Cacao in Bethesda

Cacao is located in Bethesda and might have another location in NW DC. I rarely stop by here unless I have a Groupon or just craving their desserts. Their pastries as shown below average out to $4 apiece. One word can describe these babies– decadent. Most of everything I’ve tried is really good. Their macarons are alright paired with the mini cakes, and some of the fruity items can be really sweet. The rectangle piece is a caramel chocolate topping and was super sweet. I think my favorite was the tart strawberry dessert, which is a surprise considering I LOVE chocolate.

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CapMac & SweetBites

Yes, that is a blue twitter bird on their truck, now go follow them!

Yes, if it’s not obvious… this food truck serves up deliciously cheesy macaroni and cheese. Above left is their yummy tomato soup, doesn’t need salt, but they provide croutons if you prefer. Above right is their CLASSIC CapMac ‘n Cheese with your-not-so-usual topping of CHEEZ-ITs, (Cheddar, Pimento, Cheez-it crumble; all for $6). How genius is that? WHO DOES THAT? Capmac DC does it. That’s who.

MM. Then came the Goat Cheese Mac. All this Broccoli pesto, spicy bread crumb, mac ‘n cheese could be yours for $8 (cash only). Are you drooling yet? 

These are full lunch meals. They may come in what appears to be small packages but they weigh a good half pound… or so it seems. I’m sure it adds to the thighs, but was I really thinking about that as I was licking the cheese, pesto or cheez-its off my fork? Of course not!

If you happen to catch CapMac DC in your ‘hood, please give them a try and make sure you’ve got some cash on hand. Want to check out the menu ahead of time? GO here–> CapMac DC menu.

The Sweetbites Truck

Sadly and unusually, I do not have a picture of this cute dessert truck! I’ll have to snap one next time. Besides the wonderful desserts and friendly friendly friendly service, they serve up some local organic coffee, which is absolutely delicious! It’s also tons cheaper than Starbucks. Can’t say the cupcakes are cheap though– $3 a piece… and other desserts like brownies, vary. 

First cupcake at my first visit? The Chocolate ganache cupcake complete with a fancy dollop of whip cream. Yum. Good. Ate it all.

Then the next time I saw them at L’Enfant Plaza, it was after reading a tweet about their brownies going quickly. I felt compelled to grab one immediately, and happened to pick up the very last piece! 🙂 It was devilishly good.

And then came the piece de la resistance (did I say that right?). This is their new Salty Caramel cupcake and it is the best dessert I have had from this truck so far. It has the perfect amount of salt to bring out the sweet caramel, and all topped on decent chocolate cupcake. This cupcake plus delicious coffee? Best morning breakfast ever!

Check out the site here please: http://www.sweetbitesdesserts.com/. Thanks. 🙂

Next? Some meat, sloppy joe’s (vegan style), and a cake pop.

Maggiano’s Special Dessert

Maggiano’s

Location: Friendship Heights

Here’s the story:

I had planned a fun filled night with a good friend of mine and surprise surprise, it turned into a bust. We were supposed to go to Cherry Blast (annual music and art event hosted by the Pink Line Project), but I didn’t realize we needed tickets in advance. Good thing we found that out just before we walked out the door! And I mean a MINUTE before we left…

If we really wanted to go to SW of DC to join the Cherry Blast Party then I could’ve called someone to get us in, but instead we opted for the short (but still chilly) trek out to Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant down the street. It ended up being a good cozy night.

We both ordered heaping dishes of yummy and creamy pasta. We shared a bottle of red wine, shiraz to be exact. AND at my insistence, we ordered their special donut dessert. I’m such a fattie. Check it out:

Aren’t they just beautiful? Sweet little things…

Warm Chocolate drizzle, Warm Strawberry drizzle, and some Balsamic drizzled red grapes.

Are you puzzled by the last one? So were we. It sounded interesting, and it was, but I can’t say it was my favorite thing. I think it was more like they were experimenting, unless they picked it up from another chef and thought it’d be a good idea. I was completely satisfied with the chocolate and strawberry as dipping options for my donuts. 🙂 mm yumyum.

