Pork Chop Fried Rice & Chocolate Stars Bento

– Pork Fried Rice – Chocolate Soy Cookies – Blueberry yogurt
– Banana
– Grapes
– Green Tea soymilk

This rice was -so- good, and I made it with leftover porkchops my dad had made. I added egg and baby spinach. These chocoalte cookies are from the Korean supermarket (can’t remember if it was Hmart or Grandmart) and are super yummy and aren’t bad for you because they’re soy crisps with a thin thin layer of chocolate on them.

Banana was free from work, yogurt was free from Giant, grapes were free from boyfriend. Perfect, filling bento.


Food Decor Service Cost
25 22 25 $45

Located in Metro Center, this member of “Passion Foods” is a multi-faceted restaurant. With many different dining areas (casual with wicker chairs, business casual with simple wooden tables and plants, lounge, and private rooms with doors), Ceiba really can give you anything you want. You can come here for happy hour, a romantic evening, or an office meeting.

The staff was very attentive to us (we stated on the reservation site, opentable.com, that it was our anniversary, and we were given a great location in the more upscale dining area, “Happy Anniversary” was printed at the top of our menu and written on our dessert plate). Many of the dishes sounded very interesting, but we were only able to get 3 appetizers because the portions were so generous (as opposed to other restaurants that might charge $20 for an appetizer that is eaten in 2 small bites). In fact, we chose a more tapas approach to the experience and ate only three appetizers and no entrees (and of course drinks and dessert), therefore being able to sample many more dishes.

We ate: Crispy Fried Oysters with Mango Torilla Slaw, Chipotle Remoulade (11), “Hot Lava Stone” Queso Fundido with Shaved Ribeye Steak, Poblano Chilis, Oaxacan Cheese and small yummy tortillas (13), Grilled Argentinian and Mexican Chorizo sausages with Roasted Eggplant Raisin Chutney, Sweet and Sour Mustard, Warm sugar Canela Dusted Churros with Dark Rich Hot Fudge (and a candle w/ happy anniversary written in chocolate), Almond Marshmallows, and caramel and almond popcorn (this was complimentary and tasted like a non-sticky, grown up version of Cracker Jack). For drinks, the Dark and Stormy [Goslings Black Seal rum, Goya ginger beer & fresh lime ] (a little too much rum for us) and Yucatan Sunset [Bacardi Razz rum, Citronge, mango puree, fresh orange juice & grenadine] (had pockets of just fruit juice and just alcohol taste…). Both drinks came with little neon-orange bulls on the side of the glass. I see how this would be appropriate in the lounge area, and it was cute for a souvenir, but not style-appropriate for where we were dining.

Overall, it was a great experience, and I would love to go back for their $5 mojito happy hour (with comp. food) or for lunch or dinner again so I can try the rest of the menu that we were too full to eat (like the red snapper, jumbo shrimp, or grilled octopus salad). In the end, you don’t pay just for the food, but for the experience as a whole, and it was worth it, because they made us feel special. [Not to mention the super-cute parrots painted on a mural behind us and on the outside of the restaurant]

From Zagat:

With “wonderful” South and Central American-inspired dishes “bursting with complex flavors” and presented in “beautiful” Downtown digs, this “happening” Nuevo Latino is as “great for an anyday meal” as a “business lunch” or a “special occasion”; so start with a “mean caipirinha”, move onto the “must-have” ceviche sampler, then get an “amazing” crispy whole fish before enjoying the “best part” – complimentary “caramel popcorn brought with the bill.”

Food: 24, Decor: 24, Service: 22, Cost: $48
701 14th Street. NW (G Street, Metro Center station) 202-393-3983

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Simple Ocha-zuke Bento

– Ochazuke . Mikan Fruit Jelly
– Turtle brownie
– Green Tea soymilk

I was super lazy today and just brought rice and a packet of Ochazuke (green tea powder mixed with other things such as nori (seaweed) and crackers) that I had bought in Japan. I added the hot water at work and it was super yummy! I like ochazuke when its more rice and less watery/ochazuke-y, otherwise the ochazuke flavor is too strong for me.

I made the ochazuke in my super-convenient coffee cup that I use for soup, oatmeal, and coffee of course.

I also used my awesome United Colors of Bennetton compact silverware that I bought in Japan (at LoFt) =^_^=.

Harvest-y Noodle Bento

– Cup noodles, drained – Strawberry yogurt
– Honey Wheat Flax Kashi Bar
– Apple Turnover yogurt
– Green Tea soymilk

First bento for my new job! Unfortunately, I commute about 4 hours round trip so I never have time to actually make super nice bento.

I drained the noodles too much and they were dry. The kashi bar had been kept moist by the yogurt, and the apple turnover yogurt was not tasty.

Georgetown Cupcake

Food Decor Service Cost
19 16 15 $5

So I heard through the grapevine about Georgetown Cupcake, located on Potomac Street NW (across from Dean & Deluca). I finally made my way over there a couple months ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since! Though the space is very small (sometimes you have to wait outside for your cupcakes), including only one table, this sister run cupcake-palace it worth it, especially now that they have daily and monthly schedules on their website! They also serve cafe drinks here (coffee, tea, etc) and the staff is super helpful. You can almost see the cupcakes being baked in the back, and if you don’t know what to get, they’re more than happy to share their favorites. I’m slowly trying to taste every one of their flavors, but their seasonal flavors keep evading me (blueberry coffee cake, cherry blossom, carrot cake, independence day).

They are most famous for pre-ordering (people buy these by the dozens for their friends, office mates, parties, or their children). The only bad thing is that the smallest box is for 4 or 6 cupcakes, and you have to pay for single cupcake boxes ($0.50 each). Other than that, a short walk across the key bridge can result in disaster (depending on your pace and packaging) in the form of smushed cupcakes or mixed flavors. Though these cupcakes are very moist and super yummy, sometimes there is just a little bit too much frosting on it for me, so I wipe it off.

Recommended flavors: Summer: Lemon Berry, Key Lime Everyday: Mocha, Lava, Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Squared

Score was updated after visiting Hello Cupcake in September 2008.

From the Washington Post ‘Cupcake Wars’

About: Sisters Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis quit their jobs last year to open this business on Valentine’s Day 2008, creating such a sensation that they now sell thousands of cupcakes a day (more than 4,000 on Saturdays). 1209 Potomac St. NW, 202-333-8448; » More About Georgetown Cupcake

The Range: A dozen varieties when we visited, including all four permutations of chocolate/vanilla, plus triple chocolate, chocolate ganache, lemon blossom, mocha, coconut and caramel apple (a special September seasonal flavor that will return in November).

Price: $2.75 each, $15 for six, $29 for a dozen.

Size: Smallish, with just the right amount of frosting. (Average weight: 3 ounces.)

How do they taste?: Wow! These are the Nadia Comanecis of the Cupcake Wars: cute, diminutive and the first to get scores of 10. Not all of them, of course; we liked the vanilla cakes less, and we weren’t too crazy about the coconut, but most of the others had us using descriptions such as “dreamy,” “creamy,” “bright” and “sensational.”

Best of the Bunch: Chocolate Squared was so moist, with deep chocolate flavor in both cake and fudgy frosting, that one taster wrote, “I’m not even a huge chocolate fan, and that is a perfect chocolate cupcake.” (Score: 9.8 out of 10.)

Price Per Ounce: 86 cents

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