We made the classic separate-grain recipe (aka “Charleston Ice Cream“) and it was so good that no adjectives were necessary. Even the most hyperbolic of adjectives seemed to fall short. Epic. Game-changing. BEST EVER. None of them worked.
Anyway, in some aspects, the Charleston Ice Cream reminded us of risotto, so Tina was curious if the recipe would hold up if we swapped out the Carolina Gold with with Italian arborio rice.
Tina followed the Anson Mills recipe, by first boiling it with a bay leaf, salt, and pepper, then baking it (with PLENTY of butter). The grains are a bit larger, so she baked the arborio for an extra five minutes.
The verdict: The arborio rice was far better than most traditional rices you would find at a grocery store (apologies, Uncle Ben); however, the flavor and texture of the Carolina Gold was clearly superior. Clearly this wasn’t a fair fight, but with the amount of butter in the recipe, the arborio rice works fine and for all intents and purposes is an acceptable substitution. Especially if you don’t want to spend $7 for 14 oz.
But if you’re in search of flavor perfection and you don’t mind paying the extra cash, stick with the Carolina Gold.
4. “Vodka-Infused Melon Balls” – Healthy Nibbles and Bits: Since summer is fast approaching (it’s already too hot here in Northern VA), it’s time to start soaking things in alcohol for your next BBQ. Lisa‘s recipe will finally give you a reason to break out that melon baller you haven’t used since 1999.
We’ve talked about San Francisco Deficiency Syndrome before and although not as severe, there is another serious medical condition that we fall into after our vacations to the west coast. And specifically when returning from San Diego. Doctors are calling it Me Want Good Tacos Now Disorder*.
Typically this condition strikes when stepping foot on a plane leaving San Diego and doesn’t clear up until (during a return visit) your mouth touches a perfect fish or shrimp taco.
After extensive research, we’re happy to report that we’ve found a cure in Northern Virginia! Taco Bamba in Falls Church.
From acclaimed Chef Victor Albisu (Del Campo in Washington, DC), Taco Bamba executes the classics with perfection (I’d bathe in the juice of their carnitas), while including innovative twists (Poutine Taco anyone?) that will make your Me Want Good Tacos Now Disorder completely clear up.
Carnitas & Carne Asada
The Taco Bamba -This is their signature taco, filled with skirt steak, chorizo, grilled guacamole, and chicharrones. This taco will have you singing like Julie Andrews. “These are a few of my favorite things…”
Carnitas – It doesn’t get any better than this shredded pork confit. I order mine with a straw, so I can recapture all that sweet carnitas nectar that drips off the taco.
Camaron a la Diabla – A spicy shrimp taco filled with cilantro rice and poblano sauce. Bring your own sand and a towel and you’ll feel like you’re at the beach again.
Corn on the Cobb – You can’t forget the veggies, especially when they’re covered in mayo, cotija, and red chili. If you’ve never had corn on the cob like this, it might sound odd, but go for it ’cause it totally works.
Spicy Shroom, Camaron a la Diabla, and Black Pearl (Fried Tilapia, Spicy Coleslaw, Black Aioli)
When going there for the first time, you will assume it’s located in the same shopping center as the Whole Foods. IT IS NOT. Keep driving to the smaller strip center behind the Whole Foods Shopping center. It’s nothing fancy, but there’s plenty of parking.
There can be a pretty lengthly line during peak times, so take advantage of calling ahead if you have a big order.
It’s not a huge place and there is only bar seating along the wall. There’s a small patio outside with some tables and chairs, but don’t expect to find a place to eat during a busy lunch or dinner hour.
The Taco Bamba & Camaron a la Diabla
*Some side effects may include feelings of fullness and taco-induced happiness.
Don’t take our word for it, for some awesome pics and other points of view, check out these other blog posts about Taco Bamba:
You don’t know me personally, but we’ve had quite a long relationship. There’s no data available, but for argument’s sake, I’ve probably eaten millions of slices of your pizza. Also, you send me more emails than any of my family members. So…yeah.
Through all those millions of bites, there has been quite a roller coaster of emotions. Happiness. Sadness. Hunger. The opposite of hunger.
First and foremost, I do have many fond memories…
The way your pepperoni gets a little bit burnt, making it extra crispy. Even when I was too full to eat any more, I always had room to steal a salty pepperoni from one of the remaining slices.
You forced me to read with the Book-It program. Free pizza just for reading books? Genius. I graduated college, so thank you. I didn’t keep track of all the books I read, but for the sake of argument I’ve probably read millions of pages.
Oh and your beloved pan pizza. Dripping that unctuous grease on my chin… It was as close to a fried pizza as I’ll ever come.
And the pan pizza’s perfect foil: The thin crust pizza. So thin that it could facilitate consuming more than one large pizza at a time. A feat any teenage boy would be proud to accomplish.
Memories aside, we are firmly planted in what historians will call The Bacon Era. It all started as a lonely topping. Little salty crumbles of magic, like dust from the Pig Fairy. But that wasn’t enough. Next, you decided to stuff bacon and cheese in the crust.
Not long after this historic anouncement from Blake Shelton, one of your competitors upped the ante, not by stuffing the crust, but by REPLACING IT with bacon.
Now, you could take the next logical step and replace ALL of the crust with bacon. Essentially a circular disc of bacon, ready to be piled high with sauce, cheeses, and…more bacon. So, why let this pesky pizza business get in the way of what we all really want? What the world needs is…
THE BACON BOX
A pound of bacon stuffed inside a box, delivered hot, fresh, and ready for consumption. I don’t have the demographics data, but I’m willing to bet there are millions of customers out there who desire a box of bacon. Breakfast would never be easier. BLTs would practically make themselves. World peace would be just around the corner.
Your bread stick boxes are already equipped to hold bacon. I’m sure your pizza ovens would love to cook strips of bacon. And the marketing is already done, ’cause this box sells itself.
So, I challenge you, Pizza Hut. Give us THE BACON BOX.
Because if you don’t, I’m sure one of y0ur competitors will…