Tag Archives: spring

Restaurant.com Giveaway!

The Unpaid Gourmet is happy to announce its first giveaway–all thanks to Restaurant.com!

For readers unfamiliar with the site, Restaurant.com offers discounts to over 15,000 restaurants across the country. From appetizers to dessert, from wine to dinner, Restaurant.com helps restaurant owners promote the new and unique aspects of their restaurants while providing diners with great value in a fun, new and cost effective way.

Personally, I’ve been perusing the Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Los Angeles sections of the site, and I’m happy to have found some of my favorite places listed on the site.

And now onto the most exciting part–the giveaway!  Two lucky readers will each win a $25 gift certificate to Restaurant.com.  To enter, answer the following question in the comments section below:

What dish or ingredient are you most looking forward to seeing on menus this spring?

(For me, I’ll have to go with asparagus risotto.  Mmmmm.)

The giveaway will close Sunday April 10 at 11 p.m. and winners will be contacted on Monday.  Bonus points to readers who sign up for RSS Feed!  (Well, not really, but please do sign up anyway!)

Good luck, and please thank Restaurant.com for their generosity.

**UPDATE: Congratulations to Susan Audrey and Ariste, winners of the contest! Thank you to everyone who entered.  Hopefully we’ll start seeing strawberries and artichokes on menus soon!

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Scenes from Saint Sophia’s Greek Festival

Yes, those are whole lambs roasting over a spit–no Greek festival would be complete without that! Last weekend’s Annual Spring Greek Festival at Saint Sophia’s Cathedral was a Greekophile culinary paradise. There were so many options, ranging from the aforementioned lamb to flaky spanakopita (spinach-filled phyllo pie) to delectable Greek desserts. Here are some photos, for those of you who missed it:

I started my Greek culinary tour with something sweet: loukoumades, which are Greek donuts drenched in honey and cinnamon. The loukoumades arrived piping hot–fresh from the fryer. They were crisp on the outside and pleasantly doughey on the inside. The honey and cinnamon on top made them taste sinfully delicious, yet light. My roommate and her friend easily polished off over a dozen loukoumades; they were that good.

After my loukoumades appetizer, I headed over to the gyro stand for some lunch. Despite the long line, it was well worth the wait. I loved the generous amount of tzatziki scooped onto the gyro, and the meat was tender and flavorful (albeit a bit greasy). And for $9, the gyro made a relatively cheap and filing lunch.

I couldn’t leave without sampling some of the delectable Greek pastries on display. There were some that I was more familiar with than others. Baklava–thin layers of phyllo dough filled with walnuts and honey–looked incredibly flaky and tasty, but I wanted to try something I’d never eaten before. I chose kadaifi, which is very similar to baklava except that it uses shredded phyllo dough instead of sheets of it (shown in the photo directly above). The kadaifi looked like little birds nests, and the texture was quite enjoyable. Inside, it was filled with a mixture of walnuts, spices and honey.

I also bought some karythopita, or spiced walnut cake. It reminded me of a lighter, honey-soaked fruit cake (minus the fruit of course). If you’d like to try making these Greek sweets at home, click here and here for recipes.

The Greek festival was a delightful way to explore Greek cuisine and culture (though my one regret is that I missed the Greek dancing!). I hope to be back next year to get my “ompa” on.

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Grills Gone Wild at Rocklands Barbeque

Spring and sunshine have finally arrived in the District. And what better to enjoy the gorgeous weather than an outdoor BBQ? For those of us without grills at home, Rocklands Barbecue will fortunately be hosting its “Grills Gone Wild” week at all four of its locations. Here is a scrumptious sounding description from Thursday’s Express that had me salivating on the metro:

“From March 22 to 28, a unique, complete wood-grilled menu–including dishes such as wild boar sausages served with collard greens and honey mustard; Guiness-marinated bison steak; and ostrich burgers–bring smoked perfection to daredevil foodies.”

My previous review of Rocklands can be found here. And addresses for all four locations here.