Dinner At Iron Works Tavern

Rhode Island is a great state for restored spaces that are used for great restaurants. An example of this is seen with Iron Works Tavern. The space used to hold the offices of the Iron Works Factory. So the restaurant has a industrial chic, old school feel.

Granted when we went for dinner we were not concerned about the ambiance. We were celebrating a birthday but due to several factors were running a bit behind. So come time for dinner we were starving.

Luckily, Our dining experience was good, the menu was straightforward, and the waitstaff attentive. For an appetizer (excuse the picture we were hungry) we ordered Lamb Lollipops. Which arrived served on white hummus with Chimichurri on top. The lamb was well seasoned and paired well with the hummus, this appetizer was was finished pretty quickly.

20170609_210618-min

For entrees we ordered the 9 0z Steak Frites (Steak and fries) which was paired with Chimichurri, Herbed Fries, and Parmesean and Argula Salad. This was a decent entree but the flavor factor was not there.

20170609_212822-min

The other entree was the Roasted Half Chicken paired with Wild Rice pilaf, Roasted Carrots, Green Beans, and Chicken Jus (meat gravy).  This was a disappointment considering the flavor was lacking for the steak dish, this one lacked salt completely. Even starving this dish didn’t leave an impact.

20170609_212818-min

Overall Iron Works Tavern was a good restaurant. The flavor in the entrees were lacking,  but it could just be bias on our part considering our palettes West African. So I would say check out Iron  Works Tavern and come to your own conclusions.

A Nibble of Agu

20160413_211415-min

On transition days like this, when the weather is starting to ease out of fall into winter that’s when I start to reminisce about warmer times. Like the night out in Oahu when hunger unexpectedly hit and caused a quick stop at Agu, a ramen bistro.

The resturant has an intimate feel. With bar placed in the center of the space and tables to the sides. The menu is simple and straight forward, presenting everything at a glance. The waitstaff helpful, answering the dumbest questions with patience.

20160413_211609-min.jpg

That evening we kept it light and ordered the Yuzu Jidori Ramen. Which had a chicken broth base and came with menma (fermented bamboo shoots), aji tamago (soft boiled egg), nori (seaweed) with negi (leeks). We opted out of the pork char siu topping. We shared an order of Chicken Nanban which came with tarter sauce and shredded cabbage, along with a plate of kimchi.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Overall for a late night pick me up it definitely hit the spot.

Sushi, Rock? Yes! Sushi Rock!

There are very few places in Northern Virginia where you can find Rock and Sushi in one place, and that’s Sushi Rock in Arlington. Nestled at the base of an apartment complex and next to the Arlington Courthouse this restaurant is a staple for residents and workers daily.

The restaurant is comprised of two floors, and has dim lighting, though in the day time ample sunlight comes in from the windows that make up 2 of it’s walls. There is ample seating and the red and black interior give the space an edgy feel.

The menu offered here covers a wide array of foods from the Sushi, as expected, to Ramen, Fried Chicken, and Steak. I normally order the Vegetarian Shoyu Ramen which consists of Kombu broth, menma, scallion, mushroom, seaweed and vegetables. The first time I ordered this I was blown away by how many veggies it contained. But on a chilly days this is just what I need.

For times when I’m feeling more adventurous I’ll enjoy the Stairway to Heaven which is made up of Yellowtail, white tuna, jalapeno, scallion, cilantro, pickled ginger, drizzled in a habanero balsamic sauce. A flavor combination that is refreshing and hard to beat. The Tornado roll comes in at a close second, and contains Yellowtail and snapper with the addition of jalapeno and cream cheese, which is then deep-fried and baked with sweet miso sauce. Can I say YUM!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As I said before, Sushi Rock has many more items to offer so if you are ever in the NoVa area be sure to check it out. 😀

A Satisfying Dinner at Chi’Bal

Great food, lively music, relaxing atmosphere, and an awesome wait staff. All this comes together at Chi’Bal to create an excellent dining experience.

