Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Sterling Experience: The Silver Diner

A couple of weeks ago, I had to take my truck to the shop.  The shop manager said it would be two or three hours before they would be finished.  No problem.  I was in an area with lots of shops.  I'd just go eat some breakfast, do a little shopping, and chill.  Chilling is good for the soul.  I started off towards Silver Diner near what used to be Springfield Mall.  After carefully traversing the parking lot, I was about 20 or so yards from the restaurant when the tantalizing smells of waffles and pancakes filled my nose.  It was more like the scent of fresh funnel cakes.  And who doesn't love a good funnel cake.   I thought to myself that a nice fluffy Belgian waffle would be so satisfying along with a hot cup of coffee.  I'm going to tell you right now that isn't what I had once I hit the door of Silver Diner.

It was a little past ten-thirty in the morning.  Traditionally, bacon and eggs or pancakes are standard breakfast fare.  And I was heading there.  Then, I saw it!  This gloss poster of their Pesto Burger.  I was mesmerized.  The picture was so enticing.  It looked real enough to eat.  I don't know how long I'd stood there looking at the poster, but the manager cleared his throat twice to get my attention.  I inquired as to whether I could have that burger beauty.  He told I could have anything on their menu I wanted anytime I wanted it.  JACKPOT!!!!!  I was going to have a burger for breakfast.  WOOHOO!!!!!  I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I have a love affair with burgers.  From fat juicy patties to cute little sliders, I love the all as long as they are cooked well.

The manager seated me and gave me a menu.  For a few seconds, I vacillated on a traditional meal or being a rebel.  Rebellion won out and I ordered the Pesto Burger which came with a side of sweet potato fries.  As I waited for my 'breakfast', I was a little anxious.  That burger on the poster was downright sexy with a hint of roasted red pepper peaking out, topped with a creamy goat cheese.  Would that be the burger I received?  We have all been seduced by pictures of towering well put together sandwiches of ground meat, cheese, and veggies only to be confronted by a jumbled stack of ingredients leaving us with nothing but lead in our stomachs and regret on our lips. 

Imagine my surprise and delight when what arrived in front of me was a very realistic rendition of that delicious poster.  Even better was that first bite.  The bun was sweet and soft.  The burger was cooked perfectly, warm pink center and dripping with juice.  The pesto was subtle and mixed wonderfully with the roasted red peppers and that fresh goat cheese.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.  The accompanying sweet potato fries were good, but I didn't do them any justice.  Maybe next time. 

This has to be in my top ten burger experiences.  I am looking forward to trying it again. If you're in the Springfield, VA area and looking for a tasty treat, drop by the Silver Diner.  They'll take good care of you.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Light Lunch

Don't these look cute!  This is a trio of pot roast sliders served at Houlihan's in Springfield.  TY and I went there last week.  You get this triple shot of deliciousness for $9.50.  There is something about pot roast that I cannot resist.  Is it the slow cooking?  Is it that tangy, tasty gravy so silky smooth coatig each bite?  Could it possibly be the unexpected bite of fried onions?  I won't fail to mention that glistening sweet brioche bun.  I have to be honest it isn't any one thing.  It is the harmonious blend of each component culminating in a delectably satisfying midday snack. 

To accompany that pot roast platter, I added the mini cheeseburger and the trucker fries.  The cheeseburger was overcooked.  That's all that needs to be said about that.  Now, those fries are a different story.  They were hot and tasty.  And you can see these are no wimpy potatoes.  The chipotle cheese sauce was a slightly spicy delight.  The only thing that could have made them better would have been crispy bacon bits. 

What's a delicious lunch without something cool to wash it down?  Again, Houlihan's did not disappoint.  These wonderful concoctions are their mango (top) and pomeganate (bottom) iced teas.  I'm not usually one for flavored teas.  Iced tea should be sweet.  Period.  However, I didn't want soda and an adult beverage was out of the question.  They were cold and sweet without being cloying.  We were able to taste the fruit in our respective choices. 

I must say that I'll be going back to Houlihan's again!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Birthday Celebrations

April is an incredibly busy month in my world for birthdays.   And the month started off with this joker right here on April 1st.  I find that my family and friends are very important to my cooking/baking process.  My friend, DR, has been a faithful recipe tester and taster.  His feedback has been invaluable as has his friendship.  Normally, I would make him a rum cake for his birthday, but this year I did something a little different.  I gave him a gift that he can share with his children.  You see, DR is a really good cook and a decent baker.  So, I gave him one of my favorite blondie mixes and my homemade cocoa.  He'll use them as a fun activity with his cute kids. 
But DR's bday is just the tip of the iceberg, one of my best buddies from college will be another year older come this Saturday.  He's really chill though and doesn't get really excited about his born day like I do.  His favorite cake of choice is coconut.  This is one of the reasons I love him so much.  He's the only person I know besides myself that would choose this.   I have made him one or two over the years.  It's a great feeling to do something to make someone else happy.
PT's birthday is followed by my sis and husband, TY on the 7th and MJ on the 8th.  These are the hardest birthday celebrations ever.  Neither one of them can agree on what they'd like to do.  As I get older and life gets more hectic, I just cannot do the separate dinner and cake thing anymore.  We've asked and asked what they want.  If they are not careful, they'll be having a birthday dinner at Chuck E. Cheeses.  No, seriously though, I beginning to think a nice steak dinner, a bottle or two of our favorite beverages, and some cupcakes. 
See, I've got to get a better handle on my budget as well as what we eat.  April is a great month to do it.  Spring hasn't quite sprung, but it's coming.  Many of my favorite people were born in this month.  Being around longer to bug, love, and make them smile is powerful motivation to start doing what's right for this body.  So, if you have an April birthday, best wishes from me to you!!!! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Time to Blow the Dust Off!

Well, I really am a slacker.  I haven't checked in here in nearly two years.  Quite a few things have happened.  One thing that hasn't is my love of baking.  I haven't given up my dream of having my own baking spot.  And I spend as many hours as time and money allows working on recipes.  Sometimes, I even get to collaborate with some really cool people.  My other passion is getting the most bang for my grocery buck.  I love a good deal!   This is enough for the day.  I have to pace myself.