Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mokomandy's: Take 2

For my birthday I wanted Superking to take me out to dinner so we picked a great little local gem we've been to before...Mokomandy's!  Mokomandy's is a modern Korean Cajun experience.  And small plates are our friends!! We decided to try a bunch of stuff we didn't get to have on our first visit there.

First they have a list of Snacks/Sides of which you can order 3 for $7 so of course we went for it.  Our little trio consisted of...

kimchi pancakes...completely awesome! I could've kept eating those all night, especially with the sauce it came with.  It was something kind of like soy sauce but with a sweet and sour flavor added in. Super yumm! And the little canning-type jar it came that not adorable?!

cracklins...fried pieces of pork fat or pork skin, like pork rinds but better.  They fry them up fresh too right before serving.Super crispy with a bit of spicy cajun seasoning on them.

jalapeno hush puppies...slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with just a small bite of heat from the jalapenos.  Even a spice wimp like me can handle the heat on these.  A great little snack to start the meal!

Then for the actual small plates, I ordered Gator Croquettes.  We wanted to order these last time but another table had ordered the last ones right before we did.  These little tasty gators were made with their very own house-made bacon and bechamel (a French sauce made with milk, flour, and butter) and served with a salsa piquante (again in a cute little jar). This salsa was very tomatoey and definitely had a kick.  The gator croquettes were crispy and yes, it did taste a bit like chicken.

Superking ordered the Seafood Gumbo.  It was served in a beautiful clay-pot-type bowl that looked almost hand-made with the handle on one side.  It was warm and comforting and full of crab meat and oysters and shrimp and rice with a little spice thrown in.

After all that, we had just enough room left to split one medium plate of mussels.  This is one of Superking's favorite dishes.  If we go to restaurant that serves mussels, he's most likely going to order them.  These were Prince Edward Island mussels swimming in pecan smoked cayenne, I could just stop right there and be happy! But it also had thyme, lemon, garlic, and was served with these amazing little brioche buns that were slightly sweet.  And something else I could've eaten all night.  In fact, we did order extra of those to slop up the juice under the mussels.

Unique modern relaxing atmosphere and amazing food you won't find anywhere else!  Another fantastic meal at Mokomandys!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


A few weeks ago Superking and I went to Bodegas in DC with a friend of ours.  We scarfed on many tapas that night and even ended up with a free dessert by accident.  Check out what we ordered...

Sepia a la plancha...cuttlefish grilled with olive oil and sea salt.  Very savory, not chewy at all, mild flavor but a nice pairing with the olive oil and salt.

Atun a la plancha con cebolla caramelizada...seared tuna with caramelized onions.  Perfectly seared and great flavor.  The caramelized onions were awesome.

Patatas bravas...fried potatoes with spicy alioli.  Nice crispy potatoes with a spicy but not too hot sauce.

Codorniz con salsa vino tinto trufada...grilled quail with a red wine truffle sauce.  Lovely little bird that was juicy and tender. The sauce had a slight sweetness with a touch of the truffle and it was served with some creamy mashed potatoes that helped soak up some of the extra sauce. Yumm!

some of my pictures are kinda dark...

Chuletillas de cordero con vino tinto...grilled lamb chops with red wine sauce.  Great lamb perfectly paired with the semi-sweet wine sauce.

Bistek a la parrilla...grilled beef skirt steak pimento morron (a type of sweet pepper). Cooked to a very tender medium rare and served with creamy mashed potatoes.

...the people at the table next to us kept giving me dirty looks every time I took a picture with my flash on :(

Then we ordered an almond cake but were served a chocolate cake instead...

Our waiter quickly apologized, brought out the almond cake but let us keep the chocolate one for free.  We enjoyed both very much!  The chocolate one was dense and fudgey and rich while the almond was light and fluffy.

Everything we ate was delicious and oh how we love the small plates so we can try so many different things!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Doner Bistro and Waterford Fair

It was my birthday a couple weeks ago.  The big 3-3.  Woohoo.  Anyway, my mom took me out to the Waterford fair and to lunch that day to celebrate.  The fair exhibits lots of historical/colonial crafts as well as Civil War re-enactments and such.  There's always lots of neat things to see and do there for the whole family.

