Tag Archives: foodie

District [Sushi] Geek – Episode 2

25 Aug

Located on the Inner Harbor, Edo Sushi has a second-floor, panoramic full-window view of Baltimore’s central iconic landmark.  The Harbour itself is home to warships, water taxis, street performers, and the Baltimore Aquarium.  In the ring of land that forms the harbor, there are shops as well as many restaurants.  Most are chains, and some are better than others.  Edo Sushi is one such chain (though I believe it is limited to Maryland), and that is where I had dinner on Otakon Friday*.
The first impression always lasts, and I witnessed a few slip-ups.  First, I tried to enter the restaurant via the stairs facing the harbor. Apparently all the doors on that side of Edo are locked, and I had to cut through another restaurant to get into the walkway that led to Edo.  When I stepped inside and told the hostess about my booking, she flatly stated that they took no reservations on Otakon weekend.  Although I understand why they should and did do that, I called one month prior to Otakon to ask about reservations, and I was told that it was fine and was booked.  I called the week before Otakon and was reassured that my dinner time was set.  Despite this failure in communication, they had open tables and my friend and I were seated promptly.  Service continued to be shabby, with two separate waitresses asking us for drinks orders.  Said drinks took their sweet time in arriving.
There was no real décor, per se.  I vaguely remember some Japanese art, but the most Japanese thing about the restaurant were the sushi chef coats that the male wait staff wore (or it may have been the chefs, pulling double duty?).  The chopsticks were run of the mill, and the soy sauce was straight from the Kikoman bottle.  The menu was quite large, offering many surf and turf options, in additional to traditional sushi shop fare.  As my friend could only stay a short while, I passed on starters and ordered three sushi rolls.   As I enjoy trying the ‘locale specials’, I ordered the Chesapeake Roll (Lump crabmeat, fried oyster & cucumber with special sauce), as well as an Eel roll and a Yellowtail roll.  And of course I got a couple of fish egg nigiri with quail egg on top.  They’re so squishy and tasty!
 
The rolls came in two separate orders, and the most obvious issue with them was the size.  They were massive!  Each roll had to be two inches in diameter.  When I tried to pick up a section, I saw that the probable cause for its ginormity was because the roll was not packed at all.  Nearly every other roll fell apart, no matter how gently I tried to lift it.  They literally barely fit in my mouth, so most had to be eaten in parts.  For the Chesapeake, this was fine, as the fried oyster nested inside was the best part.  I would recommend that anyone going to Edo just get an order or two of them and forgo the sushi.  The crabmeat/rice mush left from the roll was then my second bite.  The rice itself had little flavor, and the wasabi was not very spicy.  The eel and yellowtail rolls tasted fine, but they, too were just very difficult to eat.
 edo sushi
I found no fault with my nigiri. It looks like the simple rolls may be fine to order as well.
 
In summary, I would not return to this chain.   Although the fried oysters were great, and I bet they do a mean crab cake, there are other seafood establishments in the Harbor that I’d rather try.
If you had a different impression of Edo Sushi, or know of a better place in Baltimore let me know!
 
I’ll be posting more reviews in the coming weeks, as Groupon has been quite kind to me.  Half price sushi is extra tasty!
*To be honest, I mistook Edo to be KonaGrill, a wonderful restaurant with good noodles and a dark, classy ambiance.  (It, too, is a chain and national to boot.)
 

Being Social: the Weekend of 06.03.11

2 Jun

Yes, it’s june, which means that it’s the last weekend to see Gauguin at the National Gallery of Art!  It’s also the beginning of the annual Capital Pride Celebration, so get your rainbows on and find something gay to do!  Also going on this weekend are:

Mmmmmmm.......

Mmmmmmm.......

June 3

National Doughnut Day!  Stop by a  Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts for a free Doughnut!

11am – 9pm

Truckeroo at the Navy Yard Metro – Holy crap, food trucks!  If you have ever wanted to try food trucks, this is a freaking porno of food trucks.  GO.  AND EAT MUCHLY.

June 4

10am-5pm

Jazz at the Phillips Collection

11am-5pm

DC Record Fair – A crazy LP selling/exchange/party at Uncapped Live at U Street/Cardozo.

12-1pm

If you didn’t hear the story about dancing protesters at the Lincoln Memorial last week, then you may not care that there is a massive flash mob that will form at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial this weekend.  But if you do want to watch/participate in this display of public protest, now’s the time!  According to Metromix, the purpose of the flashmob is to peacefully draw attention to and defy a recent U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that dancing, even silently, is forbidden at memorials because it distracts from the “solemn commemoration” at such sites.

2-7pm

The Seersucker Social, hosted by the Dandies & Quaintrelles (who also did the Tweed Ride).  According to WaPo, this will be a fashion show on wheels. The after-party at Hillwood includes tasty beverages, games and live music, but you need to buy tickets if you want to party!

6pm

NINJA WARRIOR at Urban Evolution Gym.  Okay, it’s not the real Sasuke.  But it’s gonna be a ton of people making asses of themselves while trying to do ridiculous feats of strength and acrobatics.  If you haven’t seen Ninja Warrior on G4/Spike TV, you need to watch a marathon on YouTube, and then go to this event.  It’s a true Japanese cultural experience.

June 5

11am-830pm

Tastes of Africa in Silver Spring.  According to WaPo, there will be dishes from more than 40 African countries at this family event.  There are also art shows, three fashion shows with designs from Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast and Cameroon and traditional and modern dance performances.



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District [Sushi] Geek – Episode 1

31 May

I am a massive sushi lover.  As such, it’s my goal to go forth into the District in search of the tastiest sushi!  Today’s Episode is: Sushi Inside the Pentagon!

