El Ray Tolteca

Dining at El Ray Tolteca tonight in Ashburn.

I got a Strawberry Margarita. The strawberry tastes more like syrup than real fresh fruit. The tequila was low quality as well.

Corn Chips, Salsa, and Queso were ok. The chips were hard, like from a bag. The salsa was good with a slight sweet taste. Ryan liked the salsa. The Queso was good traditional Mexican. Patty liked the Queso.

The Steak Fajitas came out hot both the side plate and the steak. They offer cheese or sour cream if requested.

The steak was low quality meat and tasteless. The cooked veggies were good as well as the re-fried beans. The guacamole was ok, but small. The tortillas were dried out.

It is clear that nothing is fresh here except the veggies.

I would say the best part of the meal was the Queso. If you are looking for something on the lines of Uncle Julio’s…keep looking. If you are looking for fresh Mexican…still keep looking.

Big Fish Grill, Rehoboth – August 2015

tonight we dined at Big Fish Grill in Rehoboth, Deleware.  One of many seafood options at this great beach destination.

Laura had the broiled scallops.  This dish came with sweet potato and mushrooms.  Laura says the scallops were wonderful.

 

Ryan had the grilled chicken with rice.  Ryan enjoyed his chicken until he fell asleep😴

   
I had the filet with a side of scallops.  This dish was wonderful.

  

Patty had the 1.5 pound Maine lobster with rice and tomatoes.

   
Awesome meal with reasonable prices.  If you’re in Rehoboth; consider adding Big Fish Gril to your resturant choices.

 

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – July 2015

Rehoboth Beach area has become our destination of choice for long weekends during the summer.  The golden sands, blue water give us a break from the crazy life we lead in Northern Virginia.

 

Rehoboth Beach

 
As with everything we do, we setup a beach villa with our cooler, beach chairs, and shelter.  

 

Beach villa


We found Cape Henlopen State Park, just north of downtown Rehoboth is a quiet, family friendly part of the coastline as a perfect place for us to spend the day catching some rays, reading some books, taking naps, walking on the beach, and playing in the waves.

   

  

  

  

  


A tradition at Cape Henlopen on the forth of July is the Independence Day “Parade” on the beach.  It’s simple, quaint, and quick, but fun for everyone.

4th of July Parade

At night we went to downtown Rehoboth to walk the boardwalk.  The night life is alive with entertainment, food, and games for families.

       

The beach is also lit up at night along the boardwalk.  People can enjoy the beach, watch the waves, or play a game of volleyball at night.                

Walking the boardwalk at night is a wonderful way to spend time with someone cute. 

Unfortunately, Rehoboth beach decided to have their fireworks show on the 5th of July this year.  However, Dewey Beach, just a few miles away was having them on the forth.  So, Laura and I ventured there to check it out.  

Dewey Beach is known for the younger crowd.  While we did find twenty somethings drunk in public, there weren’t any problems – everyone was well behaved.

Take in beautiful oceanfront views and feel the cool bay breezes while visiting Dewey Beach! Located between the Rehoboth Bay and Atlantic Ocean, this sandbar community is an ideal destination for beach lovers and water sport enthusiasts. In fact, Dewey Beach is just two blocks wide but packed with fun things to do!

     
The fireworks were set to go off on the bay side.  We noticed that there are boat rentals right next to where we set up to enjoy the show.

   

  

  

  

It was a nice small town show.  
  

The Rehoboth/Dewey beach area is quickly becoming a favorite destination for our Independence Day weekend celebration.

   
  

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – July 2015

Rehoboth Beach area has become our destination of choice for long weekends during the summer.  The golden sands, blue water give us a break from the crazy life we lead in Northern Virginia.

 

Rehoboth Beach

 
As with everything we do, we setup a beach villa with our cooler, beach chairs, and shelter.  

 

Beach villa


We found Cape Henlopen State Park, just north of downtown Rehoboth is a quiet, family friendly part of the coastline as a perfect place for us to spend the day catching some rays, reading some books, taking naps, walking on the beach, and playing in the waves.

   

  

  

  

  


A tradition at Cape Henlopen on the forth of July is the Independence Day “Parade” on the beach.  It’s simple, quaint, and quick, but fun for everyone.

4th of July Parade

At night we went to downtown Rehoboth to walk the boardwalk.  The night life is alive with entertainment, food, and games for families.

       

The beach is also lit up at night along the boardwalk.  People can enjoy the beach, watch the waves, or play a game of volleyball at night.                

Walking the boardwalk at night is a wonderful way to spend time with someone cute. 

Unfortunately, Rehoboth beach decided to have their fireworks show on the 5th of July this year.  However, Dewey Beach, just a few miles away was having them on the forth.  So, Laura and I ventured there to check it out.  

