Category: cocktails

Winter White Cosmopolitan

Thanks to Bonefish Grill, I have a new favorite holiday drink: winter white cosmopolitan. I tossed back two of these and could happily have finished an entire pitcher.

TIP: Don’t skimp on the shaking and martini glass presentation –¬† the icy chill makes this drink sparkle.

Ingredients
2 oz. cranberry vodka
2 oz. white cranberry juice
.75 oz Cointreau
1 oz. sweetened lime juice (mixture of lime juice and simple syrup)
3-4 raw cranberries, for garnish

Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add cranberry juice, vodka, Cointreau and lime juice. Shake to combine well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and top with 3-4 cranberries.

Verdict: Dangerously delicious

Perfect Bloody Mary Bar

This morning the bf and I tried brunch at Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington. Their brunch is relatively new and could definitely use variety. The food was okay, but the best part involved a 3-for-1 deal on Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. In my perfect world, all Bloody Mary’s are offered as part of a make-your-own Bloody Mary Bar.

Items to be included a perfect Bloody Mary Bar:

  • Hot sauce – To each their own spice
  • Celery – way more fun that a spoon as a stir stick
  • Horseradish – duh
  • Worcestershire – a touch of savory salty
  • Old Bay- best when rimmed on the glass
  • Limes or lemons – for squeezing and garnishing
  • Pepper
  • Celery salt – if you don’t have it, you’ll taste the lack
  • Olives – Okay, this is not my vote but I understand it’s integral for some
  • Pickled mini corns, or any pickled vegetables really
  • A1 sauce – oh so zingy

In DC, my pick for building¬†your¬†own perfect beverage at brunch is¬†The Argonaut¬†in NE. It’s about $9 for bottomless Mimosas or Bloody Mary’s, and their brunch foods are flavorful even if the ambiance is a bit so-so. Another possibility is sampling the selection of Best Blood Mary’s as recommended by the Bitches Who Brunch.

10 Gifts for that Hard-to-Shop-for Man in Your Life

It’s the time of the year when I take stock of who’s on my holiday list: who gets a gift, a gift and a card, just a card, or merely a passing wish for a warm holiday season. Which brings me to the task of shopping, and the hardest folks to shop for – men. Ya gotta balance ¬†interesting, playful, practical, humorous — things that speak to their inner geek or a treat they wouldn’t get themselves.

Women, we’re easy. There’s a standard¬†repertoire¬†of gifts that make us happy: champagne, a spa pedicure, dinner out where we can dress up a bit, new bubble bath, smelly candles, nice picture frames with photos of loved ones included, gourmet cheeses and dark chocolate, a relaxing massage, a hand-written letter, a clean house, tickets to a show or movie we like…you know the drill.

These 10 gift ideas are aimed more at the Brother-Spouse-Significant other audience than Grandpa Joe, but to each family, their own. I present 10 unique finds to get you started shopping:

1. Bacon Necktie: $19 from Amazon. The world of bacon accessories is astounding: bacon bandaids, bacon candy, pork books, bacon cuff links. You name your bacon product and you can find it. For the men in your life who wear ties with some disdain, this  noose, er, necktie, may lift their spirits.

2. Hans Solo Frozen in Carbonite iphone Case: $17 on Etsy. C’mon, this is classic Star Wars. How cool is it to have¬†Harrison¬†Ford’s face of pain on the back of your phone?! This will get you bonus points. If your guy is into Star Wars, this lightsaber corncob holder is pretty kick-ass too.

3. Mustache Bandaids: $10 on Bezerk. It is Movember¬†after all, when men grow out their facial hair to raise funds ¬†that support prostate cancer and testicular cancer initiatives. If you’re¬†nixing¬†the facial hair, there’s always the option of a beard hat. Especially if you live somewhere really, really cold.

4. ¬†Of-the-Month Club:¬†Prices vary – From Of the Month Club. There’s something for everyone: mustard, beer, hot¬†sauce¬† wine, nuts, bagel, flowers, fruit…Not convinced? Here’s an interesting article on¬†the rise of specialized of-the-month-clubs. The best part of these clubs is the joy of a package each month!

5. ¬†Ninja Knife Magnets: $18 from Cool Material Shop. My family is big on stocking stuffers, and these would fit perfectly–¬†both¬†in the stocking and in the category of¬†stocking¬†stuffer. ¬†They’re not big enough to wrap but area a little humorous something that makes for a conversation starter.

