Acai Bowls, South Block, Various Locations, Washington, DC

Acai Berry Bowls, South Block

I love food. That is one reason I started my food blog. But, eating all these great dishes, I have to work hard to keep my weight down. I work out, but not as often as I should. And I try to eat good most of the time.

So when I found out about the Acai Bowls at South Block, I was thrilled! I was so glad to find a place that I could eat something healthy and tasted good.

Acai is a superfood which comes from Brazil. It has many health benefits. South Block blends the berries with ice until it is the consistency of a slushy. Then they add different toppings. I had the Warrior Bowl (bottom) which starts off  with the acai berries blended with bananas, strawberries and pineapple juice. It is topped off with crunchy granola, fresh sliced fruit of strawberries, banana and plump blueberries. The other bowl we tried was the PBJ Bowl (top). The acai berries are blended with peanut butter, bananas, blueberries and almond milk. It is topped with granola, blueberries and bananas. Both were delicious! After eating them, I felt full for hours and had a lot of energy.

South Block also does smoothies of acai, greens and protein. They also sell their signature cold press juices.

Now I can get through my workouts and know that my reward is something from South Block. Head to one of their locations and try one. You will become a fan too!

Staycation: Day Trip to Red Truck Bakery and Virginia Wineries

One of my favorite getaways from Washington, D.C. is to head to a winery. Virginia has so many to choose from since it is the fifth largest producer of wine in the country. A trip to a winery is a great way to enjoy the weather and the beautiful views of the Virginia countryside.

This is one of my favorite trips.

First stop, head out to Marshall, Virginia and stop at Red Truck Bakery. They have the best pastries, pies and cakes. I like to grab a coffee and a pastry and sit at the window and watch the slower pace of a small town.

Red_Truck_Bakery
Red Truck Bakery, Marshall, VA

Red Truck Bakery has some delicious sandwiches to take with you so you can enjoy one of two wineries down the road.

The first winery is Barrel Oak Winery. It has a very casual vibe. Beautiful views and lots of places to sit and hang out. They have some wonderful wines and you are bound to pick one from their tasting menu.

Barrel_Oak_Winery_signs
Barrel Oak Winery, Delaplane, VA

My second favorite winery is Blue Valley Winery. They views are spectacular! The wines are delicious. You can do either a white or red tasting. Weekends they have live music to chill and unwind.

Blue Valley Winery
Blue Valley Winery, Delaplane, VA
Blue Valley Winery view
Spectacular views from Blue Valley Winery.

Make this a getaway anytime of the year. You will walk away relaxed.

 

RequinDC Pop-Up, Mosaic District, Merrifield, VA

Recently, some friends and I went to RequinDC‘s Pop-up, located in the Mosaic District in Merrifield, VA. The restaurant is run by former Top Chef alumni, Jen Carroll and is in partnership with Mike Isabella’s Concepts. I am so glad that Chef Carroll has come to Washington, D.C. to show off her amazing talents.

The evening did not disappointed. The food which is French Mediterranean-inspired was amazing!

Veggie Platter

We started out with the Veggie Platter. A wonderful array of vegetables which included: Celery Root “Pastrami”; very smoky and savory, Eggplant Tomato Ratatouille; rich and flavorful, Curried Cucumber; presented like “noodles” complimented with a curry sauce and Blistered Shishito Peppers, which were charred and smoky.

RequinDC Veggie Platter

Roasted Root Vegetables Salad

The endives, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette complimented the three kinds of beets.

RequinDC Roasted Root Vegetable Salad
Legume Salad

The tangy, mustard vinaigrette enhanced the watercress greens and is served with warm, cannellini beans, crunchy, haricot verts and pieces of croutons.

RequinDC Legume Salad
Kabocha Squash

How can you go wrong with anything in a puff pastry? The pastry is layered with this sweet, winter squash and topped with the earthiness of hen of the woods mushrooms. This was my favorite. I could of eaten it by myself!

RequinDC Kaboucha Squash
Braised Pork Shank

The braised pork was moist and fell off the bone. The waiter poured the pork jus all over the dish at the table and was delicious with the creamy, squash risotto and pickled carrots.

RequinDC Braised Pork Shank
Desserts

You need to save room for dessert or at least share with your dinner companions.  The chocolate soufflé is served with hazelnut ice cream. Take the pieces of praline and dump it on the soufflé which make each bite that much more decadent.

RequinDC Chocolate Soufflé

The profiteroles are drizzled with warm scotch caramel, crunchy pistachios, candied kumquats and yummy brown butter ice cream.

RequinDC Profiterole

The spongy pumpkin spice cake is super-moist and served with yogurt ice cream. I especially like the pieces of sweetened roasted pumpkin that is sprinkled on the dish.

RequinDC Pumpkin Cake

Requin is in Mosaic only until April before it moves to its permanent home at the new Wharf development on D.C.’s Waterfront in 2017. Do yourself a favor: don’t wait that long. My advice, Go, now! You will be treated to a worth while dining experience!

My Favorite Bites of 2015

Next Great Bite Best Bites of 2015As 2015 comes to a close, it is a time to take a look back on the year. Here is a list of my favorite bites. They include bites from the Washington, D.C. area. But I have also included some of my favorite bites from my travels this year.

Dining in the Washington, D.C. Area 

Aeroperto
China Chilcano, Washington, D.C.

ChinaChilcano

This fried rice dish and egg noodles has seasonal vegetables, soy sprouts and chicken. It is topped with crispy, thinly-sliced, sweet potatoes. Adds a nice crunch to this savory dish. Delish!

