Friday, January 30, 2015

McCormick & Schmick’s: Seafood Classics on the Waterfront

McCormick & Schmick’s is your grandfather's oyster house reborn as national chain. They do a pretty good job of recreating the plush, timeless, metropolitan vibe, with dark woods, leather banquettes, and antique prints on the walls.

The menu changes based on the daily catch, and waiters know the difference between Newfoundland and Long Island oysters. Don’t look for flash or fusion here: McCormick & Schmick’s is the place for seafood classics done right. Non-seafood options are available, yes—but would you order fish at a burger joint?

The wine list is extensive, and cocktails are made with freshly squeezed juice. It’s as expensive as you imagine; come here for a big date, business meal, or special celebration.

Offering a view of the Potomac River, McCormick & Schmick’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

McCormick & Schmick’s
145 National Plaza
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
(301) 567-6224

How to Help Preserve the Health of Your Eyes

You lift weights for your muscles and use fancy creams for your skin, but what do you do to protect your eyes? The eyes are often overlooked, but they are some of the most important parts of the body. Here are a few simple things that you can do to help ensure good eye health for years to come.

  1. Have a comprehensive exam. If you don’t wear glasses or contacts, you might go for years between eye exams. The only real way to know how healthy your eyes are is by having a comprehensive dilated exam administered by an eye care professional, so be sure to schedule an appointment.
  2. Eat the right foods. Yes, it’s common knowledge that carrots are good for your eyes, but other foods that can help improve the health of your eyes, as well. Dark, leafy vegetables, fruits, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids have all been linked to improving eye health.
  3. Keep them protected. Sunglasses don’t just look cool, they also serve a very important purpose. Wearing sunglasses helps to shield your eyes from the harmful UV rays from the sun, so be sure to choose ones that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.

Eye Health Tips [Information for Healthy Vision]
10 Eye Health Tips to Protect Your Vision [Real Simple]
Five Tips For Eye Health [Eating Well]

Ultra Zone Laser Tag: Arcade Fun in Alexandria

Fun is the name of the game at Ultra Zone in Bailey's Crossroads. This entertainment venue, which doubles as a laser tag arena and family amusement center, hosts arcade games, air hockey tables, and a pizza cafe for some between-game sustenance. However, the real highlight of Ultra Zone is, unsurprisingly, the laser tag. The multi-level arena can hold up to 66 players, each vying to become the victor of this high-tech version of "capture the flag."

Never played laser tag before? Here's what to expect: First, you don a vest that's equipped with blinking LED sensors, then you grab a laser gun. After a debriefing from the staff, you'll be set free to roam the arena's dark, labyrinth-like corridors, hiding in the cover of fog as you strategize a shot against one of the members of the opposing team. Games typically last 30 action-packed minutes, proving laser tag to be a popular choice for birthday parties, corporate outings, and other group events.

Ultra Zone Laser Tag is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Free Wi-Fi is offered.

Ultra Zone Laser Tag
3447 Carlin Springs Road
Bailey's Crossroads, VA 22041
(703) 578-6000

Love to Snowboard? These 3 Apps Are for You!

Before you head out to the slopes with your snowboard, you need to check up on the snowfall, wind chill, lift openings, and other important information. Stay up-to-date with valuable snowboarding stats right from your smartphone with one of these helpful, affordable apps.

Ski Tracks
Ski Tracks is one of the most detailed snowboarding apps available today, offering complex graphs and charts to track each of your runs down the mountain. Simply press the record button when you first set out on the trail and the Ski Tracks app will record your altitude, speed, number of runs, and even the distance you traveled throughout the day.

Check up on the conditions at your resort before you leave the house with the SkiResort app. The app provides more than 3,000 trail maps for 4,800 ski resorts worldwide, as well as information about open trails and lifts, test reports, and snow depths in your area. Livestreams and webcams from the resort also enable you to get a feel for the outdoor conditions right from your phone.

Ski & Snow Report
If you’re looking for an incredibly simple, accurate app simply for checking the weather conditions, this is a great option. The app offers basic weather information for just about any resort in the country, as well as stats regarding the types of trails that the resort has to offer.

