Just had lunch at this little soul food restaurant on the way home. Not bad. That’s all I have to say about that.
Ann’s Soul Food Restaurant
3349 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Stafford, VA
Belt Not Required
No, this is not a review on a strip club that I went to last night, well that’s on another blog, but what it is a bougie, yet glorious seafood joint on the outer edges of Arlington. The decor is very nice for a seafood joint. It looks like they just decided to move a seafood shack into a French bistro. Soon as you walk through the door they hand you a menu and a bib the size of a table cloth. I believe the last time I wore a bib was when I was like, a year old! On to the menu. . . crawfish, crawfish, and more crawfish! Oh, and they also have shrimp, lobster, crabs, and tons of other crustaceans and “fried fixins.” And if you’re a donk who stumbled into this restaurant, thinking it was La Cote D’Or Cafe, you can even get a freakin’ salad! If you do, then kill yourself. Let’s move on to the after party. Let me just say I totally did not expect to enter a seafood restaurant and leave with powdered goodness all over my lips like a crackhead who just got his government check. They have BEIGNETS (w/ strawberry jam)!! Get to this place as fast as you can, oh, and bring a friend.
As another glorious day [NOT] has ended, I rejuvenate my mind by quickly reminding myself that the US soccer has made it through to the second round of the FIFA World Cup but unfortunately will go out in a blaze of glory when they face Belgium on Tuesday. So, as this wonderful thought runs through my mind with wonderful anticipation heading towards Tysons Corner mall in Fairfax, VA, The Meat Truck (yes, that’s the new name I’ve given my awesome new/old truck) was nearly pummeled by a stereotypical old Asian lady in a Benz. Really?
After nearly escaping what was shaping up to be a major incident, I calmed my nerves and decided I needed some food and a stiff drink, possibly more and not necessarily in that order. It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’ve been to several places since then but my total, absolute favorite is the Cava Mezze Grill located in the mall. So if you’re stopping off at Bloomies to drop about a thousand bills on some Choo’s, I implore you take the time and stop at this place for a quick bite.
The café style surrounding is setup very similar to Chipotle’s, but trust me, this place is nothing like Chipotle in taste. Cava, according to their website serves up “a menu of modern mezze – small plates – similar to what you’d find in a hip Athens neighborhood, authentic Greek and fresh local ingredients.” And they do a damn good job of it. If that’s the case, all I can say is:
KAYAK + EMPTY BELLY = ATHENS, GREECE!
Your order starts with the basics, rice bowl and salad, and a pita thing nobody really orders. Like I said, this isn’t Chipotle. You then get three choices of sides that include, Tzatziki, hummus, and crazy feta. Why’s the feta gotta be crazy? Does it have crazy feta eyes? Anyway, the hummus is exceptional, sweet with a hint of peas. It’s hummus! Let’s just move on to the proteins. You get one meat choice, including falafel, grilled meatballs (which would be great with spaghetti), chicken, lamb, and these glorious, succulent, pieces of spicy lamb sliders that are lightly spiced. I will say the portions they give you are the only thing that annoys me, but you can always pay for and extra helping of anything on the menu. You can also add some side items like tomato salsa, cucumber salsa, and olives.
In closing, this place is amazing. The only problem is, if you decide to go during lunch time during the week, try to squeeze in about an extra hour to your measly little 30-minute break because the lines can get pretty long. I just wish there were more of them in the area. Oh well.
<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/7/1659918/restaurant/DC/Tysons-Corner/Cava-Grill-McLean”><img alt=”Cava Grill on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/1659918/biglink.gif” /></a>
So I’m sitting here late at work and it’s 6:30 and since I’m up this way I decided to forgo sitting in the endless stream of traffic and nightmare that is Interstate 95 South on a Friday night. Yeah, that’s not happening. After minutes of thought and browsing the areas best establishments, I decided to drop by a place I passed about a thousand times on my way home from work. The Food Corner Kabob House (http://www.foodcornerkabob.com/) in the Brookfield Plaza located in Springfield, VA served up some great Afghan food but not necessarily a place for a sit down, first date.
