Caipirinhas for Breakfast in Puerto Rico

I've been a lazy beach rat, explored gorgeous Old San Juan, tasted as many local foods as I could fit into my day (mofongo, red snapper, mallorca with guava butter)... but the decadent St. Regis Bahia Beach vacation is coming to a close. 

I'll share my favorite photos, moments and restaurants with you once I get home, but I'm going to be spending the last few hours in Puerto Rico soaking up sun, drinking Caipirinhas at breakfast and looking forward to seeing my dog when I get home tonight.

Cheers y'all. 


Favorite Things I Ate This Week in DC: July 2015

Beef Bourguignon and a Luberon rose at Le Diplomate in Logan Circle:
Le Diplomate
Spicy lamb meatballs over supergreens with feta, harissa, hummus and quinoa at Cava Grill in Bethesda:

Cava Grill
Breakfast Bowl (for lunch) at Slipstream on 14th Street, along with a must read, Station Eleven:



What I'm Listening To: The Ike Reilly Assassination

Back when CDs were a thing, my brother would burn me these mixes of bands I'd never heard of but immediately loved. Thats how I first heard Ike Reilly and I immediately went out and bought his album, Salesmen and Racists. I'm not sure where those CDs are, but it's been in high rotation on my Spotify, iTunes and Pandora playlists.
Signed CD. *swoon*
So, when my brother told me he was going to be playing Rock and Roll Hotel, I was all in. The guy is an amazing, fun, gritty, smart ass performer. I loved the back stories he told about the songs. He gave a shout out to the AFL-CIO to rousing shouts and I quickly realized all of the good looking guys in the audience were laborers -- and Ike was singing their anthems.

Reilly's songs are great stories that make you smile or smirk even when grappling with heartbreak, addiction and getting older. Give the title track, Born On Fire , a listen below. It's going on my morning playlists to give me some feel good mojo to start tough days.

Download or buy my two favorite albums through the Amazon.com links below. I'll get a few pennies tossed my way so that I can go see more live music. 


Farmers Market Haul: Peaches & Sweet Corn

This, plus Maryland blue crabs, is what summer in the Mid-Atlantic is all about. 

Some of these peaches have a future in cobbler, others in smoothies, and others will end up in a peach and sweet corn salad. 

Ah, summer love.

Dupont Circle Farmers Market Haul: Peaches and Sweet Corn


Dog Friendly Patios & Cafes in Washington, DC

I was just chatting with someone about Ike's favorite places to hang out when the weather is nice.

Mostly, I'm just looking for a spot that has a patio large enough for me to grab a table on the outside perimeter. I like to make sure Ike stays out of the way of busy servers and fellow diners. Beyond that, I love it when they are sweet to him. Stopping by to say hi, bring him a bowl of water and maybe a treat.
Ike, hanging out at Blind Dog Cafe
We live in Cleveland Park, which is super dog friendly, where space allows. Ike especially likes the patio at Medium Rare where owner Mark Bucher always has a water bowl to welcome him, and perhaps a bite of steak if he's being particularly good. He also likes hanging out with the other neighborhood dogs on the picnic tables outside of St. Arnold's, cruising the nearby Wylie Wagg pet store that just opened at Cathedral Commons and visiting with friends during wine tastings at Weygandt Wines.

Outside of our locals, we like to visit 14th Street for dog-friendly patio spots like Cafe Saint Ex, Lupo Verde, Le Diplomate, Cork Wine Bar and Ghibellina. The unofficial headquarters of DC pups is probably Cantina Marina, which hosts dog-friendly happy hours. And, we'll cross the Potomac river for my friend Javier's paper thin slices of jamon on the patio at SER in Ballston.

Here's my running list/map of dog-friendly restaurants, bars and wine stores (just click on the red dots to see what they are - and use the +/- to zoom in and out):

What are your dog's favorite spots? Let me know where Ike and I should go next in the comments or on Twitter. 

PRO TIP: Ike's tiny, but part of the key to staying out of the way at a restaurant is making sure that he has his Sleepypod. If I need to I can zip the top so that he's contained, but comfortable. And the mesh top makes sure that he can feel like he's still part of the action. People ask me all the time where I got his Sleepypod, so here's a link to it check it out: Sleepypod (Jet Black)

Sleepypod - Ike's favorite way to travel
NOTE: If you purchase through that Amazon link (above), a percentage comes my way. So, thank you in advance if you purchase through my links! It helps keep Ike in the fancy dog food he's become accustomed to. 


