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Posted on Oct 24, 2011 in Food | 27 comments

Early Birthday

Birthday Man

Happy almost-birthday to my papa!

Aren’t my parents adorable?

After all, when did it ever hurt to be a bit early?


Our family celebrated his “29th” birthday last night at Clyde’s in Tysons Corner, since both my parents and I will be in Ottawa on his actual birthday later this week.


The food was good, though the decor was a little awkward (see the statue above) and the service was unfortunately super slow. We were seated right next to two other big parties, and there was only one server covering all three tables. It didn’t end up being too big of a deal since we weren’t in a rush or anything, but just a word to the wise that Sunday nights might not be the best time to schedule a big group dinner there.


But back to that whole food thing…

Vino GrigioBreaded

We started with some wine (pinot grigio, my favorite!) and the non-oyster selections from the oyster menu. My dad’s allergic to oysters, and I’ve never even had a raw one (though I had Oysters Rockefeller at the beach wedding I went to last month – delicious!) Shrimp and crab claws, on the other hand…

Mad shrimp cocktail love.

Herro Friend
Herro friend.

For my starter, I got a salad with apples, goat cheese, pancetta, and walnuts. It originally came with arugula but I haven’t been vibing that particular green lately (who says stuff like that?) so I asked them to substitute romaine instead. It was a great decision. The salad also came with a crostini with even MORE goat cheese smeared on top!

Would you like some salad with that goat cheese?
Goat cheese HEAVEN.

My entree was the pumpernickel crusted salmon, served with potatoes and this AWESOME pickled red cabbage. The cabbage was so, so good — I must find a recipe. I also pilfered some broccoli from my bro-in-law’s plate for some green (which was clearly cooked in butter, but we all have to make sacrifices. Ahahaha.) I practiced some highly uncharacteristic self-restraint and actually only ate half my plate! Needless to say, I’m looking forward to lunch tomorrow.

Rock Lobstah!
One guess as to what my mom ordered, haha.

In between our starters and entrees, my dad opened up his presents which is obviously the best part of any b-day celebration! (Does it come as any surprise that I can’t wait for my own birthday?)

Birthday GiftsBirthday Onlooker

I got him the Game of Thrones book set — does anyone watch the HBO show? I’ve only heard vague (but good!) things about it, so I’m wondering if it’s worth getting into. Maybe after reading the books, my dad can give me some insight?


Naturally, we couldn’t leave the restaurant without cake!

Chocolate Birthday

My mom picked up a small pumpkin mousse cake (yes, as awesome as it sounds) from Natalia’s, a local Falls Church bakery.

Candles & Cake
Make a Wish!

It was light, fluffy, pumpkin-y, and delicious! And for my second uncharacteristic food-act of the night, I didn’t even go for the remaining piece. Well, I did make a move for some of the extra chocolate shavings on top. I’m only human, after all.

Pumpkin Cake

It was a fantastic way to cap off the weekend!

Other weekend POPIs (Points of Potential Interest): I did, in fact, make it to just short of 4 miles with my pops Saturday morning. Race training forges ahead! I also FINALLY got around to donating four full trashbags of too-big clothing to a thrift store, and I took Daxter to check out Shirlington Dog Park as well. It was great! It’s long and fairly narrow, with lots of trees and TONS of dogs, including lots of small ones for Daxy to play with. The only thing is that it’s relatively far away compared to the dog park I usually go to (which is walkable from my house) so I hope that I can motivate myself to drive my crazy pups out there more often.

What’s your favorite kind of cake? For your birthday or otherwise? I really dug the pumpkin mousse cake that we had for its lightness, and I’m a lover of strawberry as a flavor. But what really takes the cake (ZING!) is the almond-pistachio cake that I had at Icebox Cafe in Miami. Seriously. That cake. Changed. My life.


  1. Oh, Clyde’s. The food is tasty, but the service is terribly slow! Looks like you had fun though! And I’m checking out Natalia’s – that cake sounds/looks amazing!

    • It is awesome – they have every baked good imaginable and they do sandwiches and coffee too. On Sundays they always have two crepe specials – one savory and one sweet. We should get brunch there sometime!

