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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Washington DC

I'm back from a long weekend in Washington, DC. It was a great trip, and I have many, many, many pictures I need to wade through. We stayed with the BF's younger brother. This was the third time I've made it into the city, but the first time I've actually stayed in the city limits (BF's bro lives in Columbia Heights), so it was definitely fun to experience the domestic side of the capital. I'm suddenly re-obsessed with row houses. I loved the diversity of expression, in what should be a conformist kind of place.

Anyway, I'll be posting some more once I can get through the pictures, but I'll start out with the reason we probably should have booked a freight flight home. I present to you my insane weekend of fabulous dining in DC:

Vegetable Samosas at Indique

Quarry House Tavern, Silver Spring, MD
We ended up at this pub on Friday night. It's pretty much a literal hole in the wall (complete with paper sign that probably falls off every time it rains). You should come here for the insane beer collection, their burgers, and all things fried. We started the meal with fried pickles. Believe it or not, these worked. We continued with burgers. I'm not a huge burger fan, but even I had to admit, those things we damned good. But, the crown jewel of the evening was dessert: Deep-fried double stuffed oreos a la mode. Believe it or not, this was one of the best freaking desserts I've ever had. Due to a probable previous order of jalapeno poppers, the batter had a faint peppery taste, and the oreos were soft. I cannot describe how good this thing was. Order it once. You'll never need to eat it again, but you won't be sorry.

Oyamel, 7th Street, DC:
The BF has wanted to visit this place since it appeared on No Reservations, and we managed to catch a few episodes of owner Jose Andres' PBS show. They do decidedly modern-style Mexican tapas. We went with it, and ordered things we knew we'd never get around here. BF was admittedly the more adventurous. He ordered Chapulines, and I got to watch him discretely pick grasshoppers from his teeth.
My personal highlights were the watermelon aqua fresca (because it was so watermelony I was slightly disturbed I wasn't chewing), Ceviche de cayo de hacha con chile y naranja (scallop ceviche with the perfect level of orange), Nopalitos (cactus salad that I can only describe as tasting green), and Papas al mole (because fries smothered in mole sauce and cotija cheese = heaven).

Rosa Mexicana, 7th Street, DC:
We met here for drinks after BF's bro got out of work on Saturday. I have only three things to say about Rosa Mexicana: frozen pomegranate margaritas, guacamole, and Budin de Pollo. Good, better and best. That Budin was amazing. BF had sampled it last time he was in DC, and it lived up to its rep.

The Heights, 14th Street, DC:
We ended up here for a very late dinner. (Yes, this was our fourth meal that day. I did mention we probably should have gone for freight flight booking...) I had their flash fried ginger calamari appetizer for an entree. I'll often mention that a good restaurant can be judged by the consistency of their calamari. This was a good restaurant.
This restaurant also represented two things we can't get at home, and wish we could: 1. the ability to eat outside, and a place within walking distance of home. Yes, it was a bit of a longish walk, but it was so pleasant to be able to walk through a busy, interesting neighborhood, and then hang out on the patio, chatting, and watching things happen around us. Portland is definitely lacking in that kind of restaurant scene. (Granted, with our climate, it's easy to understand why.)

Open City, Calvert Street, DC:
We started out Sunday morning with brunch at Open City. I first need to mention that this also happened to be Father's Day. The place was slammed with people, but we were seated and served with almost inhuman efficiency. I had Chai Tea Waffles. Yes, you could taste the chai. And yes, it was delicious. (And we got to eat outside again.)

Yogato, 17th Street, DC:
We spent most of Sunday at the Zoo. And what do you do after going to the zoo? You get ice cream! Or in this case, frozen yogurt with a mind-boggling array of toppings in one of the quirkiest shops I've ever been in. Follow the link and read the rules, and you'll see what I mean. (BF got a 10% discount by being able to name 6 of the 7 countries that have a P in their name that is not the first or last letter.)

Indique, Connecticut Ave, DC:
We had dinner Sunday night at Indique. This is by far the best Indian restaurant I've ever been to. Everything they made was fresh, and beautiful (see the picture of the samosas above). The naan was superb. I had Aloo Gobhi, which for something so simple, was a revelation. BF had the lamb shank. I don't like lamb, and I thought it was amazing. BF's bro had the Lucknowi Pathar Ka Gosht. It took us forever to order, because everything looked good. It was simply amazing. (And this was our final outdoor dining experience.)

Clyde's, 7th Street, DC:
We finished out Monday at Clyde's, which is also near BF's bro's second job. Their burgers are apparently also to die for, but I was pretty burgered out, so had a chicken fettuccine with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and corn. I'm so replicating that dish once tomatoes and corn are in season.

So, yeah. Add some snacking around the Smithsonian, and you can understand why we had a sneaking suspicion they'd be rolling us onto the plane for our flight home.

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