Favorite Food Spots: DC/VA Area

During my recent trip to the DC/VA area, I visited old favorites and discovered new places. Here are the highlights from our trip this past December:

Artistic Custom Cakes

Fluffy Thoughts Cakes

My friend Lara owns Fluffy Thoughts Cakes, a bakery in McLean that specializes in beautifully decorated cakes. Lara brings her fine art talents to the baking world and now employs a team of creative cake designers. She provided the cake for my daughter’s baptism while we were in Virginia, and it was absolutely adorable and delicious! It was difficult to decide our favorites from the cake tasting, but decided on “Cookie Monster” and “My Passion” for the flavors. If you’re looking for a cake for a special occasion, delicious cupcakes or other sweet treats, contact Fluffy Thoughts Cakes!

Fluffy Thoughts Cakes
1320 Old Chain Bridge Road
McLean, Virginia
(703) 942-5538
http://www.fluffythoughts.com/


The Best BBQ

Hammerdown Barbecue

My friend’s cousins own this BBQ joint, but that has nothing to do with why I believe it is the best. Hammerdown Barbecue started out as a food truck. Now, their brick and mortar restaurant in Aldie, Virginia serves up the most amazing meats in the East, thanks to their enormous custom smokers. Where is Aldie? It is in Loudon County, Virginia, not far from the very populous Chantilly/Centerville/South Riding area. It’s only 20 minutes from Dulles International Airport, so it’s the ideal spot to sink your teeth into their amazing brisket right after landing. I tell all my friends to go here, and rented a car to eat here during my trip…twice.

Hammerdown Barbecue
41153 John Mosby Hwy
Aldie, Virginia 20105
703-542-8692
http://hammerdownbbq.com/


My favorite Combo

Roy Boys – Fried Chicken & Oysters

My husband and I stumbled upon the place while walking around the Navy Yard neighborhood. I can’t believe how much this neighborhood has changed the years of frequenting it when it was home to Traxx and Buzz/Nation. However, as soon as we entered Roy Boys, I instantly felt like I was “home.” Although there isn’t a location in L.A., I wish there was. The ambiance of hip hop music and iconic rap artists on large canvases adorning the walls took me back to the carefree days of the 1990’s. The food was off the hook. We ordered mini chicken sliders, hushpuppies, and barbecued oysters. For dessert, we got one of their signature homemade ice cream tacos. It was all amazing. I would have placed a second order of hushpuppies if we weren’t so full. If we discovered this place at the beginning of my trip, we would have definitely made a second visit.

Roy Boys – Shaw
2108 8th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
202-558-9382

Roy Boys – Navy Yard
1025 First Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
202-891-7891
https://www.royboysdc.com/


I go here for the spinach

Rasika

Two years ago, my husband and I dined at Rasika because I heard on NPR that the Obamas love dining there and it is known for a crispy spinach dish called Palak Chaat (crispy spinach dish with sweet yogurt tamarind and date chutney). After trying it, we couldn’t get that dish out of our heads. The sweet and sour flavors perfectly align with the crispiness of the spinach. This past December, we enjoyed it again. We ordered other things on the menu, which are all delightful, but the spinach is the business. We have visited both Raskia locations (one in Penn Quarter, and the other in West End), and they are equally outstanding. On our next visit, we will have to each have an order, because it’s really not something you want to share.

PENN QUARTER
633 D St, NW
Washington, DC 20004

WEST END
1190 New Hampshire Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037

https://www.rasikarestaurant.com/


Pleasant Prix Fixe Dinner

Little Pearl D.C.

A couple years ago when my husband and I celebrated our anniversary, we ate at Rose’s Luxury. This year, we didn’t plan accordingly, so we were without a reservation. They didn’t have a spot available for us at Rose’s Luxury because we walked in too late, but the hostess was able to get us a table at their sister restaurant, Little Pearl. Little Pearl has a very cool vibe, located in a civil-war building that was the original carriage house of the Old Naval Hospital. More recently, it was Hill Center – an arts, cultural, and educational facility. Although the seating was tight and the time between dishes took awhile, each bite from the seven or so tasting dishes we experienced were delicious and definitely worth it. They made up for the wait by comping the wine pairing my husband ordered. All the dishes were thoughtful and delightful. We enjoyed an interesting variation of deviled eggs called “angel eggs” (due to their merengue shell), takoyaki bites, a burger with a potato “milkshake,” soup with perfectly tangy grilled cheese, and a couple of other things I can’t remember. My husband’s favorite items were basically anything with cheese involved. I would definitely revisit, preferably when the weather is good for sitting outside.

Little Pearl D.C.
921 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 618-1868
https://www.littlepearldc.com/


Thai Food in a Fun Atmosphere

Nunu’s Thai Dishes

Every time I visit home, I try to get together with colleagues from the first real job I got after graduating college. Even though I didn’t work at that job for very long, the people I worked with are pretty awesome…and are doing some great things! We like catching up over Thai food, and this time it was at a new place. Some of the people in the group actually know the owner, Nunu. He is a really fun guy with a great attitude and a restaurant that serves really delicious food. You must order the CRISPY DUCK PANANG CURRY special if you dine here. It is so good. Everything else here is really tasty, and the mango with sticky rice dessert is adorably presented as a heart. This place is definitely a must return on my list!

Nunu’s Thai Dishes
410 Elden St.
Herndon, VA 20170
https://www.nunusthaidishes.com/


All opinions are honest and 100% my own!