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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Last week, I finally had a chance to check out Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD. I’ve been meaning to go here for a long time, but didn’t have the chance. The last time I tried to eat here, the wait was over an hour and I was starving so I went elsewhere. They do not take phone reservations here.

It’s really easy to get to off of 270 and they have a huge parking lot. Keep in mind, this place does get extremely busy.

I arrived before my friend and was told the wait was going to be 15-20 minutes. They have a really nice bar on the main floor, and I grabbed a glass of the 90 Minute IPA. If I didn’t have to drive, I would have certainly gotten the 120 Minute IPA. The 90 Minute is absolutely delicious and one of my favorite beers. The layout of the bar is a little weird. There are small tables everywhere and it was a little tricky to make it over to the bar and order a drink.

When my friend arrived, we were taken upstairs to the dining area. It’s a very comfortable restaurant. One thing my friend and I noticed was that the staff were all extremely friendly. Not in the annoying, overbearing way, but just generally friendly and helpful. I opted for the crab pizza and my friend ordered the fish tacos.

The crab pizza was served with pesto sauce, lump crab, asparagus, tomatoes, fresh basil, a mozzarella/provolone blend and parmesan cheese. The portion was perfectly sized, and I really liked it. I did wish their was more crab meat on top, but for $12, it was a great meal. The beer is obviously the main draw here, but the food is above average as well.

I was very happy with my visit here, and will definitely return. I do wish they offered growlers/6-packs to go. However, excellent beer, above average food, friendly staff, and comfortable environment make this place worth a visit.

Dogfish Head Alehouse on Urbanspoon

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Good afternoon, everybody!

Just a couple of updates in the world of food from our area.

  • Elevation Burger is now open in Wheaton Mall. It’s located next to Panera. I’m yet to try Elevation Burger, but I have heard mixed reviews. I’m sure I’ll get over to the mall to try it out soon.
  • DCsocialite is reporting that the Arlington location of Pollo Rico is now taking credit cards. No mention of the Wheaton location. I’m interested to hear if they are now taking cards in Wheaton. The story is here.
  • Wheaton Patch recently reviewed Nut House Pizza. Never tried it myself. The review is here.
  • Tom Sietsema really enjoyed his meal at Fishnet, the new seafood restaurant in College Park. The review is here.
  • Eatin’ in Wheaton contemplates ordering chicken feet.
  • The Ecclesiastical Revue enjoyed the bánh mì at Saigonese.
  • Congee is good for the soul. Or so says Janet Yu, the owner of Hollywood East. Read the article here.
  • Speaking of soup, Hôpital Sacré Coeur shares a recipe for Jouwoumou, a Haitian soup that is traditionally served on New Years Day. One of the ingredients is a tropical squash that can be found at HanHnReyn Asian Market in Silver Spring. The link is here.
  • Rockville Spoons checked out the Great Wall Supermarket in Rockville, located where Jeepers used to be on Rockville Pike. The link is here.
  • Earlier this week, I went to the open house at Beers and Cheers in Germantown. They were offering 20% off of everything in the store, and were having beer and wine tastings. This was a great event and there were a lot of people there. I was able to try the Sam Adams Double IPA which was delicious.
  • I had a craving for tacos yesterday, and was in the Arlington area. I drove past El Chilango but did not have any cash and there is nowhere nearby that is convenient to take out any money. I drove to El Charrito Caminante and they were closed. I didn’t realize they are not open on Tuesdays. I ended up ordering food at Chevy’s this week, which I hadn’t done in a long time. I ordered the Chevy’s Super Cinco which included one chicken enchilada, one beef enchilada, a beef crispy taco, a hand rolled pork tamale, and a hand battered chile relleno. Chevy’s food is not worth screaming from the rooftops, but it’s not too bad when you get the craving for Mexican food. We played an order for carryout, and they were very prompt about bringing me my food when I arrived. This is not my go-to choice, but I’m glad it’s there.

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Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Not too much to report here. I did try the pizza from Big Papa’s Pizza in Arlington over the weekend. We ordered the Hawaiian, which was $14.99 for a large. The delivery was fairly quick and the pizza was very good. I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the future.

In other news:

The excellent LeoNora Bakery just opened their storefront in Clarendon. I first came across their bread at Arrowine, and I look forward to checking out the store.

DMV Dining really enjoyed their visit to the newly opened Fishnet in College Park. Their review is here. I will be starting up school at UMUC next year so I will definitely be checking this place out.

Wheaton Patch reported on a drastic drop in the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay. The link is here.

WTOP’s Beer of the Week is Great Lakes Christmas Ale. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about this beer, but I still haven’t tried it yet. The link is here.

That’s all for now!

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Odds and Ends

Hello everybody!

I’m happy to announce that my blog has been added to the LocalEats Featured Blog list. Very happy to be a part of the community.

What’s new?:

Diner Hunter checked out Wheaton’s own Island Hut. Link is here.

Wheaton Patch recently reviewed Dessie Ethiopian Restaurant. The link is here.

Eatin’ in Wheaton investigated the new Fresh Greek Frill at the corner of University and Colesville Road. Read the review here.

Suburban Food Nerd is liking Freddy’s Lobster and Clams. The link is here.

What’s new with me?:

I’m attempting my first batch of home-brewed beer with the Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brew Kit I received for my birthday. I’ve always wanted to brew my own beer, and this is a fun way to get started. I’ve brewing the American Blonde Ale, and will be bottling and carbonating it in a few more days.

