January 4, 2007
a belly full of Virginia love
- NYE dinner
Less than 15 minutes before 2006 turned into 2007 one could find me lying in bed, staring blankly at the ceiling while clutching an unhappy belly. It probably wasn't a good idea to start my New Year's Eve meal with a frosty bottle of Mike's Hard Crisp Apple and top it off with chilli, corn chips and hot wings. Aside from my stomach contents resembling a mass of beans/tomato sauce/corn chips/chicken meat floating upon a sloshing tub of mildly alcoholic apple juice, after dinner I had watched Shaun of the Dead with Tristan, Tristan's friend Nathan and a few other people who were at Tristan's house for his family's New Year's Eve party to help keep us awake until midnight. The comfort level of my tummy was not aided by having a mind filled with disturbing images of blood and entrails. Blood and entrails are okay inside the body—not so much outside. (I'd like to add that the movie was otherwise fun.)
As I contemplated going downstairs to check out that Times Square ball dropping business on the telly, Tristan excitedly burst into the room.
"I MADE THE BONFIRE!" In his slightly crazed state he most resembled the family puppy, Hoppy. Hoppy is named Hoppy for a very good reason; she hops a lot. Like "I had way too much caffeine today!" a lot.
"Dude, it's raining," I weakly stated.
"Yeah! I got it! Look outside!" I peeked through the curtain to see the pile of wood and branches across the driveway in a bright orange blaze.
"Whoa. That takes dedication."
"Or a butane torch!"
After sipping some champagne to ring in the new year, a few of us went outside to observe the fruits of Tristan's labor in the form of a mountain of flames.
"Where others gave up," he announced while staring straight at his father, "I went on! These hands created fire! I AM PROMETHEUS."
We had the vague idea of making s'mores earlier that day, but the fire was much too large for anyone to safely get close to it while roasting marshmallows, aside from that we were all overly stuffed from dinner. We just stood around the fire and watched it burn while light, misty rain continued to fall on us.
"This is where my OCD traits comes in handy," said Tristan in reference to spending possibly an hour to turn damp wood on a semi-rainy night into a roaring bonfire.
Out of my 21 years of life, it was surely my most enjoyable New Year's celebration.
pickles and meat
My biggest fooding day during my stay in Virginia was on Saturday when Tristan, Nathan and I went to Charlottesville, a city about a 45 minutes drive away from Tristan's hometown of Louisa. Tristan insisted that I try the best dumplings and cheeseburger he's ever had.
- Marco & Luca
Marco and Luca (found in "a tribute to an exceptional life" in the Downtown Mall) features a small menu of dumplings, noodles and buns. That it expanded from originally being a weenie take-out window to today having a medium-sized dining room is a testament to its popularity.
Since the food was pretty cheap (I don't remember the prices off the top of my head, but trust me), I ordered two orders of dumplings (12 pieces) and a vegetable bun despite knowing that we would be getting cheeseburgers afterwards. I ended up ordering the most food out of the three of us. Tristan and Nathan understand the concept of moderation; I obviously do not.
- little dumps!
I wanted a pile of dumplings, and a pile of dumplings is what I got. Juicy, lightly crispy, just-fried pork-filled dumplings coated in hot sauce. The skins were just thick enough so that the dumplings wouldn't fall apart and not so thick as to disrupt the delicate balance of dough and meat. To make a comparison to something you may be familiar with, they were thicker, crispier, softer and less chewy than the skins of the dumplings you can get at $1/5 dumpling shops in NYC's Chinatown. Actually, they're not at all like the Chinatown dumplings, but the specialty of the restaurant reminded me of the Chinatown version. Although I've eaten a lot of dumplings in my life (oh what an exciting life I lead), I don't think I've never had dumplings quite like M&L's version with a thin, crispy crust, soft skin and perfect amount of filling...which totally sucks because I'd love to eat them again, preferably without having to trek all the way back to Charlottesville.
- veggie bun
I also ate a vegetable bun because I cannot resist soft, squishy steamed bread stuffed with chopped vegetables and glass noodles. Pork buns are higher on the popularity scale with most people, but vegetables buns have always been my favorite.
