Phillips Seafood (Flagship) 900 Water Street SW Washington, DC (202) 488-8515 Monday–Thursday & Sunday, 11am–9pm Friday & Saturday, 11am – 10pm Weekend Brunch, 11am – 2:30pm
Overlooking the Washington Channel on the Southwest Waterfront, Phillips Seafood (Flagship) is reputed to be the only all-you-can-eat seafood buffet in Washington DC. A large buffet of fresh seafood selections, as well other cooked and dessert specialties, make up an glutton friendly display. A traditional a la carte menu is also available. For those coming by car, you can swing below to an underground parking garage (complete with a man standing by the payment machine to help speed up the process at dinner time when the line can get long). Its a pure tourist destination however, so be warned…
The choice for this massive group dinner was left to someone who’s been here before and thought the simple venue and dining style would be conducive to our party – filled with a bunch of big strapping fellows associated with a certain active military outfit and accustomed to big eating of the seafood variety (as they are based on the west coast). I wasn’t particularly thrilled but decided to chalk it up to one of those unfortunate outings when one’s interest in eating well (and perhaps in more moderate quantities) was thrown to the wayside in the greater interests of group harmony and wasting time arguing about where to eat. I guess I can be accommodating to a fault.
Bistrot Du Coin 1738 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC (202) 234-6969
During short, non-leisure trips I’m often forced to put my interest in eating out and trying new things on the backburner due to various reasons, including unfortunate hinderances such as lack of free time and fussy travel companions. But there are those occasions when my interests do find a fortuitous match and I meet like-minded folks who know a good meal when they see one, and are willing to seek them out. A well travelled businessman, who was born-and-raised in the DC area introduced me to Bistrot Du Coin, which turned out to be the gastronomic highlight of my trip.
The sweltering heat of the DC summer did put a bit of a damper on my dinner experience as the inside was absolutely packed and the air circulation was minimal at best. We were seated on the upper floor overlooking the main dining area below, which perhaps made the stuffiness seem that much worse. With the boisterous crowd and plentiful tables full of wonderful smelling food, it felt part American overindulgance and part French bistro casualness. I was so insanely hungry after another long day that I was willing to put up with the discomfort as long as the food was satisfying, and thankfully it was.
Capital City Brewing Company 1100 New York Ave NW Washington, DC (202) 628-2222
Hot summer weather. And cold beer. Goes well together don’t you think? I must be mentally trying to keep the summer alive with today’s post, reflecting on my July visit to the east coast of the US.
As an escape from the humid heat that was still blanketing the city even in the late afternoon, a group of us ducked into the nearest, air conditioned gastropub for a quick hit before our dinner plans. As we were expecting some vehicles to pick us up, we had plenty of time to kill. And with the drivers taken care of, a license to drink as well. The formula for a good start to the night!
Churchkey 1337 14th Street Washington, DC (202) 567-2576
So a Canadian, a Texan, a Colorodan, and a native Virginian walk into a bar…
Nope, not the opening line of some tacky joke but what happened on my summertime visit to the Churchkey gastropub in the funky neighborhood of Logan Circle, that I grew to love during my time in America’s capital city. In desperate need of some shelter from the sweltering heat, along with some food and liquid sustenance, the four of us ducked into this two floor establishment well before the big rush of customers came not too long after the sun went down.
The burly fellow who was checking ID’s at the door gruffly noted they didn’t have a happy hour (or at least when we entered). Alas, that didn’t stop our crew from going inside, as one member had heard this place had a wicked beer selection. Now if you’ve been following along lately, you’ll probably remember that I’ve cut back my consumption of this popular adult summer season liquid, but this day was an exception. Why is it that the hotter the weather, the stronger my craving for ice cold beer becomes?
Zaytinya #701 9th Street NW Washington, DC (202) 638-0800
As I am sure many of you are aware, the northeastern States have endured quite a few battles with Mother Nature this summer – including some blistering hot heat waves, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, and Hurricane Irene. Fortunate for me, I was only around for one of those events and managed to get safely in and out of the nation’s capital, and enjoyed some good eating along the way. While this will be a pictureless-post due to my not wanting to whip out my cell phone during this particular meal, I still wanted to put some thoughts down and share my experience at Zaytinya, which offers Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisine.
Mediterranean cooking is not something I indulge in a great deal but when I do, I am always pleasantly surprised by the boldness of flavors that can be captured by a talented kitchen. In the case of Zaytinya, their celebrated chef is José Andrés, recently named this past spring as an “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation at their annual awards gala in New York City. The restaurant is clearly on the popular destination list by locals and visitors alike. Without a proper reservation, we had to wait a little while at the bar (where you can still get food), before a table opened up for us later in the night.
Cafe Osceola Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel 9939 Universal Boulevard Orlando, FL (407) 996-9939
Jetting from one corner of the US down to almost the exact opposite quadrant is something that I never enjoy. I realize its just one country, but man, can America seem massive some times. And I’m not just talking about the gigantic people I sometimes get sat next to on the airplane. So after a day long journey, a taxi ride once I landed and a groggy check-in past the dinner hour, I was in no mood to check in with my mates (one of whom had arrived two hours before me) and desperately needed to eat something as I got into my room. Thank goodness for that wonderful thing called room service.
Those massively, old fashioned binders that house the pages of the hotel’s restaurant options had some not bad looking choices, but room service was limited to just the one. Fine, I thought, let’s just roll with it. It seemed to be from the Cafe Osceola located on the main floor, and their menu choices were pretty standard fare variety American family fare. As I really hadn’t had anything substantial on the plane rides (after all, who wants airplane food?), I thought it might be overwhelming but decided to get a French Onion Soup to begin with. I should have taken the plastic wrap in taking this shot – so excuse the shiny glare. It was a good size, easily the palm of my hand. A thick layer of oozy cheese was cut through, revealing a very thick with bread cubes soup. Rich and flavorful, and not too salty. The only downside with room service is of course, the temperature of the soup had cooled somewhat, to the point where it was getting just above warm.
Bubba’s Bayou City Grill IAH Airport, 2800 N Terminal Rd Houston, TX (281) 230-3100
Having just finished watching an hour long television interview featuring George W. Bush, I thought it would be fitting to upload a short post from a recent stop over at Houston’s second airport, better known as George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IATA code: IAH), which is named after his father. The facility is one of the busiest in the nation, ranking in the top ten in terms of overall passenger traffic and destination servicing. Being a first time traveler through IAH, I was surprised that is was laid out in a very simple way, making some time killing an easy activity, as each of the major terminals were within decent reach. Fortunately, my connecting flight was within the same terminal area, and I came back after some strolling and book shopping, to find a spot for lunch near by next gate.
Where I ended up had a mix of options. One was more of a cafeteria-style enterprise, that had an intriguing barbecue section. But trying to limit my first ever Texas barbecue experience to something more impressive, I turned my back to that place and into my field of view came Bubba’s Bayou City Grill. As it was Sunday afternoon, a full slate of NFL games were on the big screens inside and after a quick glance at their lunch offerings that had actual dishes wrapped in plastic and set outside on the table, it was an easy pick. I wanted to watch the games and be able to sit down and spent about 45 minutes before my next boarding time.