bus boys and poets
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After hearing so much about Bus Boys and Poets over the years, it just didn’t feel right to visit DC and not take the time out to dine here. I was in for the earlier half of dinner over at the K street location. I’ve been told to prepare for a different experience depending on the location you visit but I’m sure the core values are the same across the board, so I had no concerns regarding what the people’s favorite might be.

dc tap water

The staff at Bus Boy’s in Poets were all so pleasant, accommodating and honest. The restaurant is full of artwork and of course, a small book store/library when you first walk in that catches your eye. I was at a rather large location, so there was much to see and plenty of customers that had the place buzzing. It was happy hour and I was excited so I tried DC Tap Water for the first time. I am referring to a cocktail by the way for anyone who thought I was excited to try actual DC Tap Water.  I’ll take a cocktail over water on any day; that’s how I roll.

bus boys and poets

The hummus on the menus interest me since I wanted to start light but the waitress insisted on the foole dip, which she claimed was the upgraded version of hummus that included jalapeños, tomatoes, and a fava bean dip. It wasn’t spicy and I wasn’t too impressed but everything deserves a try. Besides, it was still happy hour and sangria was on the menu.

bus boys and poets

I wasn’t taking any suggestions as my heart was set on the shrimp, chicken and chorizo pasta smothered in a cajun cream sauce.  This was a spicier dish but it wasn’t overwhelmingly hot and there was plenty of shrimp and chicken to keep a girl happy. I would only go back here for a quick bite with friends or maybe for drinks if I had time to kill. Dessert was pretty good to say the least but I’m not sure if the place has won me over just yet.

bus boys and poets bus boys and poets

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Cherry Izakaya

Cherry Izakaya

It’s not often that I go to Brooklyn any more but when I do, it’s for the eats. As I got myself comfortable at Cherry Izakaya in Williamsburg, their Shiso Tipsy drink caught my eye. I ordered it immediately as I stared at all the menu options they had. The bartender, Jake, was filling me in on all the favorites and he was sharing a little history lesson on sake that added to my experiences. By the time I was ready, my Shiso Tipsy had came out which was rather strong but pretty sweet. Cucumber seemed to be a huge part of this drink so I looked at it as my healthy drink of the day, ha!

Cherry Izakaya

Though the Tuna Tarts seemed to be a crowd favorite, I couldn’t resist ordering the spicy tuna crispy rice. I am so glad I went with this decision because this starter dipped in the soy sauce was phenomenal. It really elevated the flavors I originally had without it. As expected, the outside of this dish is crunchy but the middle was surprisingly soft. The tuna also helped soften up the crunch but then again, the soy sauce took it through the roof. The Salt -n- Pepa shrimp was up next, which also had a crunch to it but needed an accompanying sauce. Though the shrimp was cooked well, I love a good dip and was searching for one to pair here.

Cherry Izakaya

Cherry Izakaya

I sat in front of the bar since it was a beautiful day and the doors are left wide open but the restaurant also has an upstairs area to accommodate other parties. I took a peek at this section, which was hosting larger groups, families and a great view of all the sake they offer. My waitress was also very attentive and knew a great deal about the menu. She’s the reason I tried the Izakaya Steak frites, which consisted of a dry ages rib eye, ponzu sesame dressing and Izakaya fries. The fries reminded me of yucca fries because they were very thick and similar in consistency. I didn’t prepare myself for the sriracha ketchup they paired them with and felt like I was going to turn into Shiso Tipsy myself because I needed a drink and bad. Yes there was water but, so what, you’re missing the point. Though the steak was cut into thin strips, there was plenty to fill you up and it was not only juicy but also well seasoned.

Cherry Izakaya

Cherry Izakaya

The experience couldn’t end here so I went for dessert. Jake had mentioned the cheesecake being deconstructed which had me curious. The blueberry delight was another amazing plate of perfection and it being deconstructed added to the experience considering you could try what you wanted whether together or apart. I was busy mixing all parts together and would come back plenty times over just for this.

