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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cranberry Crumble

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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.

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

Until next time.

 

 

Baked & Wired

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.

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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 Jailbird, Dirty Chai (for my sister) and the Oh My God bar.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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 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.

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  • Consider sharing food that you buy with group members so you don’t get full quickly and have plenty of room try other foods there.
  • Check the 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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Until next time.

Battle at the BBQ

Crazy lines on a beautiful day can lead to the perfect Saturday. Shutting down one of the most popular parts of Pennsylvania Avenue (in front of the Newseum) in DC for a BBQ Battle was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve only participated in an event loosely similar to this one other time in the District, which was the annual Taste of DC event.

My mom told my sisters and me about Giant’s annual BBQ Battle, and I just had to go. A reasonably priced event with good food? Count. me. in. The line to get in wasn’t really a line. It was a mass of people moving to pay to get in or pick up tickets. I wish this was more organized, but at least it didn’t affect how quickly people got in!

As soon as we got in, we saw several stations lined up. Some stations only had food and others were media-related. Most, if not all, of the stations inside were free. No strings attached.

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There was a Mentos station that gave each person in line the chance to win a free pack of their gum (as long as supplies lasted). The Turkey Hill station gave out free mini containers of their ice cream: Vanilla and Salted Caramel. Another station gave out free packs of Sunsweet Philippine Green Mangoes.

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The Oscar Meyer hot dog car was there. At their station, they had a game that required you to throw small sandbags into three different holes in a cardboard *thing*. If you got a bag in all three, you won a coupon. My mom won, and my sister and I had a photo opp in front of the hot dog car!

The biggest BBQ tent had a super long line, so we decided to see what else the event had to offer before committing so much to such a line. There were so many places to get free food. Giant (Stop n’ Shop, depending on where you are in the U.S.) sells most of this food in their stores. We got to try some Naked juices, Yungeling ice cream (churro), and some of their food products barbecued. The Apple Butter pulled pork was scrumptious. 

The Nature’s Promise truck allowed each person to choose one free item from the shelves inside. I chose their Thousand Island dressing, which I finally tried the day before writing this. It’s decent, but I think it tastes eggy.

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One of the guys at the Haagen-Dazs station was basically giving away ice cream. The station had two of the company’s flavors: Pineapple Coconut and Mint Chip. My mom only wanted one, and he was being pushy and trying to give her another one. I took two. He got my sister to take three. ‘Twas interesting.

There were a couple of tents that let people 21+ try alcoholic beverages. My mom and I went to one that didn’t have a name but offered two different wine brands and the Barefoot Wine station. We both tried one of Steila Rose’s sweet red wines, which was honestly the best red wine I’ve ever had. I love a good sweet, red wine. Barefoot was sampling four different flavors of their spritzers, and I chose the Moscato Spritzer that has “flavors of peach and tangerine,” according to their website. I loved it but wished it was a little more peachy.

There was a BBQ tent that had a shorter line: the military BBQ Battle. I was glad that I finally got to sample some food from what the event was centered around! All of the U.S. military branches were represented and had to incorporate chicken in their dishes. I think the Army and the Navy had the best dishes, packed with tons of flavor. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take pictures because I was juggling plates.

This was our first time attending Giant’s BBQ Battle, and I enjoyed my time trying a lot of good food and drinks and enjoying the weather. I’m looking forward to the next one.

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Until next time.

That Waffle Was Totally Wicked!

Who knew a waffle could be so wicked?

My sister told me about this awesome waffle spot in Bethesda, and her rich descriptions of the dessert waffles HAD me. She took my mom and me to Wicked Waffle, which only has locations in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area as of right now: I Street NW in DC and Westfield Montgomery Mall (food court). I hope they get more locations soon because anyone who loves waffles should experience this deliciousness!

Wicked Waffle has breakfast, savory, and dessert options. This company prides themselves on having fresh ingredients; not adding artificial ingredients or calories to any of their food; using fresh, local ingredients; and having gluten-free waffles. They also have soups and salads that are made fresh daily.

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There’s no way you won’t find more than one menu item that you want. Choosing a concoction was so hard for me! I knew that I wanted a sweet waffle, which wasn’t even half the battle. C’mon. How am I supposed to choose between the Nutella Waffle and the Tiramisu Waffle? The Sweet Waffle with vanilla ice cream and the Roasted Fuji Apples & Cinnamon Waffle?

I hate taking forever to make food-related decisions, so I just chose one of the two I narrowed it down to…the Roasted Fuji Apples & Cinnamon Waffle. This amazing dish has everything in its name and traditional whipped cream or caramel cream (didn’t even know this existed). The waffle had the perfect amount of fluff, and the toppings didn’t make it soggy. I prefer my waffles sweet, so this was the perfect one for me.

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Roasted Fuji Apples & Cinnamon Waffle

I had the chance to meet the super cool district manager on the day I went, and he added a personal touch to my order: caramel sauce. My GOODNESS. I don’t think I was ready for that waffle. My sister told me it was amazing, but when I finally had it myself, I was at a loss for words.

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The Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Waffle

Until next time.

National Museum of Crime and Punishment

Update 12/7/18: This museum closed in 2015 and is now under the name “Alcatraz East” in Tennessee, according to Wikipedia.

Sorry that I have not updated the past two Sundays. This post is for February 25th to March 3rd, and my next post will be for March 4th to March 10th.

The week of the 25th, I was on spring break and decided to go back home to Maryland for the week. I went on a small adventure in Washington, D.C. since I wasn’t in New York City.

I went to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in D.C. with my family, which was fun. It was my second time going to this museum, so I noticed more things that I didn’t the first time I went. I have heard about different crimes and police work for most of my life because my mom was a police officer. It was cool to learn more about crimes, punishment, and how they were and still are used today. It was cool seeing the Bonnie and Clyde’s car again. Something that I noticed this time was the information they had about the Zodiac Killer. I have a better understanding of it now, but I don’t know the whole story. What I liked about this museum is that they had a few activities that allowed people to also have a little bit of fun or do something other than reading information about crimes and punishment. I crawled through a hole made in a fake prison cell that was made by a fake prisoner. There was a machine that scanned your fingerprint and printed a card with information about the fake crime you committed. My favorite activity was the virtual driving simulation because it felt like I was driving a real car. The goals were to pay attention to everything on the road and to not hit anything. I played the game twice but failed both times. That game wasn’t easy! I recommend this museum, especially for people interested in crime!

Note: The pictures below are from the first time I went. I didn’t take any pictures the second time.

The museum used small handcuffs instead of the rope usually used to form a waiting line (taken by me).

Me in a stock/pillory (an old form of punishment). Photo creds to my mom.

Sign above the front desk (taken by me)

Bonnie and Clyde’s car (taken by me)