Pork Souvlaki with Tzatziki

I got the idea for this recipe from Serious Eats. This recipe “passes”, and gets to be written in the real Recipe book!

The main part that I kept over-looking was the “marinate over-night” part, so just to let you know, you need to marinate this over night!!! Okay, now that that’s over. This was served with red lentils cooked in chicken broth with some sprouts and roasted red pepper and toasted naan. Sounds good, right? The lentils were bad, but everything else was delicious!

Chocolate Banana Custards


The one and only time I’ve worked out in my new apartment building so far this year was on an eliptical machine with a TV attached to it. Unfortunately, I was watching FoodNetwork’s “Cooking for Real“. This recipe was featured on it as a dessert; Grown-Up Banana Pudding. I love the portion size! (It only makes 1 serving). I picked up the ramekins for 2.50 at the local grocery store. I made this for Dan as an early birthday present (because my heavy cream expired before his birthday).

Verdict: I still like the original, no-bake banana pudding better! (vanilla instant pudding, vanilla wafers, bananas, and whipped topping). I also don’t like the peanuts in it, and one ‘heart’ is a little bit too much for one person (though I ate all of mine!).  This is a really easy way to make a sophisticated dessert for a weekday night.

  • 20 vanilla wafers (recommended: Nilla Wafers)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • 2 egg yolks (save the whites for an omelet the next day!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor or blender, pulse vanilla wafers until reduced to crumbs. Continuing to pulse, add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and salt, then slowly drizzle in butter until completely combined. Divide mixture in half and pour into 6-oz ramekins. Using the bottom of a small glass, press the crumbs into the ramekins to make a crust on the bottom. The crust should be about 1/4-inch thick.
In a medium bowl combine banana, brown sugar, peanuts and chocolate chips. Divide this mixture in half and place in the bottom of each ramekin. In the same bowl, whisk together yolks, heavy cream, vanilla, zest and remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour evenly into both ramekins and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (Note: Mine were done at 30!)

The Flat

Yelp Page
Food Decor Service Cost
19 10 15 $5

April 18th, 2009
The Flat is not a new place for me, I just happened to re-visit it (and document it) when I went back there this past-past weekend for an event for my sorority. I usually get the cinnamon-sugar-butter crepe (for only $2.50!) because it’s the cheapest and, in my opinion, one of the best. I’ve tried savory crepes from here (ham and spinach) and more elaborate crepes (vanilla yogurt with apple, strawberry, and banana), but the best is still the simplest.

They have a strong following down in Charlottesville, mostly among the college students, and its usually for something involving that heavenly hazlenut spread: Nutella. I think they put too much on and it pools in the center (aka, when folded, the bottom), then again, I don’t love love Nutella like many people I know. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever bought a jar myself before.

This really is a town secret. Hidden in the quaint Historic Downtown district, it’s a trolley-ride away from the center of the University of Virginia campus. Not only that, but it’s also hidden again! It’s off the beaten path, near a parking garage, in a small green brick-claden shack. All the ingredients are fresh, and the crepes are made to order right before your very eyes. But, you might want to call before you go. Inclement weather and other interesting reasons have often lead to disappointment upon seeing those shutters closed.


I have spent many a minute playing checkers on the cute little tables to the side of the ordering windows (bottle cap checkers!), and also time spent huddling near the warm window or casually waiting on the warm, colorful benches. These crepes are worth every penny! And I’ve had worse, more expensive crepes up here in the city.




Food Decor Service Cost
20 13 18 $45

April 4th, 2009
I had originally made reservations at Tachibana for my school’s Sakura Matsuri trip last year, but changed at the last moment to Konami. We went to Tachibana this year in an attempt to salvage the disaster that was Sakura Matsuri 2009–added bonus: we were going for shabu shabu (so it was double redemption because it would be answering to the failure of “Bob’s Shabu Shabu”).

