If you’re following my “Welcome Back” series, thanks for reading! It’s very hard to share such personal feelings out here in InternetLand for one and all to see, but talking about the bad stuff gives me a different hindsight perspective on the lessons I am supposed to learn…and lets my readers see a different side of me. So thanks for bearing with me!

And the story continues…

In my last post, I told you about my blessing in disguise. 555 4th Street NW is known amongst those in local law enforcement as “Triple Nickel”. This was my temporary work site during my service as a juror. Most people don’t look at jury duty as a blessing; more so like a curse. However, I was given the opportunity to take five weeks away from my job (with pay), meet some new people, and work in DC again. How could I not look at it as a blessing?

The most amazing part of being downtown for five weeks was the food. For a foodie who had lost my love of food, this was the first lemon that I could turn into lemonade. I had so many great culinary adventures during those five weeks – Luke’s Lobster, which has great lobster rolls and even greater New England Clam “chowda”; Hot Potato Café, with their endless baked potato toppings, fantastic wraps, and my new favorite, Grown-Up Sodas; Chop’t, which I’d never had but now totally understand the long lines; the yummy charbroiled beef dish I bought during the Tibetan Festival in honor of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Washington (I also scored a cute purse!); Red Velvet Cupcakery and the best cupcakes in DC; Chinatown Coffee and wonderful iced lattes on hot days; and my first visit to the Sauca food truck, featuring a black bean salad that was like Happy Hour in my mouth.

I must say that my new go-to dessert place is Red Velvet Cupcake (http://www.redvelvetcupcakery.com) . If you love all things cupcake, PLEASE make this shop one of those places on your foodie bucket list. Their standard menu cupcakes were fantastic, and the icing was the perfect amount of sweet goodness. In addition to their standard menu, they also had a daily special cupcake, which featured a flavor that was not a part of the standard menu. This place is definitely worthy of the Fab Foodie seal of approval – if you have a sweet tooth, check them out!

A culinary experience that stands out is Vapiano (http://www.vapianointernational.com/vapiano). There are so many options available, it can be overwhelming for your first visit. The food more than makes up for that overwhelming feeling. Fresh pasta, quality sauces, and homemade pizza dough make this place worth visiting. It can get a bit noisy, so if your are looking for a quiet evening out, this is not a good choice. But if you want good food and have a fun bunch of friends, you’re in the right spot!

Having the opportunity to experience all of the wonderful food that thePenn Quarter /Chinatown area has to offer reminded me why I love food and lit a spark inside a fire that was just about blown out. If I hadn’t gotten that notice in the mail, I wouldn’t know the true blessing that was waiting for me.

Before I sign off, I want to give a special shout out to my June jury crew – thanks for fun times, great lunches, and Bingo! You guys reintroduced Qiana to the Fab Foodie. Also, a very special thank you to everyone that has posted comments or sent messages via Twitter welcoming me back…Thank you! It feels good to be back!

And so begins my resurrection…

The Fab Foodie