After roaming around the mall and letting the Chinese food settle in our bellies, we went Chaps for Tristan's favorite cheeseburger.
- mm, meats
And...a good burger it was. It wasn't the best burger of its type that I've had (fast food type burger as opposed to a bistro type burger), but there wasn't anything bad about it either. All the ingredients were in the right, non-overpowering proportions and tasted good by being appropriately fresh (vegetable matter)/juicy (meat patty)/crunchy (vegetable matter)/soft (meat patty and bun). If I hadn't already eaten a pile of dumplings I probably would've enjoyed the burger more instead of envisioning a stomach filled with sedimentary layers of differing foodstuffs.
Since we all ordered separately I ended up paying for my burger after Tristan and Nathan. However, they didn't know why I was still at the counter while they were ready to leave.
"Robyn, are you buying ice cream?!" they semi-incredulously asked.
"For god's sakes, I have my limits!"
I wished I had enough stomach space for ice cream.
- Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
To settle our stomachs of dumplings and burgers, we went to Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar for...tea. Although tea is supposed to aid digestion and whatnot, it definitely doesn't work for me. I just end up feeling like a sloshing water balloon. A water balloon filled with predigested meat, bread, and tea. Something's probably wrong with that.
- inside the house of teaaaa
But I'm glad I was pushed into having some afternoon tea, as the shop was uniquely cool. Woody, dark, cozy, funky decorations/souvenirs everywhere, lots of hookahs if that's your thing, and many different enclaves depending on what kind of environment you wanted to hang out in. Since the lounge area was packed (for good reason; it's snuggly), we sat on the brightly sun-lit mats by the windows facing the street. NO SHOES ALLOWED.
Tristan and Nathan shared a pot of Moroccan mint tea while I drank a pot of masala chai. Don't ask me why I kept ingesting more than they did. The staff member who brought our tea told us that he just went to Morocco and instructed us pour the tea from high up in order to aerate it. I didn't really like the tea until the last, sugar concentrated dregs, which tasted more like melted peppermint candy and less like tea. My milky, ginger-y masala chai was sweet enough for me to enjoy it, but not something I'd crave on a regular basis. I just like water! Or milkshakes! By the time we were done drinking (and I certainly couldn't finish my entire pot of tea), my belly felt the opposite of entirely happy.
- Tristan and Nathan go sleepies
We semi-passed out on a grassy hill at the end of Main Street for some soothing downhill digestion before Nathan met up with his family at a nearby movie theater.
I ended up burping meat and pickles for the rest of the day. Totally worth it, of course.
sammiches and ice cream
On the previous day Tristan gave me a little tour of his family's farm. Little because the farm is...little. And not a whole lot grows in the winter. Here are some random images:
- nature, holy crap, it itches!
As someone who has never had pets growing up and isn't very accustomed to roaming around nature, it was an eye-opening experience to be around so many non-human life forms and lots and lots of dirt. It's a nice getaway from city life, assuming that you're not stuck with people you hate.
After visiting Tristan's mum's animal health clinic (where I was obviously unfamiliar with the animal world) we ate at Obrigado, the least conventional eatery in Louisa, which otherwise has McDonald's, Hardee's, Chinese take out, Pizza Hut, and the like. Obrigado didn't fit in with the previous cuisine landscape, but the people must like it since it's been open for at least a year.
I ordered the Tuscan chicken sandwich, "Grilled chicken breast, fresh mozzarella cheese, pesto-mayonnaise, lettuce & tomato on a crusty roll, served with fresh chips". I love tender, juicy chicken. And soft, chewy, thin-crusted bread. Together. Freshly made, thick, crunchy potato chips were unexpectedly delicious.
- cheese quesadilla
Tristan ordered the cheese quesadilla, "Grilled flour tortilla filled with Monterey Jack & cheddar cheese, tomatoes, scallions. Served with salsa & fresh fruit". I'm not that into quesadillas, so...well. There it is. YUM!
