Monday, November 25, 2013

Greetings from PA!

A. and I drove from Charlotte to Philadelphia this weekend, stopping for a night in D.C. on Saturday. As is my usual, I planned our few hours in Washington based around food. We stayed in Logan Circle and had any number of places to eat within walking distance. We also had grand plans to hit some of the museums and/or monuments in the area, but the weather had different plans and we were greeted by 15MPH winds and a windchill of 12 degrees. Blame it on our time in Texas, but these transplants are NOT prepared for such weather anymore, despite having spent our college years in New England and Upstate New York. So, we changed our plans and spent a few hours bumming on the couch at my brother's townhouse. But not before we filled our bellies!

Saturday night we walked several blocks (the wind hadn't blown in yet) to St. Arnold's Mussel Bar. I'd found it on Yelp a while back and bookmarked it immediately. They promised great mussels and a huge variety of Belgian beers. We waited about 20 minutes for a table and then ordered two varieties of mussels and beer. I got a cherry beer - bright red and delicious! I also got the St. Arnold's house special mussels - in a creamy white wine sauce with shallots, herbs, and duck fat. A. got the Eastern Shore mussels which came in an Old Bay broth with sausage, corn and red potatoes. Their mussels come to the table in covered cast iron pots, with a generous helping of perfectly seasoned and crispy fries, ketchup and seasoned mayo, and a few slices of bread for broth dipping. After finishing our dinners we couldn't resist the Belgian waffle with chocolate sauce.

The next morning we grabbed brunch at Commissary, a quick (but bitterly cold) walk around the block from where we were staying. A. had pancakes (he's not an egg eater) and I had eggs benedict - but quite a twist on the original. The poached eggs came atop a mound of pulled short rib, over cornbread muffin halves with a bbq sauce hollandaise. They also came with incredibly delicious homefries. I also had a gingerbread chai latte which was unbelievably good. I was a happy girl and it held me over until dinner time in Philadelphia.

After spending some time watching football at my brother's we got on the road mid-afternoon and headed to my in-laws' for dinner, complete with some quality time with our almost 3 year old nephew. After dinner and an ice cream cake in honor of my birthday earlier this month we headed to my parents' house, where we're staying this week. We don't have much planned for the rest of the week, besides visiting with family and a few friends, and of course eating multiple Thanksgiving dinners and turkey leftovers. I'm hoping to finish my grocery shopping for the dishes I'm making tomorrow before the last minute Wednesday shoppers come out in full force. My brother comes home tomorrow and we do have a family birthday celebration planned for Wednesday night (all four of our birthdays are between the end of October and mid-December, so now that we live scattered down the east coast we celebrate a combined birthday dinner around Thanksgiving.)

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