Saturday, September 5, 2009

Two meals, one post......

Sometimes I have to take a step back and realize how much fun I get to have for a living. Doing my job (regardless of what my boss says) requires me to be in close proximity to very talented people. As is the case with most talented people, some of them are a little wacky. Out of the wackness comes a few sublime moments. Below you'll see 1.5 sublime moments. Sorry about the 1/2, but I was in a rush and couldn't enjoy both experiences to the fullest.
Roasted duck legs and rice at Blue Duck Tavern Elegant presentation
Poached chicken breast salad at Blue Duck Tavern.
The first (the .5) was lunch at Blue Duck Tavern in the Park Hyatt, DC.

I took my friend Mike there for lunch for his birthday. He took me to Westend Bistro for mine, so I had to one-up him.

The first thing that strikes you is the building. Wow. Contemporary with lots of wood and glass. Slightly remeniscent of Founding Farmers. They actually walk you through the kitchen to get just about anywhere in the restaurant. Kind of neat. We sat on the patio outside. It was sunny and 75. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The fountain was burbling and the birds were singing. Very nice.

On to the meal. As I said, I was in a hurry so I didn't go whole-hog. Just an entree and the check please. I had the roasted duck legs in rice, and Mike got the poached chicken breast salad.

Both were done to perfection. Looking at the pictures, I can see details that make the difference. There is not a single piece of salad (in extreme macro close-up) that is anything other than uniform green. No brown. No mushiness. Just perfection on a plate. The fries, though big, were perfectly crisped and seasoned. The sucotash tasted like it came straight from the farm that day. Just goodness. It's all I can say.

As for the second meal, Ray's Hell Burger was the scene of the crime.

Mike Landrum is known for being the Soup Nazi of the DC restaurant scene (he holds the title now that Carol Greenwood is out of town). He tells you where to sit, how to sit, how long to sit, how to order, how to pay, and how to eat. If you don't like it, you can pound salt up your bum.
What he lacks in finesse he makes up for in food.
I went to meet an associate in Arlington and he suggested we get lunch at Ray's. We got there at 11:30 and the place was already packed. You'll recognize this building as the former home of Ray's the Steaks. Nothing on the wall other than Michael's rules. Crappy tables packed too close together. No credit cards, cash only. Don't take a table until you've ordered. No laptops.

Once I got my food delivered to the table though, it was bliss. I got the Fat Joe, which is a big burger topped with seared fois gras and fried shallots. Holy shit that's good! I got the mac and cheese as a side. Spicy, smokey, with either pancetta or tasso, I'm not sure. But nice.

The Fat Joe

I can honestly say that that was the best burger I've ever had, and I've had my share. So, if you can get in the door, put up with the crapola, and get a burger here, you are sure to not be disappointed.

Keep the letters and post cards coming folks.

I welcome your comments. Blue Duck Tavern on Urbanspoon

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