Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bada Bing - new food truck in Washington D.C.

Another reason I love D.C. - the food trucks

Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and pick up the same few things to eat, usually something convenient.  Food trucks are popping up all over the DC area - and they offer much more than greasy hot dogs.  Some trucks specialize in cupcakes, others have various ethnic cuisines, and many have different stops every day (and publicize this info on facebook, twitter, or their website).  This allows the trucks to reach so many more customers, and bring new variety into various neighborhoods.

On Thursday I tried "Bada Bing" - that specializes in Cheesesteaks and Spiedies. I had never heard of a Spiedie either, but apparently it's meat (in this case chicken or pork) cooked on a stick and then put into a sandwich with a variety of toppings.

The guys in the truck were very friendly and I ordered a Cheesesteak with provolone cheese, "witout" onions.  I paid (cash only) and waited a few minutes while they prepared it.  Overall, I really enjoyed the cheesesteak.  It's probably not something I would travel across town for so I will have to monitor their twitter account for when the truck and I will be in the same place again.  Other customers asked for a sample of the spiedie meat and seemed really impressed so I may have to try one of those next time. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fairytale Brownies - Yummy Valentines Day Present

I ordered Fairytale Brownies as a gift for Valentine’s Day (secretly knowing that I would get to enjoy them too!)  I was a little nervous as I hadn’t tried them before but I read some great reviews online and decided to give them a try. 

The shipping was fast and the Valentines Day themed box arrived in perfect shape with a free greeting card enclosed.  

Each brownie is individually wrapped, so they should stay fresh for a while. In the box is an assortment of three flavors: original, chocolate chip, and caramel – and they are all delicious! 

I also love the “morsel” size, which is a few bites.  I can get the yummy taste without eating a huge brownie. 

(And I always appreciate when the gift that arrives looks exactly like the pictures on the website.  So I recommend that you check out the website as their pics are much better than the snapshots I took).  

The company says that after a week they recommend refrigerating or freezing them.  Then the brownies should stay fresh for 30 days in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.  I can’t imagine there will be any brownies left after a week around here, but if so I will update this post to let you know how they keep. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A visit to the Newseum in Washington D.C.

We spent several hours today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. I had bought the Groupon a couple months ago and of course we got around to using it the very last weekend before it expired.  Therefore, I was expecting huge crowds.  I didn’t realize that in addition to all the Groupon procrastinators, a bunch of people from the Teach for America conference would also be attending.  I was surprisingly impressed that when we walked up to the Newseum they had two tables set up outside (one for Groupon redemptions and one for Teach for America folks) and we were in the museum and at the complimentary coat check in no time. 

They recommend you start on the bottom level with the introductory film and a couple of exhibits then take the elevator to the sixth floor and work your way down.

News helicopter in the atrium

Section of the Berlin Wall
I don't want to spoil the visit for you, but will share a few of the key highlights.  After, the introductory video you can see the exhibit with part of the original Berlin Wall and an East German Guard Tower - the Newseum says that this is the “largest public display outside Germany”. 

Also on that level is the temporary exhibit "G-Men and Journalists" exhibit with many artifacts on loan from the FBI (such as the Unabomber’s Montana cabin – so tiny,  and espionage tools that spies used).   

When you get to the top floor (level 6), you can go outside on the terrace and see gorgeous views of the U.S. Capitol and downtown D.C. 

Covering Katrina is an exhibit that tells the story of the hurricane through the eyes of reporters, including pages from their notebooks.  

Markings after a building was inspected to determine if there were any dead bodies.

9/11 Gallery has front pages showing how different newspapers covered the tragedy and an antenna from the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Some other interesting exhibits are:

  • Great books including a page from the Nuremberg Bible
  • First amendment gallery which presents various issues around first amendment protection
  • Journalists memorial 
  • World press freedom map
  • Interactive newsroom where you can see if you have what it takes to be a reporter 
  • Ethics center where you can answer questions of ethics that journalists may face
  • Collection of Pulitzer Prize photographs 

We finished the day at the 4-d movie "I-Witness" which shares the experiences of three journalists.  I thought the most interesting part was the story of Nelly Bly who in the late 1800s faked insanity to go undercover and report what was really going on at a mental institution for women.  Her reporting brought attention and more money to the issue. 

We spent several hours exploring the museum and would highly recommend it.   And through February they are having a special promotion on admission – buy one get one free! Just print off the "Love me tender" (seriously) coupon from their website.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On the beach before noon - at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The Washington Post travel section had a story this weekend about places where you could be on the beach (and warm) before noon. 

Washington Post - "A noon appointment with a Bahamas beach"

That is exactly how I have ended up three times at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  Which would you pick? Sitting in traffic for five hours due to Snowmageddon or a beach butler handing you a daiquiri with this view ....

View from oceanfront room

A non-stop flight and we were there in just over 3 hours!  Tomorrow in Playa del Carmen it is supposed to be 79 and sunny, very tempting!

I will write another post soon with more details on our trip.