- ice cream
We naturally followed our lunch with ice cream at Sweet Creations, an ice cream shop (that also sells loads of...spices?) in the nearby town of Mineral. Of couse, it was my idea. And I ate 90% of the surprisingly large cup of banana pudding and eggnog ice cream, not so much because I wanted to (despite the creamy deliciousness) but because Tristan was full and refused my order of, "EAT MORE ICE CREAM, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD".
- The joy of sweet tea!
Tristan insisted on going to Hardee's to buy sweet tea, but I just realized that we never got to drink it! Euh. I'll have to try it some other time.
Back to NYE
I never finished talking about New Year's Eve. For insance, it wasn't all full of indigestion.
- Turkish coffee
Tristan lured me into drinking his Turkish coffee by telling me it was sugar-ified and thus not entirely distasteful to my bitter-hating tastebuds. He boiled the sugar/coffee grinds mixture and water in an ibrik and let it get appropriately foamy until it was done.
- coffee time
He poured the steamy brown sludge into tiny green and gold demitasse cups. I took a little sip—it tasted...like coffee. Sweeter than normal coffee. Not sweet enough for Robyn.
"Can you add more sugar?"
"Yeah, like the rest of the sugar in that container."
He added the rest of the sugar. Mm, all better! For me at least. BWAHAHA, I RUIN EVERYTHING!!!
Insisting upon some fiber for lunch, Tristan made salads of baby spinach, crisp peppers and celery, spritzed with some light Italian dressing. Mmm, so tasty. Just what I needed after having eaten too much cooked, starchy, meaty food.
- the family band
At some point Tristan, Tristan's 16 year old brother Fletcher and I moved down to the music room and started playing random stuff. Fletcher is a freakishly good drummer and killed off some of the inner hairs in our ear canals when he went into "death metal" mode (he has two pedals connected to his bass drum...and he has two snare drums...and other loud things), but it was all good fun. I rarely get the opportunity to "jam out" (I play drums and guitar poorly, among other things). Being around Tristan and Fletcher made me wish that I had a sibling who also liked to play music. Saaaad.
- neutral Tristan
Tristan and I (okay, mainly Tristan) made olive oil bread from a new cookbook he received for Christmas. He was happier than he looks in the photo, I think. I mean...come on, BREAD! Bread equals happiness.
- newborn bread
After mixing the dough, shaping it into a giant ball, letting the giant ball rise, splitting the ball into two loaves, shaping those parts into balls, letting those balls rise, flicking some water onto the dough and baking the risen dough, we had LOAVES OF BREAD! Ta-da! Um. Yeah. I'm leaving out the recipe because I don't remember what it was. It wasn't my favorite kind of bread, but because of the extra water in the oven (we also put in a dish of water on a lower rack) the crust was especially crusty while the innards were nice and soft. Mmm, crustyyy.
the next morning
We woke up around 7:30 AM to catch my 1 PM bus back to NY since Tristan had to drive 2 hours to the closest DC metro station (Vienna) and then take the 50 minute ride to the bus station in DC while also fitting in a quick stop at the Eden Center, a Vietnamese shopping center that neither of us had been to before.
The early rise in the gloomy, rainy weather did not excite Tristan. On the road we stopped into Sheetz so that he could get some coffee. Some not very good cofffee. A too-large portion of this not very good coffee.
He didn't realize until he got into the car that he had bought a medium size, not a small. Neither of us actually saw a small. Either there was no small cup or we totally overlooked it. Tristan's description of the coffee is, "That coffee was stank nasty." If you care about your coffee, it's probably best to avoid Sheetz. I'd go just to see the sign that says, "SHMORNIN'!"
With the aid of Mrs. Jones's GPS doohicky, we made it to Eden Center and grabbed a quick bite at Song Que, which specializes in sandwiches, those shakes with ginormous tapioca balls, and lots and lots of various delicious looking convenient Vietnamese foods that I was tempted to bring home even though I wouldn't get back to NJ for another 10 hours.
- leaf world?
Tristan's jackfruit shake majiggy with the giant tapioca balls came with a weird plastic cover on the lid. "Leaf World"? ...Huh? The first thing it made me think of was Leaf House, which was kind of weird. I don't know what the Chinese part is, but I assume it something that makes more sense than "Leaf World".
