What I Ate Wednesday #14 – Rainy Day Adventures

We had some awesome plans last Saturday to rise and shine super early and head to Rehoboth Beach for the day. We haven’t been to the beach at all this summer so I was looking forward to it all week!

And then the weather forecast changed. To rain. All day. What do you even do when you’re at the beach and it’s raining? Exactly.

Well, fine then! We slept in, had a nice, relaxing morning, and then packed up and headed over to Alexandria, VA for the day! For what, you ask? Wine.

But not just any wine. Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck. Yep. We drove 1.5 hrs each way for Trader Joe’s wine. Don’t worry, we got some good eats on the way too!

Barr & Table What I Ate Wednesday WIAW Peas and Crayons Coach's Oats Pop's Ice Cream Caphe Banh Mi Alexandria Virginia VA Trader Joes

[Breakfast]
Cinnamon protein Coach’s Oats, topped (of course) with Earth Balance coconut peanut spread and fig. Naturally, I had my Tone It Up Bombshell Spell and some coffee with almond milk on the side. Perfect way to start the day!

[Snack]
A relaxing morning turned into a very late lunch, so I munched on some baby carrots in the car. Nothing exciting.. or worth picturing.

[Lunch]
Here’s the exciting part. We googled for a good 30 minutes looking for the best place to go for lunch and ended up at Caphe Banh Mi. If you’re in the Alexandria area, definitely go!

We started out with a vegetarian summer roll with tofu, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and other veggies with a peanut dipping sauce. The sauce made it for me.. anything peanut [butter] related is a big green light! For our meals, we both tried pho (our first time!) Nathan got the traditional and I got the chicken. Traditional is the way to go! The beef was so rich and delicious and I could have eaten all of his! But instead, I ate all of mine. Topped with bean sprouts and fresh Thai basil. YUM!

[Snack]
Old towne is such a cute place! We walked around looking for a place to get a sweet treat and found Pop’s. Peanut butter chocolate pretzel ice cream. This is no joke. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of it (because I ate it too quickly), but that sample picture will do. I would make the drive for the ice cream.

[Dinner]
Late lunch + snack = late [lazy] dinner. Steamed some broccoli in the microwave, topped it with chicken and bbq sauce, and called it a day!

[Summer Staple]
Wine! Yep, I went there. Every summer day is better with a glass of wine.

Trader Joe’s in Maryland doesn’t sell wine and we’ve heard so many good things about it. But the biggest thing is that we’re trying to find every way to cut back on our wedding budget, so when Nathan heard about Two-Buck Chuck taking home a big prize, we knew we had to give it a try.

Results are in! And it was totally worth the drive. Wedding attendants, get ready for some Two-Buck Chuck! 🙂

Speak Up!

Where is your favorite place to day-trip? Have you ever taken a day trip for a meal? … Or a drink? 😉

What I Ate Wednesday #13 – Birthday Edition!

It’s my birthday!

Or, at least it was yesterday. And what better way to celebrate then with some of my favorite foods and sharing them with you today.

Barr & Table Chocolate Protein Coach's Oats Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread Fig Tone It Up TIU Bombshell Spell

[Breakfast]
For such an important day, I had to make sure to have my most favorite breakfast. Chocolate protein Coach’s Oats, topped with Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread and a fig, plus my Bombshell Spell on the side!

And no worries, I would never keep something so delicious from you. The recipe is coming soon 🙂

[Snack]
Grapefruit (not pictured)

Barr & Table Brio Wood Grilled Salmon Salad Chicken Tomatoes Feta Crispy Onions Mixed Greens

[Lunch]
My lovely friend, Jessie, offered to take me out to lunch for my birthday. I decided to check out Brio, which happens to be right around the corner from both of our offices. I’d never made it over there, but I will definitely be going back! I got the Wood Grilled Salmon Salad, exchanging grilled chicken for the salmon. I was shocked when it came out; so many times I’m disappointed in the size of “entree” salads at restaurants, but this salad was huge! And super delicious. And the steaming hot sourdough bread to start out didn’t hurt either!

