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Please help ladies with DC recs

Just googled all the additional suggestions. So many good choices for every meal! Great variety of dining options. Thank you everyone, I think we're going to have some fun and some great food!

Please help ladies with DC recs

Thanks World and Hamster, great suggestions. I also just read that the museum has a cafe which might be good for lunch, anyone been to it?

Just read the menu for Menu MBK, looks very good, I love French! Baby Wale, what a fun menu. Del Campo fits the bill too. Loving it.

All-purpose red and white wines for cooking vegetables

Dry white vermouth, which is what Julia Child used quite often, is my go too for cooking instead of cheap wine. It lasts just fine bottled on the shelf.

Please help ladies with DC recs

Hi DC hounds,

Truly need your help. My adult daughter and I are coming to DC for a quick trip, just 2 nights. Arriving via train, and staying at the Hampton Inn DC Convention Center (Got a great rate of $99/night - hotwire)

The only reason for this trip is to see the Richard Estes exhibit at the American Art Museum (and his lecture, free).

I truly need help with dinner/lunch recs. I haven't been to DC in eons, our last trip I adored the roast chicken at Palena (Which I sadly understand is now closed).

This trip is different. I am recovering from a medical procedure and using a cane temporarily. I don't want to run up a ton of cabfare so rec's in our zones or just slightly out would be preferred.

My daughter and I are eating healthy these days. Meat is fine though. I'm allergic to seafood, and don't want Asian this trip. We're super casual, not into fine dining. Fresh and fun would fit the bill. That said, my last trip to Philly I enjoyed Jose Garces' restaurant Amada, Spanish tapas. So we're not rigid.

Price is not an issue. Saving so much on the hotel, let's enjoy some good food.

Thanks so much for your help.


Trip Report: Dining unexpectedly on a dime

Philly Ray, I really want to give her something from Connecticut, which she likely would not come across in Philly. Agree gaffk, Munson's are very good, but Bridgewater Chocolates, I think, are great.

Trip Report: Dining unexpectedly on a dime

Yes it was Ting Wong. It could be voted the best restaurant on the planet, but the smell in that place on a 90 degree day was most unappetizing.

Sep 17, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Trip Report: Dining unexpectedly on a dime

Unfortunately, a lot of people down on their luck, but there's a lot of brotherly (and sisterly) love in Philadelphia.

Trip Report: Dining unexpectedly on a dime

Shopping for Maureen this weekend. Sending money, gift, (leaning towards Bridgewater Chocolate, very Connecticut) and a letter to the hotel commending her service.

About Chinatown, I did go there hoping for cheap eats, and walked into a restaurant recommended on this board ( I think the name begins with a T). It was 90 degrees outside and inside. The place had no AC, stunk to high heaven (like spoiled meat) and was filthy dirty. No thanks, I was happy to stick with Sang Kee at Reading Terminal.

That DiNic's Roast Pork sandwich is good, I had a bite.

I really liked Hop Sing. We sat at the bar, loved the decor and chatting with the bartenders. Tried to count the nickels and gave up. I forget the cocktail I ordered, I think it was on the bargain menu, it was rum based, refreshing and quite potent too. I preferred Hop Sing's ambiance to Franklin Mortgage.

Sep 16, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Trip Report: Dining unexpectedly on a dime

Thanks for clarifying, it seemed pretty odd.... ;-)

Sep 16, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Trip Report: Dining unexpectedly on a dime

Thanks for your comments everyone. Kasiav, the gentleman didn't just check our IDs, he took them inside and closed the door for several minutes before returning with them and letting us in. I asked him why, and he said, we check them to make sure we don't let any criminals in here.

Sep 15, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Trip Report: Central Provisions disappointingly pretentious

OC, I was there a total of 48 hours, couldn't try everything, and this was not a food trip. It was a "See the Richard Estes exhibit with a dear friend and walk the beach trip." So all things considered, we did pretty well foodwise except for C.P.

Strawberry balsamic gelato is not a lure for me. I'll stick with Maine blueberry.

It was not the time nor place to confront a manager.

