Follow the culinary adventures and misadventures of the Cooking Agents (Ray and Katie). Watch as we eat/cook our way into adulthood.
I like Kentucky Fried Chicken. There, I said it. Of all the fast food chains I’ve eaten at growing up, KFC was the most welcomed by my parents because of the non sandwich/burger centric menu items. It was a nice break from my dad’s cooking and having actual American food. No over salted fried rice or spinach here, just oil and grease, thank you very much. Come to think of it, I can’t recall a single menu item that I truly hated. Fried chicken, good. Crispy strips, good. Mashed potatoes with gravy, good. Biscuits, good. Honey BBQ Wings, super duper good. The cole slaw is still the standard for all cole slaw in my book. The weaker items included corn on the cob that was watery and over cooked and the roasted chicken that was discontinued. See what happens when you don’t fry something, KFC?
Serious Eats recently had a fast food wing taste test in which KFC’s wings won 2 out of the 5 categories. Popeyes won one as well for their sauce-less wings. Last week while I was at home, I sneaked in a few wings for lunch and they still taste as good as I remembered. Sadly and luckily, I don’t really have access to KFC’s in either Boston or DC for liking KFC is my foodie sin that I will have to shamefully accept.
Honey BBQ Wings from Serious Eats’ Fast Food Wings Taste Test
On Thursday, I had my goodbye happy hour at PF Chang’s after one of the office standbys Lia’s looked like there was dinner service in the bar area. This also happened to be my first time at PF Chang’s, and I was glad to finally give upscale Chinese American food a try. With a couple of bottles of PBR and PF Chang’s signature chicken lettuce wraps, I was able to go home to a blacked out, cold apartment full and warm. I am personally a fan of Cheesecake Factory and PF Chang’s earned some points in my booked as the Asian equivalent.
After my last day at work, I had dinner with a friend and former co-worker at The General Store. This also helped me knock off my last coupon. The General Store certainly lived up to the term “hole in the wall,” though “hole in the middle of the woods” would also be accurate. At one point I was accused of directing my friends in to the middle of the woods to kill her. Opps? The restaurant was a converted post office and was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives like Comet Ping Pong, but was able to deliver on a good meal. We both ordered the Fried Chicken Dinner with Mac n Cheese. The meal also came with two pieces of cornbread. We followed with a large slice of Lemon Chess Pie. One thing to keep in mind is that the fried chicken is first fried and then baked, so it may not be as hot. The pie was easily the star of the meal. If you have a car and want a mini-adventure to the suburbs, I would give The General Store a shot.
Fried Chicken Dinner and Lemon Chess Pie from The General Store
Saturday was originally suppose to be move out day, but now that I had an extra day to pack, I decided to hit up Bethesda at some places I never got the chance to visit. For lunch, I had a Double Double (sandwich with two kinds of meat and cole slaw) at Uptown Deli. Given that this was a new Jewish deli, I selected pastrami and brisket. Both were good though I wish the pastrami would have been cut thicker and the brisket more tender. However, Uptown deli was a huge upgrade over the now gone Morty’s Deli two Red Line stops away.
For dinner, I hit up Hinata Sushi Carry Out. Hinata is a small (really small) Japanese grocery store with 3 aisles less than 10 feet long with a Sushi counter in the back. One convenient note is that they sell sushi grade fish by the pound, which I felt bad for not being able to utilize sooner although $40/lbs of fish doesn’t really help you save even if you are eating at home. The sushi was somewhat disappointing, though rolls were under $5. I would recommend ordering one of the preset sushi platters rather than ordering a la carte. In addition, I was able to pick up a couple of Japanese snacks like Almond Pocky and a Lychee drink.
Sushi from Hinata and Brunch at Cafe Deluxe
Ironically, my final meal in the DC area was brunch (with women) at Cafe Deluxe. Although this was my suggestion due to the fact that my parents would be arriving around lunch. We each ordered the Deluxe breakfast that came with scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, and a biscuit. The breakfast was good, but the eggs and home fries lacked any seasoning, so a couple dashes of salt were required, but overall a great meal to fuel me for the move.
I think that for as much as I knocked DC, I’ll still look back with enough good memories. The food culture has grown for the better in the last 2.5 years with the addition of Obama and Sam Kass, an influx of celebrity chef restaurants, burger/cupcake/frozen yogurt/food truck boom mixed with DC’s own staples (Ethiopian, soul food, Ben’s Chili Bowl, steakhouses) and local chefs (Michel Richard, Michael Landrum). I hope that I won’t be missing out on too much of the action, but I am eager to get reacquainted with the best of New England. So good bye DC, it’s been real, but you still have a ways to go before you’re among the elite dining cities.