After wandering around there for a couple hours, we decided it was time for lunch so we ventured into Leesburg looking for a place to go.  I remembered seeing a place back in August when I ran my 10K.  Right at the finish line there was a little interesting looking German bistro.  Let's go check it out!

my mom and I taking a picture of ourselves

weird, right?

Its an odd little sort-of-fast-food-cafe kinda place called the Doner Bistro. Apparently "Doner" is a traditional Turkish dish of meat cooked by turning (like on a rotisserie) served on a platter with rice. Then somewhere along the way a Turkish guy living in Germany decided to change the dish and serve the meat in a flatbread with sauce, similar to a gyro. So its kind of Turkish meets German meets Greek, all combined onto one plate. Their menu also offers falafel, bratwurst, and currywurst. French fries on the side were served with curry ketchup.

ooh a fancy chandelier

we ate outside next to the Mighty Midget Kitchen

My mom chose the bratwurst which you could order with or without the bun.  It seemed to be a decent brat sausage on crispy bread, juicy and savory. The fries were crispy and well seasoned and had a fresh potato flavor.

I ordered the currywurst.  While it was tasty, I have to say I was a little disappointed.  I'm even more disappointed now that I've seen their website.  Basically what I got was a fancy German corndog...a long sausage of some sort wrapped in a fried batter.  There was no curry flavor except when I dipped it in the curry ketchup which was yummy and interesting.  And now having looked at their menu and pictures of the currywurst on the website, I'm left wondering exactly what was I served?? Because what was on my plate was nothing like their pictures or their description of the currywurst.  In fact theres nothing on their website that even comes close to matching what I ate. 

Its a mystery.  One that, should I ever go back there, I will definitely be inquiring about.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Whew!...I'm SEW tired!!

Its been a crazy busy couple of months around our household.  My sister-in-law, Gwen, and I started our own crafting business this year on Etsy called Gray Kitty Boutique (check us out on Facebook!!!).  She does crocheting and I sew and most of our products are accessory-type items...hats, scarves, bags, aprons, headbands...While Etsy's site is nice and has lots of cool stuff, as a crafter its easy to get lost in the sea of crafters there.  We decided to hit a few local craft fairs when fall came around to try to get our name out and about town.  We did one in September and one today, even visited another to get some ideas a few weeks ago, and are hoping to do a couple more for the holidays.  All those craft fairs means I've been sewing my fingers to the bone in my own home-made sweatshop in my dining room. 

As a result of all this crafting, my house is a wreck (though Superking graciously cleaned the kitchen while I was gone today as a sweet surprise for me!! So many kisses to him for that!) and I haven't had much time for many food adventures or food blogging. But I do have a couple food stories lines up for you that I'd like to share.

Cotton Monster

me talking to Etsy lady

The one craft show we only visited was in DC (of course) and it was called the Crafty Bastards.  Gotta love that name! It was located in Adams Morgan and we decided to go early and have breakfast somewhere nearby.  We chose The Diner, a place that serves breakfast 24 hours a day! And even at 8am on a Saturday morning, it was bustling with people.

We started with drinks - a coffee and a hot chocolate.  The hot chocolate even came in a fancy glass.  It was topped with whipped cream which melted very quickly.  A nice chocolate flavor without being overly sweet.

We kept our meals simple with egg sandwiches. I had an egg and cheese sandwich with chicken sausage and cheddar cheese served with a side of home fries.

Superking had a Croque and Dagger...basically a fancy egg sandwich with bacon, gruyere cheese, and bechamel sauce on a French loaf, also served with home fries.

