Tag Archives: deals

A Return to Corduroy

16 Oct

One of the very first restaurants that introduced us to the world of District fine dining was Corduroy. If memory serves me correctly, it was probably six years ago when we were first introduced to Tom Power’s exquisite cooking. It was oddly located inside a Sheraton off of K Street with a no-frills dining room. The kitchen, however, left a lasting impression. I can still recall my entrée after all these years – lamb sirloin with miniature goat cheese ravioli. Rachel, too, can still remember their incredible seared sea scallops.

If only we started this blog six years ago. Since then, this city has seen an unparalleled explosion in dining establishments. Somehow, Corduroy got lost in the shuffle and we have not make a return trip since. In 2008, the restaurant relocated from the downtown Sheraton and situated itself right across the street from the convention center.  We kept meaning to visit the new location but never got around to it.

That was until a few months ago when I noticed Chef Power himself posted on Don Rockwell informing members that he would be offering a special five-course tasting menu for two days only with an incredible price of $40 per person. Considering that the majority of their entrees are normally in the 30s, we basically made a reservation on the spot.

First of all, the new location is a vast improvement from its previous locale. The entrance is nearly hidden while the interior carries a warm, inviting atmosphere. No longer sterile like the Sheraton location, the new address feels modern but not stuffy. The bar is located upstairs where diners can partake in one of the District’s best deals for dinner: $30 for a three-course meal.

Chilled eggplant soup

Anyway, Rachel was about nine months pregnant at the time, so when we informed the waiter we here for the special menu, we made sure to tell him not to bring anything raw (much to my chagrin). Our first course was their chilled eggplant soup. Rich and creamy, the soup was very flavorful and was a refreshing course given the humidity at the time (remember, this was back in August).

Alaskan salmon accompanied with corn relish

Our next course featured a beautifully-cooked piece of Alaskan salmon accompanied with corn relish. Both Rachel and I really enjoyed this dish, and I’m not even a big fan of salmon.

Roast and confit guinea hen with savoy cabbage

Up next was roast and confit guinea hen with savoy cabbage. Another fantastic preparation, the hen was wonderfully succulent while the crispy skin was a delight in its own right.

Wagyu beef strip loin with garlic mashed potatoes

As if this evening could not get any better, our next course was Wagyu beef strip loin with garlic mashed potatoes. We haven’t had Wagyu since Rachel’s birthday nearly two years ago at Sushi Taro, and good heavens, was this a legitimate piece of beef. It really doesn’t need an explanation as a picture says a thousand words.

Broken Arrow Ranch antelope with scalloped potatoes

Just when we thought we had reached the dessert course, our waiter informed us that since he had noticed that Rachel was pregnant, the chef thought we should have one more course to make sure she was well-nourished. Then out came a piece of Broken Arrow Ranch antelope with scalloped potatoes.  Yes, antelope! I honestly could not believe anything would top the Waygu, yet the antelope was one of the most delicious, most tender pieces of meat the two of us have ever come across in our years of dining. I’m not joking – imagine filet mignon, but even more succulent. Yeah, I was nearly taken aback by its lusciousness.

Sorbet Trio

Our meal then concluded not with one but two desserts. First was a trio of refreshing sorbets while the other was a chocolate tort accompanied with caramelized banana and caramel ice cream. Guess which one was our favorite.

Chocolate tort accompanied with caramelized banana and caramel ice cream

Our meal at Corduroy was simply outstanding. We seriously cannot believe it has been at least five years since our last meal there, but it is undeniably one of the District’s best restaurants. It may not receive as much publicity as other places, but Chef Power is a treasure and Corduroy is a gem. We were already trying to figure out when to come back to take advantage of their $30 bar special. No wonder we started blogging about restaurants – our experiences at Corduroy are the reason why.

Corduroy on Urbanspoon

A Shining Spotlight on Charlie Palmer Steak

22 Sep

Not only was it just a year ago that DMV Dining launched, but around the same time, OpenTable debuted Spotlight, their Groupon-like website. Their very first offer was for Charlie Palmer Steak, and naturally we took the bait.