Trip Report: Dining unexpectedly on a dime

First, I want to thank everyone who gave me dining advice for my recent trip to Philly. See thread:

I decided at the last minute to accompany my husband to a convention he was attending. I almost didn't go, but I was recuperating from an illness and hubby thought it would do me good to get out. In short, I wish I hadn't gone. Our first night there we went with a group to Citizens Bank Park to catch a Phillies game. I got mugged. The perp cut a hole in my coat while I was in line at Federal Donuts (It was rainy) and stole my wallet. It had my cash, credit card, license, checks, etc... Reported to stadium authorities and police. To make things worse, the fried chicken at Federal Donuts was awful. It had clearly been made well in advance and tasted old. Donut was nondescript.

So change in dining plans for me. I decided to see if I could eat well in Philly on a budget. My husband still had his cash and friends at the convention offered to loan us money, so we weren't destitute. But I had requested a new credit card and wanted to wait to see if it would arrive before taking anyone up on their offer. It eventually did arrive, but only after it was sent to my home and forwarded to us by my daughter. Several meals were covered by the convention for my husband, and he did his best to convince me not to punish myself for the loss, but I put a self-imposed limit on how much I wanted to spend on food for myself.

We stayed at the Marriott, and I soon discovered that the Reading Terminal next door is your friend when you are on a tight budget. At Sang Kee, $2 got me a Peking Duck Roll or a large skewer of Bourbon Chicken. For $3, I got four ounces of Peking Duck. Great food. I felt like Royalty.

But this gal can not live by meat alone, being in recovery mode I wanted fresh fruit and veggies. Hubby brought back some green salads and crudites he was served at the convention and didn't want, so that was good. At Reading Terminal I came across some huge fruit bargains on clearance at Iovine Brothers and OK Produce. For $1 I got baskets of strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Not one bad berry in the mix. They had lots of other $1 specials including large bags of good looking mushrooms, but those weren't for me. I also picked up some inexpensive carrots and nectarines.

Back at the hotel, one morning I was anxiously pacing and waiting for FedEx to arrive with my new card from AmEx only to discover they sent it to my house (Was told three times by AmEx it was being sent to the hotel). The hotel's concierge, Maureen, heard my plight and told me she was crediting my account $50 out of her own pocket so my husband and I could have dinner and drinks on her at the hotel. I tried to refuse, but she insisted. I was taken aback by her generosity. So we had one dinner at Restaurant 13 at the hotel — Delicious Watermelon Salad with Smithfield Ham, Heirloom Tomatoes, and fresh Mozz. French Onion Soup and Turkey BLT were fine. It was a terrific meal all around because I knew it came from someone's heart. That meant a lot to me. To top it off, I asked the server what the Caddy Cooler drink was, and he explained it was the same as an Arnold Palmer. He then brought me one and said it was on the house. Nice.

I think I fared just fine on my budget, but when we had our card, we enjoyed some more of what Philly had to offer:

Zavino: Pizza and the eggplant parm appetizer were very good.

Amada: Gazpacho was a bit bland but everything else was delicious - Jamon Serrano served with mustard and cornichons was fresh and appealing, Lamb Chops were perfectly cooked medium rare. My favorite main was the Berkshire Pork Ribs, with a spicy glaze. Very gracious service. I would return another time to explore more dishes.

Reading Terminal: I had been eyeing Beiler's doughnuts for a couple days and finally coughed up 95 cents for a coconut custard doughnut. The best doughnut I've ever had. So fresh, light dough, truly delicious. I was surprised to see caneles at the terminal, but the Metropolitan Bakery had them and they were good.

My husband enjoyed a roast pork and provolone sub at DiNic's and for breakfast he ordered a short stack of blueberry pancakes and sausage at the Dutch Eating Place. Super-gigantic pancakes! The sausage though was just eh. The syrup didn't taste like real maple, but the strawberry jam tasted like homemade freezer jam and my husband slathered that on his pancakes.

I got some chocolate peanut butter pretzels to take home to my good daughter. I also got my son and his girl friend who offered to drive from Connecticut to Philly with cash if we needed it, some black cherry and red apple balsamic vinegars at The Tubby Olive. I bought similar ones a couple years ago in Chicago and really liked like them. So sweet you can use them on salad without oil.

Hop Sing Laundromat, The doorman takes Ids and closes the door before letting you in to make sure you aren't a criminal. Huh? Once inside, the decor is swanky and the craft cocktails are first rate. Ask for their special off-the-menu fresh mint drink.

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., nice craft cocktails too.

