Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nomadic Month of May, Part 2: Washington, D.C.

Next stop on my nomadic month of May was Washington, D.C. My friend Shelby (from Portland) was in the town working and said that I could crash with her and her cats for the week. I made this week about food trucks and repeat visits to some favorites.


White Tiger: [website]
Shelby and I kicked off my week with some Indian food at White Tiger. There was not much going on the evening we were there. But the food was delicious. I had the vegetable kofta and Shelby had the paneer. Both were delicious as was the naan bread.

Pour House: [website]
After dinner we walked to the Pour House to watch some of the Celtics vs. 76ers game. And found Bell's Oberon.

Sol Mexican Grill: [Facebook]
My first food truck of the week was the Sol Mexican Grill. For a veggie burrito. I skipped the cheese and sour cream so it was vegan. There was no need for either. Worth a repeat visit in the future.

Pound The Hill: [website]
Shelby and I had a late dinner at Pound The Hill, a coffee shop on Pennsylvania Ave. They have a great dinner menu as well. We split the Tuscan Bread Salad and the hummus plate. That salad was amazing!

Ebenezers Coffeehouse: [website]
I like Ebenezers. It was particularly convenient to Shelby's apartment last year and while I was out on my hunt for a lunch truck, I stopped for an iced coffee. Good stuff.

DC Ballers: [website]
Food truck #2 was DC Ballers, a falafel and fries truck. I went with the falafel side and sweet potato fries. I went with the chipotle may as my dipping sauce, which was NOT a wrong choice. It as delicious with both the fries and falafel.

Founding Farmers: [website]

Return visit #1. Leslie and I went here last year for Sunday brunch. The wait was worth it. Shelby and I planned before my arrival that we would have eat there. So we did. Dinner this time. Without a reservation there was going to be a wait so we hovered in the bar area and scored to chairs pretty quickly.

I love that Founding Farms has vegan options. I chose the vegan meatless bacon burger and it did not disappoint.

sweetgreen: [website]
Before a stop at Whole Foods in the neighborhood, we of course needed dessert. So we hit sweetgreen, a salad and frozen yogurt place. They had a special that week, with blueberrys, agave and graham crackers. Pretty good, though very sweet.

This is a chain in the area, but how many cities have such frozen yogurt chains these days? Lots of them do. And this is a decent one.

Big Cheese Truck: [website]
Next food truck lunch came from the Big Cheese Truck. I've been following them on Twitter for a while and missed trying their food by mere minutes last year. This time I made it before they closed up for lunch. I had the Cherry Glen, which is Cherry Glen chevre with lemon fig jam, and it was delicious.

FYI, there are no substitutions from the menu, I think because they have the sandwiches pre-made and they just grill them in the truck. That helps keep the line moving but I think hurts the hot-off-the-grill freshness. It makes a difference, especially after enjoying so many sandwiches from The Grilled Cheeserie in Nashville that makes them to order.

TaKorean: [website]
Hands down my favorite food truck in D.C. and possibly my all-time favorite. They offer a vegan taco that is simply the best. I will go out of my way to have one of these. It's caramelized tofu goodness.

Sweetbites: [website]
I took my tacos over to Farragut Square and joined a few other hundred people for lunch. It was Food Truck Friday so there were more trucks to enjoy, including my dessert choice Sweetbites, a cupcake truck.

There was a line so I had some time to debate which kind of cupcake I wanted. I chose the Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache. I chose well. The cupcake was just so-so, not dry as some tend to be. But the flavors with the cake, ganache and frosting were delightful.

Newseum: [website]
I had a coupon. That's why I went. The ticket was good for admission for two consecutive days. Which made it totally worth it. I wanted to visit on previous trips to D.C. but with so any free things to do, I couldn't bring myself to spend the money for a ticket. My friend Shelby had coupon for 33 percent off. And it was totally worth the $15 for the two days, and I did need that second day.

Highlights were the 9/11 exhibit, the Pulitzer Prize Photographs gallery and the little tour of the studio for This Week With George Stephanopoulos. (I might have a little crush on George.)

Jimmy T's Place:
Shelby and I went over to the greasy spoon down the block from her apartment for breakfast. It took forever and the coffee was standard, lousy diner coffee. I remember Shelby's breakfast looking lousy and I don't even remember what I ordered...eggs and toast, I think.

Ethiopic: [website]
Alongside Takorean, this is probably my favorite restaurant. It's a must-stop for me in D.C. Not only do I love Ethiopian food, but I love to eat with hands. I pretty much ate an entire vegetarian sampler myself. This place is never bad.

Ted's Bulletin: [website]
We picked up one of Shelby's co-workers who had dropped her keys down an elevator shaft and decided we should do dessert at Ted's. Because dessert there is something special. I had the white russian milkshake. I think I shouted "oh my word" after taking a sip; good thing we were sitting outside. The onion rings were good, too.

Pound The Hill:
I think Pound became my new favorite coffee shop in D.C. Shelby and I had to redeem the breakfast from the day before. If I remember correctly, I had some kind of spinach, egg and feta croissant (not vegan) and some of their yummy coffee. It more than redeemed the previous day's breakfast outing.

Biergarten Haus: [website]
Shelby and I met up with some of the concert crew in the afternoon. I'd been here two years ago when it was brand new and the place was buzzing. Good this time around and not so crowded.

Rita's: [website]
Shelby and I couldn't decide what we wanted for dinner as we walked back home so we decided to do an ice cream tour to see if that would sort out our feelings towards actual food. Starting with Rita's. I had the Red Velvet Italian Ice -- not that great.

Pitango Gelato: [website]
Lucky for us, there is now a Pitango Gelato out by Eastern Market, close to Shelby's place; this is both delicious and dangerous news. Still not "feeling" any of the restaurants in the area, we go for more ice cream. I went with a nutty combination on this visit: the Nicciola (hazelnut) and the Silician Almond. We ended up going hom and making dinner.

BACK TO D.C. I headed back to D.C. after my time in Virginia (recap blog to follow) to catch a cheaper flight to Chicago. But I also got to spend time with Shelby and Russ and catch some of the The National Memorial Day Concert on the lawn of the Capitol Building, before it was called for rain.  The last few stops I made during the Nomadic Month of May included....

Leslie and I popped in here last year for a quick bite. I had a cold dish with tofu that was amazing. This time I tried the Indian Spinach Curry, which was good, but afterward I wished that I had just ordered that tofu dish again.

The Orange Cow:
After my spicy lunch, I wanted something cold. I was in the neighborhood of the downtown Pitango but before I got there, I turned a corner and found The Orange Cow ice cream truck. This was new to me, so I had to try it. I went with the Coffee Oreo. A great choice.

Pound The Hill:
As if I hadn't been here enough in the last two weeks... One more morning was not going to hurt anyone. I kept reading on Yelp and Foursquare about this place's Nutella latte. I didn't try that latte but I did try the Nutella scone with my Americano, and boy howdy, was that thing ever good. Which reminds me. I meant to "google" a recipe for those.

Acqua Al 2:
The dinner winner was this little Italian place by Eastern Market, and I was a winner with the ravioli with pear something or other that they had on special that night.

Pitango Gelato:
Since Pitango was across the street, across the street we must go for dessert. Chocolate Noir and Spicy Chocolate sorbets: the perfect chocolate combination.

And thus ended my time in D.C. and my Nomadic Month of May. It sounds like all I did was eat and drink coffee. Which was mostly true. The rest of the time I was working from home. I didn't spend much time out and about in the city since I had done most of it already.

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