Just a quick couple places from last weekend in the lovely District of Columbia, which is getting ready for its close-up. We went to visit some good friends, hang out, giggle, and take in a museum or two. I’m not the quantity king that Buffetbuster is but I can usually eke out three squares a day—whether they’re worth talking about or not is another story.
I had some great advice from Scorereader (thanks man!)—I asked him for one place and he gave me about fifteen. So between his recommendations and my friends’ we settled on Busboys and Poets
on 14th Street. The sign:
And the lovely dining room:
There were four of us so you get four breakfasts. I chose the mehkleke (I can’t find it on their menu online and I’m quite likely misspelling it). They described it as ‘Iraqi corned beef’ and it’s pretty much ground beef stewed with tomatoes, onions and bits of potato, so that’s pretty accurate, served with two poached eggs on top. I had that sucker down before the ladies I was dining with had politely gotten to the middle of their plates. It was super tasty good—not like the corned beef you’re used to, more like a stew, but excellent.
And alternately, buckwheat pancakes:
and French toast:
and straight-up bacon and eggs:
There was honestly nothing to complain about. The service was attentive and charming, they were serving toast made from excellent multi-grain bread, the coffee was great—my friend had a little foam heart in her latte. Busboys and Poets is a restaurant attached to a good old-fashioned commie bookstore. I love a good commie bookstore, and I love it even more when they want to feed you excellent food.
We went on to the Eastern Market, and I had gotten several strong recommendations to try the Market Lunch. The Eastern Market is in temporary digs because of a fire, and you could see the line for Market Lunch going in. I was still very full and didn’t get in line. I did see a terrific-looking monster burger being enjoyed by another diner. Other fun sights at the Eastern market included this fine fellow:
and I don’t know where they got these gorgeous tomatoes in January but I wanted some:
and for Cliff, some pies:
We then went on to the US Botanical Garden, on the Mall near the Capitol. This is not a terribly large collection, surprisingly comprehensive, but they do have a cute atrium featuring a small-scale recreation of the mall. The tiny Washington Monument with reflecting pool:
I think there’s actually a lion sitting in President Lincoln’s seat:
And somehow when I saw this plant I thought of our community of Roadfood posters:
and the people in the new forum bugs and questions section have some inspiration from Thomas Jefferson:
Let’s see, other places to mention. I didn’t take my camera to the District location of the Lebanese Taverna
but that was some excellent food. Delicious hummus starter—I became entranced the whole evening watching the guy behind the counter put the oval pitas on the baking sheet or whatever was taking them into the oven, and they’re served piping hot to the point of blistering your fingers in a wire basket. I had a butterflied broiled chicken that was served over crispy home fried potatoes with a wonderful salad; my companions had a mixed grill of beef and lamb, chicken shawarma, and this eggplant-chickpea-warm yogurt-pomegranate seed thing that I didn’t get to try but my friend assured me was terrific. They serve a garlic puree with some of their dishes—let me tell you, that is some deliciously pungent stuff. It’s like Mediterranean wasabi—you don’t get the taste out of your head very easily. Not that you want to.
We also had a quick sandwich at a place called the Caboose Café
in Alexandria—roast beef and grilled cheese, and a slice of lemon pound cake. Excellent food and cheerful service, and the place is as cute as can be. The lemon pound cake was presumably to go but it didn’t make it out the front door.
<message edited by Nancypalooza on Thu, 01/8/09 8:26 PM>