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It’s been awhile….

I hope everyone is doing well!  Maybe I can put a real post together.

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Last weekend, I went down to Florida for my buddy’s bachelor party/birthday weekend. He lives in Sarasota, a part of Florida that I had never been to before.

I flew down on Thursday into the Sarasota airport and we immediately headed to the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Tampa. Just a tip if you plan on visiting. Some of the hotels in the area have brochures that allow you to get $20 of free play in the casino if you have never visited before. I’m sure if you call they can tell you where to pick up the brochure.

Before arriving, we made a quick stop at Brandon Cross Liquors to grab some drinks as the casino does not offer free ones. I didn’t expect much as it was just a small shop in a strip mall. However, this was a really great shop. They had a good selection of beer and liquor. We picked up a 6-pack of Laughing Skull Amber Ale, a beer made by Red Brick out of Georgia. This turned out to a good, not great beer.

Later in the night, we decided to grab some food at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was pretty empty, although it was a Sunday night. We were seated way in the back and a cover band was playing on the stage. I think they played “Happy Birthday” at least six times.

I ordered the chicken fingers and my buddy ordered the nachos. The nachos weren’t too bad. We ordered them with pulled pork and they tasted like standard bar food. The chicken fingers were good but they were really small and cost about the same as the nachos. Nothing award winning here, but we just wanted some food in our stomachs.

The next morning, we were starving and wanted something delicious for breakfast. I had read about this place not too far called Daily Eats so we decided to check it out.

For a Friday morning, this place was packed! It was definitely a younger crowd. I ordered the Tijuana, which was a breakfast bowl filled with scrambled eggs with vegetable chili, shredded pepper jack, jalapenos, and guacamole served over home fries. It was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend this place if you area in the area.

After breakfast, we wanted to shoot some pool so searched what was in the area. We found a place called The Tiny Tap Tavern which seems to be a popular place in the area.

Unfortunately, they were getting new pool tables as we walked up so we weren’t able to play but if I ever come back to the area I am definitely making a stop here.

Luckily there was another place not far away called The Rack.

This was a sushi bar/pool hall. It seemed like a pretty cool place to hang out. They had plenty of pool tables and also a ping pong table. We didn’t try the food so I can’t comment on that.

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Odds and Ends

Just a few odds and ends today.

Wheaton Calling are back from vacation with good news: Royal Mile has found a new owner! Wheaton Calling have done a great job of keeping on top of that story. Their post is here.

Thayer Avenue posted the menu for Silver Spring’s new State Burger Lounge. Haven’t read any reviews yet, but I’m interested to see how it will compare with Ray’s and Quarry House. The post can be found here.

Cutting Edge Creativity had a good meal at Woomi Garden. I’m yet to try this place, but I intend to do so soon. Her review can be found here.

She also reviewed Color Music Studio, located on University Avenue. I went once during the week just to check it out. The place was pretty empty, but it looked like it could be a lot of fun. There were two people sitting at the bar talking and the karaoke was all set up in the main bar area. They also had a couple karaoke rooms for rent. The drinks were EXPENSIVE and the bartender did not know how to make a Jack and Coke. I asked about the karaoke and they tried to charge me to sing a song. I declined, but then they changed their mind and let me sing. I finally settled on a song and the man told me that they only have older songs. Like 80’s and older. I chose “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions. The private karaoke rooms look great, however. You pay $30/hour and you can order food and drinks. They serve Korean fried chicken, which definitely interests me. I think if you were to pregame before hand at Limerick and then walk over and sing karaoke, that would be an amazing night. Cutting Edge Creativity’s review is here.

Wheaton got some love from Eater DC a few weeks back, Jonathon Copeland, former chef at Palena Cafe, revealed that his favorite place for El Salvadorian food is Juanita’s Kitchen. I think I walked inside once and was intimidated because at the time I was still new to the area. I’m going to check this place out. The review is here.

Wheaton Patch reported that Tastee Diner won the award for best late night meal in Silver Spring, Wheaton, Kensington, and Takoma Park. I like Tastee Diner, but for a late night meal I’d rather head over to Hollywood East Cafe. That story can be found here.

In addition, Wheaton Patch recently wrote a great post about Irene’s Pupusas III. We are very lucky to have such good pupusas in the area. That post can be found here.

Been There, Eaten That enjoyed the food at Jewel of India. I’ve been hearing really great things about the place. The review is here.

FoodiePop had a great time revisiting Ren’s Ramen. Read the review and see the great pictures here.

More to come soon!

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Here’s a few various things from the last couple weeks:

  • Hollywood East Cafe is having a 14-dish meal to celebrate Chinese New Year, complete with Lion Dance. More information can be found here.
  • Wheaton Patch posted a story about the second generation at Los Chorros trying to increase their visibility. That story is here. My review of Los Chorros is here.
  • Eatin’ in Wheaton recently reviewed K Town Bistro in Kensington. The review can be found here.
  • Been There, Eaten That loves the spicy food at Nava Thai. The review is here.
  • Recently, while surfing the Internet I came across a condiment called Mike’s Hot Honey.

    It’s essentially honey infused with chilies. I highly recommend ordering some. I’ve put it on roast duck, bagel with butter, and chicken. The possibilities are endless. You can find out more about it here.

  • I’ve been able to try some great beers in the past couple of weeks. Some of my favorites are as follows:

  • I was recently at Woodmoor Supermarket and was blown away by their beer selection. I found a bottle of Baying Hound Angel’s Nectar.

    I’m a big fan of Baying Hound because they make good beers and they are local. This particular beer is a chamomile honey wheat beer.

  • While at Arrowine a few weeks back, I came across Bell’s Winter White Ale.

    This is a nice change of pace from the usual heavy winter ales. It’s a nice, light witbier. I highly recommend this beer.

