Saturday, October 3, 2009

Restaurants and Motorbikes

Eating in The Capitol is not only impressive, but can also be expensive. VB enjoys eating out, when there's good food to be had. In her little town in Connecticut, every single restaurant offers bad pizza, bad grinders, bad gyros, and just bad food choices, and it's all the same - as if one family owned all the restaurants. (Okay, one has good pizza and another has very good Japanese food, but that's it.) VB enjoys variety, and so last week when we were in Washington, we ate at:

Eric Ripert's West End Bistro. (Below) VB had the Fish Burger with the Macaroni, ham and cheese for two (she shared.) The Fish Burger is like a massive crab cake on a bun. We took a doggie bag of mac and cheese back to the hotel. Coincidentally, as VB was editing this, Serious Eats posted the recipe for The Fish Burger. VB can verify it's incredibly good, and actually looks like it might be healthy, as well (VB has a habit of picking the most unhealthiest foods from menus.)

The next evening we ate at Grillfish. After the waiter annoyingly repeated several times that there was just one serving of wild halibut left, VB raised her hand and said, "I'll take it." Thus reserving it, as someone else mused aloud, "how old is it?" We had already eaten the Ginger Calamari and Fried Calamari at the bar during happy hours, when drinks and bar food are half price. The halibut was excellent. VB should add that she had massive amounts of gin that evening, so just about anything on a plate would've been "excellent".

Friday afternoon, after watching the crazies on Capitol Hill, we ran off to Founding Farmers for luncheon rendezvous. Just about every restaurant we called was booked solid from 5:30 PM until 9:00 PM that evening, so we decided to do a big lunch instead. VB ordered the House Salad with Buttermilk Ranch, but was instead served with Bleu Cheese (she didn't send it back). She also had the Slow-Simmered Sirloin Chili: "48-Hour Marinated and Simmered Sirloin Chili with Beans, Cheddar Crisps, Grated Onions, and Grated Cheese". It may have been marinated for 48 hours, but there's no way that meat was slow simmered. VB likes the sirloin in her chili to fall apart, melt in her mouth, and be meaty. This was tough, and loaded with gristle. We also ordered the Skillet Corn Bread, at which someone commented, "This is just like yours." Yep, VB makes that exact same freaking bread!

That evening we walked to Dupont Circle in search of a place for drinks and small dishes. We found Zorba's Cafe. We were lucky enough to find a seat outside. We had Zorba's combination Plate containing meats and dips and two wedges of pita, another appetizer plate containing numerous dips, and a full carafe of Retsina on tap. The gyros pieces were amazing and done right (not half raw - they grilled it again after shaving it, which is how it should be)!, The retsina awesome! You have to have a taste for retsina to appreciate it when it comes from a tap (most Greek restaurants don't even offer it. Not even those chichi pseudo Greek restaurants in New York City.) Sorry, no photos from Zorba's.

Below: Our last meal in The Capitol, was a Ben's Chili Bowl. Needless to say we had chili. The boys had Bill Cosby's Original Chili Half-Smoke. VB had a bowl of chili (meat) with cheese and onions. We all shared the Chili-Cheese Fries. And, we saw photos of Obama when he visited earlier this year. We sat in the same area. VB wonders, if she sat in the same seat as Obama, will some of that brilliance rub off on her?

As we strolled back to the car, VB then took photos of the neighborhood, and these are two of her favorites.

While driving home to Connecticut, south of New Brunswick, on the New Jersey Turnpike, we encountered some teenagers on their Yamahas (or whatever small bikes they were riding). They descended upon us, at first, one by one, then in twos. VB tried to put a video together (yet another photo album with music). She should have videotaped this on her new iPhone, but she's a camera gal, and grabbed that first. Watch it if you'd like to (1) see what may come upon you as you journey through The Garden State; (2) Identify the assholes who are participating in this. After the first cycle passed, The Boss Man sped up. VB wondered if he was chasing the guy. The Boss Man said, "I'm going 80." As another bike passed furiously he added, "what do you think they're going?" They were going well over 100 miles per hour, and refusing to use lanes (squeezing in between two side-by-side cars) while one was even wearing his team jacket with his name on it! The highway patrol needs to grab these guys and revoke their licenses to drive, even if it's for a tricycle.

For a real taste of what we experienced, look at: this video.


  1. Nice choice of restaurants, if I ever go to DC again, I'll make sure to pay a visit to one of them, if not all :) I love eating foods at special places all over the world. We've got some amazing restaurants in Toronto too so if you ever make your way up here, check out the The Quince Restaurant for sure and The Stockyards! They are one of the best. I just hope this crisis won't wipe them out, that's why I sacrifice myself at least once a week and visit them for a good lunch or dinner..haha.

    Take care, Elli

  2. We used to visit Toronto when we lived near Toledo, Ohio. I love it. It's a great city.