Tag Archives: food

Opening day at Wegmans

The new Wegmans at the Woodmore Towne Centre in Glenarden/Lanham/Largo/Mitchellville/Upper Marlboro (did I forget one?) finally opened yesterday morning.

I wasn’t one of the 1,500 people who were there by the 7:00am opening. I got there around 9:15am. Getting there wasn’t a problem. The police were directing traffic at the intersection of St. Joseph’s Drive and Route 202 (Landover Road). But once you got into the shopping center there were plenty of cars and the Wegmans parking lot is huge. Thankfully they had the police and other folks directing traffic within the shopping center as well. While driving I noticed that the Costco gas station was open. Costco opens tomorrow.

The first chore was trying to find a parking space. After driving around I finally found one. The second chore was trying to find a big shopping cart cause I had some serious grocery shopping to do 🙂 They had several types of shopping carts and the one I was looking for was difficult to find. That’s how busy they were. I finally followed an employee who was putting a cart back.

I usually do my grocery shopping at Giant on Saturdays but since Wegmans was opening I decided to wait until yesterday. Once I got in, OMG I was in awe. Wegmans is huge. And of course it was so crowded you really had to maneuver your shopping cart around so you wouldn’t run into other shoppers. I was a very patient person since I got there early and took my time getting around the store. I tried to go down as many aisles as I could but that was somewhat difficult due to the crowds. I did notice that the produce area was one of the most crowded. But I made my way through so I could buy my greens 😉 They had regular and organic greens.

The Food Bar areas were even more crowded than the grocery area. The Food Bar areas include the Asian Bar, Vegetarian Bar, Fresh Food Bar, Veggie Bar, places that sell pizza, subs, sushi and coffee, the prepared food area and the Market Café. I did try out the Asian food bar and the food was very good.

There were quite a number of grocery items I bought that were cheaper than the prices at Giant. Uh oh!!! I was glad to see that they had a variety of brands including name brands and Wegmans brand. Overall I really enjoyed my shopping adventure even if it was extremely crowded. I was there for over an hour. I’m hoping that next time I go there which will probably be this Saturday it won’t be as crowded as opening day. That way I can really take my time, go down every single aisle and check out the areas that I missed out on yesterday including the Seafood area. I’m gonna try my best to stay away from the bakery area but that might be a difficult task 😉

The Woodmore Wegmans is located at 9001 McHugh Drive in Lanham, Maryland. If you’re taking the Beltway take Exit 17A to Landover Road (Route 202 East). You will make a left at the first light which is St. Josephs Drive.

Craving for cupcakes Part 2

I finally got a chance to watch the TLC reality show D.C. Cupcakes.  TLC had a D.C. Cupcake marathon yesterday so I recorded the shows.  I missed D.C. Cupcakes when it first premiered in July. The Washington Post and the Washington Post Express had articles about their store last month and I mentioned the articles in my blog.

Georgetown Cupcake is owned by sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne.

Watching this show made me realize that owning a cupcake store isn’t as easy as I thought. You never know when someone will ask for a special order and expect to have it ready within 24 hours.

I couldn’t believe how hungry I got from watching this show. I probably gained 10 pounds just from looking at all those cupcakes 😉  Luckily I have no plans of driving down to Georgetown to buy cupcakes.  And hopefully they won’t think about building a store close to a metro stop or I’m in trouble.  Unfortunately they do deliver and ship orders.  I am strong and I can resist 😦

National Cheesecake Day

Tomorrow, July 30th is National Cheesecake Day. The Cheesecake Factory is offering half price for any slice of cheesecake for folks who dine in at the restaurant.

National Cheesecake Day is July 30 and The Cheesecake Factory is Offering Any Slice for Half Price

25 Cents from Each Slice of the New Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake Donated to Feeding America for One Year

Friday, July 30 is National Cheesecake Day and The Cheesecake Factory is celebrating by offering guests who dine in any slice for half price. Choose from more than 30 flavors!

