Thursday, August 16, 2012

Portraits of Summer

As a kid growing up in Manila, my mom will make the most of the summer months of March and April by feeding us with the fruits of the season: pakwan {watermelon}, mangga {maggoes}. milon {cantaloupe}, siniguelas {Spanish plum}, duhat (Java plum}, suha {sweet pomelo} and my favorite kaimito {star apple}.

 Unfortunately, most of these fruits are not available here in Canada but luckily, I can easily satisfy the cravings with what our Canadian farmers have to offer during the summer months of July and August. Hubby and I usually drive to the orchards in Niagara region to pick Ontario cherries and peaches ourselves. There's nothing more gratifying than eating these fruits right under the tree while looking up for the next one to pick. Ahhh, pure bliss!

I had the best fruits that south east Asia has to offer. I can't complain that I am now feasting on the north American fruits. They are totally different in tastes and textures but equally delectable!

Shared with : This or That Thursday

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Road Trip - {day 4} Baltimore, Maryland

On to day four of our annual summer road trip. After checking out from the hotel in Washington D.C. and loading the car with luggage and re-filling the cooler with ice, sodas and bottled water, off we go for an hour or so drive to Baltimore. We grabbed coffee and muffins on the way and resumed listening to Tess Gerritsen's "The Mephisto Club" audio book as miles passed by unnoticed.

Since it's a Sunday, our first stop was at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in downtown Baltimore. We proceeded walking north to Mount Vernon cultural district. If I have to visit only one place in Baltimore, this will be my choice! The 19th century architecture blended with modern business establishments and residences piqued my curiosity. We sat on one of the iron benches at the corner of Washington and W Madison streets and basked in the beauty of this urban site which was once home to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Post, Duchess of Windsor -Wallis Simpson among others.

Completely opposite from the blast from the past scenery of Mount Vernon district is the vibrant and tourist magnet inner harbor on the south side of Baltimore.Here we had a relaxing lunch at J. Paul's before driving to our next destination .... Pennsylvania.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bites and Nibbles @ Le Pain Quotidien

Location : 660 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington D.C.
Claim to Fame : Ogranic meals; artisan organic bread  
The long line at Market Lunch made this unplanned visit to Le Pain Quotidient possible. Aside from the fact that this place is the nearest to the Eastern Market where we already were, the omelettes served to the customers having alfreco brunch looked inviting. The first thing I noticed  inside the rustic-looking-restaurant is the long communal table made out of wood but be opted for a smaller and "private" table by the window {always a good source of natural light for my photos}.

Hubby and I both ordered the omelettes - Paris ham and gruyere for him and wild mushrooms and goat cheese pour moi. There's light and fresh green salad on the side which I enjoyed. The crusty and hearty bread were delicious with or without butter - I can have this as my "le pain quotidien"{daily bread} hands down! The omelettes were average so was the coffee. BUT the Noir, oh the dark chocolate spread available on each table with other jams for you to feast on was perfect! I am not usually a fan of chocolate but this one made it on my list.

Now for the not so good .... the service was sooooo slow. Don't get me wrong. We always enjoy a relaxed and unhurried meals specially when on vacation BUT to wait for our coffee for 20 minutes, another 40 minutes  for our food and yet another 20 minutes for a glass of water was a bit too much for a place that was not too crowded. If not for the long wait, the dining experience was truly nice.

Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 10, 2012

Road Trip - {Day 2-3/Part Two} Washington D.C.


After buying our metro day pass we went straight to the Eastern Market station for brunch at Market Lunch. I read so much about this place and wanted to try it out.... unfortunately the line was soooo loooong! The only communal table was full of foodies like ourselves so decided to try Le Pain Quotidien located along Pennsylvania Ave. SE, just a few steps away from the market. Once fueled with organic meals, we resumed exploring the city, visiting museums, and just people watching at Dupont Circle.

When our feet felt like lead after hours of walking under the blistering DC sun, the hotel pool was the place to be! Ahhh, pure bliss!

Before a nighcap, we walked along the upscale neighborhood of Crystal City in Arlington where one can see from a distance the spectacular view of the nation's capital. As described by Dan Brown in his best selling novel, The Lost Symbol :  

"even from the air, Washington D.C. exuded an almost mystical power".

I couldn't agree more.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Road Trip - {Day 2-3/Part One} Washington D.C.


Unlike our first visit to the US capital four years ago when we spent so much time visiting the usual tourist spots, this time we paid more attention to the architectural design of the buildings and the layout of the city. There are some structures that reminded me so much of Vienna except for the very hot and humid weather! I enjoyed the Library of Congress the most. Too bad the main library which I wanted to visit so badly can only be seen from from the third floor of the building. There will always be another time ....

Shared with: This or That Thursday

Road Trip - {Day One} Alexandria, Virginia

One of the many things that hubby and I look forward to is our annul road trips. This year we decided to go to Washington DC, with side trips to Alexandria and Baltimore.

After almost 10 hours of  leisure driving, we arrived in Old Town Alexandria Virginia just in time to enjoy a late afternoon walk along the trendy King Street.When the humidity was too much to bear, we cooled ourselves with ice-cold beer and fresh oysters at Hanks Oyster Bar. Just a few steps from the oyster bar is a quaint, whimsical cupcake store simply called Alexandria Cupcake. It was not on my list of places to visit on this trip but we decided to give it a try. Oh my, we're so glad we did! The vanilla bean cupcake was so delicious, moist and dense at the same time, not too sweet but so full of flavor!

The waterfront promenade was full of life as the sun begin to set - magicians, street artists and musicians have something to offer for everyone. I felt relax just sitting on the dock and looking at the lights of nearby Washington DC. Just lovely.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...