their food to go, but seating is offered at communal tables complete with cloth napkins and pitchers of ice water. The atmosphere is a nice upgrade from the usual deli or fast food joint.

B and I were very impressed with the sandwiches. I ordered the roast beef on focaccia with the insalata mista on the side. I appreciated their willingness to let me swap out the standard flour-dusted bun for the fluffy focaccia bread because I have a serious aversion to flour-dusted foods (it's a texture thing). The perfectly rare roast beef was paired with a creamy brie, sweet garlic aioli, carmelized onions, and arugula. This was near sandwich perfection.

One bite into his braised leg of lamb sandwich with harissa on a ciabatta roll and B was ready to dish out high fives. It was a high class sandwich with a very reasonable $12 price tag (including a generous helping of upscale pasta salad). It may not be the $5 foot long deal from the shop around the corner, but this ain't your average deli sandwich. This easily could be served for $10 more as a lunch entree in a fancy restaurant.

Even though Zola Wine and Kitchen has become popular with the Penn Quarter lunch crowd, it still feels like it's a secret shared by nearby office workers relieved at having a quick-service fine dining option. I hesitated to try the lunch at Zola Wine and Kitchen because it had the look of a private party being held in the cooking school. Don't be afraid to open the door and check it out. This is a public fiesta, but don't go telling too many people . . . we'd like to keep the lines down.

Second Thoughts from B

My lunch options are limited to a government cafeteria and whatever I bring from home. So, being downtown for lunch is an extra special treat (not to mention getting to share it with J rather than eating at my desk). What that means is that anything made fresh by someone with the title of "chef" is going to be pretty exciting for me. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion that Zola Wine and Kitchen is a real gem.

My sandwich elicited two responses. The first was the eye-rolling groan of satisfaction that accompanies any great first bite. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the Food Network for 5 minutes and you'll see it. The second was an inquisitive look as I stared at my lunch and questioned, "What was that?" This reaction is what separates the men from the boys... or should I say the chefs from the line cooks?

As a card carrying sports fan, I watch my fair share of SportsCenter on ESPN. For those of you not familiar, the highlight show usually ends with a compilation of the day's best plays. Without fail, each of these top 10 plays has that wow-factor. But only on the rare occasion does a highlight get rewound on the DVR over and over to answer the question, "How'd he/she do that?" This sandwich was worthy of a DVR rewind. In other words, we'll be back.
Zola Wine & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 20, 2011


When I think of the stretch of 17th Street NW between Church and R, I don't think of quality food. I think of bars, the place we get our hair cut, and Safeway. It is simply a block to walk past on the way to Mr. Yogato, or if you're lucky, Komi. Agora, taking over the old Jack's bar space, is attempting to change that perception.

While the large outdoor patio still looks like you're average 17th Street bar, the interior has gotten a chic makeover, and the bar snacks from Jack's have been replaced with an extensive Mediterranean menu.

Agora, like nearly every other new place in town, serves tapas-style small plates. Ordering at such establishments can be overwhelming, but our friendly waitress gave us a good roadmap of her favorite dishes. To start, we tried the Labneh (endive served with strained yogurt, diced apples, and walnuts). This was probably our least favorite dish of the evening because the flavors were way off balance. There was too much of the extremely tangy yogurt and not enough honey or walnuts. After a few bites we were left with a large pile of yogurt and nothing to balance it out.

Our spirits were lifted by the Chef's Borek (crispy phyllo roll filled with goat cheese, herbs, and crushed red pepper served over a tomato marmalade). A Mediterranean-style egg roll that had B licking the plate.

To sample the flat bread section of the menu, our waitress recommended the Peynirli Pide stuffed with feta and Kasar cheese and tomatoes. I really liked the texture of the bread but the cheeses were too overpowering for me. I have to give thumbs up to the bread master at Agora because this flatbread and the pillowy pita bread, served gratis to each table, were outstanding.

