As you know, I became a fan of the Firehouse Subs a while back after a tasting with their founder. Not only for their steamed meats -- but also their strong committment to giving back to the community.
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has already hit the ground in Moore, Oklahoma from their Tulsa and Norman locations, feeding first responders and survivors. The Foundation will also help fire, police and EMS in the affected areas with the opportunity to request life-saving equipment to enhance future rescue and recovery as well as replace any equipment lost in the disaster.
Utilizing the Foundation’s Round Up program, Firehouse Subs is teaming up with guests across the nation to aid residents and hometown heroes in need. Restaurants are asking guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar throughout the month of June--all funds raised will be used toward Oklahoma disaster relief.
To learn more or donate, please click HERE.
By: Thanh Buswell, Guest Blogger
Bobby Flay selected Virginia for his 15th Bobby’s Burger Palace location nationwide. Yesterday marked the restaurant’s grand opening and Real Housewives of Northern Virginia was invited to a private media lunch prior to the noon public opening. Andrea, our Real Housewives of NOVA ring leader, reached out to me about attending. As total Food Network junkie, Bobby Flay fan and man-food lover in general, I was all for it!
At 10:00am, there was already a line started with the first woman parked in her lawn chair. Walking into the restaurant, there was definitely a buzz of excitement. Bobby Flay was as down-to-earth and casual as you see him on his many Food Network shows, wearing jeans and a tucked-in BBP tee shirt. Luckily, a few of us were able to squeeze in five minutes of one-on-one time with Bobby Flay. Armed with a couple questions from NOVA Housewives readers, I sat down across from a very blue-eyed Bobby Flay to chat about what he keeps in his pantry, his favorite thing to cook for his wife Stephanie, and the celebrity chef he’s ready to do a ‘throwdown’ with:
RHNOVA: What food do you keep in your house for quickly throwing together dinner on a crazy day?
BF: I have canned tomatoes to make tomato sauce. I have lots of different shaped pastas and couscous and then I have lots of things in my pantry like olives and capers, anchovies, parmesan cheese because it keeps really well. I always feel like having lots of ingredients in your dry pantry to throw pastas together is the best thing to have.
RHNOVA: What’s your favorite food to cook for your wife?
BF: To cook for my wife? Whatever she wants. I’m her short order cook, meaning it really varies. She’s from Texas so she likes southern food. It could be like, in the morning she likes biscuits and gravy with sausages or a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. For dinner, she likes fried chicken, she likes chicken Milanese. Sometimes she just wants a big ol’ steak.
RHNOVA: Can she cook?
BF: She can cook about six dishes really well; that’s all you really need.
RHNOVA: If you could have a throwdown with any celebrity chef who would it be?
BF: Celebrity Chef? Oh, Gordon Ramsey.
RHNOVA: Aren’t you scared he’s going to yell at you?
BF: Not at all.
RHNOVA: Final question, what is your favorite Housewives franchise?
BF: Jersey, of course!
Okay, Bobby – we’ll give that one since you’re from NY!
Shortly after the Q&A session, Bobby Flay made a formal introduction of the new BBP restaurant, described his restaurant concept, ingredients and what he loves about BBP. Key takeaways:
· Burgers are made with Certified Angus Beef with 80/20 fat ratio cooked on a hot griddle and served with a soft, sesame seed bun
· French fries are hand-cut in house and prepped using the Parisian Brasserie technique
· The shakes are 11 oz of ice cream in 10 natural flavors, pistachio being the cult-classic
· You can order any burger “crunchified” (topped with a thin layer of chips) for free
What else? Bobby’s got a thing about not taking shortcuts with his food, including serving a burger with half-melted cheese. Hanging in the kitchen with the chefs is a sign that reads: “Bobby Says Melt the Cheese Completely.”
I ordered the Classic Crunch Burger, French Fries and the Black & White Shake, Bobby Flay’s favorite shake flavor. My burger was well seasoned with oo-ey melted cheese and the french fries were fresh-cut and served with a really great BBP fry sauce that is made with mayo, roasted red pepper and chipotle chile.
By the time I left, there was a lengthy line, curving around another side of the mall with many NOVA residents ready to have the BBP experience.
Want to check out Bobby's Burger Palace? We're giving away two $20 Gift cards!
BBP is located out front of the main entrance of Potomac Mills Mall (near the movie theatre) at 2712 Potomac Mills Circle, Woodbridge, VA 22192. For on-the-go burger lovers, take-out service and online ordering are available. BBP is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Burgers range from $6.75 to $7.75; and a Kid’s BBP Burger Deal is also available. Visit www.bobbysburgerpalace.com for further details or call BBP Potomac Mills at (703) 490-2121. For information on Bobby Flay, visit www.bobbyflay.com.
