This blog post is Part 2 of my recent business trip in Washington, DC with a focus on the restaurants that I visited (Part 1 was all about desserts in DC). Whenever I travel, I like to visit both the tourist and local eateries. Armed with my trusty Yelp app on my iPhone, my SLR camera, and a fairly huge appetite, I explored the DC food scene after work hours. Here are the highlights from my short trip to the nation’s capital!
My first meal in DC was late lunch at Founding Farmers, a farm-inspired American/Soul Food restaurant with an emphasis on local ingredients and sustainability. This was a hotspot for both tourists and regulars in the area, with wait times as long as 1-2 hours without reservations. For appetizers, must-get items were the skillet corn bread and fried green tomatoes. I had never tried the latter before and now, I’m on the hunt for something similar on Boston. For my entree, the chicken and waffles was good but not as good as Roscoe’s in Los Angeles, CA. Overall, the meal was high quality, and I would return to try the craft cocktails, flatbread, and beignets next time.
I am a big fan of oysters (raw or cooked) and made it a mission to have dinner at Hank’s Oysters Bar, where they served oysters in several different ways. I tried raw oysters on the half shell from Virginia (Rappahannock and Ware River), which were fresh, plump, and less briny than typical east coast oysters. The BBQ oysters were also very delicious, with a toasty, cheese surface and a kick of heat. The sake oyster shooters (similar to bloody mary drinks) was a bit spicy, tomato-y and definitely very unique. For main course, I ordered the lobster roll, which turned out to be very good but not the best I’ve had – my favorite lobster roll is from Neptune Oyster in Boston.
I really enjoyed dinner at Bistrot du Coin, a quaint French bistro in Dupont Circle with a warm ambiance and waitstaff who had lovely French accents. There, I had the best French onion soup and steamed mussels ever. The soup consisted of gooey cheese, caramelized onions, perfectly seasoned broth, and a layer of croutons that had absorbed just enough soup to still have that fresh texture. The mussels in white wine, onions, peas, peppers, tomatoes, and chorizo was their signature item and I absolutely loved the savory flavor combined with the well-cooked seafood. I ended up sopping up all the soup with the bread. There were many other choices for steamed mussels, including white wine/thyme/garlic, cream sauce, curry, Roquefort sauce, pesto/prosciutto, and even shrimp/lobster bisque.
My very last meal in DC was lunch at Lauriol Plaza, dubbed the “best Mexican food in DC” and was highly recommended by my friend who used to live in the area. The famous frozen swirl margarita tasted refreshing and fruity to go with the addicting chips and salsa at the table. The fish tacos were okay. My dining partner’s chicken and steak fajitas was a much better dish.
Have you traveled to Washington, DC before? What are your favorite food memories?