Needless to say, Charlie Palmer was (in our assessment) Spotlight’s most enticing offer since they launched, as the restaurants since then have not quite matched the caliber of the Capitol Hill steakhouse.

Amuse Bouche - Rock Shrimp Ceviche

Anyway, we nearly forgot about the certificate until we realized it was about to expire in a couple of weeks. On a related note, we really need to create a Google Calendar for our soon-to-expire Groupons…

We were able to book a reservation for Friday evening, and wouldn’t you know it, the restaurant offers free corkage on Fridays! This was purely coincidental when we originally booked our table, but upon finding out the news, we brought along a bottle of King Estate’s Acrobat Pinot Noir.

Filet Mignon

When we were seated, the waitress poured two glasses of the wine we brought and soon returned with an amuse bouche of rock shrimp ceviche. It provided some excellent flavor for such a small bite and was a nice way to start off our evening.

For our entrees, we kept it rather simple: we both ordered the European cut filet, Rachel opting for the petite size while I went for the standard portion (surprise, surprise). The quality of the meat was exceptional as it was evenly cooked and deliciously succulent. Not to throw Grapeseed under the bus, but the difference was night and day between the two restaurant’s steaks.

Parmesan gnocchi

Following the advice of EatMore DrinkMore’s Jenna, we ordered the Parmesan gnocchi as one of our sides. Folks, this could have been a meal in itself. For eight dollars, we had more than enough pasta to share between the two of us. Oh, and it was really, really good. It was such a clever way to complement the filet rather than serve it with your typical baked potato or order of fries (though the ones at Charlie Palmer did look delectable).

Wild mushrooms and onions

We also ordered a side of wild mushrooms and onions which we both really enjoyed. Nothing really to write about here, but the garlic nicely supplemented the filet.

We didn’t wind up ordering dessert as we were both so full from our meal, but then the waitress brought over a small assortment of bite-sized treats which included peanut brittle and chocolate truffles. Unsurprisingly, they were gone within seconds.

Dessert Assortment

Overall, we both really enjoyed Charlie Palmer. Our waitress was very friendly, topping off our wine glasses the moment they were no more than a third full. Meanwhile, the food was fantastic. I was very impressed by not only the cuts of the filet, but also by the superb gnocchi. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Ray’s the Classics, but Charlie Palmer is right up there as one of my favorite steakhouses in the DMV.

Charlie Palmer Steak on Urbanspoon

DC Restaurant Week Extensions and Year-Round Deals

16 Aug

DC Restaurant Week kicked into gear yesterday and you might be thinking that it’s too late to snag a great reservation. We generally think some of the better deals happen at lunchtime if you’re lucky enough to work near a participating restaurant. It’s also a better deal if you can find a place that offers most if not all of their regular menu, or if you would easily spend up to $30 on entrees alone.

If you missed the boat on a reservation this week, we have compiled a list of places that have extended their offers. Also, some of these restaurants have prix fixe menus throughout the year during certain days and hours, so it’s a good idea to see if your dining destination is a special occasion place or an everyday destination.

Sesame-Seared Tuna at Kinkead's

Sesame-Seared Tuna at Kinkead's

1789 – $40 through September 15, Sunday – Thursday. Must subscribe to their newsletter to receive offer.

1905 – Extended through August 27th

2941 – Lunch and dinner extended to August 22-26, 5-9:30pm, dinner August 20, 5 – 10pm.

– Extended through August 28th. They also offer a pre-theater menu  from 5:30 – 6:45pm for $29.95 Monday-Saturday. On Sundays, they offer a pre-theater menu from 5 – 9:30pm.

Acadiana – Passion Food Hospitality is offering an extended week for their Loyalty Members ($25 to sign up for the program).

Adour – Extended through August 27th.

Art and Soul – Extended through August 28th.

Assaggi Osteria – Extended through August 28th.

Bastille – Extended through August 28th.

Bistro Lepic – Extended through August 28th.

Blacksalt – They offer a special lunch menu Monday through Friday.

Casa Nonna – Extended through the month of August

Ceiba – Passion Food Hospitality is offering an extended week for their Loyalty Members ($25 to sign up for the program).

