Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday, February 27th - Brown Bag

This is going to be quick, because I'm just not that motivated to write. I want to get to the gym and continue trying to get huge.

So I went to Brown Bag, because I needed a salad. I'm concerned about vegetable intake in my diet right now. Actually, I've done a lot of reading about nutrition lately, but have yet to find a good source regarding the suggested daily intake of vodka. If somebody has a definitive answer on this, let me know.

Brown Bag today was empty at noon. Crazy. So I do the make your own salad thing, which is the norm for me.Consists of:
  • house salad
  • chick peas
  • black bean relish
  • cheese
  • blackened chicken (blackened is key)
  • lime vinaigrette
Total, + a diet coke = $9.63. Acceptable, but pushing it. All in all, its an enjoyable salad. The best part is the end, when there's nothing but like chicken and dressing left. That part is awesome.

Again, not motivated today. Something will be better in the future. Sorry.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday, February 26th - Cafe Phillips

Not even kidding - this is the dullest Tuesday ever. The weather sucks, there's nothing going on - about the only work related thing I've done today is go over some "state of the credit markets" slides from a presentation. Work is slow.

So, I had a place suggested, called Cafe Phillips. Its a sandwich place. But they do fresh carved sandwiches. Since I have no choice but to subsist off of sandwiches in this new neighborhood since apparently that's all anybody ever wants for lunch, I give them a shot.

Wow what an inspiring storefront. Also, there's a Land Rover out front and those cost a lot of money. So if people who have a lot of money are eating here it must be good, because people with a lot of money have good taste and they buy nice things. So I step in, around 12:30, and I think there are two other customers. Note: the Greek Deli probably had a line of 50 at this point in the day. But, true to the word I heard, they do have fresh carved sammiches. I usually like a turkey sammich in this fashion, but, for reasons not fully understood, I chose roast beef. Which brings me to another point about sammich places and lunch places in general: you need to go in with a strategy. If you don't keep your wits about you, its all too easy to order something you don't really want. How often have you gone into a strange city, and ended up ordering something just downright bizarre and terrible, because you lost your cool, and, although you've never liked a fried cod and artichoke sammich, you decide to order it anyway. Too often, friends. Too often. Which is why when traveling with friends, have them order your food for you, assuming they're local. Its just easier.

So I bring it back to my desk.

That's a big roast beef sandwich. Total, including a diet coke, was $8.07. Acceptable. Went with mustard, lettuce, tomato, and provelone - cheese cost extra. And then I bite into it. First thing I noticed was that I expected a hotter sandwich. And maybe moister. The flavor of everything was good, but the tactile part of lunch was lacking. And really, it was just normal wheat bread. Basically, this amounted to above average belly filler, but far from anything I'm craving. I mean, I prefer this to something at Breadline, because that place sucks. But really. If this is what I have to look forward to at lunch, I'm not going to be looking forward to lunch. Its that simple. I mean, dang. Really? This? This is what my lunch is coming to?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday, February 25th - Burro

So I missed a day. Blah. Friday I grabbed lunch with FI4 - went to Nooshi, had a good lunch. A Nooshi review will be posted soon.

Today, though, I needed nourishment. Backstory: Saturday night was our office party that had been postponed for awhile. Well, it finally happened. And I found it necessary to drink about 20 glasses of scotch, and attend while wearing a women's silk scarf as formal neckwear. Don't ask. And after 20 glasses of scotch, a couple of us headed out to another bar, where tequila shots were necessary. Amazingly, I was part of the calm group. Anyways, this led to a Sunday where I did a heady combination of bed and couch time, trying to recover. Finally headed over to a local bar/grill at about 5:30 to grab a cheeseburger and a beer, in hopes that a beer would help. Not sure it did. So today, I'm still kind of hungover and hungry now. And needed something substantial. So I grab YF, and head over to 2000 Penn (by the GW campus) and hit up Burro, at the suggestion of my friend M^2.

Ambiance = 2. If that. This place is tiny and ugly. However, it is quick, and has a beautifully simple menu. That says something. So I get a grande chicken burrito (sans sour cream) and a small drink. Tally - $8.03. Acceptable.

