Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crepes Away!!

It sounds like something a group of foodie superheros might say.  But actually it's Crepeaway, a cool little fast-foody type restaurant in DC (of course) that specializes in making crepes. They have savory crepes and sweet crepes and every single one of them looks so yumma yumma!
Located in DC on 20th & L Streets

Hubby and I went to church Sunday night and afterwards we were yearning for a snack. So we thought, "we don't have real jobs where we have to get up early the next morning, especially on Presidents Day. Let's drive to DC at 10:00 at night and get some crepes!"  And thats exactly what we did!
making the crepes

cool mural on wall

Most of the crepes have people names, like Mikey or Casey or Antonio.  There was one even named Obama. Hubby ordered the Caesar.  Grilled chicken with melted cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and a Caesar dressing. Deliciously savory and hot!
yummy chicken and cheese

I ordered the Toto.  Warm melted nutella chocolate with sliced strawberries. Awesome!
check out those strawberries and chocolate

We so wanted to order another one! But each one was pretty good size and pretty filling.  But if we ever get the chance to go back here's a few others we'd like to try...

*New Yorker...cheese, proscuitto, capocollo, sopressata, tomotoes
*Dino...cheese, bacon, egg-over-easy, smoked ham, tomatoes
*Mikey...cheese, grilled chicken, jalepenos, black beans, tomatoes, chipotle sauce
*Simba...peanut butter, chocolate chips
*Rusty...melted butter, cinnamon sugar
*Carlyn...nutella chocolate, marshmellows, oreo cookies
cute...crepe in a cup!

Take me away to Crepeaway!! Get your crepe on!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Food Trucks in Farragut Square

To continue our food truck adventure from yesterday...after we left the Lobster Pound, we metroed over to Farragut Square.  When we arrived, the entire square was packed with people and there were about 6 different food trucks all lined up already with lines some 20-30 people deep.

The food trucks we saw there were these...
CapMac  (specialty-mac n cheese)

Sauca (specialty-global cuisine)

Sweetbites (specialty-cupcakes, cookies, muffins, etc.)

Meathead Mobile Eatery (specialty-meat...see more below)

El Floridano (specialty-global sandwiches...see more below)

SweetGreen  (specialty-salads and frozen yogurt, all organic...see more below)

Hubby and I decided to split up to maximize our food truck tastings, especially since the lines were kinda long and most trucks only serve til about 2, unless they run out of food beforehand.  Hubby stood in line at El Floridano and ordered the Chicken Chiang Mai sandwich.  Kaffir lime chicken on an Italian style hoagie roll topped with charred tomato salsa, avocado spread, pickled onions, and baby arugula. The taste was so light and fresh. The chicken was perfectly grilled and juicy.  The freshness of the lime and the veggies made the perfect compliment to the chicken. Their whole menu only consisted of 3 sandwiches and 2 soups.  All very unique. I guess you don't need a large menu when those few items are the best you got. And our chicken sandwich was great.

I stood in line at the Meathead Mobile Eatery.  It was kinda funny because I kept seeing this huge group of people near this truck and I thought they were in line. But they were just standing around.  And then I was told, there wasn't really  a line for ordering.  You just walk up to the truck and order! But then you wait, with a ticket and listen for your number to be called. So thats what all these people are standing around for! When I finally figured this out, the guy at the window called out number 124.  I looked down at my ticket...157. Ugh.

However, the numbers were being called fairly quickly and before long, he was calling out he got closer to my number the excitement and anticipation grew. Soon it was going to be me! It was like playing the lottery! Finally...155...156...157!!! Yay!!

Their menu is a little funny too. They offer 4 different meat sandwiches with names like Moo Moo (rib-eye steak), the Oink Oink (BBQ pork), the Cluck Cluck (you guessed it...chicken), and the Meathead (a combination of all meats).  I ordered the Oink Oink...juicy pork chunks, covered with a creamy cole slaw and a tangy BBQ sauce.  It was awesome! The meat was so tender and juicy.  The cole slaw, which neither hubby or I are huge fans, was minimal yet added just enough creaminess to bring out the tanginess of the sauce and the smokiness of the meat.  Defnitely a favorite.