Barr & Table Vega One Chocolate Nutritional Shake GNC Shaker Blender Bottle

[Snack]
Vega One Chocolate Nutritional Shake. I have to say, I was quite impressed with the flavor of this shake. It was my first time trying this brand, and really any vegan brand of protein for that matter, and I’m looking forward to trying the other flavors!

Barr & Table Birthday Flowers!

[Birthday Flowers!]
He done good. Real good 🙂 Nathan definitely knows me well enough by now (almost 9 years!) to know that I’m not interested in a bouquet of roses. I just love all of the colors!

[Dinner]
Oh heyyyy awesome birthday dinner!

In the spirit of trying new things, we went to Dogwood for dinner last night. Neither of us had ever been there before, but we’ve heard so many good things about it over the years and I’m so glad we finally made it!

Barr & Table Dogwood Restaurant Baltimore Maryland MD Summertime Squeeze Irish Bread Mango Butter Grilled Summer Ratatouille

The meal started with a deliciously dense homemade bread served with mango butter; a little bit of sweet and a little bit of savory. I ordered the Summer Squeeze, a cocktail of watermelon juice, lemon juice, basil, and house-infused citron vodka. I’m a sucker for any kind of watermelon or cucumber cocktail so I had this one picked out before we even sat down!

For my first course, I chose the Grilled Summer Ratatouille.

Local summer squashes, eggplant & tomato, fresh basil

Nathan described this as a “hug in a bowl.” It was so fresh and flavorful; it was really the perfect comfort dish for a summer evening. Not to mention, it is vegan and gluten-free. For those of you Baltimorian’s out there that are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, I would highly recommend Dogwood; everything on their menu is noted, and they even have an entire vegan prix-fixe menu!

Barr & Table Dogwood Restaurant Baltimore Maryland MD Pan-seared Wild-caught Swordfish Coconut Cake Prosecco

For my entree, I was between a few options, but landed on the Pan-seared Wild-caught Swordfish per our waiter’s suggestion.

North Carolina swordfish served with ruby grapefruit, jicama and avocado salad, baby arugula and yukon gold potatoes

He definitely did not steer me wrong! The fish was cooked perfectly, the salad was light and fresh, and the potatoes were creamy and flavorful. And those sauces were divine. I topped off my entree with a glass of white wine recommended, again, by the waiter; a little sweet to play off of the sweetness of the fish.

Dessert was an amazing coconut cake. And if you’re like Nathan or me, you immediately just thought of the coconut cake episode of Good Eats. I will be trying Alton Brown’s recipe very soon.. I couldn’t get enough of the cake!

Oh, and that glass of prosecco? On the house.

As if the food wasn’t wonderful enough, the service at Dogwood was the icing on the (coconut) cake! They were all very attentive and friendly, and always willing to share a recommendation. This restuarant gets a huge Barr & Table seal of approval. I can’t wait to go back!

[Summer Staples]
FIGS!

Barr & Table Chocolate Protein Coach's Oats Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread Fig

I completely forgot how much I love fresh figs and have reminded myself in the past week. I could have eaten the entire box in one sitting, but instead I decided to space them out and savor them. Oh, and Nathan doesn’t like them. Darn.. more for me!

Speak Up!

What is a food for which you’ve recently re-discovered your love?

What I Ate Wednesday #12 – Baltimore Restaurant Week

Baltimore Restaurant Week is one of my favorite weeks of summer. I guess winter too, but someone summer just seems better!

I absolutely love trying new restaurants and this is the time to do it. You get to taste 3 courses for $30, and if you choose the right place, you’re really getting a steal! Often, the restaurants on the list serve entrees ranging from $20-$40, so to add an appetizer and dessert to that makes it all worth it.

This time around, we decided to check out Salt. It’s a trendy little restaurant that we’ve been to before, but it’s been years. And while we usually use restaurant week as an excuse to try something new, we just couldn’t pass up the incredible menu.

Being that we went out on a Friday, the first part of my day is uber normal. Aka not so exciting. Except for this awesome pancake!