When starting her business, Rebecca Barnes' goal was to highlight the arts, support charities, and promote the local economy in Prince William County. As the Publisher of Prince William Living, she's had a chance to do just that.
Barnes has created a successful platform for the Prince William County community through Prince William Living. "Success, to me, is in the eye of the beholder. At the end of the day, if I accomplish my goals, have the respect of my peers, and seek out a living to boot - I am successful."
"I couldn't begin to guess how many hours I put in. Everything I do, whether personal or business, is focused and goal oriented. If I am awake, I am working, thinking, planning. Even resting or playing is part of work overall because it is what keeps me going."
Describe yourself in three words:
Servant, teacher, friend.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
I have been told I hold the distinct honor of being the only person to win the PW Chamber business of the year award three times. Being the Chair of the Chamber was a huge privilege as well. However, I think my greatest professional achievement was my involvement with Leadership Prince William. Seeing something go from task force stage, all the way through to reality, and knowing how many lives it has and will continue to touch, is very satisfying.
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To create as many new opportunities for Prince William Living as possible, so we can continue our work. Our contributors have such unique and wonderful ideas, that it makes everyday a new exciting adventure!
How does your company stay connected through social media? https://www.facebook.com/PrinceWilliamLiving
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Fire Marshal -- because the only thing cooler than being a firefighter is being a firefighter that gets to carry a gun.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I don't know if you ever get a perfect balance. The key is to be flexible, don't procrastinate, ask for help and know your limits.
What websites do you visit every day?
What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Coke Zero - at any corner grocery store.
What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
Wait. There is life outside Prince William County? ;)
When I am not working or with my family, I spend my time at Occoquan Woodbridge Lorton Volunteer Fire Department with my second family. So I would say Station 2, Station 12 and Station 14.
What is your goal for retirement?
I don't think I will ever "retire" but I will travel between PWC and Orlando Florida depending on the weather. My last job will be "Philanthropist".
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
Make sure there is a strong need or want for what you are doing. Just because you are good at "making widgets" doesn't mean people will beat down your door to give you money for it. It also doesn't mean just because you are a good "widget maker" that you are a good business person. Have a strong business plan, a meticulous accountant and a good business lawyer.
Connect with Rebecca Barnes
via email: email@example.com
via twitter: @pwliving
If you own a woman-run business and would like to be highlighted in our Leading Ladies series, please apply here: Leading Ladies Interview.
I have a lot of things to say in this post - so just one title doesn't seem to do it justice.
Last weekend, I was quite envious of one of my neighbors' smoked chicken BBQ. So my other neighbor, Justin, and I decided we'd try our own luck at smoking some proteins since we're both pretty enamored by food.
We made smoked chicken drumsticks, beef brisket, and a pork shoulder. I had the chicken drumsticks in a brine overnight. I gave all three meats a generous coating of the Pork Barrell BBQ Dry Rub that I found at Costco.
I have never actually brined anything myself. Hell, I've never even cooked meat with a bone in it until Saturday's drumsticks. I googled every single recipe for the "best chicken brine" ever - and I couldn't quite figure out what would work for me. So what did I do? Made it up, of course.
What you'll need:
1 gallon cold water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
10 gallon ziploc bag
1. Whisk salt and sugar into water until it starts to dissolve.
2. Pour brine into ziploc bag. I also added a good helping of my dry rub into the bag.
3. Add chicken (I always rinse my chicken first before cooking - you don't need to wash the chicken with soap as seen on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2).
4. Leave in brine overnight - or at least a minimum of 2 hours.
After letting the chicken smoke for 2.5 hours, it was the most tender, juicy, flavorful deliciousness that I've ever made. The skin gets kinda rubbery in the smoker, so we dipped them in the deep fryer for 3 minutes afterwards. PERFECTION.
I seriously don't know why I don't brine every time I cook chicken - it made a world of difference.
Check out the final product:
And here's the BBQ Beef Brisket after 8 hours in the smoker:
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the finished pork shoulder. It took about 12 hours - and by the time it was done - I had enjoyed a few drinks with the neighbors and forgot about taking pics.
If you have any great BBQ recipes, tips, or tricks - please share in the comments below!
Foodies and Food Network fans have a chance to meet and eat with New York City restaurateur, author and television personality Donatella Arpaia at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town on Sunday, May 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The event begins on the H Lounge Stage, where Donatella will speak about her journey to becoming a chef, give recipe tips and answer questions. Attendees can enter their names in a raffle for a chance to win one of 10 Donatella Cooks cookbooks.