From the seafood section of the menu we tried the Garides Tava (sauteed shrimp, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and Raki). Google tells me that Raki is the "Turkish national drink" of anise-flavored liquor. This dish had two things working against it in my opinion: dill and anise. Both can be overpowering and they aren't my favorite flavors, so I don't think I'm the right audience for this dish. On the hot and muggy evening, however, it was nice to have something light and not drowning in heavy sauce.

My favorite dish was the Ottoman Rice with almonds, saffron, black currant, pine nuts, dry apricots, fried shallots, and dates. I swooned over the crispy/soft texture contrasts and would be perfectly happy returning to Agora and ordering this dish plus the pita bread for a carbtastic meal.

By the time the next dish came, I was ready to change into my Thanksgiving pants. I hardly had room to try the grilled filet of branzino, but the few bites I had were nicely prepared with a light drizzling of lemon juice.

Since B hasn't met a lamb dish he doesn't like, it's no surprise that he loved the charcoal grilled lamb chops. I have to admit, they did have a nice smoky flavor.

Overall, we had an enjoyable dinner at Agora. I loved sitting on the patio, watching the world go by. On 17th Street, the "world' is usually pretty interesting to watch. Agora is a welcome addition to the block and it's nice to know that there is a reliable dinner option to precede our regular trips to visit our old pal Mr. Yogato.

Second Thoughts from B

Agora seems to be the less formal, less crowded, less flashy, and less expensive version of Zaytinya. Judging by the consistent crowd and buzz of this Jose Andres/Mike Isabella built gem, this isn't a bad business model. The question in my mind was whether they could take off the fancy facade and retain the substance.

In a word, yes. If you're looking for high quality, authentic, at times creative, Mediterranean tapas, Agora is for you. In my opinion, the pita "bread basket" and borek is worth a trip. On the other hand, if you're unfamiliar with the favor profiles of Turkey and Greece, this is a great way to be introduced.

Some restaurants exist so people can eat... and by eat I mean fill your stomach. Other restaurants are created for dining, where the entire experience is a show. I think Agora is for exploring. It strikes a great balance of quality, ethnic flavors while still being approachable. In a town that loves to learn and call itself "worldly," Agora fits in beautifully.
Agora Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Red Robin

Fresh off our skydiving adventure, we were in Virginia and starving from the adrenaline rush. I steered our merry band of plane jumpers to Red Robin in Falls Church. Red Robin is a casual chain serving burgers, bottomless steak-cut fries, and tasty drink concoctions. It's loud, brightly colored, and generally packed with kids.

Full disclosure: this post is biased by the fact that I grew up eating at Red Robin regularly. I have no idea if I'd like it as much if it didn't bring back fond memories.

One of my favorite parts of the menu is the drink section. From the root beer floats to the strawberry "freckled" lemonade, there is a lot to smile about. No, these aren't "craft" cocktails with "housemade" ingredients, but who can resist an umbrella and cherry in your drink?

When I was a kid, I always ordered the clamstrips or clucks and fries (chicken tenders). I've matured slightly past the fried basket of fried friedness. Slightly. I still giggle when I see the BLTA sandwich on the menu. I remember my sister ordering it without the "T and A" and drawing quite a chuckle from the waiter and my Dad. The joke went way over our heads twenty years ago and still isn't that funny, but it brings me back to my childhood.

Somewhere around college I discovered the Whiskey River BBQ chicken wrap and it became my new favorite. Don't let those slices of cantaloupe fool you, this is no healthy dish. The tortilla strips and ranch dressing that are nestled in the wrap may not be on anyone's list of health foods, but they're yummy!

B loved every bite of his Burnin' Love burger featuring a mouth-blistering combo of fried jalapenos, salsa, and pepper jack cheese. I stole one sizzling bite and loved the crunch of the jalapenos. While not quite Ray's Hell Burger, this burger compared favorably to Ray's New Jack Zing.