I'm usually a pretty big fan of burritos as hangover food. Something about the giant tortilla, beans, and cheese makes a hungry stomach happy. This guy, one thing good about it is the chicken. They have some pulled, seasoned chicken thats all tender and yummy and in large chunks (not Chipotle style). YF and I were able to enjoy our meals pretty easily, although, as I said, there's not really any seating. But it looks out on some courtyard that I am looking forward to as the weather gets warmer.

Which brings me to the point of going west like this: co-eds. YF and I stop by this Italian deli that's right there to check out the menu, and an absolutely amazing one is in line. I mean, yeah, its cliche that "I keep getting older, and they stay the same age", but dang grandpa. Dang. I mean, this was special.

Oh, and another point. Apparently I'm not the only one commenting on expensive sandwiches.
Check it out here.

Yup, I have a kindred spirit out there. This makes me smile.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21 - Chipotle

I'm a day late with this post. Bite me.

So I have to review some report comments, and need to sit down and take some time to think about edits. So I go to my favorite haunt for this - the Chipotle in DuPont (aka Gazuza Chipotle).

Now, I realize that there is another Chipotle at 19th and M. But the line there is ridiculous - you'll be in line a good 20 minutes most days. Its fine for ordering in and picking up, but if you need to sit down and read something, hells no. Plus, its nice to stretch the legs, and in the springtime its never bad to get out, walk a few more blocks, and enjoy the springtime fashions. And, from the old office, I believe that it was actually quicker. Plus, I have a Greenpeace girl who tries to get me to sign up every time. And every time, I say no. Note: when it is below freezing, do not try to get people to sign up for global warming awareness. 1) its too damn cold to be standing around outside and 2) when its this cold, I'm starting to think its a farce - I ain't buying. Talk to me when its 75 degrees in January, and I'll sign up.

So, I go in, and easily get a table to sit down and read and enjoy my burrito bowl. I can't justify the burrito anymore - that shell is ridiculous. I'm pretty sure it will fill a 16 oz cup. I don't need that. So my standard order is:

  • bowl
  • rice
  • black beans
  • chicken
  • medium corn and hot salsa
  • quacamole
  • cheese

Final calorie tally: 997. (source: Not bad, honestly - I know that people always complain about the calorie tally there. Look - if I consume 1,000 calories per meal, three meals per day, I'm doing just fine. I walk a mile to and from work each way every day, go to the gym, and this walk alone is probably 3/4 of a mile. I need 3,000 calories per day. The sodium scares me, though. This bad boy hits my sodium number for the day. That's kind of scary. I have blood pressure issues. Total cost, including soft drink - $9 something. For a quantity of food I normally can't finish. Acceptable.

Also: I realize that part of this blog is being anti-chain. I know this. But I like Chipotle, dammit. Plus, they claim to try to buy organic and local whenever possible. So I can support it. Being owned by Colorado hippies, however, I don't condone this.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday, February 20 - Asian Bistro

First off, being the idiot I am, I signed up for a 10 mile race in two months. I am not in this kind of shape, for those of you that know. This is going to be ugly.

So by about noon thirty today I have a raging headache from working on the report from hell, which I hoped to have done by noon. Actual time sent in for review? 5:00. Not making friends with my reviewer with this one. But trust me, it was a pain. So I decide to take a walk to the old neighborhood, and hit the Asian Bistro at 19th and L.

I usually like this place. The wait can be a few minutes, and it can be hit or miss. But usually I'm pretty sure that the food is reasonably healthy - not the spring rolls of course, but lean chicken, rice, and salad - you can do worse. The daily specials rotate, and I'll admit I've had some bad ones. But part of me likes it for take out, because its not jsut normal chickenese. So today's special, at least for me, is the Spicy Peanut Tofu. I consider myself a bit of a tofu fan, and always enjoy trying different ways. Note: I make a mean peanut butter tofu myself.