Everyone knows that Tuesdays can be the worst part of the work week. It isn’t a Monday, so there’s the expectation that you’ve fallen into the grove of the work week, but at the same time it isn’t Wednesday, so anticipating the weekend is premature. This status is especially cemented if the day is especially grueling. So when I had the opportunity to have a meal at Chi’Bal and take a break from the grind of the work week I took it.

Located in Laurel, this new restaurant offers Mexican Cuisine is a contemporary way.

When you first enter your eyes are immediately drawn to the bar and from there you take in the decor and the lighthearted music playing on the speakers. The staff is friendly and attentive and are willing to take the time to explain the menu.

20170302_192301-min

The appetizers menu had a wide array of options. We ordered the Yuca (cassava) fries and Chicken Sopes. I will be honest and say I preferred the Sopes to the Yuca, the seasoning made it taste bitter. But the Sopes were so good the finished quickly.

20170302_194623-min20170302_194637-min

For the entrees we ordered New York Steak, which was rubbed with Mexican Chile and came with yuca fries; and chicken breast marinated in Adobe and served with sweet potato and chimichurry. All were delish but I especially enjoyed the open-faced Short Rib taco that was topped with pico de gallo and pickled onion. Only warning I have is they add avocado to the taco so watch if you are allergic the menu doesn’t state this.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So if you are ever in the Laurel, Maryland area be sure to drop by Chi’Bal for a memorable, fun, tasty experience. 🙂

 

Swahili Village

Of all the ethnic restaurant that are readily available in the D.C. area I haven’t really had the opportunity to come across one dedicated to Kenyan food until now. Swahili Village offered just that. When I stepped in I wont lie, I was taken aback normally African restaurants in this area have a mom and pop feel but this space was extremely contemporary.

SV1

The concept was open and the lights dim. African music could be heard playing through out the restaurant.  And a large bar dominating the space in the back. Once seated the wait staff immediately came to take my order and offered insight to items on the menu. I was a part of a group so the combinations of food were endless.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There was the chapati, a flatbread that is common to Kenya and many other nations in that region. Then the Pilau, a seasoned Basmati rice that was someone claimed was similar to West African Jollof Rice (it wasn’t. 😦 nothing is ever close). Then the Nyama Choma, or grilled cubed Beef Steak and the Fried Tilapia. Some folks ordered onions and collard greens aka Sukuma Wiki; Pan fried cabbage and onions, Kabeji; Sauteed spinach and onionsh onions, and the Kachumbari, a tomato salad with onions, cilantro, andhabanero tossed in lemon juice.

Honestly the menu had so many great things to try and I plan to visit again in the near future. So if you are ever in the Washington D.C. area make sure to stop by the Swahili Village.

Tom’s BaoBoa

The idea of finding a Chinese steam bun cafe in downtown Providence, Rhode Island was something that never crossed my mind but once the cafe was seen I just had to go in and give it a try.

baobao9

Tom’s Bao Bao is a Chinese Chain that has has recently been expanded to the united States with a location in Cambridge, MA and Providence, RI. The Rhode Island Store that I stumbled opened this past August. I wont lie, the reason I decided to step into the restaurant was because of the view. I was able to see the handmade dumplings being crafted and filled.

baoboa1

 

The design of the restaurant is very sleek and modern and the menu extremely simple. With there currently being 5 Bao Offerings; Pork, Chicken, Curry Beef, Vegetarian, and A Seasonal Lobster. Seating is available near the workstations so customers can view the steam bun making process as well as the rest of the restaurant. Because the bao is made ahead of time once you order you immediately receive your buns. I ordered the Curry Beef and Chicken Buns. Both were delicious, warm, and hearty.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So if you happen to be in downtown Providence be sure to stop by Tom’s BaoBao and see what the hype is about!

