Meals are an important part of any trip, not just for the food but for the interaction of the group. My recent trip to Washington, D.C., included some wonderful meals and dining conversations.
Upon arrival, we started with a hearty, fantastic meal at Bareburger, which featured a menu more than one-third vegetarian- and plant-based. My turkey burger topped with Gouda and avocado was the best turkey burger I have ever eaten. The flavors were amazing. They also served an awesome house cola. The atmosphere was lively but quiet enough for us to do a little catching up with each other.
On Friday night, our dining success continued at Founding Farmers, a restaurant owned by the more than 47,000 family farmers of the North Dakota Farmers Union and supplied by family farms. The setting was elegant but casual. I thoroughly enjoyed Scallops Meunière with butternut squash risotto, which was prepared to a creamy perfection.
The Carving Room Kitchen and Bar provided a great Saturday lunch. Open and airy, it was a perfect place for baseball talk prior to the Washington Nationals game. My turkey burger (freshly made with portabella, garlic, red bell peppers, balsamic and olive oil) topped with provolone and avocado spread on a brioche bun was light, but filling. We also shared some delicious mac and cheese.
After our Segway tour, the highly recommended Old Ebbitt Grill met the challenge of satisfying six hungry men. Founded in 1856, the Old Ebbitt Grill is the oldest saloon in Washington and is rich in history. Despite having no reservations on a crowded Sunday, they got us in. One of my trip goals was to have crab cakes, and the ones here, crispy on the outside and full of large chunks of crab, were outstanding. I must also mention the Orca platter of plump shrimp, oysters and “one pound of glorious lobster,” according to John, who ordered it but shared it with the rest of us. The Old Ebbitt Grill surpassed the many positive recommendations.
Even the ballpark had a food highlight. Dolic Gelati served several flavors of fine, all-natural Italian gelato. The mango was the most refreshing, the pomegranate was the most flavorful, and the salted caramel was the most dessert-like, but all three were highly satisfying.
One last note worth mentioning, especially for Coca-Cola aficionados like myself: The area is Coke-friendly. A few places even offered bottled Coke containing pure cane sugar in place of corn syrup. That is my absolute favorite Coke.
As you can tell, we crammed a lot of excellent food in our long weekend. This might have been the overall best food experience we’ve had on our 19 trips.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
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