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.

 

Staycation: Day Tripping in Winchester, VA

Winchester, Virginia is little over an hour from Washington, D.C. It is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Winchester has something for everyone. There are historic sites and museums, shopping along the Old Town pedestrian mall or just strolling the quaint streets and looking at the historic architecture around town.

After walking around, it was time for lunch. After all, this is a food blog. We walked to a great little barbecue place about 12 minutes from the town center called Bonnie Blue Southern Market and Bakery. It is a full service bakery and market that has seasonal produce, a variety of baked goods and large smokers out back serving up some delicious barbecue. Bonnie Blue Winchester VA storefront

Bonnie Blue menu
The menu has a wide variety of smoked meats and fishes. Most of the platters come with two sides.

I ordered the pulled pork platter, which came with two sides. I chose the collard greens and the fried apples, since we were in apple country. It came with a huge slice of grilled cornbread on the side. It was delicious! The greens were a bit spicy and I loved the way there was smoky, bits of meat in the greens. And the apples complimented the pork nicely. Sitting outside under one of the umbrella picnic tables was definitely one of those great summer pleasures. Bonnie Blue Barbecue Pull Pork Platter

On the way back to DC, we decided to stop at a vineyard for a nice glass of wine at one of Virginia’s wineries. We stopped at Bluemont Vineyard in Loudoun County off of Route 7. We drove up a steep and winding road. When we got to the top, we were amazed to see a stunning view of the valley below. It was well worth the trip. The vineyard is relaxing. It is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Virginia countryside and sip on some delicious wines.

Bluemont Vineyard
Stunning views from Bluemont Vineyard.

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Staycation: A Trip to Union Market, Washington, DC

If you can’t get away for a summer vacation, why not explore the city you live in as a tourist? Summer is the best time to get out and get to know your city. This past weekend, I headed to Union Market DC to check it out. Union Market is a year round indoor market which has multiple vendors under one roof. From butchers, cheese makers, bakeries, fresh produce, retailers and many food vendors.

exterior union market dc
Exterior of Union Market is sleek. Great outdoor space to sit and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Union Market is located near Gallaudet University right off New York Avenue. You can either take the metro’s red line to NoMa-Gallaudet U stop or you can drive. There is plenty of free parking in front of the market and on the street.

Interior Union Market
The interior of the market is lofty and has lots of tables to sit and enjoy some of the tasty food.

First stop was Buffalo and Bergen. This stand is inspired by the old soda shops. The counter was hopping with patrons at each stool. Brunch-lunch menu consisted of yummy choices of bagel sandwiches, egg creams, house-made sodas and knishes. I got this cheddar and bacon knish. I had them “turnpike it up”, which meant the knish was served with melted butter, garlic and parsley and a side of sour cream. I suggest you order your knish this way. It takes it to another level.  I headed back later to get a few of their knishes to go for the next day.

Next stop on the food adventure was DC Empanadas, which also has a food truck. From the choices that were available, I chose the Bronx Bomber empanada: italian sausage, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. Delicious and fried up when ordered so it was nice and hot. I also picked up some Cheerwine black cherry soda to compliment the tasty pocket!

The Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., is a pop-up artisan at the market. They feature their flaky, yummy, biscuits as a feature sandwich or they can be enjoyed on its own. I had one of the hot, buttery biscuit with two side spreads of apple and strawberry. I hope that they become a permanent booth at the market. Their biscuits are out of this world!

I kept eyeing Righteous Cheese and their “fancy” grilled cheese. On this day, they featured a manchego, roasted tomatoes on crispy sourdough bread. Served with a side of cornichon pickles. Great flavor combo! Righteous has a nice selection of cheeses. Pick a few of their cheeses to take home with you and enjoy with a nice glass of wine.

On to dessert. I walked by Panorama Bakery earlier and was drawn in by the case full of wonderful baked items. Huge macaroons, cakes and cream filled pastries. The Saint Honoré pastry is what I ended up ordering. This puff pastry was piped with sweet, heavenly cream and had three little cream puffs on top. Saint Honoré is the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs so maybe it was divine intervention that made me pick it.

Make plans and enjoy the food feast at Union Market. There are many other delicious food vendors that I am going to have to try on my next visit. Check out Union Market’s list of vendors on their website before you head over there and go on an empty stomach!