Red Robin doesn't have the best burgers on the planet, but is a reliable choice if you find yourself wandering suburbia on an empty stomach.

Second Thought from B

There are several levels of burger joints. The bottom rung is occupied by our friends with the drive thru windows. Nothing fancy, good for you, or even recognizable, but they are fast, filling, and tasty. At the top would be the burgers found at "tablecloth" restaurants that are putting a modern or sophisticated twist on America's sandwich. Here you'll find artisanal cheeses and exotic meats. Red Robin is in the group somewhere in between, and for whatever reason, has proven itself to be our go-to celebratory location.

Maybe it was the rush of having jumped out of a plane just hours before, but my first bite produced an eye popping, "Wow!" Similarly, just the mention of Red Robin now produces a melodic, "yuuuum" from our friend and Red Robin first-timer, Chris, as if he were trying out for a Mel Brooks movie. Sure, that's the company jingle, but this is heartfelt yummage.

Could our response be driven by the adrenaline? Maybe so... even, probably so. Consider this: a few hours after getting engaged on the top of a mountain, J and I celebrated with her parents at, you guessed it, Red Robin (yuuuum!).

So what is it about this place? Frankly, I have no idea but as they say, the proof is in the pudding. I don't know what that means but I think it has something to do with going to Red Robin (yuuuum!) when you want to celebrate with reliably good food and good friends. Throw in bottomless freckled lemonade, and I'm there!
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 12, 2011

J&G Steakhouse

B knows how much I like surprises. When he was planning dinner for my birthday (hence, no pictures), he was on his own to choose a restaurant. I was very excited when he announced that we'd be starting the evening with drinks at sunset on the roof of the W Hotel (formerly Hotel Washington), followed by dinner at J&G Steakhouse on the main level of the hotel.

I had been to the Hotel Washington's famed roof terrace on a couple of occasions and loved the up close view of the Washington monument and White House. A few years ago, the Hotel Washington closed and the W moved in, bringing its signature chic style with it. You'll still recognize the old hotel behind the purple lighting and pulsing beats from the DJ. The view from the roof terrace remains fantastic and the cocktails, while priced to match the view, are interesting and not laughably tiny.

As the sun set (and the Obamas headed off in their motorcade to dinner at Tosca), we went to the main level to check in at J&G. J&G is billed as a showcase for acclaimed New York chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's favorite dishes from his restaurants paired with steakhouse classics. We opted for the tasting menu to get a good feel for the various parts of the menu.

The incredibly friendly sommelier customized a wine pairing for us. His adaptability and flexibility was much appreciated since we just can't enjoy a meal with 5 glasses of wine (i.e., we're lightweights). Instead, he chose 3 small pours that enhanced every bite of the meal.

The first course was a salmon tartare. I was expecting a pretty average snoozer of a tartare, but we were blown away by the complexity of the dish. The tartare was served over what I can best describe as a gingery guacamole. It was topped with crunchy radishes that created a playful crunchy/smooth texture to the dish.

Next was a beet salad that rivaled B's favorite beet salad at Hook and beat the pants off the pathetic "beet salad" at Kora. The perfectly roasted beets were sitting on a cloud of tangy greek yogurt and topped with a chili sauce that gave it a good punch in the nose. The dish was paired with a very sweet wine that worked well with the earthy and spicy beet dish.

Showing off the chef's seafood skills was a piece of seared halibut with a scallion-chili sauce topped with basil and celery. While I think celery is only good as a vehicle to get peanut butter to your mouth, I was surprised at how well the celery worked as a topper for the fish. It was chopped finely so you didn't get that gross stringy effect and the sauce was bold enough to mask the celery flavor. While I had my doubts, this dish won me over.

The main event was grilled petit filet served over a smear of J&G steak sauce paired with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. It was a classic steakhouse dish executed very well. My medium rare was a little more in Mr. Medium's neighborhood than I like, but when dabbed in the tangy, molasses-based steak sauce, it was perfect. Nothing fancy, just a really good steak.