Gallo’s Carryout & Italian Grocery: There’s No Substitute for These Beloved Subs

Although Gallo’s Carryout & Italian Grocery is located in a fairly nondescript strip mall in the District Heights area, the shop itself is a longtime area staple adored by locals. Gallo’s specializes in hearty, affordable Italian submarine sandwiches piled high with meats and cheeses and served on freshly made bread. In addition to its subs, Gallo’s offers freshly made salads, which are topped with the same deli-sliced meats and cheeses as the beloved sandwiches.

Though there isn’t a sit-down dining area in the deli, these sandwiches make great grab-and-go lunches on workdays or casual weekend afternoons. Because Gallo's doubles as an Italian grocery, you can also purchase bulk portions of Gallo’s meats, cheeses, olives, and breads.

Gallo’s is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.

Gallo’s Carryout & Italian Grocery
6342 Marlboro Pike
District Heights, MD 20747
(301) 568-5444

Did You Know You Can Substitute These Foods for Butter?

You likely already know that butter isn’t the healthiest food out there, but it is a staple ingredient in many dishes. If you want to continue eating the foods that you love without adding the fat and calories of butter, there are a number of ways to cut back. Here are some of the best butter substitutes.

  1. Applesauce. Though they seem like two very different foods, butter and applesauce are actually interchangeable in many recipes. Best applied to cake-like dishes, all you need to do is replace half of the butter in the recipe with that much applesauce to cut the calories in half. You can also replace all of the butter with applesauce, provided that you don’t mind the moist, dense texture that it produces.
  2. Avocado. In both savory and sweet dishes, avocado makes a wonderful alternative to fattening butter. Replacing half of the butter with avocado makes your dish healthier and gives it a chewier taste.
  3. Greek yogurt. Reduce calories and saturated fat by replacing half of the butter in any recipe with full-fat Greek yogurt. You can also experiment with the ratio of Greek yogurt to butter to adjust the taste and consistency.

Substitutes for Butter [Fit Day]
5 Common Butter Substitutes [Recipes by Answers]
Surprising Butter Substitutes to Save Calories and Fat [FitSugar]

Happy Holidays!

We wish you and your loved ones all a very happy and safe holiday season.

Temple Hills Skating Palace: A Royal Roller Skating Experience

There aren’t many places in the Suitland area that are more fun than Temple Hills Skating Palace. This combination roller skating rink, arcade, and snack cafe offers hours of activities for people of all ages, and it even makes a great place to hold your next birthday party or work function. Temple Hills Skating Palace hosts one of the largest skating rinks in Maryland, which regulars say is well maintained to ensure a safe and fun time for all involved. Skate rentals are also available for an affordable price.

Attached is an arcade that includes two separate game rooms, which feature popular arcade games like Wheel of Fortune and Dance, Dance Revolution. Grab a slice of pizza or some mozzarella sticks from the full-service cafe when all of that playing makes you work up an appetite.

Temple Hills Skating Palace
3132 Branch Avenue
Temple Hills, 20748
(301) 505-6490

Increase Your Knowledge of Vino With a Wine Subscription

You love a good wine and are always on the hunt for the next best bottle. Up your wine game with these great wine subscription sites. Get information about wineries and vintages you’ve been wanting to check out and order a couple bottles of wines you’d like to try. Read articles and connect with other wine lovers to get pairing tips and much more.

Wine of the Month Club
Stay up to speed with the best wines available at Wine of the Month Club. The original wine club, Wine of the Month sends you a select bottle or more each month for you to enjoy. Pick a membership level and get ready to enjoy delicious wine each month.

Forbes Wine Club
Forbes Wine Club sends you amazing wine selections based on your preference. You’ll get a starter tasting kit and six wines to try. Once your tastes are noted, they’ll send you a case every three months with wine tailored specifically to you.

NYT Wine Club
Shop for superb wine or join the club at The New York Times Wine Club. Depending on your level of membership, you can get six bottles of wine every one, two, or three months. Stay up to date on the latest in wine news while you sip a glass of perfectly suited wine.

Public Domain/Public Domain

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope everyone has a wonderful day surrounded by family and friends! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!