Thursday, September 25, 2008

My best girl friend Angela moved to Washington D.C. from Boston just under two years ago. I've slowly come around to liking D.C. a little bit more on every visit to hang out with her. A recent trip down brought us on a long walk through the city and to Larry's Ice Cream on Dupont Circle. Finding this gem may have sealed D.C. in my heart forever. larry's
Be careful not to walk right by the place, it's located below the Human Rights building, from the street you have to walk down the set of stairs to get in. Once inside you may be overwhelmed with the choices. Lots of unique flavors are present that you've probably never tried in ice cream form such as Lychee or Key West Chocolate. Small tastes are permitted, but the place is usually hopping so hurry up and get on with it.
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I got a small sundae. Can you believe that's a small? I sampled a scoop of coffee and a scoop of Cleopatra covered with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Hold the peanuts, please. The Cleopatra ice cream was out of this world! Dates and coconut were swirled into creamy lightly spiced ice cream. The perfect combination for me, because I love dates and coconut. No matter what you're craving, Larry's is sure to have something unique to satisfy your sweet tooth and cool you down on a hot D.C. day or night.

Cash Only!

Larry's Homemade Ice Cream
1633 Connecticut Ave NW
(between N. 20th St & N Hillyer Pl)
Washington, DC 20009
Larry's Cookies & New York Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rib Cook-Off Recap

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Northern Liberties was hopping this weekend. Festivals and live music were everywhere. The best event for foodies was held behind A Full Plate Cafe on Liberties Walk where ten local teams competed in the 2nd Annual Rib Cook-Off.
Grillers rolled up at around nine and got to work marinating, rubbing and smoking serious quantities of pork ribs, while also preparing entries in the Vegetarian and Anything Goes categories.
My creation
From what I saw at the event, there are about as many techniques for cooking ribs as there are freckles on my face. Last year's winning team "Rub the One You're With" came back to their title with a brown sugar rub and ancho spiked BBQ sauce, but sadly they couldn't hold their title with the stiff competition.
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This year's first place winner was Team Mermaid BBQ. Their ribs were tender, full of smoky flavor and drenched in extra sauce, which the team wisely brought along to hawk to patrons. I'm looking forward to seeing this team compete at next year's event so I can get more of their delicous sauce in my mouth. Incidently, my camera was covered in sauce by the end of the day. Gross.
My creation
It was a great event that I look forward to next year. Thanks to Sly Fox for donating some beer and making us all a little sauced. And thanks to A Full Plate Cafe and Home Slice for hosting the event.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

There is still plenty of time to get a team together and enter the 2nd Annual Northern Liberties Rib Cook-Off!
With a minimal entry fee, A Full Plate Cafe is providing Rib Cook-Off teams with 10 racks of ribs to lay their BBQ magic all over. You provide the sauce, utensils and creative ideas, they provide the meat. You still have time to enter!

Don't have a grill you can wheel down to Liberties Walk? You can rent one from A Full Plate Cafe for just $20.

Live entertainment and local beverage sponsors will be on site to provide an entire evening of fun and food.

Not a griller, but love to eat? Join us starting at 4pm to purchase a general admission ticket which gets you samples of the contestants ribs and access to a full buffet of A Full Plate's side dishes. You can't go wrong at this event whether you're grilling or eating.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

All doped up on Patriotism and Adrenaline left over from the Olympics, I poured my heart into a crash course on Bourbon, America's distinctive spirit. Alcohol is complicated stuff with all it's legalities and subtle signature touches, and Bourbon is certainly no different. I attended a Bourbon Tasting at Morton's The Steakhouse which included nibbles, loads of drinks and an educational session with a proclaimed Whiskey Professor, Bernie Lubbers. Here I learned that to truly be an American Bourbon, a spirit must be at least 51% corn and be aged in new, charred oak barrels. My whiskey professor said they can't use the barrels twice by law, so they ship them to abroad where they're used to make Scotch Whisky.
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If anything, this guy was serious about his favorite spirit, he wore it on his shirt, his belt, and even his shoes. Bourbon was poured generously all night long. On one side of the room, Bernie was pouring Bourbon straight and talking his talk. The other side of the room showcased a few of Morton's excellent bartenders mixing four featured Bourbons into mixed drinks.

Bourbon Tasting Mosaic

I especially enjoyed the Mint Julep made with mint and Knob Creek, and the Washington Apple Martini mixed with Baker's. Morton's didn't shy away from the challenge of accompanying the stellar cocktails with small bites from their kitchen. In addition to the filet sandwich and crab cake pictured above, there were garlic lamb chops and bacon wrapped scallops.

Morton's The Steakhouse
1411 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Morton's - the Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Avocado Bruschetta

I recently took a quick trip down to Baltimore and Washington D.C. to visit with some friends before work picks up again. There were many highlights to the trip, but one dish was the clear favorite out of all the delicious things I ate. My friend Andy who is leaving D.C. shortly to start a position with the NCAA in Indianapolis picked a restaurant called Cork on 14th Street. It's a small plates kind of place that suggests accompanying the dishes with wine from their extensive list. Unfortunately I have not a single picture of the food or drink from this meal because Cork explicitly asks on their menu that people refrain from taking photos of the food or premises. I asked the waitress about the policy and she said some food blogger came in, took pictures, and then gave them a bad review. Well, boo hoo. I did as I was asked and refrained, but they really should have let me because I could write a glowing review based on my dinner there. I'm slightly annoyed at Cork from preventing me from doing my job here on Foodaphilia, so I'm just going to say, if you're in D.C. and want a nice place for dinner, you should look up Cork. And definitely order the Avocado Bruschetta, it's simple, absolutely delicious and I've never had anything like it.
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I re-created it as an appetizer over Labor Day weekend, so I'm presenting a beautiful photo and the recipe as I put it together.

You'll need just a few simple ingredients to get started:
1 baguette
1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup pistachio meats, roasted and salted
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
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Begin by slicing the bread on an angle to get nice 1/4 inch thick slices of bread. Broil or toast the bread until lightly browned on both sides. Slice your avocado in half, remove the pit and peel back the skin. Slice the avocado thinly and lay at least two slices on to each piece of bread.
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Chop the pistachio meats up a little bit and sprinkle a good teaspoonful on top of the avocado slices. Drizzle a tiny bit of oil over the nuts and give each a sprinkling of Kosher salt. The result is a really nice crunchy, creamy, and salty way to start a meal, or just have as a snack.