6.  Star Trek Pizza Cutter: $30 from Space.com Store. In elementary school my sister and I raced home from school to catch the 3.30 pm episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, followed by Duck Tales. With the return of Star Trek via lovely Chris Pine, a new generation (ha!) will come to appreciate the Enterprise. Okay, so maybe I just really want this.

7. ¬†Gun and Target Alarm Clock:¬†$23 on Amazon. Few people enjoy being roused from their slumber. BUT, wouldn’t he find it a bit easier if getting up involved shooting a target? With settings from one shot to five (easy to hard), this could also improve his reflexes in case of a zombie apocalypse. Just sayin’ – we watch a lot of Walking Dead in my house.

8.¬† Craft Beer Home Brew Kit:¬†$50 from RedEnvelope. I actually bought a beer making kit for my dad, and he enjoyed making, tasting, and naming his brews. I enjoyed sampling. I’ve tasted beer brewed at home from guys aged 23-65 years old. My dad’s¬†Knights¬†of¬†Columbus¬†group has an annual taste off, and plenty of my peers pick it up as a hobby. Heck, DC Brau’s was started by two guys brewing in their basements and now it’s a thriving¬†business!

9. A Book from GQ’s Best of List: Prices vary, list from GQ.¬†Sometimes the men in my life enjoy the books I read, but usually our tastes for pleasure reading are quite different. Rather than giving them YOUR favorite book, take a tip from the GQ guys. Their Best of 2011 list published last December list includes 21 options, and I presume a 2012 edition will emerge soon. ¬†You also can’t possibly go wrong with purchasing everyone you know a copy of ¬†World War Z¬† by Max Brooks.

10.  Mini Guitar Cast Iron Skillet: $16 from Lodge.
A cast iron skillet is a gift for life. Why not spice up cornbread and muffins by adding a touch of the arts to his cooking? Forget Le Creuset; the Lodge has a variety of other skillet, cooking, baking and grilling items – including those in bright colors – and they’re less expensive.

Losing Weight Won‚Äôt Fill the Emptiness Inside. Only Cake Can Do That.

Last week I had the pleasure of tooling around Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and Istanbul, Turkey with a dear friend. I ate Nutella by the spoonful, multiple times a day, sometimes on croissants and sometimes on my finger. We consumed a minimum of one bottle of wine each day, often preceded by cake for lunch and beers after dinner – before gelato. We tried expensive wine, girly fizzy drinks and cherry strudels covered in powder sugar. I consumed ketchup-cheese Cheetos, creamy tikka masala with butter-drenched naan, and enough goulash to say it’s not my favorite thing — but Viennese gnocchi sure is delish!

Not once did I make a meaningful effort to workout, though of course we walked a lot (she chuckles; we strolled between stores and restaurants, more precisely). I also made sure that the 2 pairs of jeans I packed were not ever put in the dryer because, ya know, they’re tight. I went to bed most nights with a belly so stuffed it ached.

Before I left I did a little shopping, including buying one of those pairs of stretchy jeans, and a couple of suit pieces in a size I did not expect — larger than¬† I’ve ever needed. My family isn’t petite; we like to say we’re made of¬† “good, peasant Polish stock” and “big boned.” But mostly we overeat and under-exercise. So I’m hopping back on the wagon of making better choices — because I want to feel good.¬† I didn’t say calorie counting or obsessive food journaling. I’m not gonna weigh myself twice a day.¬† I don’t really do well on diets; restriction makes me binge and tracking food minutiae makes me crazy and cranky. I’m shooting for healthy and realistic, acknowledging that I’m older than when I ran¬† 5ks in 22 minutes and hopefully more balanced than when I made Rice Krispy Treats with margarine and Grape Nuts to reduce my guilt.

I stumbled on this piece today, and it struck a chord:

Losing Weight Won’t Fill the Emptiness Inside. Only Cake Can Do That.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time on diets. At first, it was just something I did to make my parents happy; I didn’t really care too much, I had other shit to do‚ÄĒunderwater headstands, amassing an enormous Garbage Pail Kids collection, reading about the color of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield’s eyes (Pacific Ocean Blue, btw). However, as I got older and saw how much importance was placed on a woman’s looks, particularly in terms of weight, I become more invested in the thought that, with enough hard work and determination, I too could one day be Long Legs Louise.

