Iron Rooster

My sister has talked about Iron Rooster for so long and said that I needed to go for some time now. She’d spoken so highly of this place, so I knew I had to try it. She decided to take our family to brunch there. Iron Rooster is a restaurant located in downtown Annapolis, MD that has plenty of breakfast and lunch/dinner food options. When you peruse the menu, there’s plenty of super Maryland dishes, which is fitting since it’s located in our state’s capital.

The restaurant is mostly narrow and opens up a bit more the further in you go and has an upstairs. If you’ve been in any old town or historic area buildings, that’s how it’s built. The staff kindly greeted us and took us to a table upstairs, which has a little cafe-like area by the front window. Interestingly, this place has a homey feel to it.

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My sister ordered RoosTarts (homemade “Poptarts”) for our table while we looked at our meal options, since it was the rest of our family and my first time there. There are different flavors available daily. We ordered brown sugar and chocolate banana, which they thankfully warm up for you. The brown sugar cinnamon was absolutely amazing! It tastes 10 times better than the Pop Tart version and is much thicker. This treat melts on your mouth and would be great with or without the whipped cream and powdered sugar. As for the chocolate banana, I thought it was okay. I think I would’ve liked it more if it was a bit sweeter.

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Brown sugar RoosTart

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Chocolate banana RoosTart

After mulling over the menu, I chose to get brioche French toast topped with strawberries (optional) and spiced maple bourbon butter. I didn’t know this butter existed until going here, and I absolutely loved it! The French toast would’ve been good without it, but the butter elevated this dish. The toast was made with apple and vanilla bean egg batter, which was complimented well by the butter, syrup, and strawberries.

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French toast (before adding syrup)

I’d absolutely visit Iron Rooster again. The food didn’t disappoint, and there are so many other dishes I want to try. If you’re ever in Annapolis, MD, give this place a try!

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Until next time.

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Fryguys

During my recent day trip to NYC, I went to EEEEEATSCon and left hungry. Thankfully, I made a list of places to go after while I was on the bus ride up there. I know myself well enough that I knew I wasn’t going to be at that event for 6 hours by myself.

I had a couple of dessert spots in SoHo on my list, so I hopped on a train back to Manhattan. After walking in the weird weather that day through droves of people styled like Tumblr, I finally made it to Dominique Ansel’s bakery…and saw the long line. It’s wild that the line has been long since I’ve known of its existence. I quickly dipped and looked for the hot spot, Bar Pa Tea, to get some ice cream. Another. long. line. I chose not to give up and went to another place on my list. I needed something to hold me over.

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Creamy Peach at C Tea NYC

Thankfully, CTea didn’t have a line and plenty of options to choose from. I finally narrowed it down to the Creamy Peach, which was as delicious as it looked! I would absolutely get this perfectly fruity drink again. It was so rewarding to finally get something I’ve been wanting to try after being let down twice and before I was let down again.

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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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Festival Peruano de Arlington (Photo Diary)

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and didn’t realize how much I took it for granted until I went to university out of state for 4 years. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that we had tons of historical landmarks, amazing Smithsonian museums with FREE admission, and a lot of tourists from all over the country and the world who come to visit from spring to early fall. But I never went into deep thought about the cultural communities and subcultures we have in this area. Better late than never.

I’m so glad my family and I had the opportunity to go to one of the events in the D.C. Metro Area centered around Peruvian culture. We attended Festival Peruano de Arlington (Peru Festival of Arlington) this past Sunday and got to experience a taste of their culture. This was actually the festival’s 30th anniversary. I can’t wait to go to more cultural events in the future.

Here are some photos from our day.

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Firenzes Artisinal Gelato

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Chirimoya gelato

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Handmade bracelets and toys

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My mom bought dreamcatcher bracelets for my sisters and me.

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Plantains from Peruvian Brothers

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Chicken empanada

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.