Speaking of beer, I’ve been enjoying a lot of winter ale’s lately.

Last week, I picked up a six-pack of K-9 Cruiser Ale from Flying Dog.

This is an excellent winter ale. It’s dark, sweet, and malty and perfect to drink on a cold day.

Another one of my absolute favorite winter ale’s is Sierra Nevada’s Celebration.

It’s got a nice, hoppy flavor. Pick this up if you get a chance.

Last weekend, I returned to Shymansky’s for some football Sunday food. I was a fan of the crab balls, the fried rockfish, the fried chicken, and the shrimp. I wasn’t as crazy about their wings and the stuffed potato.

Speaking of wings, I went to Hard Times in Rockville on Tuesday for wings and beer. The wings there are fantastic because they grill them AND fry them to give them a little crispiness. I really like the chili lime wings. This is my favorite place to come for wings. Be warned, however. This location is really good, but the quality varies by location.

Yesterday, I was on the quest for duck breast to make a duck and scallion soup. I have never bought duck, but I figured there was a good chance I could find it at Hung Phat.

They did not sell duck breasts, just the whole duck. Being that I was starving, I decided to pick up some food from the hot bar that they had prepared. I asked the lady working behind the counter for her recommendation. She suggested I try the Pad Thai, which was $5.50/per pound. I also grabbed some fish cakes and tea.

The Pad Thai was really good! I covered it in pepper sauce to give it a nice kick. I’ll definitely keep it in mind when I want a quick, easy meal without a lot of fuss.

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Mussel Bar – Bethesda, MD

Last week, I went with some friends to Mussel Bar in Bethesda. This was my second visit. Having recently tried Brassiere Beck, I was interested to see how they compare.

We went on a Thursday night and the place was pretty crowded. However, we were seated right away. Unlike Brassiere Beck, they do not bring you any bread and butter to snack on while you decide what to eat.

We ordered the sweet potato fries to hold us over. The fries are delicious and come with three different types of mayonnaise.

For beer, I tried the Kasteel Tripel and the Chimay Blue. Both very strong and delicious beers. The Kasteel Tripel was on draft. Smooth beer but be wary of the %11 ABV. The Chimay Blue was excellent and had an aftertaste of coffee.

For food, I ordered the mussels with chorizo and goat cheese with a side of frites. This was delicious! The portion is huge and I really loved the flavors. We asked for bread to dip in the sauce, and they eventually brought us out two basket’s worth. We wanted to take the sauce to-go but they said we are unable to do so because of the health risk.

This was another great meal at Mussel Bar.

Mussel Bar on Urbanspoon

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My girlfriend and I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for crab soup. We grabbed two containers of Phillips crab meat and headed on our way. While at home, I was looking at the label and noticed something strange. On the top of the label, it says “product of the Philippines.” You can’t see it in this picture, but this is what the container looks like.

We were stunned. How could a company headquartered in Baltimore, MD sell crab meat from the Philippines? I did some research today, and found some interesting information.

Phillip’s website describes their crab meat as such:

Phillips crab meat is harvested from the tropical waters of Southeast Asia, cooked, hand-picked and pasteurized at Phillips’ own crab processing plants under the strictest quality control. The result: virtually shell-free, sweet crab meat that has a shelf life of eighteen months under proper refrigeration.

I like how they describe it as if getting the meat from the Philippines is a good thing. 18 month shelf life? Who goes out and buys crab meat and thinks….”Hmmm…I might want to eat this in a year and a half.”

So how does it last so long? You have to read the FAQ for that information:

“What is Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP)? Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP) is an additive used to prevent the formation of struvite crystals (small, gritty particles) from naturally occurring magnesium ammonium phosphate during the pasteurization process. SAPP is a man-made product made from naturally occuring elements. It is not an allergen and is on the U.S. Government list of G.R.A.S. (generally recognized as safe). We add the SAPP as recommended by the Seafood Pasteurization and Minimal Processing Manual, which is written by Sea Grant, a U.S. Government funded program.”

Getting hungry, yet? I feel much better that it is a man-made product from naturally occurring elements. And it’s G.R.A.S., which means it’s generally safe. Awesome. Basically, the sodium acid pyrophosphate prevents it from changing color. Let’s take a look at the other uses:

“In leather treatment, it can be used to remove iron stains on hides during processing. It can stabilize hydrogen peroxide solutions against reduction; it can be used with sulfamic acid in some dairy applications for cleaning, especially to remove soapstone. When added to the scalding water, it facilitates removal of hair and scurf in hog slaughter and feathers and scurf in poultry slaughter. In petroleum production, it can be used as a dispersant in oil well drilling muds.”

Trust me, I’m not a guy who insists that everything he eat be organic and local, but I find this to be disgusting. I live in Maryland, I love Maryland, and I want to eat Maryland crab meat. I don’t want the blue crabs long lost cousin. Phillips is a joke.

You can read more on this here.

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We headed over to Martha’s Vineyard for the night, and our first stop was The Black Dog Tavern. The first thing we noticed – they now serve beer! I have been coming to Martha’s Vineyard my whole life and have never ordered a beer in Vineyard Haven. I wish they had Offshore Ale, but they did not have any local beers. It still hit the spot to have a beer and sit right on the water.

I ordered the swordfish sandwich with fries. I had never tried swordfish, so I was excited to give it a try. I also tried the quahog chowder that my girlfriend ordered, which was fantastic. The swordfish sandwich and fries was also really good.

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