Sunday, August 24, 2014

Happy Sunday

It has been a Happy Sunday. The weather is gorgeous. I've stolen a few minutes for myself to just sit and soak up some sun-rays. That feels sooo very good!

I seriously considered returning to Le Diplomate for brunch but decided to head to MOM's (My Organic Market) instead and pick up stuff to make brunch.

The spread: Edesia's Mimosa small-batch ice cream, Grindstone Neck of Maine smoked mussels, Homestead Farms tomatoes and garlic, Olivia's spinach, Seedlander crisp breads, Applegate uncured Genoa salami, Sartori basil & olive oil asiago cheese.

I dropped by Bowie's Farm Market specifically to get Edesia's small batch ice cream. I was hoping for roasted pistachio ice cream but they did not have it. Instead they had Mimosa ice cream. Even better! Perfect for brunch, right?

Edesia' Mimosa ice cream, fresh sauteed spinach w/ garlic cloves,
grape tomatoes, and smoke mussels.

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Le Diplomate DC-- Yes, believe the hype

Le Diplomate

1601 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 332-3333

Le Diplomate has been a hot spot in DC since it opened in April 2013, by noted Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr. I have passed the place many times but never had a desire to go in because it was always packed with a sizable crowd outside waiting to be seating inside. Too, Le Diplomate has been seriously hyped by the media and DC foodies. I have been disappointed more often than not by restaurants and eateries that received a lot of hype.

This time around I was not disappointed. I lucked into an 11:45 am, Sunday brunch reservation (next available spot was 2:30 pm) and even found parking quickly just four blocks away.

I ordered the Trout Amandine (sorry no photo), which was probably the most perfectly prepared Trout Amandine I have ever had. The trout was flavorful and perfectly cooked, the green beans tasty and crisp but not hard, and the gazillion almonds on top of the fish were toasted to perfection. So so yummy. I savored every single bite of this dish.

I was torn between ordering the Trout Amandine and the Smoked Salmon Tartine so my dining companion graciously ordered the Smoked Salmon Tartine so that I could taste some. A very smart decision on his part :) . It was beautifully displayed with roe, capers, boiled egg garnish, and crème fraîche on top of a toasted baguette.

The complimentary bread basket had a wonderful and hearty cranberry walnut bread and some equally hearty wheat bread. Both were solid and textured, Le Diplomate does a great job on its breads.

We kept seeing plates of food go by with delicious looking roasted potatoes so we inquired and our waiter said it was Lyonnaise potatoes, so we ordered a side. Mmm. Perfect compliment to both of our meals.

For beverages we both had iced tea, it was weak but still refreshing because it was cold.

Our waiter tempted us into having dessert and we shared the artistically beautiful Baba au Rhum--a yeast cake soaked in rum. It was good, full of rum flavor but not something I would get again.

I am a fan of Le Diplomate and I cannot wait to go back to try some of the other menu items. I especially want to try the mussels mariniere and see if Le Diplomate's version can dethrone Montmartre mussels mariniere, which I think are the best mussels in all of DC.

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Le Diplomate on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday I felt a lot like this.

...Don't know why, I just did.

Today is a different day (thank gawd!). Sunny. Cool, cool breezes...a simply glorious day. And I feel good!

Beautiful Maryland morning.

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Victory's Banner: Good & Healthy in Chicago

Victory's Banner

2100 W Roscoe St., Chicago, IL 60618 (773)665-0227
(Corner of Roscoe & Hoyne Sts.)

Dined late June 2014

Victory's Banner...Go. You will eat healthy foods, organic foods, and whole foods full of flavor. I was in the area for 5 days and ate here 3 times and got food to go. Yes, I am a fan. I wish it was here in DC area.

The staff is kind and attentive. The restaurant is smallish but they accommodated my party of 10 no problem. Victory Banner always has plenty of patrons seated inside and outside, each of the 3 times I visited I was seated quickly.

The Food

Lemon lentil soup - divine, aromatic, delicious. So good I go it to go on another visit.

Pancakes with yogurt and fresh raspberry and tasty homemade granola - perfect pancakes--light, tasty...good, hearty breakfast.

Omelet: I made my own with spinach and mushrooms. Good omelet. Fabulous breakfast potatoes! Hearty bread served as side was good, it also came with the lentil soup.

What I tasted and looooved:

Breakfast Burrito: A tortilla stuffed with 2 scrambled eggs, mushroom, red onion, red peppers, gouda, black beans and sour cream. Organic salsa & brown rice on the side.

I needed more days in Chicago because on my next visit I was going to order my very own Breakfast Burrito. I had tasted it on one occasion, then shared about 1/3 of one on another visit. They are big and delicious...not salty, you can taste the individual ingredients.

Victory's Banner was recently voted in top 18 of Chicago's best brunch spots, but it often makes #1 on Chicago's best breakfast/brunch lists. The praise and acknowledgements are well deserved, plus Victory's Banner is a great lunch spot, too.

Good eatin'

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Victory's Banner on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 14, 2014

Vietnamese sandwich shop: Banh Mi & Co.

Banh Mi & Co

2057 W. Roscoe St. Chicago, IL 60618 • (773)360-7266

Banh Mi & Co. features Vietnamese sandwiches and soups. According to wikipedia Bánh mì is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread.The Roscoe Village location is tiny with two wood tables, each with two chairs, and a walk up counter for ordering. The food is made to order, so you can be seated and your food will be brought to your table. There is also outdoor seating-- sidewalk cafe style. The two ladies working in the shop were happy, friendly, and helpful with answering questions.

The Food

Black Mushroom Vegetarian Soup
Vegetarian stock served with black mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, white and green onion topped with crispy fried onions. Your choice of rice noodles or white rice.

I liked my soup well enough. If there were a Banh Mi & Co. near me I would get this again.

My dining companion had the Pork Rolls Sandwich.
Pork rolls and pate. Served with cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, jalapeno, soy sauce, black pepper and mayo on a fresh baked baguette.

He gives it a 4 out 5 stars, and would order again but not before he tried something else on the menu.

I had a pleasant dining experience at Banh Mi. None of the popular sandwiches appeal to me because they are all meat, mainly pork and a beef and a chicken option. If I had the opportunity I would dine here again to try the spring rolls or some of Bahn Mi's vegan options.

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Banh Mi & Co on Urbanspoon