• 25Jul

    It’s not often I receive a tip from a restaurant, especially as one as venerated as The Prime Rib, but this message appeared in Ye Olde Inbox today, titled “Good News for Meat Lovers!” The text of the message was short and simple :

    N.Y. Times: New analysis of 80 studies, involving 660,000 people,
    found no evidence linking fats in meats, butter, and cheese
    to increased risk of heart disease.

    The N.Y. Times, March 17, 2014

    Well, that IS good news for meat lovers, The Prime Rib! And, it’s obviously good news for all restaurants that cater to meat lovers, like The Prime Rib!

    The email came with this helpful picture of a heart-healthy meal, though the health-food caption is mine:

    Health food for people who hate health food.

    Look at the size of that cut of prime rib! Cooked to a perfect slightly-above rare, and the beef is just wallowing in its own delicious juices…mmmmMMM! And those scalloped potatoes, paired with steamed asparagus and a glorious Napa Valley Cab Sav! *THAT*, my friends, is a meal, and if it’s good for my heart, well then, excuse me if I dump out this box of organic free-range quinoa, or,  in the name of conserving this fragile planet’s resources responsibly,  using it as a rather expensive kitty litter. “Reuse or recycle,” I always say!

    So, The Prime Rib, you have me SOLD! I love meat, I love potatoes, I love red wine, I love asparagus covered in butter and with two little red pepper strips for fun and I sure as hell love highly-reflective silverware! The email came with a handy “Reservations” button to get my table for the next available opening. All I need to do now is get my suit jacket from the dry cleaners (they do have a proper dress code, you know!) and I will be masticating the hell out of that divine prime rib away from all you plebeians!

    However, there’s another hyperlink on that email, this one going to the New York Times’ article. Surely a reasonable person would assume this article on the Old Gray Lady clearly states the benefits of a red-meat-and-buttery-starch diet. THE Paper of Record would have an extremely detailed article citing the numerous ways in which rich, succulent roasted cow crusted in garlic, black peppercorns and sea salt is good for you! Years of research by well-meaning, but obviously-idiotic scientists and nutritionists that concluded that red meat is bad for your heart would be wiped out by this new study, vindicating everything your overweight uncle and all those Texans have been saying for years! “Eat your steak!”

    Except… it doesn’t really go that far. What the new study does state is that while saturated fat isn’t really the enemy, trans fats ARE as bad as we thought, and, this bit referring to low-density lipoproteins, a.k.a. the bad cholesterol, is key :

    The smaller, more artery-clogging particles are increased not by saturated fat, but by sugary foods and an excess of carbohydrates, Dr. Chowdhury said. “It’s the high carbohydrate or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines,” he said. “If anything is driving your low-density lipoproteins in a more adverse way, it’s carbohydrates.”

    Wait…you mean, exactly what Dr. Atkins was saying for the last 40 years? Carbs, especially processed sugary and starchy carbs, are really bad? As in, for all these years, it wasn’t the sausage or the cheese or the egg but the humble McMuffin that was really so bad for us on the Sausage Egg McMuffin With Cheese?

    The study also mentions an interesting tidbit about dairy products:

    When the researchers looked at fatty acids in the bloodstream, for example, they found that margaric acid, a saturated fat in milk and dairy products, was associated with lower cardiovascular risk.

    Let the fine citizens of Wisconsin rejoice, for their famous state export is much healthier than expected. Now, there’s some additional research to help demonstrate this – look at this link to how the states rank in the highest percentage of folks with heart disease – there’s Wisconsin, ranked #43, about 5% of the population has heart disease, pretty close to the bottom. Given the state’s relatively high obesity rate as the 15th fattest state in the US, maybe the cheese is saving their lives! Then go back to that heart disease page, and look where Idaho, the potato-making Mecca of `MURICA, ranks – #12! The twelve-highest heart disease rate in the USA! The 19th trimmest state has nearly 7% of its citizens with heart disease. That, Alanis, is irony.

    Maybe if they put some cheese on those potatoes, they’d live longer.

    So, dear The Prime Rib, if you are truly planning on considering yourself a restaurant full of delicious, healthy food, please, do all of us with a family history of heart disease a favor – get rid of those murderous potatoes immediately.

    - Ray

  • 25Jul

    In this day and age where social media and top media lists are becoming a dime a dozen, it’s hard for one to really believe what list is credible, so my challenge this year is to attempt to try as many of the top 100 restaurants listed by the Washingtonian to put to the test their their actual greatness. So here’s the first entry for Washingtonian’s 2014 list. Get ready. Eat. Indulge!

    Duck Breast.

    Duck Breast.

