Alright, I know it’s been a while since I last posted a weekly recap, but it’s been crazy so don’t be too mad. There’s always a ton going on, but these posts take 5-ever to write soooo yeah. I’m going to redeem myself today though! So, without further ado, let’s talk about my latest adventures, and make sure you have a pen handy because I have some new restaurant recommendations for you guys.
October 6th-7th: Family Reunions All Around…With a Ton of Korean Food!
Yay for family time! My parents decided to come visit so I was thrilled. They’ve been babysitting Daisy for me – I didn’t want to board her in a kennel during my influencer trip with NOW – so it was a tearful reunion for sure. Call me crazy, but I seriously miss my furbaby every second I’m not with her. I got home around 5 on Saturday – I teach from 8-4:30 straight – and they arrived soon after.
I was hangry, but I didn’t want to leave my pup at home by herself so we decided to get take out from Vivo! I used to be a fan, but now I’m not so sure – maybe the chef wasn’t in due to the holiday? My mom got her usual Lemon Chicken and my dad and I both got an order of their bucatini pomodoro. I’m vegetarian now so I didn’t try any of my mom’s dish, but the pasta was reallllly disappointing. The sauce was watery, and the noodles were too doughy – low key bummed we had to pay $50 for a not-so-great meal, but it happens. We’ve had some really yummy meals there so hopefully it was just an off night! Afterwards, we spent the evening drinking beer from Bluejacket – they’re my fave brewery in the area – and binge-watching movies.
The next morning, we ran errands together and hit up two different Korean restaurants for noms. The food scene in Pittsburgh’s pretty good, but they don’t have great Korean food…not that MD does, but the food here’s substantially better. My dad wanted jjajangmyun so I took him to Han Joong Kwan. Located on 9338 Baltimore National Pike in Ellicott City, they’re def. the best in the area for Korean-Chinese. My number one choice, Da Rae Won, was closed [insert super sad face here], but they’re the best by far, like best jjajangmyun you’ll ever have. They make their noodz in house – it’s called soota – so you hear crazy smashing sounds while you eat, lol. It’s not particularly relaxing, but it’s a cool experience, and the noodles are obscenely good so it’s a must-try.
So, back to Han Joong Kwan. My mom got tang soo yook, my dad got a giant bowl of jjajangmyun, and I got an order of their mapo tofu minus meat. My dad enjoyed his bowl, but my mom and I felt very “eh.” The tofu was fine, but it tasted really artificial? They say there’s no MSG, but I’m not so sure, lol. I remember liking their noodles during my pre-veg days though so definitely get that if you come here.
We were craving dessert so we hit up La Boulangerie (in front of Lotte) afterwards for some korean bbang (aka bread but dessert bread…but not pastries, lol). They’re not a fancy cafe or anything so don’t expect anything super cute, but I like their baked goods the best…even though the owner can be a little rude, lol. I’m sorry, guys! I feel like I’ve been kind of negative, but hey, gotta keep it real. We got some treats with red bean and happily munched on our goodies in the car.
Fast forward to dinner, we went BACK to Ellicott City and hit up Shin Chon. This was my first time, but I had high expectations walking in because my Korean friends all love coming here. My dad got a daegu maeuntang (spicy fish stew), my mom got a kimchi soontofu (spicy kimchi tofu stew), and I got a veggie dolsotbibimbap (rice and veggies in a stone pot). Everything was good, but we were a bit disappointed with the banchan (side dishes). My mom wasn’t big on her stew, but she loved my dad’s so they just shared that – it had a ton of fish in it so my parents were impressed. Forgive me for not taking more pictures, I promise I have a ton to share from my other adventures below so keep scrolling.
October 9th: Chefs for Equality with my Gorg Date, Rose Collins
Words can’t even begin to describe the epicness that was Chefs for Equality. I still can’t get over how good this event was. It brought together DC’s finest (think chefs, pastry chefs, and mixologists) for a bamf evening to fight for LGBTQ equality. This year, the event was held at Washington National Cathedral. I’d actually never been, but now I never want to go back because it won’t ever be as pretty [insert sad face] I apparently have a thing for rainbow lights, ha. There were a bajillion food + drink stations, and everything was super delish (they had a ton of vegetarian options so yay). I’m already looking forward to the next one, and I highly recommend that you guys attend as well. Great cause, nomtastic food, and beautiful people dressed to the nines – what’s there not to like?
October 10th: Lunching at SER and Dessert at Bakeshop
My dad left on Monday, but my mom’s been staying with me so we’ve been exploring the DMV together. She’s my partner in crime & hand model so I try to save the best places for her. I spend a LOT of time making sure I get the perfect shot so it can be frustrating for people, but she’s beyond. The first place we hit up was SER.
Located in Arlington, VA, SER is everything you want in a restaurant and then some – if you’re unfamiliar with them, you’ve probably heard of their sister restaurant, Joselito Casa de Comidas. They’re a Bib Gourmand restaurant in DC, and I actually featured them on Nomtastic Foods not too long ago – click here to read all about them. With Chef John Hart at the helm, SER is killing the food game with their “simple, easy and real” food – get it?
They sent us a bunch of dishes to try, and my favorites were as follows: Revuelto de Setas ($15), Piquillos Rellenos ($12), and their Vegetarian Paella ($30 per person). Ok, so let me explain each dish to you. The Revuelto de Setas was a bowl of seriously flavorful mushrooms with a cured egg yolk on top. It comes with shaved duck foie, but since I’m vegetarian, they just took that component out. Dima, the super friendly manager, came over and mixed everything up for us. If you’re big into mushrooms, this dish is an absolute must – no ifs, ands or buts!