      • I couldn’t help but butt in. I love, love, love Natalias! We got one of my birthday cakes there and it was a fantastic white chocolate lemon blueberry cake. All of the sweets are great but the savory items are great too. Basically, everything is fantastic. Yum 🙂

  2. The books are soooo much better than the show, But, I still enjoy it either way. If you have not read them, the first episode may be a tad, um, strange?

    • Hahaha, well I can dig strange! But I’m generally a book-first kind of gal anyway, so hopefully I can hold out until I’ve at least read the first one?

  3. The show is great! I’ve been meaning to pick up the books to see how they compare. Sounds like you had a productive, wedding free weekend. Have you ever had chocolate cake w/ cream cheese based frosting? One of my favorites. Probably somewhat biased since it’s my mother’s signature…

    • Hahaha, wedding-free but not indulgence-free! And I haven’t ever had that particular cake combo, but carrot cake is another one of my faves and I think it’s mostly because of the cream cheese frosting so I’m sure I’d LOVE it. Tell your mom to bake one for me. 😀

  4. I love the Game of Thrones books…I was reading one on my flight back from a work trip in Detroit…and attracted a rather geeky guy. Thus is the life of a fantasy reader… My favorite cake is, by far, carrot cake! Mmmm. Though, I’m making a pumpkin cheesecake this week and that may, very well, beat it out.

    • Hahahahaha, geeks of the world unite! But yeah, I’ve heard there can be loose comparisons made to LOTR, so I’m sure I’d love the books since I’m a huge fantasy dork too. 😀

  5. Yay for getting rid of clothes that you’ve outshrunk! I always feel so good about it… like …. nah nah nah nah nah…I’m not going back there! Rock on with your run this week! You did awesome! I wish my Dad still ran. My dad was a marathon runner when I was a kid and unfortunately, he let his mind convince him that his body is too old for running 🙁 I so wish I would have had the opportunity to share running with my Dad… and now it seems like he is kinda bittersweet about coming to my races. : (

    • Awww, well at least he does still come to support you at your races! And my dad is actually like me — he hates running, but he goes with me to give me at least a little motivation to actually DO it. 😛

  6. Every time you go out with your family it looks like you have so much fun. The food always looks great. Super cute family!

    Cake you say. I have never met one I didn’t like/love/eat too much of.

    • Just as long as people don’t start thinking I spend way too much time with my family (I do) and don’t have any other friends (I don’t) hahahahaaaa. 😀

  7. mmm my pumpkin ravioli last night was quite tasty as well! At least we all like each other enough that a 3 hour dinner is endurable 🙂

  8. I just had some delicious pickled red cabbage too – I hope you find a recipe and make it 🙂 cake wise: I always love cheesecake and recently I had a wedding cake that was chocolate key lime with coconut filling and it was amazing!!

    • That sounds AWESOME. And yessss, I’m trying to find a good recipe to go off of, but the stuff from last night had so many complex flavors (it tasted barbeque-y!) and all the recipes I’m finding are too simple (cabbage + vinegar) so I know it won’t be the same. Looks like I’m going to need to do some experimenting!!

  9. There’s a mango rasberry mousse cheesecake at Demetre’s Café in Toronto that it so good, I found myself saying “it’s worth being fat for this.” (And you know me, that’s not something that would usually come out of my mouth)

  10. Your parents are adorable!! Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting if you’re offering! 😉

  11. October birthday’s are awesome!! So I’m a little biased because today is my bday! 🙂 That means you can FedEx me a slice of that cake. Just sayin. 😉

  12. Your dad’s cake looks delicious! My fave is a chocolate brownie cake from a small bakery here in Houston. To die for!!

    Oh and you inspired me…I’m making spaghetti sqaush tonight for dinner! 🙂

  13. Pinot is my favorite too! And that salad…and that cake! YUM! I’m so excited for you that you donated those clothes–I feel like it’s one of the most important parts of the process! Congrats on your training run! You are a rock star!

  14. Happy birthday Uncle Keith! =)

    Favorite cake = Carrot Cake. Good frosting is key, though.

  15. I know kids are supposed to look like a combination of both their parents but with you it’s SOOOOO obvious!!! It’s kind of cool!!! 🙂

    As for my favourite kind of cake – a strawberries and cream style cake!!


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