Beiler's Coconut Custard Doughnut
Sang Kee Bourbon Chicken Skewer
Bargain produce signs at Reading Terminal
Watermelon Salad at 13 in the Marriott
Blueberry Pancakes "Short Stack" at Dutch Eating Place
Pizza at Zavino
Gazpacho at Amada
Berkshire Pork Ribs at Amada
Maureen the concierge, whose smile made me smile

Trip Report: Central Provisions disappointingly pretentious

It's funny, when I was younger the main thing I looked for in a restaurant was the food. If it was good, I didn't care about anything else.

Now that I'm older, I realize that service means a lot to me too.

Trip Report: Central Provisions disappointingly pretentious

Thanks Irwin. I don't even get that "New York" attitude in New York anymore. Restaurants there are hungry for the business and generally treat their customers very well. I don't think they would say anything as absurd as this server did.

Trip Report: Central Provisions disappointingly pretentious

Report from recent 48-hour trip to Maine to see the amazing Richard Estes exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art (Now closed, catch it at the Smithsonian).

Mostly everything we had was good. Great tips on this board.

Stayed at The Breakers Inn in Scarborough, a cute B&B right on the ocean featuring hearty breakfasts for their guests (open menu, order whatever you want) including pancakes, eggs, ham, bacon, fruit, hot huckleberry muffins, and grilled English muffins, yes! Served with delicious homemade strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb jams.

Enjoyed good wood-fired, thin crust sausage pizza at Flatbread, in Old Port, Portland. My only qualm is the slices were a bit floppy in the middle. (Ordered the pie well done, and upper crust was good and crispy.)

First rate dinner at 555, and liked their open kitchen. Very good food - fresh heirloom tomatoes, charcuterie plate, marinated hangar steak that was quite tender, trio of fun ice creams- beer & pretzels, cherry coke, and buttered popcorn. The Arnold Palmer souffle (lemon souffle with tea ice cream) needed more lemon for my taste, but was otherwise nicely poofy and went well with the ice creams.

Speaking of ice cream, the homemade blueberry ice cream at Curly Cones in Old Port was very smooth with good berry flavor. When I started to take a photo the owner wanted to jazz it up to make it a fun shot, as you can see.

Doughnuts at The Cookie Jar in Cape Elizabeth were gargantuan, but light and fresh. Brought some with us on our further jaunt to Boston.

The one sour note of the trip was lunch at Central Provisions. I chose it thinking it would be a fun place to meet up with a dear friend who lives near Portland. I haven't seen her in 30 years and she's fallen on hard times healthwise. I wanted to treat her to a nice lunch and take her to the art exhibit as a special treat. Central Provisions seemed like it would fit the bill from all the raves I read. Sadly, it didn't.

In a word, Central Provisions was pretentious. While my husband took time to find parking, my friend and I took seats at the bar and ordered a number of items for all of us to share (he was still full from breakfast so he said keep it light, he would just pick): We chose the Spanish jambon, spicy fried potatoes, arancini, heirloom tomatoes (I truly can not get enough of fresh-grown heirlooms), and what I was most looking forward to, a BLT. The menu described the BLT simply as bacon, lettuce, tomato, bread. Not knowing if the sandwich would come slathered in mayo, which I really don't like, I asked the server if I could get the bread dry or with butter. She instantly said No, and words to the effect that the chef has very specific ways he wants the dishes served and does not make substitutions. Please, I said, just nothing on the bread? No, she said, they can not do that. Inside, I was absolutely seething. Outside, I just shrugged and said, well I guess we'll have to order something else then. My friend, who is the sweetest person on the planet, smiled and ordered a crab melt instead. Since I'm allergic to seafood, I passed.

For drinks, I noticed the list of house made sodas and ordered a ginger ale for my husband, because he loves strong ginger beer. It had a strong ginger root flavor, good. My friend is diabetic and asked if they had anything without sugar. No. So she said water would be fine. I asked for water too. It was lukewarm and served in 1980's-chic jelly jars, which I wouldn't have minded if the water was cold.

The server then told us that the plates would arrive to our table in a "special way" in the order the chef believed they should be eaten. We may get them one at a time or a number at a time. Fine. The first plate to arrive was the Spanish jambon. A board of sliced ham and NOTHING else. No mustard or cornichons like we got the previous week at Jose Garces' restaurant Amada in Philadelphia. Just ham, dry ham, and lukewarm water to drink and no other plates. It seems to me, the plates came out in the order of quickest to plate to longest to prep and serve, not in some "special" chef-dictated order. I would have asked for mustard for the ham and ice for the drinks, but I knew better...

