Friday, February 22, 2013

Mosaic District... bringing some love to NoVA

Many years ago, when I first moved to the DC-area, I lived in Alexandria.  We lived super close to Arlington and DC and could take cabs to go out to bars and dinner up in those areas.  As we got older, and decided to raise a family, we moved out to the 'burbs in Northern Virginia (NoVA) so we could have more space (re: a house with a yard that we could actually afford).  When we moved out to the yonder, we gave up our proximity to delicious, trendy restaurants and bars in exchange for chain restaurants and fast food joints.  It sucked but it was worth it for these two little crackerjacks...

But now, we suffer no more.  This past fall, the Mosaic District opened in Merrifield, VA which is about 10 minutes away from my house.  It has a bunch of restaurants, food specialty stores, retail shops, and a film center.  It's like a beacon of hope in the land of cookie-cutter suburbia.  

We went over to Mosaic District this past week to see what they have to offer (and to get our hopes up for new restaurants and retailers opening soon).  First, we stopped by Ah love Oil & Vinegar to sample some fresh, flavored olive oils paired with aged balsamic vinegar.  They have a vast selection of different oils (like a habenaro oil which was fantastically spicy!), vinegar, sauces, rubs, and other speciality food products.  I could have spent all afternoon dipping bread in different oils.  YUM...

Then, we headed over to the movie theater (aka, the Angelika Film Center & Cafe), just to see what it looked like.  Okay, so this movie theater is NO JOKE.  They sell beer and wine, hot dogs topped with kimchi, and a variety of flavored popcorn.  Forget AMC or whatever else... I have found my new home to watch a movie.  I can only hope it's not too ridiculous to get tickets.  

Since it was lunch time, we decided to stop in Taylor Gourmet for some sandwiches.  Taylor Gourmet is a Philly-style deli with delicious sandwiches named after streets in Philly, Herr's potato chips (I grew up on the sour cream and onion kind in NJ), and vintage soda pop.  And for extra bonus points, they don't serve the typical "philly cheesesteak" and they do serve pork roll.  That's some Philly.  We ordered the Market Street sandwich and the pork was delicious, tender and lightly peppered.  I would have like to have tried to risotto balls, but I was saving room for dessert.  Next time...

For dessert, we headed over to Artisan Confections, a sweet shop selling hand-made chocolates.  I sampled the Butterscotch chocolate, made of milk chocolate with a creamy, gooey caramel center.  It was the perfect finish to a fun afternoon at the Mosaic District.

We had a great time exploring the new shopping area and can't wait to go back to catch a movie and try out the new restaurants and specialty shops in the Spring (like Red Apron Butcher and Four Sisters Restaurant)! 




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