Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Day in Del Rey and Some Finishing Touches

A couple of Saturdays ago we managed to take a little trip to the cozy and quaint neighborhood of Del Rey in Alexandria, VA. What brought us out the the suburbs you may ask? Burgers! Justin and I love a good burger and will travel in search of delicous ones. We were scanning Yelp one day and came across Holy Cow, so we decided to take a little day trip...

Justin got the Steak House burger topped with frizzled onions, creamed spinach, and bleu cheese crumbles. All the acoutrements you would get in a steak house, but in a burger. Clever! The fries were great too! Hand cut and not too greasy!

I got the Southern Burger which had a fried green tomato with pimento cheese sauce. It was really good too and tasted great with my sweet potato waffle fries! Aren't things the most fun when they are in waffle form? The waffle fries came with a marshmallow sauce.  Salty and sweet is always a great idea in my book!  Keep your burgers Good Stuff, I think we found a better option that isn't as overpriced without all the tourists.

Along the street that Holy Cow sits on, there are plenty of unique shops that offered a lot of things I don't even think you can get in Capitol Hill, Barrack's Row in particular.  For example, as soon as we stepped out of Holy Cow, we saw a little bakery somewhat tucked in this small alley.  It has been quite some time since I had a tart, and The Happy Tart seemed like the perfect remedy.

We picked up four different tarts: 1) key lime; 2) chocolate ganache; 3) pecan (we ate it before we could take a picture); and 4) lemon.  With the overabundance of cupcake shops in DC, The Happy Tart was an opportunity for us to try something different.  Despite the name, they also offered cupcakes, but we opted to pass on those.  They even have cookies, and appear to do customized cakes (they were in the midst of taking phone orders when we arrived).  With the way that the shop is set up, you can get a good glimpse of the back kitchen, where we saw all of the kitchen staff hard at work.  As Justin demonstrates with his smile, we truly left The Happy Tart happy.

On our way back to the car, we passed a specialty cheese shop called The Cheesetique.  Again, something we don't see in Capitol Hill, so we decided to check the place out.  As soon as you enter, there is a gigantic glass display case, which displays all of the types of cheeses they offer, along with some charcuterie.  The store floor was assorted with a variety of wines you could pair up with your cheese purchase.  Luckily, they also offered free samples, so Justin and I were 100% lost in navigating our way through the cheese selection.  Ultimately, we decided on this gouda cheese.  With the leftover ham that we have from the Super Bowl, we figured it would aid in making the best ham sandwich.

The Cheesetique also offered in store dining, along with a wine bar.  Because we were still stuffed from our trip to Holy Cow, we figured the gouda cheese was enough for now.  Dining in The Cheesetique would have to wait for our next trip out to Del Rey, along with a number of other stores and small shops we passed, but didn't visit.  Overall, Del Rey was fun, and I could easily see us and a group of friends spending a whole day checking out everything Mt. Vernon Avenue has to offer.  We still had lots to do at home prior to our Super Bowl party, so our Saturday was far from over.
When we arrived at home, I immediately put Justin to work (after he had watched the UK game).  With the work we had done to the ceiling in our kitchen, coupled with our recent TV installation, our kitchen was somewhat in a disarray.  In addition, there were a number of pictures I wanted hung up in time for our Super Bowl Party.  Who else to do it but Justin!  

Here he is hanging our wooden fork and spoon my Auntie brought back from the Philippines.  Growing up, these things were staples in our family kitchen, along with a picture of the Last Supper.  We're still in search of our Last Supper picture, but in the meantime, our wooden fork and spoon alone will have to do. 

The finished product above our French Bulldog calendar that I got from my cousin Ricky for Christmas.  If Louie was more buff, he'd look like the featured French Bulldog for the month of February.

When we installed the television the weekend before, we had to remove the three pictures that were hanging in its future spot on the wall.  After much deliberation, we chose to hang the pictures right above the TV.  This project was the thorn in Justin's side for the night.  The whole ordeal took about two hours, with us (actually Justin) repositioning the pictures over and over again.  Each time we repositioned the pictures, one of them would be lower than the other two, and vice versa each time we made adjustments.  Finally, we figured this placement was as good is it gets, and I think Justin officially retired from his career of hanging pictures on walls.  At this point, I think he stopped talking to me.

Last, but not least, I made him hang this wine rack.  As you saw in one of my last blog posts, I helped throw a baby shower for my friend Brandi.  As a token of gratitude, she gave me this wine rack, which I thought would look great in our kitchen.  Finding the perfect spot for it was another story, which we eventually hung behind our back door.  

I know some of you may be asking yourselves, "if you hang wine bottles on that rack, wouldn't the back door slam into it when opened, breaking said wine bottles?"  Well, I don't drink much wine, and we already have a bar, which has a built in wine rack.  I figured I'd use this wine rack for something else our kitchen was in dire need of...

Yup, I converted it into a coat rack, and it worked wonders during our Super Bowl Party.  Although we have a coat rack located towards our front door, it often gets overcrowded with coats and hats, especially when we have guests.  By using the wine rack as a coat rack, we can accommodate additional coats versus laying them on the couch, taking away valuable seating.  In addition, I can just grab my coat on my way out of the back door to the car, versus having to walk to the front door coat rack to grab my coat.  So ends one of the most productive Saturdays we've had in a very long time.  We love to lay around and do absolutely nothing on our weekends, but it's always a good thing to be a productive member of society, eat a good burger, and run a few errands.

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