Tag: dining

Mad Fox Brewing Company

Yesterday was Kelly’s birthday and she selected, for her birthday dinner, to go to a local restaurant we’d never been to before called Mad Fox Brewing Company. The restaurant is located in the City of Falls Church, a short drive from where we live. After work, we put the kids in the car and headed over. It turned out to be a really good dinner.

Max Fox is a brewery and they brew all of their own beer in house. You can’t get the beer outside the restaurant. They had a good selection of beers, two of which I tried. I started with the “Two Continents” IPA, which was moderately strong at 7% ABV, but tasted good. Later on, I had their special “Punkin” brew, which I didn’t like as much as the IPA. It was a lighter beer, designed to bring out the spices but I thought that is sacrificed too much of the beer flavor.

They had a number of specials for dinner that sounded excellent, but I had to go with their meatloaf mignon. I hadn’t had meatloaf in decades, but the way it was described on the menu made it sound virtually irresistible:

Bacon-wrapped, chorizo-tillamook cheddar stuffed meatloaf with roasted garlic potato puree, pancetta-corn relish.

Even the presentation was amazing. Here is what it looked like when it was served to me:


The meatloaf was held together around the circumference by bacon. The sauce was delicious, as was the meatloaf itself. Even the pancetta corn relish was to die for.

Kelly had the salmon fillet, described as,

Grilled salmon over sweet corn puree, fava bean succotash, piquillo pepper coulis

The kids ordered off the kids menu, and the restaurant was very kid-friendly. The service was excellent, the food was terrific. We all really enjoyed it. It’s a place we’d definitely come back to. Indeed, we identified it as a restaurant that would be good to take my sister and brother-in-law, as well as my in-laws.

If you are looking for good food in a family-friendly environment, be sure to check out the Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church.

Don’t read this if you are hungry

Last week while I was in L.A., I mentioned how I’d gone out with long-time friends to a celebrity-chef restaurant called Street. At the time, I raved about just how great all of the food was, but I was also far too tired and unskilled to describe it all. Fortunately, my friend Eric, proprietor of the Mouse House Kitchen blog was there with us (in fact, we were there at his suggestion) and he is an expert at this kind of thing. And today (finally!) he’s written up a post based on our experience. Go forth and read it! But I warn you: if you’re hungry, you may want to wait. This point will only make things worse.

Forget the fact that I was hanging out with lifelong friends who I don’t get to see very often, reading through Eric’s post brought back fond memories of that food. Yum!

The weekend


No blogging this weekend as it was a mostly busy weekend with lots of activities going on. The weather had definitely become winter-like here in the Metro D.C. area, at least in terms of temperature. Saturday morning, after heading out early to get my haircut, the three of us piled into the car and heading into Old Town Alexandria to attend the Scottish Christmas parade. We found a good spot of view the parade, the only downside being it was on the shaded side of the street which looked about 10 degrees colder than the sunny side.  The Little Man was bundled up so he stayed nice and warm. It turned out to be a fun parade and I think I was most impressed by the Scottish bagpipers. The Little Man liked the motorcycles and firetruck and the dogs (there were many) that walked in the parade. We took the Metro to/from the parade and of course, the Little Man also loved riding on the train.

Saturday afternoon was quiet and I really needed that. We got home and we all took naps. I managed to get a good amount of reading done–my first fiction reading of any significance in a long time. I’m more than halfway done with Jack McDevitt’s The Devil’s Eye which I am really enjoying. Stephen King’s blurb on many of Jack’s books if that he is the natural heir to Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, or something like that. It’s true. His fiction reads like Golden Age science fiction with a modern-day spin and as sheer entertainment, I enjoy it more than just about any other science fiction that I read these days. I’m looking forward to finishing up The Devil’s Eye and starting in on Echo.

Saturday evening we had a babysitter and Kelly and I went to dinner with Sarah and Jay at an Italian place in Crystal City. When we got there, the place was empty and for the first hour or so, we were the only ones in the restaurant. It was kind of nice having the place to ourselves. It’s always nice going out to dinner without the Little Man because we don’t have to worry about him pulling the table apart and we can relax and eat our meals slowly, which is exactly what we did. We were home by 9:30, but it was a nice three hours that we got to spend out with friends.

Sunday morning we headed out to a tree-farm that Kelly had found in Great Falls in order to choose and cut our own Christmas tree. However, when we got there, we learned that the “choose and cut” part was closed until 2012. We could have picked out a tree there, but we opted to head back home, stopping at Home Depot along the way to pick out a fresh cut tree. We got a 6-footer and brought it home, got it set in its stand. We then headed out for brunch with AJ and Denisse at our “usual” meeting place, which is the Cheesecake Factory in Clarendon. We had a nice brunch with an excellent waited who we’ve had before (one of the best waiters I’ve ever had, in fact). Then AJ and Denisse came back to the house with us to help us decorate the Christmas tree. I got a fire going in the fireplace, and made some hot cider. We decorated the tree while the Little Man napped, and then we spent a few hours playing Rock Band 3.