Following the presentation, guests will be invited to the Skybox Sports Bar to mingle with Donatella and purchase appetizers from Donatella Cooks prepared by the Chefs at Hollywood Casino. Selections include cucumber soup with crab, yogurt and dill shooter, and Mama’s meatballs. Guests who order one of the featured appetizers will receive a recipe card to be signed by Donatella.
The talk is free and open to the public, however guests must pay for food selections.
Donatella is one of the most influential women in the world of food, business and entertaining. The New York Post named her one of the “most powerful women” in Manhattan, and Zagat called her “hostess with the mostest.”
The restaurateur opened her first New York City restaurant Bellini, inspired by her childhood summers spent in Italy with family and food, in 1998. She soon opened three more highly acclaimed restaurants including Donatella, DBar and Kefi.
Donatella is also well known as a head judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Next Iron Chef. She is featured as a regular contributor on the Today Show. In 2010, Donatella penned Donatella Cooks, a guide to cooking and entertaining with flair.
About Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
A Penn National gaming property, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is a world-class resort destination, offering visitors a truly Las Vegas-style gaming experience that includes 3,200 slot machines, more than 100 table games, a 50-table poker room, and both live and simulcast horse racing year round. A wide range of quality restaurants and bars are offered, including authentic Hong Kong cuisine and sushi at 9 Dragons, a 350-seat Epic Buffet, and Final Cut Steakhouse – proud recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The casino also offers an exciting nightlife experience including free concerts and entertainment at the H Lounge. On Fridays, the H Lounge transforms into Boogie Nights, the ultimate 70’s and 80’s dance party. Conveniently located about a one-hour drive from the Baltimore and DC beltways, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is one of the region’s fastest growing gaming and entertainment destinations with more than four million visitors each year.
In all honesty, I had not set my expectations very high for Mother's Day this year. We have had SO much going on in the past month with B having his tonsils out, complications of the surgery, and the semester of grad school coming to a close.
In order to not set myself up for an emotional roller coaster, I have learned (it took me about 6 years to figure this out) that sometimes it is better to have no expectations at all and be completely thrilled than to have expectations set high and be let down. This crazy method of thinking worked in my favor yesterday as my lovebunnie surpised me with a day out in DC!
We landed the best seats at Nationals Park - on the second deck but right over the first base line. B brought money from his piggy bank to buy the world's most expensive cotton candy - and I was pleased to find a Blue Moon in my hand :)
After the game, we went to Guapo's in Shirlington for a light dinner and pitcher of Sangria on the patio. My girlfriend, Anita, lives right around the corner in Fairlington and swung by to hang out with us in the beautiful breeze.
I am so so so lucky & thankful. BEST. DAY. EVER.
On Saturday, we had a block of window that was perfect for mommy & B time. Since we had just gone through some pretty rough days post-op and he was finally starting to feel better, I decided to take him somewhere fun for a lunch date. We had been once before and B loved the boats - so we picked Water's Edge in Occoquan.
Yes, it looks like you're driving through a construction site to get there, and yes it's a total dive bar with funky interior dining area - but the two story deck, the fresh breeze, the boats, the water - total perfection.
The food is not the finest dining, but you can't go wrong with a chicken quesadilla and a shirley temple.
It's a fun spot if you're looking for somewhere casual to hang in the breeze. We sat on the deck with Harley riders, hungover college kids, and an older boat-loving couple who were already rocking white pants pre-memorial day. Mixed bag, for sure... but if you don't care, neither do they :)
ps: they have happy hour from 12noon-7pm every weekday.
my new favorite made-up recipe for summer drinks! (inspired by the drinks we had at 9 Dragons in Charlestown.)
2 parts Grey Goose La Poire,
1 part Peach Schnapps
1 part apple juice
2 parts ginger ale
& a spoonful of Trader Joes mango sorbet to top it off!
shaken over ice - served in martini glasses - because that's what was clean at the time :)
Rich in tradition, culinary indulgences and extraordinary experiences, Spring at The
Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner promises families unique celebrations and extraordinary memories.
Celebrate Spring and honor your mom this Mother's Day with a luxurious Mother's Day Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Brunch will be located in our newly
renovated Ballroom on May 12, 2013.
Enjoy a lavish presentation of your brunch favorites this Mother's Day. Indulge in caviar, eggs benedict, made-to-order omelet station, savory carving station, sushi, foie gras, braised lamb shank, beef tenderloin, salmon, rock fish and raw
bar featuring assorted oysters, jumbo shrimp and lobster.
Adults will delight in our refreshing French sparkling wine and live harpist, while children enjoy the balloon artists and face painter. The delectable brunch experience culminates with an impressive dessert presentation as a sweet finishing touch.
Seatings are from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., $120 per adult; $40 per child (ages 4 - 12) plus tax and gratuity. For reservations please contact Guest Relations at 703-506-4300.
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.
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