PEr FYI

September 23, 2018

Pappas Crabcakes, Washington DC…Well, this was a letdown

Oprah Winfrey named Pappas Crabcakes as one of her #FavoriteThings2015.

Pappas built its reputation on chunky with lump crab, filler-light, and only lightly spiced with crab seasoning, allowing for the full expression of crabby flavor. I ordered the snack plate – 2 fried blue crab balls, old bay seasoning French fries, coleslaw, tomato, lemon, choice of sauce. Sadly the jumbo lumps here at the MGM National Harbor tasted as if they’d spent more time in a freezer than in the Chesapeake Bay.

Obviously Oprah didn’t eat at the Pappas outpost here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 2, 2018

Tanger Outlets, Washington DC…small but you get your money’s worth

I’m a certified outlet mall junkie. Going to outlet stores meant a treasure hunt of last season’s clothing at up to 90% off.

Tanger Outlets at National Harbor is rather small compared to many outlet stores in the USA. There are a total of 73 shops. All the usual suspects are present: Nike, Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Polo Ralph Lauren.

It may be small, but you’re getting your money’s worth. his is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 15, 2015

Capital Segway City Tour, Washington DC…best way to see any big city

Segway tours are the best way to see any big city. It’s a wonderful feeling – zipping around in the crisp air and the front row seat to the city with tour guides and you don’t have to deal with parking, buses or throngs of tourists. Plus it’s fun!!

The tour stops at all of the highlights you will want to see. As far as the Capitol & the White House. Be advised that you don’t get to go in anything on this tour only learn about the area and see everything from the exterior. There is one stop on the tour where we were able to get off the Segway – at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial.

Having been on many Segway tours, I can knowledgeably say that the difference between one Segway tour to another is the quality of the tour guide. A funny, witty, informative and animated one who gives fun facts along the way would make the tour worth every cent you’ve paid. Our guide was not the best, but he was not the worst either.

Do it! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 28, 2015

Cassatt’s A Kiwi Cafe, Arlington, Washington DC…tasty dishes in a cozy bistro-style environment

Cassatt’s, “a Kiwi cafe” in Arlington is a pleaser. Along with the good food, which is styled with a New Zealand flair, it has a nice, cosy neighborhood feel.

The Big Kiwi Breakfast is very similar to the traditional British breakfast with two eggs any style, bacon, sausage, mushrooms & tomato. The Full English. The Full Monty. A fry-up. Call it what you want, but digging into this piping hot fry up is an experience that can set you right no matter what situation you may have gotten yourself into. The flat white, a not-too-milky espresso drink long adored by Australians and New Zealanders is also known as the “quintessential Kiwi coffee.”  It’s hard to find fault with the flat white here. The thin head was smooth and silky while the coffee itself was chocolatey with a light smokiness to it. The coffee was also powerful enough to keep me going well into the afternoon.

Cassatt’s A Kiwi Café doesn’t push the boundaries of cafe-dom but is novel simply by being such a cosy, personal space with flavourful food.  This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 28, 2014

Corner Bakery Cafe, Washington DC…..Great morning food

The Corner Bakery Cafe is one of my favorite things about DC. This location is very large, with nice interiors and moves through the busy lines quickly.

It also has tons of different options including the soup and salad or sandwich combos. Their huge and delicious muffins, and pastries never disappoint. The name says it all! The bread and butter of Corner Bakery are their pastries. They make THE softest and moistest muffins you’ll EVER bite into. The Anaheim scrambler in all its mouth-watering glory comprised of – scrambled eggs, sauteed bacon, tomatoes, green onion, cheddar cheese, avocado. Nothing beats good quality ingredients and simplicity. Bacon and cheddar panini – scrambled eggs, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese on sourdough –  is just that. And fear not… there’s zero dryness. Prices are cheaper than Panera as well.

The staff here are SO nice. Dedicated to making sure you have a great experience, they continuously wow me and win me over with their smiles, niceness and even bringing the food to our table very quickly.

I am 100% absolute that Corner Bakery Cafe will corner the market pretty soon. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 20, 2014

Panera Bread, Washington DC…reliable, tasty, somewhat healthy

I have a love hate relationship with the Panera Bread. Love the food. Panera is officially my go to spot for bread and soup…they have a large variety of bread, pastries, and sandwiches. Hate the lacklustre service staff. Panera is also the first in its industry to post calorie information voluntarily at all company-owned cafes.

