Posted by Katerina Patin / Monday, July 16th, 2012
Never underestimate love for an alma mater. Two Virginia Tech graduates, Kris Schoels and Krista Gallagher, proved their loyalty to the Hokie Nation by literally dedicating an entire cookbook to all things Virginia Tech.
“A Taste of Virginia Tech” features 80 recipes from local Blacksburg restaurants and the West End Market on campus, as well as tailgating recipes and even a recipe from head football coach, Frank Beamer. Students and alumni might recognize local favorites like one of West End’s most popular dishes, London broil with mushroom sauce and roasted garlic whipped potatoes, or Gillie’s banana-walnut French toast.
Krista Gallagher and Kris Schoels were both members of the Delta Delta Delta sorority at Tech and shared a self-described “obsession with the food at Virginia Tech.” They’re not the only fans of campus dining. In her commencement address to the University in May, First Lady Michelle Obama even made a shout-out to the dining services by describing the food as “the best campus food you’ll ever eat.” And the First Lady wasn’t just being polite. College Prowler gave Virginia Tech Dining Services an elusive A+ (University of Virginia took home a respectable B-) and rated off-campus dining positively as well with a B+.
The cookbook will be released by Mascot Books on August 1st and will be available at major retailers. Should we be expecting a rival UVA cookbook in bookstores soon?
Posted by Teronda Seymore / Thursday, July 12th, 2012
World of Beer comes to Arlington in August. Originally slated for July, the opening was pushed back due to last weekend’s storm. [ARLnow]
Taco Bell tests Mountain Dew mixed with orange juice. Perhaps this is a non-alcoholic version of the mimosa. [USA Today]
Winestock, and many more NoVA wine festivals, this weekend. [NVM]
Fauquier County could be become “Footloose” if rigid new ordinance passes. [Inside NOVA]
It was a close call for Port City Brewing Company. With five days of no power and no backup generator, PCBC manages to save thousands of gallons of beer. And because of the high temperatures, they created Derecho Common Beer. [Old Town Patch / WCP]
Corcoran Vineyards wins Virginia Wine Lover Readers’ Choice award for its Apple Wine. [via FB]
Nightly glass of wine, a point for you. Moderate drinking might protect women’s bones. [The Salt]
Posted by Katerina Patin / Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
1. Intelligentsia Coffee
Looking for a perfectly timed cup of coffee? The brewing company’s latest step in coffee education goes mobile with an app that gives you step-by-step coffee brewing instructions (whether you’re using a Café Solo, Pourover, Chemex, Cupping, Siphon, or French Press brewer) and a built-in timer for each option.
Caffeine addicts can also learn everything there is to know about Intelligentsia’s featured roasts (is La Perla roast more red grape or glazed donut…or both?) including each roast’s individual story and photos. Free
2. Bean Seeker
Where in the world is…good coffee? Whether you want to try out some new coffee shops in your ’hood or if you’re lost and need to be guided to a familiar warm cup, find it with this app. Browse coffee shop locations by continent (only Antarctica’s missing!) and city. And even though there aren’t any NoVA locations yet—just the District so far—you can submit coffee shop entries for the bean team to include in their listings. Free
Have you ever been envious of a barista’s ability? Consider this app Barista College. For a modest tuition, your education includes video demonstrations of espresso machine basics, latte art techniques, step-by-step instructions for espresso creations, and a built-in camera for you to save pictures of your progress. You are one download away from a degree! $2.99
4. Coffee Finder
If you like to know what you’re getting (and exactly what the coffee shop will look like) you can’t go wrong with this Starbucks locator. Since you’re probably not used to straying off the beaten path anyways, this app will guide you to the closest Starbucks location, and for better or for worse, inform you of your Starbucks Card Balance. However, the page that tracks all of your recent spending at Starbucks is a little over the top. It’s probably best if no one sees that… Free
Posted by Joey Hernandez / Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
A series dedicated to the palates behind NVM’s 2011 Fifty Best Restaurants. We know what they serve, but what do they eat?
Restaurant: Farrah Olivia
2011 Rank: #12
Executive Chef: Morou Ouattara
NoVA’s best dish:
A dish that I really enjoy when I go out to eat is sushi. My daughter and I go out to for sushi once a week. We go to different places but one that we really like is Ariake Restaurant in Reston. I’m a huge fan of the dragon roll, it’s fantastic.
Never would I ever eat:
I try everything but I have to say I’m not a fan of okra. It’s just not for my palate.
After work grub:
One thing I love to snack on is our soft shell crabs that we get in. You don’t get them very often in the year so when we get them I snack on those.
At home cooking:
If I’m not working I like to spend time with my kid and cook with her. Last week we cooked fettuccine with mushroom and a garlic cream sauce.
Burger, burrito or bánh mì:
I haven’t had a bánh mì, so I would go for that.
Posted by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor / Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
“People think Asian, and they think cheap,” says Noom Sermbhongse.