I poured over diet books, back issues of Cooking Light magazine, and studied Lifetime movies about anorexia like I was a 10-year-old sociologist from Fatlandia, sent to observe the Skinny people and learn their tiny ways. My parents sent me to and enrolled me in every diet program available‚ÄĒWeight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Overeaters Anonymous, doctors, psychiatrists‚ÄĒyou name it. However, no matter what I did, I couldn’t shake the weight. The only result of my endless starvation (and the relentless bullying of middle school) was the forgotten enjoyment of all the things my body could do (skip, hopscotch, read) and a budding disappointment in my own faulty size.

Jami Attenberg, the author of the The Middlesteins, a new novel with a central character who is a compulsive overeater, had a similar childhood. After reading My History of Being Fat over at The Hairpin, I’m guessing that her main character’s association with food is ‚ÄĒ at least ‚ÄĒ partially informed by Attenberg’s own troubled relationship with the good stuff. She was a fat kid and now she’s a socially acceptable sized adult, and it’s apparent that the scars from childhood trauma cut her deep, too.

One incident strikes me as particularly rough:

In junior high school, in the advanced English class, our teacher engaged us in a verbal exercise. She wanted us to learn about the powers of description. So she had us all stand up in a circle, and everyone had to go around the room and say one word to describe the person standing. Funny, smart, etc. And when it was my turn to stand, a boy named Mark said, “Thunder thighs.” Mark, you idiot, that’s two words.

OMG, fire that teacher immediately and often. Middle school is hard enough as it is (playgrounds overrun with hormonal sociopaths just looking to fight, cop a feel, or get out of running the mile) without having the target on your back that extra pounds seem to earn. I remember, it was near the beginning of my seventh grade year and I was new in school; My entire math class was milling around the classroom door, waiting for our late teacher to arrive. I naturally gravitated toward the other fat girl, I think maybe subconsciously hoping that by standing next to her, I’d appear smaller. Not the case, it was as if our individual fat multiplied by 100 to make one MEGA FAT. We immediately attracted the attention of a group of guys, who began sizing us up and loudly proclaiming what was wrong with both of our bodies. I was too round, whereas she was too square. I don’t know, kids are weird and have terrible snaps, but I still think about the shame and embarrassment I felt that day. All I wanted to do was cry forever, and also firestart the whole school.

So yeah, being picked on as a kid is the fucking worst.

Attenberg carries this self-hate into her adult relationships. She writes:

It is the year 2000, and I weigh around 200 pounds, a fact of which I am unaware because I never get on a scale. (Although I find it out a few weeks later in the bathroom at my brother’s house, finally too curious to resist.) I am sleeping with a man who is not a very nice man, and perhaps not even particularly attractive, but he is quick-witted and sort of cool, and this covers up the not-nice part of him, at least for a period of time. Also, we are always fucked up in one way or another when we are together, either on booze or drugs, and I am still insistent on proving my own attractiveness to myself by having sex as regularly as possible, even if it is with terrible people. We are lying naked on his couch in his shitty Lower East Side basement apartment, and for some reason he is talking about other women he’s seeing, and I’m starting to feel terrible about myself. It’s this feeling that’s creeping slowly up my spine, an unfolding self-disgust, and then he says to me, “But you know, there’s something about a big girl,” and, after a pause, he pats my ass, and all of a sudden I realize he’s talking about me, I am that big girl.

Hold the phone. Maybe Attenberg is “that big girl,” but the the main lesson here, to me, is that the boyfriend was a fucking asshole for talking about other women he’s sexing, as well as fetishizing/generalizing “big girls.” But when someone talks to you like this when you’re fat, you’re supposed to shut up and take it because it’s your fault‚ÄĒwhy don’t you lose the weight, heifer? Attenberg does acknowledge that he’s not a good dude, but doesn’t really make the leap that the problem isn’t that she’s big, but that he’s a douche. She may in fact be big. He’s still a douche. That’s the problem. Ultimately, this dude’s uncouth (uncouth, I say!) behavior and her sort-of acceptance of it is not so much a reflection on her weight as it is on her self-esteem.

As I grew into adulthood (process ongoing, please check back), I headed down a similar path of destructive behavior. But I got lucky, and was able to hop off that bullshitmobile before it got me into real trouble. I was already battling feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, and just general sadness at the fact that I was such a different person than I was before I started dieting. Also, I was just really hungry.

I began gravitating toward a change when I moved to San Francisco and started meeting women who were just more comfortable with themselves than I was. Sure, they thought about their bodies, but more in terms of what they could do for them, not about how they looked in a short skirt. Also, I learned that all kinds of legs can look damn good in a short skirt, that clothes didn’t necessarily fit them “worse” ‚ÄĒ just different.