Sunday evening was spend in front of the TV, catching up on some recorded shows and movies.

It was a pleasant, wintry weekend. This morning I was saying to Kelly how these weeks just seem to roll into one another. One minute it’s Friday afternoon, then next it’s Monday morning and the cycle starts all over again. I’m looking forward to breaking that cycle in a few weeks when we head off on vacation.


Yesterday, while the girls went to their fancy spa to get their fancy facials and whatever else people get in spas, the boy went scuba-diving.

Mom arranged it with a friend of hers who teaches scuba diving. Doug, stubiebrother and I headed to Thousand Oaks to the Sports Chalet, where at about 10 AM, we signed our lives away and proceeded to learn how to scuba dive in the 13 foot-deep pool that they had on site. The pool was kept very warm so that we didn’t need wet suits.

We learned how to wear the gear. We learned how to clear out our masks. We learned how to breath through the regulator. We learned to different ways for clearing the regulator while underwater. We even learned how to recover the regulator underwater if we lost it. We learned some basic hand signals as well. Once we’d done a few practice runs, we headed for the deep end. We spent a total of about 40 minutes underwater, and might have spent a little longer if Doug hadn’t come close to running out of air. (When we finally surfaced, me and Jason’s tanks were at about the 1,000 PSI mark. Doug’s was almost at 0 PSI.)

It was an interesting experience. For the first few minutes, I found myself much more conscious of my breathing than normal. I made sure to practice removing the regulator from my mouth, clearing it, and getting it back in. It was easy. We tossed around underwater frisbees. We swam through hoops. We laid down on the bottom of the pool (making sure to equalize the pressure in our ears). It was a lot of fun.

After it was all over, Doug, Jason and I headed to a nearby T.G.I. Friday’s for lunch.

We spent the afternoon hanging around the house. Then, in the evening, we headed to Wood Ranch grill for dinner. Almost everyone had tri-tip and it was excellent! We celebrated Ruby’s birthday after dinner, with a birthday cake from Coldstone, and a bunch of presents (Ruby turns 4 on December 1). By the time that was over, I was exhausted. Mom, Jen and Jason put on a movie but I was out cold. When I next woke up, the lights were out and everyone had done to sleep.

I head back home tonight. My flight departs LAX at 10:20 PM. I’ve used some more upgrade credits to upgrade to first class. The airplane is a 767 on the flight home so First Class may be a little bit nicer than on a 757. There are fires in Malibu, so we’ll probably have to take the freeways to LAX this evening, and miss the pretty ride along the coast. I get into Dulles at 6 AM, and if everything goes well, I hope to be home (and in bed for a little while) at 7 AM.

Going my way

If you’ve ever looked for something fun to do early on a Sunday morning, pop in an old movie. Kelly and I watched Going My Way (for which Bing Crosby won the Best Actor Oscar back in 1944) and it was terrific. I’d seen it before, but it was fun to watch on a fall-like Sunday morning.

Yesterday, after our breakfast adventures, we headed into Georgetown, found a place to park for the day, and then walked over to 37th and P where Todd, John, Matt and Jess were busy working on a documentary film. We watched them for a little while before walked back onto the main Georgetown strip. We stopped in at Gap, where I got a couple of new pairs of jeans and a new shirt. We stopped in at Banana Republic where Kelly did some shopping. Then we tossed our stuff in the car and walked over to AJ and Denisse’s.

We had a late lunch with AJ and Denisse at Austin Grill. We then headed over to Gallery Place with the intention of bowling or seeing a movie. There was a 1-1/2 hour wait for a lane, and there were no movies that leapt out at us as “must-see”, so we headed to Pentagon City to do more shopping. We went into Best Buy, and Costco (where we called kruppenheimer to wish her a happy birthday), and then headed over to the Pentagon City Mall and wandered through several departments in Macy’s as well as other stores.

Around 7 PM, we headed back to Foggy Bottom and said our goodbyes to AJ and Denisse. The weather cooperated with us all day, and it was a perfect, fall-like Saturday.

My plan for the rest of the day is to maybe, just maybe, get some writing done. I’m embarrassingly far behind on the NaNoWriMo pace, but I’m not using that as an excuse to give up. I hope to make some decent progress today. My new pace, given what I have left to write is a hair over 3,000 words a day. Writing anything is better than nothing but I’ll do my best to hit the target.

Rainy days

It’s been pouring out since the middle of the night, but it’s actually kind of nice. It’s one of those days where I don’t have to be out in the rain, I’m in my office, surrounded by co-workers, and feeling generally productive. But the rain is really coming down, and a cold front is on it’s way.

It was actually very mild last night. I stayed late at work for a meeting and then met Kelly for dinner after work. We walked to the Cheesecake Factory and the weather was very nice. It almost felt warm. There was a pleasant breeze. And this morning, it’s raining and growing steadily colder. Supposed to be sunny for the weekend, though. I think we’re hanging out with AJ and Denisse on Saturday.

