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A Couple Of Del Ray Culinary Delights

The Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria is often characterized as classic Americana with its charming Main Street and white picket fences.  So, it’s not surprising that some of the more popular restaurants there excel at comfort food.   Cheesetique and Dairy Godmother, just to a name a couple,  won’t break your wallet but will certainly destroy your willpower and any semblance of a diet.

Cheesetique, located on Mt. Vernon Avenue, is sometimes described as a specialty cheese shop that just happens to sell wine in the back. Beloved for its homey, no-nonsense ambience, Cheesetique provides a twist on traditional favorites such as mac and cheese and the classic grilled cheese sandwich.  In fact, Food & Wine Magazine named Cheesetique’s original and classic mac and cheese as one of the best in the US in 2012.  More sophisticated mac variations include gorgonzola with crumbled bacon, and if you’re not visualizing this creamiest of concoctions yet, the “billy goat mac” dish with roasted chicken and perfectly toasted goat cheese will break you down.   The “grown-up grilled cheese” is another signature dish that melts a Prairie Breeze Cheddar on grilled sourdough with a suggested Chardonnay accompaniment.

And, while we’re having our dairy fix, it’s impossible not to mention the sumptuous Dairy Godmother also located on Mt Vernon Avenue.  Dairy Godmother specializes in Wisconsin-style frozen custard, which according to their Web site must be at least 1.4% egg yolk (pasteurized) and at least 10% milk fat to be considered “genuine custard.”  Either way, it’s delicious.   The store features a daily flavor of fresh custard and sorbet, on its “flavor forecast,” despite the weather outside.   If you’re looking for a warmer treat, Dairy Godmother also sells hot cocoa with a unique house-made marshmallows.

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