Monday, July 18, 2011

Crispy and Juicayyy!

It's official! We're Virginians! =D  Gotta take my eye exam to get my Virginia driver's license card at the DMV next!

This weekend was especially exciting as I anxiously awaited for Harry Potter 7 Part 2 to arrive!!  We started off the HP fun fest in a hot and spice--ayyy way!

1) Mala Tang-Arlington, VA 

Mala Tang is a Sichuan (also known to be spelled as Szechwan or Szechuan or if you're me, Sex-Chuan) ma la hot pot place.  I've had many sexchuan hot pot place so I was curious how this place would fare to other places in SoCal/Rowland.

This place was HUGE.  Also odd and cool--it's located right behind GMU law school...imagine being able to go here after your law school finals..awesome!  We were there around 6:30 and it started out a bit empty at first and most eaters were Caucasians so we were skeptical...

I LOVE hot and spicy food--so everything on this menu sounded really good.

 ooh yummy palette cleanser

And yay! it was still happy hour!! Great way for us to try a slew of stuff for cheap!  These spicy sichuan fried tofu fries were $3I wish it was served hot and was more crispier but the flavors keep you coming back!

And this surprisingly yummy  tarty, sweet and fruity sangria was $5!  This night's about to get goooooooooooooooooooddd! Luckily I didn't fall asleep after 1 glass!

 These cold noodles were so good in the heat!  Tossed in soy sesame with crunchy zucchini.  George and I were really surprised at how good it was!

Dumplings in spicy garlic sesame sauce.  NOT as good as A&Js.  The dumpling filling was no bueno and needed to be drenched in more sauce.  They even have Shao Lin Baos for $3 during happy hour but they were out!! Must come back to get some!

As if the sichuan peppers were not enough, they gave us extra thai chilis for our dipping sauce =)

EEK! Here comes the hot pot!

We ordered the original ma la tang spicy hot pot broth and only sirloin steak and enoki mushrooms.  1 order of sides is pretty large!

Not sure..what kind of sirloin they're used to..but this is some of the FATTIEST sirloin was like eating pork belly! Not necessarily a bad thing!

A nice surprise in the spicy broth that I've never had before--little chunks of preserved black duck egg!! YUM!

Around 7 p.m, a whole slewwww of people started trickling in--mostly Caucasians sprinkled with other Asian tables.  I felt oddly shocked, happy and proud that Sichuan food was fairing well with other demographics!  The flavors aren't exactly subtle and it's quite spicy! People here know what's good to eat!

SO HOT! I was burning my throat and tongue! But we had to run to get in line for HP and I couldn't let this soup goooooo!!!!  Overall we're coming back to this place, especially during happy hour!  Super close to us and pretty good flavors!

PACKED with capri sun, rice krispies treats, hot chips coke, ginger ale--we're ready for you HARRY!

Dammit 2nd in line! But this guy was awesome! He had his girlfriend pack peanut and jelly for their dinner while waiting in line!  I got all nolstalgic seeing everyone in their Griffondor scarves and colors--=*( last HP ever.

On Saturday we planned to check out the outlet malls but had to make a stop in Annandale (Korean town) for some BON CHON time! (WARNING: This weekend is NOT for the faint of heart--we are going deeeep fried!)

1) Bon Chon Chicken
4 stars, 414 reviews--this place is a dive and the minute we walked in, my nose was hit with the smell of stale beer ..and a pee like smell...very appetizing.  Friday night must have been wild!  But it's a strictly beer and chicken place!  Don't get anything else!

The place was dark and mostly empty except for those two boys--oddly in nice clothes--drinking on an early Saturday afternoon and group behind us that already ordered 40 wingsWe read that it gets extremely crowded on evenings and a lot of people order the fried chicken to go.

We ordered a large-20 wings, meant to feed 3-4 people, Half Soy Garlic and Half Hot.  We know no bounds.

Set A is the drinking package!  Good for when our friends come to visit!

20 freaking minutes later, the wings arrive!!!!!!! ahhhhhhh!  Served with a side of pickled daikon.  I am speechless at how amazing these babies looked and smelled!

Watch's off, we mean business!

Awwww man Asian wings!--light, sweet, salty, spicy, it's fried TWICE for that extra crunch crunch and it was so JUICY!!!  George and I stopped talking, his face became a blur, whatever he was saying didn't matter.  I blacked out into Bon Chon heaven.