I always go for the “Pick 2” option which allows you to combine 2 of the following: Half Pasta · Cup of Soup · Half Sandwich · Half Salad.  It comes to around $9-10 but more than anything else, it is the perfect portion size for me! Their soups especially when served in the soup bread bowl, are so DELISH and good enough to pop up in my dreams!!! The bread had a nice crunch to and it was fresh.

I am not saying Panera Bread is the best place ever.  But then again, there are times when you are not looking to be fancy and you need a reliable, tasty, somewhat healthy (oh, the sodium!) meal and Panera is just the spot. This is the true truth as I say it as it is….

panera bread dc

December 10, 2014

Coastal Flats, Washington DC…the best seafood is no longer relegated to the coastline

Coastal Flats specializes in American seafood fare. The tropical decor at the entrance – a colorful metal fish hanging from the ceiling above the hostess stand – reminded me of theme restaurants like Planet Hollywood and Rainforest Cafe but I was pleasantly surprised. Our waitress was friendly, cheery, engaging and knew her facts about the menu. The restaurant is located in Tyson’s Corner – my absolute fav mall in Washington DC.

It didn’t start well. The classic crab and corn chowder turned out to be “big time salt lick.” They over-seasoned with salt and it buried the expected sweetness of the corn. It was a seriously salty soup. Just avoid the salt shaker for the rest of the day. Grouper fingers – an arsenal of crisply fried fillets (all meat, no filler) in coastal flats lager beer battered tartar sauce, accompanied with shoestring fries and extra chunky home made coleslaw – was very fresh and true to its word, crispy, perfectly fried and generously portioned. I sometimes run out of adjectives to replace words like ”really good” and this is one of those times. Jumbo lump crab cake sauteed with fries and coleslaw were also amazingly crispy and flavorful.  Lord, lord, it was heaven in my mouth!! It was the second place so far for me where I got to eat really good crab cakes, the first being at Old Ebbit’s Grill.

The best seafood is no longer relegated to the coastline. Coastal Flats is an interesting experience – and you’ll be amply rewarded for taking the plunge. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 3, 2014

Fisherman’s Crab Deck, Maryland, USA…passable, nothing was overly special

An hour out from Washington DC, this restaurant is a good fix for crabs, although I personally feel it’s annoying to put that much effort into something you’re going to eat. The restaurant itself has a great atmosphere with live music and very open and on the water. It is not fancy.  It is very casual, laidback and loud.

The menu was extensive but generally the preparation was ‘middle-of-the-road’. As for the food it was okay. There isn’t much I can say about them. They have good Maryland crabs, smaller and harder to eat than the Sri Lankan ones I am used to in Singapore.

The experience was passable, nothing was overly special.  I would NEVER go here on my own dime but I can easily look the other way when someone else is footing the bill (LOL).This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 19, 2014

Middleton Tavern, Annapolis, Maryland…hot crab dip and Rockefeller oysters in one of the oldest restaurants in the US

Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland. Middleton Tavern was established in 1750. Situated down the street from the Maryland State House, on the docks, it is one of the oldest restaurants in the US. The decor is random, including heads and bodies of hunted animals and old china.

The hot crab dip is a massive hit. The crab is the star of the show so good crab meat is CRUCIAL and they just need a little more of that. Rockefeller oysters are oysters topped with a mixture of finely chopped greens and copious amounts of butter and then baked in their shells. Historically it was considered so rich that it had to be named after the richest man of the day, John D. Rockefeller. The Rockefeller oysters here prove that cheese and seafood definitely go together.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were numbered among the prominent patrons of Middleton Tavern. I am now part of the galaxy of revered leaders who’d dined here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 5, 2014

P.J. Clarke’s, Washington DC…this is an alright place. But it’s nothing special.

The concierge suggested P.J. Clarke’s because it was near our hotel and we needed a decent place to get breakfast. My first impression is that it’s so so comfy with nice ambience, red/white checked tablecloths, vintage DC photos/portraits on the wall, mismatched vintage lighting. I felt like I was at Cheers from television.

The menu has a nice variety of American food. I had the country breakfast with eggs any way you want them, home fries, perfectly cooked and crispy bacon and toast. It wasn’t the food that was memorable at this breakfast but the company of my colleague and SVP. The food was good but not fantastic. The service left a lot to be desired.That’s about it.

I’ll probably give it another shot one day and stick to the  Cadillac Burger which I think is what they’re known for.This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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