Charlie Palmer – Offering a daily prix fixe lunch menu for $25.

CoCo Sala – Dinner extended through August 31st, including brunch August 27 and 28.

Columbia Firehouse – Offering their full menu through August 28th.

DC Coast – Passion Food Hospitality is offering an extended week for their Loyalty Members ($25 to sign up for the program).

Dino – Offering their whole menu through August 31st. They also have a three course dinner every day for $39.

Et Voila – Offering restaurant week lunch throughout the entire month of August.

J& G Steakhouse – Extended through August 26th. They also offer a pre-theater menu for $39 from 5:00 – 6:30.

Jackson 20 – Extended through August 28th.

Jaleo – Extended through August 28th.

Johnny’s Half ShellPre-theater menu for $35, 5 – 6:30pm.

Kellari Taverna – Extended through August 28th (dinner only).

Kinkead’s – Lunch extended through September 2nd.

Lyon Hall – Extended through August 28th.

Nage – Restaurant Month through all of August.

Occidental – Extended through August 28th.

Oval RoomPre-theater menu daily for $35, 5:30 – 6:30.

Oya – Oya offers a $20 prix fixe lunch Monday through Friday and a $35 prix fixe dinner every night of the week.

Oyamel – Extended through August 28th.

Perry’s – Extended through August 31st.

PS 7 – Extended through August 27th. Special includes a bottle of selected red or white for $25 with meal.

SEI – Oya offers a $20 prix fixe lunch Monday through Friday and a $35 prix fixe dinner every night of the week.

Siroc – Offering a four course menu through August 28th.

Trummer’s on Main – Extended through August 28th.

Tuscana West – Extended through August 27th.

Vento – Offering a four course menu through August 28th.

Zaytinya – Extended through August 28th.

Whew! So it appears that a lot of places are extending their deals, making it more like Restaurant Month than Restaurant Week. I tried to add in some other deals when possible, but there are simply too many to factor them all in.

Just a reminder that many places offer deals on a daily basis, especially early bird or pre-theater specials. Also, look for places that you have never been to before as a way to try out several courses and sample the menu.

Enjoy, and happy eating!

Lunch Break at BlackSalt

23 May

While it’s a little out of the way for a midday meal during the workweek, BlackSalt offers one of the best lunch deals in the District. For $18, diners can choose three items from four categories: a starter, entree, dessert, and an alcoholic beverage. For just $5 more, diners can create their own four-course meal.

We had heard about this special via Metrocurean as we have been dying to try Jeff Black’s standout seafood restaurant for what seems like an eternity. Rachel and I decided to head over last Friday since we both had the day off and wanted to take advantage of this excellent special.

BlackSalt Fish Market

We have always heard about their fish market, which is situated in front of the house, but were taken aback by not only what BlackSalt sold, but by how fresh everything looked. From salmon to oysters to tuna cakes, one wouldn’t typically expect a fish market in the quaint Palisades neighborhood, especially one with such an impressive selection. While we held off on buying fresh fish that day (prices aren’t for the faint of heart), we’ll certainly be back for those tuna cakes.

We made our way towards the dining room in the back and looked over the menu. Both Rachel and I opted to skip dessert and instead focus on the appetizer, entrée, and drink (of course!).

Baby arugula saladLocal vegetable salad

Rachel got a glass of sparkling wine, baby arugula salad, and the cornmeal crusted tilapia sandwich. The salad came with lemongrass-almond vinaigrette, feta, and dried cranberries. The salad wasn’t terribly inventive, but she loves that particular combination and it was a great start to the meal.

Brett ordered a glass of the white wine, the local vegetable salad, and the wood-grilled big eye tuna sandwich. We actually wound up splitting our sandwiches so we each could have a half of one another’s.

Cornmeal crusted tilapia sandwich

The tilapia was crispy on the outside but incredibly tender and flaky inside. It tasted like it was flash-fried which pleasantly made the sandwich not too heavy. It arrived on toasted ciabatta with avocado and pickled red onions. Rachel’s sole complaint was that the ciabatta was a little too tough when biting into the sandwich, and that the fish didn’t really need the bread in order for it to shine.