Maryland Blue Crab Roll
Barrel & Bushel, Tysons, VA

BarrelandBushel

This is the most amazing crab roll I have ever had. Big pieces of crab poached in butter served with a touch of mayo on a brioche roll. I got mine with this fresh, side B&B salad that has tender lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, farmers cheese and dressed with lemon and olive oil. A great compliment to this amazing sandwich. Worth getting!

Knish “Turnpike” Style
Buffalo & Bergen, Washington, D.C.

Cheddar and Bacon Knish Buffalo Bergen

Delicately wrapped potato-cheddar and bacon knish in pastry. Getting the knish “turnpike” brings it to a whole new level. Drizzled with melted butter and topped with minced garlic and parsley. It comes with a side of sour cream and chives.

Thai Curry Puff
Bangkok 54, Arlington, VA

Bangkok54

This savory appetizer is filled with potatoes and it is seasoned with curry and asian herbs and covered with flaky, puff pastry dough.  It is complimented with a cucumber and red onion relish sauce.

Fontina Focaccia Bruschetta
Ozzie’s Corner, Fairfax VA

Bruschetta Ozzie Corner

The focaccia is split in half and is fillled with sharp fontina cheese. They grill it until it is crispy and golden brown. Topped with fresh plum tomatoes and mozzarella. Then, it is drizzled with sweet, syrupy balsamic vinegar. It comes to the table with the cheese oozing out of the sides. I call it a “grown up’s” grilled cheese.

Gocua
Ser, Arlington, VA

SER

Served cold, this layered dessert has strawberries, cream, sponge cake, custard. Delicious! The presentation is just beautiful!

Poppyseed Ricotta Fritters
Vermillion, Alexandria, VA

Vermillion

These fluffy fritters are served with blueberry jam, vanilla bean mascarpone and whipped cream ice cream.

Outside of the D.C. Area

Fried Green Tomato BLT
Yardbird, Las Vegas, NV

Fried Green Tomato BLT

These fried green tomatoes are topped with smoked pork belly, tomato jam, pimento cheese and crispy, frisee. It is like having the best of the south all in one bite.

Tricolor Salad
Giada’s, Las Vegas, NV

Tricolore Salad

This salad is served with crispy prosciutto, gorgonzola, dates, walnuts and a trio of greens which included kale, endive and radicchio. This salad sets up the rest of a delicious meal.

Grilled Artichokes
Lupo Italian Kitchen, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Lupo

This is my favorite restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. This appetizer is worth ordering. The grilled artichokes are seasoned with sea salt, lemons, capers, herbs and olive oil. After you finish the artichokes, the leftover oil is delicious to dip your warm, italian bread that is served with your meal.

Happy New Years! Hope 2016 brings some delicious dining experiences. Thank you for following my blog. Make sure you check out my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google profiles.

Foodie Travel: Dining in Vegas, Middle of The Strip

Recently, I took a trip to Las Vegas for business. In Vegas, you can always find any kind of food you want, no matter what you are craving. With some of the best restaurants and celebrity chefs from around the country; there are so many choices.

Here are some of my favorite bites:

Bouchon-The Venetian Las Vegas

Bouchon, in the Venetian, is one of my favorites. You can always get a great meal. There are so many scrumptious items to choose from their mouth-watering menu. Very casual and great service. Meals start with french bread from the Bouchon Bakery and warm pistachios. The Boudin Blanc, a white sausage, with potato purée and dried french plums to go with each bite of the sausage, was delicious.

Spago-Forum Shops at Caesars Palace

I still love going to Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace year after year. It is the most quiet of all the restaurants that I went to, which makes for a nice meal to getaway from the excitement and energy of Vegas. Service was exceptional. And the menu highlighted fall items.  Save room for their desserts. The Dark Chocolate Soufflé was worth ordering and takes time to make. Each bite was so decadent.

Yardbird-The Venetian Las Vegas

Yardbird was a fun place to try. Very lively. The menu features southern cuisine. We ordered a lot of different items to get a sampling and it was perfect for a late night bite. The Fried Green Tomato BLT was with smoked pork belly, tomato jam, pimento cheese and crispy frisee. It was having the best of the south all in one bite. Deviled Eggs were tangy and creamy and topped with smoked trout roe. The Warm Farmer’s Cheese & Watermelon was a refreshing bite. And the charred Heirloom Tomatoes with creamy, fresh ricotta cheese, sea salt and chili oil was delicious and a tasty combination.

Giada-The Cromwell Las Vegas

Giada is the hot spot restaurant on the strip. Nice view of the Bellagio fountains. And when the restaurant opens their windows, it is a great way to enjoy Vegas views above the bustle of traffic and pedestrians. The antipasti side of the menu gives you lots of options to share. My favorites were the Chicken Marsala Meatballs served with bright red cherry tomatoes and savory sauce of roasted wild mushrooms. Tasty. Gilda’s Caprese salad with creamy, buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and syrupy, dark, vincatto reduction. And the highlight, the Tricolor Salad with prosciutto, gorgonzola, dates, walnuts and a trio of greens which included kale, endive and radicchio. Yum!

The Creperie-Paris Las Vegas Hotel

I confess. Crepes are my guilty pleasure. The Paris Hotel‘s La Creperie has the best crepes this side of the Atlantic. A great late night bite if you want something simple, fast and true comfort food. The crepes are light and fluffy. We ordered these two crepes, one savory and one sweet. The ham and gruyère cheese crepe was covered with creamy béchamel sauce and sprinkled with micro-greens. The sweet crepe of nutella had banana, caramel sauce, chantilly cream and covered with candied hazelnuts. Just heavenly.

Just goes to show you, you can get anything you want to eat in Vegas.