Friday, October 31, 2014

Grey's Anatomy: Stuck

There was no new episode of Grey's Anatomy last night, but since I was traveling for work last week and couldn't watch with you or share my thoughts, I decided to recap last week's episode this week. Next week, we'll be back on schedule together!

Last week's episode was titled "Bend & Break" and when the show opened it was Arizona's voice narrating instead of Meredith's. Arizona and Callie are in couples therapy trying to work through their constant fighting. They wind up bringing their therapy language into the operation room and saying things like, "I feel like that approach is wrong" and "I feel like you shouldn't do it that way."

Their therapist suggests they take a conscious break and Arizona says she'd like to try it for three to six months. Callie fires back, "This feels like a joke. Or a reality show. The Real Housewives M.D. of Seattle." In fact, I would watch such a show.

Later that night Callie goes out for drinks with Meredith (and by drinks, I mean shots) and she confides, "We live in the same house, we trade off caring for Sophia, we just can't talk or have sex." To which Meredith replies, "Exactly what Derek and I are doing, only healthy."

Meredith continues to drink and starts to mock her nightly conversations with Derek where he asks, "How was your day Meredith? Did you cure death today, Meredith? When are you going to cure death, Meredith? I could have cured death. Let me move to DC and work for the President."

The drunken rants continue with Callie shouting, "So I'm bisexual! So what? It's a thing and it's real. It's called LGBTQ for a reason. There's a B in there and it doesn't mean badass. Ok, it kind of does. But it also means bi."

Then Callie and Meredith start to loudly sing the word, "Vagina." This entire drunken scene reminded me of the old Grey's, when Cristina and Meredith used to get drunk, dance and bed inappropriate men.

Meredith and Callie continue to find solace in one another and head out for a burger dinner. Over that meal they make a surgical breakthrough while cutting a pickle. Medical geniuses here, people.

In the closing scene of the episode, Callie and Arizona are back in therapy. Arizona pours her heart out to Callie and says she only needs her to survive. Callie is crying. Hard. Turns out she actually wants to be free from Arizona and pursue her own life.

I didn't see that coming! Did you?

In previews for next week, Kepner's mom is in town (Oh boy) and Derek wants Meredith to include her half sister Maggie in more family activities. This whole story line gives me such Lexi flashbacks.

What do you think of Arizona and Callie's break up? Devastated or don't care?

*Images courtesy of the Grey's Anatomy Facebook page.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dining Out: Farmers Fishers Bakers

There are no sweeter words than, "All you can eat brunch." If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I live for brunch. When I was in Washington D.C. over Columbus Day weekend, my friend made us a reservation at a place called Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown.

It was a cold and rainy day, but even through the sheets of rain I could tell how lovely their outdoor patio would be in the warm weather.

On the outside, the sign over the door is very unassuming.

On the inside however, the revolving door is topped with a giant sculpture of a bull. Farm themed indeed!

We were ushered straight to a cozy booth where we met our waiter, who was awesome. He walked us through the entire brunch menu and what exactly they mean by "all you can eat."

The buffet menu (more on that in a minute) was enormous!

We began our feast with the complimentary plate of biscuits and cinnamon rolls. Yes, people, that's a thing.

The biscuits, or the "Heavenly Fluffy Biscuits" as they are listed on the menu, are exactly that! They are lightly toasted on the outside and warm and cloud-like on the inside. They are served with an ice cream scoop of butter and a dollop of fresh fruit jam.

Remember when I was talking about the ideal cinnamon roll last Friday when I reviewed the Hotel Tabard Inn brunch? Well, the cinnamon rolls at Farmers Fishers Bakers are the type of cinnamon rolls you dream about - perfectly puffed up, bursting with cinnamon flavor and drizzled with never ending frosting.

After nibbling on our pastries, we headed to the buffet.

With plates in hand, we explored the offerings. On the breakfast side they had yogurt topped with granola.

I was wowed by the beautiful presentation of this bruleed grapefruit. It was crystalized on the top from the torch!

Moving to the savory items, there was a long table with salads, chopped veggies and dips.

Want guacamole with your brunch? How about a batch made right before your very eyes?

For all you meat eaters, there were also trays of fried chicken, meatballs, jambalaya and more.

Though we weren't quite ready for dessert during round one, we had to at least peek. Look at all those treasures!

The dessert spread was really quite magnificent. Candied orange, anyone?

They also had little petite bags of flavored popcorn.

For my first plate, I tried the veggie egg scramble, the cheesy grits, two roasted potatoes, a spoonful of kale salad and flatbread crisps with pimento cheese dip.

I wanted to marry that pimento cheese dip! Holy yum!

My brunch date also went for the pimento cheese dip, the kale and the grits, but she added rice and beans and a taco that was stuffed with Bloody Mary marinated chicken. I would give up my vegetarianism to try something called Bloody Mary marinated chicken.

While we were dining, our waiter noticed we had devoured the biscuits and cinnamon rolls so he offered to bring us more. Within minutes this plate appeared. Jackpot!

For round two at the buffet, I snagged more pimento dip and decided to try the guacamole and corn chips.

