Food scene in October in Southern Maryland!

When that Indian summer weather hits NOVA, it’s time to head down to Southern Maryland! Now that I’ve lived in the area for about 5 years, I do have favorite events to attend. Here are two fun food-related events in Southern Maryland that you can take your loved ones to.

<U.S. Oyster Festival / National Oyster Shucking Championships>

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  • When: 3rd weekend of October (Saturday: 10am-6pm / Sunday: 11am-6pm)
  • Where: St. Mary’s County Fair (42455 Fairgrounds Rd, Leonardtown, MD 20650)
  • Admission: $7/person (kids under 12 are free), food is pay as you eat
  • Website: http://usoysterfest.com/

I was introduced to this awesome oyster festival thanks to a couple of friends last year. This year, they celebrated their 50th anniversary! Everything you can think of (when it comes to oysters) is there: raw oysters, fried oysters, grilled oysters, steamed oysters, oyster po’boys, oyster tacos, oyster stew… You name it. A dozen of raw oysters were $18, FYI.

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There is a barn where the oyster cook-off takes place. Sit there and watch the chefs show off their skills. You may get lucky enough to sample their final products if the timing’s right. I got to taste the oyster Benedict and this amazinglicious soup at the end!

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When you see the King Oyster greeting people, you know it’s time for the oyster shucking championship rounds!

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Go get those freshly-made mini donuts with extra strawberry icing on the side and watch the experts compete! By the way, it truly IS a national championship. The winner of this national round complete in the international oyster shucking championship!

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You don’t do oysters or you are scared of eating raw food? Don’t worry. They have other food options including  the stuffed ham sandwich or fried Oreos!

The bottomless soda guy is amazing too! You get a mug and you can fill it all day long.

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Mark it on your calendar for 2017 and drive down to Southern Maryland with the whole family!

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<Harvest Taste of Solomons>

  • When: 11am-4pm on a Saturday in October (This year, it was on October 22, 2016.)
  • Where: Solomons Island
  • Admission: no admission; $4 ticket gets you a food or drink sample at a participating restaurant
  • Website: they need one!

My father-in-law came down from Upstate New York to visit us and we needed a last-minute entertainment option. I googled local food festivals for the weekend and ta-da! This small yet fun food festival popped up. We drove back down to Southern Maryland.

As you can see in the map, most restaurants are gathered in the southern part of the island. You can park the car in the parking lot there and hit the restaurants one by one. We didn’t buy any tickets in advance but paid as we went.

KakaoTalk_20161030_174644131.jpgCrabby tater tots topped with crab dip at the Lighthouse Restaurant & Dock Bar

kakaotalk_20161030_174645355“Half & half” soup: Maryland crab soup + cream of crab in a bowl at the Lighthouse Restaurant & Dock Bar

KakaoTalk_20161030_174649348.jpgSmoked spare ribs at Grill Sergeant

kakaotalk_20161030_174650688Oyster Rockefeller at the Charles Street Brasserie

KakaoTalk_20161030_174651913.jpgBacon wrapped dates at the Charles Street Brasserie

kakaotalk_20161030_174653241Seafood platter at Captain Smith’s

Some of the drinks looked delish too! Wished I was more of a drinker. Oh well, I get to drive drunk people back home.

So, if you are itching for some delicious day trip in October, head down south and go to town! Happy Fall! Happy Halloween!

Rose’s Luxury – the hype, expectations & satisfaction!

The phrase “the best restaurant in DC” usually triggers my sarcasm. Rose’s Luxury had been on my radar for a while but I wasn’t in a hurry. If it’s that good, it will stick around for years, right? 😉

Then, a friend of mine recently has decided to move to San Diego. The farewell meal of her choice was……..! Yes, Rose’s Luxury! So it happened tonight!

Rose’s Luxury: 717 8th Street SE, Washington, DC, 20003 | (202)580-8889

 The restaurant opens at 5pm. By the time she got there (at 4ish), the line was already this long. But don’t let that intimidate you! More than half of the people are there in line to reserve a spot for a later time. We got seated as soon as the door opened even though there were 50+ other people ahead of us!

  The whole staff and servers greeted us with big smiles. The moment we walked in, we felt at home. 

 Like many other restaurants in DC, the space is rather tight. However, every table has this little secret place for your drink menu (or whatever) you might wanna hold on to all night! It’s a nice touch. 

So, the food. 

  Potato brioche and butter with crispy onion bits and chives. I normally don’t fill up with dinner rolls. Man, this bread was from another world! It was nice and warm. We just killed this soft, delicious loaf in 2 seconds. I almost wanted to ask for another one to eat and another to go but I decided to behave myself….. THIS TIME. 

