Saturday, February 9, 2013

DC good eats

A trip to our nation's capital must include some good eats.  Sure, I live in an area that has a huge variety of ethnic cuisines, so I am certainly not deprived of a variety of food.  But if I am buying food, I usually don't want a salad or burger...I want something I don't cook...which is often something ethnic.

The first night a few of us out-of-towners went to Georgia Browns, which was recommended by many local people at the conference I was at.  Georgia Browns is a southern restaurant.  Oh, I forgot to mention my good luck that it was also restaurant week.  So, naturally I ordered off the special three course menu for $35.13.  I ordered the fried green tomato, creole tilapia with andouille sausage, and the sticky toffee pudding, oh and a glass of Pinot Grigio.  The fried green tomato was a little tough - not tomato season?  The tilapia was fine, and I love grits...although the andouille sausage was a bit overwhelming.  The bread pudding (salted caramel, sugared pecans and whipped cream) was disappointing, it was was served in a jar, that was nice presentation, but it was mush and was too sweet for me (don't get me wrong, it wasn't horrible, it was just not for me, one of the other ladies liked it).  This might be the best southern place in DC...but it was not the real thing for me.

in a take out less appetizing looking
The next night, the doorman pointed me up to 14th street. At first I wondered if the neighborhood was a little sketchy for a single, out of town person to be walking at night, but it was only a few blocks before I found Lalibela, and I knew right away I stumbled upon an Ethiopian restaurant and had to go in (14th street & P street).  The place is not attractive and very dim, a little dusty feeling (outdated), but the menu had all the 'basics' and then I discovered the sampler that came with 7 pre-determined items, both meat and vegetarian.  The menu had it for two or four, so I told the waitress I would have the two portion, thinking I'd eat it later or give it to the many homeless people.  But, she said she'd do it for one, and that made me very happy.  The food came quick enough, and was served in the traditional way over the injera - which was very moist and soft. I sampled some new items including the collard greens, and a meat one. The food was very good, and the doro wat had a phenomenal spice in it (I never eat the hard boiled egg though) as was the lamb and miser wat. I ate almost all if it.  The service was slow considering there were about four other tables, but they didn't rush people out which is always nice if you aren't alone.  My bill was $13, and I left a $5 tip. I am went back another night for takeout...still couldn't finish it. The take out kept the food hot/warm on my walk back to the hotel - and while I love the injera with the oils adding a lot of flavor, the injera at the bottom was more mush and broken up. Both night when I was there the place was filled with locals and many male taxi drivers who consider this their traditional cuisine ..many ate the traditional dishes, and quite a few had spaghetti & meatballs or some kind of pasta.

Night three I found an Indian restaurant in the hotel magazine, Rasoi Indian Kitchen.  The atmosphere was nice, and was quiet when I first got there, but soon people started to stream in.  I ordered the vegetable sampler appetizer; one somosa, one potato cake, and three fried vegetables. I didn't eat it all, but it was very good, usually somosas are my favorite but the potato cake was my favorite item.  The fried vegetables were also really good.  I couldn't decide on for an entree so I asked my waiter between two, what did he like best?  He selected the green chili chicken, that he said was very spicy, and I ordered garlic naan.  When they brought out my entree, I had a bit of food envy....did I really want that or should I have gotten the kashmiri murgh? The green chili chicken looked unappetizing. I put some on my plate and was happy to see the chicken was boneless. was fatty, I hate fatty chicken.  Reluctantly I took a bit, the green spices were very overwhelming, but I didn't think it was spicy. As I ate the chicken, it grew on me and I ate all the chicken pieces, but this dish was very far from a favorite and would probably not order it again.  The garlic naan was delicious, it was soft and moist, perfect - so many places don't the get bread right and usually I end up with overlooked dry bread, but this place, it was perfect.

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