Visiting Virginia

When I received an assignment to write about the George Washington Distillery for Capitol File Magazine, one of the things that excited me the most about it was the chance to head back to the Washington, DC area. I decided it would be fun to combine a good foodie town with the trip and quickly settled on Alexandria.  It was a great choice.

Virginia Tourism helped me organize a trip filled with great cocktails, restaurants, and a bit of history.  I also had the bonus of being joined on some of the trip by a friend I had recently met on my press trip to St. Maarten, Julia Coney of All About the Pretty.

I arrived at the Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria in the early evening for my three night stay there.  I had never been there before, but I immediately knew why it had been chosen as the suite had what I needed and it was located within walking distance of most of the sites and venues I was going to.
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Claire from Alexandria Tourism picked me up for dinner. I had been looking forward to this since reading about it on the itinerary. If you ever asked me what my favorite foods were, I could guarantee that they have cheese in them. Whether it’s a sprinkling of parmesan or oozing cheddar, I love cheese dishes so dinner at Cheesetique was the perfect choice for me.

Cheesetique, located in the Del Ray neighborhood, also has a large selection of one of my other favorite things – wine. I had a glass of Chilean Cuvee and Claire and I tried to narrow down what we were going to order. It seemed like an impossible task to be given a menu where absolutely everything sounded terrific and you were only going to pick a few! Finally, the waitress helped us narrow it down, though we still ordered way too much.

The Warm Chevre and Tomato Dip, served with crostinis, was a wonderful start as it wasn’t heavy. We followed that with a Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread. That wasn’t very cheesy, but I was soon thankful for that fact.

The grilled cheeses we had ordered arrived. We had narrowed it down to the Grown-up Grilled Cheese, the Grilled Pimiento Cheese and the ABC Panini. The Grown-up was Prairie Breeze Cheddar melted on grilled sourdough. It was excellent. I couldn’t imagine a better grilled cheese sandwich. As for the Pimiento, it was made with a spicy blend of 3-year Cheddar, Dragon’s Breath and Dubliner, with pimientos. It had quite a kick and I enjoyed the unusual taste.  

The ABC Panini was quite different from the others. It was a tasty combination of red apples, peppered bacon and Comte on a dark honey wheat bread. I liked the combination of sweet and salty.

Fortunately, we had paced ourselves and only tasted a bit of everything before the macaroni and cheese course (just saying “macaroni and cheese course” makes me salivate!). The first was Mac ‘N Cheesetique, Goat Gouda, Asiago, 30-day Pecorino and truffle-infused bread crumbs. It was a perfect blend.

Our second macaroni and cheese was Cauliflower & Pancetta. I was a little hesitant when ordering it, but I’m glad the waitress convinced us as the Fontina and Parrano cheeses mixed very well with the cauliflower florets and crispy pancetta.

I had made sure to leave room for dessert and I’m glad I did because my anticipation was correct. The Cheesetique Cheesecake was creamy and delicious, topped with luscious fruit. It was the perfect ending to the evening and my start of exploring Virginia. 

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