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August 18, 2011

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DC Restaurant Week: Kinkead’s

August 16, 2011

In case you weren’t aware, this week (August 15 – 21) is DC Restaurant Week!

I’ve been pretty excited for restaurant week to arrive – partly because there are hundreds of restaurants in the area I want to try and partly because OKC never had a restaurant week and I always felt left out.

Throughout the course of the week I have plans to dine at three different establishments. It’s going to be an expensive and gluttonous week, but at $35.11 for a three course meal I feel like it’s worth it.

I kicked the excitement off last night at Kinkead’s.

My friend Unmani suggested this Foggy Bottom restaurant, and after having walked past it several times I really wanted to try it as well. The area is really cute and the restaurant looked both quaint and inviting.

Kinkead’s restaurant week menu was extensive, and I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to order.

After pondering the mussels and seafood chowder, I chose the local heirloom tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella and basil infused olive oil for my first course.

If you know me, you know that tomato/mozzarella salads are one of my favorite things on Earth and I am quite picky about them. This one was good, but very stingy with the cheese. It probably wasn’t the best choice I could have made.

My friends got the chilled cantaloupe soup and mussels in Thai curry and coconut milk with chiles, straw mushrooms and lime.

I think we all agreed that the first course was the best. We all more or less enjoyed our dishes.

The second course was less successful. I got the grilled wahoo with black beans, corn flan and chile butter.

Although it may kind of look like a mixture of different poos, the flavors of this dish were actually really good. However, the fish was undercooked and kind of ruined my taste for the whole thing.

My friends both got the brioche crusted cod with mushroom gnocchi.

Neither of them liked this at all. I didn’t try it, but it was clear that they were definitely not impressed.

It was clear by this point that our service was… bad. I don’t like to harp on bad service, and it was restaurant week, but the restaurant was nearly empty and we got little to no attention the entire evening.

We weren’t drinking alcohol (although I did have a Hook & Ladder Brown Ale at the bar – outstanding), which very likely could have had something to do with it, but it was still kind of disappointing.

Still, we forged on with dessert. Although I gave up sweets for the month, I had intended to indulge in desserts during restaurant week. However, none of them really spoke to me so I went with an artisinal cheese plate with membrillo, fig cake and walnut raisin bread.

Pretty underwhelming cheese plate. Maybe I needed a nice glass of wine to enhance it, but I didn’t find that the cheese flavors worked well with the walnut bread or the fig spread. Also, the cheese types weren’t listed on the menu or explained by the server so I really had no idea what I was eating.

I had a bite of my friend’s raspberry almond cake with lemon bavarian and raspberry sauce.

It was pretty good, but nothing extraordinary. After I took a bite, I immediately forgot what it tasted like. Not a good sign.

All in all, we left Kinkead’s with a bad taste in our mouths. It’s pretty common knowledge that you won’t always get the best food when you attend restaurant week, which is understandable.

They have to offer food that can be made quickly and in large quantities so some elements of quality may be sacrificed. However, the restaurant was very empty and they had a chance to gain three new loyal customers.

Good service would have been the addition needed to get me to go back, but at this point I think it’s safe to say I won’t be returning to Kinkead’s again.

Does your city offer a restaurant week? Do you attend? What was your experience like?

Sunday Sleeplessness

August 15, 2011

I’ve noticed a very bittersweet routine creeping into my Sundays and Mondays lately.

Sundays start off well. I am productive, usually grocery shopping and cleaning and cooking an actual meal (something that rarely happens during the week).

I also usually catch up on my DVR. Sometimes a workout happens, sometimes it doesn’t.

Then I set my intentions for the week, lay out my workout clothes to motivate me to get in a great Monday morning sweat session and hit they hay at a reasonable hour.

Then, in bed, I toss and I turn and then toss some more. Sometimes this is because I slept in too late the morning before, but other times (like last night) it makes no sense.

Yesterday I could hardly keep my eyes open, but once I got into bed… sleep was nowhere to be found.

So, like so many other Monday mornings, when my alarm went off and I realized I’d only clocked about three hours of sleep – I reset it for the latest I could possibly get up without being late to work.

My workout clothes wept silently on the dresser where I had laid them out, but they were promptly ignored.

Although I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty about not being a regular exerciser, this is still frustrating.

I long to be one of those people that can sleep at the drop of a hat and spring out of bed each morning with an energetic glee. Sadly, that is not my fate.

I’m hoping to get in a short workout at lunch today. I do have three 3-course meals to partake in this week.

What, if anything, do you do to set the tone for a productive week? Ever have trouble sleeping on Sundays?

Oklahoma FTW

August 14, 2011

There are probably two million seven hundred fifty four reasons why I like living in Virginia more than I liked living in Oklahoma.

I’m suited to live here, and I love it.

However, sometimes Oklahoma just kicks the big city’s ass.

Example #1: Football

Oklahoma Sooners > any other NCAA or NFL team

I went to the Washington Redskins/Pittsburgh Steelers preseason game Friday night.

It was exciting to be at an NFL game and all, but I just didn’t get the same rush that I do for my Sooners. I am not good at bandwagoning.

I can’t wait to go home in three weeks and see some real football.

