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Old and New Friends in Washington DC

Old and New Friends in Washington DC

One of my good friends from high school, Tappan, moved to Washington DC to finish up grad school, and I wanted to make a point to visit him in his newfound, somewhat, adult life. I have always wanted to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, and was doing my research of when they would be bloomed and beautiful in DC. During the month of March, I texted Tappan about the cherry blossoms, and next thing I knew, I booked a flight for a couple of weeks out - flying from Boston to DC on a 10:20 PM flight, Friday, April 8th.

I landed at BWI and Tappan was kind enough to drive out and pick me up, driving me back to his place in Hillcrest Heights, showed me my room, and we called it a night. It was 1 AM after all. I did briefly see the cherry blossoms on the trees in the dark of the night. I sure was looking forward to taking some pictures of those.

Until I woke up in the morning and there was some freak windy snow and hail storm. In April, what gives DC? Saturday was a very full day of adventuring.

Kangaroo Boxing Club

Tappan had the incredible fortune of finding parking down the street. We walked in, sat at the bar, and I enjoyed a couple of mimosas and Biscuits & Gravy. Tappan and his girlfriend were raving about the brussel sprouts there, and he had me take a bite out of his. I was not disappointed, and wish I had a chance to snap a photo of the sprouts. They are flash fried and dusted in BBQ then topped with a red wine reduction. Goodness. I personally have a soft spot for biscuits smothered in gravy - maybe it is because I never really had it growing up, I don't know.

Biscuits with housemade chicken gravy, eggs and bacon. Also seen: mac & cheese with jalapeno cheddar

Biscuits with housemade chicken gravy, eggs and bacon. Also seen: mac & cheese with jalapeno cheddar

We spent some time at Eastern Market after brunch where I picked up some flower crowns for a Gareth Emery show I'd be seeing back in Boston, as well as a great painting that ended up not fitting in my carry-on, so Tappan brought it back to Boston for me when he came to visit in August. We then picked up a delectable assortment of donuts from District Doughnuts, then went back to the house. Those donuts from District Doughnuts DONUT disappoint. (Get it? Do you see what I did there?)

Let me just tell you now - that baklava and creme brulee donut changed my life. We shared these donuts over the course of the three days I was there, and man. If I could fly these donuts up to Boston, I would. 

Left to right, top to bottom: Baklava, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Salted Dulce de Leche, Brown Butter, Fluffernutter, Creme Brulee from District Doughnuts

Left to right, top to bottom: Baklava, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Salted Dulce de Leche, Brown Butter, Fluffernutter, Creme Brulee from District Doughnuts

Tappan's girlfriend got groupon tickets for us to go to Twin Valley Distillery. That sure was an experience. We took a little road trip out and got a bit lost, so we thought. We pulled up into, what looked like, a junk yard, with an 8x11 sign stating "Twin Valley Distillery this way". Was this how our lives would end?

This was a one man distillery. The owner was a chef, and decided to start making his own whiskeys and bourbons, teaching us how the differences in wood from the barrels would impact the flavor of the liquor. At this point, they all tasted like flavored rubbing alcohol, but I appreciated his passion.

Founding Farmers

A colleague of mine from work was telling me he visited DC often, and highly recommended Founding Farmers to me. I made a reservation, but because we had one more person added to the group, we needed to wait an additional hour and a half for our table. Yikes, what a bummer. We went to a bar around the corner, Elephant and Castle, and had a number of apps and drinks. Finally, I got a call saying our table would be ready. Upon arrival, we ended up waiting an additional half hour, then got seated. What a journey just waiting for our table! I did, fortunately, get to enjoy the Shrimp & Sundried Tomato Bucatini as well as the "Captain my Captain" drink.

Shrimp & Sundried Tomato Bucatini

Shrimp & Sundried Tomato Bucatini

The night ended with us heading to this killer house party, then calling it an early night (aka, let's get home at 1 AM where Tappan and I chatted in his kitchen until almost 4 AM).

Vendetta

The next day was relaxed over all. My roommate's best friend moved to DC a few months prior to me visiting, so I invited her to come to brunch with us. Lisa met up at Vendetta, where there was a jazz brunch with Tappan and his girlfriend's friends' band playing: The Dinner Party? I got this dish called "The Hangover" alongside unlimited mimoas and we all shared mozzarella sticks. That "The Hangover" dish was toasted ciabatta topped with, you guessed it, SAUSAGE GRAVY (!!!) and over easy eggs. I could not finish that, but it was delicious, mostly because of the log of carb smothered in gravy that I inhaled.

Tappan's girlfriend had a flag football game she was playing (where she eventually injured her finger which swelled pretty badly), so Tappan, Lisa and I headed over to National Mall... where I found that all of the cherry blossoms got blown off the trees from that dumb freak snow/hail storm. Can you imagine the tears I shed? One of the best parts of this day was Lisa napping in my lap at the WWII memorial, and us napping on the lawn by Washington Monument. I like naps, okay?

After parting ways with Lisa, I cooked Tappan and his girlfriend dinner and made pasta with avocado pesto & an over easy egg and roasted veggies. My friend Jon, who I met in Boston through a friend from college, who lived in NY, was somehow in DC the same time I was, so he came over for dinner, too. Then we all played a series of board games that evening and he destroyed us, and we went to sleep fairly late.

My last day in DC, that was some time for myself. I headed to Slipstream DC to relax, organize my planner,  grab some coffee and an avocado toast - my favorite. I knew I was going to do spin class in the area, so I looked up a coffee shop for me to get breakfast and hang out for a bit. The atmosphere was nice. I was listening on these two women, not too much older than me, sitting next to me and talking about their fabulous lives. It seemed like they were both trying to one-up each other with every comment being made about their lives - straight out of a dramady. "Well my boyfriend is doing XYZ" etc etc etc. Okay. Time for me to go to spin class and leave that conversation.

I joined Class Pass because I knew I would be traveling around for the month of April, so I wanted to have the opportunity to work out in Boston as well as the places I'd visit. Down the street from Slipstream was Zengo Cycles, very cycle-to-the-beat with arm weights classic spin class. It was nice to get some cardio in to work off some of that gravy I had injected into my system that weekend. The instructor was kind! I had asked her to send me her Spotify playlist, and she pretended to take my number, then never sent me the playlist. Hmph.

Buredo

What better way to end my DC trip than to treat myself to a post-workout sushi burrito. This was my first ever time trying one, and I was not mad that I walked twenty minutes and waited another thirty to get this beautiful specimen in my hand. I tried the Sofie burrito, which has shrimp tempura, avocado, pickled cabbage, carrots, toasted sesame seeds red tobiko, and sriracha mayo. I picked up some for Tappan and his girlfriend, too, since they were both busy that day.

Just like that, my weekend trip was over. I took the metro to the airport that afternoon, and made it back to Boston in the evening. This would be the first of many weekend trips for me to take in 2016, I sure was learning how to travel light alright.

Mentioned Businesses:

 

Chef Derrick Teh: Flavors of Malaysia

Chef Derrick Teh: Flavors of Malaysia

Japchae: Korean Glass Noodles