Month: August 2015

2015 Feels A Great Deal Like 2013

Just when Washington Nationals fans thought August couldn’t get any worse, comes this news item about the revocation of the Jayson Werth walk-off bobblehead from the Nationals’ website: Jayson Werth’s walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS was one of the greatest moments in Washington Nationals history. While we tried to capture his jump into home plate and commemorate it with a bobblehead for our 10th Anniversary season, we were not satisfied with the final product. Therefore, we will be re-issuing a new bobblehead. The first 25,000 fans to enter Nationals Park on Sunday, August 30th for the 1:35 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins will receive a voucher redeemable for the new bobblehead. Fans will be able to pick up their new bobblehead on an offseason date at Nationals Park. In addition, you will receive a special gift for the inconvenience. More information will be available on the vouchers and on this site. This is the August when the Mets never lose, and on the off day when they do finally …

The Tastes of Vacation: Wrapping Up DC Restaurant Week

Our DC Restaurant Week extravaganza wrapped up on Sunday evening with our 7th restaurant in 7 days: the new Fig & Olive DC in the glamorous Foster + Partners and Shalom Baranes Associates-designed CityCenterDC complex (home to the 1% who want to live in a fashionable downtown apartment…but I digress.) Six of this week’s seven eateries were new to us, which was part of the allure, and we saved some of the best for last. Friday evening, Candice and I visited Mintwood Place – a highly rated restaurant where we had sampled brunch in the past. We were excited about this dinner, as the restaurant is ranked #2 in Tom Sietsema’s 2014 Fall Dining Guide and is also a top-ten pick of Tom Kilman of Washingtonian magazine. After our meal, I’m here to say I cannot understand these rankings.  The food was good, but not the best we had during the week (or even the weekend).  Mintwood did only serve off the Restaurant Week menu, so I understand that some of their outstanding regulars may …

The Ambulance Survivor’s Club

If you know me, you know that I fractured my shoulder on March 3, 2015 – the night before my 60th birthday – after being hit by an ambulance.  Tonight, the two charter members of the Ambulance Survivor’s Club joined family and friends at Jackie’s Restaurant in Silver Spring to celebrate our recovery. To take you down memory lane, here’s how I described it at the time: Some people will do anything to avoid going to work on their birthday. My excuse? I was hit by an ambulance while helping a friend who had fallen on the ice. Yep, you read that right. We made the local news. (A colleagues’ husband had seen it on one of those small screens they now have in cabs, so she wrote, “You’re famous in cabs!”)  A friend (Nancy) who was staying with us went out to dinner with a client, and she slipped and fell on the road behind our house when she returned. An angel of a neighbor found her and called us. We went out to …

The Tastes of Vacation: The “We Are Still Eating (and Living to Tell the Tale)” Edition

Four nights into DC Restaurant Week and the Browns are still eating (and living to tell the tale).  We last left you following Monday evening’s upscale Mexican dinner at MXDC. But we’ve continued our visitation to new (for us) restaurants in the Washington area. How we’d missed the long-time Woodley Park favorite New Heights Restaurant is a mystery, but we found it on Tuesday evening and it won’t be our last visit. First, let’s begin with the setting: a lovely patio, downstairs “gin joint” and upstairs casual dining area with an Arts and Crafts decor – what’s not to like! Then the food and service were top-notch.  Andrew and I – being gin and tonic fans – tried two very different variations on this theme from the extensive offerings.  Both were superb. All three of us took advantage of the three-course Restaurant Week menu (which we have agreed we cannot do every night unless we want to add 15 pounds of weight by the end of vacation.)  We shared heirloom tomato salad, crab cake, fettuccini, …

The Tastes of Vacation: MXDC Cocina Mexicana

Our “DC Restaurant Week” vacation began in earnest on Monday evening, as we took the Metro downtown to sample  upscale Mexican food at MXDC. A short two-block walk from Metro Center, this three-level Todd English restaurant was new to all three of us, making for a promising beginning to our week. All three agreed that Andrew’s Black Sea bass with Brussels sprouts was the top choice of the three entrees.  I had a very good Mole de Costilla (short ribs) while Candice went with the steak option.  I also had an Azul Guacamole with blue cheese, bacon, chipotle, and red onion that was spicy wonderful. We have six more of these lined up over the next week, so I have to pace myself in both writing and eating.  We all gave MXDC between 3-to-3 1/2 stars.  A good start! More to come… DJB