Just as I was ready to curl up in our cozy booth and take a nap, the waiter brought out dessert. The tasting menu featured a warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream. Definitely not an award winner for creativity, but who can turn down gooey chocolate and vanilla ice cream? Not me! Because it was my birthday, J&G surprised me with an extra dessert complete with a candle and Happy Birthday message written in chocolate on the plate. And yes, the birthday girl ate both desserts. Dessert number two, a strawberry shortcake sundae was a bit underwhelming but that didn't stop us from polishing it off.

Thank you B for a wonderful birthday and thank you J&G for a beautiful meal.

Second Thoughts from B

Let me pat myself on the back a little bit. It is not easy choosing a restaurant for someone whose hobby is eating out. While I know my way around D.C.'s dining scene, I'm not the one in the family with the "I love Tom Sietsema" tattoo. So good job to me for picking a winner. There was no shortage of anxiety and research that went into this decision.

Even though our photos suffer from our refusal to lug an SLR everywhere we go, they are helpful in telling the story of our meal. On the other hand, when we choose to write blind, it does bring to the fore the really memorable highlights.

While they use "steakhouse" in the name, J&G's highlights were those that preceded the steak dish. First off, you'll never have a better start to a meal than the one you can get from their roof deck. On a warm spring night, with the soft breeze and stunning view, it is hard to imagine a more perfect place in this truly great city. Pulling ourselves down from the roof was no easy task but it helped that J&G accommodated my request for a secluded table befitting a special occasion like J's birthday.

It was a wise decision to go with the tasting menu so we could sample the diversity of the kitchen's talents. The tartare was an entire sushi dinner packed into one bite with miso, ginger, salmon, and avocado all dancing on your palate. The beet salad was good and the sweet wine pairing was good. Together, however, they were both great. It was easily the most harmonious pairing I've experienced. This was followed by a well-spiced halibut on a surprisingly sweet chili bed of oh-my-goodness. All of that before the steak.

The steak dish was quite good and it is saying something that it was overshadowed by the other dishes. That's how I know J&G won't be forgotten.
J&G Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TwoDC 2.0

Welcome to the newly redesigned TwoDC! We hope you like our new look.

With tummies full of sushi from Momoyama, we put on our best tourist hats (not pictured) and went on our own little photo safari by the Capitol and Tidal Basin. What an amazingly beautiful city we live in! We're never disappointed whenever we set aside a little time on a warm evening to just take it all in. By the way, if you're reading through Google Reader and have no idea what we're talking about, click on through and check us out.

In addition to prettying things up, we've added six new pages:
Hopefully you'll find these pages to be useful compilations of our posts. All 201 of our restaurant reviews are now in one easy-to-navigate place. If you are new to town or have family visiting, click over to the Best of D.C. or Fun for Two pages for some ideas of how to best enjoy our Nation's Capital.

As always, we'd love to hear what you think. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 9, 2011

DC Skydiving Center

There are things in life that you want to pay full price for, because you'll usually end up paying for it one way or the other in the end. 99 cent sushi comes to mind. So does jumping out of an airplane... not that it stopped us.

Skydiving is something that J and I were both interested in. Not something we needed to do, but something that we knew we'd enjoy given the right circumstances. LivingSocial's 50% off the DC Skydiving Center provided such an opportunity.

On a beautifully warm and clear Saturday morning, J and I were joined by three other intrepid souls and drove to what looked like a farm outside of Warrenton, Va. We had all imagined a small airstrip, but instead found rusted tractors and half-built sheds at the end of a dirt road. As we trudged through the field in search of the skydiving center, doubt began to creep into our minds.

I don't want to disparage the DC Skydiving Center or paint a picture that they were not qualified or took safety less seriously than they should, because at no time did any of us feel like we were not in good hands. We were. But as far as first impressions go, this was, well, interesting.

