Sunday, November 16, 2008

Foodie Road Trip- Arlington, VA #2

I have decided to rate my foodie trips by the 'glass' system...and have broken this foodie trip down into four categories, lodging, food, wine, and love. Our trip was not the usual fun I or my husband's step mother, Val have when we travel together or separately, but I hope you see how through our humor, we made the best of it! Due to the rain, we had to do a lot of drive by sight seeing, so no good pictures of the area.

LODGING:This did not start off good at all. All I can say is it is suppose to be a four star hotel, but I give it two stars. They only have one central unit for heating and air conditioner. So all rooms are hot, or cold. It was like a muggy oven in the whole place; which did not help that the river was less than half a mile, and the humidity after time made this place stink. We did not know until we got into our room that we had no control over the air situation. We were told to open the windows...right. The reception said we had a room with a view of the river...what river??? The faucets were leaking (maybe that was what she meant), and water was all over the counters, not to mention the rust and sulfur smell that comes out when you turned it on. Most of the people we encountered in the elevators said similar problems. We were there for two events being held in the hotel and did not want the wet walk back and forth (yeah it rained the whole time), so we bit the bullet and got housekeeping to bring us a fan, and the front desk to give us a big fat discount. Holiday Inn, Rosslyn @ Key Bridge- Stay away...go to the Marriott down the street!

FOOD: We agreed to try this suggestion from one of the foodbuzz'ers- Professor Corn's Flavor. The restaurant sits just north of Old Town Alexandria off Royal Street. The building has a quaint country french feel when you drive up. Inside it is a cozy and artistic space, that has bar seating. We choose to have lunch, and the special board menu outside caught our attention right away. Many times we end up sharing, so we decided on three things we both felt were unique. I picked a Muscadet and an Australian Sparkling wine to pair with the dishes. The offered 3 ounce pours of each, so it seemed good that we would have our own glass of the two to try.

I wanted to take pictures to add to the blog, but we were met with a tight offense. The owners are husband (french) and wife (american). He the chef, she is the pastry chef. The wife approached me with one flash of the camera and informed me that with out permission which she never gives, we could not take photos of the dishes. I can only share the verbal experience.

The service was not very good, and I imagine it being 1 PM, and they might have been tired, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. We however did not get silver ware, napkins, small appetizer plates, and he only brought one full glass of wine at first.

Our food sat in front of us for sometime before they provided us with the essentials to eat with. Here is what we ordered, and the rest...well we wanted to leave with our heads attached! The restaurant's name is Bastille...
Soupe du jour ~ Mushroom & Salsify Puree: I love salsify, and have made it on numerous occasions. This root vegetable is in the parsnip family, and has hints of oysters. Many say they cannot tell, but I can and enjoy it boiled and pureed with a little butter, salt and pepper. Their version was overwhelmed by the mushrooms.
Calamari and shrimp beignets, sheep milk yogurt & harissa dip: These were good, and you could see nice pieces of shrimp and calamari throughout, a little greasy though.
Pork belly, rabini ragout over tagliatelle: They were kind enough to split this order, and it was very good. I would be willing to go back and give it one more try, because I understand some have their bad days.

EXTRAS: If you are into Asian dinner ware, furniture, and unusual gifts...the place next door is a treat. I walked away with two appetizer/sushi plates in my favorite color (pumpkin) and they served us some silken tea while we shopped, now that is hospitality!

WINE:When I travel I like to try one place someone recommends, and a few on my own. We ask around, and this one was a suggestion from our cab driver. Seems like most were beer drinkers, and so was the cabbie, but he had seen this place (open two years) and had thought about trying it.

Eat bar is half of a restaurant in Arlington, VA, called Tallulah, and worth the cab fare ($10 with tip)from out hotel. A full menu is offered in Tallulah, but next door at the bar there has a wonderful and good cold/hot menu. The wine racks next door at Tallula prove to be a benefit for a long wine by the glass list in Eatbar. I would have dinner next time I am in town.

We sipped on Spanish Cava while eating a few late night appetizers.
EatBar 2761 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 703-778-9951

Great atmosphere, and we found plenty of seating that was very comfortable! The crowd was a mix of twenty something to sixty.

LOVE:I really will not say too much about what took place between my two friends I introduced, but I vow never again to play match maker, I swear on my bottle of scotch! Men, if you invite a woman to an event and say 'It's my treat', and only expect them to sit beside you so that you look good to your buddies at one dinner, and then never come around outside of a planned group meeting, leaving her alone 80% of the visit, and hardly say a 'pleasant' cannot expect her to respect you in the morning!

The two come face to face...

The gathering of the Honor Guard Society...

He's got his certificate showing his honor. This night was his birthday and he became a Sargent in the Honor Guard- Army duty of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1948, but he did not win the heart of his blind date for the weekend!

I did have another group meeting today, but because it has not been advertised to the public yet, I cannot share the information. I saw old buddies from my Dallas Chef's Society, and we had a blast drinking a few beers and planning our next contest, so the trip was not a total loss!

Well the matchmaker and her victim are still friends, and decided next time...Aruba, and we will take our chances with just each other!