Daikaya group - a well deserved "Taste of Japan 2017" Honorary Award

Daikaya is no newcomer to DC. In fact, Daikaya has been one of the pioneers of not just the ramen movement in the city but Japanese food beyond ramen and sushi. When they first opened in 2013, DC, was not a “ramen city”! Now 4 years later, the “Daikaya group” comprises Daikaya ramen bar and the upstairs izakaya, Bantam King with chicken ramen, and Haikan with Sapporo style ramen and Japanese small bites. They are each different and provide a unique take at various aspects of Japanese cuisine.

Shake Shack - Cue the BBQ!

I love love looooovee Shake Shack.  I fell in love with the chain years ago when I first tried it in New York. The burgers are my absolute favorite and my usual order is a Shackburger, a fries, and on greedy occasions, a hot dog to add. I’m not going to write about their burgers, because everyone (hopefully) knows that a) they are fantastic b) way higher in quality than pretty much any other “fast food” outlet and c) they are fantastic.

Anyway, so when I found out that they were adding some BBQ inspired items to the menu, I was super excited to try it out.

Exploring Chilean wine - Valdivieso

Valdivieso winery dates back to 1879 when they introduced the first sparkling wine in South America – the “Champagne Valdivieso”. And yes, they could call it champagne back then because the whole ‘champagne from Champagne only’ laws only came about after that! They focused on sparkling wine for the longest time and introduced still wines in the 1980’s. Even now, they are mostly known for sparkling wine in South America, and the majority of their still wines are exported, although the production of both is pretty much split evenly now.

Easy gift ideas for the DC food lover

The holidays are here, which means parties and cookie swaps and endless wine and ugly sweaters and what not. More often than not, I wait until I’m rushing out the door to the party to think of what to take with me. I normally end up stopping at the closest grocery store and picking up a bottle of wine or flowers. I guess that’s better than showing up empty handed, but I figured I can be a bit more thoughtful! And in order to do that, I started with a list of some of my favorite local “foodie” gifts that I’d like to share! These are convenient and in all price ranges really, and of course most of them are food related! 

Brickside Food and Drink - much more than bar fare!

I never really think of Bethesda as a dining destination and almost never venture out there. But just away from the main Bethesda downtown is Brickside Food and Drink -  a sports bar with upscale refined food that had me wondering why I didn’t make the visit earlier!

Chef Matthew Smith has come in and elevated Brickside to a place where “the sport fan and foodie intersect”.  Chef Smith, who has previously worked at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in Las Vegas,  in Italy as  the sous chef at critically acclaimed CarneVino, and then moved back to his native Maryland to oversee the kitchen at Baltimore’s Salt Tavern, has really raised the bar on the food at Brickside. I really don’t want to call it “bar food” since it’s so much more than that!

Where to Eat in Columbus, Ohio - a delicious surprise!

As I mentioned in my previous post where I talked about the Columbus Ale Trail, I really had absolutely no idea what to expect from the dining scene in Columbus (other than the fact that I knew I was going to stuff my face with Jeni’s). And that was mostly due to a complete lack of knowledge about it.  I spent 3 days there and my challenge really was not in finding great food, but in not having enough time to try more and having to pick and choose! That being said, we didn’t just eat well, we ate RIDICULOUSLY well.  

Comfort and Convenience at The Windsor Suites, Philadelphia

For most DC folks, a weekend away to another city means a trip to NYC. We’ve done that numerous times so decided to change things up and head to Philadelphia instead.We stayed at The Windsor Suites, which is part of the Modus group of hotels. I have previously confessed my love for Modus Hotels when The Quincy in DC, which has since been sold, was a part of the Modus family. Further cementing that love was my recent experience at The Windsor Suites.