For the love of Washington D.C. – Food Edition

I travelled to DC for Labor day weekend with friends and family. The post was getting so long that I had to split it up. Here is the food edition of my DC trip. It’s a detailed description of the restaurants I went to. (some of these restaurants are actually not in DC but 10-25 mins away)

Busboys and Poets: very trendy laidback “community gathering place”. The chicken is halal and the meat is kosher. There are tons of vegetarian options, dessert, drinks and coffee. A major added plus is it’s completely inexpensive. I had the chicken Panini and some of my friends had the steak and asparagus salad which was a mere $13. It had 3 pieces of steak, salad with asparagus, dressing and gorgonzola cheese. It was so fresh. The dessert was great as well. I had iced mocha (twice) and shared desserts with friends. I loved their cheesecake. Link here. I cant emphasize how much I loved this place, probably one of the reasons I came here 3 times during my stay!

at Busboys with my iced mocha

at Busboys with my iced mocha

picstitch of Busboys

picstitch of Busboys

 

RJ cafe: this restaurant is nothing fancy but the food is outstanding. It’s a mom and pop type of restaurant with minimal décor. It could be described as All American and soul food. Their signature dishes include melt in your mouth ribs, BBQ wings, and chicken fried steak. For appetizers, we had the wings which are exceptionally large and are dripping in this BBQ sauce that is perfection. The crunch under the sauce was still there.  Whenever I see halal steak available, it’s hard for me to resist and so that is what I ordered. Unfortunately it was too dry for my liking. The chef saw me and asked how everything was and I said the ribs were exceptional (I had some from my friend) but I mentioned that in my meal, the steak was a little dry. He insisted on bringing another one. We came with such a large party that there was so much food I was actually almost full due to the appetizers. I thought that would serve as a mutual agreement to not bring out any more dishes. Within minutes there was a full plate with ribs (and sides) in front of me. Exceptional service. The ribs were melt in your mouth delish and the meat just pulled off the ribs with such ease. (Restaurant is actually in Maryland about 25 mins from DC). Link here.

BBQ wings

 

ribs at RJs

ribs at RJs

 

Burger 7: If you know anything about me, my all time favorite food is a burger. We have some good options in NYC but nothing that I am fully 100% head over heels in love with. Well, I just had one of my best burgers EVER in DC. Yes in DC. If you ever had Elevation Burger, I would say Burger 7 would be similar to it but substantially better. I felt like the meat was juicier and the B7 sauce added an extra kick of flavor with just the right amount of spice but not overpowering. The meat is 100% organic (free range grass fed) and it definitely adds to the taste. The burger is not too large. I ate one within minutes and ordered another one. You  can add toppings to your liking, which is probably another reason why I love it so (Restaurant is actually in Arlington but that’s only 10-15 minutes from DC). Link here.

(I think I am still looking for a burger spot that is preferably not a chain because I feel like that would be more authentic. Do you know of any? What’s your favorite halal burger spot?)

burger7

burger7

burger7

burger7

posing outide of burger7

posing outide of burger7

 

 

Ravi Kabob: I needed to get my traditional Pakistani/Indian meal fix on the last day of the trip so we picked up Ravi Kabob before heading back to NYC. They don’t carry biryani on Mondays so we had to order plain white rice and bread (naan). The bread was great even after we got back to the hotel room. They did have the chicken karahi which is a dry chicken in curry with tons of spice. It was bursting with all exotic flavors. It was so tasty that I couldn’t stop eating it. The entire order was devoured in a few minutes (restaurant is actually in Arlington but that’s only about 10-15 mins from DC). Link here.

So that was a summary of what I ate in DC. With food options this unique and delicious, I am definitely coming back to DC very soon!

Next post will be on my outfits and pics with friends and some fabulous ladies.

**Next week I will be attending a show at New York Fashion Week, NYFW, as I was invited by a designer- Ashley of AP for Women. Her latest collection is Mod Lux. You can see a preview of what she will be showcasing in NYFW by clicking here. I love how she mixes modesty and fashion. Sound familiar? I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the runway. There are some outstanding pieces!

