Potomac Village Deli

Potomac Village Deli was a favorite amongst the locals, but they sadly had to close for a short time. But, I am happy to report they have returned to a new location in Kentlands (Potomac, MD). We had to show our patronage to the Jewish Deli and give their new location a try. Nestled in the heart of Kentlands, it is easy to find and close to everything else. They have a large space, but somewhat limited amount of seating allowing for waiting space at the deli counter.

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Another rainy Sunday, we looked for an uplifting atmosphere with many other diners. We only had a short wait for an open table. I stuck with my favorite, a traditional Reuben with a side of sweet potato fries. Toasted and buttered rye bread, sort of kept this sandwich together. Though the bread was toasted, the bottom was only toasted on one side and started to fall apart from collecting all of the juices from the sandwich. The corn beef was tender and not sliced real thin. It was a reasonable amount of meat. The sauerkraut was most likely homemade and covered in cheese and Russian dressing. The sweet potato fries were nothing spectacular.

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I thoroughly appreciate wait staff because I know I could never do it. Our waitress took the route of not needing to write anything down. That impresses me, but only if they get it right. My order was correct, but his sandwich was missing bacon and oil and vinegar. His lunch was not the only order that was served incorrect during our visit. A toasted pumpernickel with roast beef and cheese. It was a dry sandwich, even for him. The roast beef was done medium well, still soft in texture, but not containing all of the juices it could. We discussed it being an option if you’re in the mood for a Jewish fixing, but not worth reworking your route to hit up.

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Hogshead Cafe

When the car dealership gives you a rental for the weekend because they f#cked up… don’t just leave it parked, use it! We decided to take full advantage of not putting miles on our own vehicles and finally gave Richmond, VA a visit. Saturday’s weather was less than favorable, but we made the best of the break in the rain to walk around the canal and check out the floodwall, eat food and see an improve show.

Southern livin’ also means BBQ eatin’. So yes, we headed to the outskirts of VA for some highly ranked BBQ. Hogshead Cafe is in Henrico County, VA. A quick trip on 64 West will get there. From the outside, nestled between a Chinese restaurant and an Asian market, is hogs heaven. Well, where they go to finish out their purpose to humans.

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Saturday was brisket day! All specials were centered around beef briskets. He loves a good brisket, so naturally that was his choice. He chose the platter with two sides. A large portion of soft brisket, including burnt ends came out with two piping hot cheesy sides. The brisket was super tender, but a little greasy. When I was stealing my second sampling, my fork just kept shredding it more. The burnt ends had a ton of flavor, but the brisket as a whole lacked a desired smoke flavor. The creamy Mac n cheese was a thick cheddar, but I even thought it was tasty. We both had a side of the scalloped potatoes. The potatoes were sliced ultra thin and layered in cream. It became a creamy starch casserole of fat calories and goodness. ($19)

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I had to have my favorite, pulled pork. Like the brisket, it was also very soft and tender. On the platter, it was served without BBQ sauce, but was still rich with flavor. My other side were baked apples. The cafe provided decent BBQ sauces on the table. I decided to play with flavors adding a little vinegar based Carolina style and mixing in a few baked apples. It was the perfect combination to add to this heap of pulled pork. ($16)

We were stuffed and happy with our choices. After the Preakness (to which the owner would not turn up the sound), we headed back the Richmond area district, Broad Street. Our day was super spontaneous, so looking back it seems even more fitting that we saw a witty entertaining improve show at Coalition Theatre.

Godiva

Ok why has no one been like, “Hey, did you know Godiva has ice cream in their chocolate boutiques?” For those of you that know me and knew this little important fact, you are dead to me. Apparently, the store in the Annapolis Mall has been serving ice cream for the past two years…

If you didn’t know this, prepare to have your life changed! They have the best soft serve I have ever had. They keep it at a warmer temperature to make it softer than the average, not to mention they are chocolate enthusiasts. I had the twist and he did straight up chocolate. Their waffle cones are dipped in chocolate and one has salted nuts. I recommend getting nuts, especially if you are into being sweet and salty! That little ice cream cone will set you back $6, but it is well worth every penny.

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While you are there, don’t forget to sign up to be a rewards member for a piece of free chocolate every month!

Sugo

Look no further, here are your Saturday night dinner plans!

Sometimes we have the greatest plans and ideas, they are forced to change and the result is better than planned. Other times, not so fortunate. But, this is a tail of good fortune and pasta! Sugo is an Italian restaurant located in Montgomery County (Potomac, MD) serving up classy style, homemade pasta and fire roasted pizza. We couldn’t help but stare at everyone around us and drool a little over their food.

Our waiter was everything I would want in a wait staff. He helped us with the menu and gave us wonderful suggestions. He helped make my toss up on choices easy and even directed our taste buds to an item I was writing off.

