Redeem Boutique, think Diesel but more interesting and eclectic

OK. So I haven’t really done a fashion post in awhile. Mostly because I haven’t really been BUYING things. Not enough benjamins at the moment. However, last week I did manage to snag these:

Cute no? The sandals I mean. They are gladiator, a blue and gray that is much more vivid than it appears via my canon elf. They are from Redeem boutique on 14th street. LOVE. Reminds me a good deal of Diesel but with more variety. Talked to the salesguy, he used to work at Diesel. Makes sense. A lot of zippers, draped tops, blue/black/gray/white/purple type of color palette, industrial, tailored jackets for the mens. Designers are from all over: New York, London, Korea, Canada etc.  Also, unlike other boutiques, this one is half menswear. Some beautiful shots:

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Oh KFC, just when you thought America couldn’t get any fatter

So in theme with my last post on the anti-obesity Obama Easter egg roll, I figured I would post this new addition to the KFC line up. It is set to drop April 12th. OK. Brace yourselves:

OH, yes. It is what you think it is. It’s the KFC new double down “sandwich” and has fried chicken for buns. FRIED CHICKEN. It also has cheese and bacon and a ‘special’ Colonel’s sauce, which (and I may be going out on a limb here) I am going to guess is mayo-based. Now I secretly (well, not so secretly) indulge in fast food now and then. It’s a road trip fave, even if my stomach disagrees. But in this case, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. This shouldn’t exist. We are too fat. TOO fat. As a nation we should reject it, for our health, our food industry and everything else. TOO much.

If you are interested in reading more about the double down and other depressing fatty trends, you can do so here. Thanks for the tip Jonathan!

Peepdate by popular demand and other district news

Morning reader(s). So I have gotten some requests to see my peep-crazed friend’s entries from the peep show. I mentioned them in Tuesday’s post. Remember? She lost and was hardened and bitter and swore she would never compete but then did again and then lost but is now at peace with the  powers that be. Well, here are her entries, Peep Bloom 2009 & Snowpeepcalypse 2010:

Quite impressive no? She urges you all to click on the images (especially Peep Bloom) to see the detail and agree that she was robbed. So maybe she is not completely at peace.  I mean, many hours were lost. Anyways, for those not busy designing their own peep entries in their heads (the peeplic option, Peep-partiers, Hot Peep Time Machine), here is the weekly roundup:

Sign of the Whale in Dupont may be offering topless Thursdays. Way to class up the neighborhood (PoP)

Metro sent out a 14 car train (yes, that’s two trains fused together) and declares safety a priority. Yikes (DCist)

Metro may also cut all green line service on weekends, because apparently punishing poor people is the solution (14th&U)

Fenty misses deadly SE shootings because he was in Jamaica and didn’t tell anybody. I guess people don’t like mayors doing that (Washington Post)

DC ranked 2nd in the nation in energy efficient buildings! Take THAT San Francisco (The Examiner)

Best of DC winners and some DCspy opinions

Ok kids. The Best of DC results are in. Now, last time some DC results were in (i.e. my James Beard post), I thought I would get all bloggery and say “hey readers, let me know your thoughts!!” You know, because that’s what blogs do.

Yeah. You all failed. Basically, none of you commented except for empire state elitist who did not comment on the restaurants at all and instead talked about how much DC food sucks. Way to snark up the comments section.  ANYWAYS, learning from my mistakes, I have highlighted some of the Best of DC winners, MY thoughts, and could effing care less if you comment. take THAT…

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Peep show results are in. No, not that kind of peep show, far more sad

The winner. Ridiculous. Click for larger version

So. A certain friend of mine regularly competes in this annual DC contest where you make dioramas out of Peeps. Yes, the Easter candy. So what? Its not like you do super cool things in your spare time. Anyways, last year she spent more days than are socially acceptable to create an elaborate cherry – blossom – jefferson – memorial – peep – festival diorama only to be excluded from the slide show in favor of, what were in her opinion, far inferior entries (and i agree).

