Monday, July 10, 2017

DC in food

Last month, Jon and I took a trip to Washington D.C. Apparently, our friends do not think of D.C. as a vacation destination, but we may have proved them wrong. When Jon admitted he had never been to D.C., I couldn't believe it! "You've never seen the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum?" I asked, exasperated. "You've never shopped in Georgetown? Or seen the Lincoln Memorial? In all your twenty-something years of life?" And so we went.

As one can imagine, I was ecstatic when I found this community garden on the way to the National Mall. There are several farm-to-table restaurants in D.C. but this is not a farm, so I wonder where this food goes and who manages the land. If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen me wishing I was the manager.

We rode the city bikes around town for most of the weekend. I felt like we could see more than we would in a car or by foot. It took some practice, to navigate, stay together, and keep up with where the bike stations were located, but all in all, it was worth the $17 each. We visited many of the museums. I think Jon's favorite was the air & space, and I always love the art museum. For the first time, we visited the sculpture garden too.

But Casey, what about the food? Oh yes, about that. The lighting in all restaurants was subpar, so I have little proof that we ate the most delicious food at both Founding Farmers and Zaytinya.

Sold on the idea of a farmer-owned restaurant, I had high expectations for Founding Farmers. We arrived ten minutes early for our reservation in the crowded doorway. The wait was apparently 45 minutes, but we were sat immediately at a window table for two. Seated next to us was a large party celebrating a George Washington University graduate; they were entertaining to watch. It seems that she had just earned her masters in Art History. We asked what the rotating craft beer of the night was and our server had to ask. Then, we asked where it came from / what kind of beer it was and he admitted he didn't know. Jon ordered it anyway and I can't remember what I drank, but we enjoyed our mysterious beers together. We ordered the fried green tomatoes appetizer, 4 of them for $8. After several annoying questions about the food, I ordered the Many Vegetable Meatloaf, the totally delicious vegan option and the only one on the menu. It was served with mashed potatoes and green beans, both of which were not smothered in butter. Appreciation noted! I had a charming conversation with a woman who cleared our plates; she didn't speak English, but we managed to communicate that I needed more ketchup.

Zaytinya was my favorite of the two; it was also the more expensive. I must have good taste. I ordered a glass of red wine and Jon had a cocktail drink stronger than he likes. Our server was delightful and very helpful by acquainting us to the menu. I felt much less like an alien after she explained how most guests order between 2-3 small plates. I settled on the Asparagus Salata, Crispy Brussels Afelia, and Elies Tis Elladas, and all were delicious!

I do however have proof that we ate breakfast. Sunday we walked to Bullfrog Bagels on H street. Tucked beside an Irish tavern, the bagel shop operates when the bar doesn't. H street was quiet with very few stores open early in the morning. Jon and I ate our bagels (his egg sandwich pictured above & my hummus, avocado, and sprouts not pictured) on the steps of an abandoned church. At least it seemed to be.