The Madfoodies go Camping!

Prince William Forest Campgrounds

People sit around all the time and talk about the things they would like to do. Travel, play sports and participate in many different activities. As a kid, I remember watching my brother prepare for a boy scout camping trip and all I could think about was being able to go with him. Of course he told me, No! I sat disappointed in our dining room and as he left, I thought to myself, one day I would go camping and no one would be able to tell me no. Well 52 years later, the opportunity presented itself. I was watching some youtube videos and came across one which I totally follow now called Fisherman’s Life. The smart young guy who produces the video not only fishes but showcases lots of camping gear. It took me back to my youth and my dreams to go camping with anyone who would take me seriously. You guys know that person is my partner in crime and fellow madfoodie Eric! I thought about the situation and knew that even he would need a bit of coaxing to open up to something neither of us had done before.

What does a girl do? She uses all of her favorite tools. Youtube for research; Amazon for access to all equipment and her zero balance Visa credit card.

Lolo sets up all the equipment they will need for Camping.

Once Eric said yes, ( He really had no choice, I had everything we needed from Camping cookware, Outdoor Camping Knife Set, Coffee pots and cups, Camping lanterns, Sleeping bags, a Coleman Tent and a propane stove. I went on the google and took care of the Campground Fee and the parking expense. By golly we were ready to go C-A-M-P-I-N-G!!!

Our tent that could have sleep 5 people comfortably.
Camping at Sunset.
Cooked Cod and Grilled Steak
Hot Crispy Bacon
28 Day Aged Steak for Dinner.

Cooking of delicious food made our overnight camping trip so much fun. The 28 degree temperatures that evening were the only thing that made the trip a bit trying. But I would do it again in a heartbeat! Camping as a Madfoodie is truly the way to go!

Madfoodie Lolo and Eric Camping at night.

Birthday Girl Turquoise with the Madfoodies at Sugar Factory

Sugar Factory – The place for Birthdays!

Turqoise’s Birthday at Sugar Factory was a blast!

My niece Turquoise has the best taste in entertainment, food and fun so having her birthday at the Sugar Factory was truly icing on on the cake. The Sugar Factor is a treat for all guest. This wonderful restaurant offers a one-of-a-kind delectable dining experience serving decadent tasty fare to all customers looking for that extra special treat. Sugar Factory also caters to adults offering beverages made with premium spirits which includes the restaurants signature 36-ounce alcohol-infused Smoking Candy Goblets. There are also non-alcoholic versions available for kids.

Juicy, Tangy, Tasty Buffalo Barbeque Wings

Lobster Fettuccine Alfredo with Romano Cheese
Rigatoni Pasta Marinara with Garlic Bread
Honorary Madfoodies Turqoise Martin and Gloria Morris having party fun,
Madfoodie Eric Arnold and Sister Madfoodie Gloria Morris

Madfoodies Lolo Arnold and Eric Arnold having fun at Sugar Factory

Madfoodies enjoying their Ten Year Anniversary Enjoying Southern Cuisine Part II

According to Google, the definition of Soulmate is, “Someone that just gets you. It’s a connection of minds, a mutual respect, an unconditional love and a total understanding. It’s about being yourself and knowing, not only that person is following and understanding your thoughts, but is right there with you, side by side.” On this ten year anniversary, I truly understood and agreed with this statement. Eric and I have known one another for twenty years. We decided to make our journey official in October 2009 when we both said the words, “I DO”. Our trips, vacations and excursions off the beaten path have shown me the meaning of sharing your life with someone who is willing to try new things. We may be different people, but we are willing to open our eyes to the experiences that life has for both of us. On our Southeast trip, my Madfoodie partner did his best to surprise me everyday with something new. Please check out our Anniversary Dinner.

Preparing for a evening out on the town

My sweet Madfoodie Husband took me to Charleston Grill for our Anniversary dinner.

Nothing like dinner by Candlelight!

Our Anniversary Menu

Heirloom Tomato SaladWhipped Feta, Olives, Capers, Red Wine Vinaigrette

Charleston Grill Crab Cake made with Creek Shrimp, Tomatoes, Lime-Dill Vinaigrette

Sea Scallops- Huitlacoche, Corn Puree’, Cilantro Pistou, Chanterelles

SQUAB – Black Truffle, Roasted Shallots, Bacon, Haricot Verts

Prime Beef Tenderloin- Bearnaise Sauce, Asparagus Spears, with a Red Wine Reduction

Black Chocolate Pudding Cake- Butterscotch Custard, Espresso Ice Cream, Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Paper

Key Lime Cheesecake- Coconut Graham Cracker Crust, Grilled Pineapple, Key Lime Curd, Toasted Meringue

Charleston Grill’s personal touch on a wonderful Anniversary Dinner

We enjoyed this sparkling Wine with our Dinner that went great with everything from the appetizer to the dessert!