Hardened and bitter, she swore she would never spend time on peeps again. Well. Until this year. Armed with cotton balls, peeps, paint and resentment, she constructed “the snowpeepalypse” in a final vying run. And was she a finalist???

Sadly, no.

Once again she was spurned. But this time, she felt the competition was much stronger, and has gracefully accepted her place in the peep hierarchy. So, if you are looking to procrastinate at work, here is your answer:

the 2010 Peep Show winners brought to you by the Washington Post. Yes, the Washington Post. They are AMAZING! Enjoy!

Who says DC doesn’t have good food?

James Beard and Top Chef Bryan with chicken

Its been a good month for snacks in the District. First, news that Top Chef is coming, and now the James Beard nominees have been listed! The nominees are (thanks DCist): 

  • José Andrés, the small plates king (of Zaytinya and  Jaleo and Café Atlántico and Oyamel) for Outstanding Chef of the Year
  • Johnny Monis of Komi for Rising Star Chef of the Year
  • Amanda Cook from CityZen (in the Mandarin Oriental) for Outstanding Pastry Chef (finalist)
  • Bryan Voltaggio of Volt (Fredrick, MD), Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve (Alexandria) and Peter Pastan of Obelisk (DC) versus Philly folks (boo) for Best Mid-Atlantic Chef

Wonderful, no? Though I must admit, despite being a blogger, I have been to basically zero of these restaurants. Mostly because I make no money and am lazy. I have been to Zaytinya once and recall it being delicious, but god help you get a table on a weekend. They don’t take reservations. Yes, one of THOSE. 

I have also been to Eamonn’s Dublin Chipper, which is basically a poor(er) man’s Restaurant Eve, also done by Cathal. Eamonn’s serves fish and chips and beer. It’s motto is “thanks be to cod” and its located right on the main drag of King Street in Old Town Alexandria. A convenient pun restaurant, that serves food like this: 

 

Like a moth to a flame. I went immediately and it was DELICIOUS. And last but not least there is Bryan Voltaggio. Bryan is the un-tattooed brother from Top Chef that cooked excellent food but was just SO BORING in terms of personality. Remember him? He was boring and winning but then started losing to his moody younger brother and became boring-angry for a bit, which was a little more interesting, until he ruined it by accepting his brother’s victory without malice and leaving looking happy. That’s him with the chicken. One of many livestock poses from Volt’s website, like this: 

Bryan Voltaggio in dramatic pastoral scenes

I know, I know. A bit Amish priest with a side of awkward sauce. But cut him a break, his food is nominated for a James Beard and we aren’t all gifted in pizzazz. Anyways. READERS, if any of you have gone to these restaurants please comment! I do love snack insights and let’s be honest, when am I going to go to Komi? 

(Oh and apologies for the article being old, I wrote this post last week and forgot to publish it!!!)

Paddles the Beaver and Other District News

Paddles the Cherry Blossom Mascot

You didn’t know the cherry blossom festival had a mascot? Yeah, neither did I. Not to mention beavers have absolutely nothing to do with cherry blossoms.  Or Japanese culture. I mean, Paddles might chop down cherry trees to add more branches to his (her? gender-neutral?) dam, but a cherry tree maiming mascot doesn’t seem appropriate. That being said, children will like Paddles, and they will like stuffed animal Paddles sold at marked-up prices at the National Mall even more. Can’t say the same for ‘branchy’ the stuffed cherry blossom branch. You can hang out with Paddles at the festival tomorrow. Details here.

