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Happy New Year!

image uploaded by pattie74_99 on Flickr

I was going to do a big roundup of places to brunch on New Year’s Day, but I ended up with a few too many things on my plate the last couple of weeks.  From the bit of checking around that I did do, it seems like a good bit of places are open, but call ahead to be sure.

After a few calls of inquiry (yes, one of which was from me), The Argonaut ditched their 1 pm opening and limited menu plan and will now open at 11 am for brunch…with their bloody mary bar and bottomless mimosas!   Belga Cafe never passes up a holiday as a chance to serve brunch, Founding Farmers tweeted that they will start serving brunch at 10 am, and Kramer Books’ Afterwords Cafe tweeted that they’ll open at 9 am for brunch.  Yes, I said “tweeted.”  So aside from checking Open Table or calling ahead, try my DC Restaurant List on Twitter.  You’ll be amazed at how many area restaurants are on there and how quickly you can find a great place to try by seeing the latest updates on the list.  And if you notice that I’m missing any good restaurants, please let me know!

Have a great NYE – be safe out there and go easy on the alcohol so you can kick off the start of 2010 properly with a delicious brunch with friends.  If you did happen to over-indulge when toasting the end of 2009, refer back to my lists top hangover cures here and here. And don’t forget the bacon!  It’s now scientifically proven to cure hangovers!

Pancakes!

In The Daily Beast’s “the decade in viral videos,” I couldn’t help but share this breakfast-themed one.  (Thanks to my sister for passing it along!)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG5gO4nlLRQ&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

Computer issues, writing issues

After sitting down countless times over the last several weeks to write up brunch reviews and to share some other DC and brunch-related links, I’ve hit writers block.  Nothing will come out.  It slowly started to occur to me that it might have to do with the fact that I have been using a very old and slow loaner computer while my laptop has been getting repaired (that story later…but the gist is that I am NEVER again buying anything from Dell).

So much of writing is being in the right mood and mindset.  When I sit at a desk to write, I get into work mode.  I find myself opening sites that are related to my work projects, and writing in a much more formal, boring tone.  So I guess that’s my sad excuse for not having posted in a while.  So to all my friends asking when I’ll write about the brunches they joined me on – it’s coming soon, promise!

we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming…

Writers block, internet issues at home, traveling, job hunting, work, volunteering, etc…yep, I’ve been busy! And in the midst of that, I’m working with some fellow Hill residents to start up a Hill-focused blog that we want to make a place for all news, gossip, and entertainment about our little neighborhood.  I think it’s coming along quite well!  Check it out, bookmark and subscribe, and please let us know if you have any story ideas!  It’s TheHillIsHome.com.  Don’t worry, I will continue with my brunch obsession over here as well.

I realized that I hadn’t been to the beaches around here in, well, longer than I can remember.  So when a friend said he was driving out the next morning, and offered me a ride and a free place to stay I jumped at the chance.  Instead of taking pictures and writing up some great review of the weekend getaway that is the DelMarVa shore, I decided to read, sleep, and recharge.  So no great pictures or reviews, sorry!

The next weekend, I drove to Pittsburgh with a couple of friends.  A good friend of mine that is from there had been wanting to show us her home town.  We arrived just as the Penguins won the Stanley Cup…I’m sure you can imagine how crazy that was.  Pittsburgh fans are pretty enthusiastic about their teams, and after the Steelers’ winning the Super Bowl, they feel like they are on quite a roll.  My friend took us on a marathon tour of the city, and in the evening we caught a Pirates’ game (against Detroit…their fans seemed pretty blue after their hickey loss the night before).  I got a Primanti Brother’s cheesestake sandwich, which I would not really ever go back for.  There’s just something about putting french fries ON the sandwich that I will never understand.  But it was a fun time, good to get away with the girls, and fun to see a city I’ve never been to before.

Plenty of other things have been keeping me busy and way from brunch and the city as well, but it’s stuff I’m not sure others would be interested in so instead I’ll just get back to my regular stuff – brunch, food, etc.

Support Your Farmers Market!