Forgiveness is the Result of a Long Journey

St. Alban’s Parish was blessed this morning with the presence and witness of Ruby Sales, a civil rights activist whose life was saved 50 years ago by the actions of Jonathan Daniels.  Michael Ruane, writing in the Washington Post, explains: By all rights, Ruby Sales should have been killed on Friday, Aug. 20, 1965. She should have been hit by the shotgun blast fired by the enraged white man on the porch of the general store in rural Alabama. Her life should have ended at 17, an African American college student and civil rights worker, gunned down under a Coca-Cola sign in the fight for freedom and justice. But there she was Sunday morning, age 67, in St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Northwest Washington, given a half-century of life by a white seminarian named Jonathan Myrick Daniels who pushed her aside and died in her place. She sat in an ornate wooden chair in the chancel of the church, the decades having taken a toll on her eyesight and her knees, and called herself “a remnant” …

The Tastes of Vacation: Farmer’s Market Edition

Vacations in the Brown family are wonderful times to try new foods and restaurants – even when staying at home for two weeks. As yesterday’s post noted, I jumped out of the “vacation mode” gate early. The wonderful food and drink at Biga on the Banks in San Antonio simply whetted my appetite – literally – for the week ahead.  Last evening, Candice, Andrew and I spent a delightful evening at the tapas restaurant Barcelona in Cathedral Heights.  Candice and Andrew highly recommend the white sangria with the spring seasonings of lavender, sage, and rosemary.  We had a wide array of tapas, and all were tasty.  Some of my favorites included the mussels al diablo, the shrimp with a gazpacho dipping sauce, and the lamb chops. But my vacation didn’t officially begin until today. So in the spirit of yesterday’s post, I’m going to report – as frequently as possible – about the meals and other foodie treats we’re going to enjoy these next two weeks. It is a terrific time to sample what the …

Ahhhh…The Taste of Vacation

Vacation.  Holiday.  Time off. Whatever you call it, the prospect of a couple of weeks off put me in the celebratory mood on Thursday evening, after wrapping up a series of meetings over three days in Austin and San Antonio, Texas.  There had been good conversations with colleagues and partners, delightful shared meals where we mixed preservation and brisket at Austin’s Scholz Garten, the oldest restaurant in Texas, and a reception in San Antonio that featured an amazing array of 19th and early 20th century military helmets! By the time my meetings were over and all that was left was the flight home, I was ready for a bit of relaxation. My colleague Katherine and I basically stumbled upon Biga on the Banks – an excellent New American restaurant that’s a draw for foodies in the region.  I asked for a bourbon, and our server said, “Let me get you our list.  We have an excellent selection.”  And then he pointed out their three options of Old Rip Van Winkle and I thought, “Why not?  …

When David Heard…

For the past several weeks, the Old Testament liturgy at church has focused on the fascinating life of Israel’s King David.  From the slaying of Goliath to David’s unlikely ascension to the throne, to Samuel’s detailing of David’s relationship with Bathsheba (with details that caused our rector to recount the reaction of one young parishioner in her previous church as: OMG Samuel TMI!).  All have shown David at his most human. Today’s passage was about the rebellion and death of Absalom, David’s son.  It ends with the grief-stricken king’s lament found in 2 Samuel 18:33: And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Do yourself a favor and spend five minutes listening to the Thomas Tomkins version of When David Heard.  It is one of the most beautiful, most heart-rendering pieces imaginable. I sang this piece with a …

Me, Me, Me, Me

My very wise grandmother had a saying:  “Some folks are born in the objective mood.”  My father has noted that his mother did not have a lot of patience with folks who were always complaining and objecting to what others did. My grandparents always had a positive outlook and attitude toward people. I’m here to let you know that I’m writing this particular post in the objective mood.  You’ve been warned! Have you noticed an epidemic of the misuse of “I” and “me” by people who should know better? “Me, Zim, Rendon, we’re going to get [right-hander Stephen Strasburg] back soon too, those are all pretty good acquisitions too that you don’t have to give anything up for.” Aaarrrgh!  Jayson Werth’s commentary on the return of the walking wounded to the Nationals lineup was just one of what seems a daily barrage to the grammar senses. I had it drilled into me: never put yourself first in a series.  “Zim, Rendon, and me…”  Think of others first. How hard is that to remember? Perhaps I’m …