The Madfoodies rediscover Soul Food at Nigels Good Food, Part I.

Our Ten Year Anniversary….

Lolo and Eric have been on many adventures and our 10th anniversary was no different. Visiting family in North Charleston, Eric set up a lunch date for himself, Lolo and two family honorary madfoodies, Eunice & Anthony. Eric’s sister, Eunice, gave them a recommendation to tryout a restaurant named Nigel’s Good Food, specializing in what is called Low country or Gullah Geechee cuisine. To the millions of people in America, it is just called Soul Food. Trust what I say, lots of people put the label ‘soul food’ on different types of dishes, but they really have no ideal of what they are talking about.

Nigel’s Good Food showed us that they definitely know what Soul Food is. And their Soul Food is truly GOOD FOOD! Please take a look at what we tasted and savored that day.

This is gonna be GOOD!
Mouth Watering Geechie Wings
Bam’s Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo

Succulent Turkey Wings with gooey Mac & Cheese, Fried Cabbage and Collards.
Hot Honey Butter Corn Bread
Special Bite of Gumbo
Taste of the Hot Cheezey Mac & Cheese
Taste of Low Country Ravioli

The taste of the wonderful, Low Country Food at Nigel’s Good Food gave us a warm, homey feel in our souls and we the madfoodies can not wait to return.

Lolo and Eric with Eunice and Anthony ( Our honorary Madfoodies for the day)
A Wonderful employee of Nigels with Lolo
Yummy Peach Cobbler to go

The Madfoodies take on the restaurant “The Corner” in New Jersey.

Many neighborhoods have small restaurants that folks living in the vicinity can pick up a quick meal or a small bite to eat. The Madfoodies found such a place while visiting Bloomfield, New Jersey. But this diner had something with a little more panache The restaurant is called, “The Corner”. Don’t let the name fool you; it’s more than your usual Mom and Pop place to check out on a Friday night. The Corner has delights that will make your eyes dance like Sugar Plum Fairies and your mouth water non-stop. The following pictures are our compelling evidence and we had to showcase them on

Rosemary Shoestring French Fries

Smoked Salmon on Toast with Avocado and Poached Eggs

Mixed Greens with Watermelon Radish, Carrots, Sprouts and Sherry Vinaigrette

Mouth Watering Toast SamplerAvocado ToastProsciutto & Ricotta ToastOrganic Chicken Liver Toast

Savory House cured thick cut bacon

Eric & Lolo with another honorary Madfoodie

The Madfoodies check out the Impossible Burger

When it comes to food the mission is never impossible unless you are the Madfoodies and you are checking out the Impossible Burger at Bareburger. During a visit to Bloomfield, New Jersey. The Madfoodies were given a mission and they decided to accept it.

The Impossible Burger with Bacon. Oink and veggie. The best of both worlds.

Build your own burger and Fries. The fries were the BOMB!

The Blazing Bison Burger

Lolo Arnold and a Madfoodie honorary buddy go to an off broadway show after Bareburger.

The Madfoodies and a New York Summer!

The Madfoodies visit the Big Apple and get school about the city that never sleeps. The selections of food are too numerous to counts! So as only the Madfoodies can do, they will show you pics of everything edible they encountered.

The World Trade Center Station

Our first stop after getting off the World Trade Center was Bann Modern Korean Cuisine. Bann shows us, every plate does it’s best to achieve elusive, cuisine-defining balance of traditional and modern Korean cooking. Bann uses the finest ingredients prepared with the most diverse cooking techniques; presenting authentic flavors that delight the most discerning palate in approachable and creative ways. 

JAP Chaewok Stir Fried Glass Noodles with assorted vegetables, soy and sesame (vegetarian or beef).

Ssam Buns steamed buns with pickled shredded daikon and sweet soy (pork belly, beef bulgogi, chicken)

The succulent fresh meat and veggie roasting on the grill.

Steak, Chicken with Rice wrapped in tasty Bibb lettuce.

Bann’s warm inviting decor.

The Madfoodies after a delicious meal.

The Madfoodies Take on City Winery in Washington D.C

Madfoodies take on City Winery

Wine, food and all that Jazz!  We experience that and much more at Washington D.C’s premier City Winery.   The Madfoodies settled in for evening of great eats and musical entertainment.  City Winery is a wonderful venue allowing wine lovers to partake in discovering delicious cuisine, new wines and live entertainment of all types.  This particular evening, we were so lucky to acquire tickets to view Smooth Jazz vocalist and a long-time good friend of Eric’s, Lori Williams.  Lori’s vocal stylings were so delightful and melodic to our ears you truly understand why she is moving up the Smooth Jazz vocal charts.  We are sure that we will continue to see and hear more from Lori in the future.