Meanwhile, the tuna sandwich was excellent. Prepared on housemade focaccia and dressed with olive persillade and smoked tuna tapenade, the big eye was cooked to (at least in my opinion) perfection. The kitchen hit that sweet spot between rare and medium rare, and the quality of the fish itself was first-rate.

Big Eye Tuna Sandwich

While I enjoyed persillade and tapenade, I felt that it was a little excessive as it detracted from the fish and nearly masked its flavor. The bread was able to withstand the dressing as it didn’t get too soggy, but I think I preferred Rachel’s tilapia if I had to choose between the two sandwiches.

Both sandwiches also came with a side of generous portion of highly addictive house made potato chips. While we could have added dessert to one of our meals for five dollars, we instead bought a homemade chocolate chip cookie from the market for a buck. It was well worth the money spent as the entire cookie was soft and gooey and was a nice ending to a fabulous meal.

We can’t recommend BlackSalt’s Lunch Break enough. For the money, it’s seriously one of the best deals you’ll find in the city, period. The quality of the food is beyond fresh, the service is attentive, and the atmosphere is tranquil given the neighborhood surroundings. It’s well worth the trip.

BlackSalt Fish Market - Fresh!

BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A Classic Cocktail Hour at Occidental

17 May

As much as we love going out to dinner, sometimes all you need is a great happy hour. And during the month of May, I think Occidental may hold the title for the best deal out there.

One of the oldest establishments in the District, Occidental is celebrating its birthday by offering some of its classic cocktails at its original 1907 prices of 18 cents. At first it seemed too good to be true, but then we learned that there was one catch: the 18 cent cocktail was valid for the first drink only, and had to include the purchase of a food item.

Cable Car

I remember going to the Occidental years ago for my first ever Restaurant Week experience and being amazed by the countless portraits on the walls of Washington’s elite, from presidents to sports figures. We sat at the old-fashioned bar and you could just feel the history within those walls.

My friend and I both ordered the Cable Car, which was a mixture of rum, orange liqueur, and fresh lime juice, topped with an orange slice. It was incredibly refreshing, and quite strong!

Risotto Balls

To eat we shared the tuna tartar and risotto balls, along with the basket of fresh rolls and butter that came out with our food. The bread was just out of the oven and came with butter that had a hint of basil in it. The tuna was layered with avocado and crispy onions on top, which added a nice crunch to the creamy dish. The rice balls were crispy on the outside and came with an olive dip that nicely complemented each other.

Tuna Tartar

All in all, we spent $10 each on a fantastic cocktail and appetizer. I highly recommend checking out the Occidental before the deal is over.

Occidental Grill & Seafood is located on 1475 Pennsylvania Ave NW in downtown DC.

Occidental Grill & Seafood on Urbanspoon

The Silver Spring Side of Olazzo

26 Apr

With Passover concluding tonight, what better way to celebrate than discussing a return to carbs, and more importantly, pasta!

While we adore Olazzo in downtown Bethesda, we have never been to its nearby location in Silver Spring. As it turns out, Rachel inadvertently bought a BuyWithMe certificate for the Italian restaurant without realizing it was for the latter as opposed with the intention of buying it for the former.

Thanks to Rachel’s slight oversight, it gave us an opportunity to try their sister location, and especially in my case, their great meatballs.

Chicken Cardinale

One huge pro about their Silver Spring location is that they accept reservations, something that isn’t a practice at their Bethesda restaurant. Our table was ready as soon as we arrived, but given that it was a Thursday night instead of a weekend, this was anticipated.

Another noticeable difference between the two venues is that Silver Spring has a much larger dining area. The front of the house features an extensive bar area while Bethesda’s is essentially non-existent save for a few barstools. There were also several booths lined up opposite the bar that made for a cozy pub atmosphere.

Meanwhile, we were seated in the backroom which was just slightly smaller than their entire Bethesda dining room, but with higher ceilings and, even better, less noise. Then again, our reservation was around 9pm, so that probably helped in regards to the decibel levels.

Pasta Primavera

Our waitress soon came by and asked for our drink orders while one of the busboys brought out their trademark warm, fresh bread with freshly-poured olive oil. Needless to say, I went through the whole loaf.

