It’s so cool when online friendships become offline meet-ups, particularly when they happen in fabulous new places. Our Twitter pilot friend PJ just happened to be flying from his home town of Houston to Austin to see Alton Brown when we were in the area. PJ suggested we have dinner at Searsucker.
Searsucker is one of the newer eateries in the Warehouse District, and the 7,000-square-foot space fits in beautifully with the other eclectic offerings. The decor is vintage Americana meets Anthropologie, and I just wanted to move right in. I’m already figuring out how I can translate the style to our RV!
Our small plate selections included Lobster Mac & Cheese and Spicy Shrimp & Cheddar Bacon Grits.
Chef Brian Malarkey is a “Top Chef “finalist and is currently a judge/mentor on ABC’s new cooking competition show “The Taste” along with Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre. His New American menu at Searsucker is innovative and interesting. The “small” plates are actually full-size meals, something PJ and I wished we realized before we ordered four of them! (Mike, a less adventurous eater, stuck with steak and potatoes.) Everything was delicious, and the service was attentive and friendly.
Dessert was the King Sundae. We skipped the caramelized bacon but thoroughly enjoyed the PB Cup ice cream, bruleed bananas, whipped cream, and Cracker Jack bits.
PJ was super excited when Chef Malarkey strolled by our table. He’s apparently not always in the house. We asked our waitress if we could meet Chef, and he came out soon after our request, shaking hands and posing graciously for pictures. PJ was thrilled! Between meeting Chef Malarkey and seeing Alton Brown later in the evening, it was quite a night for him! We were glad to part of the whole thing, especially getting to know PJ in person and enjoying an amazing dinner in an amazing city.
The headquarters of Elephant & Castle Pub and Restaurants is in Boston, but there are locations scattered around the U.S. and in Canada. One of the D.C. locations is on Pennsylvania Avenue, close to the Old Post Office Pavilion where our bicycle tour began and ended. Proximity wasn’t what drew me to the place, though. I collect elephants so this was a chance to add to my collection without taking up space in the RV.
Elephant & Castle is a British-style pub and eatery filled with dark woods and reproduction fabric-covered books with gilt edges. Stained glass panels separate sections of seating and provide some privacy between parties.
Tucked into a cozy booth, we started with fried pickles. The tangy, crunchy planks were served with a chipotle dipping sauce. My mac-n-cheese had a kick from chopped jalapenos. The panko crust on top was a nice contrast to the creamy cheese sauce and al dente elbows. We were surprised when Mike’s meatloaf came in slices. He liked it, especially because the gravy didn’t have mushrooms. I ended up bringing his asparagus home along with the remaining half of my pasta.
Elephant & Castle has good, reasonably priced food in a comfortable atmosphere. A pleasant place for a nosh if you’re down on the Mall in D.C.
Famous Route 66 runs through Williams, Arizona. While on a quick getaway from the heat, staying at the Railside RV Park, Mike and I had a chance to check out this little stretch of history and grab a bite outdoors while listening to live music.
Cruisers Cafe 66 is probably nice inside, but we couldn’t say. With Meeko and Sadie in tow, we took full advantage of the outdoor dog-friendly patio. A lone musician with a guitar and his own canine companion serenaded us during our meal. One song he played, “Treetop Flyer” by Stephen Stills, really resonated with Mike since he’s a pilot. He’d never heard it before and downloaded it to his iPhone on the spot. The food was satisfying, the music was nice, and the dogs were well-behaved. It was a good time.
The coleslaw had apple slices and walnuts!
I have no idea if the pizza is any good, but the slogan is terrific!