The Cheesecake Factory will debut its newest flavor – Reese’s
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake – featuring chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups baked in Original Cheesecake with layers of delicious Fudge Cake and Caramel. For every slice of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake sold over the next year, 25 cents will be donated to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. The Cheesecake Factory has donated more than $1.2 million to Feeding America over the past two years.

Here’s the Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake.

That looks yummy!!! Can’t wait until tomorrow 🙂

Down home with the Neelys

USA Today has an interesting article about the Food Network’s Gina and Pat Neely.

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Down Home With the Neelys appears on the Food Network at 11:00am Saturdays and repeated throughout the week.  The Neelys are currently on a book tour promoting their new book Down Home with the Neelys:  A Southern Family Cookbook, which you can find at Amazon.com.

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Family is a key ingredient in the Neelys’ BBQ success

By Dennis Moore, USA TODAY

Grandma Jean’s potato salad. Grandma Rena’s deep-fried pork chops and quick vegetable soup. Aunt Faye’s chicken with scallion dumplings. Momma Daisy’s peach and blackberry cobbler. Mamma Neely’s Sock-It-to-Me Cake. And Memphis-style barbecue ribs.

Those family recipes have been passed down to the Food Network’s saucy stars Patrick and Gina Neely and are included in a new book they’re touring the country to promote, Down Home With the Neelys (Knopf, $27.95). More than 120 recipes, leading off with their famous barbecue seasoning and sauce, are introduced with a bit of family history, photos and humor.

“We’re no different from the typical family from the South,” says Pat, 44. “There, everybody can tell you about a dish that their grandmother, mother and aunt made.

“We were home-schooled in cooking,” he says.

The Neelys are best known for their barbecue, prepared “dry,” with a mixture of spices rubbed onto the meat, or “wet,” basted with a sweet and tangy sauce — and sometimes both — in their three restaurants in Memphis and Nashville.

Tony Neely, Pat’s brother, offers tips in the book for backyard barbecuing this summer. Most important: Go low and slow, cooking away from the fire using indirect heat. When seasoning meat, earlier is better, he says, even the night before. And if you throw a slab of ribs on the grill, cook them curl-side up to allow juices to gather in the center of the curl. Flip once, halfway or three-quarters of the way through cooking.

Pat and Tony’s ribs won a contest for the best in Memphis in 1997, which led to their appearance on the Today show. But the Neelys’ barbecuing isn’t limited to traditional ribs, chicken and another Memphis favorite, pulled-pork sandwiches. Pat and Gina have shared recipes for barbecue spaghetti on CBS’ The Early Show and barbecue nachos on ABC’s Good Morning America.

The article also mentions their family including their two children, how they got into the barbecue business and how they landed their Food Network series. You can click here to read the entire USA Today article and check out their Neelys Bar_B_Que website.

I got a serious craving for barbecue after reading this article. 🙂

Heart Attack on a Plate

Take a look at this burger!!

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Now who wants to take a bite outta this?  It’s called the Heart Attack on a Plate sandwich which you can find at Mother’s Federal Hill Grille in Baltimore.  The Heart Attack on a Plate sandwich was named by Food Network Magazine as the ultimate burger in Maryland.

Deep-fried sandwich is Md.’s ‘ultimate’ burger
Heart Attack on a Plate at Mother’s gets noticed

By Rob Kasper

May 13, 2009

When Food Network Magazine named the Heart Attack on a Plate sandwich at Mother’s Federal Hill Grille as the ultimate burger in Maryland, I had to try it. The magazine’s June/July issue, now on newsstands, picked 50 favorite burgers, one in each of the 50 states.

After all, almost every American eats burgers, including two guys at the top of the nation’s food chain, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The other day, these two leaders of the free world scooted out of the White House to chow down on burgers for lunch at Ray’s Hell-Burger in Arlington, Va. Ray’s was the magazine’s top burger joint for the state of Virginia.

Maile Carpenter, editor in chief, told me the magazine was looking for interesting burgers. “We were careful with the wording; we did not say ‘best.’ The idea was to identify the burger you had to try if you visited that state,” she said.