Consider that the two planes were taking off and landing in a field. And not a particularly flat one. Consider that people were being swapped out of planes in order to save about 80 lbs. 80 lbs. will make or break an airplane? Really? Consider that one of the tandem "instructors" was a recreational skydiver (if over 6000 jumps can be considered recreational) that everyone seemed to have just met. Consider that I was strapped to a guy who, in lieu of English or really any spoken communication at all, just kept giving me the thumbs up sign.

Putting all those things aside, this was a well run, professional operation. They realized the risks and emphasized safety, while also enjoying the experience with us. And how was the experience? In a word, wow!

For those of you who have not hurled yourself to the Earth only attached to some stranger with a large handkerchief, let me give you some details. After some basic instructions and safety precautions, you are suited up in a onesie that makes you look like either an astronaut or a 70's disco star, depending on pattern, color, and fit. You are then sardined into one of these flying tin cans that have been stripped of every non-essential item along with your tandem partner, another tandem pair, and the pilot. For those counting at home, that's 5 people in the space of a 2-person backpacking tent. For those with calmer nerves, the flight is beautiful, though rickety. After climbing to around 11,000+ ft., the first tandem pair opens the door, sits on the edge, and rolls out into the great blue yonder. The sardines in the back of the tin can then must scoot their connected asses to the door and do the same.

You don't have much time to process everything, but no matter how calm you are, there's no preparing you for those first moments as you tumble out of the plane. It is somewhere between exhilarating and heart stopping... and by far the best part. Unfortunately, this phase ends quickly as you assume the more controlled free fall position and enjoy the gorgeous scenery while experiencing a very comfortable, floating sensation. Thankfully, there is no rollercoaster stomach-in-your-throat feeling.

All too soon (they say after 45 seconds and at 5,000 ft.), the parachute is pulled and you are yanked up. Immediately, the wind stops and all is quiet. And beautiful. And calm... until your mute tandem partner loosens the harness and you feel like all is lost. Dude, I appreciate you prioritizing comfort and all, but a heads up, or even your patented thumbs up, would be nice!

There was a lot of disagreement in our group over how long it took to get down to the ground once the parachute opens but I'd say it was 5+ minutes. Me being me, I enjoyed getting to steer the 'chute, and by "steer" I mean yank one end hard and corkscrew as fast as I could. As you approach, your tandem partner takes the controls and glides in for a nice, comfortable landing on your grass-stained butt. You are quickly unharnessed and attempt to walk - most wobble - to your friends with a goofy grin and no words. Really, your brain cannot produce words, just a smile. Maybe that explains my tandem partner?

In the next couple of hours, your brain catches up and you can't stop reliving the whole experience as you process the gallons of adrenaline coursing through your body. Now, a week later, my pulse quickens and that grin returns as I write this. Would I do it again? Oh, yeah!

J Says

B summed up the thrill of skydiving perfectly and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I admit to being really skeptical when we arrived at DC Skydiving Center, but somehow they made me feel safe and relatively calm even when bumping along a grassy field in a very wobbly airplane. I don't like taking off and landing in the biggest, smoothest planes, so needless to say I was pretty freaked out by the flying tin can. However, when you're sitting on the lap of a dude you've never met, you just figure out a way to suck it up. By the time we reached jumping altitude, I was more than ready to get out of the plane. I was sitting about an inch from the door that they opened and the rush of the wind and adrenaline was unlike anything I've ever felt before. As we rolled out of the plane I was completely silent. No "woo!" or shriek or even gasp. Just stunned silence.

When my tandem instructor pulled the chute, I finally let a "woo" escape and asked him how my form was. Always the worrier, I was concerned that with all of the adrenaline I'd forget the instructions to "arch, arch, arch!" but apparently I was an A+ student. As we floated to the ground, I took the time to look around at the scenery and jumped at the chance to pull the cords to spin us in circles. It was a beautiful feeling to glide in relative silence to the Earth below. After a smooth landing, I skipped and cartwheeled back to the waiting area and pondered how soon I could return to do it again.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Osama bin Laden going away party at the White House

J and I sure have awesome neighbors. It seems that every time history is made they invite everyone over for a celebration in their front yard. And let me tell you, Mr. and Mrs. O have a nice front yard.

Of course, we were never personally invited. CNN acted like the Bat Signal to all who wanted to celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden, and those who wanted to witness people celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden. J and I were clearly in category number 2. Not to get too political or preachy but "celebration" was not the mood of the evening for us. Closure, relief, satisfaction, justice, and pride would be more accurate. To quote Jessica Dovey and not MLK, "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy."

Clearly this day meant different things to different people, and that's ok. We feel very lucky to have participated in it. Just another great benefit to living in downtown DC. So for those who didn't make it out to the 1am mosh pit in front of the White House, here are a few of our take aways:
  • Osama bin Laden was not popular among college students. Even though they were in elementary school during 9/11, they were clearly drawn to this historic event.
  • Most people own something that says "U.S.A." on it. We were shocked. Easily 70%. This was like Captain America's wet dream.

  • People who sing the National Anthem well don't get enough credit. We appreciated the enthusiasm but wow, there was some butchering going on.

  • Kudos to the police on hand who handled crowd control with an appropriately light touch. There was a lot of stuff going on that would indicate we were at Lollapalooza rather than the White House, and I'm sure that made more than a few of the folks in uniform nervous.

  • The walk to the White House might have been better than the party itself. Seeing people spontaneously drawn out for this event and travel in cars and bikes and foot, all waving flags and shouting for joy, was very cool.

  • Even if you are the homeless guy puking on yourself on a park bench (literally), you still understood what a momentous event this was.

  • Social media is a very powerful force. The crowd swelled as people tweeted about the event. Every phone we saw was being used to post to Twitter or Facebook.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Dairy Godmother

I'm not from Wisconsin and have never set foot in the Badger State. The closest connection I have is my high school's fight song that is sung to the tune of "On Wisconsin!" However, now that The Dairy Godmother has introduced me to frozen custard, I'm a big Wisconsin fan.

According to The Dairy Godmother, genuine Wisconsin-style frozen custard has at least 1.4% egg yolk (pasteurized), at least 10% milkfat, and is made in a special machine created only for making frozen custard. The result is creamy concoction that draws droves of people to the adorable Del Ray neighborhood (near Alexandria, VA).

Even President Obama got in on the frozen custard game when he brought Sasha and Malia to The Dairy Godmother for treats in 2009.

The long line moved quickly and about 10 minutes after arriving we were sitting at a picnic table digging in to our sundaes. The Dairy Godmother always has chocolate and vanilla frozen custard with a rotating special flavor. On our visit, the special flavor was white chocolate raspberry which paired perfectly with the sour cherries on B's sundae. If you're looking for something lighter, they have interesting sorbets and popsicles in rotating flavors such as lemon ginger and strawberry balsamico.

I'm eagerly watching the flavor calendar to see when to visit next. I think I'll need an excuse to be in the neighborhood on May 22nd for a taste of Cinnamon Toast.

Second Thoughts from B

I'm far from the frozen treat connoisseur that J is. Frankly, I'd rather have a bag of chips as my guilty pleasure. So while my friends to the north and at The Dairy Godmother might disown me for saying this, frozen custard is just ice cream to me.

But if it is "just ice cream," I would like to qualify that by saying it is really, really, creamy and delicious ice cream. None of that low fat, artificial color garbage. We're talking about the stuff that would make your wooden-salt-bucket-cranking grandmother proud. And on this warm night along a quaint street, nothing could be better than ... whatever you call it (except maybe a bag of Doritos).
Dairy Godmother on Urbanspoon