So at long last we come to the final installment of my recap of our trip to fine city of Washington, DC. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks and missed the earlier posts, check out the following links for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. And yes, I wrote a five part recap of a three day trip to a city that I lived in for nearly two years. Clearly I have too much time on my hands.
The last installment highlights one of the very best reasons to visit or live in the DC area: the food. Washington is a truly a wonderful city to eat in simply because you can’t throw a stone down the street without hitting a different ethnic food restaurant (is that the PC thing to say these days – “ethnic”? Just sounds out of time. I was born in the south and live in Florida so sometimes we are slow on the language trends), and odds are it’s probably a great one. Here’s the proof.
But first, one leftover photo that I meant to include yesterday but totally forgot.
The Jefferson Memorial from across the water. My apologies, Mr. Jefferson for forgetting you. You’re a bit overrated in terms of an historical figure but you do have an awesome monument built in your name.
On the way back from the zoo we stopped at an Asian restaurant called Spices (I think, can’t remember exactly.) We were pretty wiped out by wandering around the zoo all day, but really enjoyed our meal there. I got an excellent sashimi plate that was simply but beautifully presented.
During our museum expedition we stopped off at the Capitol Chophouse and Brewery, which was on our way to the Spy Museum. Great choice. I had a really nice and refreshing Witte brewed on property and Mrs. Lo got this excellent Lobster Club sandwich with sweet potato fries.
On the last day we happened upon one of the locations of the latest offering from Bobby Flay, a burger and shakes joint called Bobby’s Burger Palace. It was seriously good stuff. This is the buffalo blue cheese burger, which made me very glad that I made an exception to my no red meat pledge. Almost as good as one of mine!
Mrs. Lo got the “crunch burger,” which was a very fine cheeseburger topped with potato chips. One of the gimmicks here is that any burger can be “crunchified” for a small charge. I wholeheartedly support this idea.
Outside of a chance to sit on the steps of Mr. Lincoln’s memorial again, there was probably nothing I was looking forward to more than visiting one of Chef Jose Andres’ Jaleo locations. Spanish tapas and small plate dining is probably my favorite way to eat out, as I’d always rather share a small potion of something exceptional than shovel in endless portions of mediocre (hello 95% of American dining). I’m happy to report that Jaleo did not disappoint in the least.
We ended up making reservations at the Bethesda location since it was just a few blocks from hotel, and, at the recommendation of friends asked for and received seating at one of the foosball tables. And by foosball table I am not speaking metaphorically; it was a real, working foosball table, with really beautiful hand-painted figures for the players. And you better believe I was fired up to have Elvis paired up with Lionel Messi as my attackers.
Ladies and gentlemen, in goal, AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. Yeah, it was that kind of party.
Started the meal off with Jose’s favorite gin and tonic, which was finished tableside. On this evidence, Jose knows a thing or two about G and Ts. Excellent.
The jamon. Dear god, the jamon. This was another occasion I made an exception to my no meat rule, but a) it was really minor, as I only ended up having an ounce or two of these delicious, thin slices of pork b) they were really, really good and if you go to a great Spanish place and NOT eat the jamon, then you got issues. There were three varieties served, each subtly different and delicious – one salty, one smokier, and one sweeter. That plate was worth the visit alone.
A wonderful Spanish cheese plate, with tasting portions of a Manchego, goat’s milk (“Caña De Cabra”), and a smoked cow’s milk cheese. All wonderful.
Croquettas de pollo that the boys ordered and enjoyed. How fun is that presentation?
Brandon and I enjoying dessert. I know it looks like he’s about to be sick but he’s really just inhaling his food and always looks that way.
Check out my dessert. Olive oil ice cream with grapefruit. Really, really good. Loved this.
Mrs. Lo got the flan. I normally do not care for flan. I cared for this one, in a deep borderline obscene way. Creamy and wonderful.
All in all just a wonderful meal. There were one or two things that we got that didn’t really connect, such as the fried paella dish. It was heavy on the garlic which I didn’t mind at all but the rest of the table wasn’t as impressed. It did not detract from the experience one bit. The great thing about tapas dining is if you do order something that just isn’t to your liking there is always another plate to try and you haven’t wasted $25 on one thing. Highly recommend eating here, even with kids. There isn’t a specific kids menu but there are several items for them to enjoy and if you can get one of the foosball tables they will be set for the night.
Most mornings we ate the La Madeleine bakery that Mrs. Lo and I used to frequent back in the day. Brandon got enamored with these fruits tarts and would have eaten one for every meal had we allowed it.
One of our favorite Bethesda restos back in the day was called Louisiana Express, which apparently closed a few years back. One of the chefs from that restaurant opened a place called Louisiana Bayou Kitchen and Bar, so we met my old friend Melissa and her son one night to give it a shot. It was good, though not at the same level as the old Louisiana Express. I ordered a seafood creole that was quite fine and well spiced.
My sons, eating roast chicken in patented manner that they have that makes me feel like I’m watching a BBC nature documentary narrated by Donald Pleasance or Kenneth Branagh.
Afterward Melissa took us to the quite wonderful Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. Here are the ladies are posing with a very dainty, very tasty milkshake. I had some dark Mexican hot chocolate that was spicy, not too sweet and top shelf.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the chocolate syringe. JUST HOOK IT TO MY VEINS! Thanks to GFOB (Great Friend of the Blog) Mel for the recommendation and lovely company that evening.
So anyway, that’s as good as place as any to quit. I thing I’ve written all I can about DC. In case you can’t tell I love it up there, and highly recommend it for a family trip if you are looking for places to go. The Metro is as easy and convenient a public transportation system as you will find, and it is far and away one of the best walking cities in the world. It was great fun, and I look forward to visiting again. Except next time maybe we’ll fly.