A bowl of corn pudding being held by two hands.

All-You-Can-Eat at Hill Country BBQ

BBQ restaurants make the world go ’round. Okay, maybe it’s one of a few things that feels that way. You can (pretty much) never go wrong with BBQ’d food. Pulled pork, ribs, chicken…the list goes on.

Hill Country BBQ is a restaurant that gets BBQ right. Located near Gallery Place in Washington, D.C., it’s one of the busiest restaurants in the area. They also have a location in New York City near Madison Square Park. The D.C. location’s special nights are Monday (all-you-can-eat) and Wednesday (live band). My favorite is All-You-Can-Eat Monday because everyone from the table benefits. You get ribs, chicken, brisket, and any sides you want for $32/person. Something to keep in mind is that you might have to ask for certain things more often, depending on your table’s needs.

What I Ordered

My drink of choice was a root beer float, and it was the biggest one I’ve ever had! I’m usually someone who wants refills. There’s no need for that with this drink. I hadn’t had one in years, and this was just as good, if not better, than the ones I’ve had in the past.

Hill Country BBQ's Root Beer Float

Hill Country BBQ’s Root Beer Float

If you’re visiting Hill Country BBQ with a group of people *on a Monday*, their all-you-can-eat option is something to consider. It was a better option for my family to get this instead of separate meals.

The brisket was amazing. The key to getting brisket right is serving it tender, and every batch of brisket was nothing short of it. The chicken was seasoned very well and was a table favorite. I was a little bummed that pulled pork is not a part of this package, but the brisket and chicken definitely made up for it.

Hill Country BBQ's all-you-can-eat option includes unlimited chicken, short ribs, roast beef, and sides.

Hill Country BBQ’s All-You-Can-Eat platter: sweet potato Bourbon mash, baked beans, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, chicken, roast beef, and short ribs.

 

A bowl of corn pudding being held by two hands.

One of Hill Country BBQ’s side options, corn pudding.

Hill Country BBQ’s sides definitely deserve a lot of shine. Their mac and cheese is cheesy enough and was ordered the most at our table. The collard greens with smoked bacon are almost as good as my mom’s and grandma’s greens. The sweet potato bourbon mash was the star side in my eyes. I usually don’t jump at the chance to have mashed sweet potatoes, but these are an exception. The bourbon is a great twist on a classic dish. I loved it so much that I want to learn how to make it.

I’ve been to Hill Country BBQ once before this, and I preferred this option over ordering something just for myself. I loved getting a little bit of everything more than having to narrow down what I wanted.

Conclusion

I’d absolutely visit Hill Country BBQ again! I’ve done the pay per person thing here before, and I prefer this all-you-can-eat package. They get BBQ right, and you should definitely try it if you’re looking for some good BBQ in D.C.!

Until next time.

Brunchin’ at Boqueria

I haven’t gone out for brunch in months. The many suggestions for brunch in D.C. online don’t help narrow your choices down when there are so many great options, so you have to just pick something. Boqueria was the first on the list. The wait was worth it.

My friend, Carolina, and I agreed that Boqueria, a Spanish tapas bar and restaurant, would be a great spot to try. I made the reservation since it’s suggested that you make a reservation to ensure that you get a table. They have two D.C. locations: Penn Quarter and Dupont Circle.

What I Ordered

The menu has so many options: Spanish and brunch classics, paella, brunch feast, and tapas. Their bottomless brunch option is $42/person, and everyone at the table has to participate. We chose to keep it simple and not do bottomless brunch this time.

French toast topped with apples; drizzled with caramel; and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Boqueria’s torrija dish.

After looking through all of the options, I ordered the torrija dish and sangria The sangria was decent. It wasn’t as sweet as I wanted it to be, but it was still good. Torrija is caramelized French toast topped with seasonal fruit; drizzled with caramel sauce; and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This time of year, apples are the seasonal fruit available. I’ve had a lot of French toast in my lifetime and I have to say, this was the best French toast I’ve ever had. The bread’s texture was perfect, and the toppings complemented the French toast so well. I’d definitely get this dish again.

Churros rellenos filled with Nutella.

Churros rellenos filled with Nutella.

Carolina ordered churros rellenos that we split. Churros rellenos are filled churros, and you have the choice of Nutella or caramel. We got Nutella filling, and let me just tell you…I do not regret a single calorie. These were the tastiest churros I’ve ever had. They came out fresh and hot, so the Nutella slowly melted. Churros and Nutella are a perfect match, and I highly recommend that you try the ones at Boqueria.

Conclusion

I’m definitely coming back! It was a pretty affordable brunch option. From front desk to the check, it was fantastic. If you’re looking for a place to have brunch in D.C., consider giving Boqueria a try!

Until next time.’

