Friday, February 26, 2010

Cupcakes for Men

You know how much I love cupcakes.
I also love the Wall Street Journal (with a different kind of love, of course).
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon an interesting WSJ article on cupcakes today. Or rather, mancakes. Most are infused with alcohol, yum yum!
Unfortunately this cupcakery has yet to open a storefront, making the mancakes only available through delivery . . in New York City.
Still, you should check it out:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Need More French Food in My Life

I had dinner with The Girl tonight at Cafe Bonaparte. It was every bit as lovely as I had heard.


Perfectly tucked away in Georgetown, I almost felt as though I'd been transported to Paris. . . except that I've never been there, so I suppose I can't quite know how it feels.

The Girl and I happened to be eyeing the same plate for an appetizer, and we ordered the crepe chips with apples and brie.


We unknowingly picked the same entree, as well. The Budapest crepe was filled with seasoned ground beef, onions, tomatoes, and green peppers, topped with a sour cream cilantro sauce. And what was that salty dressing on our salad? We're dying to know, but forgot to ask.


It's a shame that I've committed to avoiding desserts for several weeks {in an effort to get back in shape}, because I know every one of the treats on their extra long dessert list would've been the perfect end to a delicious dinner. There will have to be several 'next times' to make up for it, I suppose.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Goodbyes and Good Chili

Tonight I said "see ya later" to my friend Em, as I've referred to her here on the blog. Tomorrow is Emily's last day in D.C. before flying across the country with the rest of her belongings (those we didn't ship out last weekend) to sunny San Diego. It's hard to believe three years have gone by so quickly, and the days of lunch meet-ups and afternoon delights {treats} are over. *Tear*

I'm so excited for my friend to return to her family and many of her friends {most importantly her fabulous and talented boyfriend}. Ok, that last part was for Emily, since she now reads the blog. Hi Emily!

Tonight was Farewell Happy Hour #2, and I successfully left without crying - hooray! I'm thankful we've been able to spend some quality time together over the past week, drinking delicious wine from France, packing up her things, and picking out outfits for her upcoming weekend in Napa.

You should know that Emily is not only fun, genuine, smart, and super funny . . she is also an amazing packer and downsizer. I'm pretty sure she gave as many items to Goodwill as she shipped to her new apartment last weekend. Could you ship all of your belongings for less than $400? Impressive, I know! And that included a 42" flat screen TV!

We rewarded our heavy lifting and line waiting at the post office with a trip to the famous Ben's Chili Bowl. Her boyfriend, an avid "Man vs. Food" watcher, insisted she try it before returning to California. I was, of course, happy to come along.


We walked in to a crowd full of people, a long line waiting to place their orders.


President Obama, Bill Cosby, and many others graced the walls.


We placed our order for some chili fries and a chili half-smoke sausage. We were definitely going to share the greasiness.



This meal was not for the faint of heart, but we took care of it. Women vs. Food.



I'll miss you, Friend! See you soon!

dinner on the roof

Smith Point

potomac boating

*Ben's has been around for over 50 years. You can read about it's interesting history here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

More L.A.

Yes, I mostly ate in L.A.

I also did plenty of shopping.

But whatever we did, it was so fun to hang out with a good friend.









Don't laugh . . :)





Friday, February 19, 2010

Dining in L.A. - Day 4

Last day in L.A. and so much I hadn't eaten yet. :)

Little did I know, I would get my celeb sighting that day!

Our destination for the day was Malibu. And I don't know about Shae, but I was hungry. We requested a patio seat at Tony's (Taverna Tony), and as we were being seated, I saw her . . Selma Hayek was only two tables away. In fact, we were the only three people on the patio. From my casual observation, I can say that she looked fab in her oversized shades, made smoking look incredibly classy, and her accent is so lovely. I did not snap a picture, because it would've been more than obvious and pretty rude.


I did, however, snap a picture of my Greek food. I savored every bite of pastichio (which is Greek-style lasagna with macaroni, ground beef, tomatoes, Bechamel sauce, and cheese), green beans (marinated in something delicious), and Greek-style roasted potatoes.


Mouth-watering, isn't it?