The heirloom tomatoes were good, and the arancini rice balls were some of the best I have ever had - crispy on the outside and risotto-like on the inside. My friend said the crab melt was good. My husband nibbled on a couple of the sliced potatoes, said they were ok.

Watching the staff from the bar, a young woman at the cold prep station was working very hard on the salads, and constantly replenishing the mise en place when there was a lull. The men at the sandwich/cook station were having a good time chitchatting, and one was reading the Noma cookbook. I really don't think they would have cared that I asked to leave the mayo off the BLT.

Despite the amazing rice balls, the server's admonition and warm drinking water at Central Provisions was a food downer. Fortunately, seeing my friend after all these years was so much fun, we just kept telling stories and laughing. I was in such a happy mood from the reunion I even left the server a 22% tip.

Photos (from my crappy cell phone):
Huckleberry Muffins, Breakers Inn
Rice Balls, Central Provisions
Sausage Pizza, Flatbread
Pancakes, Breakers Inn
Homemade Jams, Breakers Inn
Blueberry Ice Cream, Curly Cones
Ice Cream Trio, 555
Doughnuts, The Cookie Jar

Ah So sauce...Am I the only one

Good luck. I slathered Baby Back Ribs with Ah So sauce yesterday for a Labor Day cookout and they were the first thing to disappear.

Sep 02, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Home Cooking

Have you ever made Boston Cream Pie?

Ruthie, you are too kind. I learn so much from home bakers such as yourself on Chowhound. Inspiration.

Aug 29, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Home Cooking

Quick Philly pre-trip advice

Leaving tomorrow morning. Keeping Zavino on the list. Convenience may win out. Thanks everyone for the tips!

Aug 22, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Quick Philly pre-trip advice

Thanks for that tip about Townsend. Listed!

Aug 21, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Quick Philly pre-trip advice

So noted, those are on the list. I do think bar snacks and some food make for a better drinking experience. Hop Sing will be for a quickie.

Aug 21, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Quick Philly pre-trip advice

Wow, wonderful tips!

—Garces Trading Company is out, Amada is in. Zavino is out, Nomad/Nomad Roman is in. Ting Wong is out, Sampan Asian is in. The Dandelion Pub is staying on the list.
—Le Cheri and Zinc are added to the possible dinner list.
Adding all the bars mentioned as possibles.
As for Hop Sing Laundromat, the name alone fascinates me, they have a weird disclaimer on their website that they are sorry they can't live up to the media hype foisted upon them. Definitely going there! ;-)

Thank you all so much!!!

Aug 21, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Quick Philly pre-trip advice

At the last minute I've decided to attend a convention in Philadelphia. Staying at the Marriott near the center. Knowing I have a bit of a Chowhoundish background a few others who are going have asked me to do some research on nearby spots to eat and drink. Everything needs to be casual. My husband is grudgingly wearing shirts with collars.

I combed through this board and here's what I've come up with, your advice is appreciated:

Breakfast/Lunch: Convention is covering a few of these meals. Otherwise they need to be quick and easy.

So I'm thinking Reading Terminal for breakfast and lunches:

— Dutch Eating, pancakes, apple dumplings
— Beiler's, doughnuts
— DiNic's, sandwiches A few years ago I had a brisket sandwich at DiNic's that was excellent. Hubby had the roast pork one.
— SungKee, Peking duck rolls
— Bassett's, ice cream

Need dinner two nights:
— Garces Trading Co. (I love Jose Garces, my husband might enjoy that all you can eat Steak Frites thing.)
— Zavino, thin crust pizza, pasta
— Ting Wong, Chinese BBQ
— The Dandelion Pub
Need more help. I'm allergic to seafood, not fond of Mexican. Love French, American. Other thoughts?

—Capogino Gelato

Citizen Bank Park (one ball game)
— Federal Donuts, section 140, fried chicken and donuts
— Chickie's and Pete's, section 102, crab fries (for those who like that kind of thing)
— McNally's, The Schmitter, section 140

Need some advice:

Bars/restaurants in the area that make craft cocktails (I appreciate a fine Mojito or Planter's Punch, others in my gang will just want beer) and also serve better than average food? (Is this where Dandelion Pub would fit?)

Also, bars for a good "let's go out for a drink."

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

Aug 20, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Philadelphia

Have you ever made Boston Cream Pie?