  Their signature dish: pork sausage, habanero, peanuts and lychee salad. We didn’t know what to expect when we ordered this dish. My friend is a pescaterian so she ordered the vegetarian version with veggie sausages. The saltiness from the sausages, the sweetness from lychee, the tangy flavor from the dressing, the spiciness from red onions, the aroma from the herbs plus peanuts and thin, toasted garlic! All those flavors were nicely put tougher without clashing with each other. Surprisingly, I actually LOVED the vegetarian version as well. It was milder. If you are not a big fan of strong herby tastes (of sausages), the vegetarian version will give you the ultimate satisfaction!

  Charred carrots with harrisa, housemade yogurt and pearl onions. The combination of the yogurt and the spicy red sauce went really well with charred veggies. Gosh, I love pearl onions! Btw, every time I say onions, I can’t stop hearing Mr. Raftery in my head haha. #NCAA #MarchMadness 😁🏀

  
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…. Spaghetti with spring pistou, jalapeño and blue crab. Even if you are terrified with anything green, you should try this dish. Their pasta is supposed to be really well made. The noodles were cooked perfectly. The sauce was seasoned just right. There was a good amount of crab meat. We kept saying that we could eat this all day every day. We were only half joking. 

  AND when we thought we were done, this special dish (on the house!) came out for no reason. What a nice surprise! White rice with risotto-like texture topped with seasoned beans! Not sure how they made this rice so creamy without using any cream or milk! Or did they..?! 😛 I loved the perfect harmony of saltiness and sweetness!
  No meal ends without desserts! Warm chocolate mousse, toasted brioche and rose ice cream. Yes, pure foodgasm it was. 
  Then, a more classic choice. Rhubarb tart, strawberries and black pepper whipped cream. When we thought that we were done eating, we had a little taste of this tart. Like we hadn’t been eating, we started to stuff our faces again. I think, at one point, the two couples next to us kind of looked at us with judging eyes. Lol
I’ve read reviews about this place. Some aren’t nice. The wait is too long. The portions are small. It’s expensive. They don’t take reservations. And all of these are somewhat true. Some super duper famous restaurants have let me down for sure. However, to me, it was well worth it. The hype met my expectations today. 

The menu is simple. They give you familiar food choices; yet, they mix and match flavors that we are used to and give you a little surprise on your palate. 

  

I wouldn’t come here every day but it’s definitely a destination. I even asked them about private dining options! 

Farewell to my good friend, C!! Hope she finds all the good restaurants in San Diego by the time I visit her! Can’t wait!

Happy weekend!

Christmas 2015 in New York!

This Christmas weekend has been so amazinglicious! It’s always great to have an awesome cook or two in your family. Between going out to some cool restaurants in upstate New York and Jo’s unbelievable cooking talent, I’m still in food coma. I’m really amazed how someone can cook everything so perfectly all from scratch! Jealous!

Here’s a little footage of my scrumptious weekend!  

    
     

    
    
    
    
   
   
This was my first year to go up to NY on a train too. The train station in Alexandria is conveniently located. Train ride took about 7-8 hours, which would’ve been the same if we had driven. However, by riding the train, we didn’t need to worry about the weather, traffic, etc. 

It was really good to see everyone and spend some quality time together. However, it’s also great to snuggle with my kitties while having some ramen noodles back home.   

 

Merry belated Christmas and a happy new year! ❤️

Delicious NYC!

Oh boy. Last weekend, we went up to NYC to get a couple of things done and, of course, we tried to eat as many meals as possible in a very limited time frame. 😉 Here are things we ate.

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1. Momofuku Noodle Bar – We had ramen noodles. I’ve become obsessed with finding GREAT ramen noodles. One thing is that I think I ate ramen noodles that were TOO good. That was in Osaka and I tend to compare every bowl to that one, which is not fair. Momofuku ramen noodles were good but they were not mind blowing. They do have some interesting dishes I want to try next time, though.

2. Levain Bakery – While standing in a mile long line, I felt like I became one of those tourists lined up in front of Georgetown Cupcake. Haha. This bakery has baseball size cookies. Was it worth the 15 minute wait? I say yes. Cookies were nice and crispy outside but super duper moist and soft inside. The peanut butter kind wasn’t from the best batch but overall it was a very satisfying experience.

3. Gato – Another restaurant of Bobby Flay’s. We were there for some cocktails so did not get to taste their food. However, people seemed to be happy with their food and the menu looked simple yet interesting. Maybe I’ll go back for the whole dining experience. 🙂 (Side note: are New Yorkers better looking than Washingtonians?? Sitting there watching people, I thought everyone was so pretty and handsome. Too much Riesling, maybe?)

