Sunday, April 7, 2013

Diving into a Volcano

Today was one of those days that I had been looking forward to for months. My boyfriend and I were finally going to be able to get to spend some time together and we were sharing that time by jumping out of an airplane. Yes, you heard me right…skydiving. He picked me up and we took the hour plus drive out to wine country in Virginia to enjoy being away from the city and to catch up on the past week. We both have pretty busy careers and having this time to catch up is precious.

We got out to the jump space; the sun was shining but a few clouds started to roll in…which meant a jump delay. No worries because we had plenty of entertainment surrounding us. A couple was on their first date going skydiving and it didn’t seem to be going in the direction either was hoping for. The young woman had a decently thick accent the her date took that to mean he needed to yell at her as everyone knows the louder you speak English the better.

As we waited for another half hour or so the winds picked up and we heard a ripping metal noise.  As someone who has spent plenty of time around barns with metal roofs I knew exactly what that sound was. Sure enough one of the roof panels on the barn style hanger had been lifted and bent up. So needless to say we took that as a sign that we should reschedule and call it a day. My boyfriend was already a bit anxious about the jump and a tin roof ripping off a barn wasn’t going to help settle anyone down! I also had no interest in waiting another 3hrs for the winds to calm down. So we rescheduled and headed out to where we were going to have dinner.

There is a unique little place in Gainesville, VA called Volcano Hot Stone Grill. So the concept of this place is grilling on volcanic rock. Some volcanic stones have unique and valuable properties.  Cooled lava rock is a poor conductor of heat (meaning it tends to hold heat inside rather than release it quickly) so it makes an excellent cooking stone. Ancient cultures used nothing but flat stones for cooking, considered the ancestor to the frying pan and the griddle. So Volcano will heat lava rock for 6 to 8 hours to a temperature of 550 Fahrenheit. 

As you know from other posts my boyfriend is a foodie. What I didn’t know is that he loves, loves, love poutine. So as soon as he saw the Montreal Poutine on the menu it was a must order. For those of you who don’t know what poutine is (because I didn’t) it’s a classic Quebec dish with a mixture of fries, peppered gravy and fromage beaucronne (cheese curds). And it was pretty damn good a Volcano. The gravy was on point!

As for dinner we both ordered the “Wild Plate” so that we could share all of the wild game that was available. We had elk, wild boar, kangaroo, bison, and a filet mignon. The entrees arrived at the table bursting with aroma, seared and sizzling on a hot volcanic stone!  You get to finish cooking the wild meat to your perfect level of "doneness." I must say that we both loved the kangaroo. It was a lean dark meat like a steak but a flavor that I can’t really describe properly. Maybe a cross between beef and venison. Whatever it is though, it’s lovely!

We also shared the “starch” side dishes. I wasn’t a fan of the tri-colored mashed potatoes. They looked pretty but were dry. The potato au-gratin with boar bacon now that is more my taste but of course it had bacon so you can’t loose with that.

For those of you looking for something unusual and not in the local DC area by all means go try this place out and get the kangaroo!

Volcano Hot Stone Grill on Urbanspoon

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