Travel. Sip. Savor. Repeat
Travel. Sip. Savor. Repeat
No visit to southern Germany (particularly Bavaria) is complete without eating a Schweinshaxe. This is a slow roasted pork knuckle, basted with its own drippings, and sometimes hard fried at the end to perfect the crispy, crusty skin. It is traditionally served with a bread or bacon dumpling (semmel oder speck knödel).
This Chinese restaurant located in a strip mall in Falls Church, Virginia produces some of the best picking duck in the region. Former ambassador to China, director of the CIA, Vice President and President of United States, George Bush 41, frequented this spot regularly. Today, just about every general or high-level government official has their autographed 8x10 on the wall. Novelty aside, the food is plain delicious.
Meat and cheese go well with wine. So do berries. Here, we enjoyed a Spanish soft cheese made from a mixture of cow, goat, and sheep milk, as well as Bûcheron (a loire valley goat cheese). Dried and aged salamis came from Italy and Spain. Berries came from Whole Foods (where the added expense makes them taste sweeter ... BS).
No further comment necessary.
The best things are simply made with great ingredients. This one: 1 onion, sliced thin and cooked on med/low heat for 1 hour until crispy and aromatic; dough: flour, eggs, milk, salt, stirred until incorporated. Press the dough through a potato ricer (or spätzle press, if you're so lucky) into boiling chicken stock. Noodles rise to top, cook a bit more, remove to cold water. Fry up the noodles in a pan with mountain cheese, bacon bits, and top with crispy onions. Boom.
Learn Chinese: (dim'-sum') "Awesome Breakfast"
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Don't ask how they're made. Just shut up and enjoy 'em.
"Flat bread" doesn't sound as good as flammkuchen, or tarte flambée, as it is ordered in Alsace. When prepared well, it blows the mind. This example was served at The Sovereign in Georgetown (Washington, DC). We ordered a twist on the traditional classic; entitled "Gratine", it is composed of crème fraîche, gruyere, bacon lardon, and onions. Spectacular.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Virginia wines seem to be improving every year. As the vines planted 5, 10, 15 years ago reach full maturity and as the vintners hone their craft, it is hard to not be impressed. Bull Run Winery is a 30-45 minute drive from DC (barring I-66 traffic). They offer several easy drinking wines, from Norton and Cabernet Franc and from Riesling to Chardonnay (and yes, there is a Viognier too).
Interesting fact: delirium tremens is actually a health condition (confusion, shakes, nightmares, hallucinations) caused by withdrawal from alcohol. It is also a delicious beer from Belgium. A final fact: so long as you keep drinking the beer, you are less likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms. And the large goblet adorned with pink elephants looks cool.
I had a great time hosting my second wine tasting on Friday, June 10, 2016. The format was "Bring a favorite bottle". We sampled both Old and New World wines, including a Cleebronn & Güglingen dry Riesling, a San Pietro (Alto Adige) Lagrein, a stunning Hardscrabble Chardonnay from Linden, Virginia, and a delicious Cool Woods Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, Australia. At the next event, we will take a break to focus on Whisk(e)y. See you in July!
Nothing says 'Merica more like double-fisted games of skill. In fact, science has proven that one must balances their beanbag hand with a beer in order to succeed at cornhole. This spread was sponsored by Port City Brewing of Alexandria, VA. Unlike most DC events that offer unlimited beer and food, this event was neither oversubscribed nor skimpy. Hats off to Port City.
Few things say "springtime" more clearly than meat in tube form, $10 beers, and heckling the visiting team. Baseball is a social game that encourages fans to pay attention only 10% of the time - like cricket but with slightly less class and more commercialism.
In college basketball, anything can happen, especially in March. I loved watching my grad school alma mater, Syracuse University (#10 seed), outscore the #1 seed University of Virginia 25-6 in the final 10 minutes, overcoming a 15-point deficit, to secure Jim Boeheim's fourth Final Four appearance. If you've never experienced March Madness first hand, I highly recommend it.
So there I was ... watching the NCAA tournament on a Friday night, expecting my team to lose to the #1 seed, drinking too much wine, chatting with old friends. Then my team won, and my friend offered to buy me a ticket for the next game in Chicago. Why not?! A quick Hipmunk search, a few hours sleep, and I was on my way.
Every spring DC goes pink, thanks to a gift from the mayor of Tokyo in 1912. The National Cherry Blossom Festival spans several weeks, with peak bloom arriving between late March and early April. It's a great place to picnic, if you can find a quiet spot.
About as pristine as it gets.
The Bahamas are gorgeous, as are most of the islands in the Caribbean. From super exclusive to budget all-inclusive resorts, sun, drinks, and delicious food abound.