My husband and I are very blessed to know people in various parts of the country. This helps us to step out of our comfort zones frequently to visit new places and see new things we might not normally see. This past weekend we ventured out to Washington, DC to visit his sister and boyfriend. Now we’ve both been to DC before and have both been to a variety of the ‘normal’ tourist attractions. We’ve walked the mall and been to the museums, but this time we were looking for a little more of the ‘actual’ life of DC. Since his sister lives right amongst the locals now it wasn’t one of those “take the metro to DC for the day”, but instead we stayed at a hotel in the thick of it. We walked the streets and took in the everyday-ness. Here is what we discovered.
Our street alone had at least 10 restaurants. Yes, 10. In one city block. The amount of restaurants in our little area alone was staggering. We were in Chinatown too so that meant a lot of ethnic restaurants throughout. And the smell was terrific. It did not feel overwhelming for this small town girl and I think it was the wonderful smells. It felt like home. Not that my mother ever made Pho or Thai food, but still… the smell of food cooking just makes me think: “someones mother is working hard”. We weren’t there an hour before deciding we would try and eat our way through the weekend. It seemed the most logical thing to do given the plethora of options right outside our door!
For our first night in town they took us to a trendy hot spot called 901 (www.901dc.com). It was dark but no need to worry about reading the menu in the dimly lit place because the menus lit up like IPads! It was pretty awesome. I had scallops with polenta – something I had never tried before (the polenta not the scallops) and the creaminess of the polenta topped with a sauce unlike any other along with an apple compote and the scallops blew me away. It was one of the best things I had ever had.
After stuffing ourselves with more goodness there we moved on to the “RFD” – Regional Food and Drink (http://www.lovethebeer.com/) for drinks. This place had a beer menu I had never seen rivaled anywhere else. 30 beers on tap and over 300 in bottle form. From places around the world including Japan and China. My husband was in heaven.
The next day, after my husband and I took in some culture at the National Gallery of Art, we ventured out to Dupont Circle via metro for a trip to “Five Guys” (http://www.fiveguys.com/). I had never been to Five Guys and they insisted we go so I could experience the love there. And after one bite of my juicy hamburger and several helpings of “Cajun” (ie Old Bay) fries – I was hooked. Now I know why people love this place and why they’ve won burger awards. I really didn’t think it was going to live up to the hype. It does. You should go there. Now.
After doing some serious amount of walking about and the burger and fries filling my stomach making me feel like I’d need to be rolled about – we ventured home to chill at their apartment. When dinner time popped up we all agreed that leaving the comfiness of the apartment was not an option. Or at least the girls agreed on that. We sent the boys out for food. Texas BBQ – in the heart of DC. Seriously. Capital Q BBQ in DC (www.capitalqbbq.com) is some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had outside of actually being in Texas. We stuffed ourselves on brisket, pulled meats, collard greens, baked beans and even banana pudding and pecan pie for dessert. I have never been this blissfully crammed full of food.
We finished off our weekend eating binge with a trip to Busboys and Poets (www.busboysandpoets.com) for brunch on Sunday. Our orders included a banana and peanut butter panini, a chicken salad sandwich on challah bread and a omelet full of guacamole and baked beans. We were lucky we didn’t fall asleep on the ride home with the preponderance of food in our bellies.
So, okay, we didn’t get to try EVERY restaurant in the one block or even the general vacinity of our stay. We actually ventured away from our block for most of it, but we gave the eating scene in DC a hearty showing. I guess we’ll just have to go back and work our way through the others someday. I hope my stomach can handle it!