Philadelphia ~ City Tavern

Philadelphia was a major city during the Revolutionary War. The “founding fathers” met and discussed all the issues of creating a country within the brick buildings of Independence Mall. It was the capital of the fledgling United States of America while Washington D.C. was constructed. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution were both signed in Philadelphia.

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DSC_0001City Tavern (138 S. 2nd St.) attempts to recreate the magic of the late 18th century by offering authentic wait staff in costume, freshly brewed beer from old recipes, and hearty food selections.

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DSC_0007 We ordered the sampler before choosing our own pints. I went with the dark porter, but all were flavorful.

DSC_0006The bacon wrapped shrimp with sweet glaze for appetizer was great.

DSC_0014The three entrees pictured are: seafood pasta, meatloaf and lobster pie. The food was not spectacular or life changing, just friendly to your ribs fare.

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DSC_0021  Dessert effectively finished us off–chocolate mousse cake and creme brulee, sugary deliciousness.

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DSC_0023 Finally, we couldn’t resist posing with Philadelphia’s greatest (and completely fictional) hero, Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa.

DSC_0052 (1)A splendid family lunch in the City of Brotherly Love.

DSC_0012Here’s some of the city sights we saw as we walked around downtown.

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Washington, D.C. ~ Portraits, Hoagies, Tacos, Indian food, Pub Grub

In the nation’s capital, we find plenty of restaurants, museums and people watching. Our first stop after the easy bus ride down from Philadelphia was Taylor Gourmet Deli (485 K St. NW). We ordered the meatball and cheesesteak. Meatballs gave us burps later on, and weren’t homemade; cheesesteak with American cheese was above average with good bread.

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DSC_0056We walked off the food in the surprisingly fun National Portrait Gallery on 7th St. On 3rd floor is portraits of famous celebrities from the world of art and sport. But this super sized LL Cool J won as biggest surprise, I thought it would have been nice to have a smaller painting of the back seat of his jeep.

DSC_0073Jordyn liked the Michael Jackson.

DSC_0071And the award for scariest, nightmare ballerinas:

DSC_0088Giving our best Casey Stengel impressions.

Then Abe Lincoln

Spotting the FBI building, I couldn’t help think of the X-Files, and hope there was a couple of investigators working on the case of aliens who stole Mulder’s sister.

DSC_0098We wandered around and ended up at Oyamel (401 7th St. NW). Packed on a Wednesday night, we had some tequila (repasado–Tres Agaves was good), and plenty of tapas. Started with a tender Hawaiian fish ceviche, a mole and pork tamale, and a pork and beef taco. The beef taco was excellent and the fish was delicately delicious.

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DSC_0119After a free concert featuring bassoon, cello and piano at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Millennium Stage, we walked up 24th street to Flavors of India (2524 L St. NW). It was nearly empty and the people in the booth were coughing from the spiciness of the curry. We ordered ours mild. It was the house special: a spicy chicken dish from Northern India served with the aromatic basmati rice, and the appetizer was a mixed grill plate. One of our favorite meals in D.C.

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DSC_0043 We ate Chopt (Chinatown) twice for lunch. It’s a salad place where you choose everything you want and they chop it up, season it and put it in a recyclable bowl. It was delightfully filling and healthy lunch. Another fun lunch place was Cava Grill (707 H St.). It’s like a Mediterranean “make your own pita bowl.”

DSC_0001The most disappointing meal was at RFD Washington which had great beer selection and plenty of TV’s, the food was not so good. I had the crab cakes, tator tots and a turkey club. They were purely pub pickings. It fills you up for more consumption of hops, malt, yeast and water.

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Thanksgiving in America ~ 2014

It was my first time to celebrate the holiday on the actual day, with my family, in the house I grew up in, since 2007. Also, the first one to celebrate with my beautiful lady from Korea, Jordyn. She had never eaten American food, so why not learn with the biggest food celebration of the year. It’s a quick holiday, unless you’re the one cooking. My mom runs on that mysterious motherly multi-tasking autopilot. The kitchen windows open, oven blasting, stovetops burning, football on the TV, wine bottles scattered, firewood evaporating in the chimney, friendly chatter and cheer abounds. We had 14 people this year. Taking pictures during chaos is hard, add hunger to the equation, and I’m lucky to have snapped any photos. The dishes for our house were: turkey, ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, yam casserole, green bean casserole, canned and cooked cranberries, stuffing (aka dressing), carrots, rolls, pumpkin and apple pies, wine and beer. There was also a nice serving of various appetizers.

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This was my second plate and not quite as full as the first, but you get the idea.

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And, for dessert, the Philadelphia Eagles manhandled the Dallas Cowboys 33-10. It was a treat. Here you can see the Cowboys pinned against their own end zone.

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The day went as planned and we ate together for the first time in a long time. Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart as a day set aside to eat, watch football, and nap. The real thanks should be given to the chefs who make it happen, Thank You!

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