After enjoying a sit on a park bench under a tree and horking down both the sandwiches between us, we decided there was just enough room left for dessert. So we headed to the other side of the square where the sweet trucks were. We chose SweetGreen for their frozen yogurt. Now when we say frozen yogurt, we're not just talking about some fake ice cream/ice milk substitute like you see in a lot of places.  They take actual Stonyfield plain organic yogurt and freeze it.  One flavor, fat free.  Which to some may not sound very appetizing.  But then you add the toppings.  Their list of toppings includes nuts, coconut, blackberries, strawberries, baked apples, graham cracker...just to name a few. And the fruit is actual fresh cut syrups or fillers or added sugars. Real fruit.  And the yogurt itself has a mild creamy tang to it that blends perfectly with the strawberries and blackberries we got on ours. 

And what's also really cool about SweetGreen is that everything they offer is organic and local whenever possible.  Even the actual truck and the spoons and bowls are all environmentally friendly! In addition to yogurt they also offer a whole list of fresh yummy salads too. Aside from their food trucks they have actual brick-and-mortar restaurants as well all over the DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia area. Yay for local and organic! The frozen yogurt we had there was the perfect sweet end to a perfect sweet day!

There were so many more trucks we would've liked to see if there was more time and more room in our tummys.  So we definitely have plans to go back another day for more food truck adventures! Can't wait!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Goin' on a Food Truck Hunt!!

The weather is unseasonably warm here in Northern Virginia for being middle of February.  In some places it got up 75 degrees today!! So what do you do on a Friday of a holiday weekend when the weather is this gorgeous??
Catholic University...beautiful architecture

The Basilica at Catholic University

You skip out on work, go to DC, and hunt down some food trucks! That's exactly what hubby and I did! It was soo awesome!
cool metro grafitti

like it or not, its definitely talented art

Now before I go any further, I have recently heard some grumblings about food trucks from certain people (you know who you are!) who think food served from a truck must be disgusting low-budget street crap. And I feel it is my DUTY to prove these people wrong.  There is a difference between food trucks and street food vendors.  If you go into the city and see a hot dog vendor on the street corner, you might want to think twice unless you have a reputable source to tell you otherwise.  But food trucks have come a long way, baby, in the last few years.  They actually are becoming quite a big deal in the food/restaurant business. And as such most of them are becoming quite gourmet.  There's no ordinary hot dogs and hamburgers here. Still skeptical? Read on, please.

First stop...Red Hook Lobster Pound.  If you never go to any other food truck or are skeptical about food truck cuisine and want to see what all the fuss is about, this is the place you MUST go to!!
The Lobster Pound

They are well-known in the area for their lobster rolls though they do have a few other offerings.  They ship in lobsters the night before fresh from Maine and you can order it 2 ways.  The Traditional Maine lobster roll, which has mayo, or the Connecticut style, which uses melted butter.  Most of these trucks have Twitter pages that tell you where they're going to be parked.  So right around 11 or 11:30am you'll see people start milling about on a street corner looking like they're waiting for something.

And then you see it.  Around the corner comes this little red and white truck with a picture of a lobster on it.  And the line begins to form before the truck even comes to a stop. I've never seen a line form so fast.  Within seconds, the line was already wrapped around the block to where we couldn't see the end.  Lucky for us we saw the truck coming and hopped in line right away.  We were only maybe 20 people back. By the time we left with our lobster roll, there had to be about 100 people there waiting in line!
the edge of the Lobster Pound on the left; the line already bending around the corner seconds after they parked