Okay, back to work…

Short week!

Because Monday was a holiday, I have a short work this week. Next week too, come to think of it. And that suits me just fine. I was pretty busy today at work, but it felt good. I had planned to get up and go to the gym, but I slept in until 5:30 AM, lazy bum that I am.

After work, I was craving Mexican food, so I walked across the street and went to Chevy’s. I sat there eating while reading more of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (I’m up to the entries on “Anthologies”.) It was very relaxing. I was so absorbed by the book that the train ride home flew by. I was back home this evening around 5:45 PM, although with the time change and overcast skies, it seems much later.

A couple of mail items. A renewal offer from F&SF. Like ASIMOV’S and ANALOG, I’m re-upping for the maximum they offer, which in the case of F&SF is 2 years. Also a hospital bill for $131 from my visit to the emergency room back on October 11. And I got something from Boskone 45 for which I am already a member.

No writing yet today and I’m pretty tired right now (even though I got a good night’s sleep last night) but I expect to get some done before I go to bed.

New York weekend, day 2

[Written on November 13, 2007]

I was up early, 5 AM, and couldn’t really sleep thereafter. Norm and Vicky had some early errands to run and so I was up to see them off and say goodbye. I’d said goodbye to them the night before, and I would say goodbye to them one more time, as they returned sooner than expected.

A day in New York City

New York weekend, day 1

[Written on November 12, 2007]

Kelly and I hit the road at 7 AM. The GPS predicted a 11:12 AM arrival in Stony Point at vickyandnorm‘s house. We were there at almost exactly 11 AM. Boy, making that drive with someone to talk to in the car makes a huge difference. The time flew by and what was ultimately 4 hours seemed like a mere 60 minutes. Kelly is an awesome driving companion!

Come join the adventure

Yes, I’ve definitely come down with something

You know that feeling you get, a kind of rawness in the back of your throat, that bloated feeling in your gut, a stuffed up head, a glassy hot feeling to your eyes. You know what I’m talking about . Well, it’s happening to me right now. I hate it.

After work today I had dinner with Kelly and her friend at Thaiphoon, which is, obviously, Thai food. I’d never had Thai before, but I purposefully chose something spicy from the menu so that I could taste my food through this cold that I’ve got. I ended up ordering the Pik Kaur, which was actually quite tasty, even though I couldn’t finish it. After dinner, Kelly and her friend went shopping and I headed home.

For the first time ever, I did a little writing on the train ride home. Pulled out my laptop, fired up Scrievner, and did a little work on the novel for NaNoWriMo. Incidentally Scrivener is working beautifully for this project. It’s the first time I’ve really given it a chance and I really like it. I ended up doing a total of 2,300 words today. Some re-writing was involved and I know I should avoid that in first draft. I’m trying. I’m dropping notes in Scrivener’s notes field to remind myself what I want to fix or change later on.

I applied for an EZ Pass today. I drive up to New York just often enough to make it worthwhile, if for nothing else than to speed up the drive a bit and avoid the long lines at the non EZ Pass toll booths. It says I should receive my transponder in 5-7 business days. Maybe, just maybe I’ll have it in time for the trip next weekend.

Watched Smallville and The Office this evening.

I’m chock full of NyQuil and off to bed!

I don’t need your civil war

[Posted on Monday, October 22]

Today, Kelly and I went up to Gettysburg with AJ and Denisse. We picked AJ and Denisse up from the P.G. Plaza metro station at about 10:30 AM and hit the road. The drive to Gettysburg took us about 90 minutes and it was a lot of fun. We passed through some farm land and of course, the leaves are now changing so we managed to catch glimpses of riotous colors (though probably not as nice as what people are seeing further north).

We’re off on the road to Gettysburg

The last day of the regular season

I slept in a little this morning, finally getting up just before 9 AM. It was another beautiful day today, even nicer than yesterday. Kelly came back over at 11 AM and we immediately headed up to Baltimore for the last Oriole’s game of the regular season, which turned out to be against the New York Yankees.

I parked at the Sheraton Inner Harbor because we were planning on going to the Inner Harbor after the game. The stadium was packed. I’m not sure if it was because the Yankees were in town, or because it was the last game of the season, or the weather. But it was a lot of fun, with the Yankees winning 10-4. Jorge Posada managed the final game of the season, and at one point, he even came out to the mound to bring in a relief pitcher. I managed to get in my last baseball hot dog of the season, as well as some cotton candy, a Sprite, and a beer. It’s hard to believe the regular season went by so quickly.

Kristy and her friend were at the game, sitting in the bleachers, and they came by to say hello. They’d been to all three games in the series. The Yanks finished the season with a 94-68 record. And, of course, a spot in the playoffs.

After the game, we walked to the Inner Harbor and had a 3 hour dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s. It wasn’t three hours by choice, necessarily. They were so busy that the service was pretty slow. But it was still a good dinner, and a great day. And now that the regular baseball season is over, it really does feel like fall.