4. Pepe Giallo – I personally liked this place a lot. It’s very small but nice and cozy. They seemed to have a terrace area where you can sit outside when weather is nice. I had spicy seafood pasta. I LOVE SPICY FOOD so I did not have any problem with the heat but apparently it wasn’t supposed to be THAT spicy. Overall, the restaurant owner (who I think is from Italy) was very attentive about it. It’s a great restaurant for a date I think. The best part? The price! They have 7 dollar pasta dishes. Unbelievable. No one can beat that!

5. 72nd Street Bagel – It’s just a small bagel place in the neighborhood recommended by our cousin. They make their bagel on site. LOX! Yup. Can’t miss that. Here’s my secret though. New York bagels are good but my favorite was the ones in Montreal!! Shhhhhhh

Next time I go up to NYC, where should I go? Suggestions?! 😉

Taste of Georgetown 2014

I randomly found out about this event and had no expectations. It turned out to be awesome!

Each “taste” was 5 dollars or a bundle of 5 plates was 20 bucks. Of course, we bought a few of those bundles 😉 Portions were bigger than we thought and the vibe we got there was great.

I’m not gonna say much about it this year until I go back in 2015 but I do want to share some pictures of the foods! It was such a delicious afternoon!!

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Official website : Taste of Georgetown

How to gain 10 lbs in 3 days: go to Pittsburgh!

Never did I know that Pittsburgh was such a food city! We were expecting lot of sports and history but Pittsburgh wowed us beyond that, BIG TIME.

A few things:
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Palm Springs! Another tasteful vacation!

Killing two birds with a stone! We participated in the Certified Angus Beef® (aka CAB) conference and made a vacation out of it. It goes without saying that the meals were phenomenal. 🙂

They were very creative and inspiring in preparing all the dishes. I had never seen a cotton candy wrapped beef bites until this trip! So, here’s the footage of all the delicious dishes.

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We were given great dishes every night at the venue but there’s one restaurant that I think everyone should check out when in Palm Springs. Le Vallauris! They proudly serve French cuisine and the dining experience there is beyond your imagination. They even give you different color napkins that match your dress! Besides, the whole restaurant is just so beautiful. I strongly recommend sitting out in the patio. Absolutely gorgeous!

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Montreal & Quebec City

6 days in Montreal and Quebec City. How did I like it? I enjoyed every single bite of it! And that includes Tim Hortons! 20130827-162602.jpg

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One great thing that we did was using Airbnb. You basically rent out someone’s apartment or room by the day. This makes perfect sense, especially price wise, when you need two hotel rooms. The one we stayed at in Montreal was much better than my own apartment! I definitely recommend it.

What food was the best? It’s really hard to say. I never had a bad meal on this trip. However, if I have to pick only one, I’m gonna go for bagels. This awesome bagel place was right downstairs from our Airbnb apartment. Montreal bagels are very different. There’s no bottom! Both sides look the same and they are cooked as seen in the picture below. 20130826-171824.jpg20130826-171649.jpg

So here we go. Food pictures 😉20130826-171728.jpg

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20130826-171806.jpgAnother thing that I can’t forget about! Poutine! It was just so dramatic. 🙂 Fries with gravy, cheese and other toppings of your choice! It sounds kinda heartattacky but you know what? When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Montreal, eat poutine! 😉
Yup! These are “some”, not all, of what we ate for 5 days. Montreal and Quebec City are great places to visit in many aspects. However, wherever I go, food comes first! Everything else (attractions, tours, excursions, history, etc) is just what happens between meals. 😉 Now I look at all the pictures, I want to go back!

If you need names of restaurants or the locations, please do ask me by commenting here or tweeting! Bon appetit!

Baseball game, it’s more than just a ball game!

I am a big baseball fan. I really enjoy sitting at the ball park and watching games itself. I don’t mind a 7 hour doubleheader when it’s 96 degrees outside. But without food, it wouldn’t be as fun! Today, we watched a Nats game at a suite! To be honest, ball park food ain’t the world’s best quality food but it’s the atmosphere and the people who you are with!

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Hope everyone’s having a good Memorial Day weekend! ❤

Hello, San Francisco!

Out trip to SF was short but sweet! Lots of baseball and lots of food!

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There’s nothing better than Samgyeopsal after three straight days of baseball! That was our “last supper” in San Fran. SF has so much to offer. Can’t wait to go back. 🙂

What was the best thing from this trip? I met lots of baseball players in person such as Rodney from Tampa and Kevin Millar who used to play for Boston. However, to me, the most awesome thing was that I met Chan Ho Park, who used to play for the Dodgers! He’s a baseball legend in Korea! I am so excited to hang this picture with his autograph in my husband’s favorite room aka “sports room” 😉

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