Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New job, new haunt

M's brother left on Sunday, and I've started in on orienting and preparing for my new job this week. With all this activity and changes, I have found solace in a newish restaurant which is happily located not far from my new job: Open City. I'm currently updating from the restaurant, in between bites of my dinner (the special for today: Asian chicken slaw. Not the type of thing I normally order, but I've been kind of overdoing it on the red meat and cheese lately).

Open City is the latest in the Tryst restaurant group (circa 2005), which also includes the Diner. I love Tryst, with its huge cups of coffee and bagel and lox plate, but I am growing equally if not more fond of Open City, and quickly. This is the third time I've been here this week, and the second time to grab a coffee on the way to my new school! I like that they have good beer on tap, and that they also feature wines on tap, something that I have never tried (does it even make much of a difference, like beer? I am intrigued). They also boast more extensive and varied food offerings than Tryst, including the huge but fresh-tasting and light salad that I am currently consuming, pizzas, mussels, steak, and a selection of hot and cold sandwiches, resulting in a hybrid of its two predecessors. The restaurant features two patios, one covered and one open, and an interesting selection of music: Currently 99 luftballoons, though the other afternoon they were playing the Neverending Story theme song, which I appreciated.

As time passes, I might have some criticisms to offer (my biggest complaint about Tryst is the noise, followed by frequent lack of seating), but for now, Open City gets a glowing review from me for providing a comfortable place to de-stress in this transitional time in my life. The happy fact that their food and beer are also good is just icing.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Lazy" Sunday

A recap of my Sunday cooking:

-poached salmon (it took 5 minutes to prepare!) on butter lettuce with some buttered rye bread on the side. The leftovers will probably find their way into some kind of salmon salad spread for M's lunch (I kind of overcooked it, unfortunately, but it was still tasty)
-fried up a batch of Hungarian hots like my grandpa used to do (peppers in oil, great with eggs or to dress up spaghetti that's already been sauced)
-Huge batch of pasta sauce: tomato sauce base (with garlic and onions) with eggplant, zucchini, green bell pepper, capers, lemon zest, chopped cured black olives, lots of fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley

I have to say that lunch was one of the most satisfying parts of my day. Dinner was also very good - the peppers tasted really good with everything.

My Omnivore's Hundred

Mid-August already! Since my last post I've been to Minnesota and back for a lovely family visit (and lots of good eating). Back here in D.C. it hasn't been as humid as I was expecting but in spite of this I don't have a lot of food adventures to report.

However, today I happened to check out Chocolate and Zucchini for the first time in months, and came upon The Omnivore's Hundred, originally posted on the British blog Very Good Taste on August 13, 2008 (penned by blog co-author Andrew Wheeler). This is an arbitrary list of 100 items that the author thinks every "good" omnivore should try at least once. I thought it sounded like fun so I gave it a try and discovered that there are 31 that I haven't tried. Here's my list and key. It was fun perusing the list; there are several that I have enjoyed often.


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