Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Food Blog, Part One

One of my friends always gets on to me, saying she doesn't travel places just to eat. Bollocks. One of the things I love about new places in the cuisine. With the interesting cultural melange here, I knew this would be a great trip. I've been to so many awesome (and not so awesome) places since I've been in DC....

*Tortilla Cafe - Salvadorean/Mexican cuisine: The first place I went upon arriving in DC. Somewhat of a hole-in-the-wall, but those places are often the best. The food was fantastic, part of which I contribute to the fact that all I'd had that day was a breakfast roll, coffee, and some Triscuits. We ordered the chicken fajitas, sweet plantains, pupusas, and a quesadilla, along with a passionfruit juice. Delicious!!!!
*Various Chinese takeout locations: You could say we were on a quest. Since they moved here, Heidi and Mike haven't found a good Chinese takeout yet. I've had some good places in New York, and actually in Georgia too, and I was surprised that they hadn't found a good place yet. The search continues...
*Trattoria Alberto - Italian: Neat little location on Barracks row. The place got really good reviews. The setup of the restaurant was odd, but the food was moderately priced. Our waiter was really friendly, but I had some of the strangest Italian food. In fact, the only dishes that were truly good were Heidi's Spaghetti Carbonara and the cannolis. I ordered Pollo Marsala, which didn't taste anything like chicken Marsala I'd ever had, and our tiramisu came in individual bowls and was more like ladyfingers with custard sauce than mascarpone. Oh well...
*Le Pain Quotidien - Organic/Italian/French/Pretention: A cute little bakery/bistro, where everything is all natural and organic. Very clean, with lovely classical music piped in. Heidi and I shared the Tuscan platter, which was a combination of sundried tomatoes, fresh ricotta, olives, prosciutto, an olive tapenade with basil pesto (heavenly!), and a juicy slice of melon, along with assorted breads. Tasty!
*Zack's/The Greek Islands Taverna - Greek (duh): Most definitely a hole in the wall, but delightful! We were one of two parties in the dining room for lunch, and it was great to get out of the snow. Heidi was excited that they carried Mythos, our preferred beer while we were in Greece, and we split an order of what turned out to be the best calamari and sweet marinara I've had in my life. We didn't hesitate to throw our fried potatoes on our gyros or souvlaki, and we polished off everything and were happily warm on the mile-walk home.
*Banana Cafe and Piano Bar - Puerto Rican/Cuban/Mexican?(well, quesadillas most definitely AREN'T Cuban!): Heartbreaking. We went to Happy Hour in the Piano Bar for the free appetizers, which turned out to be quesadillas so loaded with jalapenos that they gave Heidi indigestion for the next 36 hours. I had bacalao frito, or codfish fritters, and some fried plantains, which were ok but nothing special. The only thing worth anything there was the mango daquiri. The saddest part was that good latin food is normally so good you'll want to slap your mother. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
*The Old Siam - Thai: OUTSTANDING! The service, above all, was great, and everything we ate was wonderful, from the curry wontons, to the pad thai, to the ginger stir fried with chicken. Mike and I ended up trading dishes and being all the happier for it.

And that was just the first week....more to come!