Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Trip to Occoquan

My friend, our daughters, and I took a trip down to the road to Occoquan today.  It is a very small little town with cute shops and restaurants and even a ghost or two.  My parents were doing a book signing for their cookbook, so we decided to make an afternoon of it and go.

We had lunch at Cock and Bowl, a little bistro that is fairly new.  The space used to hold a teeney Belgian place and they seem to have taken advantage of the outdoor space, which was smart.  We ate on the patio since it was such a lovely day, so we did not see the inside.  The plastic picnic tables are covered in checked table cloths and everything is shaded by large trees, so no table is in direct sunlight.  When I walked up with a stroller, I was informed that they did not have high chairs, but could remove a chair to place the stroller "tucked away."  Thanks for making a space for my kid, but why couldn't she be like everyone else and sit at the table like a normal human being?  That was annoying.  Occoquan has always been a family place.  You see lots of strollers around and many of the events held there, craft fairs and such, are kid-friendly.  I get the idea of not wanting tons of screaming kids in your restaurant but to not even have a high chair to offer is just wrong.  There are definitely some restaurants I would never take a baby to, but this was not one of them.  Thankfully, my girl was an angel the whole time and sat in my lap and checked everything out and then sat in her seat while we ate.

Our other little one at the table, who is 7, had a Belgian waffle topped with caramel.  She said it was "fabulous." 

Her mother and I both had the croque fromage, which if you recall from your high school French class is a grilled cheese with bechamel sauce on top. 

They also had a croque monsieur (add ham) and a croque madame (ham and a fried egg).  The sandwich came with fries as well.  The sandwich was everything a grilled cheese should be - crunchy buttered bread toasted just right and gooey, stretchy cheese (this was gruyere).  The kicker was the bechamel - decadent white, butter sauce, baked on top.  The whole thing together was awesome, but did make me feel like my arteries were clogging with every bite.  The fries were also good, but not consistent - some were much crunchier than others.  The sandwich was a tad on the expensive side, but looking at the other menu items, this was not the case for everything.  Other diners were eating mussels, which appeared to be the specialty, and I saw quiche, soups and steaks available as well.  The selection of Belgian beer was also excellent and the servers appeared very educated on what drinks to choose.  The setting was fantastic and I would definitely recommend this as a great date location.  8/10 - would've been 10/10 if they were a little more family friendly.

After lunch,we checked out a couple of shops.

 - Fetch is a dog store that carries cute knick-knacks and unique pet-related gifts.  They even sell their own homemade dog treats.  Very cute if you have a dog, which we don't, but hope to one day.
- Royal Confections was right next door and had all kids of homemade candies and fudge.  A small store with a very friendly owner who was eager to tell us her favorties.   I tried a small piece of the baklava and it was pretty good.
- Salt and Pepper Books was the location of my parents' book signing.  A very cute store, only selling books with a cooking theme, but also offering some cooking tools and other related stuff.   We met the owner and she was very nice.

Three cheers for Occoquan!

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