I headed out to Arlington last weekend to find Cafe Assorti, conveniently located off a prominent DC metro line. I spent a good five minutes at home that morning trying to determine what sort of food it had exactly, struggling to access menu links. Using my well-honed analytical skills, I peered in the windows, noticing that there were no chairs left, just boxes with kitchen supplies. Conveniently, a sign on the window indicated they were closed; no explanation why and there was subtle suggestion they may re-open, but for my purposes, that one is off the list.
I wandered, conveniently, five minutes more to Bayou Bakery, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant I hoped to visit in the throes of lunch. I foolishly didn't order beignets (a staple New Orleans breakfast) but picked up a cheddar and egg biscuit. I usally have these at McDonald's, so imagine my surprise when I saw this little number. Look at that crooked biscuit smile; it just wants to be loved.
Instead, I had something (I think) called a red hot latte, espresso infused with cinnamon and a red-hot-candy-derived syrup. Unfortunately, I think the good stuff sank to the bottom, so the dregs (exclusively of sugar) were less appetizing. It was a great place; they played New Orleans jazz, big tables of people were gesticulating with biscuits and beignets in-hand, and was packed to the gills.
Last weekend, I didn't feel like cooking.. at all...so went to dinner on Saturday at Rabieng, a Thai restaurant in Falls Church. While Bayou Bakery was on the corner of a brick building (classy), Rabieng, being in an older community in the Metro area, was in a strip mall. Next door, is a Thai grocery and just beyond is the Greek grocery, Aphrodite, saturated in icons and where I got my probably-carcinogenic Greek red egg dye last year.
I started with a Singha, because I think that's just what you do.
There was certainly no need, but I couldn't resist getting coconut rice with mango. The sweet and savory was very clever, particularly with the toasted sesame seeds and the tender, room temperature mango.
I waited a few more days (I tell you, this list is temptingly addictive) and then went to Pupatella with a friend. We were both tremendously excited about dinner, even though my GPS pronounced it "Pew-pa-tella" (it sounds less lovely outloud).
She, like a good, natural friend of the blog, has a natural proclivity to order each item that strikes her fancy. In good company, she and I specifically chose a table that could accomodate the wide array of items--in this state of anticipation, I imagine we looked like two little girls at their own birthday parties, knowing we could have as much Cinderella cake as we wanted.
We started with the Salad Number 3, with licorice-flavored baby arugula, grapefruit, green apple, tarragon, and Parmesan, with a mustard-citrus dressing. It's the most photogenic salad I've had in ages, and had the most temptingly-large chunks of Parmesan I couldn't resist picking off.
For appetizers, we had miraculous brussels sprouts, which were somehow magically fried and roasted, we conjectured. Each layer of leaf was highlighted to the world in all its glory--and there were matchsticks of apples. We also had roasted eggplant/mozzarella arancini (also known as fried risotto balls). It was tremendous.
The pizza truly was icing on that pink cake of our imagination. The ingredients were fresh, well-proportioned, the slices were unwieldy but extravagant, and the crust was deliciously charred and chewy.
This week, my arteries have been aching, but my food heart fell in love thrice.