Recently my friend Sharlene offered me a couple of tickets to a #NoKidHungry event called #ChefsBehindBars. I asked my friend and fellow #DCMetroMinis member Melissa Sarracino to come along. It was a glorious day for driving topless so I picked her up from work and we made our way into DC.
The event was at Stanton & Greene and seven of the best chefs in D.C. were “manning the bar” — mixing a special drink they created and collecting tips for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.
The first cocktail we tried was actually a snow cone mixed by Louis Goral from the Rural Society. It was some sort of orange flavored liquor poured over the crushed ice and then topped with coriander seeds and dried olives. It was absolutely delicious, but hard to eat, We had to toss out most and then we made our way to the other end of the bar to try a cocktail from Hamilton Johnson of Vidalia. This was my favorite cocktail of the first round, and maybe my second favorite overall.
They’d put out snacks at that point so we loaded up on potato croquettes, mini crab cakes, beef skewers, and BBQ sliders.
There was a lot of buzz around the Shake Your Sassafras from Russell Jones of the Jack Rose Dining Saloon. I tried it in spite of the fact that it had a gin base (and gin is not my friend). It also included Sassafras and Stoner, apiaries honey syrup, lemon, champagne, and a cube of raw tuna soaked in soy sauce. It was good but I still liked the Ham’s Fuzzy Pisco best.
At that point we were feeling pretty good and we noticed that they were had piles of orange bracelets and sunglasses near the auction table. Everyone knows how much Ali loves orange, so we liberated some for her.
The chefs that had been working left and three new ones arrived. The first drink we tried was some sort of coconut milk and rum drink that with a teriyaki chicken and pineapple skewer on top that was outstanding! I’d have taken a picture but my hands were full. It’s a shame since we both thought that was the best cocktail at the event.
We had been hearing a lot of praise for The Mango Tree all night so we were really excited to try the Thai Elephant from chef Adrian Salazar. I couldn’t really see all of the ingredients listed, but I did enjoy watching him sprinkle flowers into each glass. The flowers were less fun when we tried to drink it and they kept getting stuck in our teeth.
It was very exciting watching Kyle Bailey from Birch & Barley mix up his concoction. There was a skull shaped bottle that they would fill up with liquor and smoke and then shake while another guy was vigorously mixing the resulting liquid with other liquids. Then they added a skewer with smoked cherries. I was feeling really good at that point but not good enough to enjoy those smoked cherries.
We ran into my friend Dawn and her boyfriend Nole. When Nole found out Melissa and I were #DCMM members and owned Minis, he asked if he would fit in them. Turns out he’s been thinking of buying a Countryman! Melissa gave him a club card and told him to go talk to her dealer at Passport Mini. We suggested that he hurry so he could join us for the #EpicMiniRally on June 20th…
As the event came to an end, Melissa and I decided to join everyone for dinner. Just outside the door was a We The Pizza and a Good Stuff Eatery. Everyone got their dinner and we snagged a couple of tables outside.
Afterwards, Melissa and I went back to My Precious, put the top down, and headed for home. As we crossed the Potomac in the HOV lanes on the 395, Melissa held her iPhone up to take a selfie. She wanted to show everyone she was helping me drive her home but the wind caught her phone and it flew from her hand and out of the car. At first we couldn’t believe what had happened. Melissa was clearly in shock and after my recent and tragic iPhone loss I was determined not to lose another one!
I made a sharp exit at the Pentagon, turned back around and crossed back over the bridge. I got off on 14th street and made a quick right on C Street. I took 13th to D and then got back on the 395 in the HOV lane. As we crossed the Potomac I toggled on my fog lights and slowed way down. Melissa ruled out the first few small black items we spotted and then suddenly we saw something that was shaped like the iPhone. I flipped on the hazards, she jumped out and ran back. She held it up and yelled, “it’s just the case!” I screamed back, “keep looking, it can’t be far!” Suddenly she called out, “OMG I found it!” She snatched it up and ran back to the car.
As I pulled out into traffic, Melissa inspected her phone. The back was shattered but still holding together and remarkably the front was completely intact! We were concerned about the camera, but Melissa took a picture and it appeared to be fine.
We decided that we needed to capitalize on our luck and pulled into 711 for some lottery tickets. That’s when I learned it was only Melissa’s lucky day! She won another $6 on her scratch off tickets. Let’s hope the Mega Millions pays off as well…