‘The Foodening’

Urban Plates

Posted: 1st November 2019 by doomthings in The Foodening
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Montgomery Mall Food Court, Bethesda Maryland

Urban Plates is a cafeteria-style “good food fast” place perfect for a food court setting.  The staff are delightful and the line is quick!

Macaroni and Cheese

The texture of the cheese reminded me of the mac and cheese my mom used to make.  It feels creamy with a hint of flour base with the tang of extra sharp cheddar.  The cheese-to-pasta ratio is a little high than other mac and cheese dishes in this blog, but I personally have no issues with that!

What’s Up

It may not be as creamy as Panera Bread’s Vermont cheddar mac but the taste of home and delicious cheddar tang is excellent. Their mac and cheese is actually a side, not a main dish, but works all by itself nonetheless.

Godiva Chocolatier

Posted: 25th October 2019 by doomthings in The Foodening

Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Virginia

Tysons Corner Center is full of interesting stores, many that come and go, but the sweets and treats shops are my favorite, because they tend to stave off “mall headache”, an affliction known for affecting those in malls who do not want to be there.

Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

This hot chocolate was fantastic.  It seemed to be made of chopped up Godiva chocolate (as opposed to a pre-made syrup, I’ll need to watch more carefully next time) blended with hot milk.  Honestly expecting a syrup style blend, I was very pleasantly surprised by the creaminess and non-chemical chocolate taste.

Often the whipped cream and chocolate layers are distinctly separate, but in this drink I couldn’t tell where the whip ended and the chocolate began.  The creamy feel persisted through the very last drop.

What’s Up

If you find yourself wandering the stores of Tysons Corner, and are in need of a warm drink, definitely stop by the Godiva store for a perfectly cromulent hot chocolate!

Pret A Manger

Posted: 14th September 2019 by doomthings in The Foodening
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Delaware House Travel Plaza, Newark, DE

The travel plazas up and down route 95 on the east coast are great! They can be accessed from either direction, have clean bathrooms, gas stations, and a plethora of food options. This is where I came across Pret A Manger.

Hot Chocolate

It was chocolate water and with that bitter cocoa feel like Starbucks hot chocolate but without actual flavor.  Needs salt.

I found at the end of the drink that they didn’t stir all the chocolate in, from the mound of chocolate goo at the bottom, so perhaps it was actually better? Lesson learned, always re-stir your hot chocolate!

Spinach and Tomato Mac and Cheese

It was super creamy, made with small tube pasta, whole grape tomatoes, and lines of spinach.  Very flavorful. I destroyed it before I could take a picture, soooo, here’s the empty box.

What’s Up

Because the hot chocolate wasn’t stirred up all the way, the jury is still out on whether it would still taste like chocolate water. The Mac and cheese, however, was delicious and I look forward to coming across another Pret A Manger cuz that is definitely what I’ll be ordering!

Newk’s Eatery

Posted: 14th September 2019 by doomthings in The Foodening
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Sterling, Virginia

This place is a chain that has a very similar model to Panera Bread, but with an updated fresh look and apparently a bunch of complimentary toppings, which we didn’t use. The one we went to had just opened, so one of the staff handed out menus while we waited in line to order. That may or may not continue to be a thing in the future.

I made the mistake of getting both a grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese.  But they had a two-fer deal (like Panera Bread) so I was doomed at the start. Now I have the tummy rumblin’s.  But FOR SCIENCE!

Pimiento Cheese Sandwich

It was basically a grilled cheese, but with pimiento cheese and a slice of tomato sandwiched (PUN!) between two very Panera Bread-like slices of sourdough.

It was flavorful, but very greasy. So much so that it dripped out of the sandwich by itself, and sometimes with some dripping cheese as well. Honestly, the downfall of this sandwich is it has a little too much cheese, if there even is such a thing. Even as a cheese fiend, I know when my body has had enough cheese. I will fight you.

5 Cheese Mac and Cheese

Very creamy but has that slight chemically taste similar to other chain style restaurants.  Also a little on the greasy side, but still hit the spot.

What’s up

I probably wouldn’t eat the sandwich again.  It’s not bad, and is interesting, but the greasiness unsettled my innards and they don’t stand out.  The mac and cheese, on the other hand, won me over with it’s creaminess.

Blue Blinds Bakery

Posted: 4th September 2019 by doomthings in The Foodening
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Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts

This is a cute little bakery that offers breakfast, lunch, and a wide variety of fresh bakery items including loaves of yeasted and quick breads, croissants, cookies, and more. There are a number of cute tables and a couch inside what was once a small home. 

The porch has a couple coveted tables for outdoor snacking that we were eyeballing as it was a near perfect 75-degree (Fahrenheit) day. The porch tables were still full after our food came out, so we walked to the waterfront, only 10 minutes away.

Grilled Cheese

Made with fresh sourdough bread and white Vermont cheddar cheese, this is one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve had to date. Future posts I’m sure will reveal worthy competitors, but this will certainly be my new baseline.

It was perfectly buttered and browned on both sides and the cheese was gooey and melted through. Even though I didn’t get to eat it until about 10 minutes later, it was still the perfect temperature.

Hibiscus Fruit Cooler

A rich red-pink color, this hibiscus tea is brewed with mixed berries and is heavy on the delicious tart cranberry flavor. Very refreshing and apparently easy to make as sun tea (thanks Google!).

Lemon Ginger Cookie Sandwich

A bonus to our lunch, this ginger cookie had a just enough lemon in it to be noticeable, but not enough to overpower the ginger flavor. The lemon buttercream-tasting goo in between the cookies tied the whole dessert together nicely, again, without an overpowering lemon flavor.