Next up, the Piquillos Rellenos (made with spinach, cardamon and mushrooms). Oh my effin’ god, I could’ve easily downed 3 orders by myself. My pic didn’t come out as well as I would’ve liked, but it was definitely one of the best pepper dishes I’ve ever had. I highly recommend getting an order for yourself because you will scarf this down in 2 minutes flat.
Now, I wasn’t sure what the vegetarian paella was going to be like, but dang, it’s all I want now. Chef John sources locally whenever possible so you know you’re getting quality in each and every bite. There’s no description of it on the menu because it varies depending on the produce situation. Ours had squash, asparagus, eggplant, and oh so much more. The rice was cooked to absolute perfection, and the flavors were to die for. I’m so happy I don’t have to sacrifice my fave foods as a vegetarian – I will DEFINITELY be back for all this again so maybe I’ll see you guys there. Also, for those of you interested, they have a six course chef’s tasting menu daily for $65 a person.
After lunch, we drove over to Bakeshop to get some desserts to shoot since we were in the area. We got 4 cupcakes to go, 6 macarons, and a brookie (brownie + cookie). I wasn’t crazy about these particular macaron flavors, but the pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting? That was money. Also, the brookie is everything good in life. It’s a little on the sweet side, but holy cow, it’s tasty AF. Do yourself a favor and get both their brookie and oreo in a cookie the next time you’re in Ballston. And then come thank me afterwards, ha.
October 11th: A Delish Tasting at Wit & Wisdom
I haven’t been to Wit & Wisdom in forever so I was due for a visit. They generously hosted my mom and I for a tasting and literally everything we got was delicious. They gave us 3 drinks, 3 dishes and 2 desserts because we’re fatties. In all seriousness though, we genuinely loved each and every dish! Here’s what they sent out on the food front: their Tuscan Kale Salad (charred onion vinaigrette, roasted grapes, feta, and toasted hazelnuts), their Honey Roasted Heirloom Carrots (with toasted pistachios, cumin yogurt, and dill), and their Butter Poached & Broiled NY Strip Steak (served with grilled asparagus, corn shoots, pea tendrils and demi glace).
Honestly, I didn’t know a kale salad could be so good. I took one bite, and I legit yelled, “mMMMMmmmmM” super loud because I’m embarrassing like that. The roasted grapes were straight up ridiculous, and I mean that in the best way possible, like I literally couldn’t stop eating them. The carrots were delicious as well, but I almost felt bad eating them because the plate was so beautiful. I mean, look at this presentation! Is this not insane? They’re carrots that belong in the Walters.
Now, here’s a shot of their steak. I obviously didn’t try this, but my mom said it was good. She’s super picky when it comes to food so I trust her opinion 200%. I really feel like you can’t go wrong with anything you get here though so go crazy – get whatever sounds good to you…because it’s probably going to be real good.
Now, we gotta talk drinks because their lead bartender, Gina Netisingha, is as talented as she is sexy, and she is DAMN sexy so you know her cocktails are going to be exceptional. Again, I almost didn’t want to drink them because they were so pretty. Side bar: I tried to get some cool BTS shots of her making them, but she’s like a drink ninja so it was tough. I gotta move faster next time! Be a camera ninja, ha.
Here’s a shot of ’em for you guys: duck season old fashioned (duckfat & rosemary-washed bourbon, cane and bitters), sage advice (botanical gin, green chartruse, sage, lemon, and egg white), and lot NO. 27 (bourbon, black walnut, orange, egg white, and activated charcoal). It’s hard to pick favorites, but if I HAD to, I’d go with sage advice. I kind of wish I brought 3 water bottles with me to take these babies home – I had to drive so I only got to taste the cocktails [insert devastated face here]. You have no idea how sad I was when I left them sitting on the table – it’s like they were calling out to me, ha! Kidding…kind of.
Then came dessert, and holy guacamole, dessert was good. I actually had a typo writing this – I wrote “god” instead of “good,” and I considered leaving it in because their Chocolate Bar and Lemon Meringue were clearly blessed by God so it wasn’t a coincidence. The former’s made with salted caramel, coconut lime ice cream and hazelnut, and the latter comes with avo ice cream (OMFG), seared grapefruit and marcona almonds. Get both. So good. Can’t speak. Fragmented sentences. Nom nom.
October 13th: Spending the Entire Day at Snallygaster
Andddd then came Snally, and Snallygaster was AMAZING!!!!!!! If you like beer and you haven’t gone yet, you’re seriously missing out. I was there from 11:30-7 shooting, and it was so much fun. Admission’s $15, but you can get fancy schmancy passes for early entry and food + drink tickets. There were 350+ beers from 120+ brewers around the world (!!!!!), delish food (your fave DC food trucks), live music and more. They had a really cute kids section set up as well so bring your liddol ones next year and have a ball. Here are some snaps from the event – and yes, it was as crowded as it looks!
Alright guys, that’s a wrap for today! I know I wrote A LOT so thanks for sticking with me and reading errthang. I usually share new content on Mondays/Thursdays, but I think I’m going to try and post more often. Things are actually extra busy, but hey, a little overachievin’ never hurt anyone – definitely let me know what you prefer to see on here via email, comment, DM, whatever. To read more about my adventures, make sure to check this tab out, friends! Until next time. Sending so much love from the DMV!