- pork sammich
For a whopping $2.50 I got a perfectly sized shredded roast pork sandwich stuffed with tender juicy pork bits, pickled vegetables (carrots, cukes, and radish), cilantro and sliced chiles. I can't imagine how anyone couldn't like this sandwich. The flavors are strong, but not heavy and the balanced combination of the roasted meat and raw vegetables is refreshing. A little bit of sour, sweet, hot, crunch, non-crunch, and...oh yes, all this goodness is stuffed inside fresh, mildly crusty white bread. While this wasn't the best bahn mi bread I've had, it got the job done and didn't disappoint me.
And then...it was back to Jerz. Or back to NYC, then New Jersey. Leaving Tristan and his cool family was depressing, but maybe I will visit again some day.
The bus to NYC took about 5 hours. I met up with my good friend, Lee Anne, who was visiting from Phoenix and stayed at my house for two nights. On Tuesday night we ate dinner in NJ with my mum and did a buttload of NYC fooding yesterday. That blog post will have to come...muuch later.
So sleepy. Kind of sick. (I was very sniffly and asthmatic in Virginia.) Very much back-logged with blog posts and photos. I have to move into my new apartment soon, probably next week. So. I'm going to predict that the writing quality of this blog is going to go downhill for a while until my brain starts working again. Although saying that implies that it once worked.
Euh. Time to blow my nose.
Marco and Luca
York Place, Downtown Mall
115 W Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22902
223 E Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
414 E Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22902
109 W Main St
Louisa, VA 23093
117 Mineral Ave
Mineral, VA 23117
6773 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044
Posted by roboppy at 3:49 AM
HAHA, i watched 28 Days Later. Again. YES to horror movies.
oh god, robyn, how do you do it? how?! so much food... i ate miniture snickers and watched vh1's top model marathon all the while pondering why i too can't be a size 2. GEE, i wonder.
Admit it...you liked it when Tristan's brother went into death metal mode. I bet you were a total headbanger. Although, your short hair doesn't make for good headbanging.
*neurotic future cat lady alert*
WHEEEEEE! KITTY CATS! SO SOFT AND WUFFY AND AIEEEE!
Hi Robyn, the dumplings look delicious, I think they are pot-sticklers. My mum makes the best I reckon, I tried to make some the other day but it was kinda... bland.
Happy New Year and don't overdo the eating - I spent 10 hours in the ER on NY's day from 2-day old acute chest pains in the left side and left arm (alarm bells ringing- heart attack!). Tests ruled out a heart attack. 1 doc said it was possibly a lung lining inflammation but the 2nd one said likely to be stomach acid reflux, both can cause symptoms similar to heart attacks. But, but, but - I haven't been pigging out (well ok I did over Christmas- a little). I'm more inclined towards the lung lining inflammation possibility. I think I'm definitely on the road to recovery...
Unfortunately, the chinese characters directly below "Leaf World" really do mean "leaf" and "world".
The rest of the chinese characters I'm not really sure about, but it seems to be a strange story about a girl called Nana and her older brother who go out and a strong wind blows up her skirt and she shrieks something and her brother replies something to the effect of "bitch please..."
Or something like that.
Holy Crap! I used to work at a Sheetz! For 2 years actually, when I was in college. Oddly enough, people used to love the coffee (I wouldn't know if it's good since I'm not a coffee drinker) and would damn near riot if they had to wait for a fresh pot. Iunno. Stay away from the Shmuffins and Shmizkits unless you like pre-processed egg patties. Yuck!
i LOVE the Twisted Branch!! definitely a good choice as far as the fooding goes... eventhough you didn't actually eat there. what food they do have is good though!
A belated: Welcome to Virginia! And also, come again! I live in Richmond and was all, "Awwwww...Robyn was in Charlottesville" when I read this entry. I'm glad you had fun despite the sniffly-ness (which I suffer from year round. There's always something blooming here.)
I'm so glad that you got to experience the joy of the marco & luca's in c-ville. I wish I could have told you in advance to go to the BAKERY (http://www.albemarlebakingco.com/index10.htm) just a couple of blocks up from the downtown mall. They make really good croissants, baguettes and tons of other really tasty things. They USED to make checkerboard cookies there are as well. sigh for the love of checkerboard cookies.
So... I think you should go back for more dumplings... and email me before you do b/c I'll send you a list of OTHER places to visit (for fresh gelatto, etc.) and possibly drive down to eat with you.
What a nice NYE! I wish I had the yard space to play with wood and fire and shmallows. Yarharhar! Newayz, Happy New Year!
I love the farm photos! I have to agree with the above poster, if something isn't blooming, there's mold floating about. I never had allergies until moving here.
I'll have to check out the little bun shop in Charlottesville the next time I'm over there, they looked wonderful!
Happy new year Robyn!
I wanted to write that in your last post, but I can't see the "comment" thingy, for some reasons.
I like the photos of the sheeps and the kitties!
Happy new year! Looks like you had a good one. In nature! I want to make a bonfire now.
Those dumplings have me drooling, and the olive oil bread looks beautiful.
I can't wait for the return of NYC food blogging! It's been so long! Be still my foolish heart.
Adelyn: NO HORROR MOVIES! I wanna see...HAPPY FEET! :D :D :D :O
My waistline just keeps getting bigger. :( Watching a top model marathon would make me want to KILL MYSELF.
Marvo: It was fun until all I could hear was a faint ringing in the deep recesses of my brain.
My short hair makes it easier to headbang! Hair doesn't go a-flyin everywhere. Wooo.
Adalmin: HAHAHA, great reaction. WUFFY, THEY ARE!!!
bobogal: Oh my god dude I just read your blog! AHHH! AHHH!!@#!@$# That is scary. I'm so glad you're alright now! Or better at least! The right side of my body was actually kinda sore after the weekend, but I don't know why. Not a digestion related thing I think...and I feel okay now. :D :O
LUNG LINING INFLAMMATION?! I have asthma...maybe I will get that someday...oh man.
shukumei: Oh my god, it says leaf world? And that story sounds mega weird.
Cathy: You worked at Sheetz? Woooee! Did I bring back good memories? :P I tried the coffee and couldn't tell it was "bad", haha. It all tastes the same to me...hohum. I'll heed your warning about the processed egg patty-licious stuffs.
Amblus: Oo, I would love to go back to VA! MORE FOODING?! My mum thinks that my body detoxified because the air is cleaner down there and whatnot. Or perhaps it's because of the blooming stuff.
Maria: Yup, there was sooo much space on the farm. It would be very bad to start a fire in my yard...where there are lots of trees.
s'kat: I guess living on a farm isn't for me if I have to endure the bloooming. I wouldn't be able to help out much anyway with my nonexistent muscles.
GET YERSELF SOME LIL' DUMPS!
plume: Oo, I disabled comments on the last entry, sorry! :O I didn't think it was worth commenting on, haha. Thanks for your new year's greetings!
Susannah: NYC food blogging should return soon! I have so many places to talk about already...place that I've already mentioned last year, but still. Yumyum, revisiting the old favorites.
omigawd, the cheeseburger looks bloody amazing! the beef patty is HUUUGE compared to the ones we have here! ):
the vegetable bun could do with more stuffings though. kinda late but, Happy New Year!
I am so with Tristan on the bonfire. You should show him this.
Does he and his butane torch have any interest in going to Sweden next christmas?
Anyway, the Eden shopping center is one of my faves. There a couple of great vietnamese restaurants there, although which is the best is a matter of fierce debate (My vote Hong Que-means 7 sisters they say...they SAY). You should go on an Eden Center crawl one day. Hell, I should, the next time I am there visiting my parents.
Welcome back. Did you remember to bring the snow?
"Whoa. That takes dedication."
"Or a butane torch!"
I'm a little in love with Tristan right now.
Anyway, that sign from Sheetz cracks me up. I think we need one in Oregon. NOW OMG I WANT A SHMUFFIN just so I can say I HAVE HAD A SHMUFFIN!
And now I also want dumps.
[Ooh my comments got a lil' messed up because I switched the time zone back to EST...lalala]
elinn: I wouldn't even say the burger that was huge! Hehe..oh my. There are some scary huge burgers here.
Yeah, more stuffings would've made it awesomer. Thank god I also like bread!
FJ: HAHA, it's goat burning time!
I wish I had enough time to try a resto, but...eh, only enough for a sammich. Next time, yeah?
Mary Sue: Butane torch brings in the ladeez.
I love that sign too. Shmuffin. I wonder which marketing person thought of that one.
MM DUMPS! Shmump? Nah, that doesn't work.
Lauren: Oo yeah, the food choices looked good, but of course I was on the verge of exploding. Damn, I have so much to check out the next time I visit.
mg: Oh noo! BAKERY! OH MAN! I just asked Tristan about it and he's never been there! OH MY GOD, OMG OMG OMG..
Well. I gotta go there. Thanks for letting me know! I also saw a gelato place there that I would've wanted to try if I hadn't felt so sickly. Doh. I'll ask you for more recs if the time comes.
Man, you had such an awesome break! hehe, I like how we can count on you to find dumplings seemingly everywhere! After looking at all your photos, I wish you came to Hawaii when Tristan was here - we would have had SO MUCH FUNNNN!
(I finished the entire box of Pierre Herme by myself. In two days. I couldn't help it - it was incredible! And I didn't even share. With anyone. Not even my mom. You see, this is what happens when you send good chocolate to me :) Thank you!!!)
I like the kitties and the sheepies...so cute ^^. I also like the dumplings. Yum :p
Well, at least you're going back to NYC blogging. Hopefully, someday I could actually go fooding with you but I dunno if that's going to happen. Anywhoo, good luck with moving. It's going to be a pain.
See, I had no idea you were thinking those things! Your comments on the dumplings, the burger... huh. You are cloaked in mystery.
Also, I would like to remind you that it was you who said you wanted to get the burger as long ago as October :D:D:P
Lastly, you forgot to mention how I was a dumb gringo and tried to peel the plastic lid off the boba... meep.
Hooray! You have to come back soon!!
I guess I should have mentioned that the tea is great there too...since it is mostly about tea. When I was there I shared a pot of "Balls of Camels Breath," I'll just let you imagine the fun we had with that name.
Also I heard that if you play music there and you're from out of town they'll let you sleep there. Or if you're just a weary traveler who seems trustworthy.
Eden Center! That place is full of deliciousness and awesome. Too bad you guys didn't have enough time to hit Seven Sisters/Hong Que
Kathy: Tristan keeps talking about Hawaii! Like every 5 seconds..."blah blah huh HAWAII LET'S GO SEE KATHY HUHH blah blah". I'm only half joking. He's hooked.
I wanna go. [sniffle]
I think most of my friends ate their choco boxes by themeselves in 1-2 days. It's the only way to go!
Tina: Kitties, sheepies, and dumplings!...wait, dumplies!...wait, dumpies! Dumps. Uh. Yup!
We have to go fooding together sometime this semester!
Ahh, I've started packing my stuff today for moving and as usual, it's a lot more than I envisioned. Cooking supplies alone take up so much space. Just another reason why I SHOULDN'T COOK (I rarely do anyway!).
tristan!: I'm cloaked in fat, not mystery.
Yes yes, I DID want the burger...I felt really dump for ordering so many dumplings! We should've done a TASTING! I BOUGHT A MOUNTAIN!!@#@!
Oh yes, everyone, Tristan is a dumb gringo! Hehe. Hehehehe. Aw.
Lauren: OH YES, I remember that tea name! I totally laughed at it.
Lorelei: ARAGHR, I MUST GO BACK, NEED MORE FOODZ, MUST STUFF SELF.
i adore you and i adore your blog. keep writing, it's sooooooooooooooooooo adorable (of course).
Unrelated to this post, I went to the "macaron" page on the wiki and was thinking Hmmmm... that picture looks familiar. Only when I clicked on it, I saw that it was yours, haha. It felt odd.
Kia: Thanks! I have to try to be adorable. It's so...not natural.