Our knowledgeable hostess started our evening with a Malbec that paired excellently with  the delectable Charcuterie Board  that had a selection of meats from near and far.   This was an awesome appetizer and tasty preview for the start of the evening.

Delectable Charcuterie Board

Mixed Slaw with Artichoke Spread

Shells and Cheese Fontina and Gruyere

Smoked Pork Belly with grilled corn salsa

Peaches & Cream with a vanilla bean panna cotta base, peach compote almond crumble and fresh thyme. 

Lori Williams soulful stylings provided lovely entertainment for the main course and ensured our dinner had a wonderful backdrop.  The Smoked Pork Belly with grilled corn salsa and the Mezze Plate of marinated olives, stone fruit chutney, spiced nuts, artichoke spread and grilled garlic bread were totally divine.

As for desert, I had to give the Peaches & Cream; a selection with a vanilla bean panna cotta base, peach compote almond crumble with fresh thyme.   It was a refreshing spin on the original dessert.  Eric and I enjoyed sharing this dish.

All and All I would say our evening at City Winery was a definitely foodie delight and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the Washington D.C area.

The Madfoodies preparing to enjoying the evening.

The Madfoodies with Magnificent songstress Lori Williams!

Excellent layout of Washington D.C’s City Winery

Spacious Seating for City Winery Guess

The Madfoodies take on the Pacific Coast.

Lolo and Eric had a wonderful day in Malibu, California. It was a beautiful day with a comfortable temperature of 89 degrees and the coastal water was a balmy 79 degrees, which anyone knows is wonderful for the west coast.

The Paradise Cove Cafe Restaurant we visited that day was a lovely seafood venue that had ocean delights we could only describe as a foodies treasure.

Paradise Cove in Malibu

Eric and Lolo’s lunch. Paradise Cove’s take on Fish Tacos!

You don’t get Fish Taco’s like this on the east cost

Eric’s ICED Seafood Sampler Huge and Meant to be Shared

Eric and Lolo by Paradice Cove Beach
The Madfoodies sign off at the end of a wonderful day.

This was the end of a great afternoon.

And Sō, the journey began…

“So.” A word so tiny, yet oh-so-powerful. It can be a point of emphasis or dismissal. It depends on the perspective of its user and the recipient.

When a couple of co-workers recommended Sō, a Korean BBQ establishment in Centreville, VA, I was excited to have a return visit to a genre of culinary delight I haven’t experienced since my Navy days in Japan just outside of Yamato city in Kanagawa Prefecture. Pulling up to Sō, a throng of eager visitors awaited entrance. The heavy steel door opened to an atmosphere bright with excitement. The aesthetic was a combination of subtle colors and dark furniture. A clean minimalism starring opposite the sizzling, succulent, spicy tastes that would light up our evening.

It is here that I turn over the telling of our foodie journey to my partner in gourmet adventures, Lolo:

You can thank my husband Eric for both this eloquent introduction and for providing the inspiration for this post. As you have already guessed, Korean BBQ is the topic at hand today. One of my favorite episodes of Buzzfeed’s “Worth It” featured Korean BBQ that the hosts tasted at three locations around Los Angeles. I was so impressed by the restaurants they showcased that I began planning my next vacation to LA. My sweetie Eric must have felt the same way this past Saturday, but I didn’t know until we arrived at the restaurant for the surprise reservations he made.

It was wonderful to find out that our dinner that night was at the Korean BBQ restaurant named Sō. Meaning that I wouldn’t have to travel to California after all.

Fortunately, with the help of the Worth It episodes, I had a good read on what to expect. And the theme for our evening was pork belly — oh my goodness! It was so delicious! Between the thinly sliced pork belly, the garlic-marinated pork belly, and the bulgogi (marinated, sliced rib-eye), I thought I was in protein heaven.

Jay, our attendant for the evening, was very informative and he brought out a great selection of juicy and vibrant cuts of meat. There were also dishes of salted sesame oil, plum sauce, and a spicy, sweet red pepper paste for dipping. Each bite coated my mouth with a mouthwatering rush of savory heat. The freshly-grilled meat was flavorful, and I could not stop myself from devouring more, even when my stomach was nearly at full capacity. Jay and the rest of the staff moved like a symphony, both cooking our fill while ensuring their other patrons enjoyed the full Sō experience. Ever arriving just in time, Jay expertly handled each portion of meat until it was fully cooked and then offered suggestions for combining sauces that heightened the overall taste.

I truly recommend if there is a Korean BBQ anywhere near you, you have to give it a try. If you already have an establishment in mind, come back and tell me about the dishes that you enjoyed most. As Jean Luc Picard would say, “Make it Sō.” I can tell you I did!