My friend wanted a smidge more grits and then had the yogurt with granola, the cucumber salad, the long grain rice, a honey pot fried chicken wing and some grilled thick cut bacon.

She was beyond stoked about the bacon.

At this point, after two cinnamon rolls, two buffet plates and a biscuit a piece, we were about ready to burst.

Before heading out, we popped into the ladies room which was surprisingly beautiful.

Outside the bathrooms is a shower and bathtub and they actually have the water running, like a decorative fountain.

Inside they have the most gorgeous mirrors, wrapped with round crystals.

They have true vanity mirrors, studded with classic round light bulbs.

The coolest part was the art installation on the ceiling that carries through each stall.

Don't worry, they aren't real bees!

Our whole experience at Farmers Fishers Bakers was A+. From the cozy booth to the fabulous waiter to the cinnamon rolls and the table after table of incredible buffet choices. This would be an excellent place to come with a big group because there is something for everyone and they don't rush you at all.

As an added bonus, when we finished our meal we were just steps from the center of Georgetown and spent the next two hours shopping. A perfect vacation morning!

Do you have a favorite spot for all you can eat brunch?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dining Out: Alba Osteria

In my last post I shared with you that I spent Columbus Day weekend in Washington D.C., my first trip there in over six years! Though I was excited to be back in our nation's capital, it rained for my entire visit. As such, we spent a lot of time shopping and dining out. Or rather, ducking in and out of buildings.

On my second night in town we had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Alba Osteria. It was a short walk from the Chinatown Metro station. From the street you could see the pops of orange from the banquettes and chairs inside.

Alba Osteria has a ton of bar seating, including seats right in front of the pizza oven. I absolutely love the way they store the firewood on the wall.

As I mentioned, the whole restaurant is bursting with orange furniture and decor. On a rainy night, we definitely needed that pick me up!

Our waiter arrived to the table to deliver us menus and right away it was clear he really didn't know anything about the menu items or the way things were prepared. Do you ever get that feeling within five or ten minutes of sitting down somewhere, where you just know the experience is going to be a nightmare?

Yeah, that happened.

To begin, we were treated to a basket of flatbread crisps with a curious side of something green. It looked like face cream, so I asked the waiter what exactly we had been served. He explained, "This is our house made dip. It's a blend of ricotta cheese, olive oil, garlic and lime."

Each of the flatbread crisps were toasted perfectly and dotted with just the right amount of salt.

The house made ricotta dip was the best thing we ate all night. It was so creamy and smooth. The waiter had to bring us a second jar and we even requested a third jar to take home!

As we devoured the crisps (purely as a vehicle for consuming the dip) we then discovered there were crostini and breadsticks at the bottom of that basket!

To wash down the ricotta dip, we ordered cocktails. Across from me, my friend ordered the Fragola, which was Bombay Sapphire, Campari, strawberry, basil and lime juice. She was hoping for a delicate balance of flavors, but only tasted basil with every sip.

I went with the Paola's Berry Punch, which was painfully fruity and sugary. I took a few sips and couldn't continue to drink it.

Though the cocktails were lackluster, the next thing to arrive was our cheese plate, which was super yummy. We had two kinds of cheese, a Toma and a Taleggio, with a side of hazelnut and honey dipping sauce. The honey dipping sauce was the best part of the dish!

The cheese plate was also meant to come with breadsticks, but when the server arrived to our table to deliver them, he dropped the entire basket and the breadsticks flew across our table. Yikes!

When we received a fresh batch of breadsticks we were happy to discover they tasted like churros! Perfect with the honey sauce.

We were only a bite or two into our cheese plate when our entrees arrived. I hate when a restaurant doesn't pace your courses and all of a sudden you have six to eight dishes on a tiny table. Worst!

Straight across for me, my friend was making room for the vegetariana pizza which was grilled vegetables, garlic, tomato, parmesan and smoked mozzarella.

She felt the pizza was over salted - the sauce and the veggies. She also said, "With this style of pizza, thin crust, it really shouldn't be as chewy as it was. It should have had some crunch, but it just didn't."

Next to her, her fiance ordered one of the evening's specials, the chicken ravioli. He said, "Honestly, when is roast chicken and rosemary ever a bad idea?"

After a few bites he shared, "I would have preferred the pasta to be a bit more cooked, it was quite al dente. The sauce was really buttery. Because of both of those things, I don't think I would order it again."

I decided on the gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese and pistachios. When the server brought over the dish he was calling it by another name (an incorrect name) so none of us thought it was what we ordered. Our waiter had to resurface to ensure us it was actually my dish.

The gnocchi was one note - one texture, one flavor. They tried to add crunch with the nuts, but there just weren't enough to make a difference. I was beyond underwhelmed. My friend's fiance took a bite and said, "Oh Mol, you definitely got the worst dish at the table. For sure."

Lastly, we decided to share a side of spinach. Unfortunately it was wilted and swimming in a sea of broth.

After multiple courses, the best thing we ate all night was the free thing - the crackers and dip!

I absolutely hate writing a negative review, but our meal at Alba Osteria was a true disappointment.

Thankfully the next two D.C. meals I plan to share with you were total home runs! More to come, friends!
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