Cherry Izakaya

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So there’s a gem uptown called Solace that my friends and I are about to be regulars at or maybe we already are. It’s becoming a habit to head there after our Saturday morning boot camp session and I’m not sure if it’s defeating the purpose but it’s sure a good reason to. Rumor has it, and I can attest to this, that the macaroni and cheese here is pretty damn good. It most certainly is, but it does take some time to come out so be prepared for somewhat of a wait.

 chicken solace 2

The places isn’t very fancy decor wise, it’s fairly decent and the staff is laid back just like the experience here. On my last visit, I checked out the chicken and waffles with no regrets left over. The chicken was fried to an amazing crunch while still very meaty on the inside. I like to put syrup on my chicken so it really took it to the next level for me, but that’s just me. I mean, is there just something special about perfectly fried chicken?

chicken solace

The waffles were soft, considering I drowned them in syrup, but thick enough to match up against the abundance of chicken. Nobody likes dry, tough waffles so I was glad that Solace didn’t give me that problem. They also offer unlimited mimosas here at a reasonable price so if you don’t want to be bothered and are looking for a kick back brunch, check Solace out.

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Soulo Culinary Ambition
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Considering I’ve been buried in my work that doesn’t involve blogging, I’ve been having a hard time getting these posts to you guys. Yikes. Though nobody said it would ever be easy, I would like to apologize for that, especially to my faithful readers. Thank you all for being so patient.

Now can we get onto the food? Because last month, I was invited to the Soulo Culinary Ambition Dinner in Washington D.C and can’t even begin to explain what a delight it was to meet Chef Soulo in person and enjoy his food. I went down there with 5 courses in mind, only to receive 8 and a food induced coma. They sure knew how to show my hungry self a good time. I was in love with these cards by the way marking everyone’s seat.

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The event was BYOB so I brought down some sangria I made at home but the Chef’s right hand, V, was also offering a spiked strawberry basil lemonade and a lavender iced tea. It was definitely the time to start double fisting.  The Soulo Culinary Ambition team was relatively attentive to our table which was full of interesting foodies that I had no idea I was about to fight over biscuits with. I say that in jest but Chef Soulo started us off with a batch of sour cream and onions biscuits that we couldn’t keep our hands off of. They were fresh out of the oven so the biscuits were warm and buttery with a thick consistency but still light and fluffy; to die for! Someone at my table even took some home.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Before we had a chance to finish, the chef surprised us with black-eyed pea fritters with a jalapeño aioli. While I didn’t enjoy the fritter as much on it’s own, the aioli carried it to the next level. However, I was interested in the Parmesan flan the chef prepared as a starter because I am accustomed to flan as a final course so this was a first; no pun intended. I will say that Chef Soulo, if full of creativity because each of his dishes intrigued me from reading the menu alone and boy do I love an interesting menu. While it was likely to be the most interesting of the evening, the flan was far too cheesy for my liking but I was able to enjoy the pickled grapes that accompanied it. Seriously though, it was Parmesan flan so you had to be a cheese head for this one.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Considering everyone’s tastebuds were having a party, the Soulo Culinary Ambition team shocked us with a pineapple mimosa granada to cleanse our palettes. It was absolutely refreshing and I felt prepared for the frog legs that were to come. It was my first time trying frog legs and I found them rather salty but they were over a bed of grits, which I have a newfound love for.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

I also learned something new when it was brought to my attention that trout is basically cousins with salmon because the two look like twins! Chef Soul made the trout with a pretzel crust over the top and I started to reconsider how many more plates I could handle. There were still two courses left and the trout was gone before I could blink or breathe again.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Well into my fourth drink, the most beautiful piece of lamb was brought out. The Lamb had been seared so it was extremely juicy and meaty which everyone seemed to be appreciating. If dessert was going to be anything like this, Chef Soulo just might have to come up to NYC to cook here! He surely didn’t disappoint with the layered carrot cake  that was served with some of the best ice cream I’ve had in a while. It was a buttermilk ice cream and I don’t think buttermilk can ever go wrong. I really appreciate Chef Soulo’s invitation to the Soulo Culinary Ambition dinner and would love if my DC peeps checked him out for any events you may be having or if Chef decides to make this a regular event, you should check it out.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Soulo Culinary Ambition

You can find him on instagram @chefsoulo or on their Website so get #souloreloaded

Soulo Culinary Ambition

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