Well, the weekend in D.C. was just absolutely fantastic. It was all about really good food, friends, and quite a bit of running!
Friday I ran in Julia’s neighborhood, which is seriously hilly. I am pretty sure many passersby saw my face in agony as I made my way up the apparently never-ending hills. I was already feeling it from walking around the city and running on Thursday night, but this took it up another notch. It felt good, but it just felt a lo t.
My friend Nisha, who goes to law school at Penn State, decided to take an impromptu road trip to DC on Friday morning! I haven’t seen her since this summer, so I was thrilled she came.
If you have a chance to go to this restaurant, um, please do! It’s amazing American cuisine, but just very Farm-to-Table and eco-conscious. And it’s just incredibly delicious real food. After seriously analyzing the menu for 20 minutes, we all ordered. We started with a flat bread with brie, apple, and onion jam — ah, to die for. For dinner, I actually ordered the burger. I don’t eat burgers, well, ever, but I kind of wanted a really good one! (And it was!) Julia got scallops, her boyfriend Nathaniel had steak, and Nisha had fried chicken. We all sampled each others and everything was just so good.
The dinner had two highlights. First, before we had even ordered, Rahm Emanuel was seated one table over. It was so exciting! He’s so damn sexy, it made me wish it were still the Clinton years so I could slip him my number. So Rahm was good, but dessert was better. Oh. My. Goodness. Again, we all ordered different things: I had pumpkin pie with dark chocolate ice cream (!!!!), Nisha had homemade donuts with three dipping sauces and banana ice cream (!!!!!!), and Nathaniel had the carrot cake. Now, you think you’ve seen carrot cake before, and then you see this carrot cake, and your jaw kind of drops. We all tasted everything and it was just like…table-wide foodgasms! The donuts were so perfect and the caramel dipping sauce was perfect. The dark chocolate ice cream was great, as was the pie. But the carrot cake…wow. Just…wow. There has only been one other meal in my life that I can describe like this (dinner at the Waverly Inn in NYC), but it reminds me of the book “The Giver.” If you’ve read it, you know how the main character is given sensations and feelings for the first time, so he really, truly feels them. And that’s how I felt about this food; I felt like I was really tasting food as it’s meant to be tasted.
We could have sat there stuffing ourselves all night, but we were all pretty good about putting down the fork. It was just so satisfying. I was actually really proud of myself for how I only ate what I loved (didn’t love my fries so I didn’t eat them; also skipped my top “bun” which was more of a bread pillow) and stopped before I was full.
After dinner, we went to the bar with another friend from college, which was fun! We played a good drinking game, but I kept with my three-drink limit. Not easy, but I managed!!
Even though I behaved on Friday, I was still a major tired-ass waste of space on Saturday. Julia and I both woke up at um, 5 AM!?! Awful. I finally dragged myself outside to go for a walk, but ended up getting caught up in the gorgeous weather, and decided to run instead. Whyyyy did I do that? It was a rest day! I did not need to tackle another 5 miles of hills! But again, it just hurt sooo goooood.
That night was Julia’s cocktail party, so there was a lot of amazing food being prepared all afternoon! I was in my element, helping the hostess with the mostess.
The party was great! I got to meet her grad school friends, which was really fun, and I introduced them to vodka and water. It was the drink of the night! People kept asking me to make it for them (I kept pointing them toward the sink) and it really caught on. I definitely was happy I made my “one night as many drinks as you feel like” goal exception, because this was it! But I think I was still smart, kept track of how much and what I was drinking, and stopped when I knew I had reached my limit.
And the vodka waters were definitely the way to go because I woke up totally refreshed on Sunday morning without a hangover! It was like a gift from the gods. But that gift meant I had no choice but to put on my running shoes and submit to the hills one last time. The weather was sunny and crazy warm (like, shorts weather) and I took a new route which was slightly less hilly. My ankles and calves were screaming at me, but hey, you gotta push it sometimes. But damn, I feel like if I lived in D.C., I’d have an ass like a reindeer.
I’ve been sticking with my “two meals at home” plan, and it’s been working well! It’s both healthy and cheap, and it means I don’t have to worry about finding food on the go, because that usually leaves me too hungry. Breakfast has been oatmeal and lunch has been some variation on this:
Greek yogurt, veggies, pita, and hummus, plus some fruit! I hit the grocery store on Thursday so I was stocked for the weekend, and it’s light but filling. It’s also helped me get my veggies in without having to get a salad, which can be harder to make when traveling.
Sunday afternoon Julia and I headed to the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertainment Show. She asked me what I wanted to do this weekend and I said “anything food or fitness is always good.” I was so excited when she found this.
It was basically a huge convention center filled with hundreds of food, kitchen, and entertaining products. And, oh, just a few Food Network stars throughout the weekend!
While the only celeb I saw was Carla from “Top Chef,” (Paula Deen, I love you, but not for $80), the food more than made up for it. I was seriously overwhelming! We sampled so much food. At first it was fun. There were tons of fun things to look at, new products to try…and never have I seen so many dips and sauces for sampling.
But about an hour in, we were in a serious food coma. We wanted to try more, but we just couldn’t do it. The weird thing was, we were eating such tiny bites of everything! Teeny tiny! But damn…it was all so good. It caught up to us. We had planned to cook dinner but…nope. Not happening.
But this was a good way to go! Definitely he best thing I tasted was the BR blends aged balsamic vinegar.
I have wanted a bottle of real balsamic for a while, and this is the one that is going on my Christmas list. You taste that and you just get why the stuff you buy at the grocery store isn’t real. I loved the vinegar, but their dipping oil (made with Spanish olive oil) was actually more mind-blowing. The only reason I didn’t buy it on the spot is because I didn’t want to lug it home in my suitcase. Thank goodness for online shopping!
Other highlights: Indigo Rabbit cookies (made with veggies/delicious/allergen-free), Bundles of Cookies (beyond cute, taste even better), Stonehouse 27 cooking sauces (amazing Indian food essentially in a jar), Ripe all-natural drink mixes (Bloody Mary, margarita!), and Pestos with Panache (unfortunately, they were sold out, but it is online and the Bangin’ Blueberry pesto — yes seriously — was phenom). Given that we ate all that and way, way more, I think you understand why dinner was canceled.
A few hours after the non-dinner, I met more friends for drinks, and even though I felt full, I was technically not full enough. I stuck to my three-drink rule, but sheeeeeeeet. A girl’s gotta eat before she goes out.
Now I’m just packing up to head up to NYC this afternoon! Can’t wait for more adventures this week!