Update 01/15/2020: Updated links

D.C. Area Doughnut Shops You Need to Visit Now

Have you ever craved doughnuts and had no clue where to go? Finding the perfect doughnut shop can be hard. Here’s a guide to help you find the best doughnut shops for you in the D.C. Metropolitan area.

Duck Donuts

img_3212

An assorted dozen from Duck Donuts

If made-to-order doughnuts are your thing, Duck Donuts is the place for you! They have great options for coating, icing, toppings, and drizzles. They also have set doughnut combinations from which you can choose. The lemon and (new) key lime glazes is absolutely amazing, FYI. Duck Donuts has locations spread throughout the DMV: Rockville, Gaithersburg, Arlington, Alexandria, and more.

1431, 1327 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852

https://www.duckdonuts.com/

Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee

img_0843

Sugar Shack’s red velvet donut.

Red velvet donuts? Check. Samoa donuts? As in Girl Scout cookie-inspired donuts? Check. Wow. Would you believe it if I told you they have thirty more flavors?! There’s truly a donut for everyone at Sugar Shack. They’re based in Virginia and recently added a Washington, D.C. location to their list!

1932 9th Street, Washinton DC, 20001

sugarshackdonuts.com/

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Astro Doughnuts' seasonal cherry pie doughnut.

Astro Doughnuts’ seasonal cherry pie doughnut.

If you’re looking for a menu with a mix of traditional and seasonal flavors, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is the place to go. For the month of August, they’re offering Chocolate S’mores, Cherry Pie, Lemon Poppyseed, and Blueberry Cotton Candy. Their regular flavors include vanilla glazed and PB&J. Although their doughnut menu is on the smaller side, their options are fresh, tasty, worth every calorie! I recently found out that the cake doughnuts are made to order. Astro is also known for their chicken dishes that would go well with your doughnut of choice. 😉

1308 G St. N.W., Washington, DC 20005

www.astrodoughnuts.com

District Doughnut

District Doughnut's seasonal Nutella S'more doughnut. | Apple of My Eye

District Doughnut’s seasonal Nutella S’more doughnut

District Doughnut has a set menu of regular and seasonal flavors that are made fresh daily. Their seasonal flavors truly compliment the seasons well. Currently, they offer summer flavors such as Creamsicle Brulee, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Nutella S’more. There are four locations: Georgetown, Capital Hill, the Wharf, and Union Market. It gets the perfect amount of natural light and has great backdrops for your #doughnutface (District’s hashtag) or #foodstagram pics.

3327 Cady’s Alley NW, Washinton DC, 20007

www.districtdoughnut.com

 

What’s your favorite D.C. doughnut shop? Write a comment below!

Until next time.

01/06/2020: Post Coffee Bar is permanently closed. B. Doughnut is now a delivery only company and delivers to the Loudoun County area.

02/16/2020: B. Doughnut was removed from this list because they do not have physical location.

4 Things You Need to Do during Cherry Blossom Season in D.C.

Have you ever wondered how to fully embrace cherry blossom season in Washington, D.C.? It’s one of the busiest times of year in the area, and the perfect time to do any and everything you can before the blossoms go. Strolling, or being stuck in foot traffic, around the Tidal Basin is a given. Indulging in the cherry blossom-inspired food and events are some things that you must consider to fully experience this special time of year. Peak bloom is April 1, which means at least 70% of them will be fully bloomed on that day. You definitely want to partake before it comes to an end!

Cherry Blossoms 2016

Cherry Blossoms on the Tidal Basin 2016

This time only comes once a year, so this is the perfect time to explore! Check out my list of things to do in D.C. to compliment your cherry blossom viewing activities. Note: This time of year brings a LOT of traffic to D.C. area. Driving times are based on low traffic times. Expect some traffic patterns to change and a lot of tourists.

  • Visit the Cherry Blossom Pub pop-up – This pop-up has been super popular since its beginning. It tends to be super busy after 6:30 pm, per their FAQs page. They have cherry blossom-themed drinks and ramen. It’s located near the Shaw-Howard University metro stop, which isn’t super close to the Tidal Basin. It’s about 30 minutes by metro and 15-20 minutes away, if you’re driving. Street parking is available. (Shaw) 1843 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 
  • Munch on cherry blossom dessertsAstro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken – Cherry Cheesecake doughnut. This Astro location is about a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute metro ride from the Tidal Basin. 1308 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
    • District Doughnut – A cherry blossom doughnut made up of vanilla bean dough, cream cheese glaze, and cherry pie filling, topped with crumbled pie crust and cream cheese drizzle. The Wharf location is about a five-minute drive from the Tidal Basin and about 12 minutes via metro. (The Wharf) 5 Market Square SW
      Washington DC, 20024. 2 other locations on Capitol Hill – Barracks Row and in Georgetown.
    • Baked & Wired – A cherry blossom cupcake made up of vanilla cake with maraschino cherries in the batter topped with a cherry buttercream. (Georgetown) 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington DC 20007
  • Sip Rosé at the Watergate Hotel on the weekend. – Until Sunday, April 14, the Watergate Hotel offers cherry blossom-themed afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu includes Veuve Cliquot Champagne Rosé and cherry blossom macarons. Reservations are required. The hotel is 26 minutes from the Tidal Basin via metro and eight minutes by car. 2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20037
  • Learn about Japanese culture at the Japanese Street Festival. – Formally known as Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival is an opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions through food, performances, and art. This part of 7th St. NW is about six minutes away, if you’re driving, and 25 minutes by metro. Pennsylvania Ave., NW between 3rd and 7th Streets.

