Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rye Bread, Sushi and Tattoos: My weekend in Washington DC

I just got back Sunday from an impromptu four day trip to my former home of Washington DC. I hadn't been in town since Cherry Blossom Time. By early June it had already become Sweaty Hot Outside and Freezing Inside Time in the nation's capital. But I didn't care because I was busy eating. Eating, cooking, drinking tequila and dancing. It was a good weekend. The only thing I didn't do much of was sleep, but that, as they say, can wait until I'm dead.


These ruffians are some of my culinary companions. The man on the left was my constant co-host of what we dubbed "Culinary Madness" during my years in DC. Lets call him "The Punk Chef". He would like that. In the middle, one of our many faithful taste-testers. To the right, a professional chef at the Greenbriar hotel in West Virginia, in town to wreak culinary havoc with The Punk Chef and I. We three shacked up in The Punk Chef's home, a rambling, art, junk and cat filled mansion in Georgetown which he takes care of for its wealthy and eccentric owner. The servents' quarters, on the first floor, boast a large and comfortable kitchen, which, apart from our quarters, was the only space free of the cloying scent of cat piss. It was the perfect spot to prepare the first meal of the weekend, which had been planned by my host before my arrival. A Russian Meal was the theme and the local Russian market had been raided to provide us with goodies ranging from smoked mackerel to a mustard of such pungency that it put wasabi to shame.

 

The mackerel was dismembered, the dumplings, sauerkraut, potatoes, rye bread, and other smoked fish was prepared and the hearty meal was enjoyed by all. The only thing missing: ice cold vodka. But that we remedied later that night. Post-prandial shenanigans ensued:


The next day we were all tired, hungover or both so supper was simple: left over rye, a nice baguette, triple cream cheese, a huge salad of organic pea shoots, lettuce, cranberries, rosemary, pecans and fresh goat cheese and a seared pork tenderloin, courtesy of our Greenbriar Chef.


We invited some friends and chowed down in our big comfy kitchen.


While in DC I made sure to eat at Nandos Peri Peri, the fabulous South African chicken chain that, so far, has only invaded Washington DC. If its raging success is anything to go by, it should soon be driving Popeye's out of business across the nation. You just can't compete with sangria, spicy grilled chicken, delicious butternut squash and couscous olive salad. You just can't. I don't have any good pictures to share, but just take my word for it and eat there. I also lunched on tapas at Jaleo, the original flagship restaurant for the Spanish DC restaurant mogul Jose Andres, and I have a photo to prove it. The gazpacho was perfect on a sultry DC afternoon:

The next day was sushi day: sushi from Sushi Uni, my favorite neighborhood sushi spot in Dupont Circle.  It was also tacos de lengua day: tacos from the only real Mexican taco stand in the tri-state area, located conveniently outside the Maryland DMV. It was also Pride Parade Day and World Cup England vs. USA Game Day, but that's another story entirely!

 
Next stop: Belize and Placencia's Lobster Fest. I arrive tonight and I am already anticipating the taste of Belizean stewed chicken and coconut oil laced rice and beans.

1 comment:

Chennette said...

this is so funny - I just just came back from dinner at Uni's :-) I'm in DC for a few days and my cousin came and took me since she says it's the best sushi they've had so far here.