Judy’s Island Grill II

If you are craving quality Jamacain food Judy’s Island Grill is the place to go, especially the second location in Glen Burnie, MD. The menu is pretty straight forward with the normal fare you would expect to see offered; beef patties, ox tail, jerk chicken, etc. But what really makes the restuarant is the staff. I have been to the location several times and each experience has been great. The wait staff always offers a warm greeting and are quick to recognize you and strike up a conversation.

For this trip I went with friends, so we were able to order a variety of dishes. From Oxtail with Mac and Cheese, Rice and Beans, and Cabbage Medley; to Veggie Roti with Coconut Cream of Spinach and Green Beans.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But the show stopper, in my personal opinion is the fried Red Snapper in Spinach Cream Sauce with Rice and Beans on the side. I am addicted to this dish. It is so good that I have no problems driving the 30 odd minutes from my house to the restuarant in order to have it to eat. It is just that good!

20160729_185755-min

So if you are in the greater Baltimore area and have a hankering for Jamacain just stop by Judy’s Island Grill.

El Golfo

El Golfo is a Mexican Restaurant nestled on the outskirts of Silver Spring offering traditional and vegan fare. The unassuming exterior leads to a pleasant surprise once you enter the restaurant and realize how relaxing and colorful it actually is.

EG 1-min

Once seated a complimentary basket of Tortilla Chips and Salsa is brought to the table while you go through the menu looking at the options.EG3-min

I decided to to start off with Yucca Fries, cassava chips, and a creamy Chipotle dip. The appetizer alone could have made my meal complete but being my fat self, I wanted more.

EG4-min

I followed with Beef Tamales with a Tomato and Onion Salsa. The tamales were wonderfully flavored. And met my craving, seriously I’ve been looking for a good place for tamales for the longest time! If you have any spots I should check out just put it in the comments. My stomach thanks you in advance.

eg7-min

To finish it all off I had Tres Leche Cake for dessert. As soon as it hit my tongue it was an out of body experience. I just had to order some for the road.

eg9-min

So you are ever in the Silver Spring make sure to stop by El Golfo. It will be an experience you wont forget.

Rice Paper

July has been a bittersweet month, especially as friends and family transition to new phases and places in life. Luckily Rice Paper is the type of restaurant that forces time to stop and makes you focus on the meal and those you are sharing it with.

Located in Falls Church, VA, Eden Center. Rice Paper is a Vietnamese restaurant that offers traditional fare. The restaurant layout is beautiful and calming with hanging lanterns above the center and a large bar taking up the back wall.

RP 1-min

The menu offered has an extensive list of selections. With clear delicious descriptions of every item shown. Each item on the menu was large enough to shared and that is definitely what we did.

We ordered  Cơm Bò Lúc Lắc, a Cubed Beef dish sauteed with onions,tomatoes,and oyster sauce served on a bed of greens; Lẩu Đuôi Bò a spicy oxtail soup that came with rice; and Bánh Hỏi Con Điệp & Tôm Nướng, Grilled Scallop & Shrimp served with steamed thin Vermicelli noodles, meant to be wrapped and eaten in rice paper.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So if you are ever in Falls Church, Va make sure to stop by Eden Center and catch a meal at Rice Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toki Underground

What do you do when you are in D.C. and get a hankering for ramen that wont go away? You go to TOKI UNDERGROUND! Located in Northeast D.C. this restaurant is a hole in the wall that can be a bit hard to find. contrary to it’s name, Toki Underground is actually nestled above a pub. Blasting hip hop on it’s speakers, manga on the walls, skateboards as railings,  28 bar stools for seating, this is truly an urban hipster paradise.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There was a wait to be seated due to the high demand. Once we were we started with kimchi and pan fried vegetarian dumplings.

And then moved onto the Taipei Curry Chicken Ramen which consisted of a curry infusion broth with fried chicken, greens, soft egg, and pickled ginger; and the Vegetarian Ramen, with tofu, daikon, seasonal pickles, shiitake, greens, and marinated kombu.

tu10-min

tu11-min

I can definitely say that I left feeling satisfied. So if you are in Northeast and get a hankering for ramen make sure to stop by Toki Underground!