Off to a good start with my Do & Co meal on the inbound flight: pasta with a creamy tomato and leek sauce. My grand dining scheme for DC of favorite restaurants, though, gave way this week to the convenience of eating at places near to friend’s offices for lunch, and sometimes being the guest for dinner (grilled steaks and escalloped potatoes being my favorite–my friends know me).
A shopping lunch early in the week with Anna Grace and one of her friends found us at Nordstrom, my favorite department store. Their cafe has always been a civilized respite from mall din. No complaints with my perennial choice of Chinese Chicken Salad, a perfectly dressed plate of an equally ideal portion. The evening followup was at another favorite local Italian restaurant that manages to thrive despite offering “endless salad and breadsticks” and concocted faux Italian dishes. So far, so good.
By Sunday the portion size and the calorie count were on the rise. I had to make a special request for a simple “handcrafted” burger (which I believe only means the burger wasn’t pre-made and frozen) with avocado at an indistinguishable microbrewery, as the 11 burger options on the menu all included so many toppings I was afraid I would not be able to taste the actual beef, or even find it beneath said toppings! Despite my best efforts, one-quarter of the burger and half of the crispy fries came home with me.
A self-inflicted calorie wound of sorts one evening out with friends, with the selection of fish and chips at Clare and Don’s, a “beach shack” serving excellent food, and the one and only dog-friendly restaurant in my post code. It somehow seemed wrong to order pasta when fresh catch fried cod was calling to me. Fully half of my dinner found its way to my refrigerator, though.
(Side note: when the restaurant opened in 2006, young diners were invited to decorate flip-flops to adorn the walls. I was able to locate Anna Grace’s decorated shoe, but not Jack’s, though I was assured that none had been removed. Next time, I guess.)
Ah, Ted’s Montana Grill. Across the street from my former office, this was the “go-to” for special office occasions. The specialty is bison, which when prepared well is rather quite good. I fondly remember the briny pickles that are brought table side in lieu of breadsticks; thankfully my friends did not notice that I ate most of them. Unfortunately I was entirely engrossed in conversation and so forgot to snap a photo of the platter-sized bison nachos that I selected from the starter menu, and that was after I had requested a half-portion! Well-seasoned bison meat and fresh chopped avocado topped the house made tortilla chips, but still! Is a platter-sized portion Authentic American Dining?
A mid-week lunch at Hillwood was an appreciated deliverance of salad greens. A friend and I could not decide between two equally delicious selections, so the thoughtful chef simply divided each of the salads for us to share!
Okay. This is where I expose either my hypocrisy or my inner foodie. I think 50.000 calories parsed out over the 21 months I’ve been overseas counts as “everything in moderation,” but I’m fine with being judged. This was a dining highlight of the week that both Anna Grace and I purposefully saved for our departure day. First, brunch at Bob & Edith’s, a family run hole-in-the-wall diner since 1969, with the decor unchanged in about as many years.
Breakfast at Bob & Edith’s was a family treat on pleasant-weather Saturdays in the summer. With the bicycles loaded onto the vehicle, we would stop in for food fuel before hitting the capital area trails for a 20 mile trail ride followed by an afternoon at our swim club. See? Everything in moderation. No need to consult the menu, either, as there is no finer start to the day than corned beef hash, white toast with orange marmalade, and unsweetened black iced tea. Perfection on a formica-topped table.
Last, but not at all least, burgers from Five Guys while waiting for our flight home. Founded by Michigan alumni, Five Guys is a burger joint par excellence, but is not for the meek. Their regular double bacon cheeseburger is almost too much for Jack. We gals opted for “Little Burgers,” though I did adorn mine with bacon and grilled onions. A fitting finale to my 50.000 calorie week.