All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Monday, September 11, 2006

DC Eats

Wid and I just returned from our trip Washington, D.C. The main purpose of our trip was to visit bro and his gf and our buddy Andy, but we did get a chance to check out a bunch of Smithsonian museums that we missed the last time we were in town.

Wid went all gaga over the new Air and Space Museum (Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center), but it was quite the trek getting over to Dulles Airport and then to the museum because the Smithsonian no longer offer shutters between the two museums (due to lack of money?). Still, the long trip to and back from the Center was worth it, and we thoroughly enjoyed the free (2-hours!) tour. We learned a great deal and I'm curious to learn more about some of the planes. We also managed to catch a free tour at the Freer Gallery (lots of really cool Asian arts and the famous Peacock Room) and heard the sad story of why the gallery no longer have locks on their lockers (Damn homeless bums taking advantage of the "free" storage and then the staff have to break off to lock to open the door. Now they don't have any money to get new lockers). We also checked out the National Portrait Gallery as well as their special conservation center.

Something semi-related to food... While waiting for the shuttle to the museum, Wid and I grabbed some food at the Dulles airport. While enjoying our chowders, we saw a police with a huge ass German Shepard. The dog was sitting like a good boy, but with his ears perked up his attention was focused on the counter as if he's anticipating something. Next minute waitress came from behind the counter to meet the dude and the dog and in her hands was a sub. She broke up the sandwich into large chunks, and the dog, eagerly jumping on his hind legs, snatched up the food. It's kind of cool that this German Shepard is a well-behaved, working dog, yet he's still a dog, happy to get a meaty treat.

We checked out some notable restaurants during our trip. We took the Chinatown bus to DC on Wednesday, and after we checked in with bro's gf, we headed back to Chinatown for some good, cheap eats. Bro's gf recommended Full Kee on 509 H St., NW, which turned out to be a Cantonese style restaurant. There were lots of customers even at around 1 PM. The ambiance is typical small Chinese restaurant, but we were not there for the ambiance. I got porridge with lean pork and thousand year old eggs while Wid got beef brisket with vegetables on rice. We also got wonton soup and hot and sour soup. The soups weren't very impressive but the main dishes were very good. The portion was very generous and the price was very, very affordable ($4.50/plate). We were so stuffed by the time we finished lunch. We were amazed by how fast the waitresses worked from table to table.

We had a bit of a misadventure finding the place where bro and his gf were staying currently, but eventually we found the apartment. For dinner, they took us to a Greek restaurant that was highly recommended by their food-lover friend. Our friend Andy joined us for dinner. Taverna Cretekou at 818 King Street in Alexandria, VA, located in a charming brick building, had a very cute ambiance with reproduction of Minoan frescos (like the ones you seen in Crete and Thera). We went out to the garden because the night was cool. Four of us ordered the "Taverna Cretekou Special" which is "a Combination of Traditional Greek Dishes Including Moussaka, Pastitsio, Dolmades, Soudsoukakia and Spanakopita. My favorites were the spanakopita and the pastitsio. Soudsoukakia was basically a slightly sour meatball. Dolmades had too much rice for my taste, but it was ok. Bro's gf got a chicken dish which looked delicious with the very fresh, colorful vegetables. For dessert, I had the Crema Lemoniou Me Stafili Glyko which was Lemon Cream Flan Topped with Grape Preserves. Supposedly it's from their "ancient Greek menu" and it was very light and flavorful, like a light version of a lemon cheesecake. Andy had the creme caramel, and bro and his gf got the baklava. The dishes were fairly price at around $20 per plate, but the food was so good that I think it's worth it. Food, service, and ambiance were all excellent.

It was really nice to hear Greek again, and I have to say the food was the most authentic Greek food I've had outside of Greece. I do have a very high expectation when it comes to Greek food because when I worked as an archaeologist, we had nothing but homecooked meals by the local women, and then when we were traveling most of the taverna served wonderful and fresh dishes.

More on other DC eats for another day...

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