Check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc.’s official 2019 event guide.

Until next time.

A Taste of Fall at District Doughnut

There are so many dessert options in Georgetown: pie, ice cream, cupcakes, doughnuts… you name it. District Doughnut is one of the most popular doughnut shops in D.C., and I finally got the chance to check it out.

b78771bd-5883-449b-940e-0d6ec2570c3d

This District Doughnut location is not in plain site. Surprisingly, it isn’t on the busiest street in Georgetown, M Street. It’s down an old brick path that is just wide enough for one car and some pedestrians in Cady’s Alley.

This shop is very chill and welcoming. I love that they let me know that their fall flavors were about to leave soon, which made my decision easier.

img_4693

Top, left to right: Caramel Apple Streusel, Cranberry Crumble, Pumpkin Glazed; bottom, left to right: Pumpkin Spice Latte Creme Brûlée, Salted Dulce de Leche, Maple Butter Pecan

Fortunately, I go to try a bit of all of them. My absolute favorites were Cranberry Crumble and Maple Butter Pecan. I’m a huge fan of cranberry, and this doughnut won my heart. The dried cranberries were like the cherries on top. The doughnut itself would even be delicious without it. As for the Maple Butter Pecan, I’m surprised that I liked it as much as I did. The maple butter glaze was impeccable, and the pecans weren’t bothersome. If you’re someone who prefers chopped nuts over halves and wholes, this is perfect for you.

img_3632-1

Cranberry Crumble

img_3647

Pumpkin Spice Latte Creme Brûlée

I didn’t dislike any of these doughnuts. They were all delicious, soft, and fresh. You honestly can’t go wrong with any of them. There is truly something for everyone at District Doughnut! If you’re ever in D.C., this is a great option.

3c346f6c-b710-4577-8693-58cd46549151

District Doughnut just debuted their winter menu, so I’m hoping to try them soon.

Until next time.

 

 

Baked & Wired

Updated 7/12/19: Updated cakecup names.

I don’t know about you, but I may or may not be addicted to dessert. I don’t have it everyday or anything crazy. I just often want to go out and try a new doughnut or cupcake flavor.

I finally went to Baked & Wired, which is a busy dessert shop in Georgetown. My sister and I had to wait outside in line because it was so busy! Finally getting inside felt like an accomplishment! We looked at a menu and looked down the line of sweets in amazement.

There are a lot of treats you see while the line is moving, so it’s helpful to look at the menu or know what you want before arriving.

6fc44dea-0f40-4737-822c-6d018d161658

Since the line moves steadily, you don’t have a lot of time to choose what you want. This process is a bit easier because they have menus at the door for you to look over once you get inside. Once it was my turn, I ended up making quick decisions because a couple of my desired sweets were sadly sold out. I bought Tessita, Elvis Impersonator AKA, Dirty Chai (for my sister) and the Oh My God bar.

Continue reading

Pie Day

Have you ever seen a place that you really want to go to and have the hardest time making your way down there? That was me with Pie Sisters. It never seemed to quite work out for me to go. I can finally say that I’ve been!

Pie Sisters is one of the cutest shops in Georgetown. I truly love the decor and wish I had enough time to soak in all of it. They have four different pie sizes: pie bites, cuppie, a slice, and a 9-inch pie. Since I got there last minute, I could only choose from what they had left. I bought about 7 cuppies for my family and me to try.

acs_0011

When I go to dessert shops, I try to get something familiar and something I’ve never had. This time, I bought key lime and s’mores. Key lime was amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever met a key lime pie I didn’t like. It was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, and the crust complemented it very well.

Key lime pie

S’mores pie

S’mores was alright. It tasted almost like what I hoped it would. Unfortunately, the crust and the pie filling separated after the first bite. My guess was that the graham cracker layer between the chocolatey filling and the crust was the culprit. The filling itself was good. The pie falling apart was disappointing.

img_9730

I would absolutely go back to Pie Sisters and try some other flavors! I recommend trying it if you’re ever in Georgetown.

Until next time.

What the Duck?