Barr & Table Chocolate Coconut Protein Pancake Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread PB Tone It Up TIU Bombshell Spell Bragg's ACV Apple Cider Vinegar

[Breakfast]

Chocolate coconut protein pancake topped with Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread, coconut, and cinnamon plus Bombshell Spell with ZICO. I’m absolutely obsessed with the coconut peanut spread. It’s like a little taste of heaven melted over chocolatey goodness!

[Snack]

(not pictured)
Apple

[Lunch]

(not pictured)
Mixed green salad with cucumber, tomatoes, onions, green bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, diced avocado, & chili sesame tofu. This tofu recipe is divine and so simple. I’ll be sharing it soon!

[Snack]

(not pictured)
thinkThin Creamy Peanut Butter Blizzard + a few pieces Almond Maple Pecan Snackle Mouth. The blizzard was a fun way to mix up my usual protein bar and the little chunks at the very bottom were so tasty! And the Snackle Mouth is really something special.. I was lucky enough to win a couple boxes and I hope to be featuring these (or some new products soon to launch!) in a giveaway very soon!

[Dinner]

The most exciting part of the day. Everything on the menu sounded absolutely phenomenal and we couldn’t make any decisions without asking for recommendations (of course!)
Barr & Table Baltimore Restaurant Week Maryland MD Salt Tavern Fells Point Primaterra Pinot Noir Red Wine Roasted Red Pepper Tapinade Bread Cool Vichyssoise Soup Dungeness Crab Pommes Frites Chive Oil
Primaterra Pinot Noir • Roasted Red Pepper Tapinade with freshly baked bread

Cool Vichyssoise Soup
Dungeness crab, pommes frites, chive oil

Country Pork Terrine (not pictured)
Pistachios, figs, dijon mustard

I went for the soup, Nathan for the terrine. We were both equally pleased with our choices and it was something new for each of us to try.

Barr & Table Baltimore Restaurant Week Maryland MD Salt Tavern Fells Point Grilled Swordfish Charred Gazpacho Vegetables Lemon Olive Quinoa Avocado Puree Crispy Creek Stone Farms Beef Belly Confit Ginger Glaze White Kimchi Asian Pears Spicy Sriracha Creamed Corn
Grilled Swordfish with Charred Gazpacho Vegetables
Lemon and olive quinoa, avocado puree

Crispy Creek Stone Farms Beef Belly Confit
Ginger glaze, white kimchi with asian pears, spicy sriracha creamed corn

The swordfish had been recommended to me by a friend and the side dishes sold me. It was delicious and I savored every last bite. But Nathan totally won. The beef belly confit was rich and savory with a slight sweetness from the creamed corn, which wasn’t all mush, as some would assume. If I went back the next day, I’d get the beef belly confit, hands down!

Barr & Table Baltimore Restaurant Week Maryland MD Salt Tavern Fells Point Key Lime Tart Coconut Meringue Blueberry Coulis Goat Cheese Donuts Lavender Honey Vanilla Sea Salt Coffee Ice Cream
Key Lime Tart

Coconut meringue, blue berry coulis

Goat Cheese Donuts
Lavender honey, vanilla sea salt, coffee ice cream

Finally, the best way to end a wonderful meal; with an even more wonderful dessert. I opted for the tart while Nathan chose the donuts. Really, he’d choose anything fried, but drizzled with honey and ice cream on the side? He couldn’t say no! They were fantastic, but I definitely preferred my key lime tart. It was light, sweet, and tart, and just the perfect ending to the meal.

[Summer Staples]
Fresh fruits and veggies. Not a day goes by that I don’t get my fill of all of the freshness that summer has to offer and Salt definitely feels the same way. All of my favorite restaurants are those that take advantage of the freshest ingredients available and plan their menus around that. Why offer farm-raised tilapia when rockfish are jumping?

Speak Up!

What would you have ordered? Are you a meat-and-potatoes kinda person or a sea-foodie?

What I Ate Wednesday #11 – Day Tripper

I bet you have that song stuck in your head now.

No? How about now?

