County Line

A clash of church-goers and football fans crowd around sticky tables as the Fall sun beams through the windows. Servers exchange smiles as they lead me to my table where I see a welcomed sight for a BBQ joint, a microbrew six-pack that has the brews replaced by homemade sauces (with clean caps I might add).

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Suddenly, my Sunday was made by a weekly special — the $2.50 Bloody Mary bar. I can’t speak highly enough about the variety options offered on a table where tomato juice was surrounded by hot sauces, approximately 100 “sprinkles”, olives, pickles, jalapeños– the list could go on.
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While the menu is simple, don’t be surprised when you blink your eyes and the entire table is covered with BBQ goodness. Portions are huge and there will be leftovers. Don’t neglect the warm cornbread muffins they put on your table–just don’t fill up on them.
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After being thoroughly induced in a food coma, make your way towards the door taking one last look at the the contents of the Bloody Mary bar, and grabbing a fire head candy by the door.
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This, my friends was a meal gone right.
Who I would take as my date: My little sister, a Freshman at the college in this town
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Kuba Kuba

On a rainy morning, I found myself in Richmond, Virginia with an empty stomach. I had a location in mind–and knew I was approaching as soon as I saw the grafitti adorned walls and neon signs. Kuba Kuba is a cuban restaurant that specializes in brunch.
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I started my meal off with a cafe con leche. Now, I normally prefer my coffee black, but I was told that getting the sweetened condensed milk is what made this drink what it is. It did not disappoint.
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I began with a salad that was chock-full of vegetables; avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.

After looking over the extensive list of eggs, I finally decided to order the Tortilla Espangol consisting of a spanish style omelet with potatoes, green peppers and onions.
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My date had the famous California Huevos which we comprised of two eggs over red beans and cuban bread, topped with monterey jack cheese, enchilado sauce, avocados and lime sour cream.

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Having a sweet tooth, it was absolutely necessary to order the tres leches (three milks) cake.

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http://www.kubakuba.info/

Who I would take as my date: My friend who just studied abroad in Kuba Cuba

Whole Foods: Five After Five

Something spectacular is happening in my hometown—and most likely, yours too. On Thursday nights, at 5 o’clock, for five dollars, you get access to five tables serving small plates accompanied by wine. Notice the theme?

Not only is this a fun time to mingle with townies, it is also a good way to:

-taste new plates

-have dinner for under $5

-fill up a grocery cart

Curry Peach Tilapia + Mas Carlot Rose

Quinoa with Peaches and Cherries + La Formica Soave

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/store/event/five-after-five

Thank you, Whole Foods.

Society Fair

Nothing gets me more excited than a boutique grocery. Somewhere you can run into, pick up 10 random items and have the most unique picnic. I found this in Old Town Alexandria at Society Fair. 

Each table display was centered around a different food category (my favorite food categories). These food categories included: chocolate & sweets, cheese, baked goods, wine and coffee. 

I’m telling you, you can walk in with a blindfold, pick things up and come out with a bunch of delectables. 

There is a cold area with items ranging from fresh guacamole to homemade yogurt parfaits. There is also a bar where you can order tasty sandwiches. 

The ice coffee—my summer favorite—was delicious. I took mine to go, but the comfy plush leather chairs were calling my name for my next coffee break. 

Who I would take as my date: My girlfriends for a coffee pick-me-up after shopping in Old Town!

http://www.societyfair.net/home/

Evo Bistro

I wouldn’t call myself a wine snob, but the wine classes and tastings I participated in in Paris definitely don’t help my case. I know a thing or two about wine, that’s why I was so excited to find this gem right near my home. 

The appetizers during happy hour were $5 each, providing a perfect excuse to “keep em’ coming.” 

Assorted Olives

Mussels (with the most incredible white wine sauce)

Patatas Bravas (a favorite my gluten-free friend introduced me to in Barcelona, think creamy, spicy, warm potatoes)  

Grilled artichokes

From now on when I need a happy hour go-to, I will be in the car on my way to Evo Bistro

Who I would take as my date: Anyone who can appreciate a good glass of wine

http://www.evobistro.com

District Taco

I think I’ve found it. Well, ok my dad found it. Regardless, I think we found a mexican joint that is on par with Chipotle. It’s called District Taco and you’ve guessed it, it’s in the District of Columbia. 
It was founded by two neighbors who wanted DC to have authentic Yucatan style food, so they created a food truck. It eventually grew and now has multiple locations around the District. 
The salsa was all fresh and fabulous. Don’t forget to get a side (or two) of guacamole. 
I opted to get the carne asada and it was grilled to perfection. Seriously, beat Chipotle. This taco is loaded up with ingredients such as cilantro, black beans, raw white onion, garlic-lime rice, and fresh jalapeños. Trust me, they were fresh– my mouth was on fire (in a good way). 
I will be back to District Taco before I am back at Chipotle, and that will be pretty soon. 

http://www.districttaco.com

Person I would take as my date: Chipotle Convert