Yeah, the trick is you can't fold in too much whipped cream, because it will get very loose.

I adore diplomat cream, folding whipped cream into homemade pastry cream, but my husband prefers his Boston Cream Pie filling to be custardy, so I just use the pastry cream recipe above.

When I first started cooking, I made Boston Cream Pie using a yellow cake mix as a base. (Cooked) vanilla pudding from a box, and just melted chocolate on top. So cooks need to do what they need to do. I don't judge.

Aug 13, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Home Cooking

Have you ever made Boston Cream Pie?

You can if you like. And to make it taste even better fold in a little whipped cream.

Aug 13, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Home Cooking

Have you ever made Boston Cream Pie?

That's why I freeze the cake. Makes cutting it a breeze.

Aug 13, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Home Cooking

Have you ever made Boston Cream Pie?

This is my recipe for Boston Cream Pie and a couple tips. I believe the cake part is from King Arthur. Boston Cream Pie is a cake - white, yellow or sponge, with a vanilla cream filling and topped with either chocolate or vanilla icing. So many variations, make it how you like it.

TIP: Do not use two whole cake layers for the final product. Use one layer split in half. This will give you the great ratio of cake to filling that you want. Also, after the cake layer(s) cool, freeze them. Makes cutting them in half much easier.

Boston Cream Pie is my husband's favorite, and I make it for his birthday. I am attaching a really blurry photo of one I made a couple years ago. I made this cake in a 10-inch springform pan, so didn't use all the cake batter, just enough so I would get a nice size cake.

TIP: When all the components were cool/cold, I assembled the cake in the (cleaned) pan with the springform attached. Layer of cake, layer of filling, second layer of cake, ganache. Put the cake in the fridge till ready to serve. Took the springform round off and it was good to go and level.

Boston Cream Pie

1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter — softened
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups superfine or granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 large egg whites, room temperature
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 cup milk

1. Cream together butter, baking powder, sugar, salt and vanilla until light - 5 min. or more.
2. Add egg whites one at a time and beat well after each addition.
3. Stir in flour and milk, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour. (i.e. 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour)
4. Pour into two 9-inch round greased, floured, parchment lined cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until done. After five minutes, remove cake from pans and cool completely. Use one layer, split in half (use a thread or sharp knife) for each "pie."

Vanilla Cream Filling:

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot, scalded milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract or other flavoring

1. In top of double boiler (or heat resistant glass bowl) over pan of simmering, not boiling water, mix sugar, flour and salt.
2. Whisk in hot milk.
3. Whisk and cook for 15 minutes, until mixture thickens.
4. Add approximately 1/4 cup of hot milk mixture to the eggs to temper them, then add egg mixture to the double boiler and cook two more minutes.
5. Stir in vanilla.
6. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, with the wrap pressed gently onto the top of the filling to prevent skin, and refrigerate till needed. Make sure filling is cold before filling cake.

Chocolate Icing (Ganache):

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Put chocolate in a medium bowl.
2. Bring heavy cream to a boil, pour over chocolate.
3. Stir till soft and shiny, add butter, stir till blended.
4. Refrigerate till ready to use. Should be slightly thick and not overly runny for the topping. If too cold and solid, can microwave slightly to soften.

Assembly: On cake dish, put one layer of the split cake, top with a thick layer of filling, top with remaining layer, and spread the top with the ganache. (You likely will NOT use all the filling or all the ganache.) Decorate with a cherry in the center if desired.

Ah So sauce...Am I the only one

Try another time and slather it all over. It's pink, it can handle it! ;-)

Aug 12, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Home Cooking

Ah So sauce...Am I the only one

That's not a large roast, so you can lather it up all over with the sauce, put it on a rack, uncovered, in a foil lined pan (for easy clean up), and roast it at 350 to 375 until done.

Aug 09, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Home Cooking

Microwave Oven Pressure Cooker

Yes, we'll see what happens.

Aug 07, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Cookware

Microwave Oven Pressure Cooker

On an impulse I ordered this Cook's Essentials microwave pressure cooker from QVC yesterday. I was home sick and watched it demo'd several times and it struck me as something I could really use for short ribs, corn on the cob, and other things I like to do in a pressure cooker.

It was offered for the first time yesterday on QVC, and they sold about 100,000. Anyone used this particular product before? Does it work well?

Aug 07, 2014
TrishUntrapped in Cookware