WHAT TO DRINK TONIGHT?

20150323-cocktails-vicky-wasik-Brooklyn-thumb-625xauto-421619Faced with a bottle of bourbon, bitters, and a boyfriend who purchased the wrong kind of Vermouth, what did I do?

Found The Brooklyn: a Manhattan with dry instead of sweet vermouth. Because it was a bit, well, tart, we added a dash of agave (hipsters that we are) to the Manhattan’s sultry artisanal sibling. I’m still very partial to a Manhattan, but, as I always say, Manhattan is the new Brooklyn.

*Image by Vicky Wasik

 

2 Amy’s

If you’re any self (and stomach) respecting DC resident, chances are you’ve already been to 2 Amy’s pizza in Cathedral Heights. I, as a new DC resident, had not been yet, and a balmy May evening after a long day of work seemed like the ideal opportunity. We sat outside, ordered a tumbler of wine each, and feasted.

I was dying to try the clam pizza, but sadly there were no more clams to be had. So, of course, I went for the mini-meatball adorned “Abruzzese” pie, and we ordered the “Puttanesca” as well, an appropriately piquant creation with broccoli rabe, anchovy, hot peppers, and small melting mounds of fresh mozzarella.

There is good pizza in DC! (Said like a total douchey ex-New Yorker) And at 2 Amy’s, it’s been recognized as DOC status, aka, the Neapolitans consider these pies real legit.

2 Amy’s Pizzeria
3715 Macomb St NW
(202) 885-5700

*excuse the highly sub par iPhone photos, although I think they still show how absolutely scrumptious the pies were.

What to Order at Doi Moi

DC friends and visitors: have you been to Doi Moi yet? If not, go there immediately, if yes, go there immediately.

I’ve now been twice and am nothing short of obsessed with this South East Asian joint in Logan Circle. The inside looks like a restaurant and a Mac store had a lovechild—think all white errythang, with some artful orchids and a wide-open kitchen.

What To Order:
Khao Soi (curried noodle dish)
Papaya Salad (go on, be a basic B and enjoy it)
Whole Fried Fish (don’t miss!)
Sticky Rice with Mango
Lemongrass Soft Serve (see below)

*all photos courtesy of Doi Moi

1800 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
202.733.5131

Road Trippin’ (Food Trippin’)

As usual, I was on the road again. Although now, I’m long term installed in DC (I moved!), and starting some more regular, scheduled employment (more on that to come.)
Last week, Quentin and I hit the road, picking up his car in Tampa and forging North. Since we’re all about exploring, and I haven’t visited nearly enough of the South (or the West, or Midwest, for that matter), we made a trip out of it.
From Tampa we headed North East to Jacksonville, and spent the night there. We didn’t get to see much of “Jax” but I did manage to locate Brew, a delightfully hipster coffee shop to fuel the next morning before our drive to Savannah.

At Brew (which also serves beer!), I went with the tasty (albeit sweet) vanilla cold brew and a jalapeño-cheddar-sausage kolache (soft roll) l with an egg tucked safely within.

(Clearly starting things off light down South.)

In typical One Hungry Pickle style, I commandeered the drive, so it was from one food location (Brew), to another–a legendary Savannah breakfast spot: Narobia’s Grits & Gravy. We were very excited to eat here–when researching breakfast spots for an upcoming cookbook, I came across Narobia’s and had been eager to try the country cooking that Savannians (Savannites?) spoke so highly of. It’s a really downhome place–no frills to speak of, but just honest, rib stickin’ Southern cooking and lovely service. I went for the smothered shrimp and grits with a side of eggs (and sweet tea of course), while Quentin opted for the smothered crab. The velvety, slightly briny sauce that coated the shrimp was comforting and savory, without overpowering the fresh, sweet seafood. If you’re ever in Savannah, don’t miss Narobia’s.

So, we didn’t do much significant eating (or eating in general, for that matter) after Narobia’s, but Savannah is so glorious I couldn’t resist a couple of pictures. I will say, though, that the sandwiches at Savannah’s Goose Feathers Cafe are really very good and worthy of a casual lunch. (No pics, I’m afraid, but don’t miss the lemonade!) Next Stop: Charleston! I’ve wanted to visit Charleston for a very long time, so I jumped on the opportunity to drive through and spend a couple of nights in this quaint South Carolina city. Once before, in New York, I’d eaten the food of Charleston’s star chef Sean Brock, and was eager to try as much of his cooking as I could– on his home turf. Brock is known as one of the biggest champions of Southern cuisine, and I crammed in two of his restaurants (in two days!) on our trip. On our first night, we had dinner at McCrady’s, his upscale haute dining restaurant, where we dove right in with the tasting menu.

SONY DSCMcCrady’s has a fascinatingly old history: it was originally opened in 1778 as a tavern by one Edward McCrady (more on the history here.) In honor of the restaurant’s roots as a watering hole, we started off with cocktails, of course. We both went for whiskey-based dranks, and both were delightful.SONY DSC

One of our absolute favorite tastes was this “snack”, a benne seed wafer with flavored popcorn on top. The flavor was so umami, and Brock’s use of benne seed wafers, a classic in Charleston, with the seed originating in Africa and brought over by slaves, felt very innovative. Also, you can’t beat this presentation:SONY DSCThe other taste I can’t get out of my mind? This hidden dome of blue crab encased in a  nest of cucumber topped with green almonds. Wow. SONY DSC

McCrady’s was a truly fabulous sensory experience, and one I’ll surely remember for a long time. We spent the next afternoon strolling around the historic district of Charleston, and I was completely taken with the enchanting multi-colored houses, perfectly maintained gardens, and magical side streets.SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC The city has so much history, both good and bad, so we visited the Exchange Museum and also the Old Slave Mart Museum (a must-see) to better understand our surroundings.

SONY DSCSONY DSCWhile McCrady’s was clearly a wonderfully decadent treat, I’ve been more into laid back dining lately, both for financial and general mood reasons.

Lunch at Husk in this amazing house (pictured below) was by no means a steal in terms of price, but perfectly laid back and absolutely scrumptious it was.IMG_9240 Combining pork rinds, pimento cheese, fried chicken, and peanut butter pie in one meal was a daring cardiovascular decision, but, when in the South…!SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

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A couple of other spots we enjoyed in Charleston:

The Belmont (cocktail bar)
Christian Michi (women’s clothing)
Bakehouse Bakery

And thus, our road trip concluded, and we trundled back to DC with gout developing and Southern charm in our hearts.

Contact Info:

Brew
1024 Park Street
Jacksonville, FL
904.374.5789

Narobia’s Grits and Gravy
2019 Habersham St, Savannah, GA
912.231.0563

Goose Feather’s Cafe
39 Barnard St. Savannah, GA
912.233.4683

McCrady’s
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC
843.577.0025

Husk
76 Queen St.
Charleston, SC
843.577.2500