    #7 Blue Duck Tavern1201 24th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037*

    Two words is all I have to utter for Blue Duck Tavern: Bone Marrow. Those who’ve been following me already know that I’m a huge fanatic of bone marrow, and Blue Duck Tavern hands down has my favorite bone marrow prepared dish. Everything about this appetizer deserves to be in a top 10 list on its own. From the presentation, color, seasoning, and pairing that combine to make this dish absolute perfection.

    The bone marrow was so good that I was tempted to place a second order and cancel my entree. But I had to calm myself down and realize that if their appetizer is this phenomenal, their other food should be just as amazing.

    Two recommended dishes are their 12-Hour Roasted Suckling Pig and Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast. Let’s be honest, when the food came out of the kitchen, I took one look at the dishes served on these cute little silver skillets and thought to myself, “There’s not much to these dishes at all.”

    The protein sat in a sauce in the skillet in what looked to be tiny portions with a little bit of vegetables dolling it up a bit. But little did I know that looks can truly be deceiving. Their Roasted Suckling Pig is no joke, roasted for 12 hours to the point where the meat just melts in your mouth. The jus that the pork sat in has a hint of sweetness. Only thing was that I would have changed would have been to add crunchy green vegetables such as snowpeas to add some refreshing lightness to balance things out so the dish doesn’t seem too heavy.

    The Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast was also a tender mouthwatering piece of heaven. The rhubarb butter added a nice sweetness to the duck meat. But again, it was a heavy protein that needed something refreshing to balance things out. My mistake was ordering the Hand-Cut BDT Triple Fries as a shared side instead of vegetables, but it’s hard to pass up on potatoes fried in duck fat!

    In the end, too full, I couldn’t even bring myself to order their most talked about homemade apple pie for two. Overall, this restaurant definitely deserves it spot in the top 10 on the list. Next time, I’m opting for an entire side of Bone Marrow for myself and ordering some dessert!

    * Restaurants are tiered by Washingtonian rating.

    -ADT (Angie)

    Blue Duck Tavern on Urbanspoon

  • 22Jul

    homegrown teaI recently scored a review copy of Cassie Liversidge’s Homegrown Tea. She illustrates how to plan, harvest, and blend teas and tisanes. I’m happy to hear her calling herbal teas tisanes since they is no tea in herbal tea. I like that Cassie explains how to grow, treat, and prepare tea, and even includes step-by-step pictures of how to prepare various ingredients common to tisanes. I previously did not even know what some of these ingredients looked like. She even mentions medicinal benefits.

    I definitely recommend this book for people who want to grow tea or tisane ingredients (and/or are tea geeks since the book is quite interesting).

    -JAY

    —————————–

    Disclosure: From time to time, we are given free items, meals, or entry to events.

  • 17Jul

    USApples has a weekly selfie (with an apple) contest. Two weeks ago, a photo of a guy in a cubicle with an apple on his head won a Dizzy Pig‘s gift pack. My picture of a pirana attacking me while I was eating an apple won last week, so today I was happy to find a box of Brooks Tropical‘s fruit at my door. In the box was a lime, SlimCado, dragon fruit, and red papaya.

    Next week’s prize is a Tajin seasoning gift pack. Having tried Tajin’s seasonings, I recommend entering the contest.

    Tajin Seasoning Gift Packs
    Tajin Seasoning Gift Packs

    Weekly deadlines are the next five Sundays. The contest rules are here.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    - See more at: http://www.usappleblog.org/apple-summer-selfie-photo-contest-rules/#sthash.JnQ7IKN0.dpuf

    -JAY

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    - See more at: http://www.usappleblog.org/apple-summer-selfie-photo-contest-rules/#sthash.JnQ7IKN0.dpuf

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    - See more at: http://www.usappleblog.org/apple-summer-selfie-photo-contest-rules/#sthash.JnQ7IKN0.dpuf

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    - See more at: http://www.usappleblog.org/apple-summer-selfie-photo-contest-rules/#sthash.JnQ7IKN0.dpuf

  • 16Jul
    Frozen Fattoush, last year’s Top Tomato contest winner. (Deb Lindsey/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

    Frozen Fattoush, last year’s Top Tomato contest winner. (Deb Lindsey/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

    Thanks Contest Cook for info on this one.

    “Enter your best original recipes tomatoes in the Washington Post’s Top Tomato 2014 contest. You’re only allowed 13 ingredients, and salt and pepper do count in this contest! If you plan to enter a recipe for soups or sauces, or for a tomato sandwich, make sure it’s very special. Open to amateur cooks only. You do not have to live in the Washington area.

    Prizes: The best recipes will appear in the Washington Post’s special tomato issue on August 20, 2014. More prize details haven’t been released, but last year the top 3 winners received prizes in the $50-$100 range.”