Filipino Brunch in DC: Purple Patch in Mount Pleasant

Whatever you do, get the sisig. Then order everything else.

That's what you need to know when you encounter Filipino brunch at Purple Patch.

I had no idea what to expect. No idea what Filipino food meant, really. So I took the advice of McCealaig and I got the sisig - a spicy fried pork dish topped with an egg that cooks together in a cast iron dish. It's amazing.
Filipino Sisig 
I also ordered the Bloody Mary infused Bloody Mary - and my friends got the Bacon infused Bloody Mary. Both are solid choices to start off a weekend meal.
Bloody Mary Infused Bloody Mary
Other favorites on the menu were the Chocolate Champarrado (pictured below) - a delicious chocolate, sea salt & toasted coconut dish; Waffle with Ube Ice Cream and Filipino Fried Chicken; and the chocolate chip pancakes.
Chocolate Champarrado
Purple Patch is located at 3155 Mount Pleasant Street NW in Washington DC. [NOTE: The full brunch menu is here. ]

Purple Patch
[DISCLAIMER: This brunch was organized by the marketing lead for Purple Patch. While I paid for my meal, some dishes were complimentary as the restaurant wanted us to taste all of their favorite dishes.]

Move Fast! Jaleo is at Dupont Farmers Market

I popped by the farmers market today to pick up some squash blossoms, peaches and freshly baked bread. I somehow had missed that Jaleo Tapas Bar was making a mega paella today. If you're nearby, hurry over. It's delicious and features what's in the market today, from squash blossoms to snap peas and patty pan squash.
The Dupont Circle Farmers Market is open until 1pm and the paella is in the little park at Q Street and Connecticut Avenue NW.

Missed out on the farmers market paella or not in DC, check out Chef Jose Andres cookbook below and try it at home:


Favorite Things I Ate This Week: July 2015, Washington, DC

Mezze lunch at Zaytinya:
Pita, Fettoush, Meatballs & Falafel
Custom, fresh-baked ice cream cookie sandwiches by Captain Cookie:

M-n-M cookie, vanilla and strawberry ice cream, and a chocolate chip cookie
Avocado and whipped goat cheese toast at Slipstream:
Avocado & goat cheese toast

Filipino Sisig Rice Bowl at Izakaya Daikaya:

Sisig Rice Bowl at lunch

Jamon beurre sandwich at BreadFurst:

Jamon Beurre
Charcuterie bar and rose at 2Amy's:

Cheese and honey, melon & proscuitto, canneloni tuna salad, bresaola


Where to Eat in Maine: Coffee Hound in Bar Harbor

We were on the 8:15am Swans Island Ferry when I declared, "I need a latte and a lobster roll, STAT." I didn't expect to find both, and that they would both be good.
Lobster Roll and Blueberry Pie for Breakfast at Coffee Hound
I'm a Yelp hater in my own town, but when in unfamiliar territory I'm glad my search for "latte" and "lobster roll" plus "open now" lead me to Coffee Hound in Bar Harbor.
Coffee Hound in Bar Harbor
The town is super cute, but you just know it was so much cooler a decade ago. It's a tad lousy with tourists, cruisers and chain hotels for my taste. But Coffee Hound's owner turned me around as he served up a perfect flat white, his grandmother's lobster roll and a blueberry pie. For breakfast. Swoon.

We took them to the gorgeous park across the street and soaked it all in before the drive back to Portland.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Coffee Hound Coffee Bar is located at 27B Main Street in Bar Harbor. It's open May through October, so get moving. So far, it's vying for Eventide as my favorite lobster roll in Maine.

Click here for all of my Maine posts!

For recipes, more restaurant recommendations and Maine road trips, check out Eating in Maine by fellow food bloggers: 


Where to Eat in Maine: Gelato Fiasco

Sriracha Peanut Butter. Blueberry Pie. Chocolate Pretzel. Strawberry. (Guacamole Pea Sorbet.)

The flavor names immediately suck you in and Gelato Fiasco delivers. I only wish their pints would make it back to DC without melting.

As you can see, I'm not a fan of selecting just one:
Three Scoops, por favor
I suspect they are coming to a Whole Foods near you, if they aren't already there.

Gelato Fiasco has two locations in Portland (425 Fore Street is the one I go to) and one in Brunswick.  I also found them in the freezer at Tim's Store on Swans Island.

For recipes, more recommendations on Maine food travel, check out these books: