Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Taste Test Quest...and Willie Nelson?!

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hosting a friend of Tim's from high school, Willie. He was with us for several days and we were able to try many new restaurants and see some great sites.

One afternoon, we decided to go to Georgetown. It's a pretty amazing place, full of restaurants, shops, and, of course, lots of history. It is also the home of the famous "Georgetown Cupcake," which has it's own show on TLC called "DC Cupcake." Most of the time, in my opinion, when people really talk up a certain restaurant/shop, it  never seems to deliver quite the "hoop-la" I would expect. But perhaps that's the problem...maybe my expectations are too high? Nevertheless, with that in mind (along with my secret love of cupcakes) I had a brilliant idea to go on a "taste test quest" for the best cupcake in Georgetown! Along with Georgetown Cupcake, there were two other places I wanted to compare, Baked & Wired and Sprinkles. After polling the boys (Tim's friend Steven--see below--joined the group as well) on flavor preference, we decided on strawberry. 

First stop, Baked & Wired for their strawberry cupcake! My thoughts: Huge, easy to peel off the paper, very sweet frosting, rather crumbly when cut/bit into. It was good, but pretty average, in my opinion.

Baked & Wired

Next stop, Sprinkles! I have seen their mixes in the stores and was so eager to try their cake! My thoughts: Waaaawaaa...disappointment. They didn't have strawberry cupcakes! So instead, we tried the peanut butter and chocolate: very dry, below average in taste. Not impressed. And my strawberry streak had already been broken. Crap. Cool wooden spoons, though!


And finally, the one I'd been waiting for...Georgetown Cupcaaa....akkkeee??!?! Holy Moly! There were probably 80 people in line! I decided I wouldn't make the boys wait in line on a hot Sunday afternoon (eventually it clicked that it was also Mother's Day). Rain check on GC...

The next weekend, Tim and I traveled to Fredricksburg, Virginia for the Historic Half and Semper Fred 5K race! This was my very first race and I ran it with my friend Jill and her 4 kids. I have to say, I think I'm hooked. :) The coolness of the morning air, the adrenaline rush of thousands of other runners, the military men and women everywhere, the bands at every was incredible. We had a blast!

Tim and I with Noah, Hannah, & Hope

While we were at the Running Expo right before the race, we happen to be talking to one of the vendors who asked us if we wanted tickets to the Willie Nelson concert that night. Umm...sure?!  So off we went, to see ol' Willie...what an interesting experience (mainly the spectators), but we had a fun!

Now I know some of you are wondering if I ever went back and experienced Georgetown Cupcake. I did! One night we met up with our friends Matt and Rebekah for dinner and went to GC afterwards. Fortunately, there was only a small line so we got in pretty quickly...but unfortunately, they didn't have strawberry! So much for my "taste test quest" of finding the best strawberry cupcake. Anyway, Tim and I decided to try three flavors: their famous red velvet, coconut, and chocolate squared. The verdict? They were all insanely delicious! Very moist, melt-in-your-mouth delectable. We definitely plan to go back. :)

Rebekah and Matt tasting the coconut cupcake!

So even though my original plan was a flop...we still got to experience all kinds of delicious cupcakes in Georgetown!

As I mentioned earlier, Georgetown has quite the selection of restaurants. One in particular is Filomena Ristorante. As I asked around to friends and co-workers about this place, I found I got the same reaction every time. They all dropped whatever they were doing and dove into a 5 minutes spiel about how it is "THE BEST pasta IN THE WORLD."  Hm... ok. We'll see about that. We met up with my co-worker Amanda and her boyfriend Matt for a double date with Miss Filomena and her pasta. 

The restaurant is located behind a quaint little storefront on Wisconsin street. If you blink, you may miss it. I did the first time (in fact, we walked right past it with Willie). 

Did I mention they have "pasta mammas" in the front window who hand-make all the pasta from scratch?!? I ordered the gnocchi with their famous marinara sauce, and Tim had the Manicotti Di Quattro Formaggio, which is allegedly Harrison Ford's favorite. Our thoughts? We think they probably serve Filomena's in heaven. IT WAS SO AMAZING. The pasta was fresh and light. The marinara had a delicious, fresh, piquant aroma and the flavors literally did a dance on my tongue. There really are no words to describe the experience. Did I mention the mixed berry cheesecake? You have got to try it. I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake but it definitely stole my heart! So if you ever visit Georgetown, be sure to make a reservation at Filomena's!

On the weekends, Tim often runs with his friend Steven, who is also training for the Marine Corp Marathon in October. A few weekends ago, they decided to do a long run along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath (commonly referred to as just the "C&O Canal") and the plan was for Steven's wife, Starr, and me to meet them at the end. The day was beautiful and the boys successfully completed their 16-mile trail run!

Way to go Steven and Tim!
We celebrated by going to Founding Farmers in Park Potomac, Maryland. They have an extensive menu with unique selections, all made from scratch in-house with local ingredients. As I scanned the menu for vegan options, I came across the "Vegan Bacon Burger." Oh, I just had to try it! Tim and Steven wanted to record me ordering a "bacon burger," as I don't know if those words have ever come out of my mouth when ordering at a restaurant! Let me tell you, it was quite was a barbeque burger made with black beans and grains with a smokey-flavored tofu "bacon." Did it taste like the real thing? Probably not, but I'm pretty sure Tim liked it better than his pancakes and eggs. :)

Before I end this post, I have to do a shout out to my new favorite company, I had been searching and searching for dry roasted edamame in bulk and I finally found it! Not only do they have nuts, but also a gigantic collection of organic, raw, gluten-free and "regular" dried fruit, trail mixes, baking supplies, chocolates, coffee, protein powders, etc. etc. etc! They are such a fun, personable company...something you do not often find. They even included a free sample of apricots along with my 5 pounds of edamame and Turkish figs! I felt like a kid at Christmas. The way they treat their customers brings a smile to my face...the last email shipment confirmation started out this way, "Well hello again, nutty Asha!" Cheesy? Sure. Awesome? Most definitely. If you need more opinions, ask my mom, who is probably awake 24/7 because she is addicted to their butter rum coffee... :)

I'll leave you with this...a sunrise over the Potomac. Tim and I woke up at 5am one Saturday morning to see it! Thank you Lord for making the earth so beautiful!


  1. LOVE all your posts about food :) Can I come visit to go on a cupcake quest with you?

  2. Fun pictures and for some reason, I'm craving cupcakes right now:)! LYM