More Lunch on the Road

Progressing on the trip in Iceland, you don’t necessarily want to eat PBJ each day. Some food was also brought from home. So one day we enjoyed some great individual packs of Bumble Bee Light Tuna, Trader Joe’s Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Trader Joe’s Marinated Olives, and some of the bread we bought for the PBJs. We also had a bit of wine left to kill that we’d bought a couple days prior. So we had paper coffee cups from a hotel brunch and probably each got half a glass of Trapiche Malbec. Living the high life!

IMG_9081

This was also on a day that was sunny. Only reason we had to sit in the car was because of the million mile an hour winds we had (90% of the time we were in Iceland). Enjoyed this while visiting Þingvellir National Park (or Thingvellir in English) and seeing some other beautiful sites.

DSC_5782

IMG_9059

DSC_5773DSC_5795

Lunch on the Road

I had heard to just pack lunch every day while in Iceland. So after visiting BÓNUS, I was stocked and ready to go. Pretty much every day around noon or 1, we’d stop (and would see many other cars doing the same at random locations) to chow down. One of the awesome splurges during the trip to Iceland – oh yes, PBJ! Everything was strategically placed in the car. We brought camping utensils to do the appropriate sandwich making and those were cleaned at the hotel at night. So good!

IMG_8719

Some of the great stuff we saw before and after lunch while enjoying PBJ for a couple days included geysers and waterfalls, along with some nice local views.

DSC_5351DSC_5514DSC_5574DSC_5617IMG_8712IMG_8721

Cugino’s

While in Steamboat Springs, was looking for some lunch and came across a sort-of-hidden Italian place, Cugino’s.

image

Italian food sounded good and their lunch options sounded even better! For under $10 you could get a small pizza and beer (not sure if they have seasonal menus and I was not there during ski season). That was almost too good to be true. And the beer was good stuff, not just some boring macrobrew.

The service was a bit slow but the waiter was very apologetic. And we were sitting outside enjoying the weather so that helped.

When the food came out, well worth the wait! I went for pizza with no cheese (lactard) and some other great toppings, the other pizza at the table did have the nice melted stuff.  Perfect crust, perfect size, absolutely delicious.

Will definitely check this place out again next time I’m in the area.

Epicurean

While on our wine day, we of course had to eat.  In wine land, we found a nice little café, the Epicurean.

IMG_5236

They have both a cafe and restaurant.  We opted for the former.  There was this amazing sandwich that had a black bun.  Why black?  It was died with squid ink!  How cool?  On the bun was smoked salmon, lettuce and other great stuff.  The reason I couldn’t enjoy this is because all were premade and they also had include some delicious cream cheese. They had a nice salad with fennel and tomatoes and great mix of lettuce.  Perfect mid-day refuel before wine continued…

IMG_5240

 

 

The Pub by Wegmans

Wegmans is already heaven on earth.  And now they have another element…a full restaurant.  I’m not just talking their fancy salad bar or the locations where you sit at the counters and can order and be served.  No, it’s The Pub by Wegmans.  There are only a few of these in the country.  A couple friends and I had to check it out the other day.  While doing some research on the website we noticed they use OpenTable.  We decided to make a reservation just because we could.  It was a good thing we decided to.  This place was packed — and we went at noon on a Monday (granted it was a federal holiday)!  Had we not done so, we not have gotten a table.

IMG_4797[1]

The three of us split a half pitcher of sangria to start while looking over the menu.  It wasn’t that exciting of a drink.  For the first course we decided to split their White Bean Hummus Platter; Italian Classics Cannellini Beans, roasted garlic, Toscano olive oil, topped with truffle spread; served with roasted baby peppers, mini cucumbers and rosemary fontinella cheese flatbread (and got some non-cheese laden stuff).

IMG_4801[1]

These were non-bell peppers and were so good.  Since they were roasted they were nice and warm.  They also made sticks out of the cukes vs just simple slices. Very tasty!

All of us opted to get the same thing as a main course — Portobello ‘Steak’ — balsamic-marinated roasted portobello mushroom topped with artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper and fresh mozzarella, accompanied by bulgur wheat and arugula salads. I went cheeseless, my friends took it on.

IMG_4803[1]

A nice balance of flavors all around.  Had to eat every bite.

There were also some Tuscan Fries brought to the table, which were fries accented with rosemary, sage, Italian parsley and garlic.  I don’t even like fries and had to help eat them.

IMG_4804[1]

We also each had a glass of wine — so nice with the logo on there.

IMG_4806[1]

This was such a fun lunch.  Delicious all around.  Great shopping afterwards, too.

 

 

The Daily Dish

Visited a restaurant that I park in front of a least once a week for a morning run.  I see it when it’s dark out and there is nobody around but my running partner and me.  So we had this novel idea to go check this place out during daylight hours when they are actually open.

It’s The Daily Dish in Silver Spring/Chevy Chase, MD.  We went at lunch on a Federal Holiday and it got pretty busy, which was good to see.

dish(image source: thedailydishrestaurant.com)

We started with one of their seasonal special, some pumpkin hummus.  Too…good, needed…more.  It was served with roasted pumpkin seeds in the middle and roasted cauliflower on the side, as well as the normal pita bread.

