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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Fork in the Road: Florida Avenue Grill (DC) You Can Take the Girl Outta the South...

My best friend Paulette took me to Florida Avenue Grill in DC this past weekend and this place was, simply put, THE BOMB! It isn't a brunch-y spot of U Street that feed the yuppies of DC. It's a gritty, old diner with red plastic stools, an overpowering air conditioning and most staff have been working there 18+ years - praise Viola Poindexter!

My dad grew up in Georgia, so biscuits & grits were staples of our breakfast. One order of two fried eggs, sausage patties, grits and biscuits and Pronto!!! Now, if you don't care to clog your arteries in a single meal, don't eat here. There must have been an entire stick of butter used between the biscuits and grits, but it was heavenly. I prefer sausage links to patties since my past experiences have proved to be less than edible; but these patties were generous in diameter and soft. The grits, creamy. The eggs, salt & peppered. The home potatoes were excellent, another perfectly seasoned side as well as the Scrapple looking well-seasoned. For those unfamiliar with Scrapple, it's a side usually composed of everything left on the grill - to include onions, potato, bacon, sausage, egg, just about anything.

The highlight of my meal was when the man with reflective lens Oakley's (or a knock-off) sat next to me at the counter and ordered the "Michael Jackson Beat It" special. He even jumped in our photo at the end of the meal!

So, if you can stand the strong gust of A/C, then you'll enjoy wonderfully personable staff and the Southern breakfast ROCKS! Did I mention meals aren't more than $6.95 and you can charge it?

Florida Avenue Grill
1100 Florida Avenue NW Washington DC 20009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Fork in the Road: New England Fare (Cape Cod, MA)

Looks like this is turning into more writing about travels than Manhattan, but I'll be writing about eateries in NYC very soon...
New England has wonderful coastal staples: clams, lobster rolls, chowders, ice cream and the list goes on. My travels took me to Cape Cod, and more specifically, Provincetown. I had just finished Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential and this is the town where his career began, so naturally, I took interest. Although I believe it's a general rule-of-thumb not to eat on touristy streets, an exception was made in P-town. We strolled down Commercial Street beginning at the Lobster Pot, and got a cup of clam chowder. This rich & creamy soup was a perfect remedy on this cloudy & damp day. On the way back from browsing the quaint art galleries, the next stop was an outdoors seafood joint with lobster rolls (and fries) for $9.99. Usually rolls cost upwards of $19, so I didn't think this one would be that tasty, but I was pleasantly suprised. The fries were perfectly crisp and the roll mildly seasoned, but tasty enough to take down the entire thing. One thing I will say about the Cape, their love runs deep for homemade ice cream. I ate ice cream at least once a day. Every place had a wonderfully creamy confection. I have to give credit to Lindsey for sending me to Four Seas Ice Cream (she flew it in for her wedding). This place was closing for the season the day I went and what that means my dear friends, is ice cream by the pint or quart. I purchased, without hesitation, a pint of vanilla chocolate chip and ate the entire thing in an hour...yum!

Lobster Pot 321 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA
Four Seas 360 S. Main Street Centerville, MA

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Fork in the Road: Benno's (Galveston, TX)


Going back to Texas is always a treat for me! The family headed to Galveston for the day on Sunday and on the way back, stopped at my favorite place, Benno's. It's a major dump with the best food; plus, I love supporting Galveston getting back on its feet post-Ike. I always order the same thing, Cajun Oyster Platter. These plump pieces of perfection are lightly breaded & fried in Cajun spices, served with garlic bread, cole slaw and Cajun potatoes....oh, don't forget to dip these puppies in the red & tartar sauces!

Friday, September 4, 2009

nOOdles Part Deux

This year there has been something about noodles, and not Italian, that has me thoroughly intrigued. There is just a plethora of possibilities when it comes to cooking and spicing Asian noodles. This won't be good for any foodies ears, but my taste buds have become accustomed to the flavors of Room Service (18th St & 8th Ave). Though it IS tasty, it's probably only somewhat authentic to the tastes of Thailand and caters to how Americans think Thai cuisine tastes.

The other evening, my walk took me to Carmine Street to dine at a very small restaurant, Mo-Ra-Kote-Siam. We ordered the lemongrass soup, House Special Noodles with Shrimp & Calamari (Shanghai glass noodles with egg, chili, scallion, basil and bell pepper) and Phad Pring King with Chicken. I tend to steer clear of shrimp unless it's upscale dining, but the place will always win me over with fresh shrimp. The noodles were great (which I expected)...just the right amount of spice for the seafood...add Sriracha for more kick.

Unfortunate for me, I compared the PPK to that of Room Service which has a much heavier, creamier sauce and packs WAY more punch. A main component of this dish is chili and it wasn't spicy at all. I'm not sure if Room Service or Mo-Ra is more authentic, but I'm gonna take Room Service which also adds pink peppercorns.

The ladies are very sweet, although service is a tad on the slow side.

35 Carmine Street
(212) 627-7745