another hectic week blows by and i can’t account for most of it?

I’ve seen decidedly less of Jeff recently as Law Review duties kicked into overdrive b/t grading petitions (awful!) and burrowing back into articles work.

Our plans to hit Cape May, NJ over the 4th haven’t quite taken off since 20+ calls and furious online searching later and I still haven’t found a place to stay. Note to self: summer beach trips require some serious advance planning.

The fact that I’m sharing this with you should indicate that my life is rather dull-o at the moment. Still, I’m fairly content, if for no other reason than that the law school gods have smiled down on me. I might even look forward to returning in the fall to see if I can replicate the experience. What I am not looking forward to is spending my Saturday (precious weekend hours!) camped out at the Georgetown Law library. (So much for summer vacation).

On to more interesting topics…my return to DC + more free time (sort of) + more disposable income = me scouting out great places to spend my food dollars. Unfortunately, Karma’s come back to kick me in the ass. My good luck with restaurants stayed behind in Minneapois. Here’s the round-up (in no particular order) of the good, the bad, and the ugly:

1) Satay Sarinah (Alexandria, VA): This place was voted one of the top cheap eats in the Washingtonian. Overrated doesn’t quite describe it…I happen to really like Indonesian food and have found a great place in Minneapolis that serves it up in great big Midwestern portions. Satay Sarinah served up “skinny girl, I’m on a diet portions” and everything lacked a little something. The lamb curry wasn’t cooked long enough (and didn’t agree very well with tummy later that night); the nasi goreng needed salt; and the highly touted spring rolls were small enough to eat in one (maybe two) bites. My friend (who can’t say a bad thing about anyone or anything) politely summed up the experience: “I love the feeling you get when you realize you’ve grossly overpaid for something.”

2) Lemongrass Thai (Alexandria, VA): Satay’s neighbor in the same ugly shopping center near my summer abode. Great for takeout Thai b/c they’re fast and b/c eating in the actual restaurant can be a mixed experience depending on whose working that night. Strangely the place is staffed by the only sullen/stoic Thai people I’ve ever met. Subpar service aside, the place does well with vegetarian dishes (especially the veggie green curry and tofu with basil) and serves up healthy portions for around the same price as Satay. But steer clear of their soups or at least their seafood ones…the one I had tonight was bland and a little fishy (I mean fishy in a not so good way).

3) Sushi Aoi (Washington, DC): I know I trashed them in an earlier post but a return visit with an old friend showed me that sometimes it’s the company, rather than the food, that really matters. Although I’m still miffed that unagi was taken off the happy hour menu, the place is still of a helluva bargain. Again, be prepared to deal with lots of disgruntled Asian wait-staff. Apparently these are people who take their craft real seriously.

4) Haad Thai (Washington, DC): Sushi Aoi’s next door neighbor. I was craving some serious Thai food the other week and thought I could treat myself to a little lunch time green curry. The place was a madhouse and involved the most involved carryout ritual I’ve ever been through. I had to see one person to announce my arrival, another to inquire about my order, another to tell me it wasn’t ready (even though I was already late), another to take my credit card, another to run it through a machine, another to return it to me, another to take the receipt, and finally someone with my actual food. All would’ve been forgiven if the food was good but this was one of the worst green curries I’ve had in a while. Overpowered by fish sauce and packed with rubbery chicken, it was a moderate improvement out of stuff I’ve had from freezer cases or reheated foil pouches. And damnit, it wasn’t even cheap.

5) Corona Deli (Washington, DC): uber convenient to my office but definitely not good enough for a future visit. Last week I had *the* saddest omlet there. I don’t know what kind of cheese they put in it but it was the runniest damn cheese I’ve ever seen.

6) Silver Diner (Alexandria, VA): fries lacked much substance but this is one of the few places you can get a proper black and white shake. mmmmm….

7) Cafe Deluxe (Tysons Corner, VA): I used to go to the one in DC for Sunday brunch every now and then. The one in Tysons is much more convenient to me now, but it lacks the charm of its DC cousin and packs in an obnoxious NoVA crowd on the weekends. Food this last go around was decent but temperature was definitely off. Most of my meal was lukewarm at best, which is funny because the busboy who brought me my plate kept saying “Be careful, it’s hot!” Service was entirely absent. I asked five people for a lemon wedge and they all looked at me like I was crazy. Lemon and ice tea…I swear it’s really not that crazy.

8) Houstons (Bethesda, MD): Another favorite haunt of my college years. The one in Georgetown closed and the space has seen a series of tenants come and go ever since. The prices have soared since my last visit but the food is still tastey enough to warrant the occasional visit. Their salads absolutely rule. Jeff was pretty pissed off that I dragged him there but 1.5 slab of finger-lickin’ ribs later, he was a convert. I don’t get to say it often, so I’ll say it again–“Jeff, I was right.” Service was pretty rocking once we got past the bitchy hostesses up front. You’d have thought they were the gatekeepers to Fort Knox or something. Anyway, server was extremely peppy and this was a welcome change of pace (see all posts above). I’ve never seen someone so cheerily deliver news that we were going to get asparagus instead of buttered carrots as the vegetable of the day. (Jeff wanted something green). Another awesome feature? I got a receipt with pre-calculated tips. A little forward perhaps, but when you’re eating dinner at 10PM on a Friday night after a long week, the extra help is greatly appreciated.

If the post leads you to believe that I eat for a living, all I can say is that I wish I did. Speaking of good eats, the current housemates installed new super kickass stove into the kitchen this afternoon. Grand plans this weekend to test the super-awesome fire power of the new mega gas range and oven. I think I’m in love…

I’m also thoroughly amused by the house dog who exhibits some extremely human behaviors. She’s currently asleep at the foot of my bed with her own blanket and pillow. What a great summer!


2 responses to “prepacks

  1. the silent observer

    when are we gonna be in the same city?! That way we can regularly eat together….that would be awesome…

  2. if you like afghan food, check out the crystal banquet hall/afghan restaurant on route 1, near del ray. not too shabby. also, for thai and vietnamese, head over to bailey’s crossroads and falls church. you’ll have better luck there. there’s a new thai restaurant on royal street in alexandria, though, north of old town, called “thailand royal street” that has some crazy hot green curry that nearly took my head off. yummy!

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