We didn’t have to wait long, and during our wait I read the articles on the wall that discussed the calligrapher’s displayed art. We were moved to a small table and when we ordered shabu shabu, the waitress looked at me and said “do you know what that is?”. Okay, offended. I assured her I knew what it was and we opted for the $20 per person (2 person minimum) a la carte shabu shabu, which was a few dollars less than the dinner option that included a salad and dessert.

We were moved to a larger table to accommodate the nabe (pot) that the shabu shabu would be cooking in. Well, in the end the shabu shabu was more shabu shabu than I had thought, but it was still a bit lacking. It was cooked nabemono-style, which was everything in the pot at the same time, instead of cooking the meat first and then adding the vegetables at the end with the left over liquid. Also, we were missing the koma sauce (brown, seseame based). Our waitress actually pointed this out to us, saying that it wasn’t real shabu shabu because we were missing this sauce. I tried to shut my ears when she started that sentence, but alas, it was too late.

We received miso soup as a starter–it was pretty good! I ate all of mine. Then the waitress started cooking some of our shabu shabu, left us to cook it for ourselves for a while, then came back to cook some more. The only bad thing was that the noodles were ridiculously slippery. I couldn’t even get them out and I like to think of myself as some-what of a chopstick master.

Dinner was pretty good — I’m glad I got my shabu fix, but I don’t think I’ll be going back. Maybe for sushi if we’re in the area, but there are much better Japanese restaurants out there to try and much closer ones for the sushi-fix.


From Zagat

“If you’re a fan of high-end toro”, this “reliable” McLean Japanese “rocks” with an “extensive menu” of “outstanding sushi” cut in “generous” pieces, and “if you like cooked food” it has a host of “authentic” “offerings that do not include the word ‘teriyaki'”; regulars “overlook its tired decor” in favor of its “good reputation”, and the “amazing lunch deals” and the chance to “sit at the bar and let the owner choose for you” elevate the experience for others.

Food: 25, Decor: 14, Service: 19, Cost: $36
Mclean | 6715 Lowell Ave. (Emerson Ave.) | 703-847-1771


Food Decor Service Cost
21 17 15 $28

April 17th, 2009
After hearing about EatBar via the Washingtonian (both touting their marvelous hush puppies and in the ‘Burger Brackets’), we made it our mission to sample both the ‘puppies and their burger.

We seated ourselves in the bar/lounge area and waited a while to be served. Service was spotty, but not much can be expected from a venue of this sort. I’m sure that everything was just a little nicer next door at Tallula, the parent restaurant. Now, it may just be due to the couple of drinks I had up the street at Clarendon Ballroom, but the hush puppies were good. Not as good as the ones I’ve had at Outer Banks, but they were pretty good. The burger was good as well–in fact I didn’t even care about smearing ketchup all over my face in order to shove all parts of it into my mouth in each bite.

But, the bottom line is, I’ve had better versions of everything here somewhere else before. I’d rather eat french fries at Farrah Olivia or Sweetwater Tavern, and rather have the burger from Palena Cafe or Central.

I had ‘The Rock Star’, a super bubbly drink that still had a strong taste of wine. The area that EatBar is located in is far from the metro and is not a very attractive one at that. The decor is very confusing. I can’t decide if it’s Gothic-gastropub-chic or a weird mash-up of things that reminds me of the inside of a funeral home or a psychic/tarot reader in the country.

Glad I went, but not going again. Especially since the crowd that seemed to be around us was… “special”. Not the kind of ambiance I’m looking for in a place.


From Zagat

(For Tallula) Hailed as the “best idea to come to Clarendon since the yuppies invaded”, this “sleek, urbane” New American serves an “imaginative menu” of “delicious” food crafted from “fresh seasonal ingredients”, plus an “extensive”, “wonderfully priced wine list” (including 70 by the glass); the adjacent “gastropub”, Eatbar, is “perfect for noshing” on “fabulous small plates”, but given the “lively” crowd of “twenty and thirtysomethings”, “expect loud weekend nights.”

Food: 23, Decor: 22, Service: 22, Cost: $40
Clarendon | 2761 Washington Blvd. (Pershing Dr.) | Arlington, VA | Clarendon Metro | 703-778-5051