‘food/wine’ Category

Local Pizza

Local Pizza

Everyone who knows me knows I really miss New York pizza, ever since moving here 13 years ago. Over the years, Northern Virginia has gradually gotten better about its pizza. I know closer to DC there are better / more authentic pizza places, but out here almost all restaurants are chains. Here’s what I’ve found that I like, in approximate order:

1) Primo Italiano (Reston): Small chain, just a few stores. My favorite. Unfortunately, they don’t deliver this far out, and they’re closed on Sundays.

2) Mama Lucia’s (Reston): Small chain. More of an eat-in restaurant. Good, but a little too greasy, even for N.Y. style. Great free appetizer bread.

3) Deli Italiano (Great Falls): Non-chain (as far as we know). Delivers to the house, good pizza, especially the crust. This is what we usually eat, because of the delivery. A little pricey.

4) Emilio’s (Sterling): Eat-in restaurant. Brick oven, crispy crust. Quite good.

5) Pizzarama (Great Falls): A mile from our house, but doesn’t deliver. Pretty good, though the sauce is a little too sweet for me. They are the only place we’ve found in VA that has garlic knots like N.Y., so they get extra points for that.

If you know someplace else we should check out locally, let me know!


Coke Zero

It’s been over a year since my [[wplink Surgery]] to fix the most problematic areas of Crohn’s disease in my small intestine. As I’ve mentioned before, the surgery was a huge success, and I’ve been feeling better than I have in 8 years or so. One consequence of fixing this long-standing problem is that my intestines now function much better — meaning I actually digest everything I ingest. While this is great, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, it also means I’ve suddenly started gaining lots of weight, after many years of being able to eat anything I want and staying at a constant weight. Some of the added weight isn’t a big deal, as I probably needed to get to a “healthy” weight. But, it hasn’t stopped there, and I’m up about 20 pounds from my previous steady-state (up about 40 pounds from my pre-surgery state).

Where am I going with all this? Well, you probably figured it out from the blog title, but hell has frozen over and I’ve started drinking diet soda! I still think Diet Coke is pretty gross, but I sampled some Coke Zero to try to offset some of the 3-ish cans of Coke per day I’ve been drinking most of my life. Coke Zero isn’t bad, and I’ve switched over to it almost 100% at home. Diet Coke came out around the same time as the ill-fated “New Coke”, and was based on the same recipe. Coke Zero is based on the Coca-Cola Classic forumula, and thus tastes much better. Of course, using it to wash down bags of Doritos still isn’t going to help too much, but I’ll work on that next.


White wine party: results

As Kathie wrote about in her blog, two weeks ago we had our second wine party, this one focusing on white wines under $20. The theme this time was Lord of the Rings, and each person blind-tasted and rated each wine on a scale of 1-5.  Here are the final rankings of each wine that was brought to the party:

  1. Sauron (3.77): Leonard Kreusch Piesporter Michelsberg, 2006
  2. Frodo (3.42): Maple River Rhubarb Wine
  3. Treebeard (3.31): Rapidan River Semi-dry Riesling
  4. Galadriel (2.80): Horton Viognier
  5. Gollum (2.54): Monkey Bay Chardonnay, 2004
  6. Aragorn (2.5): Smoking Loon Chardonnay, 2005
  7. Eowen (2.39): Big House White, 2006
  8. Legolas (2.00): Patianna Organic Sauvignon Blanc, 2005
  9. Arwen (1.88): Valminor Rias Baixas, 2006
  10. Gimli (1.80): Running with Scissors Chardonnay, 2006
  11. Gandolf  (1.15): Copolla Chardonnay, 2000

Several of us were surprised at how badly the Copolla did, so we suspect that either 7 years was too long to keep it, or it was just a bad bottle.  Don’t worry Pablo, it was educational :-)



We like popcorn, and a couple years ago I finally broke through the taste vs. laziness barrier and started eating microwave popcorn. It wasn’t quite as good, but it was really easy. I always found it to be a little “tough” though, compared to “fresh” popcorn. Also, since popcorn can be difficult to digest, it’s one of the first foods that patients with active Crohn’s disease are told to avoid.

Well, about a year and a half ago while reading the Crohn’s message board I found the answer: B.K. Heuermann’s microwave popcorn. Their popcorn has been selectively bred for the past 10 years to have virtually no hull — the hard covering of the kernel — making the popcorn softer and fluffier and more enjoyable to eat. It also tastes really good.

They have several flavors (Kathie’s favorite is the kettle corn, and mine is the movie theater style) available for mail order, so if you like popcorn, give it a try!


Bison burger

Yesterday I had a bison burger for lunch at a local restaurant… as did Kathie, Linda (my sister), and my mom. We were all quite impressed! If you believe what the internet says, bison is extremely good for you, has almost no fat or cholesterol, can cure cancer (woo hoo!) and bring world peace. Mainly though, it tasted really good! I’m only a little bit of a hamburger snob (but a full-fledged pizza snob and bagel snob), and I’ll definitely be adding this to my list of foods to eat again.