Duck Donuts is one of the best donut/doughnut shops in the D.C. Metro Area. Their made to order donuts are absolutely delicious! They have locations in Rockville, Gaithersburg, Herndon, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria…just to name a handful. If you’re in the Baltimore area, there’s one in White Marsh. Check the locator to see if you have one in your area because there are a lot on the East Coast.

I looked at Duck Donuts’ holiday donuts before I got there so I had an idea of what I wanted to order. If you want to save time creating your order, especially if you’re getting a dozen, this is the best way to go. I ordered some holiday-ish donuts and freestyled some.

img_3214

(from left to right, each row)

  • Blueberry glaze, graham cracker
  • Peanut butter glaze, raspberry drizzle
  • Cookies & cream
  • S’mores
  • Mint glaze, chocolate sprinkles (Note: currently unavailable)
  • Maple bacon x 2
  • Another S’mores
  • Lemon glaze, coconut
  • Lemon glaze, graham cracker, marshmallow drizzle
  • Vanilla icing, raspberry drizzle with coconut

I can’t and didn’t eat a dozen donuts. Haha. I ordered some of these for my family. I tried the blueberry glaze, peanut butter glaze, maple bacon, lemon glaze with coconut, and coconut with raspberry drizzle. My absolute favorites out of all of them were 1.  maple bacon and 2. peanut butter glaze. If you’ve never tried a maple bacon donut but love both separately, I’m sure you’ll love it! It’s the perfect sweet and savory balance. The peanut butter glaze donut with the raspberry drizzle tasted like a PB&J sandwich, one of my favorite sandwiches ever. I’m so glad they all turned out amazing, but can anyone really go wrong with fresh, warm donuts?

Updated 1/9/19: The mint flavors are currently unavailable.

Until next time.

D.C. Event Guide: How to Do Truckeroo the Right Way

Truckeroo is a popular, free-entry food truck event in Washington, D.C. that happens nearly year-round. There are so many trucks with great, Insta-worthy food, and you don’t want to miss out and not get the most out of this free entry event! Here are some tips to help you experience as much of this event as possible.

  • Show up early. Truckeroo usually goes from 4 pm to 11 pm. If you don’t like large crowds, go as early as you can. The earlier you go, the more food options you’ll have. If you go later, you risk missing out on food that is no longer in stock.
  • Make the most of having a group (if applicable). Have someone hold your place in a super long line while you get food from a truck with a shorter, faster line, if you’re with a group. You’ll make the most of your time.

img_6626

  • Consider sharing food if you attend with a group so you don’t get full quickly and have plenty of room try other foods there. There is a ton of good food to try, so having room for it is a plus!
  • Check Truckeroo’s Facebook page for updates throughout the week (i.e. cancellation due to weather). Better safe than sorry!
  • Check out the list of trucks attending to plan which ones you must go to. Planning ahead makes all of the difference because you spend your time in line instead of figuring out what’s there as you go.

img_0517

img_6624

Tweet me to tell me about your experience or Instagram your Truckeroo pics, using #foodishways. I’ll repost some on my new food only Instagram account, @foodishways! Follow to find out about good food spots.

Until next time.

It’s Really Plantain And Simple

In a park full of food trucks, I had my heart set on one that didn’t have a long line upon arrival. I tried it for the first time, last year, at my first Truckeroo event. Peruvian Brothers, one of my favorite food trucks in the D.C. Metropolitan area, serves some of the best Peruvian food I’ve ever had.

This Truckeroo event felt drastically different than the last one I attended. It was hot and humid outside, and there were a LOT more people…not my ideal summer situation. I really wanted my baby sister to have a similar first experience, but I couldn’t change these factors. We looked for the shortest lines, and my sister chose the first one, the Westray’s Finest Ice Cream food truck.

What I Ordered

My sister got Peanut Butter & Chocolate, and I chose Southern Maple Cornbread. Let. me. tell. YOU. The ice cream I got was scrumptious. Enjoying this really felt life-changing. Have you ever eaten something and just thought, “Wow. How did I live life before this?” This was one of those moments for me.

After devouring ice cream, I bought pan con asado from the Peruvian Brothers food truck. Their food is truly a must-have. The roast beef was tender and seasoned just right. The caramelized onions were like putting a cherry on top. This sandwich truly is one of the best I’ve ever had. In February 2020, Peruvian Brothers got a spot at D.C.’s new Latin food hall, La Cosecha.

A beef sandwich with lettuce being held in one hand

Peruvian Brothers Pan Con Asado

Conclusion

I would definitely go back to Truckeroo. I love that it’s free to get in, and you only pay for the food and drinks you order. I think it makes the seasonal event more welcoming than the festivals that make you pay for entry and food. If you’re in the D.C. area during the spring or summer and love options, this is a great event for you to attend.

Until next time.

Update 02/21/2020: Updated format, changed picture format, added a detail about Peruvian Brothers’ new shop.