IMG_4211[1]

After debating the menu for awhile, my friend opted for a salad with pan-seared salmon, on spinach, arugula, fennel, with orange segments, red onion, citrus vinaigrette. I opted for the couscous paella (with shrimp for an extra charge).  It was Israeli pearl couscous, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, artichokes, marinara sauce served with quinoa.

IMG_4213[1]

IMG_4212[1]

My friend’s salad was delicious.  My paella was ok.  The veggies were nice and crunchy, the shrimp were perfect, but there was far too much couscous to be had.  We also each enjoyed a glass of wine.  I just remember mine was a Shiraz/Pinotage blend…can never go wrong with Pinotage!

Overall good lunch experience.  I’ve heard the restaurant can be hit or miss.  They have a wide variety of options on the menu so definitely worth checking out.

Zentan

Was treated to a very nice lunch the other day at an Asian restaurant near Thomas Circle in DC.  The venue, Zentan.  Per their own description, they are a modern Asian restaurant featuring award-winning cuisine, focusing on Japanese-inspired small and shareable plates.

The restaurant is very ‘sharp’ — that’s the best way I can think to describe it.  Lunch was at 1 on a Thursday, so it wasn’t packed but busy enough.  Nice decor, cool tables, overall good atmosphere.  We get the menu.  What to order?  Too many choices!  (sorry for the shadow on the picture, odd light in the restaurant)

IMG_2769

I finally opted for the Rainbow Don Bento Box — tuna, salmon and whitefish sashimi, cooked shrimp sashimi (I can’t quite get why it’s sashimi if it’s cooked), sushi rice and seaweed salad.

IMG_2774

I don’t really like seaweed and this salad was a knockout!  Wow, so good.  The whitefish was unreal.  The waiter said what it was and I can’t totally remember the Asian name he mentioned.  Melt in your mouth.  Absolutely amazing lunch.  Will totally have to check this place out for dinner, too.  Add it to your list if you’re looking for a new restaurant to try in DC.

Roti

I have walked by, read and heard about Roti for quite awhile.  Finally got to have it the other day at a catered event.  Lives up to the hype!  From hummus to salad to pita to all else, stuffed forever!  Very fresh, you can see/tell everything that’s in your food and absolutely delicious.  I’m a big Mediterranean food fan so was loving all of this.  Highly recommend checking it out if you can.

IMG_2737

Beef & Rice

IMG_2731Chicken

IMG_2736

Greek salads, mostly devoured

IMG_2734

Pita chips

IMG_2732

Hummus

IMG_2733

Couscous

Brasserie Beck

I was very fortunate this week to be able to return to a restaurant I visited several years ago, though this time it was just for a basic corporate lunch.  It was nonetheless just as amazing.  The location, Brasserie Beck in Washington, DC.  It’s a “contemporary European style brasserie” with a basic yet widespread menu.  Both times I’ve been there they have made amazing accommodations for dietary restrictions (lactose intolerance).  The first time the chef wanted to make something totally new as a challenge.

They are well known for their beer selection, boasting 9 Belgium drafts and over 100 Belgium bottles.  Darn, why was I there on a business lunch this past time?

For my meal I enjoyed an amazing Diver Scallops Salad — Avocado, Citrus, Shaved Fennel and Rocket Salad.  This is where they used oil to pan sear the scallops vs. butter.

IMG_2537

My colleagues each enjoyed the Grilled Hanger Steak Salad — Mixed Greens, Charred Scallions, Warm Fingerling Potato Salad, Blue Cheese.

None of us had a bite of food left on our plates.  Would recommend checking this place out for lunch, dinner or just a nice happy hour.

Holiday Lunch

Today called for a holiday lunch, which also meant I got to check out a new (to me) location in DC.  Had a nice 3-course meal at Decanter at St. Regis with some colleagues.

IMG_2426

We started with delicious focaccia and a mesclun salad.  Under all the lettuce was an amazing tapenade.  Heaven for olive lovers!

IMG_2427

IMG_2428

For the main course I opted for the scallops.  Pan seared with both a chickpea puree (can we say hummus?) and chickpeas, along with great seasoning.  Very nice portion size, too!

IMG_2436

Though white would have paired a bit better with the scallops, I went for some Malbec.  The waiter said this stuff was great and I couldn’t turn it down.  The rest of the table was drinking beer or white so I had to take one for the (red) team.  I enjoyed some Siete Fincas from Argentina.  Medium body, smooth, fruity.

IMG_2429

The other food options were a steak or pasta.  They were both inhaled/enjoyed quite a bit.

IMG_2435

IMG_2433

The meal closed with a nice dessert of 3 sorbets — lemon, raspberry, lime, with a little meringue on top.  Perfect ending.

IMG_2439

I would be interested in checking this place out for dinner, as well.  Delicious food, excellent service, nice atmosphere.  Might just add it to my list.