    -JAY

     

     

  • 14Jul

     

    Wildfire hosted another gluten-free four course dinner and wine pairing recently at their restaurant in Tyson’s Corner. As usual their superb skills in preparing gluten-free meals provided an evening in dining decadence that cannot be compared. An interesting twist to this particular evening was that for the first time, the menu was so enticing it even brought in non-gluten-free diners to participate. I was fortunate enough to be seated next to one of these non-gluten sufferers, who enjoyed the meal so much he swore he’d be back next time!

    I also have to agree that this was one of my favorite Wildfire events. From the beginning appetizers of spinach ricotta bites and olive bruschetta, I was hooked. The first course of herb crusted salmon was so fresh and prepared so perfectly, it literally melted in my mouth. The other culinary highlight of the evening was the white chocolate banana s’mores bar. Made with coconut, cinnamon and marshmallow, it was such a unique and tasty blend of flavors, I only wished there was more after finishing.

    Overall, the food portion of the evening can only be described as absolute perfection. Being pregnant at the moment though, I unfortunately have less to say on the wine pairing portion. However, I brought my sister along with me for the fun and she was more than happy to act as my wine taste tester. She declared them all to be great choices, but her favorite stand out of the night was the Lock and Key Meritage ’11. She described it as a full-bodied red that had a rich blend of flavors. I took a sip or two myself from her glass and I have to agree I also found it to be delicious. I will definitely be getting a bottle myself to enjoy for post-pregnancy time.

    The entertainment portion of the evening was also enjoyable. Editor-in-chief from Delight magazine, Vanessa Weisbrod and her husband, Eric, spoke about the challenges of living with a non-gluten-free spouse. They provided humorous anecdotes from their dating days as well as informative tips about their day to day navigation through the compromises of living with someone who has a gluten allergy. I found myself chuckling at times while listening to their stories, because I could relate to some of their issues from living with my own non-gluten-free spouse. My husband and I always joke that his favorite thing about me ever going out of town without him, is that he gets to gorge out on gluten. I return home to find empty pizza and breadstick boxes every time. After listening to Eric and Vanessa though, I know we’re not alone. Apparently, it’s normal to stare longingly at the bread basket while my husband partakes and my husband is not alone in groaning to coming home to a meal made with whatever gluten-free substitute I’ve used that day. These are the sacrifices/compromises we all make for coexisting in peace and luckily with the advancements the gluten-free product providers have made in recent years, it’s not even as difficult for us all to be satisfied as it once was. Overall, the topic was well chosen and I do think enjoyed by all who attended that evening.

    All I can say is my sister and I returned home that evening with full stomachs feeling satisfied. And I know, I for one, am counting down until Wildfire hosts their next gluten-free event.

    -JPM (Joyana)

    Wildfire - Tysons Galleria on Urbanspoon

  • 11Jul

    August DCFBHHAugust’s DC Food Bloggers Happy Hour will be at Roofers Union, which was just selected by Nation’s Restaurant News as one of the 50 restaurants trending nationally!

    Co-hosted by Jason Foodgeek (DCFBHH) and Wendy Brannen (USApple).

    Please RSVP here and keep your RSVPs updated so we have a good count for the restaurant.

    -JAY

  • 10Jul

    The TasteMake sure to apply by July 18th. Being on this show is one way to get Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre, or Marcus Samuelsson to yell at you. :)

    -JAY

     

     

    Permalink Filed under: Etc Tags: , No Comments
  • 03Jul

    We had a wonderful DC Food Blogger Happy Hour  Wednesday evening at Mexican restaurant, Mission Dupont. My favorite items were the Spicy Chorizo Burger, Enchilada chicken with 3 sauces (Pasilla, mole and red sauce), chicken tacos (the chicken was phenomenal), and Jalapeno Margarita. I will definitely be back soon for those items and to try more of (Mexico City native) Executive Chef Rodrigo Albarran’s dishes.

    Next DC Food Blogger Happy Hour will be Wednesday, August 6th. Mark your calendars. More info coming soon.

    -JAY

    Mission on Urbanspoon

  • 03Jul

    We recently attended Chefs Behind Bars, an event benefiting Taste of the Nation/Share Our Strength at the rooftop pool deck of the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel. Art & Soul provided some great food. Above are some photo highlights. The competing chefs were:

    Wes Morton/Art and Soul
    Amy Brandwein/Alba Osteria
    Matt Hill/Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall
    Jonah Kim
    Spike Mendelsohn/Good Stuff Eatery
    Jesse Miller/Bar Pilar
    Dimitri Moshovitis/Cava Mezze
    Nick Stefanelli/Bibiana

    -JAY

     

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