Sugar Lab

Ice cream shops may seem to be a dime a dozen, but Sugar Lab is different and doesn’t disappoint.

I decided to check out some spots in Georgetown that I’d been meaning to try on a Sunday of all days. If you haven’t visited there before, it’s always super busy on the weekend. The warm weather has brought more people out of hibernation. Since I was there in the evening, many things were starting to close. Sugar Lab was one of the few places I still had time to check out.

When you walk in, the space feels very open and calm. Pretty pastels, wall art, trinkets, and fan photos make this space the perfect place to chill. There’s a table and a couple of chairs by the window on the small, street-level floor. The sweet treats are downstairs, where you can also find more tables and chairs.

 

Sugar Lab's photo wall.

Sugar Lab’s photo wall.

Sugar Lab’s flavors for that day were strawberry cheesecake, cookies and cream, chocolate, vanilla, matcha, and lychee. You have the option of getting your ice cream in a cup or a fresh bubble waffle. You can have up to three scoops in the waffle and three toppings for ice cream. They also have a few drinks on the menu. I ordered Thai Iced Tea with boba pearls and a bubble waffle with strawberry cheesecake and lychee ice cream with Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and mochi on top.

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Thai Iced Tea with boba pearls.

The Thai Iced Tea was so good. I think it tastes like a sweet milk tea. This drink has been on my list to try for a bit now, and it was perfect. Between the ice cream flavors I chose, lychee was my absolute favorite. I could be biased because I love pretty much anything with lychee. Also, you can never go wrong with strawberry cheesecake. Both flavors were sweet and creamy. The toppings I chose complimented the ice cream flavors very well. Don’t even get me started on the made-to-order bubble waffle. It was one of the best waffles I’ve ever had. If I had to choose between an ice cream cone and this, I’d absolutely choose the waffle. Sugar Lab’s ice cream pairs so well with it. The only downside about this is that you can’t have the ice cream upright depending on how your toppings stick. Some of the Fruity Pebbles fell off a few at a time.

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Two scoops of ice cream in a fresh bubble waffle.

I would definitely plan on going back soon. It’s one of the most affordable specialty ice cream shops I’ve tried. You won’t feel like you spent way too much on any one item.

What’s your favorite ice cream shop? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time.

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5 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

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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

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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

Candy Apple Doughnut

Astro Fried Chicken & Doughnuts’ seasonal Red Apple 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. Last summer, they had Key Lime Pie and Passionfruit Doughnuts. They are currently offering Lemon Matcha, Cherry Cheesecake, Strawberries & Cream, and Chocolate Nutella for the spring. 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

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An assorted half dozen of fall flavors from District 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 spring flavors such as Baklava and Cherry Blossom and regular flavors such as Funfetti, Brown Butter, and Raspberry PB&J. 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 or #foodstagram pics.

3327 Cady’s Alley NW, Washinton DC, 20007

www.districtdoughnut.com

B Doughnut

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B Doughnut’s Oreo Cheesecake doughnut

Sweet or savory? Creme? Fruit? B Doughnut has options in both categories. Above is their Oreo Cheesecake flavor that I don’t see on the menu right now, but they update flavors regularly. Cinnamon Sugar is absolutely delicious as well. You really can’t go wrong with any of these flavors. They have one permanent locations in Leesburg, VA, a pop-up in Ashburn, and a Vienna, VA location coming soon. You can also find their doughnuts in their parter’s, Post Coffee Bar, shops.

7 Loudoun St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175

bdoughnut.com/

Also offered at:

Post Coffee Bar
7902 Tysons One Pl
Tysons, VA 22102
www.postcoffeebar.com/

 

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

Until next time.

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.

An Absolutely Awesome Bottomless Brunch Sunday at Dos Caminos

Finding a bottomless brunch restaurant can be hard when most recommend reservations. You might end up bummed if you do it too late. Thankfully, some places still have spots available even the night before, which are hard to come by.

Dos Caminos is a restaurant, which has a few different locations in Manhattan, that offers a two-hour bottomless brunch add-on for $18. This prices is one of the cheapest I’ve ever seen. You can choose mimosas, frozen margaritas, bloody Mary’s, screwdrivers, or sparkling wine. This add-on is truly worth it, since the waiters don’t leave you with an empty glass for long.

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The front of Dos Caminos’ menu

Dos Caminos’ menu has so many great drink and meal options that it was hard to choose! After weighing my options, I ordered bottomless frozen margaritas and Mexican French Toast.

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Frozen margarita

This dish already sounded amazing. It tasted even better! This dish is described in the menu as “crispy pan torrejas, rum, and cajeta caramel roasted bananas. Cajeta is a syrup which is usually made of sweetened, caramelized goat’s milk, according to Wikipedia.

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Mexican French Toast

The cajeta roasted bananas, whipped cream, and syrup made the perfect topping combo for French Toast. Dos Caminos got it just right, and it was so hard not to order some to-go. If you like or want to try French toast, this is one you definitely need to try!

Dos Caminos’ bottomless brunch is absolutely worth it. If you’re looking for a place to brunch in NYC during the weekend, definitely check it out!

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.

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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.

 

 

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.

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.

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.