The more time I spent with these women, the more time I was bummed by my singular obsession of being skinny in skinny jeans, a goal I’d never attain, and one that was just so damn draining. Society taught me to diet, but it also taught me to be okay with myself ‚ÄĒ that there are different ways to be okay, healthy, happy, and attractive. While these ladies brunched, I was compulsively kicking at Billy Blank’s god-forsaken Tae Bo-loving face; and when they were getting late-night pizza, I was enjoying a nice glass of ice water. It was no fun, I wasn’t happy, and I think my inner-fat kid was just like, “Fuck. This. When’s Dinner.”

Bizarrely enough, I had this revelation at fucking Weight Watchers.

There I was, sitting in a weekly meeting (that took place after my Jazzercise class, which I still love and participate in because fit is it, my friends!), gnawing my way through one of their disgusting Aspartame-flavored diet gummy candies, and my “leader” was going on and on about the fact that sure, she didn’t really love eating air-popped Molly McButter-drenched popcorn-like-food, and that she’d rather have a bowl of popcorn tossed in real butter, but she needed to maintain goal weight. A light just went off in my fat-deprived head and I was like, holy fuck, what the fuck am I doing here talking about goal weight with 60 year old women who are trying to lose the last ten pounds? I don’t to be doing this and I don’t want Molly McButter either. Furthermore, carob can suck my dick. I want a fucking candy bar. I don’t want 50 candy bars, but fuck if I’m gonna eat a fruit-juice sweetened cookie-like product called a Frookie ™ again. I’m out.

And this is when my path takes a distinct turn in the fat girl road and I made straight for Attempting Body Acceptance Lane. Attenburg, on the other hand, took the fork in the road toward Salad Town, Population: Extreme Self Control. She lost the weight, she says, almost by accident. She had the good fortune to move into a cabin in the woods to write a book of short stories. As she poured more and more of herself into her work, she poured less and less bacon grease into her waffle batter. She was filling the hole, you guys.

She doesn’t own a scale, which I think is a good call in general, so she weighs herself at a caf√© (?) near her house.

I was at 156 with my clothes on but my shoes off, probably because I ate an entire personal pizza the night before because I found out a certain publication wasn’t going to review my book. (What is it about eating an entire thing, I wonder? Is there a sense of accomplishment? Or perhaps it’s that there’s nothing left behind to remind you of what you just did.)

AN ENTIRE PERSONAL PIZZA!? Get a rope! Maybe she ate the whole thing because she was hungry from chronic dieting, but I am only projecting from my own days down on old diet gulch. When I dieted, it went one of two ways, either something extreme like: cabbage soup, cabbage soup, cabbage soup, all the tears, entire pizza, box of donuts, repeat. Or, I’d take a more reasonable stance, and cut calories down by a decent amount ‚ÄĒ this would always last longer, until my body would eventually revolt from the calorie deficit and start by eyeing the cat food and would only stop when I’d eaten all the carbs in the house, replaced them, and then eaten them again. So, yeah, dieting didn’t really work for me ‚ÄĒ well, at least not in an enjoyable way for any period longer than a few years.

Attenberg and I were on similar trajectories, but we ended up at pretty different places. One is not better than the other, they’re just different.

“…I like being responsible to myself. I like taking care of me, as much as I love food. So here I am. Alive,” she writes.

That is fair, and I honestly feel the same way; I am here and Alive too. And I’m fat. And although she issues the disclaimer of, “I realize this is not how it works for everyone, but this is how it worked for me,” it pains me that she correlates her thinner weight with her happiness. It’s natural, but it breaks my heart a little, I’m not gonna lie. “Taking control” of your life when said in regard to weight shouldn’t be synonymous with losing pounds. At least, I really don’t want it to be, because that burden is not healthy. But in every article like Attenberg’s that I’ve ever read, the one where the woman who triumphs over her hunger and emerges a svelte butterfly from her cocoon of lard, there are always tons of comments like, “Congratulations!” and, “You’re an inspiration!” I’m like, really? An inspiration? I think the fact that she writes and publishes novels is a fucking inspiration, but her weight? Nope.

I don’t blame Attenberg for this, or at least I really actively try not to, but it does make me sad.

I went through a lot of my life dealing with the aftermath of chronic dieting and childhood teasing, and it’s those things that attempted to make me feel less than whole, less than human. It wasn’t some mysterious “hole” inside of me that I was trying to stuff with Cheetos, it was put there by a society that’s unrelenting when it comes to women’s bodies. And it wasn’t something that I ever tried to cram with snack packs; if anything, it was something that I tried to dig out and make thinner, make smaller, make gone.