And let me tell you...if I had been at the back of that line, it would've totally been well worth the wait. OMG! We ordered the traditional lobster roll to split between the 2 of us.  However, I think we may have gotten the Connecticut style.  I don't know. I don't care.  Whichever kind we got was one of the most awesomest things I have ever eaten in my life!  A traditional hot dog style bun soaked with melted butter and topped with a mountain of pure unadulterated buttery lobster meat.  No extra fluff. Just lobster.  Sweet and hot and juicy.  Melted butter dribbling down our chins as we stood on the sidewalk nomming it down.  Honestly, it was some of the best lobster I have ever eaten in my life. No exaggeration, I promise. You NEED to go there and check it out! Trust me!
Gimmee that Lobstah Love!

Luscious Lobster

More food trucks to come! Stay tuned...

If you would like more proof that food trucks are on the cutting edge of cuisine, read about the reality TV show called The Great Food Truck Race, which aired on the Food Network back in August 2010.  Seven different food trucks competed to see who was the best.  These are the top three trucks...
3. Spencer on the Go (French cuisine)

2. NomNom Truck  (Vietnamese cuisine)
1. Grill'em All  (American burgers)

Check out those menus and tell me thats low-budget street crap food!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Express your love to family and friends with some delicious Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting!!  These are super YummaYumma when made with fresh strawberries! Everyone will love you for them!

I made these over the weekend for a church potluck meeting and everyone raved about them! It is a Paula Deen recipe (sorry for all you Paula fans out there, but I really don't care much for her (thats for another blog post) but I have to admit she does have some pretty awesome dessert recipes). I saw this one in a magazine that my sister-in-law, Heather had (who is a huge Paula fan) and knew I had to make these!

And I was excited to be able to use my new food processor (finally)! My mom had gotten me this really nice food processor for my birthday back in October.  Yes, October, and I'm just now using it for the first time! So sad, I know :(  But I was a little nervous and hesitant to use it.  I had never used one before and wasn't really sure how to use it or what I needed to use it for! So here was my perfect opportunity. And I'm so glad I finally took the leap!

It made this beautiful strawberry puree needed for the cupcake batter and frosting. And these cupcakes are enough to make anyone's heart go pitter-pat! The frosting, all you need is a spoon really! But it is nice on the cupcakes too! :)

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
(From Paula Deen)

Side Note: This is the original recipe from Paula Deen. It it supposed to make 12 JUMBO cupcakes, which I didn't notice until after I bought the ingredients and starting making them.  I made MINI cupcakes and there were almost 100 of them! So be aware of your measurments!
mni cuppycakes going in the oven!

1 cup butter softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups pureed fresh or frozen strawberries (I used fresh ones, it took about 1 1/2 pounds of strawberries for batter and frosting)
3/4 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons strawberry extract
3 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Extra strawberries for garnish

1/2 cup butter softened
1 (8oz) package cream cheese softened
1/4 cup pureed fresh strawberries
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
6 cups confectioners sugar
preparing the pan and liners

(Donna note: To make the strawberry puree, simply slice tops off strawberries, cut strawberries into chunks if you like, and put in food processor.  Chop or pulse until liquidy. Set aside.)

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with paper liners  In large bowl, beat butter and suagr and medium speed in mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in strawberry puree, sour cream, and strawberry extract.
butter, sugar, eggs
now add sour cream, strawberry puree and extract

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add to butter mixture beating just until combined.  Spoon batter evenly into prepared cupcake pans. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  (Donna Note: For the mini cupcakes, it only needed about 14-15 minutes in the oven)  Let cool in pans for about 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

so many little cupcakes!

For frosting:  In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with mixer until creamy.  Add strawberry puree and extract, beating until combined.  Gradually add confectioners sugar, beating until smooth.  (Another Donna Note: My frosting came out fairly liquidy.  I added a little extra confectioners sugar and put it in the fridge for a few minutes to let it thicken a little but it was never as stiff as most other frosting.  Probably due to the high water content in strawberries.)