Restaurants in 2009 – The Promising (Part 3 of 3)

I have gone through the improving restaurants and the declining restaurants.  The only ones left are the ones that  are new or my new favorites this year…

Notable or New:

Blue Duck Tavern: This year, this has almost been our go-to restaurant.  We have celebrated everything here from a graduation to our engagement.  That speaks to the trust we have in Chef Brian McBride. Every time we’ve been there the food has been consistently excellent.  I highly recommend the roast chicken, duck fat fries or the braised beef rib.

American Flatbread: This one actually falls  into the ‘new’ category.  American Flatbread is a small chain, but just opened up a hearth in Clarendon in our building.  So far the pizza has been good, though a bit on the pricey side.  The good news is the managers are very nice, and it’s close.  My suggestion, have a “$5 off pizza night” to lighten the sting of a $20-$22 pizza.

Cork: Easily my favorite winebar out of the bunch that I’ve been to.  Reasonable prices, good wine, and great food combine for a fun night out.  I highly recommend getting a cheese plate, the olives, pork loin and mushrooms.  If you’re okay waiting a bit and dining in a more noisy than usual dining room, then you won’t be disappointed.

Others: I haven’t tried these places out yet but here’s more that I’m looking forward to:

That’s it!  Thanks for reading and hopefully sharing what restaurants you’ve found to be getting better, getting worse, or always stayed awesome.

Restaurants in 2009 – The Good (Part 1 of 3)

I eat out a good amount.  Some weeks, more than I should.  I do get a little upset when I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a good value for my money and with so many great restaurants in the DC area, why should I be okay with eating a bad meal?  This past year I have been mentally compiling notes on restaurants that I frequent; which ones are improving, which ones are on the decline, which ones are new that I’m excited about and which have become staples in my dining life.  I have boiled it down to a short list…so read on!

On the way up:

Restaurant 3: I admit I had written off this place earlier this year.  The first time, all the food was smokey tasting, the second time, the food was just not good.  What has changed?  Since January, they have changed and expanded their menu to include a lot less expensive items on the menu.  The fried green tomatoes, scallops and grits, and burger were all hits with me.  I’m glad that they seemed to address the issues with the menu.  Combine that with a decent happy hour (goes til 8pm!) I’ll be going more often.

Spider Kelly’s – I have only gotten drinks here previously, but tonight I tried their Spider Kelly’s burger (with pork fat!), black bean burger, wings and ‘cardiac’ macaroni and cheese.  Not bad!  I agree with Tom Seitsema about the Spider Kelly’s burger having a funny taste to it, but overall I’ve heard decent things about their food, and I’m happy to say that I think it makes it into my rotation.  With the decline of Liberty Tavern (more on that in a later post) – Spider Kelly’s sneaks back onto my radar.

What do you think?  Have you found a restaurant that has made a rebound this year?  Let me know in the comments.

Next up – restaurants that are on the decline…

Birthday Weekend

This weekend was a busy one with both my Mom and Amanda’s birthdays to celebrate.
For my Mom’s birthday we met at Bangkok 54 in South Arlington. I’ve heard good things about it, and passed it many times on the way to the Arlington Cinema n’ Drafthouse but never eaten there. The food was good, above average for some of the Thai places that I’ve eaten. On the other hand, I can confirm the common complaint that the restaurant is on the noisy side, and it wouldn’t hurt to investigate some noise dampening.

Amanda’s birthday celebration spanned two weekends. If you haven’t checked out my Flickr photostream, pictures from last weekend’s limo excursion out to the Leesburg wineries is up here. Last night we celebrated again with more friends in DC at one of our favorite places, Matchbox. Of course we got our favorite sliders with addictive onion strings, washed it down with a few De Koninck beers, and followed it up with a few more at Buffalo Billiards in Dupont. Busy weekend, but ready for this week to get started.

2007 Army Ten Miler Results

I did it. I completed the Army Ten Miler for the second straight year in a row. This time was much more challenging than last year mostly due to my lack of sticking to a training schedule. Despite my best efforts to post here in order to force myself to run more frequently – work, school, sleep, TV, and basically anything trumped training days. This time around I only ran 136.6 miles over 22.4 hours in 6 months. The breaks in the chart below is when I was lazy.

Unlike last year, the weather was brutally hot. You know you’re in for a long day when you’re hot before you even start running. Last year the temperature was nice and cool, almost cold, which is good because you heat up a ton over the course of 10 miles. Unofficially, I finished in 103 minutes, which works out to be 10:18 per mile. Not great, since last year I finished in ~95 mins, but I was just happy to finish at all. Unfortunately one person didn’t make it through the oppressive heat and passed away at GW Hospital. You can read about that here.

Right now, I’m not sure if I’m up to running it three times in a row. I have 6 months to sit around, get fat and decide later I suppose.

Update: Official Results are in – 92:56 total time!