Another thing I was eagerly anticipating about this day was having breakfast at Miss Shirley's in Roland Park. As soon as I read their menu online I popped culinary wood. Fried green tomatoes? Funky Monkey Bread? Creamy bacon grits? Yes, please. So after a short trip around 695 West and down 83 South we had arrived. Here's a tip for all of you potential diners: If you drive a block past Miss Shirley's there's free parking at Spaghetti Eddie's which is owned by the same folks. Hassle-free parking equals copious amounts of bonus points.
We walked inside and were greeted by both a host and a hostess. As it was a gorgeous day we requested al freso dining and the hostess happily obliged. Superb service through and through. Despite being sat next to a table overflowing with spoiled toddlers, the ambiance was quite pleasant. I've never seen so many MILFs in my life. This is definitely where the well-to-do come for breakfast and that is reflected in the prices, but more on that later.
Our waiter greeted us and took our beverage order, returning, drinks in tow, in mere seconds. I told him I'd been eyeing the menu for weeks and would need help deciding and he gladly provided assistance. It was almost to the point that he was overjoyed to help me decide. I half expected him to pull up a seat next to me.
I first inquired about the Market Price for the Eastern Shore Cakes and he immediately waved those away. "They're too dry" he said and I appreciated his honesty. Alright, I told him. How about appetizers? I had heard good things about the fried green tomatoes, the sweet potato fries, the funky monkey bread, and the grits. I also mentioned that I'd never had chicken and waffles before, and was looking for an entree that danced the ballet of sweet and savory. Mrs. Micro had her eye on the smores stuffed french toast. He said that ordering all of those things would definitely be too much food so he suggested we get the bread, tomatoes, and grits and split the chicken and waffles for our meal. Done.
I have no idea how they prepared our food so quickly, but five minutes later all four dishes hit our table at once. Holy Hell this was a lot of food. We were up to the task? You're GD right we were.
|Funky Monkey Bread|
|Not so perty tamaters|
|Scoop o' Grit Loaf|
Now for the main attraction: my first chicken and waffles experience.
|I couldn't help but think of Tokyo Breakfast...|
|Needs mo butta!|
|Fork of goodness|
Continuing on with our Day 'o Fun, we made our way down to the D.C. area and hit some serious traffic on 495. At 10:30am. WTF? Don't you people have jobs? Oh wait, they all work for the government. RDO's FTW! Finally spotting our exit I sped off the exit ramp. We went from congested, exhaust-choked stop-n-go traffic to quiet serene forested back roads. Well, I guess that's the Greater D.C. area for ya. Feast or famine. Our destination was the VA side of the Great Falls Park and we lucked out with a gorgeous day of perfect weather.
It was really neat to read about the canals and how they worked and to see the posts with just how high the water had risen over the years. See how far up we are in the second picture? They had a post with lines and dates on it of where the water had risen to that was even higher than that. Crazy.
I had three places in mind for dinner, depending on what we were in the mood for. We had some time to kill, but we didn't feel like dealing with the possibility of hitting rush-hour so that ruled out Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church. Our other two options were Sushi Yoshi and Thai Pilin. I had heard both were good, not great, but I was in the mood for Thai so we drove the short distance over to Thai Pilin in Tysons Corner.
I knew they closed for an hour at 4 to change over to dinner, but they had no problem seating us when we arrived at quarter of. You walk up and order at the window then are given a number and take a seat and your food is brought to you. Not fine dining exactly, but we were dirty and sweaty from hiking so it suited us just fine. Another dish I'd heard a lot of good things about, but have never tried is Som Tum or green papaya salad. I also had a hankering for some drunken noodles, called so I ordered them with tofu.
|Drunken Noodles with Tofu|
After finally locating parking that didn't threaten to tow me, we moseyed on in to Nielsen's. Immediately upon entering I started to get excited. The place was open and airy, filled with natural light from big windows and plastered with forest green and wood tones one would expect to find at a golf & country club. I approached the register and the kid behind it immediately recognized my shirt as a shirt.woot shirt. I was in a happy place.
|Golf Pro Shop or Famous Frozen Custard Venue?|
The main detractor of concretes for me was the fact that they get their name from the ability to turn them upside down and they don't budge... like concrete, ya dig? I like my frozen dairy treats to be nice and soft and melty. Boy was I surprised when the kid brought me out an overflowing King's Cup of oozing gooey custardy goodness, served in a plastic bowl to collect the overflow. "Holy crap", I yelled over to my wife who was still ordering, "look at this thing!" Ya wanna see, don't ya? Well, alright...
|A concrete that is anything but|
I didn't particularly like the crunch from the oreos. I would've preferred the softer cookies you find in cookies and cream and the like. Plus the coffee custard tasted a tad synthetic to me, although whether or not that's true, I couldn't say. In the case of custard it's never a bad move to stay with the classic vanilla. Even though she wasn't floored, just look at the pure joy custard can bring to someone:
|Happy Mrs. Micro|
With full bellies and even more time to kill we wandered the quaint streets of Vienna for a few hours. We checked out some antique shops and some kitschy gardening and housewares stores. Finally around 7 we headed the short distance over to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, or simply Wolf Trap, to see one of the most eagerly anticipated concerts of my life: Distant Worlds.
They didn't let us in until 7:30 and they didn't seat us until 8, but I didn't mind. I was taking it all in. I hadn't seen this many nerds in one place in my entire life, and I go to the Renaissance Faire every year. But I can't really talk, I mean, I was there too, wasn't I?
|Let the show begin|
While they performed, they showed the opening credits from FFVI with the credits from the concert inserted in. People cheered when the names were displayed and that took away from the experience slightly, but nonetheless I was overjoyed to hear my favorite song. They weren't done yet. Encore #2 was One-Winged Angel, another one of my top 3 songs. I was blown away. I left with nothing but awe and happiness that I was fortunate enough to see some of my favorite video game music of all time performed live by a very talented orchestra. What an amazing day. As always, thanks for reading.