Eating (and Drinking) My Way Through DC

cherry blossomsI recently got the opportunity to go to DC for a site visit for work. Being I have never been, I decided to extend my trip through the weekend and make the most of the couple days I had free. Another kick ass thing was my good friend JP lives there. As you all well know, I love eating and I personally think that is the best way to get a feel for a place. So while I have to hit up some touristy places, you can usually find me searching for the yummiest food in the local joints.

Because there are so many meals in the day, there is only so much I could fit in. And let me tell you, brunch is a serious thing here. Like really, super, serious. People and talk about brunching. And while I thought they were kind of crazy, I have to say, I have joined the crowd of obsessed brunchers… but I will get to that later.

First stop…

Oyamel

oyamel

drinks oyamel

Chef José Andrés dropped this Mexican tapas place down in DC about 7 years ago (although originally in Arlington since 2004). Oyamel offers a uniquely decorated atmosphere and their menu features antojitos (Mexican small plates), ceviche, and tacos, as well as some pretty splendid margaritas.

It is recommended to choose 3 or 4 antojitos but of course JP and I went all out. Starting off with specialty margaritas and their famous guacamole. Their guacamole is made table side and you can choose how hot you want it. The only complaint I have is there wasn’t enough!

You will find typical dishes with shredded pork, beef, or chicken and some not-so-common meals like their house specialty, cricket tacos. I enjoyed everything I tried but the Chilaquiles con chorizo y huevo estrellado was my fave. It was pretty much brunch nachos–chorizo, chipotle salsa, cheese, red onion, and a fried egg to top it all off. You can’t go wrong with that combo.

guacamole oyamel

Oyamel got me super excited to see what DC had to offer a foodie like me. I am all about ordering a lot of a little, so this setting was perfect for me.

Next up, the infamous DC brunch…

Lincoln

Lincoln brunch

Lincoln was lucky enough to be my first DC brunch experience–or should I say I was lucky enough to be a part of it. Looking forward to this whole brunch thing everyone raved about, I immediately was sold when I walked into Lincoln. The eclectic dining room, adorned with modern paintings of Lincoln and penny-covered flooring, was filled with groups of people laughing and enjoying their Sunday with loved ones. My attention was soon drawn to the DJ who was playing lively music perfect for the setting. A long, waffle-filled buffet took up the center of the room while tables were packed in throughout. Luckily, we had reservations and were seated quickly.

The seasonal menu is fresh and offers local fare featuring some of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite meals. We started off with the Champagne Strawberry Jam and Farmhouse Macaroni and Cheese. This jam was the closest thing to my Pop’s homemade jelly I have tasted–delish!

lincoln starter

For the main course, we tried the Brunch Grilled Cheese, Croque Madame, and the Eggs Benedict. I of course got the Eggs Benedict which was a unique take on this brunch favorite. They used buttermilk biscuits in place of English muffins and smoked salmon in place of the Canadian bacon. I enjoyed all the tastes together and the biscuits were not overwhelming like I had expected.

breakfast grilled cheese lincoln

Next up I was fortunate enough to check out a past Top Chef’s new place…

Graffiato

This modern Italian restaurant is the creative food baby of Chef Mike Isabella. It is not a huge place which helps add to the demand. Since opening in the Chinatown area of DC, Graffiato has been a hit with crowds packing into this brick-walled restaurant. The menu is limited but offers some creative starters, salads, and pastas but especially focuses on it’s unique wood-fired pizzas–some have calamari while others are packed with brussels sprouts and braised pork. Being a fan of white pizzas, I chose the White House and did not regret it. The pizzas, in my opinion, are a perfect size for lunch–I almost finished the whole thing myself!

Thank goodness I dropped the hint I was a foodie, because my vendor brought me to a great place. Next time, I would be curious to try some starters and branch out a bit on my pizza choice.

For my last day, I made it over to Georgetown. I wanted to see this area so of course I needed to find a good restaurant to enhance my experience. I got a ton of recommendations for one restaurant in particular…

Farmers Fishers Bakers

farmers fishers bakers

The day I got to go to Georgetown, DC finally decided to have good weather. It was a perfect place to walk around next to the water and last day to spend with JP. Once we worked up an appetite, we headed over the Farmers Fishers Bakers. This huge restaurant in not directly on the water but if you are seated near the window you get a good view. They boost to sustainable, farm-to-table, causal, upscale restaurant–what does that all mean? Yummy, fresh, food. They sort of have a lot going on… an on site bakery, sushi counter, and full bar. You can find veggies, meat, and fish here and wrap up your meal with something sweet.

We tried the Maryland Crab Dip to start which according the waiter is the best app on the menu. It was definitely delicious but a very small portion. With 3 people sharing, we only got a couple bites. I decided to try their take on shrimp scampi for my main course. It was served on top of gnocchi, which I personally felt were far too doughy. I sadly was not overly impressed with my meal and while I would like to say I chose wrong, it was also recommended by our waiter. The taste was a bit off and I didn’t get the fresh, buttery, garlicy taste I was searching for. It was a cool venue and I would like to try something else next time–I haven’t given up completely!

And there you have it. My yummy meals of DC. I cannot wait to go back and see what else they have to offer…I would say I am off to a great start!

Oh and while you are at it…Check out JP’s blog here . She is kinda hilarious, in case you are interested.

6 Replies to “Eating (and Drinking) My Way Through DC”

  1. Did you really try the cricket taco? Love your writings about food.

    1. I personally did not try the cricket taco because my friend has already tried it and was not overly impressed. To be honest I was willing but there were too many other alluring things on the menu!

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. These places sound amazing. I can’t believe you were able to go to all these places in such a short time. Great selections. Makes us want to go back to DC just for the food!

    The thing I remember about the food in DC was the ethnic variety. It is a melting pot of cultures. Each neighborhood has its specialties. There are always new, trendy places, but there are some restaurants that are the ‘real deal’. It is always good to have a local to help you find these places and assist you with ordering, otherwise you may end up in some sketchy places and not so good food.

    I love the fact you are eager to explore! Sounds like you found some excellent spots to eat. I am glad you enjoyed your time in DC.

    1. DC is definitely a melting pot which adds to its charm. I loved the city and sad I only has a short time there. I will definitely go back and hopefully you will see a part 2 of this post!!!

  3. DC is one of my favorite cities. I can’t wait to try some of these restaurants when I return, especially Oyamel. My kind of place!

    1. Even better if you with JP 🙂

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