So I trek it back to the office. Note #2: not in a good mood today, due to report from hell. And this is what I got:
That is a giant pile of tofu in peanut butter and hot sauce, in case you're wondering. Final tally, after tax - $8.25. Most things here run about a buck more than that, but not terrible. And its good pork fried rice (quothe my coworker one day after bringing it back to my office: "What smells so good? Its YOU. I WILL EAT YOUR FOOD." Caps were necessary. She was hungry.) All in all, it wasn't bad. I'm sure that sauteed tofu and a giant pile of peanut better (there were other vegetables in it, btw) isn't the healthiest, but I don't care today. I've downed about 24 oz of coffee, 24 oz of diet coke, and am just trying to keep going through the report from hell. I'll give lunch a 5 today - not inspiring, not demoralizing. At least its not a damn sandwich from Breadline. That place sucks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday, February 19th - Brown Bag

OK, this is going to have to be a quick one. I'm still at work, trying to put together the report from hell. I spent most of the day fighting spreadsheets. Not fun. So I had to quickly leave and grab something from Brown Bag (18th between H and I).

This is one of my favorite places, and has been since the old office. The noodles suck, but the sandwiches are pretty good, and the build your own salad goes pretty well. I usually opt for the salad, but today it was cold, and I wanted a nice hot sandwich. I got the San Francisco sandwich today.

Sourdough bread, with roast beef, dijon, red peppers, and artichokes, all nicely toasted. Not typical, so there are creativity points there. I like that - if I have to get a sandwich, I want something toasted, and I want some creativity. It was delicious, and it wasn't crowded. Sometimes it can get a little full, but they do a pretty respectable job of moving people in and out. Final tally (including a diet coke) was $9.02. Acceptable. Its a delicious sandwich, its quick, it will continue to get high remarks from me.

Now, back to the salt mines. Might be a late one tonight. But hopefully that will make for an easy day tomorrow. And that I don't get ripped in my review. Always a fear with a property like mine.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday, February 15th - Penn Grill

Day after Valentine's Day, and it seems like there is nobody in the office. Does everybody just get soused and sexy with their significant others on V-Day, and then phone it in the next day? I'm curious about this, being a perpetually single human being (one Valentine's Day with a girlfriend in my 28 years on this planet). But anyways, it was a sunny, beautiful day here in our Nation's Capital, and I was in a chipper mood. So I also didn't mind taking a nice walk lunch. After discussing the CMBS market and risk underwriting to YF, it was time for lunch. So we decided to go over to 20th Street, and Penn Grill.

I would just like to point out one thing about going this far west. You get closer to George Washington University. Which brings us to 4 of the most beautiful words in the English language:

  1. G
  2. Dub
  3. Co
  4. Eds

(I attempted to point out a pair of these in the photo above using my superior MS Paint skills)

OK, back to food. Choices include hot sammiches, cold sammiches, or stir fry. I opt for the stir fry, and go heavy on the chicken, a little tofu, some veggies, a bit of beef, and try to stay light on the noodles that hold it together. YF opted for the philly cheesesteak, an aggressive choice, but, lets face it, sometimes we need some fatty, bad for you food. Anyways, stir fry is pay by the pound. My total tally, including a $2 bottle of Diet Coke came out to $8.45. Acceptable. Especially for a lot of food, which is what you get. (I apologize - I forgot my camera at lunch. Won't happen again.) The quality here is, actually, not bad. Time is an issue - selecting stir fry ingredients and then having them prepare them isn't the fastest option. But its tasty. And although they advertise low sodium and msg, I'm still pretty sure it wasn't the heart-healthiest option. But not terrible, either. YF stated that his cheesesteak was pretty good, though the fries weren't necessary, and went largely untouched. Really: there is no nutritional value to fries.

Back to the co-eds: there was this nice dark haired one in skinny jeans who came in about the same time as us, and ended up eating with a couple of male friends of hers. Then there was this pair at the table in front of us, neither was bad, one bordered on awesome. Then there was definitely this one that was awesome, taller, with some sort of slightly above the shoulder length dirty blond hair. Note: I assume that any girl wearing jeans is in college. She looks young, not in businesswear, etc. If you work at a place that has casual Friday and you can wear jeans, I'm calling you a co-ed until I can't deny that you're over 35. That simple.

All in all, Penn Grill is legit. Good value, good food, good scenery. A little slow on service, but on a Friday like this, who cares. And, they have outdoor seating when the weather is a little better. Nice perk.

Now, to go drink. I'm not going into the bar reviewing business just yet. But Bar Pilar is the starting off point tonight, fyi.