Wednesday, January 9, 2008


That Friday before New Years, I was actually “stranded” at home with no car. Both mom and dad were at work, so it was just me and the pug. My friend, Roselle (who was home for the holidays, too), came by to do my sonogram of my main arteries to check for any impending aneurysms. Luckily, I am clean! (Shut up, you purists! LOL) When mom/dad came home later that evening, we had a quick dinner at home before I headed out to Springfield to meet at my cousin’s place. I had a night out with my cousins planned. I honestly wasn’t feeling up to it at first. I was exhausted, and over the drinking scene especially after my trip to NYC. But I figured I wouldn’t have another opportunity to hang out with them before I left. Besides, our friend – Cheryl – was also in town for the holidays, so she was hanging out with us, too. After grabbing a latte at Starbucks, I arrived at my cousin’s house. Funny, the rain came at the same time.

Since my cousin and my friend, Marz, never go out, I decided to take them someplace “sceney,” yet still low-key. We ended up at Zengo in DC’s Chinatown. It’s such a nice, posh place to hang out. While we weren't there for dinner, we ended up grabbing a couple of appetizers to go along with our rounds of drinks: the Angry Zengo Roll – spicy yellowfin tuna, avocado, sesame-chile chipotle rouille, and wasabi tobiko, and Crunchy Calamari. Both were great! For drinks, I had my vodka martini, UP, dirty on the side… and the rest of the gang tried things such as the Yuzu Fresa, Sake Sangria, and the Midnight Karma. We befriended the Filipina waitress, and by the end of the night we were so tanked that we even got her to jump in one of the pictures.

The night was still young, but my cousin, Romelee, seemed to be talking-up the baby back ribs at TGI Friday’s. So we headed back to Springfield to swing by the Friday’s close to her house (I was destined to eat at Friday’s at least once in 2007). Incidentally, Lesley was there with her cousin and friend, Russell, so we met up with them. We got there and ordered food before last call, and for some odd reason, the drinks just kept coming and coming. And while we were all drinking, only three of us were eating (ribs, "loaded" fries, quesadillas...). Rome was being a chatterbox, and talking it up with Lesley – eating NOTHING. Since we were celebrating Rome’s birthday (which had passed about 10 days prior), the bartender handed her a shot of jeiger towards the end of the night, and it was all over. We pretty much had to roll the girl back into her house. Ultimately, it was a GREAT night with them.

The next day, mom woke me up early so we could go buy my Christmas present –a new digital camera. And while I was hung-over, I had to work hard to maintain my composure. After we got my camera, we stopped in at other stores where my mom decided to indulge in post-Christmas sales. Ugh. We did, however, grab eats at none other than Hong Kong Buffet, where I was pretty much grossed-out and contented at the same time. I guess you gotta love Waldorf. Later that night, we went to Mass, and then drove to Lorton to my brother’s place. I was going to have a “sleep over” with my niece, and stay up all night watching Hannah Montana. Right. Some of our friends came by to hang out, and we had a nicely prepared “chicken” dinner: fried chicken thighs, buffalo wings, and fried wings with mumbo sauce (courtesy of mom). YUM.

Sunday morning I woke-up after my niece, Lexie, came knocking on my door. I got to stay in her room, while she bunked with her mom and dad. We talked for a little, and she even showed off her school pictures. Joie cooked an awesome breakfast of sausage and French toast. Soon Mark came home after his early-morning race in Sterling (my bro races dirt bikes), and then my parents came by. We eventually all drive to Arlington National Cemetery to visit my brother’s grave (my brother, Dan), and then proceeded to Mark’s Duck House in Falls Church for a late lunch. Not exactly my fave place, but I was hungry. We had some dim sum items, and their infamous soup. After dropping my bro and fam back home, we headed back to Maryland, and I started to pack.

Later that evening, Siena scooped me up, and then we headed back into the city for Primo’s birthday dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s in the Penn Quarter. I had a grilled blackened wahoo dish, which was just a tad bit dry, but tasty nonetheless. And for dessert, I had a rich chocolate brownie sundae – which I passed around the table.

On New Year’s Eve, Carrie came by the house to scoop me up, and we hung out in Old Town Alexandria. We stopped in at a bag store that was having a sale, and I picked-up something for my mom and Joie. Then we grabbed coffee, walked around, and then met Leah for a quick lunch at O’Connell’s –a ‘modern’ Irish restaurant/pub that took over the old Bullfeathers space. I had half a turkey sandwich and a cup of potato leek soup. Leah had a burger, and Carrie had a cup of soup and a plate of chips. Afterwards, we said our ‘good-byes.’

At night, mom cooked-up some dishes, and then Mark, Joie and Lex came by to spend the night and ring in the New Year with us. And the following morning, I was off to the airport.


This holiday season was absolutely fun-filled. I got to see a lot of familiar faces, got to spend some quality time with my family and friends, and I drank and ate enough to last me through the winter! It was a trip that was worth all the days of tiredness that followed. Thanks to EVERYONE who I got to see, to those who 'played' with me while in DC, for all the Christmas gifts, and - most importantly - the memories.

To those reading, I hope that my journal of eats has inspired you to eat more and more in 2008. But remember, for every meal consumed there is a treadmill waiting for you afterwards. Happy New Year!