While shopping around the Civic Center, we popped into the Chocolatebox Cafe for a teeny child-size treat. I had a mini scoop of berry yogurt with pistachio swirl and another mini scoop of apple sorbet.



But I didn't stop there with the treats. I purposefully ordered the kiddie size so I could also grab a cupcake at Crumbs.


I'd never seen such creative and over-the-top cupcakes! Two different frostings and three different toppings? Wow. Still full from lunch, I asked that the Half Baked cupcake be packaged to-go, and I enjoyed it the next morning for breakfast. I needed some sugar to get me going!


As you can see, it was made up of marble cake, buttercream filling, half cream cheese frosting/half chocolate frosting, and brownie bits and chocolate chip cookie chunks on top! Probably a good 10,000 calories, I'm sure!


But as I said, I saved it for breakfast. I suspected (correctly) that I might be having dessert that night for dinner anyway.

My last meal of the trip was in the South Bay, the adorable Manhattan Beach.


When Shae first mentioned burgers and sandwiches, I thought the place might be unoriginal. But I'm always up for a good burger!

However, Simmzy's wasn't your typical burger joint at all. We split the grilled ahi salad (yum!) and an ahi tuna sandwich, too.


How does this sound?: olive oil poached ahi, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, house tartar, and grilled buckwheat bread. It really hit the spot!


And the S'mores Pudding? That was perfect, too.


Toasted marshmallows on top and graham cracker crumbs.

Thanks for the good eats, L.A.!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dining in L.A. - Day 3

Brunch is one of my favorite things, so I was thrilled that we fit one into our weekend. And at a spot I'd heard was worth a visit.


It was plain to see that Toast was popular as soon as we pulled up. But we didn't mind waiting outside and people-watching for awhile. I was taking fashion notes, for sure.

We asked to be seated outdoors, despite the somewhat chilly temps. Outdoors is so much better than in.

The peanut butter banana smoothie jumped off the menu immediately. It was all I hoped it would be. You know my love for bananas? I feel the same way about peanut butter. And probably a few other things, but I digress.


Although it was very tempting to order the stuffed french toast (with banana pudding, caramelized bananas and walnut), I thought too much sweet would give me a stomach ache. Instead, I ordered an open-face croissant with smoked salmon, scallions, scrambled eggs, and hollandaise sauce. And a side of fruit, how healthy of me.


After brunch, we headed to Sunset Plaza for some shopping and popped into Buttercream Bakery for some agua and a cupcake treat.


Oh geez, picking one cupcake is always so hard!


I chose the chocolate chip cheesecake. I highly recommended it!


Later that afternoon, while shopping on Robertson, we stopped for a snack, something to tide us over until dinner. And I hate to be all typical tourist, but we got that snack at The Ivy. But you better believe I was not scoping the patio for any stars, because that's just not cool. Well, maybe I took a casual glance, but honestly, being nonchalant about such things is not easy. There very well may have been someone famous at the restaurant, but I was too busy enjoying my guac and tortillas, as well as some crab cakes and chipotle aioli.



Nothing extraordinary, but it was a cute setting. Certainly nowhere you'd expect to see a star, although I know it's a spot they frequent.

The sun set, and the quiet atmosphere felt even cozier. Maybe I can understand why celebs love it.


Rather than dine at a restaurant, we spent our Saturday night at Bodega Wine Bar in Santa Monica. (And here's a little US mag tidbit: apparently Kristin Cavallari had a date here on The Hills. How did I miss that episode?)


We wanted to share a bottle, but guess who only drinks white? This girl. I've tried a few reds that I like, though, so I was willing to give the Syrah a chance. I'm so glad I did!


We paired our wine with a couple of small plates that I've seriously been craving ever since. When I say grilled challah with brie and turkey and sliced apples, it sounds so much less amazing than it actually was. And the same goes for the hummus with pita bread. I downed both (with Shae's help) in a heartbeat. And you know I topped it off with the warm brownie and vanilla bean ice cream. Of course I did.


Amidst all this wine drinking and eating, we chatted with an aspiring actor (aren't they all?!) from Kentucky who has since become my Facebook friend (ha!). It was such a fun evening!