What I Ate & Did In D.C.

Somehow the last time I posted was on August 7, and it’s already August 20. I have no idea how that happened. Blame it on my summer brain.

At the end of July, I went to visit my good friend Kaitlyn, who was interning and living in D.C. for most of the summer. I’d been to D.C. multiple times for school trips and stuff but never really just to have fun and get to know the city aside from the monuments.

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Well, I never said I didn’t stop by to say hello to Lincoln and Washington. That’s, like, a must.

After we worked up an appetite by walking all over Chinatown (we saw Ford’s Theater there, it was pretty crazy!) and by the monuments, we walked to our dinner reservations at a restaurant called Oyamel, which I first heard about on How Sweet It Is (if you’re unaware, I’m obsessed with Jessica and will without a doubt be going to one of her Pittsburgh book signings in the coming months, so naturally I had to eat here because she raved about their tableside-made guacamole).

So yeah, Oyamel was a must-do. It’s a Mexican tapas restaurant/bar and is apparently very popular. It was packed! But luckily we made those reservations, so we didn’t wait long. Kaitlyn and I both started off with margaritas topped with SALT AIR. Yes. Salt air foam, I should say. I have no idea how much science goes into make salt air foam, but it was grand.

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And naturally we had chips, salsa and guacamole. The guacamole was, no lie, the best I’ll ever have in my life, I’m sure of it. The avocados were so fresh and the flavor was just tangy enough. I can’t recommend this place enough for the guac alone.

Then we had our tapas! From Top left, down, and back up to the dessert in the top right: margs, guac and salsa; plantain, carrot and black bean fritters with a chipotle sauce (very different but delish nonetheless); quesadillas; this amazing sauté of swiss chard, cabbage, hazelnuts, cranberries, raisins, and an apricot purée; coffee flavored ice cream with caramelized bananas and the best carmel chocolate sauce I’ve ever tasted.

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I was satisfied with this meal, to say the least, but not until I licked the salt foam out of my empty margarita (which, I have to add, were a little bit pricy for their size but also worth it because… do I need to mention the salt foam again?).

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Then we went back to Kaitlyn’s apartment and crashed because we were so full and tired. The next morning, we walked over to Georgetown to try out a class at corepower yoga. Kaitlyn knows I love hot yoga, and she wanted me to try this yoga, strength and cardio fusion class that she’d been frequenting all summer. Well. HOLY CANNOLI. I actually almost fainted in the class and had to step out for a minute because it was in a heated room and really, really intense, even for someone who is not knew to hot yoga. I would call it more bootcamp in a heated class than yoga fusion. The instructor was kind of a drill sergeant, too. Overall, it was a good, sweaty workout that got me moving, but I wouldn’t take the class again.

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After that, we showered up and headed back for a day shopping in Georgetown, which is definitely one of the biggest shopping meccas I’ve ever seen. They had any and every store you need. We stopped in the mid-afternoon for a lunch dessert at Baked & Wired, which Kaitlyn claimed was more delicious than Georgetown Cupcakes (from that TV show). I believe her, because my chocolate cupcake was rocking.

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That night, we went out to a couple different bars unexpectedly. I really loved D.C’s nightlife scene. We were having so much fun that we almost forgot to eat dinner, but we quickly remedied that by heading to Burger Tap & Shake (BTS) for burgers… and a spiked vanilla shake (that I probably, definitely didn’t need, but it was quite tasty). Yay America.

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On Sunday morning, we had reservations for Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, which is a super popular brunch spot. The restaurant has a buffet on Sundays, which is in very high demand. We had reservations, and we still were forced to wait almost an hour. I was a little salty about this after the fact … but I’ll tell you why in a minute.

Here’s what I had to eat (top left, to bottom, to top right): every table gets a cinnamon roll and a biscuit plate (with enough for each person to have one of each); a random assortment of shredded beef, chips and guac, kale salad, watermelon mint salad, meatball, and squash; fried dough with chocolate sauce (I wanted it to be filled with something & sadly it wasn’t… I didn’t finish it); two different kinds of sushi (they walk around with sushi to each table which was cool!); and chocolate French toast with berry sauce, egg white scramble, broiled grapefruit and Canadian bacon.