The Mother’s burger is unusual. It is an 8-ounce patty of ground round chuck, stuffed with cheddar cheese, covered with a Cajun batter, and – are you ready for this – deep-fried. That explains the name.

When relaying an order to the kitchen, the staff at Mother’s simply call it “a heart attack,” as in “Gimme two heart attacks.”

It is fried in canola oil, which is better for you than frying in peanut oil, but I doubt that this treatment makes the burger health food.

Since President Obama and Vice President Biden checked out Ray’s Hell-Burger in Arlington, maybe one day they can take an extended lunch hour, hop on I-95 with their crew to Baltimore and check out this burger. Just make sure the Prez doesn’t ask for Dijon mustard on his burger or all hell will break loose amongst the conservatives 😉

Michelle Singletary’s life lessons

Usually when you think of Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary you think personal finance in the Business section of the Washington Post, not home cooking. While checking out the Food section I had to do a double take. I thought for sure they placed Michelle’s column in the wrong section of the paper. But no, she wrote a article in the Food section of today’s paper about cooking for home and how that brings families closer together.

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If Big Mama Could See Me Now
What I’ve Learned About Life From Cooking at Home

By Michelle Singletary
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Girl, I’ll probably take some heat for this, but I’m going to say it anyway: Far too many of us view cooking as subservient. We — and I can say that because I was once one of you — proudly tell prospective husbands that we don’t do cooking.

As I got older and bolder, I would boast to Big Mama, my grandmother, that I wasn’t going to “slave” in the kitchen for anybody. If my man wants a meal, he can cook it himself, I told her. She would shake her head in disapproval.

I was sadly, selfishly wrong. What I didn’t think about was the family I’d have one day: Who was going to prepare home-cooked meals for them?

Certainly, fathers cook. But I get it now. I understand the nurturing that happens when a parent — especially a mom — cooks and serves a meal.

Studies and statistics support the effort. Compared with teens who frequently eat dinner with their families, those who rarely sit down to family meals are 3 1/2 times as likely to have abused prescription drugs or an illegal drug other than marijuana, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

As it happens, the recession has forced many families to cut back on eating out. The number of restaurant visits in the United States has been trending down since the first quarter of 2006, decreasing as much as 10 percent during one quarter last year, according to Decision Analyst, a Dallas-Fort Worth marketing research and consulting firm.

Because I write The Post’s Color of Money personal finance column, I’ve seen the high cost of eating out. Dozens of readers regularly tell me that their budgets get busted by frequent restaurant visits.

If you shop well, you can cook at home for less money. But there’s another important benefit and blessing that is priceless: Having family meals at the same time, at the same table is a way to keep the family healthy and close. I just wish I had understood that earlier in my marriage and motherhood.

Some of the best times I’ve had in my home with my kids and husband have occurred around the preparation or consumption of a meal. We have to teach our children how to cook, so they can cook for their families and minister to their needs.

Check out Michelle’s article here. That low fat casserole dish sounds really good. I might have to try it.

Obama and Biden’s burger run

I had a good laugh reading the Washington Post this morning. They had a front page story in the Style section about President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden heading out to Arlington, VA for lunch.  Obama and Biden chowed down at Ray’s Hell Burger. I’ve never heard of this place but how can you have a restaurant that sells burgers but not french fries?

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Say Cheese: Obama Lunch Turns Juicy Eat-and-Greet

By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Their standing weekly lunch is served by butlers on the finest china in a private White House dining room. President Obama and Vice President Biden sit at opposite ends of a polished mahogany table, a golden chandelier hanging overhead and a cerebral John Quincy Adams staring down at them from a portrait.

Yesterday, however, Barack and Joe wanted to show they’re still in touch with the people — and what better way than waiting in line for a big juicy burger. An aide knew just the spot. So at 12:26 p.m., they hopped in their motorcade, zoomed across the Potomac River into Virginia, and pulled up outside 1713 Wilson Blvd. The popular joint in a plain Arlington strip mall has no sign, but neighbors know it as the home of Ray’s Hell Burger, and the spot is beloved as much for its premium aged 10-ounce hamburgers as for its bare-bones decor.

