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Sweetwater Tavern

23 Sep

On Saturday evening, we were invited to dinner with friends Amir and Tina.  Tina and Ed work together and Amir and I happen to work in the same type of field.  Talk about a coincidence.

We always enjoy going out with these two because they are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to great restaurants in the area.  Once again, they did not steer us wrong.

As usual, we managed to have our dinner out in Virginia at Sweetwater Tavern.  We really do eat at places in Maryland on occasion, but apparently, it hasn’t been a priority lately.  We’re branching out!

Dubbed a “Great American Restaurant”, Ed and I were both surprised and excited to find out that Sweetwater had it own brewery located inside the restaurant.  So, naturally and with no hesitation, I started my meal with the Naked River Light lager.

Naked River Light

It was light, golden and clean.  Just how I prefer it.

With our drinks, we also indulged in some of their beer bread or beer donuts to be more descriptive.  Made from beer from their brewery, these beautiful little creations could easily be mistaken for a dessert.  I may have encouraged a second bowl before our meals actually came.

Beer in bread…Genius.

Just saying.

For my meal, I chose the Hickory BBQ Burger since it sounded most appropriate with my drink of choice.  The burger was smothered in melting cheddar jack cheese and hickory BBQ sauce.

Hickory BBQ Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

I chose sweet potato fries as a substitute for the Great American fries because, well, you just can’t beat them.  The hickory BBQ sauce was sweet and tangy and matched the cheddar jack cheese very well.  I couldn’t manage to get it all down, but the flavor didn’t escape as leftovers for lunch the next day. 😉

Don’t you worry, you’re coming home with me.

Ed went with the traditional 25 oz. Black Angus Prime Rib and it cannot go unmentioned.

Traditional 25 oz. Black Angus Prime Rib

Sided with red skin mashed potatoes and homemade horseradish, Ed was in meat heaven.  Easily one of the restaurants most favorite dishes as I couldn’t help noticing it’s presence on every table around us.

This restaurant was definitely a favorite for Ed and I and is going on our list of restaurants to take our out of town visitors.

What is your favorite “Great American” restaurant?

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Date Night – Seasons 52

26 Aug

Last night, after we spent most of the day completing our assignments and cleaning, Ed and I got all dressed up and went out to a late dinner at Seasons 52 to get a head start on celebrating our first wedding anniversary this week.  We had a Darden gift card to use from a Christmas present from my aunt and uncle, so we were excited that it was good on a restaurant that we had not tried yet.  (They are not located where we are from in Ohio)  After I screwed up the original reservation (I made it for the restaurant in VA instead of MD), Ed saved the day and realized that the Virginia location is only 15 minutes or so past the Maryland location.

So, we hopped in the car for another Virginia night out.

We got to Tyson’s Corners a bit earlier then expected and browsed the mall inside.  Once seated, we were were introduced to our waiter who explained the menu to us.  We were in the Summer season menu and it was full of appetizers, entrees and drinks the were surely getting my summer taste buds ready.  The best part, every dish on their menu is said to be under 475 calories.  Now, once you read through this post, you and I will both know I probably went over that number.  Let’s just enjoy the fact that this number may have been possible if we weren’t celebrating.

First up, I ordered my drink of choice.

Watermelon Refresher

The Watermelon Refresher had rum, muddled watermelon, lime juice and agave nectar.  While I like rum, mine was really kicked into high gear tonight.  Warm and refreshing to say the least 🙂

Ed and I opted for the Maryland Crab, Roasted Shrimp & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms under Parmesan-panko crust for our appetizer.

Being “Marylanders” now, Ed and I can’t get away from always enjoying some good crab meat.  The Parmesan-panko crust stole the show though and was perfectly crusted across the whole dish giving each bite a taste.

Our entrees were difficult to pin down, but we eventually settled on one for each of us from different parts of the menu.

Ed’s Entree

Since we were in celebration mode, Ed chose the Piedmontese All-Natural Bone-in Strip Steak, 11 oz.  served with fresh string beans, cremini mushrooms and a side of rice.  I had a bite  (or two) of it myself.  Marinated in a tangy and white wine sauce, this steak had a perfect flavor.

My Entree

I chose my entree off the fish and seafood side of the menu and I was thrilled with the decision.  Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout served with parsley new potatoes, roasted rainbow carrots, broiled lemon and fresh string beans.  The trout literally melted in my mouth and I had no problem eating every last bit.  Ed couldn’t resist a few bites himself.  The vegetables were all super fresh and lightly seasoned.  The string beans were the winner overall and the potatoes a close, CLOSE second.

Dessert wasn’t far behind where their “dessert menu” includes bringing all of their mini-indulgences out to you in a nice table scape where you choose right there which one you would like to indulge in.  Ed commented on what a good business tactic this was.

“Seriously, how could you only choose one after seeing them all?”

Mini-Indulgences

We were both good and each chose one dessert for the end of a fabulous meal.

Ed chose Mocha Macchiato and I chose (no surprise) Key Lime Pie.  Naturally we both took a swig of the others and I will honestly say that Key Lime won!  Hands down, no contest.  But I’m biased.  Key Lime will always be my favorite.  These desserts were perfectly portioned and creamy.  I didn’t feel one bit guilty the whole evening.

We had a great meal to celebrate one year of wedded bliss and more to come.

Cheers to marriage!

Date Night – Pork Barrel BBQ

22 Jul

The hubby and I are big fans of hole in the wall, non-chain, gem restaurants.  We almost never eat at the same place twice.  When we moved from NE Ohio to Central Maryland, we were in a heaven of new eats to try from seafood to burgers to Ethiopian to Italian.  The list goes on forever.

While the summer has been full of beach Saturday’s this year, today was a rather rainy one, so we skipped out and stayed in…but the dreary day got the best of me…

“I needed to get out!”

So, we did a quick wardrobe change and headed to Old Town Alexandria, VA for dinner.

After watching one of our new favorite shows, Shark Tank, we were excited to go check out a local BBQ place that “struck a deal” to get their signature sauce out on the market and open their first restaurant.  After getting to know a bit of their story from the show, I knew we had to give it a try and the hubby is never one to pass on BBQ ribs.

After some rainy traffic, we made it to Pork Barrel BBQ around 6:30 pm and we were so excited to get things moving because our stomachs were now officially rumbling.  With a glance at the menu, we chose what we each wanted…and then decided to ditch that idea and go for the “The Big Feed”!

Holy Meat! 1/2 Rack of ribs, brisket, pulled pork, 2 sides and a couple others I know I’m forgetting.  Needless to say, we shared this and brought a good portion home for leftovers.

Review:  We we pleasantly surprised with the flavors of their sauces.  There were three to choose from.  Original, Sweet and Mustard.  We both agreed and made the Sweet our flavor of choice for the evening.  Our sides included Sweet BBQ Baked Beans (right) and Texas Caviar (left).  If there were to be a next time, I would order two orders of the Sweet Baked Beans. Yum!!

The ambiance of the restaurant was laid back, seat yourself with a busy bar scene to take advantage of.  My type of place 😉  Apparently everyone else thought so too, because at 7:00 pm on the dot…this sign went up.

Glad we got there when we did.

Overall, it was an relaxing evening out to a place we wanted to try and adventurous drive through rainy, DC traffic.   We got a peek at Old Town Alexandria and now I get to contemplate the workout routine for the morning to burn off those ribs 🙂

Pork Barrel BBQ – You didn’t disappoint!

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