Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whole Foods - Online Coupons

Whole Foods has new coupons that you can download, print, and use to save on great items like Almond Butter and Kashi Cereals. Download them here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brunch at Seasons

Growing up in Southern California, my family and I use to visit Las Vegas pretty often. It was a 4 hour drive away (3 hours if we were brave enough to drive 90 mph the entire way), nice hotels were relatively inexpensive, and there was enough entertainment for everyone. And then there were the buffets. There were two hotels that had my favorite buffets; the Rio and Paris. The Rio had an international theme and so there were stations from various parts of the world; Mexico, Italy, China, etc and the food was ok. The best part about this buffet was the seafood. There was counter of ice full of oysters as far as your eyes could see (I exaggerate but you get the idea.) They had steamed lobster, crab, and shrimp. It was a seafood lovers paradise. Paris on the other hand had good quality food. The stations were french themed and you had a choice of roasted meats, crepes, and the most amazing desserts I had ever seen in Las Vegas. Oh the memories...

There aren't many all-you-eat-buffets in DC (other than some Indian Restaurants.) But it just so happens that there is a wonderful buffet that can be found in Georgetown that gives you variety as well as quality. Seasons Restaurant in the Four Seasons in Georgetown serves a Sunday Brunch that could bring a seafood lover to their knees.

I had the fortune of attending a brunch to celebrate the restaurant's 1 year anniversary on Twitter thanks to my friend ArugulaFiles. It was a great experience to talk to the chefs who come up with and cook the cuisine. This summer, they are concentrating on Kansas BBQ and Italian dishes. The BBQ station is great. There is brisket, ribs, potato salad, and more BBQ sauces than you can find at the Soviet Safeway. The seafood counter is where I did the most damage. There were raw oysters, steamed shrimp, Mini crab & vegetable salad with an avocado puree, Seared scallops with Fava Beans salad and tomatoes, Maine Lobster Rolls, and lots more.

There are several of things that sets this buffet apart from other buffets I have eaten at. First, you can get food from the buffet but you can also order brunch dishes to be made fresh from the kitchen. Eggs Benedict is my regular brunch dish and so it was nice to be able to order it and have it served fresh while I enjoyed items from the buffet. My only criticism was that the egg was overcooked and was not runny enough for me but the hollandaise sauce was delicious.

The second thing was this kitchen happens to have an herb garden and 90 percent of the herbs they use is from their garden. One of the chefs took Arugula Files and I out to the garden. Its a modest garden but it was kind of cute how the chef seem kind of proud of it. The last thing that really makes this place special is the Chocolate Room. The buffet has a room that is entirely devoted to desserts. When you first enter, there is a chocolate fountain to your right with all of the fixings; marshmallows, strawberries, pretzels, brownie bits, etc. Then you are confronted with a table of more desserts than I can ever list. It was an amazing beautiful room.

I'll be honest that this is not a Thrifty DC Cook kind of brunch. The buffet brunch costs $80 per person. This is a place that I would take someone special for a very special meal. I would also only take someone who loves seafood and who can sit for four hours because that is how long I will be sitting there the next time I go to this brunch

DC Food Blogger August Happy Hour - Tenpehn

Its that time again for DC Food Bloggers and Foodies to get together and enjoy some drinks and food talk. We will be at Tenpehn on Pennsylvania Ave on Wednesday, August 4th. Thank you to Johanna Knows Good Food, Biscuits and Such, and Dining in DC for organizing this happy hour.

RSVP here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

DC Restaurant Week - Summer Schedule

Looks like DC's Summer Restaurant week is August 16 through August 22nd. Of course I will make some lunch reservations with my co-workers for restaurants in the McPherson Square area. Some places I'd like to enjoy lunch are Bobby Van's Steakhouse and DC Coast. For dinner, Marshall and I are thinking of trying out Lyons Hall in Arlington or one of the steakhouses in DC like Jean Georges or Sam and Harry. Which restaurant will you try out for Restaurant Week?