As the owner of Aiyara Thai Restaurant in Leesburg, Sermbhongse breaks down eggs to the penny. When he calls upon his wholesaler, he can find a dozen factory-produced eggs for $1. When he works with local farms—where chickens graze on grass—it’s $4. That’s a 400-percent increase, Sermbhongse quickly points out.
With one egg required for pad Thai, he spends about 10 cents or 40 cents, which may not seem like a big difference to someone who pays $10 in tolls just to ride 267 to Leesburg, but in an industry with a brutally slim profit margin, pennies count.
Local eggs are worth it to Sermbhongse. And that’s exactly what Miriam Nasuti is counting on.
It happened instantaneously for Nasuti. One day she was a marketing professional, trying to feed healthy foods to her family, and the next, she dramatically shifted where she bought food.
“Food Inc.,” the 2008 documentary that shed the ugly morning light on the corrupt food system in this country, started the transformation. “We watched the movie, and [the] next day it changed,” she remembers thinking. She sat her family down to watch with her and, “I had tears in my eyes.”
She didn’t just start shopping at the farmers market either; she now buys cow shares. This new calling didn’t stop in her home. She soon got to know local farmers and the agricultural business in Loudoun County and wondered how to better promote the area’s foods.
With an extensive background in event planning, fundraising and public relations, she transformed almost two dozen restaurants into live theater for the local food moment. For 11 days, participating restaurants developed menus where at least 70 percent of the ingredients came from Loudoun farms, wineries and distilleries.
It took Nasuit eight months to comb together the resources for Farm to Fork Loudoun. She cold-called 35 chefs with the idea: Pay a $500 participation fee, spend time developing relationships with local farmers, develop new menu items and budget for higher food costs. Twenty-one chefs said yes.
This is the second year for Farm to Fork Loudoun, and 22 restaurants will specifically offer Loudoun’s meat and produce from July 26 through Aug. 5 for the initiative.
READ MORE: [Dinner as Theater: Local Stars in Loudoun]
Posted by Katerina Patin / Monday, July 9th, 2012
I know this is going to be the hardest one yet. Giving up pork was one thing, but I feel like not only saying goodbye to perfect lunch sandwiches but to a whole holiday as well. It’s not even close to November, but the idea of having to rebound at Thanksgiving dinner with some tofurkey already depresses me. You are more than just a cut of meat to me and it’s hard to believe that some soybeans out there can be capable of replacing you.
But at the same time, I’m pretty sure this break up has been a long time coming. It’s not me, it’s you. Sure I tried to dress you up with stuffing and gravy, but I could still see right through you. Don’t even try to deny that you’ve dabbled with steroids, that you pretty much live in a 2×2 hellhole (did you really think I’d move in with you?) and that you’re diet is disgusting.
What it comes down to, is that I’m simply too good for you. I was forgiving at first and even supported you when you followed those hormone-free diets and cage-free alternative lifestyle choices, but it’s high time that we’re honest with each other. We have different values and morals and it’s simply not ethical for me to be with you anymore.
And at the same time, this should be good for you too. You’re just not the relationship type—you’re better off free without any pressure to fatten-up or looming slaughtering dates to keep. This is my gift to you. I’m going to say goodbye without looking back and I hope you’re a better bird for it.
A Meaty Break Up is a weekly chronicle of Katerina Patin’s journey as she cautiously goes veg.
Posted by Rebekah Lowe / Monday, July 9th, 2012
I know you’re not supposed to play with your food. I could tell the waiters knew that too by the way they watched me formulate a deconstructed nacho plate with the food I collected from the long Indian lunch buffet in the empty restaurant. But this was in the name of art.
Seldom do I frequent restaurants with buffets. I just don’t have the appetite to make the meal worth its all-you-can-eat price. So this was a rare occasion that called for a little fun. If you’ve read my past blogs, then you know I’m a self-proclaimed nacho aficionado, specializing in nachos in their deconstructed form. Totally silly, I know, but food should be fun!
What food do you consider yourself to be an expert on? Which cuisine do you like to put your own twist on? Comment below!
[tips for the food desk / follow @BekahLowe]
Posted by Rachel Fox / Friday, July 6th, 2012
“This place had the best brunch buffet I’ve ever had. They pay attention to detail. There are many delicious seafood choices, a massive fruit table and a delicious brandy syrup for your pancakes.”
– Mark Thomas on Paradiso Ristorante Italiano, Alexandria
Good? Bad? Tweet-worthy? Let us know where you’ve been dining in Northern Virginia.
Posted by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor / Thursday, July 5th, 2012
In putting together our product spread for July’s “Girl Meets Grill” feature, a few of us were sending links around, trying to come up with a theme, color scheme and the right equipment for an Ethiopian-inspired backyard party. Soon, the linking became overwhelming and we needed to visually see all of our picks.
We created a Pinterest board to help us organize, just like every other woman seems to do these days. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit everything we wanted on this single page, but we’ve kept our page, just in case we need more grilling inspiration.