Monica: Haha, yes, I tried to make wikipedia a little prettier. :)
Ah! I totally live in VA, just a few minutes from Eden Center too. If you ever come and visit again, let me know because there's this awesome bakery called Le Matins de Paris in Annandale that's pretty good (lots of pastries and yummy desserts). Oh, and coincidentally, I also go to school in C'ville, so I've been to all the places that you mentioned in your blog (although how did they neglect to take you to Splendora's? It's fantastic gelato...mmm). Lime Leaf is also a really great Thai restaurant in C'ville. Man, if only you came during the spring semester. The fooding places that I could've taken you :).
Viola: Believe me, I WANTED to go to Splendora's, but I also wanted to not explode. However, Tristan and Nathan tried to shield me from seeing the Splendora's sign since, even in my overstuffed state, I kept going, "Mm, gelaatooo, gellaaatooo oo o oo o gimme" and they knew I probably could've stuffed down some my throat if I really wanted to.
So as if I didn't already have enough reason to want to go to C'ville, YOU HAVE JUST GIVEN ME MORE, mooore, ohh dammit. A bit of googling tells me that Le Matin de Paris is a Korean bakery ...in Koreatown...DAMMIT, I WANT TO GO.
If I go back to C'ville, it wouldn't be for a while. Earliest in the summer, latest, neverrr. Let's hope for summer. I NEEDS ME SOME GELATO.
I'm a fan of your blog, and was surprised to see that you visited a favorite place and city in Virginia of mine.Yay!
The best place for Vietnamese sandwiches in Virginia come from Banh Mi Ba Le which is also a franchise. Just seeing pictures you posted of the sandwich made me drool (although the smell of food nauseates me right now).
Next time you're in C-ville, you should try out a place called Shebeen. I make an annual pilgrimmage to C-ville just for Shebeen *drool*.
I agree with Viola. Le Matin de Paris is tastylectable, but I actually prefer Shilla - also a Korean bakery in Koreatown in Annandale. Shilla also makes these genius little mochi that are 60% gooey sticky rice goodness. (I prefer my mochi to be more goolicious, and less beany.) Man, Koreatown is awesome and fattening.
Eden Center also has Maria('s Bakery), which carries awesome Vietnamese pastries and cakes and buns.
Though I love living in Alexandria, I have yet to find a good gelato place. But we have frozen custard, which fills the lack. The Dairy Godmother, aka Del Ray Dreamery, aka That custard place in Del Ray, is close to my place, which is awesome. What's not awesome is it's closed till Feb while the owner takes a well deserved break.
Come visit the area again, and I will treat you to custard and cake.
Linh: Ahh, more recommendations, oh my god! ;) If I go back to VA I'll have to stay there for two weeks to try everything. Shebeen looks pretty cool, I'd love to try it. :D
Lorelei: My god, if only I knew about K-town beforehand. (sigh) I loves da mochi.
The Dairy Godmother? THAT IS ADORABLE. I really realllly wanna try awesome frozen custard someday. Ahhh, hearing about all this food is torturous! Which I know is silly considering all the stuff I eat, but...um. Ummmm. UHH I WANT CUSTARD.
And cake. :]
I can't believe you went to C'ville! That's where I went to school and developed my love for both science and donuts. I used to eat at Marco and Luca's like five times a week and only wish I could have caught you sooner, so you could've scored some freshly-fried Spudnuts - the best donuts in the world. They're made from potato flour instead of wheat. Amazing. And the Tea Bazaar is nice as well...pretty decent tea, food and beer (i don't like un-iced tea though) and good music. Saw a great Castinets show there and a slew of other avant folkies. That's all.
AHHH!!! I can't believe you were visiting Charlottesville in January! I love M&L. And second the votes for Splendora's in Charlottesville and Shilla in Annandale. If you're ever back around here, I'd love to meet you sometime. I graduated from UVA in 2006 and have been going through your archives the past few weeks at work because your photography is GORGEOUS.
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If you comment under your business's name, I will unpublish your comment. I'll unpublish anything that looks overly self-promotional or doesn't appear to be from a real human. This only applies to 0.5% of you guys; as for the rest of you, stay awesome.
If you have something to ask me that's unrelated to this entry, please email me instead.