I ordered the Chicken Cardinale while Rachel got the Pasta Primavera. And of course, we shared a meatball.

Rachel got one of her go-to dishes here, the Pasta Primavera. The description lists the dish with olive oil and garlic, but like Brett, she loves her marinara sauce. However, she didn’t think that took away from her dish, and while it wasn’t amazing or completely unique, it was a very satisfying and heaping portion of penne pasta with an array of vegetables and a zesty sauce.

Being a huge fan of marinara, I foolishly opted for that over the tomato cream sauce that came with the Cardinale. I should have stuck with the original recipe as the red sauce’s texture wasn’t optimal for the dish, but despite the substitution, I was rather disappointed with the quality of the chicken.  It was dry, stringy, and downright unflavorful.


The meatball, on the other hand, was terrific as always. Almost the size of a softball, this (along with their excellent cannolis) is one of their signature items and is a must-order if you’re dining at Olazzo. I’m honestly annoyed at myself for not ordering a plate of spaghetti and meatballs for dinner instead, but I digress.

Our bill came out to a little less than $50, and given that our BuyWithMe offer cost $20 for $40 worth of food, an inexpensive dinner turned out to be even more economical. It’s not often you receive a check for two entrees, two glasses of wine, and a side dish that comes out to $10 (excluding tip)!

Outside of the Chicken Cardinale, some of which was my fault as well as the kitchen’s, it was another great tonight at was is typically a very reliable establishment. Given that we’re walking distance to their Bethesda location, I sense I’ll have plenty more opportunities to get my cherished spaghetti and meatballs.

Olazzo on Urbanspoon

LivingSocial Lunch at Equinox

22 Apr

When LivingSocial launched its Instant Deals program by offering dollar lunches at many of the city’s restaurants last Friday, it caused quite the stir in the District. While there were a plethora of options to choose from, perhaps none were more worthwhile than Equinox and its participation in the promotion.

Todd Gray’s restaurant was not only the best venue LivingSocial offered, but given that it cost just one dollar for $20 worth of food, it was arguably the biggest steal of the day.

Hawaiian escolar filet with spring vegetable ratatouille

Rachel and I decided to meet for lunch after booking a reservation on OpenTable, as this was too big of a deal to pass up. Apologies to the turkey sandwich I made the night before.

Rachel arrived right on time, as the Metro gods smiled on her that day. Brett, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. When she got there, a representative from LivingSocial checked her in as she sat down and perused the menu.

Once we were ready to order, we realized that the offer was only valid for one per table, but it was still a fantastic deal for an impromptu Friday lunch. Since both of us work at places that allow you to wear jeans on Friday, we were feeling a little underdressed at such a fancy establishment, but hopefully they didn’t mind too much.

Eggplant Frites

After much debate, Rachel ordered the Hawaiian escolar filet with spring vegetable ratatouille while I got the pork tenderloin with mustard greens and baked potato tots. We decided to splurge a little since we had such a great deal and also got a side of eggplant frites with a spicy rémoulade.

The frites were an excellent side as Rachel and I were pretty much in a contest on who could finish them first. With a light, flaky coating of panko breadcrumbs, the eggplant had a creamy texture that was both unexpected and delightful. Meanwhile the rémoulade was irresistibly good as we could not stop dipping our frites in it.

Pork tenderloin with mustard greens and baked potato tots

The tenderloin, cooked medium-rare, turned out to be a very generous portion given the mealtime as well as the fabulous deal we were participating in. The meat was tender albeit a tad dry, but overall I didn’t have any qualms with the dish. The homemade tots were a nice side in terms of a meat and potatoes entree as it proved to be lighter than heavier alternatives such as a puree or even fries.

Rachel’s escolar literally melted in her mouth, and the buttery fish was an ideal complement to the ratatouille. If Hawaii is known for their escolar, she will definitely be on the look out for it when we visit there in September.

We have always wanted to visit Equinox, and are so glad we were able to take advantage of this great offer. We will definitely be back again. In fact, Rachel will be checking out Todd Gray’s new Watershed restaurant this weekend!

