Washington, D.C.: The Semi-foodie Adventure

So, I'm not quite so much a foodie yet that I go on vacations just for food experiences.  And I didn't do research on food with the knowledge I'd be going to D.C.  However, that didn't stop me from visiting some pretty cool restaurants and such while I was there!
It all started with, quite by accident, finding a really cool diner in New Jersey on the way down.  I was looking on my phone for restaurant near where we were, and I saw the Americana Diner.  Mom decided that a diner would be fun, so we went.

I think we should have realized that we had found a unique place with the number of cars in the parking lot at just after noon on a random Tuesday.

I think we knew when they brought us a bag of baguette -- and it was raisin and flax seed!
I had never seen anything quite like it, and it was the most amazing baguette I've ever had.  Oh my goodness.
I got a veggie burger with guacamole and cheese -- it was really good.  And I'm pretty sure the roll was made there too.  It was amazing.
Now, if only I could ever reproduce that bread . . .
That evening brought us to an old Firehouse -- Firehouse No. 1 -- in Maryland that had been turned into a restaurant.  Now you have to understand, I am not in general a fan of onions in any form.  There is one restaurant in this world (at least that I know of) where I would voluntarily eat onion rings.  It was not this one.  However, they did have the most unique plating of onion rings I've ever seen.

They kind of look like volcanoes made out of doughnuts.  Just saying.

Then, it was pi day!   Thanks to the MAA and the Joint Math Conference I went to this winter, I could show my math nerdiness all day.
The challenge for the day was finding a piece of pie for dessert, since I couldn't make my own.  Making my own would have been better.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We spent the day sight seeing on the Mall -- which was very impressive, I must say, and even better because of the beautiful day.
We also went to the American History Museum.  It was really cool.  I was really hoping to see Julia Child's kitchen (think Julie and Julia . . .), but it was unfortunately closed!  That was sad.  But I guess it just proves I should have done my research ahead.  Oh well.  It just means I'll have to go back.
We also got lunch there, and I must say, even in their cafeteria, the corn bread was some of the best I've ever tasted.  It was awesome.  I'm sure all the walking had something to do with that, but I'm pretty sure it was still really good.
They also had a really fun display of old lunch boxes in the cafe.  It was fun to see them.  They are so much more fun than our lunch boxes now.  Yet another thing that "isn't made like it used to be."  Oh well.  Mom used to have the Barbie one on the bottom shelf!
We actually ended up eating dinner in Union Station -- which is one of those old fashioned, super fancy train stations.  It's amazing that trains were once so popular that they could build stations like that.  I mean, if you think about it, airports today are way bigger and more technological, but not nearly as awe-inspiring.  I mean, look at this ceiling:
And the restaurant was really neat in that it was open to the main hall.  It almost felt like being on a sidewalk or something, but inside this massive train station.  It was cool.
I got a Mediterranean wrap, but instead of just chicken, veggies and feta cheese, it was filled with orzo, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and chicken.  It was really good.  Even if they didn't fold in the ends -- wraps that aren't properly closed might qualify as one of my pet peeves.  Seriously, there's a way to make wraps so they stay together and  a way to make them so the filling falls right out.  Why wouldn't you want your filling to stay in?
Then came the pie.  It was kind of . . . chewy?  And tasted like way too much cinnamon.  Oh well, it was a happy pi day anyway.
Thursday was probably the highlight of my food week.  It was amazing.

I like cupcakes.  I like to make cupcakes.  I like to eat cupcakes.  And, well, I kind of jumped on the cupcake bandwagon.  However, one thing I don't do much is watch the cupcake shows on TV.  But, I will admit, occasionally, I do.  And usually, they drive me crazy.

But, given the chance, I had to try Georgetown Cupcake (of DC Cupcake fame).   Because you know that they have to have good cupcakes if they have their own show.
And they didn't disappoint.  It was probably the best red velvet cupcake I've ever had.  (Sorry, Cake.  I'd still take a piece of your cake over a cupcake any day!)
I can't even describe the texture.  It was like it was really moist and the top . . . not crunchy, obviously but it was distinctive from the rest of the cake.  I can't describe it.  But it was amazing.  And by going at 10 a.m., we didn't even have to wait in line!
And I even managed to bring one back for NES.  It survived a whole day of being carried around, a day in the fridge and a day of travel to get to him.  And it was still good!
After that, we stopped by Dean and Deluca -- the fancy dancy grocery store.  It was really cool.  They had the most beautiful desserts -- but no cupcakes!  I guess they don't want to compete with the famous cupcakes.
We also found Sprinkles Cupcakes!  But I'm glad we tried Georgetown Cupcake instead.  Maybe next time.

We found lunch at a cool restaurant called J. Paul's that had windows that opened to the sidewalk.  It felt very European.
And, for the first time ever, we got pretzels instead of bread before dinner!
I got a steak salad with feta cheese and potato sticks on it -- it was good.
Mom got sliders (crab cakes and cheeseburgers!), but the chips were homemade and they were amazing!
The next morning brought a tour of the White House, thanks to MJM!  It was amazing to actually be inside. And thanks to years and years of watching "White House Christmas" on HGTV, it was really cool to see the rooms in person.  Although, they do certainly seem bigger on TV.
In the evening we met family for dinner at Clyde's of Tyson's Corner.  I decided to be daring and try goat cheese and sweet potato ravioli.  I was brave and tried something new.  It ended up being way too much for me, but until it got overwhelming, they were really good.  Who would have thought about the combination of goat cheese and sweet potato (especially with chipotle cream sauce, pecans and romano cheese!)?
After a whirlwind trip, on the way home, we stopped for lunch in NJ again, and found another TV cupcake shop!  They had won Cupcake Wars on Food Network.  I actually (amazingly!) didn't have one.
But I tried a bite of one, and I wasn't really all that impressed.  Maybe if I had tried the real winning flavor.  Who knows.
I actually had been craving tart frozen yogurt all week, and I found some.  Finally.  So after fighting my way through a crowd of middle schoolers to get it, I finally got my frozen yogurt.  Yum.
We also got lunch in NJ at Tico's Juice Bar.  I had a black bean, corn and tomato quesedilla.  It was really good, because it wasn't overly cheesy, and it was seasoned with Mexican spices on top.  It was really good.  I need to try that.
And there was even pi day stuff still up all over the place!
And then, I came home.  Very full.  And went back to real life.  And exams.  And stress.  Only half a semester left till summer (even if it already feels like summer now).  I might make it.  We'll see.


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