It seems a little fitting that I’m sitting in Washington-Dulles International Airport writing this. The last time I was in D.C. I was there to get a visa. Six weeks later, I’m using that visa, which was delivered on the last day that it could possibly be, to study in Oviedo. Anyways, you didn’t come here for my foreign aspirations. You came here for food and I’ll give it to you.
We started off D.C. with tacos & milkshakes. I only had Fiasco & Faerie with me and they were angling for tex-mex, so District Taco it was. The fish tacos were pretty solid and the salsa bar was even better. I’m not sure they have a Mexican restaurant in the whole of Oviedo, so I had to soak up as much proper salsa and burritos as possible. (Update: Googled it and they do. My addiction can continue on unchallenged.) I was attempting to diet prior to my cousin’s wedding and having to look good in a strappy dress, but my sister convinced me to go to Shake Shack because I am a weak-willed individual and she said the word “chocolate”. Shake Shack doesn’t exist in the Carolinas (its closely-related, cheaper, Carolinian cousin is CookOut), so we were in for a whole new experience. The shakes were damn good and the burgers smelt phenomenal. Fiasco asked if we could go back again the next day. I looked up the nutrition info online and firmly said “no”.
We didn’t have time for breakfast or lunch outside the hotel the next day, so instead took a hotdog break on the sidewalk and then went back to the hotel later for coffee & tea, delivered to us courtesy of the Sofitel Hotel & my dad’s credit card (Thanks for the vacation, Padre). For some reason, when us girls go on a trip alone, French Press Coffee becomes a frequent purchase?
We chose to back up our educational tours by going to the oldest restaurant in D.C. It’s young by Europe’s standards, but, built in 1856, Old Ebbitt Grill certainly looked older than the majority of restaurants we went to. The highlight that night? The oysters. The rest of the food was alright, but the variety of oysters on offer was pretty cool.
The next day was a whirlwind of food. We started out at Momofuku for some amazing kimchi, ramen, and all types of goodness. I was a massive fan of the food and a little less so of the adjoined dessert bar. Milk Bar, which I’d heard had awesome cereal ice cream, was absolutely packed. I got the BFC (Best Freakin’ Cookie) but took a lick of someone’s ice cream. Turns out our family is not a fan of cereal ice cream, so the girls tossed theirs and post-zoo we went for fro-yo, which was significantly more successful.
That night we went to The Dabney, one of D.C.’s seven Michelin-starred restaurants, for what had to be one of the best meals of my life. Everything was super fresh and really yummy. We were celebrating Food’s birthday, which we told the waiter (who refused to sing, much to Food’s relief), so she chose a lot of the tapas-style plates and choose well she did. Dessert was not up to her, but it definitely didn’t disappoint.
Monday was also Food’s actual birthday (every birthday in our family stretches on for at least a week), but also visa time, so we finished all that then went to Kramerbooks & Afterwords to destress, chat, and maybe read a little. I got the Croque Madam because nothing says anti-stress like bread and cheese. We backed up my super healthy eating with way too much pasta at Filomena’s that evening. I’ve never been a restaurant that felt so much like an Italian grandmother staged it. There were lace doilies and fake plants all over the place, along with a large number of people crowded into booths. It had all the noise and bustle that you’d expect of a traditional Italian experience. The atmosphere was wild, and the food even more so. All the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the portion sizes were insane – if you go, share, unless you’re a highly motivated eater. After dinner, in traditional Italian style, they handed us a couple bottles of digestifs and told us to go for it. We all passed on the sambuca and, a bit tipsy on wine, decided the amaro was better and may have drunk slightly more than was needed for proper digestion.
Our last day was spent with a family friend, attempting to look ladylike while scarfing down macarons and sipping on tea at Ladurée D.C. and devouring fully-loaded, build-your-own pizzas at &pizza. And that brings me back to sitting in the airport. The second leg of this three-legged dog is delayed by 45 minutes, which is stellar because it gave me enough time to find an airport-side &pizza and indelicately consume a Moonstruck in almost its entirety in front of the gate because I’m a little too concerned my plane will leave without me.
Fortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, so Oviedo, here I come.
Posted a week post-arrival in Oviedo. I’m surviving, thriving, and haven’t had to track down the Mexican food yet because they keep handing me pinchos every time I order a café cortado. XoXo, an overstuffed, heavily caffeinated Fernweh