May 10, 2016

Washington, D.C. Vacation: Eats


Left: My breakfast at Bayou Bakery. Right: A very shadowy photo of me at Old Ebbitt Grill.

I planned our dining options just as much as I planned our museum visits and tours. Food is serious business, after all. To save us a little money we went to a grocery store and brought home bottled waters, breakfast supplies (bagels, bagels, bagels), and snacks. Our Airbnb apartment had a kitchen, so we made use of it and had slower mornings since most DC museums don't open until 10am. Here's a list of places we tried out during our trip!

District Taco: We went to the Eastern Market location and I ordered 3 pollo asado corn tortilla tacos with the "American Way" toppings (cheese, lettuce, pico). There are several locations throughout the District and Virginia and they're set up similarly to Chipotle. They have a large salsa bar and Boylan sodas in the fountain machine. While they may be set up like Chipotle, there's no comparison: District Taco is delicious and way better than any other quick serve Mexican I've ever had.

Bayou Bakery: The one breakfast we ate out was at this southern, New Orleans-inspired restaurant. The brick building is perfectly put together inside and out, with an cute outdoor patio and several kitschy, comfortably decorated dining rooms. S and I both ordered homemade biscuits, mine with an egg and cheddar cheese and his with bbq pork. Both were amazing! If we hadn't stocked up on asiago bagels, I definitely would have wanted to go there again.

We the Pizza: After a long day of museum-visiting, we ordered pizza and knots from We the Pizza Sunday night. Our Airbnb hosts recommended it for a good local pizza and we agreed! The white pie was perfect, topped with ricotta cheese and fresh parsley. We also got roasted garlic knots and sweet cinnamon knots for dessert, both of which were ok. The cinnamon knots came with a vanilla bean glaze dip that was quite good, but otherwise I'd probably skip them if we ever visit again.

James Madison Memorial Building: In between visiting the FBI headquarters and the Capitol, we swung by the JMM building for lunch. On the 6th floor is a cafeteria frequented by Cap Hill employees. It's a cafeteria, so it was a little overpriced, but my salad and BLT pasta salad were quite good. The main draw for us was the view; the dining room has floor to ceiling windows and you can see the surrounding Washington landscape for miles.


My dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill. The chicken hominy soup was delicious!

Old Ebbitt Grill: If it's been around since the 1800s, it must be good, right? Right! Just across the street from the White House is Old Ebbitt Grill, a swanky, dimly lit eatery with animals mounted on the walls (ok, that's kinda sad), lots of dark wood and velvet booths. I made us a reservation here for a pre-theater dinner. We got all dressed up and had a lot of fun! I ordered the chicken hominy soup and a caesar salad, both of which were very good. If you visit any true DC restaurant while you're there, make it this one - you won't be disappointed.

Courtyard Cafe (National Portrait Gallery): The whole point in ordering food from the Courtyard Cafe is so that you can eat it in the beautiful Kogard Courtyard. It's a museum cafe, so it's overpriced and there aren't many options. That said, I had a salad and tomato basil soup that was pretty good. While we were there I found out you can bring in food from an outside restaurant, so I'd recommend visiting one of the great places nearby and bringing a to-go order to the Kogard. The courtyard is glassed in between the Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum and is three stories tall. It's a relaxing place to sit back and people watch.

Trusty's Full-Serve Bar: Our last meal was at a Capitol Hill dive bar. After five days of touring we were exhausted and wanted a place to kick back and chill for a bit. Trusty's was perfect for that. We ordered chips and queso and classic burgers and it was just what we needed. We sat back and talked about our trip, then slowly walked back to our Airbnb full and happy.

Next up: transportation and accommodations, followed by the tours we took!

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