The Alley Cat is an interesting establishment to visit, no matter what the time of day is. During the daytime when things are slow, you can see how this would be one of the local party establishments amongst Northern Virignia locals. At night, well, I can't really speak of at night, but word around town is that this is one of the most happenin' holes in the walls.
Not really near Old Town, but safely tucked away across from Landmark Mall, they claim to have not only one of the largest kitchens in Alexandria, but also one of the largest dedicated parking lots. Bold claims, but the place is really big, so I won't doubt them on that. The one thing that I would put them up to the challenge for is their crab cakes. "Soon to be world famous!" their menu says. Are they ready for the world stage? Follow along and find out!
Irish pubs aren't what you usually think of when it comes to searching for delicious crab cakes. Cold, tasty Guiness? Yes. Corned beef and cabbage? You betcha. But crab cakes? Color me skeptical. However, there is a simple explanation for it. You see, there used to be this restaurant in Annapolis called Little Campus. Little Campus was one of those colorful local Annapolis haunts that served good food at an affordable price in an environment that is distinctively Annapolis. But that all changed when Little Campus closed and an Irish bar by the name of Galway Bay took its place.
You see, legend has it that Little Campus employed a lady who was known as Miss Peggy. And Miss Peggy was known for her crab cakes. People would flock from far and wide for Miss Peggy's crab cakes. So when Little Campus closed, the owners of Galway Bay carried on the tradition. And the crab cakes are so good that the restaurant group that owns Galway Bay also carries her secret recipe at their other locations, the Killarney House and Brian Boru.
We all know what happens when someone buys the rights to something. Typically it's just a cash grab at making a quick profit on a known, trusted name. People still go out of their way to try the "brand", but because of the need to maximize profits, the quality suffers and isn't the same as it used to be, what made that name so famous in the first place. So how has Miss Peggy's secret recipe fared since being taken over by an Irish restaurant group? Follow along and find out!
The latest foodie craze to hit the streets of DC is the gourmet food truck. Mind you, these are not your parents' food trucks, which were really nothing more than snack cards or a mobile catering business that serviced construction sites and movie studios. No, these are mobile kitchens without the overhead of establishing a physical restaurant, and able to go to where the customers are at a moment's notice. The idea is simple - a minimal kitchen with a focus on one or two food items that the mobile chefs rock as their signature dish. Some even offer loyalty cards, which reward you for your repeat business. And a good number of them accept credit cards.
So with new trucks hitting the road every day, and the food truck craze continuing to spread, it only makes sense that one would be serving up tasty, tasty crab (especially in this area!). Feelin' Crabby doesn't serve up crab cakes, however. But, instead, deliver a tasty crab sandwich (called a Crabwich), which you can view as either the crab's answer to the lobser roll, or an uncooked crab cake. Either way, it's crab (and jumbo lump at that!). But is it delicious? Let's find out!
The American Tap Room is a take on the concept of a beer-inspired gastropub, owned by the same group that runs Austin Grill (the Bethesda location used to be an Austin Grill, but was recently converted to an ATR). The only thing really "American" about it, aside from the name, is probably the food. The beer list, while mostly American, does contain some foreign beers. But crab cakes are American, right? Yes! So how were they? Let's find out!
If your visit to the nation's capitol has you wanting to meet Capitol Hill staffers, then heading over to the Capitol Lounge is going to be high on your list. The Lounge is a popular venu for both staffers and locals alike. Adorned in political memoribilia, there is normal dining/bar seating upstairs, outside seating when the weather cooperates, and shuffleboard and pool downstairs (with another bar!). Some consider it a dive, others call it a sports bar. You may just call it your new home for happy hour. The CCR was out celebrating DC Beer Week and happened upon the Capitol Lounge, who had a special running all week long honoring beers from cities that helped to kick off the whole East Coast microbrew movement (Baltimore, Philly and NY). Pairing beers from those cities with special sliders, it was only appropriate that they pair the Baltimore beers with, what else, crab cakes! How were they? Read on to find out!