Disclaimer: Although I’m a food dork and love sushi, I grew up in a land where sushi was never fresh, and only in the past ten years have I begun to develop a palate. So please take my reviews with a few grains of salt!

I had the honour of dining at the Pentagon today, at what may be one of the hardest-to-access sushi stands in all of DC.  It was inside a simple buffet and market, and within the market two sushi chef stood at their meter-long counter, tirelessly making sushi.  Their menu contained many classics rolls such as the California and Vegetable, as well as typical Nigiri such as tuna, crab, and eel.  They also make party platters (for $60-100)!

I chose the seaweed salad, a staple on par with miso that I use to determine the baseline quality of their food.  I also decided on a “Five on Five Salmon” ($5.99) which was a roll with spicy salmon and cucumber with salmon on top.   A rather bland chili sauce topped the roll.  Then, of course I ordered the “Pentagon Roll” ($5.39).  It was a roll with Avocado, Cucumber, Shrimp and Crab.  Not even tempura anything… this roll just had those simple ingredients, sprinkled with sesame on top.  I thought to myself, maybe it’s a spy roll, hiding a secret taste (much like the building holds so many of the US’ secrets), though I recognized than the ingredients are very unoriginal for a signature roll (see: Shrimp Special, Deluxe California, Jordan’8, & Cal-Vada Maki for starters).

The seaweed salad was very typical, though perhaps with a bit less umami than I like.  Unfortunately, the salad was a vivid green, and one look at the sesame seeds confirmed that green dye was added to the salad to make it look so vibrant.  (Negative points for that.)  But the seaweed was crisp and refreshing, and other than the dye I had no complaint.  And at $2.99 for a serving, the price was completely worth it.

The sushi was presented pleasantly.  The ginger was a bit wilted and weak, and the wasabi was typical, with a nice, rough texture and medium heat (I could have some by itself and it was not hot, just spicy).  The rice was a bit rubbery, though not uncomfortably so, and it lacked a bit of the vinegar flavour that is typical of good sushi rice.  However, the rice was quite sticky and all of my rolls had their integrity intact throughout the entire meal.

The salmon 5 on 5 roll was very bland.  The fish itself had chewy bits and did not taste like the typical high-grade sushi fish that melts on one’s tongue (I had a second thought about maybe getting the tuna 5 on 5 instead!).  The spicy tuna inside was not hot at all, though there was a bit of flavour in the sauce.  And unfortunately the orange sauce on top was nothing but a decorative accent, with no definitive flavours that I could find.

Then came the Pentagon roll.  Avocado dominated.  With a bit of wasabi, I could imagine it being something better, but the shrimp was so thinly sliced I could not even taste it and the cucumber was very thinly sliced and not crispy (perhaps remnants, but not cucumber sticks!).   This unsuspecting roll did not live up to the grandeur of the building it was named after.  Yes, it was disappointing.  But somehow it was better than the 5 on 5.

All in all, I would give this un-named Pentagon Market Sushi Stand a 2 out of 5 stars.  It’s good for supermarket food, but even Whole Foods sushi is better than this was (review on Whole Foods sushi will be forthcoming! 🙂.

There were also no sales of alcoholic beverages in the Pentagon, so I have no review of Japanese beer or sake for this episode 😦

What’s your favourite sushi place?  Mine is California Rollin’, a hole-in the wall hideaway in Rochester, NY.  The thing is, it was where I had my full-on sushi baptism, so I’m not sure that it’s as good as I remember, now that I’m getting around the sushi scene.  Someday I shall return, and then it will be put to the real test! ❤

Holiday Special: Easter Peepshi!

22 Apr
District Geek Peepshi close-up

Maybe not as tasty as Sushi, but more fun to make!

A new trend in Easter food experimentation is PeepshiPeeps Sushi.  The premise is simple: instead of fish on rice, use marshmallow Bunny and Chicky Peeps on Rice Krispies, and tie them together with dehydrated fruit strips instead of seaweed.

Last night a friend from CUA and I ventured into the world of Peepshi, and they turned out pretty awesome.  The only ‘issue’ is that they have SO MUCH SUGAR ❤  If you need instructions, there are some on Serious Eats, but we just winged it and they turned out just fine.

District Geek Peepshi

Tada!

On a related note, apparently this week is Peeps Week.  The only thing I have figured out that it entails is making everything you can out of Peeps, and then eating them all on Easter Sunday.

Locally, the Washington Post held a Peeps Competition, where creative minds vied for the title of “Best Peeps Diorama”.  A selection of the competing Peeps dioramas will be display at the Artisphere in Arlington from May 7-31.  As it’s only a few blocks from District Geek Central, I’ll try my best to make it out there and report on my findings.  If you can’t make it, allegedly the entire collection can be found on the Washington Post Peeps Page.

(M.C. Escher Peeps! Photo by James M. Thresher/The Washington Post)

Cook Bacon, Win Prizes!

19 Apr

Okay.  Bacon is win. But winning with bacon?! Epic!

Raw Tasty Applewood Smoked Bacon

Even uncooked, you can't deny the allure of bacon.

Instructables.com is hosting its annual Bacon Challenge, where you compete to make the most epic food/art out of bacon.  While creating your masterpiece, document the steps, then submit the complete how-to collection for a chance to win a custom-etched iPad (suck, I just bought one!) or an All-clad skillet.

I think I have to enter. I’m thinking either Bacon Transformer or Bacon Nintendo 8-bit controller.

Any Suggestions? 

If you enter, please let me know!