Crunchy!  The inside of my mouth was full of crackling skin goodness!

Now to work it all off with some walking around at the outlets!! Potomac Mills--25 minutes away from our place, 225 stores

I got a $150 coat for $38 bucks!!  We also got our boy Coach a cute new bed.

We woke up today starving and couldn't decide between 1) Oohs and Aahs Soul Food or 2) Ben's Chilli Bowl, both located on U-Street Corridor in Washington, D.C.  As usual, George had the brilliant idea that we'd get lunch #1 at Ben's Big Chilli then grab a 2nd lunch at Oohs and Aahs!!

 U Street Corridor, rich in history ( and definitely rich in great food!  It reminds me of Haight Street in S.F--yuppy, hippy and a mix of ghetto =D

1) Ooh and Aahs Soul Food
Also featured on Food Network's Triple D!

They just opened at 12 and said our food wouldn't be ready til' 30 mins later so we placed our quarter fried chicken order then headed to Ben's Chilli 3 blocks down.

A serious hole in the wall joint, Oohs and Aah's a down to earth homey place.  The owner and servers were super nice.

2) While lunch #1's being made, on to lunch #2!
Ben's Chili Bowl!
As featured on Man vs. Food
and another place made infamous by President Obama when he dropped in for lunch in 2009.   

I like my dogs with the sausage casing fried crispy!  She's also cutting the dog to allow maximum chili penetration!

Already crowded by noon

The "must order" half smoked (half beef half pork sausage) with chilli, mustard and onions served with a side of not Lays, not Ruffles, but the east coast UTZ brand ridge potato chips!   
Sadly, I don't get what the hype's all about =(  The entire thing was cold, the chilli had no meat and wasn't even spicy.  The bun, the dog, the chilli--all cold..why Ben why???!!??  
BUT we have to, must! give this place a 2nd try..President Obama liked it so much!

But the order of Chili Cheese Fries with LOTS of CHEESE was bomb!!!!!!!

Who wouldn't want this on a Sunday with some T-Pain playing in the background.  Bliss.

20 mins later, done with lunch #1, we were back too early and our chicken wasn't yet ready so we hung out at the bar.  The place isn't that big so we were practically sitting in the hot kitchen.  The owner/chef looked upon us and told the server to give us a couple of things to eat for free because we looked hungry! =D He made us a sample plate of collard greens, rice and gravy, yams, and mac and cheese!!! I love this place!

This small hot kitchen produces one of the most crispiest and juiciest fried chicken I've ever eaten.  While waiting, we heard the owner eat his lunch off in a corner--and with no one around--mumbled to himself "mmhmm..this chicken good...mmmmhmm.."  LOL.  We knew we were in good hands!

Trust me, this many napkins were needed.  Funny how our fried chicken was packed in a Chinese to go take out box!  Are you prepared to see the amzingness?????

I do not know how they manage to get this chicken so crispy!.  After seeing the food network episode, there wasn't much to the process..but dang...this was so good!!!!

I'm gonna take a moment..and get lost in the beauty of these pictures...


C-R-I-S-P-Y SKIN!  This entire slab of crispy skin at my finger tips

The perfect bite.  Crispy skin and some meat.  I never understood why people ordered fried chicken and not eat the skin!!! Then don't get fried chicken!!! GO BIG or GO HOME!

George grubbin' on the carcus that I left him =)
Our view on our way home..a perfect Sunday..

Ending Sunday with a nice homey-meal: Crab Fried Rice

Crab asparagus soup with egg whites

and look what awesome thing we picked up at Costco!!!

Creamy sorbet in its own fruit shell! I spent 10 mins eating the same samples at Costco and was hooked.  Eco Friendly container and so yummmy!!
Another great eating weekend accomplished!


  1. 1) Whoa did not know you had to get a new license plate if you moved states!
    2) Hot pot looks sooo delicious, and omg thai chillies, yummmm. Btw your dumplings look better than theirs
    3) You brought food to the theater... doesn't that defeat the purpose of the card u purchased!? AND THEN you guys ate afterwards? CRAZY yet jealous!
    4)George got a haircut!
    5) Your food looks really good :(
    6) Do you think I'd like that sorbet thing haha

  2. How many things of crab did you guys buy to make the fried rice and soup? There was a lot of crab in the fried rice! Hahaha....