You ever walked into a 7-Eleven and wondered, “What’s that smell?” Well, neither have I. That’s why I couldn’t believe this little whole-in-the-wall, tucked in a tiny strip mall, right next door to a well known landmark in the area known to many gentlemen who like being “entertained.” Considering this area is not a place where hipsters come to flock, wearing their skinny jeans and iPhoning, my first impressions of the decor was to be expected. The place was the epitome of a whole-in-the-wall loaded with dingy floors, dirty tables, and a spilling over trash container. Despite all that, I did enjoy watching Afghan soap operas on a 27-inch tele, perched on the wall about 10 feet high. The first thing you noticed when you walk up to order is a gigantic menu board, colorfully illustrated, with your favorite kabob dishes, including Tilapia, salmon, and jumbo shrimp. Uhhh, yum! Oh, and the usual chicken, beef, lamb, yada yada yada. So, yes, I decided on the chicken to be safe.
The chicken kabob entree, known as the “A1″ was served with a heaping of naan bread, basmati rice, spinach (my side of choice), and a side salad. The chicken was well seasoned, succulent, and complimented the bread well when all the juices and seasoning seeped into the bread. The spinach and rice were cooked well with great flavor, but the star of the sides was the salad served with a tangy vinaigrette.
Although this placed appeared to be more of a carryout joint rather than a fine dining experience, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the meal despite the lackluster decor. If you happen to see one of these in your neighborhood, I highly recommend you stopping by and giving it a shot. Lower your expectations a little if you’re looking for a five-star restaurant, and just enjoy the food, yo!
It’s premiere night at the Hoffman Center in Alexandria and the Trekkies have come out in full force, and as I sit here in full view of the theater’s entrance, I cannot help to wonder if I ever seen a big person (other than Scotty who was more muscular than anything else) on the Starship Enterprise. They must have had one hell of a fitness facility. Tucked away in a relatively small food court between the movie theater and some government facility, sits a bevy of great restaurant choices for foodies, or if public smoochin and holding hands is your thing, it’s also good for you lovers seeking dinner and a movie. Parking gets pretty rough on big premier nights at the theater, but the Eisenhower Avenue metro stop is conveniently located less than a block away.
So I decided to venture out, with my lil sis and brother-in-law in toe, and head out to Delia’s Mediterranean Grill and Brick Oven Pizza. I’ll have to say even though I made reservations beforehand, It didn’t seem all that crowded for a Friday night. The contemporary feel of the decor was quite pleasing but the lack of space made it seem claustrophobic, almost to the point where the couple sitting next to us was invading our personal space. The dress code was pretty casual and I mean casual. The dude next to me looked like he just got done fishing. C’mon son, you can do better than that. This ain’t Red Lobster. The soft color tones and warm lighting surrounding the room were comforting, but despite the fuzzy feeling I felt inside, the high volume of chit chat overshadowed the cozy ambiance and killed the mood.
The menu was very well laid out and presented with a brief description of all the dishes, including the appetizers. The waiter was very knowledgeable . . . wait, oh hell no! Was that a big brotha in a bright yellow Star Trek suit, that I know damn well he’s had since he was 14 years old? Sorry, that totally threw me off course. Anyway, the waiter gave us some great recommendations and the all around service was excellent. If you like pizza, I would highly recommend either ordering a pizza or getting the pizza knuckles as an appetizer. The pizza sauce is amazing and all that heaven is wrapped in a melt-in-your mouth dough similar to a crescent. Oh good lord! We also ordered the Greek version of Mexican taquitos called gyritos. Wow! Just imagine a lamb gyro wrapped in a crispy tortilla. I almost smacked my sister they were so good. I hope to God I never see these in the frozen food section of my local grocier. Then the main course showed up just when I thought it couldn’t get any better. The grilled lamb chops were presented well and stacked on top of some mash and broccolini marinated in olive oil, lemon, and garlic. The meat was cooked to perfection and well combined with the veggies. Even though I only had a tiny bite, my selfish-ass sister’s grab cakes were pretty good, but I will say, if you’re not a big fan of having lemon unjustifiably squirted on your fish or shellfish I would ask them to hold off on the lemon dill sauce.
Despite the loudness and cramped layout, I will definitely be coming back to Delia’s and trying another dish. Well time to head into darkness ’cause and I just came down with the Trek sweats. Kirk out!
This place looks really good and they have lamb chops, which I can sadly say I’ve never had, but looks sooo good. I have a table for four if you want to join.
