Take Me Back to Sugar Shack

I may or may not have an obsession with donuts. I’ve been controlling my cravings as much as possible, and by no means is this strictly a dessert blog. There are definitely a lot of good donut shops popping up and making their marks in the specialty food part of the industry.

Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee is a mostly Virginia-based donut shop. A few are located in the DMV area, and the newest one is in Washington, D.C.

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I’ve been in NoVA (Northern Virginia) more often lately, so I’m glad I remembered Sugar Shack was on my list of places to go. I was able to get there about 40 minutes before they closed, which could be the reason for not knowing what flavors were available for the day. One of the employees suggested some donut flavors to me, and I choose a few from the list: maple bacon, red velvet, and Rice Krispies (August’s flavor of the month – please forgive me for the late post).

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Lately, I’ve been pushing myself to get something I’ve had before and something new. Maple Bacon was my safe choice this time, and it truly didn’t disappoint. The maple icing is one of the best I’ve ever had. The bacon was so good! I wish this donut had bacon bits instead of bacon pieces. I bought the Rice Krispies donut since it was that month’s flavor. I thought it was decent. I wouldn’t have gone to buy a whole dozen of these after trying, but I’d buy it again. As for the red velvet, I absolutely loved it! This cakey donut was my favorite out of the three flavors I purchased for myself. If I couldn’t have any other flavor at Sugar Shack ever again, I would choose this one. It’s one of the best donuts I’ve ever had.

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If you’re ever in Virginia, Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee is definitely worth a try. I can’t wait to go back!

Until next time.

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EEEEEATSCon

I saw a lot of promo for EEEEEATSCon in New York City on Instagram and decided to go on a whim. I had never gone to a food event that sounded like this one, so I was down to try it. This was the first big event away from home that I’ve gone to by myself, so this was different for me. I was hoping for the best.

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The lines in the first section were pretty long, so I skimmed over the menus to see if there was anything that jumped out at me. I didn’t see anything I wanted. It was great that they had a giant map posted, but I had never been to this stadium before. Winging it was the best option for me.

What really got my attention was Bailey’s Treat Bar. There were quite a few pastel-colored chairs and tables set up for eating the desserts offered in that area of the stadium. I had my eyes on Dulcinea, a churro spot, first.

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I Screamed for Cookie Butter Ice Cream

Word-of-mouth recommendations are still very important when it comes to spreading the word about good restaurants, galleries, events, etc. I love telling people about some of my favorite spots because I believe things like that should be shared. Lately, I have been using Instagram to share and find new things to see and try, and it’s been a huge help.

I’ve seen Munch Ice Cream on a few of the ice cream- and DC-focused Instagram pages. There are so many colorful ice cream posts with this place geotagged that I just had to try it!

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When my GPS said my mom and I had arrived to Munch, I was confused. I didn’t see a sign that made it stand out. There wasn’t a list of places in the plaza where it’s located. Just something that said “the block.” I had heard of this place before, but that’s not why I was there. One more circle around the large parking lot, and we pulled up closer to the block. There’s a list of places in there, and Munch Ice Cream was one of them.

Cafeteria-style places like this seem to be the trendy thing now. The block VA has a few other vendors such as Snocream, Roots, and Pokeworks.

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We walked through the chatty space to our destination. We looked at all of the ice cream flavors unsure of what to buy. If you know me personally, I usually look at the menu and decide what I’ll order before getting there. They had so many flavors that I wanted to try, that I’d have to come back!

The employee who helped us was super sweet, made suggestions, and gave us samples. I tried cookie butter, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and ube (purple yam; pronounced oo-bay–which I learned how to pronounce that day).

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They have quite a few choices for their ice cream: bowl, cone, shake, donutwich, and cookie ice cream sandwiches. I chose to keep it simple and ordered a one scoop of cookie butter and one scoop of ube on a rainbow cone with Fruity Pebbles. My mom ordered a cup with one scoop of cookie butter, one scoop of ube, and one scoop of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The first thing I noticed after getting it was that this ice cream started melting faster than I anticipated. Since ube was a new flavor for me, I had no clue what to expect. I thought it was really good. I wish I had had it as the actual food before trying the ice cream so I had something to compare it. The cookie butter was my absolute favorite out of the two flavors. It tastes just like cookie butter! I was completely blown away and will absolutely get it again the next time I go.

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I plan on going back to Munch Ice Cream to try the other flavors that sounded good. Note that this ice cream is very much on the pricier side. Full disclosure, the total was almost $20 for the 3-scoop bowl and 2-scoop cone. They show the cost for a cup and a cone per scoop. After two scoops, they charge $3 per scoop. I think the ice cream is good, but the cost makes me not want to frequent this place.

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
  • Peaunut butter glaze, raspberry drizzle
  • Cookies & cream
  • S’mores
  • Mint glaze, chocolate sprinkles (Note: The mint glaze is no longer available because it is now out of season.)
  • 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?

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 carmelized 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 Hagen-Daaz 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.

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.

My sister 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 artificials 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.

Doughnut Plant

I finally went to Doughnut Plant. This place has been on my “go to” list for a while, and I wasn’t able to go to last semester.

My friend, Kristin, and I ventured out in the New York cold on Saturday to make our first city trip of the semester. After our seemingly long subway ride, we walked until we saw Doughnut Plant. We went to the Chelsea location, but they also have one in the Lower East Side and one in Brooklyn.

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A busy Saturday at Doughnut Plant.

This small shop was quite busy when we went. The line wasn’t out of the door when we got there, which was awesome. When I looked at the menu, I had a hard time choosing which flavors to buy. So many of them sounded delicious. I quickly chose a few to get right before it was my turn to order.

Some of the flavors they have are Coconut Cream filled, Vanilla Bean yeast, Orange Blossom Cashew yeast, Apricot cake, and Pistachio doughnut seed, and more. A doughnut seed is a smaller doughnut. See why I had a hard time choosing?

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I bought Wild Blueberry cake doughnut, a Crème Brûlée doughnut seed, and a Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jam square doughnut. I really wanted to get a Tres Leches doughnut, but they ran out. 😦

The Wild Blueberry cake doughnut was my favorite out of the three I bought. I thought it was perfect. I mean, I love almost everything blueberry, so I could be biased. Haha. Crème Brûlée was different for me. I’ve never actually had the Crème Brûlée dessert, but based on how Kristin described it, it tasted just like it. The Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jam square doughnut was my least favorite. It was dipped in peanuts and filled with blackberry jam. I wouldn’t have asked for it if I knew it did because I don’t like peanuts. If you can don’t mind the peanuts being on it, you might like it.

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Wild Blueberry cake doughnut

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Creme Brulee doughnut seed

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Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jam square doughnut

I had a wonderful experience here. I definitely want to come again to try other doughnut flavors. The service was great. The employees were very nice and quickly finish orders. The only downside was not having many places to sit on a busy day.

Here are a couple more photos from my day.

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Met the King.

Until next time.

Update: Added 3 photos. (2/25/15)