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It’s that time of year when everyone is abuzz about their local farmers market.  And what’s not to be excited about?  Walking through the farmers market always inspires me to try new recipes with the wide array of fruits and vegetables.  It also brings me back to my young childhood aspirations to be a farmer…I apparently moved onto new dreams after pre-K, growing out of my little farm set, becoming a through-and-through city girl. Continue reading

Review: Simply Summer Cookbook

Anyone who has spent a summer in DC knows that the heat and humidity can make the kitchen a pretty unpleasant place once the oven or stove heats up.  Since my rowhouse kitchen doesn’t have air conditioning, I am forced to change my cooking habits in the summer months to avoid turning my kitchen into a sauna.  But meals that require minimal cooking can be tough to come up with (or at least coming up with a variety of dishes can be challenging), hence my love for cookbooks and cooking magazines that focus on seasonal recipes and tips.

When Angela Tunner contacted me to review her cookbook, Simply Summer, my mind and appetite immediately jumped to thoughts of the farmers market and meals on my patio.  It’s almost time for summery meals and I couldn’t be more excited. Continue reading

when you're handed a lemon…

…make lemonade, or so the saying goes.  The rotten economy finally found me and I was laid off from my job last week.  What does that mean for brunch and the city?  Well, until I find a new job I should probably reduce the amount I eat out! So brunch and the city will start to focus a little less on the brunch and a little more on the city.  When I started this blog a year ago, I intended for brunch reviews to only be one part of it.  I wanted this to also be a motivator to get out and rediscover my hometown, but I have not spent as much time on that aspect as originally intended.  So in the coming weeks, I’ll be posting a bit more about DC on a budget! (including some of the better bargain brunches)

And, my dear readers, this is also a call to you for your own brunch reviews.  If you have a good (or terrible) brunch in the DC area and want to share your review, please pass it along!  I always welcome guests posts and look forward to hearing more about your recommended brunch spots that I have yet to discover.

brunch vacation…what did I miss??

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I was hoping to catch up on several posts this past weekend while on vacation, but, alas, I was without a reliable Internet connection.  After getting past the first wave on withdrawal, I decided to embrace the chance to take a break from my constant internet surfing.  Okay, to be fair, I still had my iPhone connecting me to email and news, so I wasn’t totally disconnected.  (I will post about brunch in Seattle as soon as I get through this busy 4-day week at work, and in the meantime you can see a few pictures from my trip here.)

But until then, I want to know: did your sweetheart take you to a special Valentine’s day brunch or make you your favorite breakfast? Or did you opt for brunch with friends?  I know plenty of area restaurants had specials this weekend, so let me know where your appetite took you and how it was!

Freebies for blocked ticket holders – enough to make up for missing history?

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (aka event planning rookies) announced today that they will be giving some Inaugural memorabilia to ticket holders who were unable to get into the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday.

According to the Washington Post:

“The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies said Thursday that those with blue, silver and purple tickets who didn’t make it will receive copies of the swearing-in invitation and program, photos of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and a color print of the ceremony.”

But as DCist puts it:

“Does this free stuff make up for you feeling super disappointed/having been actually frightened by an angry mob/spending money and time on something that you didn’t get to experience?”

Sorry Senator Feinstein, but I have to say that copies of the invitation and photos don’t feel like an apology to me.   How about full representation instead? Okay, that may be asking too much, but really – a lot of people traveled a long way and spent a lot of money to come for Tuesday’s historic events. That’s the best you all can do?

Obama's Inauguration…and why I missed it

I had the opportunity to get out of DC this weekend, and to escape the massive crowds of tourists and continual gridlock.  But I turned it down.  This Inauguration is truly history and I wanted to experience it, feel the excitement, hear the sounds, and see just how big a crowd like this would feel (and fit!) in my hometown.  After Sunday’s concert, a few late nights out, and the craziness I experienced on Tuesday, I can say that I am glad I was part of history…but I also glad that Inaugurations only happen once every four years

After getting into Sunday’s concert with less hassle than anticipated, I decided to not worry about showing up at the crack of dawn for Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony.  I had tickets for the Blue standing room area on the Capitol lawn, and, from what I remembered from the two other Inaugurations I have attended, you were set to get in as long as you had a ticket.  However, I was not expecting the security meltdown that prevented 4,000 ticket holders from getting into the ceremony on time. Continue reading