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)