We started with the capresse salad, you could see why I would write this off. When we eat together, I don’t even bother looking at the salad type appetizers. I know it must contain meat and/or cheese, added bonus if it is both. This was not your traditional capresse, at least in the sense that am I familiar with. Thinly sliced green apples, fresh juicy blackberries, homemade mozzarella and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and oil.
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It was to die for. The tart berries and apples were sweetened with the balsamic and enhanced by the cheese. I melted with every bite. ($12)

Next, came the meals. I had the blue crab gnocchi. It was creamy and loaded with lump blue crab, peas and roasted corn. Though it was cream based it was light and cheesey. The roasted corn and crab gave it a sweetness without it being too rich. The gnocchi was absolutely the best I have ever had. The soft plump dumplings were made in house and rounded out the flavors of this dish. ($16)
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He had the lasagna, again with homemade noodles. The noodles were soft and thick providing a good foundation for each cheesy meaty layer. The italian herb tomato sauce was a little sweet and not the main ingredient. It was certainly the fresh mozzarella, ricotta and beef that owned this dish. He tried to savor every bite and expressed this was the best that he has had. ($15)
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Shatley Springs

When we go somewhere, we go all in on the culture. Friday (4/22/2016) night we were entertained by real bluegrass strumming in an old general store. No indoor plumbing and standing room only, it was the place to be. Locals gathered to play together with no agenda except having fun and unwinding from their week. It was amazing to be a part of!

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Saturday morning was no different. We immersed ourselves into a simpler way of life. Our AirBnb host recommended a place not far down the road, Shatley Springs . People seem to come from all over for breakfast. While we rocked on the porch, much more real than Cracker Barrel, waiting for our name to be called, we chatted with others. One couple drove 2 hours just to have breakfast.

We lined up to be led to our table, while the kitchen was catching up on their orders. We were led through a large open room with wooden chairs and flower checkered clothed tables. The menu was set up like most simple diner breakfast menus including the traditional southern favorites and the family style feast. Never having experienced a family style breakfast, we went all in, wanting try some of everything.

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We waited a short bit sipping on our orange juice taking in the families gathered around us. We were more than 500 miles from home, yet felt comfortable and welcomed. Our breakfast came rolling out of the kitchen, filling the entirety of the cart.

Our eyes widen with the scrambled eggs, salted ham, crispy bacon, sausage patties, sausage gravy, biscuits, southern grits, fried potatoes and baked apples that filled the table. We had a big day of hiking and pony viewing ahead of us to vouch for the over eating that was about to happen. It was real, it was authentic and the atmosphere was outstanding.
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Yummy in My Tummy

We arrived back to the city and dove right in. I “accidentally” left my shades at his house, needing to meet him after work. He really enjoys when I do that… We decided on an ice cream treat in Silver Spring, MD (exactly halfway between us).

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Yummy in My Tummy is not your typical ice cream parlor and you should not expect your typical flavors, but they do have a few of the basics. They specialize in tropical fruits and unique creations. All ice cream is made in house, supporting local dairies and fresh fruit is shipped straight from where it grows. We tried many many flavors before deciding what we wanted, but it still was not more than half of the available flavors they had. I think I finally settled on the grape-nut with one of the fruit sorbets. You really can’t go wrong with any of the flavors, I recommend giving them all a taste. The grape-nut is made with Post cereal, it had an unique texture with the cereal bits and paired perfectly with the fruits. He had chocolate banana and was also impressed with the flavors and fruits they brought in. We were both pleasantly surprised to see ice cream made form a fruit we learned of in Costa Rico, that our crazy hostess tried to get us to eat -noni.

 

 

Ray’s

Ray’s is the second of three restaurants in Lansing, NC. Where it lacks in unique cuisine and artistic kitchen creations, it more than makes up for in price and atmosphere!

We were headed on a 17 mile bike ride down the Creeper Trail and needed some calories, but not too much. Ray’s was the perfect choice.

I had the BLT with crinkle fries! The BLT was fine, nothing exceptional, but certainly tasted good. The bacon was perfect. The fries were fresh out of the freezer and into the fryer or maybe oven.
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He had a cheesesteak on a small hoagie roll, basically a hot dog bun. But the meat was very tender and was actually better than some that try to be good. He also had the crinkle fries.
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The whole meal set us back about $13. I don’t really know where people can get a whole meal for that price, I don’t even think McDonald’s is that cheap.

Ray’s is very small and everyone’s conversations become one. Everyone knows everyone and was catching up on Sunday for lunch after church. They are not open for breakfast. There are maybe ten tables. When they become full, people start sharing tables. We were about done when an older trio came in. We invited them to come sit with us. We exchanged small talk, but it was nice to see people actually communicating with one another and willing to talk to someone they didn’t know. It’s not exactly what you see dining out in DC.