Over the weekend, Nathan and I were tasked with seeing 2 wedding bands. The first one was in DC and with that being at least an hour away, we decided to make a day trip of it. Clearly the first thing to do when deciding on a day trip is to pick out where we can stop for lunch, drinks, and dinner. Who doesn’t plan their day around food?

Breakfast

Barr & Table What I Ate Wednesday WIAW Chocolate Coconut Zucchini Protein Pancake Tone It Up TIU Bombshell Spell Peas and Crayons

Typical.. a chocolate coconut zucchini protein pancake (similar recipe to this guy!) topped with the new Earth Balance coconut & peanut spread, coconut, and cinnamon. Of course, I ha my Tone It Up Bombshell Spell and Chocolate Coconut coffee with almond milk. Between the coconut & peanut spread and the chocolate coconut coffee, I was in heaven!

P.S. Make sure to check back soon.. I’m hoping to be doing something fun with Earth Balance!

We made our way off to DC where we had reservations at Oyamel, a José Andrés restaurant. I love tapas restaurants and being able to taste a bunch of things makes it such a fun experience. I would definitely go back!

Lunch

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana Jose Andres ThinkFoodGroup Washington DC Mimosas Chips Salsa Mexican Squash Salad Queso Fresco Peanuts Chicken Fish Tacos Guacamole Pico de Gallo Mexican Coffee

We had to do it fancy and got a pitcher of Farmer’s Fresh Mimosas with plum and lemon verbena. Delicious! I could have had the whole pitcher myself 🙂 The fresh salsa was wonderful and the Mexican squash salad was light and delicious. I loved the topping of queso fresco and crushed peanuts. This is definitely a dish I would consider a summer staple.

I followed that up with a chicken taco with their homemade guacamole and grilled scallion. I have to admit, the guacamole might have been my favorite part of the meal (other than the mimosas!) Next time, I’m definitely getting that to start! I also had a fish taco with pico de gallo. Once again, so fresh and light. We each finished off our meal with Mexican coffee. Full of flavor and a nice jolt to our systems! It was a great meal and so nice to have a light lunch before hitting the town!

After lunch, we explored DC a bit. We took a nice walk over to the Lincoln Monument and then found some much needed air conditioning at the American History Museum. The heat must have messed with our heads; once we cooled off at the museum, we realized we’d much rather cool off with a beer. Off to RFD! After splitting the pitcher of mimosas, I decided to keep it at one beer. What was that beer you ask? Oh, I can’t remember because I forgot to take a picture! Professional blogger over here 😉

Don’t you worry though, I definitely didn’t forget to take a picture of my froyo!

Snack

froZENyo Washington DC Froyo Zombie Coffee Barr & Table

I don’t mess around with froyo (also a very important summer staple.) Mostly peanut butter with a touch of cheesecake, dulce de leche, and coconut. And of course I had to top it with peanut butter cups. I have a slight obsession with chocolate and peanut butter. Can you tell?

Dinner

Matchbox Pizza Washington DC Barr & Table Oven Dried Tomato Fresh Mozzarella Roasted Garlic Artichokes Pecorino Romano

Since Nathan indulged my obsession, I indulged his and we went for pizza for dinner! Matchbox features tons of pizzas with a thin, crispy crust. We started off with the large apple/pear salad. I would give the salad a big miss next time. I wouldn’t call it a large and, unfortunately, I had no desire to take a picture of it. But at least we got a little veggie!

When it came to ordering the pizzas, we went back and forth with what we wanted to split. They have so many different kinds and they all sounded wonderful! If we could have, I would have gotten a different kind of pizza for each slice, but since we could only split it in half, we went for the Oven Dried Tomato with Fresh Mozzarella (their version of the margherita pizza) and the Veggie with roasted garlic, artichokes, oven dried tomatoes, pecorino romano, and mozzarella. We each tried a piece of each and went our separate ways. He finished the margherita and I finished the veggie. It’s why we work 🙂

And dessert? Oh right.. had that before dinner. Whoops! (I would have had another one if I had my chance!) We did finally make it to see the band, but the food was the real highlight of the day trip!

Speak Up!

Where is your favorite day trip? Do you plan where you’re going to eat before you head out or just see where the road takes you?