We can’t reframe the way society thinks and feels about weight overnight; there will always be cheering when a fat woman (or probably any woman who doesn’t suffer from visible anorexia) loses weight. But we can fight damn hard for the right to be comfortable in and with our own bodies, even if it’s really, really fucking hard.

I’m not telling you not to care about your body and to let go and eat your house; I know it’s normal to care, it’s beaten into us to care, and honestly, it’s probably healthy to care about what you look like to a certain extent or we’d all walk around with toilet paper hanging out of our butt cracks and wearing polka dots in public when we’re not Minnie Mouse. I just want you to know that you can get to a place where you’re okay with you, and maybe for Attenberg that place involves restricting a part of her, and that’s okay, ya know, but I don’t want that.

I want to acknowledge that shit is fucked re: weight in our society, and I want to invite myself to opt out as much as I possibly can, and if that’s not always, I want to fight back. And most importantly, I want to leave my remaining brain cells open for thinking about the things that are really important to me, including loving my friends, family, and yes, delicious food.

I Can Paint! Sort Of

The first Thursday of each month my community hosts a Ladies Night, with drink specials, trunk shows, free bubbly and two-for-one deals. Last night I attended a 90-minute painting class led by the DC-based company,¬†ArtJamz. For a mere $25, I enjoyed a canvas, brushes, markers, sponges, paints, apron, “creative inspirers” who walked around with compliments and suggestions, and painting tips. Two (half-priced) glasses of Menage a Trois later, viola! My first acrylic painting! Now where to hang this beauty?

Image

Acknowledging Disappointment

Sometimes people are disappointing. Maybe we forgive them, or just ignore it and move on. But other times there’s no forgetting or giving a pass. Sometimes people are just awful. Warning: rant about to ensure.

I had 2 moments today of males being total [she pauses to find the most apt, descriptive word possible…] assholes. In both cases, the guys would say imbibing a fair amount of alcohol led to their actions. But ya know what? It’s not an excuse. It never was and never should be. Yes, you can drink until you don’t remember what you said or did, but you still chose to drink.

If you call a girl a foul name, don’t blame the alcohol. If your drunken antics result in pissing people off, it’s your choice to drink and you are responsible for your actions. You break shit? Pay for it. You ruin something? Replace it. You act like an idiot? Prepare to be ignored. You take a piss in public? Yeah, they ticket for that.

And if, god forbid, you move from drunk idiot into drunk ANGRY idiot, I have no sympathy. As an adult – aged 30 or 60 – this is not your first time enjoying libations. You know that phrase, “Know your limits.” Guess what? It doesn’t just apply to freshmen experimenting with alcohol. It applies to everyone, for life. Be an adult, for god’s sake, not a whiny toddler.

So the next time you, drunk man, decide to hit someone I care about just because you couldn’t hold your liquor or communicate your thoughts – look out. I own a chin up bar, and a hand gun.

DC Foodie Events List

D.C. has a ton of things going on all the time. The challenges I have when faced with limitless activities are to :1) find them, 2) remember them, and 3) afford them. Is a food-oriented bucket list called a trough? Here are some items on my DC list:

  • Volt Restaurant – Table 21 is an exclusive chef’s table with 21 courses for $121, alcohol pairings not included. This restaurant gained notoriety through Top Chef a few years ago. You get a take-home menu. Here’s a local suggestion on how to get¬†a reservation. ¬†
  • Pizzeria Paradiso – One of my favorite good vibe, great beer selections and just-right size food. They do a few beer pairing dinners a year, and damn it, I want to go! Looks like I just missed one¬†for $65 with Troeg’s brews at their Georgetown location. I like Dupont better anyway. ¬†
  • Cochon 555 – I just learned about this, and the 2012 event was held last weekend. Their motto: ‘5 Chefs, 5 Pigs, 5 Winemakers.’ All pig parts, prepared every way. Yeahh, but it’s also $125 per ticket for a four-hour event.
  • 100 Bowls of Compassion – This is the annual fundraising event for Miriam’s Kitchen, a group I’ve volunteered with off and on for several years. Through volunteering I’ve also gotten to work the event and access the 100 silent auction ‘bowls’ created by local artists, and the 5-star cuisine. Looks like it’s May 10, 2012, and tickets start at $275.
  • Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival – I’ve been invited to this at the National Harbor. I love all 3 of these items, and it falls over my birthday weekend, so I might just have to make it a priority. With tickets between $35¬†– $85, and opportunities to volunteer, this may work out nicely.¬†(Musings: lots of pork on this list. Hmmm…)
  • Brew¬†at the Zoo – Yep, pretty much like it sounds. The National Zoo hosts a beer sampling party, alongside the orangutans and prairie dogs. Scheduled for July 12, but no ticket prices listed yet. I like their holiday lights and their Boo at the Zoo activities too.
  • PX (Speakeasy) – I’ve heard rumor of this place, but haven’t yet talked with anyone who’s been. Who doesn’t want to get dolled¬†up and sip a specialty from a mixologist under the cover of a secret password? Thursday night I am going to the WW Club, which is supposed to be a speakeasy style club, for a special event. Tickets: $10. Now, what to wear?!
  • Cowgirl Creamery – Okay, so I don’t even care what I do there, but I love the concept and the products. Looks like they have tours at least.