The world’s most powerful man, and the guy a heartbeat away, waited patiently in a single-file line as the lunch crowd gawked — and as two customers in front of them at the counter pondered the menu leisurely, apparently oblivious to whom they were holding up. Then it came time to order.

Obama tilted his head to read the menu, but took a pass on Ray’s specialty burgers, like the “Let’s Get It On,” or the $17.50 burger with foie gras and white truffle oil. Obama, customer No. 42, opted for something more simple: “Your basic cheddar cheeseburger, medium well.”

No ketchup, the president said, but lettuce and tomato. And: “Have you got a spicy mustard or somethin’ like that? A Dijon mustard?”

Biden ordered a Swiss cheeseburger with jalapeno peppers and ketchup, medium well, and a root beer.

“Are your fries pretty good? Can you vouch for your fries?” Obama asked.

Ray’s doesn’t do fries, said the guy behind the counter, Tim Murray. But Murray suggested the president try “Cheesy Tater Puffs,” which are pureed potatoes with cheddar cheese and chives flash-fried like Tater Tots. Obama looked skeptical, but asked for one order for him and Biden to share.

Looks like their visit has increased business at Ray’s. Even the county health inspector came by to check the place out, lol.

ARLINGTON, Va. – It’s a burger that has won many “best of” awards and today the lines were long at Arlington’s Ray’s Hell Burger, the burger joint the president and vice president visited Tuesday.

The manager says every day is busy but President Obama’s decision to grab lunch there with Vice President Joe Biden made Wednesday’s lines even longer.

“My husband told me that Biden and Obama came yesterday and I thought, ‘well that’s a great reason to come,'” said Jean Cartwright, a customer

It probably wasn’t a coincidence that the day after the president dined at Ray’s, a county health inspector showed up to check on conditions at the restaurant. Apparently they passed and it’s a good thing too as many people were still waiting in line late in the afternoon.

Check out what others have to say about yesterday’s burger run:

Daily DC Item: If Obama Likes Hell Burger- Maybe I Do Need To Give It Another Try

Barack and Joe go to White Castle… I mean, Ray’s Hell Burger

Making homemade baby food

More moms and dads are making homemade baby food for their little ones. The Food Section of the Washington Post talks about this.

The cover girl on the Food Section of today’s Post is 8 month old Maya Walker who lives in Maryland with her parents. Isn’t she adorable?

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Baby, That’s Good
Homemade Food Has Practical Appeal

By Bonnie S. Benwick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A bustling crowd of 50 or so has filled the seats in Art and Soul’s private dining room on a chilly Saturday morning. Soon the wait staff streams in with trays of marinated shrimp and fried balls of mac and cheese. Tempting, yet no immediate takers.

Instead, attention is fixed on Ryan Morgan, the friendly executive chef of this Capitol Hill hotel restaurant. The dish he is demonstrating smells earthy and rich. He has used butter and garlic, thyme and cremini mushrooms, pearl barley and a house-made vegetable broth.

It is baby’s first “risotto,” he says, and that makes the grown-ups giggle.

Moms and dads of the mostly stay-put set (8 months and younger; about a dozen total in tow) plus a few parents-to-be have come to find out whether making baby food is something they can handle. Their specific reasons represent the voices of a food nation in a recession, with issues:

“My daughter won’t eat pre-made baby food.”

“It’s bland and boring.”

“Mine has a lot of food allergies.”

“We want our kid to eat organic, too.”

“We want to save money.”

Making baby food, or even buying it, can be daunting to new parents. It’s a whole other realm of concern and responsibility that is building small organic brands and has driven the big names in baby food, such as Gerber, to launch organic lines of their own. Then again, to some parents it is as simple as giving children just about whatever is on the grown-ups’ plates.

You can read the entire article here.

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