Sunday, July 3, 2011

Friday June 24th - Diners, Dives and Cupcakes!

Guess where we were!
Last week,  my wife Gillian and I were in Toronto makin' Tofu. Now rewind two weeks to when we visited our neighbouring nation's capitol! We drove nine and a half hours, along with my Friday cooking partner Sivan, to visit one of our friends who was working down there for the summer. Along the way we tried to hit as many TV-famous places as our stomachs would allow! 

Stop #1: The Dining Car, Somewhere near Philadelphia

I cannot resist trying the items seen on the show, especially if Guy Fieri makes a "OMG-this-is-delicious-sound" when he tastes it. So I got the creamed chipped beef, which is roast beef sliced up into little squares. This gets fried up so they're like little chips and then they get covered in cream. It actually looks and sounds pretty plain but it does in fact taste quite good. I also got my first taste of grits, which kind of didn't taste like much of anything.
Creamed Chipped Beef served on Toast
The other two ordered chocolate chip pancakes and french toast (with real vanilla bean!). The Dining Car had the definite charm of an actual dining car, since it is a dining car. Its vast menu of comfort food items had us super excited to eat and we loved the classic look inside the car itself. I didn't end up trying to the scrapple though. 

Stop #2: Chap's Pit Beef, right outside Baltimore 
My reuben. I miss that sandwich and the 1000 island sauce..
A big hunk of beef roasted on a pit full of charcoal, the outside a crispy, charred coat, while the inside contains every rareness of beef conceivable to human kind. Just ask for your preferred doneness, they'll slice at the right spot, throw it between some crispy, grilled bread, smear on a dollop of horse radish and viola! Best sandwich ever. 
Sandwiches + mac & cheese, beans, fries, coleslaw. Yum.

This place was definitely a dive, located smack in between a 24 hour adult video store and a gentleman's club but man, is it ever good food.

Stop #3: Tune Inn, Washington D.C. (It would seem that at the time of writing this, the restaurant had caught fire. I guess we had good timing and I hope they recover quickly.)

I just finished The Lost Symbol, this morning and I'm convinced that Dan Brown had it all wrong. I don't want to say too much, but I'm pretty sure the hidden treasure of Ancient Mysteries in D.C is found at the Tune Inn, just behind the Library of Congress. 

The secret hides within the pyramid.
We, or maybe I, came here for the famed beer-battered burger but while here, we found a hidden treasure (to us Canadians) known only as Mac & Cheese Wedges. Deep fried Mac & Cheese served with salsa ranch dipping sauce which can only be described as wow! Crispy on the outside, gooey and cheesy on the inside.
Robert Langdon, eat your heart out. Though, maybe
that's what I just did...
Then there was also a delicious sandwich known as Joe's West Virginia, roast beef, american cheese, signature sauce on grilled rye. Like a grilled cheese, with meat...and sauce. Excellent! Though I would still say my reuben from Chap's was better.

Finally, we come to one of the greatest burgers ever. Beer battered, and cooked to a medium doneness. There was nothing else particularly special added to the burger but it tasted great. The added crunch from the battered shell, followed by the tender, juicy burger is a combination that I had only ever dreamed of.

Missed Opportunity #1: Grubby's? In Baltimore.

The picture says it all. And I passed up the chance to eat it.

Stop #4: Georgetown Cupcakes in Georgetown D.C.

After an hour long line-up, we cut the seal on this box.

Gillian claims she can never eat cupcakes again after this experience because no cupcake will ever be able to top these. I'm not sure I agree with never eating cupcakes again but I do agree that these cupcakes were worth waiting an hour in line for. Especially that strawberry one in the top right corner. All of them were so perfectly made, incredibly moist and not too much icing, just enough to be simply awesome.

so delicious and moist


  1. Wow, that's quite the collection of eateries. Deep fried mac and cheese just takes things a little too far, though. I was with you for chipped beef, but really, my heart stopped (due to clogged arteries) with the mac and cheese! :-D

    And what about making tofu, then?

  2. I would eat THOSE cupcakes again. But I think the likelihood of getting there again in my lifetime is probably small.