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The first thing I’ll say is the biscuits and cinnamon rolls were great. I ate all of both of mine, which was probably my biggest downfall, especially since I don’t eat a ton of white bread products usually. It did a number on my stomach that I couldn’t undo. Since I had a ton of bread before the meal, I stuck to less bready things on the buffet, minus the French toast. I’m glad I got the French toast because it was fantastic. Everything else, honestly, was just okay. The sushi was very good, but it was a weird mix of types of food.

I really wanted this brunch to be amazing, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. I was less than impressed with the service, and I think I’m just not a buffet person because I get too full and feel sick afterward. I was glad I gave it a shot because I’d heard a lot of hype – it just didn’t live up to the hype, in my opinion. I think you could find a better brunch in DC elsewhere.

Then the day went up! We visited Arlington Cemetery in the afternoon, which was humbling and beautiful as always. That took a while, what with all the walking, but we still didn’t work up an appetite. We had plans later in the evening, so we just rested and had a quick snack before we headed out at night…

… to see my favorite band ever, The Kooks. I did plan for that weekend specifically because The Kooks would be in town, and their show didn’t disappoint. They played at the 9:30 Club, which is a great concert venue. It’s just small enough so that you will have a great view. We opted to steer clear of the crazy screaming teens (I mean, I was a crazy screaming 20 something but whatever) and stand on the balcony, where we could see better than if we’d been on the floor. I don’t think I stopped smiling for the entire show.

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D.C. is a beautiful and historic city. I loved getting to see parts of the town that I hadn’t before, and I’m totally convinced that I would live there one day if the opportunity presented itself.

If you’re ever in the D.C. area, I hope you enjoy the food and sights as much as I did!

Thanks, Jenn, for hosting WIAW!

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever been to D.C.?
>> What other cities have great food scenes?
>> What’s your opinion of buffets?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

Thinking Out Loud: Weird Edition

Everyone’s a little bit weird. That’s a fact. Google it. There’s a quote to prove my conjecture.

I have another theory: everyone thinks that they are actually the weirdest person in the world. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought so about myself from time to time. I recently learned that some people find it annoying when someone claims to be weirder than others, so that’s not what I’m really here to do. For today’s Thinking Out Loud (haven’t participated in a while!), I’m going to share some personal quirks. Because we’re all normal. But we’re all a little bit weird.

1. This is how I squeeze my toothpaste. I literally squeeze it, in the center. I’ve been told multiple times that I’m doing it wrong, but I really don’t care. IMG_1026

2. I’m convinced that if you dry your bedsheets after washing them outside they smell like sunshine. I rarely dry my sheets in our dryer anymore because it sucks (think: squeaking for the duration of the cycle and leaves black streaks on what you’re drying), so I don’t know what I’m going to do when winter hits.

3. I tried to open a banana with my feet this morning. The host herself, Amanda (thanks for hosting, by the way!) challenged me to the task yesterday. I need to work on my technique, as I couldn’t quite turn the banana around. I didn’t want it to drop on the floor, so I stopped before I could make a fatal mistake.

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4. Have I mentioned on here before that I HATE, with a passion, dill pickles. Maybe I have. Like I don’t even want them on my plate at a restaurant. I’ll make my brother take them off of my plate. Moral of the story: they’re nasty (sorry).

5. I really only feel comfortable walking next to someone if they’re on my right side. Left feels “off” and unbalanced.

6. I was totally in love with my first car. I know I’ve mentioned it on here before, but it was a 1989 Toyota Camry. I named him Norm because he reminded me of an old man. I also rarely cleaned the inside, so I liked to joke that he was a dirty old man. If you had asked me what I wanted for my first car years ago, that would never have been the answer. It’s so old! Right? Well, I feel so fortunate to (one) have had a car in the first place and (two) to have not had the newest car ever because now I know that a car is definitely not an investment but totally an expense.

Sadly, this past week my family had to decide to put Norm to rest. I might have teared up a little when I found out. He went in for an inspection and the amount of money we’d have had to spend to fix all that was wrong with him was exorbitant. Plus, we knew that even if we fixed him now, something new could go haywire at any time.