Delia’s Mediterranean Grill & Brick Oven Pizza
209 Swamp Fox Road
Alexandria, VA 22314
Little bro hooked up some silly crab balls last night with a little special sauce on the side. We treated moms to a special Minor family tradition packed with all the goodness from the sea. Along with these amazing crab balls we feasted on some lobster tails, steamed and fried shrimp, fried catfish, and my famous Alaskan crab legs perfectly seasoned in J.O. crab seasoning steamed in water and a perfectly aged bottle of Miller Lite. It was truly a feast to behold. Gotta go, I got a bad case of the crab sweats. Trant!
Ahhh! No better way to start off my first post by spending a beautiful mama’s day in the P Dub (Prince William County to all you outsiders). Upon dragging my lazy ass out of the bed and giving my beloved mother her annual hug and kiss, I mapped out my quest for the day. After countless minutes of affection and pondering, I decided to grab my new camera and head over to the new and trendy Stone Bridge Town Center near Potomac Mills Outlet Mall to try out Uncle Julio’s Rio Grand Cafe (http://www.unclejulios.com).
When I first arrived to Stone Bridge the first thing I noticed was the lack of parking and the traffic. It’s a pretty small area with tons of traffic coming in and out with the majority of the soccer moms going to Wegmann’s. If and when you do decide to go make sure you either go before noon on the weekends or on a week night to avoid the madness that is Wegmann’s. Dudes, trust me, you want no part of this place. I will say if you are in to reliving your college days and doing some shots, there are plenty of other spots within stumbling, uh, I mean walking distance, to cure your bar hopping needs.
Upon arriving to my destination, with stomach on full growl, the first thing I noticed was that freakin arrow! The feeling of walking into a shady pawn shop on the Las Vegas strip was overwhelming. Once you get passed the cheesy arrow, which I’m sure lights up during the night, I was impressed with the overall decor on the outside. While the inside was very similar to your cookie-cutter Mexican food chain, (On the Border) the inside has an open and comfortable feel. The only drawback to such an open layout is that it doesn’t give you lovers much privacy to make googly eyes and exchange Gregory Pecks’ without being starred at uncomfortably. The bar area is also quite large but too close to the seating area with no barrier. So if you’re planning to take the wife and kids for a fancy meal on payday, I would suggest getting a table closer to the patio to avoid those guys who decided to have more than a few shots or margaritas. Since the weather was so silly, I decided to venture out on the patio and bask in the sun and people watch. As I strolled pass the tables on my way to the patio, I was gifted the sights and sounds of soft Latin music and moms being pampered by ungrateful kids and loving hubbies. The patio was well laid out with the majority of the sunlight blocked out hopefully making those summer days in NoVa somewhat bearable.
After my drink order was promptly taken, I was given the token chips and salsa that typically comes with every chain food Mexican restaurant. I’m thinking there’s a barrel of this stuff in the back of the kitchen somewhere. It was all good, but for once it would be nice to get some free queso. Eh, it was free. Whatever.
Knowing that I had a feast being prepared for my moms later on in the day, I decided to order a light meal and go with the mesquite grilled salmon garnished with sauteed vegetables and pineapple pico del gallo on the side. After a short period of time the main course was brought out. Upon first sight, I was impressed. The dish was colorful and well presented. Now here’s where I start keeping it real. The vegetables were well cooked but under-seasoned and lacked taste. The salmon was much the same, overcooked and under-seasoned. The saving grace of the whole meal was the pico de gallo. It had a fresh sweet taste that complimented the salmon well. In the end it was a lack luster meal that left me wanting to order something else just to see if another dish could salvage the experience that started off well until the meal arrived. As a first impression, the restaurant has potential and I will be returning for a different dish and maybe some drinks as well to give it another chance it deserves. Well, off to celebrate mom’s day and thank her for bringing me into this world, raising me like a proper gentlemen, and keeping me fat and happy. Gotta go, I got salmon sweats!
** Disclaimer ** I apologize for the bad photos. Bear with me, I’m still working out the kinks on this new camera and I assure you the photos and my grammar will get better as the posts go along.
I finally got my site up and running. I will be adding my first post as soon as I find a good place to eat. I intend to go throughout the Northern Virginia (NoVA), DC, and Maryland areas to find hidden gems to get your grub on. I will also be looking for food trucks and breweries. All suggestions are welcome, and feel free to tag along. Holla back!