Co Co Sala

Extended Restaurant Week in DC at Co Co Sala! You gotta love it. 🙂

R and I both got the Tomato & Burrata Salad, (creamy burrata cheese, basil and oregano, balsamic reduction). My friend does not like tomatoes (What is it with skinny girls and tomatoes?? I say this with love ;), but she did enjoy these. She said it was like they weren’t really tomatoes. Maybe the green and yellow tomatoes have a more subtle taste than the red ones or the balsamic covered up that tomato taste? I enjoyed it mostly because of the fresh burrata cheese. With the tomato they complemented each other very well and the reduction was just an additional flavor.

So, Co Co Sala is known for their chocolates of course– we also started off with their Co Co Amuse, a dark hot co co. sip of Amuse Chocolat.

This is not hot chocolate. It is DRINKING chocolate. Oh mm, I can taste the delicious swirls of chocolate in my mouth now, genuine, true, natural, sugary goodness.

Next were our tapa-like dishes:

Above are the Lamb and Beef Sliders. Because they came in pairs, we traded one. I love dining with friends! 😀

The Beef Sliders were very juicy: Meyer Angus with their special mole sauce and the usual burger fixings.

The Lamb Sliders were spicy, like Indian seasoning– cumin and curry: curry and coconut organic lamb with lime yogurt creme.

My first time at Co Co. Sala, I ordered their famed Bacon Mac & Cheese, BUT this time I got their Mac & Cheese Tart. This version used elbow macaroni, cheddar and parmesan, and fresh sage. Pretty good, I can honestly say by this point I was getting pretty full.

Friend ordered the Portobello Flatbread: Portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, roasted peppers, kalamata olives, and fig marmalade. This was incredibly flavorful. I could really taste everything in its own right. The only thing I did not notice was the flatbread as it was drenched in everything else’s flavor, but I’m not complaining!

TIME FOR DESSERT!!

Chocolate Onyx: Dark chocolate mousse, vanilla creme brulee, salted caramel, crispy chocolate pearls, brownie, chocolate sorbet, 72% cacao bon-bon (description from their RW menu). The mousse was crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside. It really just melted in the mouth. Just take a look at the close-up below.

The chocolate sorbet was like pure chocolate. Neither of us could finish that, and I didn’t even touch the bon-bon, but I think my friend managed one bite.

The Sticky Situation was my choice. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten this because of the braces, but I really couldn’t pass up the chance of dining on toffee. It consists of warm sticky toffee pudding cake, brown butter toffee sauce, and ginger caramel ice cream. I loved everything about this dish except for maybe the ginger caramel ice cream. It started melting immediately upon arrival and I couldn’t eat it by itself because of the bitter taste.

The top piece of toffee was VERY sticky and difficult to cut through or chew. You better have good teeth and brush right after. The toffee pudding itself was so good. For me, it wasn’t too sweet, and it had enough of that toffee flavor but not so overwhelming. MM, I miss it already.

All in all, Co Co. Sala is a dimly lit, intimate, Chocolate restaurant with spiced tapas to compliment all the sweet stuff. It’s a romantic setting and dare I say, posh. Check it out, especially for dessert!

Maggiano’s (soft gg’s)

That’s right. It’s Italian, so say it right! MAGGIANO’S (mah-jeeyah-nos).

http://www.maggianos.com/en/Pages/home.aspx

Dining Room view. Sorry, so dark. I don’t like using flash. It’s a fairly large and open space with large tables to accommodate large parties (family, etc.) and booth seats along the perimeter for small parties such as me and my bff.

We shared a medium-bodied pinot grigio. It was refreshing! Like a taste of summer in your mouth. She ordered a dish I dined on my last visit: Chicken and Truffle Tortellacci, Tortellacci stuffed with chicken and baked in a garlic and white wine cream sauce w/smoked ham, Asiago, and spinach (from website).