Stay tuned for a report…

Equinox on Urbanspoon

Redwood and Bloomspot = A Perfect Evening

15 Apr

With the innumerable amounts of Groupon-like offers out there on the web, one deal really caught our eye a few weeks ago. Bloomspot, one of the newer entrants in the daily deal market, offered a three-course tasting menu, with wine pairings no less, at Bethesda’s Redwood Restaurant and Bar. How much, you ask? $38!

I mean, how could we resist?


This past Monday, we met up with our friends Erika and Jeremy for dinner at Redwood, marking our first official dinner at the Bethesda Row venue after several happy hours and lunches. They had each bought the BloomSpot offer as well as the whole table had to participate in order to enjoy the tasting menu.

We asked to sit outside, since it was a perfect night that felt like summer even though its mid-April. As we were being seated, we informed our waiter that we would be participating in the Bloomspot offer. Without hesitation, he brought over the specialized menus as well as breaking down the wine pairings for our meal.

Grilled Octupus Salad

The prix-fixe menu was not as limited as we thought it would be, giving diners four to five choices per course. Rachel and I both ordered the grilled octopus salad for our first course. Featuring farro, fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, lemon, and paprika vinaigrette, it was a light yet satisfying salad. I especially liked how much octopus was found on the plate, and while the protein itself wasn’t anything exceptional, the other ingredients significantly helped out.

All four of us also received a glass of Pinot Grigio with our first course. What we really liked, however, were the generous pours. We must have received at least eight ounces in each of our glasses! Considering that I already had a few drafts at the bar earlier in the evening, I could tell that I was going to be in for a long evening.

Coq au Vin

For our main course, I ordered the Coq au Vin. When it arrived, I was stunned not only by its beautiful presentation, but also by the sheer size of the chicken breast. Furthermore, the dish also came with a braised thigh as well as a side of potato puree. This was a lot of food, kids.

It’s sometimes difficult to pull off chicken, but this bird was excellently cooked – juicy and tender with some great flavor. Topped with pearl onions and, even better, bacon lardoons, Redwood won me over with this entrée. I was the last of our group to finish given the immense amount of meat that was served. Not that I was complaining.

Pan-roasted Atlantic cod

Rachel went for the pan-roasted Atlantic cod without hesitation, which came with beluga lentils, Savoy cabbage, caraway carrots, and a lobster-Riesling nage. The fish was impeccably cooked, crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside. She’s a sucker for anything with lobster, and the small nuggets in the white wine sauce melted in her mouth.

Not to be outdone, our second wine paring was a superb Chardonnay from Barboursville Vineyards. And once again, our glasses were more than half full. Our whole party couldn’t believe what a deal this was as everyone was very pleased with their meal thus far. More importantly, it was also a good thing we weren’t driving!

Lime and Yogurt Panna Cotta

For dessert, I went with the vanilla crème brûlée. Topped with pecan sandies, it proved to be a gratifying ending to a wonderful dinner. It was a classic dish that was wonderfully executed.

Rachel got the lime and yogurt Panna Cotta with a chilled mango papaya soup. The Panna Cotta was very refreshing and perfect for a warm evening, but she could have done without the soup. The mango pieces were good but the soup was a little too overpowering for the rest of her dish.

Our final wine pairing was Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port. While I’m not particularly the biggest fan of ports, Erika made sure she enjoyed her entire glass. I was more than satisfied considering how much I had already consumed.

Vanilla Crème Brûlée

Overall, I still cannot believe we only paid $38 per person for a three course dinner WITH wine pairings. My meal by itself would have cost $41 a la carte, and that’s not even including a glass of wine, let alone three! The service was also exceptional as our waiter Sam was very accommodating as well as a bit of a jokester. He’s obviously in the right line of work as we left him a generous trip for his excellent service.

Redwood has really turned things around since they first opened and is proving that, while newer than some of Bethesda’s other restaurants, they are gradually making a name for themselves.

Redwood Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Happy Hour at Pete's New Haven

5 Apr

We already know that Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza serves up arguably the best pizza in all of DC, but what you may not know is that they offer a terrific happy hour as well.