So this is like my little eulogy to my beloved first car. Norm, I will love you forever. You were the best first car I could have had. I will always miss your red velvet interior, your automatic seatbelts that scared the shit out of everyone in the passenger seat, the way everything shook when I pushed the gas, and even the way I had to manually open the sunroof in the last year of your life. rip.

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Questions of the Day:
>> Tell me something quirky about yourself!
>> Do you have talented feet?
>> Would you totally kill me over how I squeeze toothpaste?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

What I Ate In West Virginia

Yesterday I gave you a short recap of my family’s trip to the Stonewall Resort in West Virginia.

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Today… it’s all about the food.

Linking up with Jenn and all the other cool cats who participate in WIAW.Being the food-obsessed girl that I am, I was more than happy when my dad informed me that our room rate also included access to the breakfast buffet every.single.morning. I’m not super into having a heavy breakfast everyday, but I knew that the Stonewall’s buffet included oatmeal and TONS of fresh fruit. It was music to my ears.

My breakfasts looked something like this for the entire week:

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Every day I would have a round of oatmeal and fruit. Then, I would go back for a second round of eggs over easy or a spinach omelette, plus fruit. ALL THE FRUIT. The pineapple was outta this world.

Usually, on vacations, my stomach gets pretty messed up. I knew that as long as I started every day like this, I would have a better chance of tummy normalcy. It definitely paid off. Is it bad that my favorite part of every day was breakfast? Aside from the super creamy oatmeal, it was the most relaxing and leisurely time of the day. Also, my dad tends to be funny and hyped up in the morning, which is always great.

All week I snacked on these bites. I call them Chunky Monkey bites. They’re so simple, but I think I’m going to post the recipe on here soon because they really held over my appetite.

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My lunches during the week consisted of either chicken salad or a hummus plate. Lunch was my time to get in lots of veggies. The resort has three different restaurants on its premises. For lunch, we usually ate at the “pub” called TJ Muskies. I had to order double side salads and add chicken, but they didn’t think I was too crazy. And the hummus plates rocked! They had tons of vegetables and some pita chips with roasted red pepper hummus for dipping. Oh! And feta cheese! Can’t forget that.

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We tried a different restaurant each night for dinner. The first night, we actually just ate at TJ Muskies, so I had a hummus plate. The second night, we tried out the “fancier” restaurant, called Stillwaters. That was where they had the breakfast buffet, as well. I decided to order the grilled tuna steaks with sun-dried tomato risotto. The risotto was absolutely outstanding.

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Dinner the next evening brought us to the third restaurant, Lightburns. The view from Lightburns is so beautiful. It’s up on a hill, and its lower floor acts as the golf shop (the resort has an Arnold Palmer course… apparently very difficult and classy). I ordered grilled salmon and polenta. As a side note, my dad pronounced it “poe-lawn-ta.” He’s so cultured.

I loved the way the salmon was cooked… so perfect!

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Since we’d then exhausted ourselves with all of the on-site restaurants, we ventured into the town of Weston on Wednesday night. My brother loves, loves, loves Chinese food (I don’t know why… I think American Chinese restaurants are just okay… and they make my stomach hurt), but good sister that I am, I obliged to go to to one. I went with the safe/non-sodium filled bet, steamed chicken and vegetables. I ate the whole dang plate because that was the day I busted my ass hiking and paddleboarding.

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The final night of the trip brought us back to Weston again after exploring the towns surrounding the resort all day (spoiler alert: there really wasn’t much around). We did find a cute little winery, so I was fairly happy. Anyway, I did find a restaurant called Thyme Bistro that looked nice, so we tried it out. I think I would have liked the place better for dinner, but we went during lunch hours. They didn’t have what I ordered at first, so I ended up getting the only thing that wasn’t a huge sandwich – a Greek hummus plate. Honestly, this hummus was the best I’ve ever had in my life. I was so pleasantly surprised!

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And then we came home! I really loved everything about our trip, but the food especially left a good taste in my mouth. Pun intended.

Questions of the Day:
>> Do you like hummus? 
>> What’s your favorite thing to get on a breakfast buffet?
>> Are you as nutty about food as I am?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com