The food was simple but good and warming to the tummy on what turned out to be a very chilly rainy day and the atmosphere, though busy was warm and friendly.  It seemed like a cozy place to go for a midnight snack run! And the Crafty Bastards craft fair was a lot of fun.  So many talented crafters there that gave us many ideas for Gray Kitty Boutique.  Can't wait to put those ideas into action!

a knit slug

books as purses

pretty pillows

Chirp and Bloom...pretty baby items

Rogue Theory pouches

apron skirts with cupcake pockets

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Truckeroo 4

We've been lucky enough to be able to attend 2 truckeroo events so far and hoping to do the next one.  Truckeroo 4 in September was just as awesome as the first one we went to but we did learn a few things.  Bring lots of cash because a lot of trucks won't take cards and go earlier in the day instead of waiting til nighttime because its way too crowded, the lines are too long, and therefore you won't get to try as much tasty food.

Superking and I split up for the first course. I went to DC Empanadas. I don't think I had ever really had a proper empanada before and their menu looked yummy and reasonably priced, and their line was short.  Their menu only consisted of three types and they offered a deal where you could get three empanadas for only $9.  "Give me one of each, please!" I say. 

The first was a spiced shredded beef one with rice in a tomato-based sauce. The second was a pork one; chorizo to be exact with potatoes and spices.  A little bit of heat on the end. The third one was a vegetarian one with black beans, rice, peppers and onions, and melted Monterey Jack cheese.  All three of them had deliciously savory fillings with buttery flakey crusts on the outside.  I think our favorite was probably the chorizo. 

black beans and rice and cheese

Superking went over to the Cajunators truck, which serves Cajun and Creole cuisine.  He chose the shrimp po' boy.  It was a sub roll topped with tomatos, lettuce, pickles, remoulade, and fried little shrimp.  While we felt the bread was a little too crusty and there was a bit too much of it, the filling inside the bread was pretty tasty.  The veggies were crisp and fresh, the remoulade tangy, and the shrimp perfectly fried and seasoned. Even the pickles added a nice sour crunch. Next time though I would just eat the insides with a fork and use the bread to feed the birds.

The next truck stop was The Big Cheese, a grilled cheese truck.  You might think, ok grilled cheese, really? Its cheese and bread, whats the big deal? But these guys take grilled cheese to a whole new level.  We ordered the Mt Fuji grilled cheese.  Select brie cheese, sliced fuji apples, and honey on multigrain bread.  First of all I LOVE cheese and brie is one of my faves.  Cheese with apples and honey is an awesome flavor party in my mouth.  Normally I'm not really a fan of multigrain breads especially when there's a bunch of big seeds in it but even the bread was tasty.  It had little sunflower seeds on the crust and added a lovely grainy crunchy compliment to the other sweet and tart flavors.Yumm!

ooey gooey deliciousness

Then we needed one more small bite before dessert so we went to Stix.  Guess what they offer? Food on sticks of course!  They have meat sticks, veggie sticks, even fruit sticks and sweet sticks.  We went for the zesty tequila lime steak stick.  Juicy grilled steak drunk on tequila, lime, and cilantro.  It even came with an extra lime slice to squeeze for more soury goodness! It was served in a unique cone container with a crisp breadstick as well. A fun little bite!

Last of all we couldn't leave without dessert. We decided on ice cream from a truck called Sinplicity.  These guys are actually based in Falls Church but are looking to expand into the DC food truck scene.  They offer some unique ice cream and sorbet flavors such as strawberry shortcake with chocolate chunks and Grand Marnier, Snickerdoodle with cinnamon and dark rum, blackberry & cabernet, and mulled cider.  They also offer a few cookies and even ice cream sandwiches. 

Our flavor of ice cream was Mission Fig and Goat Cheese steeped in Merlot. YUMMA YUMMA! It was very creamy and we could really taste the sweetness from the fig, the tanginess from the goat cheese, and a hint from the grapey merlot.  And it was served with a crunchy biscotti, perfect for dipping in the ice cream.  And whats additionally cool about this truck, aside from the fact that they are locals and try to serve all-natural products, you can buy their ice cream by the pint in select Whole Foods stores and at certain farmers markets in the area.

Their sign says, " Skinny people can't be trusted."  :)

So another awesome food truck day in DC! The final one of the season is coming up Friday October 28th!! Go check it out!