Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Emily Henry featured at IOTA Open Mic

IOTA's open mic show every Wednesday is my favorite free event in Clarendon. It's always exciting not knowing who will perform or what genre of music they will bring to the stage. Everyone gets to play two songs, and those range from acoustic guitar covers, original songs with mandalins and violins, to singers and rappers.

This past Wednesday IOTA also added a featured musician in the middle of the open mic slots: the very talented Emily Henry. The  Fredericksburg native acoustic/folk singer caught everyone's attention and played about six songs for the crowd, including her hit "Las Vegas". She was a tough act to follow for people scheduled after her! I am very much looking forward to seeing her perform again at IOTA sometime.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cafe Wilson brunch

I finally got a chance to try out the tiny and easily missed Cafe Wilson on Garfield & Wilson. Before 2005, it was known as "Big Belly Deli" and still has the same decour and signage as before but just different owners.

Cafe Wilson is known for its vegetarian dishes and low prices, but I tried a few meat heavy items from their all day breakfast menu. The two eggs, hash browns, toast and circle bacon pictured here is a delicious value for $5.50. The egg, cheese and sausage english muffin was fresh but bland. I want to drop by again with some vegan friends and get their opinion of the quirkly little deli.

I hope little unique shops like this one can stay around as Clarendon grows and becomes more urbanized. Their neighbor Hunan Number One is one of my favorite places to get a cheap beer, and is similar to Cafe Wilson in the way that you could easily miss it walking past. Also, both venues have no-frills interior offers a nice contrast to all the high end restaurants that have popped up recently.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rabbit and Red Velvet Cupcakery

Clarendon's newest little restuarant Rabbit opened last week and has more to offer than just their Red Velvet cupcakes. Their menu keeps with the rabbit food theme as it is mostly salads and sandwitches with sides of salads.

I tried their version of the Cubano pork sandwitch, which was good but nothing spectacular. The tuna salad pictured here was decent, but I agree with Clarendon Culture's review that their food seems lacking for the price.

There are many positives about Rabbit that will bring be back though, such as the airy wooden decorating, fresh carrot juice and the self serve water jug with mint and cucumbers. I'm also a fan of their cookies & creme cupcakes, and think their sweets will be good competition for neighboring Crumbs and Bakeshop.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Andy Zipf @ IOTA

Zipf at Iot in March. Photo via AlexandriaTalks.com
I got to Iota late Thursday because I was enjoying Pete's clam pizza and cane sodas, but I still made it in time to see Andy Zipf's entire set. I missed the opening acts, including Justin Tradwick, but it was still worth it to see Andy's rock/folk band play.

Andy Zipf has frequented Iota in the past,and they have also opened for Badly Drawn Boy and The Ataris! I can see why, as this local musician had the crowd mesmerized with songs from their new album. He played with a full band that included several electric and acoustic guitars, drums, bass, keyboard, and even a cello.  I also had a chance to meet their drummer Adam and learn a little about the history of the band. Looking forward to their next show!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great Date Scenes: Lyon Hall Lobster & Crab Burger

Lobster & Crab Burger and Fries
 A recent new addtion to Lyon Hall's menu warrants another review of Liberty Tavern's sister restaruant. A few weeks ago Lyon Hall added a "Lobster & Crab Burger" to their lunch menu, and it was so popular they made it available as a dinner entre. 
Diver's Scallops and Bacon
The "burger" is more like a crab cake sandwitch with lobster meat and the filler being crab meat. It is absolutely delicious and comes with plenty of fries, making it a good dinner choice at $20 for a higher-end restaurant like Lyon Hall. I paired this dish with the "Dark Side" beer flight which was just as enjoyable.

Also pictured here is the "Diver's Scallops" entre which comes with a slice of cripsy bacon. The scallops were tasty, but over all the dish felt lacking.

Lyon Hall is a great dinner venue, given their great beer selection, shaded outdoor seating and conversation-starting bathroom setup.