I was happy that Washington won though! Go Skins! (That felt weird, I’m not quite there yet…)

Example #2: Salad Eateries

Coolgreens > Sweet Green

Coolgreens is an Oklahoma local chain that was actually modeled after DC’s local chain, Sweet Green.

The concepts are very similar: sustainability and healthy eats. I love both of those things and think it’s great that there are restaurants out there committed to providing nutritious food in an environmentally friendly manner.

However, Coolgreens just does it better. They have friendlier staff, more salad options, more food options in general and better froyo.

I tried a seasonal salad from Sweet Green Saturday with local tomatoes, feta, mint, watermelon, sriracha and cucumber mint dressing.

It was good, but nothing compared to Coolgreens.

There’s supposed to be a new salad place opening in Clarendon soon, so I’ll be excited to check that out.

So yeah… sometimes the underdog is just better. Oklahoma, for the win.

Other than all that, I had another fabulous weekend in Virginia. Friday and Saturday I hung out with the new boy, who we shall refer to as either Mr. T or Mosby. I haven’t decided yet.

Last night we went to dinner at Shiki Sushi in Ballston Common Mall, which was surprisingly really, really good. He took a picture of our rolls, but I didn’t. Maybe he should be the blogger?

We got a Dynamite Roll that was topped with scallops (so good), a Super Philly Roll (extra fish and honey mustard made it “super”), and a Spicy Yellowtail Roll. Very good sushi, I highly recommend it.

I ended up only having to work one day of the weekend, which was pretty sweet. I’ll take random days off of work any day.

And that’s where we stand. I’m kind of exhausted from the past week’s activities, but I’d better put my big girl panties on because next week is DC Restaurant Week and I’m checking out a minimum of three new restaurants, then heading to Philly Saturday morning! I need a nap.

Enjoy the remaining hours of your weekend all!

Cafe Pizzaioli

August 12, 2011

My day off from work yesterday turned out to be rather expensive. I had a lot of errands to run, including a trip to the car dealership where my usual service cost four times as much as it did in Oklahoma. Guess I’ll be searching around for cheaper options in the future.

I didn’t end up getting anything from Great Harvest. I wanted to, but I was starving and needed a place I could sit down to eat and relax. I wandered around until I found Cafe Pizzaioli.

The vibe of the restaurant was really cute, but the service was a little brash. I dealt with it though because I was starving.

Sadly, I fear I ordered the worst item on the menu.

I got the Cafe Pizzaioli salad, which was okay but nothing to write home about. As I sat eating it and watching other people’s food leave the kitchen I realized I definitely should have gotten pizza or a sandwich.

I redeemed the less than stellar meal with a delicious latte.


By that time, my car was ready so I paid five million dollars for it and then went home to clean, work out and lay by the pool until time to get ready for a date in DC.

We went to Eighteenth Street Lounge for a going away happy hour for one of his friends and then to Hank’s Oyster Bar for dinner. The food at Hank’s was awesome. I definitely recommend it.

Now I’m currently blogging from bed and trying to decide what to do with my day. No money spending is the top priority.

I’m going to the Redskins/Steelers preseason game tonight, which I’m really excited about. I’ve never been to an NFL game, and even though preseason doesn’t really count I’m still pumped!

Also, today is my brother’s birthday. He never reads this blog and hates the internet, but I just wanted to throw it out there. I love him lots.

Have a good Friday, all!


All fixed up

August 11, 2011

It’s kind of weird not to be at work right now. But not bad weird. I rescheduled my car appointment so while she’s getting all fixed up, I am too with a mani/pedi.

I’m spending money lately like I actually have it. That should probably stop soon.

Maybe after I stop in here and have a gander…


I’ve never been to a Great Harvest before. What should I get?

Have you been?

August 10, 2011

You all know I have a new love for happy hours. They are truly a broke gal’s best friend.

Have you been to McCormick and Schmick’s happy hour? It’s pretty righteous. Check out these prices.

I went with the $1.95 cheese quesadilla thinking it would be the most meal-like of the cheaper options.

It wasn’t the best quesadilla of all time, but for $2 I’m not complaining. My friend had the sliders, which were $5 I think, and they were delicious. We also shared an order of sweet potato fries $3 that didn’t disappoint.

Then we went to see Crazy, Stupid, Love. It was alright. I had high hopes for it. I always like the “romantic comedies” that are more realistic and the previews made this one look like it would be, but it turned out to be your typical run of the mill happy ending story.

There were some funny parts and even though Ryan Gosling isn’t my type, I didn’t turn my eyes away from him. The cast was solid as well, so it was worth the $6 I paid to see the movie.

I’ve actually been meaning to do a post on my thoughts about that crazy, stupid thing called love for awhile, but I keep putting it off. Maybe someday this week.

Also, be warned that there may be some random blog outages this week. My web guru is beginning the process of switching Low… and Behold! over to a self-hosted situation.

Seeing as how I’ve been handling the workings of this website for the past 2.5 years, it could get complicated. I have no idea how to do that stuff and I think I’ve screwed it up quite significantly. We shall see though.

Do you prefer movies with or without happy endings? This probably makes me weird, but I typically only really like a movie if it ends badly, or at least very realistically. Fairy tale happy endings typically just piss me off. Don’t forget, I’m kind of dark and twisty inside.