Arlington, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Rustico Ballston Adds Brunchytimes

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Paige Weaver’

Ballston is popping these days with some of my favorite restaurants. Since the new Sweetgreen location started dishing up salads, and Buzz promises to open thier doors soon, what I once considered a foodie dead spot (minus Willow) is now on my radar. Especially with the news that the Ballston location of Rustico has launched Sunday brunch, which they began serving on Jan. 2. Continue reading

The DC 100, The Features

DC Omni 100: #6 Black Pudding

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‘Black Pudding with kidney – The Botanical Breakfast – The Botanical AU19.50′
courtesy of ‘avlxyz’

It’s time for another item from the DC Omnivore 100 list of the top one hundred foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their lives.

Let’s get over the squeamishness now, and call a spade a spade. Black pudding is blood sausage. Ahhhh…I said BLOOD! Now we know what we’re eating and we can directly correlate it to a real live animal,  not some amorphous substance. So now that we’ve established that, freaked out a tad and gotten over it, let’s talk about how delicious black pudding is.

In its simplest form, black pudding is a combination of onions, a few herbs, barley, bread crumbs, meat, seasonal vegetables, or heavy spices and, typically, pork or cow blood. I supposed for some it’s the incorrect assumption that the only ingredient in black pudding is blood that makes it SO unappealing. However, the best black pudding does not use too much blood, and has an even mixture of the other ingredients. It’s this perfect combination that makes the flavor of black pudding to be so rich, complex and delicious.

Traditionally, black pudding is served as part of a full English breakfast, such as the one I recently enjoyed at Ireland’s Four Courts in Arlington, VA. A full English breakfast gets you a few slices of black pudding, eggs (cooked to your liking,) baked beans, fried tomatoes, hash browns, toast, bacon, white pudding (a relative of black pudding but sans blood) and perhaps a few other odds and ends depending on the cook and restaurant you’re at. If you’re new to black pudding, the small amount provided as part of the meal will be an excellent way to sample this iron rich, savory treat. And if you don’t like it, at least you’re left with plenty of “friendly” food. Continue reading

The DC 100, The Features

DC Omni 100: #96 Bagel & Lox

Photo courtesy of
‘Lox and schmear’
courtesy of ‘WordRidden’

It’s time for another edition of the DC Omnivore 100, where we explore the top one hundred foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their lives…

I hail from the Upper Westside of New York City, and when it comes to “Jew-food” (bagels, lox, matzo balls, blintzes, etc.) we Upper Westsiders know our stuff.   My apartment was at the epicenter of all good things bagel related (Zabar’s, H&H Bagels, Murray’s Sturgeon Shop, Barney Greengrass, etc.) and growing up, bagels and lox (aka: smoked salmon) were a special occasion fare for Sunday brunch, and leftovers usually lasted well into the week. Glorious!

The key to perfecting this dish is your ingredients.  The bagels must be fresh, with a crispy baked crust and a chewy boiled inside. In DC Brooklyn Bagel Bakery in Arlington offers the best bagels, in all the traditional flavors, that I’ve found to date with Bethesda Bagels coming in second.  Please don’t buy any non-traditional bagel flavors; chocolate chip, honey wheat, and tomato-basil are bagel sins, if you ask me, and will distort the utter simplicity of this dish.  Stick with plain and poppy/sesame seed.

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