My dish:

Not the best picture. I got a classic Taylor Street Baked Ziti, Italian sausage, pomodorro sauce and ziti topped with a layer of melted Provolone and Parmesan. (from website)

DESSERT! Had to do dessert. Despite the persistent suggestion of Boston Creme Pie from our waiter, we opted for the Nonna’s Toasted Pound Cake, Caramelized Bananas, Toasted poundcake with caramelized bananas, hot fudge and vanilla bean ice cream. (from website)

I really loved everything. E* enjoyed her Tortellacci and especially loved the fresh spinach. I enjoyed the baked ziti and had the pleasure of taking an additional entree home for free. When you order one of their classic pastas, you can take another one home (different dish or same). The dessert? GREAT CHOICE. Loved the bananas, and the fudge was perfect with the poundcake and ice cream. Ah, very satisfying dinner at Maggiano’s. We went to the one in Friendship Heights. There aren’t many in the DC/VA/MD area, which makes it a bit more special than other chains.

E*, thanks for dinner love! 🙂

LongHorn

http://www.longhornsteakhouse.com/

5744 Buckeystown Pike. Frederick, MD 21704.

Not bad. I can’t believe I’m writing a review about a chain restaurant, but this is rare and actually, I don’t think there are a lot of LongHorns around. There are 11 locations within a 50 mile radius of downtown Washington D.C. All are scattered throughout Maryland and Virginia.

The restaurant has a distinct and overwhelming Texan western theme.

We started off with the Firecracker Chicken Wraps: “Crispy, fried flour tortillas stuffed with spicy grilled chicken and cheese. Served with cool Avocado-Lime dipping sauce.”  ($7.99) This appetizer is incredibly SALTY. It was like they dropped each wrap in a bowl of salt. Still, we ate it, without the sauce and devoured the bed of fresh greens the wraps were laying on. If the salt was taken down SEVERAL notches, then this would be fine.

My cowboy of the evening got a Full-Rack of Baby Back Ribs: “Our fall-off-the-bone tender BBQ baby back ribs.”  (Half-Rack $14.99  Full-Rack $18.99) Very good. True to description, they were the most tender ribs I’ve had in a while, which is important considering my tender gums at the moment. I think he really enjoyed the ribs…

I opted for a nice and fresh 7-Pepper Sirloin Salad: “7-pepper grilled sirloin served over fresh mixed greens with diced tomatoes and crumbled bleu cheese.”  ($13.79) Loved it, especially after all that salt. The steak was juicy (I got medium rare) and it had a nice light pink running through the middle. I think next time I’ll go for rare… “moooo”. Salad was fresh as it should be, and it helps when the dressing comes out on the side. I probably drizzled only 2 teaspoons of the dressing.

Cowboy did not finish his ribs. He purposely saved it for his work lunch. 🙂 So, we had some room for dessert. I said absolutely no way to anything ginormous, so we both agreed on the dessert sampler. Great choice!

LongHorn Dessert Sampler: “A shareable sampler of three favorites: Chocolate Stampede, Caramel Apple Goldrush and Mountain Top Cheesecake.” ($7.99) This was so good. Each one was delicious in its own right. Chocolate stampede had several layers of chocolate and the only heavy part was the mousse. The apple pie was so warm and gooey and paired well with the vanilla bean ice cream. The cheesecake was a classic and looked like a whole slice really, not a sample. MM.

I’d say for a chain, not bad. Still, I would be wary about certain dishes and watch out for your salt intake… as well as calories! Did you know CPK menus offer up calorie counts on all their food? It’s kind of depressing when you try to order. 😛

Vapiano Repeat

So, this is from my 1st trip to Vapiano in Bethesda.

VAPIANO

2 Peronis, a Green Salad, side dressing of vinegarette, and slices of bread.

chicken bbq pizza. very yummy. i def recommend it, and i’m not even a big fan of bbq sauce usually.

and for dessert?

a delicious fall cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake…. pumpkin with icing.