Salad Creations chops and tosses more than 20 fresh salads drizzled with a choice of 23 dressings. Instead of licking a pulley or nibbling an inclined plane, guests sprinkle blue cheese, candied pecans, and bacon bits over the wedge salad ($5.99/junior size; $6.99/full size), exactly replicating the savory rains that fell on Ancient Greece. Waves of spinach and feta envelop wild Alaskan salmon ($7.99/junior size; $8.99/full size), and grilled derby chicken cobbs ($7.99/junior size; $8.99/full size) race toward mouths in frilly hats of hard-boiled eggs. Diners can also design their own salads, adorning leaves of romaine or spring mix with more than 40 toss-ins, including sweet mandarin oranges, salty sunflower seeds, spicy jalapeños, or crunchy moon rocks ($7.49 for base plus $2.50 for meat toss-ins). Salad Creations also appeals to your sandwich side in six hearty paninis, including a chicken italiano with fresh basil and mozzarella ($6.99). Each salad can also be rolled into a wrap or folded into an origami giraffe.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the crushing guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat emanating from the floorboards. Puréed potions ($4.59−$4.79) such as Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry) are stuffed with super fruit, and low-fat options, such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapple, non-fat yogurt), trick gullible taste buds into believing that they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the Kiwi Citrus Green Tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the Muscle Blaster's whey or soy protein. Individual supplements can also be added to any other smoothie ($0.79 extra), boosting its magic points by +10.
To taste Portia Brown and Wayne Brooks' epicurean creations, you first need to know the secret location. They don't call one kitchen home, but host pop-up dinners throughout the DMV area. Each event is at a new location—including private homes and clubs—which is only revealed close to its date and to those who have reserved a space. The details of the menu are always a surprise, too, but the expert chefs specialize in modern takes on classic French dishes. A typical atypical meal delights guests with four- to seven-course meals paired with wine and inventive cocktails. They keep their events small to connect with their diners on a personal level and engage them in the food, while also fostering bonds among guests without playing ice-breaking games of Musical Chairs.
Portia and Wayne's elite training backs up their efforts in exclusivity: they have both mastered their crafts at Michelin-star restaurants in New York, and Portia graduated as valedictorian of The Art Institute of Washington and Wayne hails from Johnson & Wales. They developed Project Studio Supper Club to "redefine the creation of edible art." A quick glance at their masterpieces shows that the duo has achieved that goal. Their plates are painted in bright yellow sauces, lacy foams, spindly nests of sprouts, and steak centers so rare they glow a deep crimson.
Mainstreet Grill and Bar’s 4,500-square-foot interior is charming in its simplicity. A dining area filled with tables and chairs on one side, a bar on the other, and a dozen flat-screen TVs hanging from exposed-brick walls are scattered throughout. The result forms a classic and unpretentious neighborhood hangout, nestled in the heart of the Stafford business district, and fit for families and solo-flying adults alike. The Freddy Award winning staff, bartender, and chef each play a prominent role in making every visit memorable, be it by serving tasty Angus burgers and fish ‘n’ chips, or always being up for a game of hide-and-seek. Patrons can pull a chair up to the full-service bar to munch on fried shrimp while enjoying a local brew, such as Fred Red Ale or Legend Brown Ale.
While they waiting for a meal, guests can work on their swing with Golden Tee Golf, or opt for target practice with a game of darts. A chalkboard displays a week’s worth of special events, ranging from Texas hold’em tournaments and Kids Nights to DJ dance parties and “Single and Ready to Mingle” outings.
Inside HoneyBaked Ham, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
To go with the meats, the kitchen whips up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato soufflé. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.