Rachel and I went to their Friendship Heights location last Friday not only for an early dinner, but to also partake in their great beer specials. All of their draft beer is half price, and considering that they offer some terrific brews, it’s an exceptional deal. Where else in the city can you find a pint of Great Lakes Eliot Ness for fewer than three dollars?

Veggie and Chef's Choice

I repped the DMV by ordering a glass of Port City’s Optimal Wit – a fantastic wheat ale brewed in nearby Alexandria. Glasses of house red or white wine are $2.50 each, and you can also order a pint of Moretti and a slice of cheese pizza for $5 as well.

As for food, we started off with a cup of their lentil soup. Normally when you envision lentil soup, you think of a thick, whole-bean texture. Not the case at Pete’s. It had all the flavor (and then some) but with a finer consistency, almost like a bisque. It was very, very good and was accompanied by a warm piece of homemade focaccia.

Lentil Soup

And then of course, there was the pizza. What more can we say? Pete’s does it right every single time. The crisp, slightly charred crust prepared with high-quality toppings makes this former New Yorker (albeit upstate) and New Jerseyan very happy.

I ordered a plain as well as a chef’s choice (which featured caramelized onions and prosciutto) and I can’t think of a simple complaint about either slice. Rachel ordered a slice of veggie (which included sautéed spinach and roasted peppers) and loved it.

Cheese SlicePort City Optimal Wit and Great Lakes Eliot Ness

The only problem was that we apparently did not get the memo that we were supposed to bring 300 kids with us. Seriously, the place was jam-packed with tots. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, we simply had no idea it would be like that since we’ve been here for happy hour in the past. Then again, that was on a Tuesday and this was on a Friday afternoon.

Not Pete’s fault by any means. Hell, they must love it what with the line pretty much going out the door. We’ll just have to return for happy hour on any day but Friday. Sorry Rebecca Black, but it seems your demographic already conquers that specific day at Pete’s.

Pete's New Haven Style Apizza on Urbanspoon

Hank's Tavern and Eats: Conquering the Hank Burger

4 Feb

While there are a plethora of burger options in the District (perhaps too many), one restaurant that is overlooked and, in our opinion, has one of the better patties in the DMV is Hank’s Tavern & Eats, located in nearby Hyattsville.

Rachel and I were looking for a place to grab dinner before the Maryland/Duke game in College Park on Wednesday evening, but knowing that most of the eateries situated along Route 1 would be jam-packed with Terps fans, we felt Hank’s would be an optimal venue given its proximity to the Comcast Center.

You might not know it, but Hank’s is actually under the umbrella of Chef Geoff’s restaurants. Located in the University Town Center next to the Regal movie theater, Hank’s Tavern & Eats features American comfort food in a laid-back atmosphere.

Hank Burger

Photo courtesy of Stacy Zarin-Goldberg www.stacyzarinphoto.com

They also have a great happy hour available in their spacious bar area. Running daily from 3pm to 7pm (and all night on Mondays and Tuesdays), customers can enjoy specials such as $3 drafts and $5 house wines.

Their best deal, however, is the $7 Hank Burger. Normally priced at $11, the Hank Burger is, at the very least, a half pounder stacked with lettuce, tomato, two thick strips of bacon, cheddar, and of course, a gigantic onion ring.

You’ll most likely be astonished at its towering size when it arrives, but for the price, you cannot beat it.

Oh, and it was pretty delicious, too. The Angus beef was juicy and flavorful, and while the bacon could have been a little crispier, Rachel and I had no problems finishing this behemoth of a burger.

We also decided to split a basil chicken salad since half a burger wasn’t going to cut it, at least for me. Just like the Hank Burger, the salad was a very generous portion, and given the reasonable price of $11.99, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.

Served with greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, croutons, and large pieces of grilled chicken, this was definitely an entrée in its own right.

While the beer list isn’t too extensive, they do have Dale’s Pale Ale on tap and also featured Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA bottles for $3.95

All and all, it was satisfying meal before gametime. It certainly beets a dry, overcooked chicken sandwich at Comcast Center.

Hank's Tavern & Eats on Urbanspoon

Hank’s Tavern & Eats is located at 6507 America Blvd in Hyattsville, MD.