Dewey Beach is known for the younger crowd.  While we did find twenty somethings drunk in public, there weren’t any problems – everyone was well behaved.

Take in beautiful oceanfront views and feel the cool bay breezes while visiting Dewey Beach! Located between the Rehoboth Bay and Atlantic Ocean, this sandbar community is an ideal destination for beach lovers and water sport enthusiasts. In fact, Dewey Beach is just two blocks wide but packed with fun things to do!

     
The fireworks were set to go off on the bay side.  We noticed that there are boat rentals right next to where we set up to enjoy the show.

   

  

  

  

It was a nice small town show.  
  

The Rehoboth/Dewey beach area is quickly becoming a favorite destination for our Independence Day weekend celebration.

   
  

Spontenaity and Ice Cream….

As much as I’d like to always be 100% paleo, I just can’t do it while traveling. Besides, I like to be human and experience the same things as my standard American diet eating co-humans.   So how do you do it?  And worse still, how to you plan to be spontaneous with it?  I have learned that you can be spontaneous, to an extent. You just have to change your spontaneity just a little. I know that my days of buying an ice cream while walking down he boardwalk are gone- at least for now. Maybe the world will one day have alternatives.  Sometimes I am lucky (and brave) enough to try a sorbet (some still contain dairy- and it’s hard to know w/o eating). Also, btw and snow conesyryps can have gluten, too.  So for severe allergies- proceed with these options with caution. But the one place that I can typically satisfy a need for ice cream on short notice- grocery stores!  They are my new favorite drop in spot.  So with the tiniest inkling that this evening would be a good one to have a little ice cream (while watching 4th of July fireworks)- I decided on the way back to the hotel from the beach- we stopped off at the grocery store for a pint. I considered also buying paper bowls or screw top disposable bowls, but with only two of us, we will do the romantic thing and share right out of the carton.  So spoons (which I actually try to keep a few in my cooler), and a pint and a ziplock (to contain the mess- also try to keep a few stocked in the cooler) and I’m good to go.  And it was phenomenal!  Not quite the same as buying it from a shop, but probably cheaper, and as it turned out- we were the only ones eating ice cream- so we looked like we knew how to party (and we do!) 

Oh, and if you are ever in Rehoboth, DE- let me spare you some of the grocery store scavenger hunt- skip Giant and Safeway.  Go to Foodlion.  The Dairy Free ice cream is in the “health food” section.  

 

Grotto Pizza – Dewey Beach

Tonight while waiting for fireworks for Independence Day; Laura and I got take out pizza from Grotto Pizza.

 

Grotto Pizza Dewey Beach


Voted number 1 pizza in Delaware and a well advertised food joint in the area; we thought we’d try them out. 
 

Grotto pizza

 
Laura ordered a gluten free pizza, no cheese, with jalape├▒os, peppers, onions, and pepperoni.  It was great.  Just what we needed after a relaxing day at the beach.

If you’re in the Rehoboth beach area you should try Grotto Pizza.

Jake’s Seafood House, Rehoboth – July 2015

Laura and I went to Jake’s Seafood house in Rehoboth, Delaware.  They have a great surf and turf menu with a light, fresh flare.  In past years they had a gluten free menu, but not this time; dispite the menu not changing.  If you’re concerned about an item, just ask.

Jakes on Rt 1 in Rehoboth

Rehoboth has a ton of dining options available from counter service to fine dining.  We find Jakes to be a favorite for us.  We’ve enjoyed eating there when we’re in town and tonight was no exception.
 

dinner at Jakes

 
Dayboat Scallops, broccoli, and sweet potato fries are my favorite.  The scallops are served in butter with seasoning.  The broccoli is fresh and great for dipping in the scallop’s sauce.  The sweet potato fries come with a honey mayonnaise sauce which is a great compliment taste for the scallops (we substituted mash potatoes for this).  A Yingling beer for me to make the meal complete.

They had live music tonight that wasn’t bad.  Old country favorites; Not too loud or obnoxious. 

We will definitely continue to visit Jakes whenever we’re in town.

National Harbor

 

Capital Wheel

  

The Awakening


Today we took a spur of the moment trip to National Harbor. We needed to get out of the house and move a little. And I was hoping to change a few attitudes with the scenery. Once we were parked, we walked right past the Farmer’s Market straight to the Peeps store. That is right- year round you can satisfy your need for sugar-coated creatures in a rainbow of colors. You can also buy just about anything that they could get to sit still enough to put a picture of a peep on- including t-shirts, pillows, stuffed animals, key chains and that’s right- even pet toys (cats and dogs!). I thought what better way to change moods than loading everyone up with sugar. Maybe not the responsible parent thing to do, but occasionally I think it’s ok.  

