Great winter meals, so far

After all of the fall’s travel wound down, the first chunk of this winter has proven a good time for good eating, both in and out. For recommendation purposes, I’ve tried to capture the latter below, with one exception. What also makes me happy is that most meals eaten in, not on this list, were pretty healthy, offsetting… nearly everything here. On to meatball subs…

Seasonal Pantry put out a tweet: a rare midday opening to serve meatball sandwiches with smoked turkey on top. We practically ran up the street. The sandwich was the best meatball sandwich I’ve ever had in my entire life. It likely took a year off the entirety of that life. But still. It was great.

At Lori’s friend Laura’s house down in Falmouth, I tasted pomegranate for the first time. I’m not sure how I hadn’t tried it before, considering it has gone everywhere  in the past few years. I liked it. Doing none of the work in preparing it might have helped. I thank those who did (thank you, Lori). The demonstration of the wacky way to cut it was worth admission alone.

No travel to Fredericksburg is complete without a meal at Foode. That meal usually turns out to be an enormous brunch. Not pictured: a fantastic bowl of grits and biscuits with different types of butter, too quickly consumed.

I briefly got back in the food-truck game in early December. Boring results. I miss the days when you knew all the trucks and all of them were good.

Luke’s Lobster wins sandwich of the winter, hands-down: the lobster grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere works perfectly with the lobster, and instead of one overpowering the other, they all win. I don’t know why no one’s made this before. It’s only on a winter menu, but I hope it stays for a long time.

Green Pig, Arlington. What you’re seeing is pork belly and pork shank on a mix of andouille sausage, grits and green. It was stellar. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize the appetizer courses were enormous. A kale Caesar, some of the best cornbread I’ve ever had in my life (I am not kidding you) and the risotto of smoked duck, pumpkin and egg — as good as it reads — knocked us over before we even got to the main. We took a lot to go. So worth it.

The exception: My mom is great. So are her Christmas cookies.


Other great meals this winter that I’ve forgotten to photograph

Kushi. We went with Becky and Kyle, and we ordered a bunch of dishes we had either seen in Jiro Dreams of Sushi or been inspired to eat because of it. Egg, in particular! Egg and mint rolls were a surprising winner. Seared fatty salmon also was stunning. I’m forgetting several wins — Lori, Becky, Kyle, any memory? — because there were a lot of winners. Only one dish qualified as a tad less-than-great, and I don’t remember that one either.

Honey Pig. Lauren and Steve joined us, and we were lucky to get a quiet table in the way back. Every meal there has a meat revelation or two. This time the revelations were the seasoned boneless rib and Lauren’s find of letting some pieces sit on the grill long after cooking intensifying the flavor.

Dangerously Delicious. I’d never had their Baltimore Bomb pie before. We went with Adam and Erin, and they recommended it strongly. I will have it again. And again. From the DD site: “This pie has quickly climbed to a top selling position. Created especially for Baltimore by one mean Dangerously Delicious Pie slinger, it’s loaded with Berger Cookies (a local specialty) that melt down and swirl into a sweet vanilla chess filling.” The mix is amazing.

Screwtop. Went for lunch during the week off — the even-unplugging-work-email week off — last week. Ordered the funky cheese plate. Liked it. Ordered the Swiss Turkey Melt with a bowl of tomato bisque. Loved it.

Bayou Bakery. It’s up the street from my apartment, and I continue to be so glad it’s there. Just about everything is good. The people are nice. It wakes up a boring corner and connects the neighborhood in a way that previously didn’t seem possible. And it mixes grits and meat gloriously.

Four Courts. Three words: Hogan’s Breakfast Sandwich. “A gooey ham and Dubliner cheddar sandwich topped with béchamel and a fried egg. Served with O’Brien potatoes.” I didn’t know what béchamel was then. I do now.

The Wharf. The Alexandria restaurant claimed to have the best crab-cake sandwiches in the city. I don’t think they’re wrong. Cool that a restaurant my parents visited when they were dating is still open and cooking so well.

Any recommendations for the rest of winter?

Send them along.

2 thoughts on “Great winter meals, so far”

  1. Right — the Brussels sprouts! Everyone: I know we’ve all caught on by now to the fact the Brussels sprouts can cook up pretty darn well. Even I have. But you should know the Kushi ones go high on the amazing scale. Very high.

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