A Trip Down Memory Lane

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is doing pretty good. I’ve had a pretty lazy day, which in my mind is awesome because I’m trying to get as much relaxation as possible before I go back to graduate school to get on my nutrition grind. I’m looking forward to getting into more serious and in depth classes since I love nutrition so much. Anyways back to the last meal of my trip to DC. We ended up going to a tapas restaurant. For the three of us, it was like going down memory lane to our trip this summer to Spain. Oh how I miss you Spain, you were so wonderful. We ended up at Estadio, which was a quick walk from our hotel. Luckily it was a quick walk because at this point the temps had dropped to 17 degrees and it was incredibly windy. Weather.com said it felt like 3 degrees. Brrr. Literally no one was out except us. Okay shut up Lindsay and get to the food.

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Some of the pictures are a little dark because the restaurant decided to have a “romantic” feeling to it, which was kind of weird since there were only a few people inside. Everything was tapas style, which means that it is small plates. I love this because you get to sample a bunch of things. This was a pintxo, which is just a skewered appetizer type of thing. On this one there was chorizo, manchego, and pistachio crusted quince. I like getting a little bite of something. All of the things on the toothpick blended nicely together. My favorite part was the pistachio crusted quince. It was a little sweet with a little saltiness. I was glad we started the meal off with this.

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The sandwich king would have been proud. This was a bocadillo with pork belly and pickled shishito peppers. Oh man. I loved that it was served on a ciabata roll. Definitely wasn’t expecting that from a Spanish restaurant. The pork belly was incredibly tender and fell apart as you bite into it. The pickles were a nice simple topping to go on the sandwich because they added a little spice, but didn’t take away from the star of the dish that was the pork. My brother and I gobbled this down in probably five seconds.

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Of course you can’t go to a Spanish tapas restaurant and not order a plate of croquetas. These were wild mushroom croquetas with argula and roasted peppers. These were so simple, but tasty. The outside was nice and crispy while the inside focused solely on the freshness and flavors of the mushrooms. The inside was creamy and delicious. I definitely would have gotten these again.

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Now this was a colorful dish. Very tasty too. It was a montaditos, which is an open faced semi-sandwich like tapas. On this one there was beets, heirloom tomatoes, and whipped goat cheese. It was delicious. I liked that the goat cheese was minimal on the sandwich because it allowed the vegetables to be the main focus of the dish. The bread was lightly toasted, so there was a slight crunch with the bread as the vegetables were smooth and soft to bite into. I am a huge fan of beets right now and these were cooked perfectly.

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This was definitely one of the best dishes of the night. It was another montaditos. This time there was foie gras involved. If there is anything ya’ll remember about my Spain posts it is that I am obsessed with foie gras and we pretty much ate it at every meal if it was possible. This was foie gras scrambled eggs with black truffle butter. You pretty much can’t get better than that. It was so exquisite for such a small plate. The eggs were fluffy and creamy. It provided a nice texture to the hardness of the toasted bread. I could have eaten about ten of these. I had to split one piece with my dad while my brother got to eat an entire one to himself.

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What a beautiful plate. This was from the pescado part of the menu, which is simply just fish. It was a sherry glazed halibut served over nuts and sauteed spinach. It was a nice piece of fish with a delicious sauce. The fish was incredibly flaky and paired well with the spinach. I liked that it was a small portion of fish that we got to all taste. If the fish was any bigger I don’t think I would have made it through the rest of the meal.

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Ya’ll know my family and I couldn’t have gone to a meal and not have gotten mussels to eat. We wanted to try every restaurant’s mussels in order to compare. These were probably the most simple of all the mussels we had tried on the trip, but that didn’t mean they lacked flavor or weren’t delicious. In fact I liked them quite a bit. Not as much as the mushroom ones from Brasserie Beck, but they were pretty great. Plus there was a ton of bread to dip in the sauce, which I am always a fan of.

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Oh man, this was the other favorite of the night. It was a delicious carne selection (meat, which is pretty obvious if you don’t know Spanish). It was crispy braised bacon served on top of a butternut puree and topped with crispy brussel sprouts. This meat was probably some of the most tender meat I have had in a long time. As soon as your fork ripped into the bacon it just fell apart. The crispy brussel sprouts were a nice addition. It gave each bite a little crunch to go along with it. The butternut puree was very creamy and gave a sweet addition to the smokiness of the bacon. I was in meat heaven. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I would definitely be a meat eater all the time for this bad boy.

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This was a special of the night. In my mind I call it Jewish brisket on crack. It was some of the best brisket I have had in a while surrounded by mashed potatoes that were surrounded by brisket sauce. Noms. It was like Shabbat dinner in a quaint little Spanish restaurant. However it was a Monday night, so definitely no Shabbat was going down. It was so awesome being able to dip the meat into the mashed potatoes. Definitely a good option for those who aren’t able to venture out on the menu and want to stick to the traditional meat and potatoes. BORING, but in this case delicious.

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It took us a million tries to get this dish. All it was is a plate of simple wild mushrooms, but for some reason the waiter kept forgetting that we ordered this. He also forgot our order of patatas bravas, but oh well because I would have barfed if he brought them to the table. This were amazing. They were just sauteed in some oil and herbs. It reminded me of one of my favorite places we went in Spain that only served different types of mushrooms sauteed in oil. It is so simple, but amazing.

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Now it was time for postre. Finally my brother realized he could only handle one dessert that night. He opted for a pear tart with a side of ice cream. It was very tasty. The crust was flaky and the pears were caramelized, but not too sweet. I liked the addition of the dusted powdered sugar. He was in dessert heaven because he is a huge fan of pastries, especially tarts.

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I got to be in pumpkin heaven. Pumpkin is life to me, so when I saw that there was a pumpkin bread pudding dessert I knew that I was getting that immediately. My brother ended up eating half because he can’t keep his spoon to himself. Typical. It was amazing though. The bread pudding was soft and the pumpkin wasn’t too overwhelming. Sometimes people can use too much pumpkin and it doesn’t taste sweet enough. I liked the addition of all the nuts too. It gave it a little crunch.

Overall this was the perfect way to end our trip to DC. It brought back memories of our previous trip together to Spain and it made us have warm bellies to brave the cold weather. If you are in DC this is another recommendation of places to go. Estadio. Don’t forget it.

Have you ever had tapas?
What is your favorite Spanish inspired meal?

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Get the Greek

Hey ya’ll! So far it has been a great Saturday. It is my day off from being a total health freak, so I had some Phil’s hamburger and have not been obsessing about my fitbit steps (which I totally treat like a competitive game). Anyways so today I’m giving ya’ll a restaurant review today about another amazing meal I ate when I was in Washington. After our day of the zoo and museums, we ended up going to Zaytinya, a Greek restaurant. I haven’t had that much Greek food, so I didn’t really know what to expect. How I was delighted after the experience.

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To start out the meal, we had an order of baba ghanoush. It had a little olive oil and some pomegranate seeds in it. This was so delicious. Instead of your typical bread, we ended up getting hot pita served with the meal. Oh how wonderful it was to dip into the spread. My brother chose this one, which I wasn’t expecting because normally being the typical Jews that we are would go for hummus or tzatziki. I was happy with this choice though. It was blended very well because sometimes baba ghanoush can taste a little grainy.

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These things are amazing. They were crispy brussels afelia. The dish had brussel sprouts, coriander, barberries, and garlic yogurt. This dish reminded me of the palak chaat from the night before. This time it was brussel sprouts instead of spinach. It was perfectly fried and the yogurt sauce provided a creamy cool texture. All of it mixed very well together. I probably could have eaten about three plates of these for my meals. I will definitely try to recreate these.

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Oh how we can’t stay away from fried things. It must be the southerner inside us or it is just that we appreciate good food. These were fried mussels. Yet again another meal with mussels. A different way of preparation though and these were definitely mind blowing. The bread on the outside of the mussel wasn’t too crispy or too soft. Inside the mussel was soft and fresh. Also the batter had a ton of Greek herbs in it, which added a nice flavor to the dish. These were a nice treat to the meal.

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This was a special of the night. It was lamb wrapped in phyllo dough. Underneath was a nice yogurt sauce that mixed well with the lamb. It had a little mint in it. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The phyllo dough was crispy on the outside and the lamb was so tender on the inside. My brother and I split a half of one. I was so happy that the waiter recommended it. Speaking of the waiter, David, he was so hilarious. He definitely brought a special thing to the meal. I don’t think it would have been as great without him.

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These were havuc koftesi. We ended up getting these because when I went to the bathroom there was a review from a top foodie magazine that recommended these as one of the best dishes the restaurant had to offer. While I disagree that this was the best dish, I still thought it was really good. It also was pretty healthy, so I felt good eating it. It had carrots, apricots, and pine nuts inside the little cakes. It was placed on a pistachio sauce. I loved the addition of the nuts not only in the cakes, but in the sauce too. I’m a sucker for pistachio flavored things, so I was really happy.

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This was another special of the night: a whole branzino fish. It was so tasty. The fish was incredibly fresh, it had a nice char along the topside of it, and it was incredibly flaky. We let my dad eat most of the fish since he didn’t get to enjoy all of the breaded products, but the few pieces I had were amazing. I was happy that we ended up ordering it. It was also nice that the entire thing was debonned. There is nothing nastier than having a bone in your mouth when you eat a bite of fish.

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After we had most of our meal, we decided to get two more dishes because my dad was still hungry. For one of them we got an order of scallops since there was only two on a plate. It was placed on top of a carrot puree and topped with orange and radish. My brother and I split a scallop. It was really delicious. I was a huge fan of their scallops.

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The second dish we got was a pork chop. It was on top of a yogurt sauce and had some mint spread rubbed on the top. The lamb was incredibly tender and just melted in your mouth. This was amazing. Pretty much as great as the lamb we had the night before at Rasika. Once again my brother and I split a lamb chop, so that my dad could have an entire one. I was glad we split it because at this point I was getting pretty full.

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Then my brother had to go and order five desserts. You thought four was a lot from the night before? Oh no five was a new level for him. Luckily the restaurant had the option of getting just tastings of desserts, so he got four tastings and one that was the real size. This dessert was Turkish delight, which I really enjoyed. It had walnut icecream, yogurt mousse, honey gelee, orange caramel sauce, and caramelized pine nuts. This was just a tasting size. I was shocked. It was huge. I loved the gelee part of this.

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This was a full size of a dessert. It was galatopita. It was sort of like an apple pie dessert. Semolina custard espuma, apples, crispy phyllo, almonds, and honey crisp apple sorbet. OMG SO GOOD. Seriously if you love apples and pie, get this. It was like a modern twist on the classic American favorite dish. My brother and I were in heaven eating this.

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This is the last dessert I actually took a picture of. Sometimes it is hard taking pictures of food around my brother and dad because as soon as the food comes out they want to dig in with their forks. This was a Turkish coffee cake with sea salt, mastiha ice cream, and pistachios. Yes pistachios again. My true love. This dish was really small. It was just a bite for all of us. The other two desserts were yogurt based parfaits. They were super tiny, but packed with a ton of flavor.

Overall this was an amazing meal. There was no bad dish, the service was amazing, and the atmosphere was nice. I was so happy that we ended up going here. Zaytinya is the place to go for Greek and Mediterranean food in DC. Also try to get David the waiter. He is epic. You will not be disappointed.

What is your favorite Greek dish?
Have you ever had more than one dessert?

 

A Taste of India: Rasika

Hey ya’ll! I know technically I didn’t blog for three days, which breaks my resolution, but I had no wifi or internet connection where I was, so I’m not going to count it! The weird thing is that I was in Washington DC, so you would assume that I would have wifi, but nope. They charged you a lot of money to access the hotel wifi, yep not doing it. Ya’ll had to live a few days without my awesomeness, which I know is pretty hard. So for the next few days I’m going to recap my trip to DC (which I love btw). Seriously I think I could live there. It would be a great place for a registered dietitian and there are sports teams (did I mention that I have an insane crush on the super sexy John Wall). So we got in around 4 to Baltimore and had to drive to DC. We didn’t have dinner reservations until about 9:45, so we tried to figure out what to do in the meantime.

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Say hello to my little friend. Lets stop lying to ourselves because this is actually HUGE. We ended up going to Moe’s Seafood in order to get a little snack to hold us over till 9:45. My younger brother and I ended up splitting an order of crab cakes. I was totally expecting some small dinky thing, but no these were enormous monsters of crab. Delicious succulent crab that is. The crab was so fresh, duh its Maryland, and it was packed with flavor. There wasn’t an overwhelming amount of breadcrumbs, which was nice because you mainly tasted the herbs and the crab. I was in heaven. I am a sucker for good seafood, especially crab cakes!

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My dad ended up getting an order of clams with some type of parmesan crust on top. They looked really good, but since there was only three I didn’t have any. That didn’t stop my little brother from taking one though. He seriously will take all your food even if you are in the middle of eating it. Happened multiple times throughout the trip. After our quick seafood snack, we hopped in our rental car and drove towards DC.

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Our 9:45 pm dinner reservations were at an Indian restaurant called Rasika. I had found this place on Eater’s guide to DC and from reviews on yelp. This was the best place to go. If you are ever in DC, I would definitely recommend going here. I want to ride the train down from NYC just to go here (lies because I also want to explore Georgetown more). Anyways this dish was Mango Shrimp. It was simplistic, but packed with tons of flavor. I love the hint of the mango in the glaze on the shrimp. The vegetable medley that came along with it went well and provided a more cooling effect with the hot shrimp.

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Oh you sweet potato samosas, how I love thee. You can’t really go wrong with anything that is wrapped in a fried wonton like wrapper. This was no exception. The sweet potato was a creamy mixture inside that went well with the crunch of the fried outside. The sweetness from the cranberry chutney was a nice addition to the dish. It provided a bit of a sour acidic flavor that balanced off the sweetness from the potato.