In other news, Syracuse lost, adding another Big East abomination to the tournament, the caps choked, and I’m starting to see some green on the trees. Here is the weekly news roundup:

Politico Poll finds tea partiers to be Republican, white and dissatisfied with America. Yeah. Not sure that was worth the effort (Politico)

Does a pro athelete bringing 4 guns into the Verizon Center locker room warrant jail time? We’ll find out  today (WTOP)

Legislation to legalize medical marijuana will be introduced next week. Stoners  won’t notice (DCist)

Please, be nice in the comments section. Sensitive 14th St. wine bar owner threatens to sue U Street Girl for blog comments

New Eisenhower memorial design is Gehry interesting indeed. Oh yes, I did go there (Washington Post)

MidCity Caffé and the Blogger Coffeeshop Model

Many days I have walked past MidCity Caffé and wondered whether it got business. It’s located up a flight of stairs, not all that well signed, is small, people never walked in or out. It was the little engine that could of coffee shops of my mind. The coffee shop I loved being there but never actually supported by buying coffee from it (oh, you KNOW you have those things, ahem, Tonight Show with Conan o’ Brien, ahem, Snakes on a Plane etc, but I digress).

And then I went inside….

All the signs were there. Vintage utilitarian furniture, magazine racks filled with New Yorkers, maple syrup as a free coffee sweetener, young people in distressed demin typing on laptops, talking about how surreal it is that the Decemberists are on NPR now since they knew them when only 10 people came to their shows and it’s so ironic because of something something I can’t remember because I stopped listening because it was a super boring conversation and because I had REALIZED. MidCity Caffe wasn’t a struggling coffeeshop, no. It was a blogger coffeeshop. And it was doing JUST fine.

The kind of blogger coffeeshop that the bloggers probably hate me blogging about but the owners don’t because it’s actually a business.  Intimidated by the happy communal surroundings, I ordered a plain coffee (figured that was a safe and sufficiently ironic choice) from a genuinely nice cashier, and slinked back down the stairs to blog from the shadows of my studio.

MidCity Caffe has the blogger recipe down: the perfect mix of ambiguity, utilitarianism and David Bowie that will attract even the most diehard of bloggers. You know, like this:

Hipster Bloggers in NYC Habitat

Jesus. But more than that, it’s an excellent coffeeshop. The employees are nice, the coffee is good, the music is not overbearing, and you have a view of 14th Street. I have returned to MidCity probably 6 times since and will go back again. It really is a perfect little coffeeshop. Just come early or you may be waiting out a NYT crossword puzzle… and we all know how long that could take.

MidCity Caffé, 1626 14th St NW, DC 20009; (202) 234-1515 (will spymap), http://www.midcitycaffe.com/

Yes, cupcakes are effing trendy CNN

The fabric of the cupcake lifestle

OK. So those that read my blog know my pro-pie stance on the cupcake obsession. If you don’t, read my please not another effing cupcake store post.

Basically, I advocate for minority desserts. Yes, cupcakes are delicious, but many other desserts are delicious too and deserve more representation. Trendy foods are irritating.  First those Pinkberry-type yogurt things, now cupcakeries.

However, unlike pinkberry, CNN is saying cupcake have transcended the trend category and are part of the American culinary landscape. Cupcakes are a “passion,” a lifestyle, a part of who we are (see article here).

Come ON. Cupcakes are trendy. Period. It doesn’t mean they are not delicious, it means that if cupcakes were not trendy we maybe wouldn’t have 6 (Yes 6!) cupcakeries within 10 miles of each other in a city that isn’t all that big. So please, dear pastry chef, avoid the hype. Open a bakery. Provide me with fresh delicious bread that I can ruin in my attempts to cook things. Or maybe a croissant. Or a piece of pie. Just not another effing effing cupcake.

So I don’t jump the shark on cupcake posts, this will be my last for awhile, but I just couldn’t pass up the article. It was just right there. Taunting me.

I went to Ruff & Ready and all I got was this ottoman and this rash

First, let me say that I love Ruff & Ready. I have a TV stand, lamp, pictures and other things from there. However, Ruff & Ready is not for everyone, and I have been abandoned there many times by friends who can’t handle its charm. Well, I think it’s charm.

Ruff and Ready is a hipster’s dream. It is only open on the weekends. It is technically antique but has the stacked inventory of a thrift store. All prices end in the number 7 and the owner doesn’t know why, its just tradition. It’s not super cheap, but they will bargain with you. It is one of those perfect places that locals have known about for ages and new residents need to know about immediately. Some pictures:

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