For more details, click here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

All-You-Can-Eat-Pork at Bourbon Steak

It seems as if roasting a pig has come into fashion. Everywhere I turn, a new restaurant is advertising a pig roast as the special. This one looks like a great deal though. Bourbon Steak is celebrating Executive Chef David Varley's win at Food and Wine's Grand Cochon with a pig roast on their patio. For $25, you get all-you-can-eat pork (and I'm hoping sides.) For $40, you get all you can eat food and beer. Here are the details:

Date: Sunday, August 1, 2010

Time: 3pm to 6pm

Where: Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20007-3717

Price: $25 for all you can eat food
$40 for all you can eat food and beer

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Last weekend, Marshall surprised me with a trip to Super H-Mart. For those in DC, any of the H-Marts are probably the best Asian markets to go to in this area. Blueberries were 2 pint containers for $2.99. I was so amazed. $1.50 each is a great price. I was very pleased with this purchase. That is until we stopped by Giant and I found the same exact brand and size for $1.25 each. GAH!

Well, if you are at Whole Foods today, they are selling 18oz containers of blueberries for $4.99 for two, BuyOneGetOneFree. Its their one day sale on blueberries and I would recommend it mainly because Whole Foods tends to carry some tasty produce so this might be the place to buy some for pie making.

Happy Weekend!

The Reserve on L Street

Its disappointing when a restaurant is trying to do too much and can't seem to get it together. Today, my co-workers and I went to lunch at The Reserve near McPherson Square. We chose this place because we wanted a sit down lunch that wasn't going to cost us more than $15 or so. The Reserve had a pretty good lunch menu with sandwiches and salads costing from $8 to $15.

Once we entered the restaurant, I knew this was not going to be a relaxing lunch. The restaurant is dim, there were lounge couches and tables pushed to the side, there were two big screen TVs that had ESPN playing, and the music was techno music that was turned up too loud. This is not the kind of lunch atmosphere I was looking for. My understanding is that the restaurant turns into a club at night. The decor makes sense for a club, not lunch.

Strangely enough, the food was pretty good. This review gets a star for food and a star for a nice waiter (even though he wasn't that great at making sure our drinks were full.) I had the prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and pesto panini. The bread was tasty and not too greasy (as most paninis are), the mozzerella was fresh tasting, the sandwich as a whole was satisfying. The french fries that accompanied the sandwich were also pretty good. All of this for $9. Not bad for a sit down restaurant if only the restaurant created the right lunch mood.

Here are a couple of observations that I would suggest to the restaurant:

1. Only have an open kitchen if the kitchen is clean and organized and your wait staff actually look like real cooks or chefs. Nothing is more unappetizing than seeing plain clothed people cook in an unorganized kitchen.

2. The hostess should not be serving drinks if she doesn't know what she is doing. A pretty girl in a short black dress doesn't do anything for a lunch crowd if she is fumbling around with full glasses of water. Also, anyone who works in a restaurant shouldn't have hair long enough to dip into the food and drinks when they are carrying them to our table.

3. People need to be able to see their food. From my understanding, the Reserve turns into a club at night. Thats fine but if you are serving a lunch menu, some simple steps will make the experience a lot better. Turn up the lights and change your dark red table cloths to white table cloths. This will lighten up the restaurant and make eating there more appealing.

4. The music needs to be turned down and should be relaxing during the day. Again, a lunch crowd is much different then a clubbing night crowd. Plus, the restaurant is surrounded by businesses that are looking for a good lunch place to talk business. They can't talk over thumping techno music.

5. TVs in the dining room make restaurants look tacky.

6. If there is a hostess table outside, someone should be there. If its too hot for someone to be outside, bring the table in.

The consensus of the lunch party was that we liked the food but the atmosphere was so unappealing that we would never go back to eat there again. I think this restaurant has the potential to be a great lunch and dinner spot if they can get their act together.

The Reserve
1426 L Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20005-3503