Mmmmmm…Donuts!

This past Friday marked 2013’s iteration of National Doughnut Day. Since we were in New England for an extended weekend (and Dunkin Donuts locations are about as plentiful as Starbucks locations are around downtown DC), we stopped by a Dunkin after we got lunch.

Since I was actually craving donuts on Friday, I bought one on top of the free one Dunkin was giving out. I got both a chocolate topped donut and a strawberry one.

Two Donuts (Deedle ee Tee Dee...)

The strawberry glazed one looks a lot like the ‘forbidden donut’ of Simpson’s fame. I often call it that in conversation (but not to any DD employees).

Strawberry Glazed Donut

Dan got a Key Lime donut. Since I’m not a fan of Key Lime pie, I didn’t ask for a taste.

Key Lime Donut

Here’s the Key Lime under the hood…

Inside the Key Lime Donut

I was hoping to get this post up on Friday evening, but I wasn’t able to upload these photos until last night (d’oh!). Hopefully you were able to indulge your inner Homer Simpson on Friday as well!

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Simply Tasty

Pistachio Halvah atop bread

Sometime last week or the week before, my colleague brought this in and urged me to try it. Only a little later did I realize I had halvah atop my piece of bread (it had been quite a while since I had it last). Yum!

(Nutella, you may have a rival yet.  P.S. – I’m still pissed at Ferro’s SpA’s lawyers, though it seems that the company’s made amends. :p)

A Night of Serendipitous Eats

My sister was in town earlier this week for a meeting, so we met up with her for dinner after work. Little did we know we’d be treated to a number of good deals that night.

We were wandering about the mall and caught sight of a sign stating that Haagen Dazs’s free cone day was that night. All three of us decided to have dessert first.

Below is my Cappucino Gelato. DanGr and my sister but went for Dulce De Leche ice cream, but I didn’t get a shot of their scoops.

Scoop of Cappucino Gelato

We then headed to a restaurant I wanted to try, Harry’s Smokehouse Burgers and BBQ, formerly a Ruby Tuesday.  Our waitress let us know that we came in on the trail end of their happy hour, which meant if we ordered soon, we would get half off appetizers and draft beers.

Score another one for our merry band! We went for some appetizers, and I went for a Doninion Oak Barrel Stout. We all tried a little of each appetizer.

My sister got the sliders. As well as being pretty tasty, I liked the presentation on these.

Three Sliders

DanGr got the Smoked Chipotle Wings. Personally, they weren’t up my alley, since I like my spicy wings with a bit of sweet.

Smoked Chipotle Wings

The cornbread coating of the pickle chips was delightfully crispy without being greasy or heavy. DanGr thought they were too peppery, but I was OK with the pepper level (my palate’s become more black pepper tolerant, I guess). I dipped some in my ranch dressing, but not often since they were yummy on their own.

Deep-Fried Pickle Chips

Eat your heart out, Rachael Ray’s 40 Dollars a Day; one of these days, I’ll be back at Harry’s for some fried chicken. 😉

Today’s the Day: An Update

Wonky Enough For You?
We miss you, Eat Wonky!

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE, 8:30 pm:  The hearings are complete, and council has up to June 22 to vote the regulations up or down. DCist has a good recap of today’s events, as does Washington City Paper’s Young and Hungry Blog.

As I post this, the DC Food Truck Regulatory Hearing is heading into its fourth hour. You can listen to the hearing here. Also check out the #savedcfoodtrucks hashtag on Twitter. @DMVFTA and @timcarman are livetweeting the proceedings.

*fingers crossed* I’m hoping these guys and gals will be permitted to keep on (food) truckin’…

Hey! Council! Leave Them Trucks Alone!

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Seen on 14th Street NW, between New York Avenue, NW and G Street, NW

HPT: Why don’t you think we have a vibrant street food culture in the U.S.?

AB: There’s a huge hunger for it, there’s no doubt about that. I think some communities have embraced it and celebrated their more forward-thinking innovators. San Francisco has been cool, they’ve seen it as an instrument of social change by empowering immigrant communities. Portland, Oregon has embraced it, Austin, Texas, has a really interesting street food culture. Some places like New York have really resisted. They’ve fought it tooth and nail and see it as a threat to brick and mortar restaurants. It’s also a generational thing in a way. They don’t want hipsters lined up outside their doors. It’s the “get off my lawn” factor.

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/18/anthony-bourdain-talks-street-food-parts-unknown_n_3100698.html

Given he’s a major proponent of street food and given his trademark candor, I would not be surprised if he said something to this effect as well, but I cannot source this quotation:

“You cannot claim to be a world class culinary city without a thriving/vibrant street food culture.”