 

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For the love of an Iftar Party

husband and I

husband and I

Iftar is the meal eaten at sunset by Muslims. At the end of your long day of fasting, it’s such a blessing to break your fast with loved ones. Iftar parties are the festive and fun part of Ramadan. When people break their fast by food you provide, the host or sponsor gets loads of blessings. This is a major incentive to hold an iftar and it is encouraged to do so. Iftar parties are great because religion is the main focus of the get together.

before we left for the iftar. full outfit details at the bottom

before we left for the iftar. full outfit details at the bottom

2 weeks ago, I held a small iftar party at my in laws house for about 15 girls (not including the 9 kiddies!). It was a great girls only party and we were all able to enjoy the pool for a few hours before breaking our fast. The weather didn’t comply and even through the rain everyone still enjoyed themselves. My mother in law cooked up tons of eats and many of my friends brought food and specialty drinks as well. It was great to see my closest friends. Also, my husband was out of town. He was actually in Makkah because he went to perform Umrah and it was a lonely 8 days without him so it was great to meet up with my girls.

full outfit details at the bottom

full outfit details at the bottom

One of my cousins held an iftar this weekend. I was speaking to his wife who is having her first Ramadan in America this year. She married my cousin in Pakistan in December (you can read about my Pakistan trip here). She mentioned that she enjoyed Ramadan more in America than in Pakistan. That struck me as so odd. Pakistan is predominately a Muslim country so how could it possibly be more enjoyable in America? She went on to say that Ramadan is made a bigger deal in America because you get to see so many different groups of friends in different atmospheres. Iftars are held at local colleges, community centers, masjids, house parties and parties at restaurants as well. Also you go to different masjids for tarawih. In Pakistan, it’s like daily life there but in America, it brings people together and you feel a sense of community. That I would definitely have to agree with.

 

my friend Mehvash and I. I died over her pleated skirt from JCREW collection

my friend Mehvash and I. I was in love with her pleated skirt from JCREW collection

This past weekend one of my friends had an iftar party at her house as well. The food was a full American menu, with BBQ chicken, asparagus, mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken pasta, bread, garlic knots and stuffed mushrooms. The party was held outdoors and the decor was phenomenal. I loved the lights and the Ramadan Mubarak signs. It is great to encourage the festive Ramadan feel especially to the young generation who need to love their holidays. It was perfect outdoor weather for an outdoor iftar. Maghrib was prayed in congregation in the backyard as well.

Ramadan Mubarak and lights

Ramadan Mubarak and lights

outdoor setup

outdoor setup

My friend who hosted the iftar also had a small bday party for their daughter who was turning 2 the following day. She shares a birthday with my son. They were both born on the same day in the same hospital. Fun times! A delicious birthday cake was ordered and they bought a cake for my sons’ birthday as well. I loved all the decorations indoors for the cake and the goody bags that were labeled Ramadan Mubarak. Aaisha Shaikh of BakingPartTime also made 2 tarts for the party which were devoured within minutes! (check out her blog for more tasty treats!)

Aaisha and her tarts!

Aaisha and her tarts!

 

 

loving this red turban style hijab

loving this red turban style hijab

 

before we left for the iftar. do you see the jungle growing behind me? the works of my father in laws green thumb

before we left for the iftar. do you see the jungle growing behind me? the works of my father in laws green thumb

 

My Outfit of the Day (OOTD) details:

Cutout top- purchased at Kara. I love this top because its longer in length and the cut out details is a fun twist to a plain tunic. Added bonus, you can wear it without the shirt underneath for a ladies only party and that’s exactly what I did when I attended my friends ladies only bridal shower.

Black turtleneck- H&M. this was worn under the cutout top

White jeans- C Wonder

Belt- Cole Haan purchased at Bloomingdales

Sandals- Boutique 9

**(I was a little under the weather this weekend. Also, this is me in my own skin. This is me with no makeup as I have not worn any makeup during Ramadan.)**

 

The last ten nights are still amongst us. Make the most of it. And have an enjoyable Eid!

 

cheeeese! this would be me in my most natural state!

cheeeese! this would be me in my most natural and normal state! Ha

 

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