I’m also a fan of¬†Free In DC – their website¬†consistently has a good mix of theatre, arts, talks, presentations, popular and¬†off the beaten¬†path ideas for free or almost free activities about town.

36 hours in Philly

I had the pleasure of spending last weekend with a dear friend in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. What did we do? Quite simply – we ate and talked. Talked and ate. Walked around, got pedicures, talked some more. A few dining recommendations next time you’re in that neck of the woods looking for some casual, friendly dining:

Dock Street Pub in West Philly

Dock Street Brewery¬†& Pub:¬†Fabulous pizza with just the right amount of squish to the crust that’s thin but not too crackery. We tried¬†their vegetarian pizza with red sauce. I’m a bit of a marinara¬†critic, but this one passed with flying colors. Turns out their pizzas are Zagat rated, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. I also tried a sampler of their brews, and my favorite ale was by far their¬†Prisoner of Hell at 8.8% ABV. I had 2, or was it 3?

La Columbe¬†Torrefaction: I love coffee. I need coffee. My friend prefers to start her day with water and tea, and holds the caffeine gods at bay. Fortunately we have the kind of relationship where I can say, “Kate, I will need to find coffee by 1pm. If not, things will get cranky – no¬†good.” She suggested that en route to brunch I pick up a cup of joe at La Columbe. Not gonna lie, when I asked what my options were for a black coffee, they blinked and said, “For here or to go?”¬†A bit disappointing with only one kind of coffee bean. But they’re in cahoots with Leonardo diCaprio, so¬†they can’t be¬†all bad.

Marathon mural

Marathon: Ha ha, no we didn’t run a marathon, the restaurant is¬†named Marathon. The food politics of the place are all about buying local, building relationships with local farmers, and serving what’s in season. We enjoyed a late lunch/early supper of fresh salads with an amazing lemon dressing while looking at the (local) art. The food tasted like spring. This was a chalk wall mural in the restaurant.

Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar. Of

barbuzzo’s ravioli

all the places we ate, this was the most luscious & decadent, mouth happiness-inducing spot. Do not be fooled into thinking this is low country cooking by the simple style and font¬†of the menu. We¬†feasted on¬†sheep’s milk ricotta over grilled country bread, casarecce¬†pasta with smoky mushrooms, a side of pan-seared brussel sprouts with pancetta and some other handmade pasta dish whose name escapes memory. Despite it being Saturday night, we were immediately seated at the kitchen counter to watch the staff in action. I admit that our pasta dishes were ordered based on watching them being cooked and served to others. Drool-inducing. Another reason to love this place? It’s one of 6 retail spots on 13th Street owned by Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran¬†– two women committed to revitalizing the area.The only downside, as Kate phrased it the next morning, “I feel like a piece of salted pork. I’m parched!” The food was fantastic, but they were heavy on the butter and salt.

Morning Glory Diner.Despite the general rule about a bad website = a bad experience, diners should be exempted. I don’t need Flash player; I want¬†want¬†S’More¬†waffles, frittatas

recipe for your own goat cheese-beet salad

the size of my head, banana-caramel stuffed French toast, 5 kinds of pork products and¬†bottomless coffee. Ta da! I understand they regularly deviate from their menu, and we benefited, indulging in goat cheese & roasted beet salad; a creamy spinach-artichoke-asparagus-goat cheese egg scramble; and mint iced tea. They bake giant ‘muffins’ on a cookie sheet and slice them up into crumbly goodness. I appreciate that the clients were diverse too: a group of nuns, two older ladies with curlers in their hair and bright red lipstick, a pack of frat boys, several hipsters with more tattoos than clothes, a mom and son. It was casual, friendly, filling and the food was packed with flavor.