 

Peeps Mobile

 
Patty chose party cake flavored peeps.  Shawn- Strawberry Reunion Mike and Ike’s, Ryan finally settled on Jurassic World Mike and Ike’s and me, I couldn’t pass up the standard cherry Mike and Ike’s. We ate those under the pavilion by the water and watched the Capitol Wheel. It took a little convincing, but finally the chicken (aka Ryan) agreed to go on. So we did. It has a great view of Alexandria and all the way up to DC.  Even though he day was hazy, we could still easy pick out the  Washington Monument in the distance. 

   
        We opted out of buying the photo that they took as we boarded. I rarely like those. Afterwards, we strolled down the street and right past the build-a-bear. Which instantly made my wallet much thinner as I shelled out for two bears- one Elsa bear and and Iron man bear named Eepik.  Oh, and and outfit for each- the full Elsa costume for one, and Yoda- complete with light up lightsaber for the other. Holy Cow! I didn’t realize that I could possibly spend that much on a teddy bear!!  But I did learn that if the bear is ever lost, and someone finds it and returns it to a build-a-bear store, they will scan the bear and mail it to the registered owner. Pretty cool!  I also sprang for the bear skater strap that essentially allows the kids to sling it over their shoulder like a purse. I figured a bear leash was essential to ensuring I wouldn’t find a bear in my mailbox one day!  

Next we strolled up to the Gaylord Hotel and embarked upon a Peep Pursuit.  They have 9 stuffed animal peeps hidden throughout the atrium of the hotel. If you locate 7 of them, you can register for a sweet treat from the peep store. We found the base 7, but did not locate the 2 bonus peeps. 

Peep Pursuit

By this point, stomachs #1 (aka Patty) had been whining about being hungry for almost 2 hours, so we decided to stroll back down to McCormicks and Schmicks for dinner.  They have a somewhat small gluten free menu, but it’s certainly better than nothing.  And since it includes scallops, I am a happy camper. I was also quite pleased that they didn’t harass me about swapping out the kids sides for things from the gluten free menu. The only gluten-free thing on their menu is a bunless burger- which is a staple to my two kiddos. I only wish the fries also were gluten free. But at least they had roasted corn and roasted potatoes so the kids were satisfied. 

I have to say that it is quite pleasant sitting here on the patio looking over the water while waiting for our dinner to arrive. And I’m only a little concerned about the thunder I hear in thy distance. And I’m thankful that we have an umbrella above us- just in case the heavens open up.  Not so much because i don’t want to get wet- that might feel good. But because I don’t want my dinner to get soggy. 

I’ll post more in a few- once we actually eat the food!  And I’ll try to snap a picture or two- if I can before the food gets inhaled. 

So I ordered the pan-seared scallops that came with spinach and crab potatoes. Yum! The potatoes were amazing! I’m pretty sure they had cream/cheese in them. And crab is an iffy for me as well. I will pay for that later, but they were very good going down. Praying that my stomach won’t protest too much. Shawn ordered the New York strip with asparagus. All he could muster was a meh. Not sure if that was at all tainted by his back pain. Ryan didn’t like the char marks on his corn- he is picky like that. But the burger disappeared in short order. Patty loved her potatoes. And the burger disappeared too fast to be tasted but I’m assuming that meant it was good. I did snap a few pics before it was all devoured- though not all of them are prior to sampling. I’m lucky the phone didn’t get eaten in the process!  

 

New York Strip

  

Pan-Seared Scallops

  

Burger and Corn

  

Burger

  

 

Martini

 
Product:3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)
Service:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Accuracy:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Atmosphere:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)
Average:3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)

And last but not least, we stopped by the Peeps store one last time for our “sweet treat” for completing the Peep pursuit- a chocolate covered peep- which for Ryan they happily exchanged for a sample of Mike and Ike’s- a gluten and dairy free alternative.  I also picked up t shirts for the kids. I have to buy them clothes anyway, so why not buy them cute ones from places we visit?

All in all a great day. And a long drive home in a torrential downpour. Thankful for the 4 brand new tires and 4wd to keep my sleeping babies safe as I leisurely drove home. Goodnight!

Red, Hot, & Blue Leesburg – June 2015

After a day of tubing down the Antietum Creek, we decided to go to Red, Hot, & Blue for dinner.  

 

Patty and Ryan making pigs of themselves


Laura and I each got the 5 Meat Platters.  Laura told them to hold the sausage and order sweet potato fries and coleslaw for sides, while I got the beans and coleslaw for sides.  

 

Laura’s meal

  

Shawn’s meal

 

While there are some items on the menu that are gluten free, the kids menu has nothing.  Patty got a bun-less hamburger with tomatoes and ketchup. Ryan are off Laura’s plate.

 

Patty’s meal – Hamburger patty with tomato


Overall, it was a good meal.  Laura and I both ended up with leftovers.  We will likely add Red, Hot, and Blue to our list of places to eat.