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Oh Palak Chaat, you are what dreams are made of. Really though. I have been craving this ever since. I can’t wait to look for this in NYC. That is how good it is. The spinach is crispy from being fried in hot oil. There is yogurt, tamarind, and dates in the mixture. There is also chopped tomatoes and red onion. I don’t think I can really explain this dish good enough to give it the justice that it deserves. The crunch of the spinach provides a good texture to be paired with the creamy smoothness of the yogurt. It was the most amazing thing. I am definitely going to try to remix this recipe into a healthier version (although the only bad thing is that it is fried).

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Hello Cauliflower Bezule. This was fried cauliflower. Hmmm there seems to be a trend here of fried food. What can I say? We southerners love to consume some fried foods. I do love cauliflower, so this was a definite thing that I had to get on the menu. It had mustard seeds, curry leaf, green chiles, and lemon juice. I liked the dish, but I thought it was just okay. I would have rather had more bowls of palak chaat. My brother seemed to really enjoy this though. It was a little too spicy for me.

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This sort of looks like green throw up set in small clams. Well it was really good tasting vomit. Hahaha. No I didn’t actually eat vomit. These were clams caldine. SO GOOD. There was coconut, green chiles, and cilantro. I think the coconut calmed down the spice from the green chiles because I didn’t get any kick from these. Instead it was more of a sweet tasting broth and sauce in the clams. They were amazing. We threw these back so quickly. When the bowl was empty, we all were pretty sad. I would definitely order these again.

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You need a good portion of naan bread at any meal that comes with a variety of stews, sauces, and broths. We used the naan to dip into the clam sauce, the curry, and the masala. It was such a good vehicle to get all that delicious food in my mouth.

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This was the chicken tikka masala. Oh how the naan tasted so good dipped into the sauce. This was a pretty great dish. It was packed with a ton of flavors from the Indian spices and the herbs. The chicken was cooked perfectly. It was tender and not overcooked. I felt like I was slowly disappearing into an Indian food coma.

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Oh shrimp curry, how sweet you are to me. It actually was really sweet, but in a good way. It was the Shrimp Kerala Curry. It had coconut milk, cumin, and black pepper. This was definitely my choice over the chicken dish because of the thick creamy texture from the coconut milk. I loved the sweetness that the dish had and it went perfectly with shrimp. Of course I dipped my naan into this.

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My oh My. I don’t remember the name of this dish, but it was amazing. It was pork chops with a mint leaf sauce to rub on top of it. The lamb was so tender and just fell off the bone. I actually picked my bone up and started eating off it in the restaurant. I’m gonna get all the meat possible. The waiter loved this dish so much that he told us on his days off he comes to Rasika to enjoy a malt and these lamb chops. We all loved the lambchops so much. Get these along with the palak chaat and you won’t regret it.

Now comes for the time when my brother decided to order four desserts. I really only wanted one or two to share, but no he thought that it would be a good idea to get four desserts. He pretty much ate most of all of them, which I was pretty impressed with.

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These were apple doughnuts, which I really enjoyed. They were thick instead of airy and light. It was a good thing though, which you normally wouldn’t want or expect with your doughnut. The plate was covered in pistachio crumbs and a vanilla ice cream. It was definitely a good choice for dessert. Oh if we only stopped at this one.

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This was the dessert that I had wanted to get. It was Shahi Tukra, which may be the best dessert. It was a bread pudding type of dessert. It came along with apricots, figs, mangoes, and cherries. I was in heaven. It even came along with some edible foil on the top. If you only get one dessert, which is probably the smartest idea, I would definitely get this one.

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This was Gulab Jamun. Another interesting Indian dessert. I was really excited to try this once I googled on my phone what it was. It was a sort of dumpling like dessert. It was served on top of a tropical fruit curd and with a scoop of nutella ice cream. I would definitely like to try this dish at another Indian place because I feel like it was really good, but I was so full and only had one or two bites, so I didn’t get to really taste the full potential of this dessert.

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I thought this was disgusting. My brother and dad enjoyed this a lot, so at least someone got some pleasurable tastes from it. The reason I didn’t like it was all the different textures and flavors mixed in one cake. This was the baked kulfi. It had a rose cream on top of orange saffron cake and topped with baked marshmallows. That is too many different things in one for me to enjoy. I did like the fruit on the side though.

Overall I definitely give this restaurant a five star. Our waiter was amazing, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere of the restaurant was so cute and whimsical. It was the perfect way to start out our food adventures in dc.

What is your favorite Indian dish?
Have you ever been to DC?