Like or hate Tony Bourdain, and even if that second quote wasn’t his, I believe both quotes are correct.

The D.C. government is definitely taking a cue from NYC. Proposed zone regulations place severe restrictions on where food trucks can serve customers, including:

*Forcing food trucks into a limited number of lottery-assigned locations at popular food truck destinations;
* Banning food trucks within 500 feet of lottery-assigned spaces;
* Banning food trucks where there is less than 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk.

Sources: http://www.dcfoodtrucks.org/, DC DCRA

Ultimately, you block out a lot places for food trucks to congregate.  Never mind that last bullet point is pretty darned vague.

As a result, D.C. food trucks protested the proposed regulations at Farragut Square a few days ago by showing up but not opening their windows. The regulation hearing is slated to be on Friday.

Glad to see some area restaurateurs, businesses, ANC Commissioners, and (holy cow!) Andrew Zimmern lending their support. Glad to know many of the public comments oppose these proposals.  I’m also heartened to see support from the Washington Post Editorial Board  and Greater Greater Washington.

Health and safety regulations make sense, but to my knowledge the trucks already submit to inspections and have to maintain a basic level of safety in order to vend. Closing the sales tax loophole also made a lot of sense, and they have collected food sales tax for a while now. They do not block traffic at the two sites where I typically visit them. By the way, reaching a good variety of brick and mortar choices AND eating that food within a 30 minute limit is a bit of a stretch for one of those sites. Those of you who frequent trucks at other locations let me know if that’s not the case, though.

These proposed zone regulations look to choke off a now vibrant part of D.C.’s food culture. Food trucks bring revenue to the city — and not just by charging sales tax!  They give consumers choice, especially important in areas of the city that might not have a wealth of places to go to in a short amount of time like the second location I described. In my opinion, the zone regulations are a solution looking for a problem; it is revenue killing and food culture killing micromanagement.

Yes, I live just outside the D.C. border and work in the city. I’m sure some of you reading this are probably ready to dismiss my opinion because my payroll and property taxes do not go to D.C. (I’m a renter, besides). I gladly visit the brick and mortars when I can, and I also do a bit of shopping in D.C. proper. I live close enough that I’m in Maryland one minute and walk into DC within 15. Some stores and restaurants are also convenient to work. I don’t grumble at the 10% food sales tax even though I grew up with a 4-6% one in S.C.; I know it’s been in place since I’ve visited here on school trips.

D.C. Council, I urge you to let the food truckers keep on trucking. I understand the need for sensible regulations. These zone proposals are far from sensible, though, and only serve to stop the city’s food trucks in their tracks.  Arlington’s loosening their food truck regulations. You don’t want all that revenue going to Virginia, do you?

Food truck photos:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabine01/sets/72157625447596695/ .

Mmmm…Strawberries!

IMG_6287 by psgreen01
IMG_6287, a photo by psgreen01 on Flickr.

*facepalm*

The chocolate was actually from my previous camera. This is one of the first from the PowerShot SX260…

Mmmmm…Lindt….

IMG_6236 by psgreen01
IMG_6236, a photo by psgreen01 on Flickr.

One of the first shots I’ve taken with my new camera. I likey.

“…I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Rick, Casablanca

A Good Day For Pi(zza)

Some of you have already seen me post this shot on Facebook or Google+, but for those of you who haven’t….

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I guess you could say having pizza for dinner was was in honor of yesterday’s Pi day, but I was totally craving a spinach-tomato-mushroom pizza without the extra geeky impetus. This was from the Whole Foods near work.

Not So Sunny Side Up… (aka Sad Eggs)

Just a little humor from this morning as I reorganize and regroup…

Double the Dim Sum (Part 1)

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If you have read this blog in the past you probably know that the Hapa and some of her friends are no strangers to Hollywood East Cafe in Wheaton, MD. You’ll also know they are no strangers to dim sum. If you are new to the blog, though I’ve linked to my previous posts here and here.

By the way… if you are new to the blog, welcome!

The next two posts feature shots from two different Dim Sum lunches there.  One was part of my bridal shower last year. We also celebrated Pop Culture, P.I.’s birthday there a couple of Sundays ago.

Fair warning: I’m including many of the shots from both events — over 30 shots worth — so these will be among my longer posts. Naturally, most shots will be behind a jump. I also may have forgotten what some of the offerings from last year, but I’m also going to take my best guess as to what they are.

Read the rest of this entry