  • I finally got around to trying Newcastle’s Winter IPA.

    I liked it, but it did not have any kind of bite to it. I like my IPA’s to be hoppier. However, this beer did taste good and I would definitely drink it again. It won’t blow you away but you’ll most likely grab another one.

  • Last week I stopped at Beers and Cheers and picked myself up a six-pack of Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale.

    I’ve never tried a beer from Tröegs that I didn’t like, and this one was no different. This is an Amber ale which a nice hoppy aftertaste. Pick this up if you come across it.

  • I went to Gilly’s recently and decided to make my own 6-pack. One of the beers I chose was a Scrimshaw Pilsner by North Coast Brewing Company.

    My initial instinct was that this beer almost had a salty flavor, in a good way. This was a fantastic beer.

    I also tried the new Flying Dog Wileman Farmhouse IPA.

    This beer just debuted this month. It was one of the best Flying Dog beers that I have ever tried. It’s a nice, crisp beer that packs a punch (7.5% ABV).

    Also in the 6-pack, I had a a Long Trail Harvest.

    Addmittedly, I was drawn to it because of the label. This is a brown ale from Vermont brewed with maple syrup. Truthfully, there is not a lot of flavor to this beer.

    I also tried a Slam Dunkel from Weyerbacher.

    I loved this beer. It’s a Weizenbock with a very balanced taste.

    Another beer I tried was Full Sail’s Amber.

    This was a very tasty, amber ale. It didn’t blow me away, but good none the less.

    In addition to the 6-pack, I picked up a bomber of Amber Dog by Pub Dog.

    I bought this mainly because it’s brewed in Maryland. I’ve tried Pub Dog beers before, and they are pretty good but nothing amazing. I liked this beer, but as I drank it I forgot I was drinking it. It’s a middle of the road beer.

  • Recently, I also tried the new Sam Adams Alpine Spring.

    I’m not sure why I bought a Spring beer so early, but I did, and I wasn’t crazy about it. This beer tastes way too citrusy. After a few sips, I slightly adjusted but I didn’t really enjoy it much. I’d be open to trying it again in the actual Spring time.

  • Speaking of beer, I was in New Jersey a couple of weeks ago visiting a friend and we were looking for a place to watch some NFL playoffs. Our options were slim, so we decided to go to Uno’s in Hamilton, NJ. I have not been to Uno’s since I was a kid, and I remember it used to be a treat when my family would go. Normally, we’d get Little Cesars or Pizza Hut.

    My expectations were extremely low, but to be honest it wasn’t all that bad. We were quickly seated, and our waitress handed us a beer menu. I couldn’t believe it – a whole page of craft beers on tap. I ordered a 20oz Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA for $7.50! I paid the same amount for a glass half that size at Dogfish Head Alehouse. Not only did they have great beers on tap, you could even buy growlers. Granted, the prices were awful but just the fact that you could do so blew me away.

    The food was definitely quantity over quality. We tried the wings, and I found it weird that they did not have hot wings. However, our waitress brought us a bottle of Tobasco. The service was quick, and again, the beer selections were great. They had Dogfish Head 90 Minute, Old Rasputin, and countless other great beers on draft and even more in bottles. While I won’t go out of my way to eat at Uno’s, if they all have this beer selection, I’ll certainly stop in for a beer.

  • Speaking of pizza, I recently ordered again from Big Papa Pizza and Wings in Arlington, VA. We ordered a Hawaiian pizza, a chicken parmesean sub, and an order of fries. The food came FAST which we really liked. Also, the pizza is definitely better then average. The crust is really good. The sub was pretty good, but nothing to go out of your way for. The fries came soggy so we had to crisp them up in the stove. I still want to try the wings. However, the draw here is definitely the pizza. Great pizza, fast service, and good prices make this place a winner.
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2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Last week, I was in Arlington and looking for something good for lunch. I had heard good things about Sauca, a food truck turned brick and mortar restaurant on Columbia Pike.

I went in the middle of the day, and it wasn’t crowded at all. There were a few tables occupied by a group of mom’s with their kids having lunch.

They had a nice outdoor patio, but it was too cold for people to be sitting outside.

Inside, the place is full of booths and also a long bar with stools.

I walked up to the bar and ordered my food to-go. They had a ton of different options. I was having trouble deciding, so I asked the staff which dishes were the most popular. They told me the Mumbai Butter Chicken, Mexicali Fish Tacos, and Pork Banh Mi were the best sellers.

I went with the Pork Banh Mi, described as “mouth-watering flavors of ginger, soy and chili with tender pork, pickled veggies and our Peanut and Thai Coconut sauces”. It came with a side and a drink, so I chose the curry potato salad.

The banh mi was pretty good, but not amazing. I was not a huge fan of the curry potato salad. It did not have much flavor. Overall, the meal was average. I’d be willing to give the place another shot, and I think next time I would try the Mumbai Butter Chicken. I think the issue may be that they are trying to offer too many varieties of food instead of sticking to 2-3 really strong items.

I would not make this place a destination, but I’d certainly try it again if I was in the area.

Sauca Grill on Urbanspoon

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There I was, driving along, minding my own businesses. I was heading from Waldorf to Silver Spring last night around 11:45pm. I was tired after a long day of work. I was almost home, when I passed through the stretch of 495 in between New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard.

I spotted a white Jeep Liberty as I was passing by. I turned my head to get a better look. All of a sudden, two big camera flashes went off. My heart sank.

I knew that I was just busted by a speed camera. Truthfully, I had NO idea that they had speed cameras along 495. I basically live on 495, and have never seen one. After doing some research today, I must have been living under a rock because there was plenty of coverage on the addition of this camera. However, I had no idea that it was there.

PLEASE DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID.

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