Washington DC: an unexpected culinary adventure

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Hi guys, I’ve been focusing on travel a lot more lately. Today is all about the United States of America’s capital. Or, kind of. I originally had something in mind for this article but ended up with a total different angle. We won’t necessarily go to Washington DC to ‘foodtravel’ but circumstances take you somewhere else.

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The city is unexpectedly peaceful and resting. The perfect weekend to spend in order to fight against New York City’s madness. We’ve been told that experiencing a brunch is a must do while being in the city and thanks to a friend’s recommendation, we ended up at Ambar. It was 11am and I was surely not ready to start drinking that early as cocktails were included in the menu. Although I wanted to have an overview, I didn’t like the drinks… The ratio of alcohol and juice was intriguing. As I am trying to limit my consumption, I have probably learned to appreciate only the best alcoholic drinks. Picky me. The good thing is the plates are quite small so you can taste all kind of balkan food. I first didn’t really know what it was but it is close to Mediterranean cuisine.

If you ever plan to go there, let me suggest you some spread because the cornbread and the sourdough came warm and were amazing. The texture is so different from the baguette, much more elastic. Whenever I order meat pie, it reminds me of London… the dough was very crispy which I really liked because it went well with the stuffing. I was then playing around and wanted to snap a boomerang of the poached eggs (my friends would always say “damn, such a blogger!” haha). My video was a fail as the yolk didn’t flow… Another disappointment goes to the sandwich that was way too dry because the fried chicken is paired with bread and as obvious as it seems, I’d say a little more sauce would taste better. Note that sometimes the simplest things are the best: the ham and cheese crepe was very nice! As for sweets, I was craving for Nutella and opted for the cinnamon sweet sourdough – yes I love cinnamon!!! Then the waffle itself is good but the jam was way too sugary… not used to that.

Museum addict you said? Well, I surely can not visit a city without stopping by some cultural spots. The Air and Space museum was interesting as I’ve never been to any. It makes even more sense with everything NASA-related which is passionating. Then right across the park, the National Gallery of Art is absolutely breathtaking. I love the entrance where a huge set-up  welcomes the public in the rotunda – the Mercury Fountain was surrounded by a gorgeous flower combination. Other wings were also very impressive. I remember one that was very luminous with a lot of greeneries and seats where people chilled, read books or drew. Apparently the Museum of Natural History is a must go as well but the only issue is that I believe there won’t be a tremendous difference between each of the content depending on the cities. In the end, you’ll find dead animals right?

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Have a look inside Zaytinya‘s Turkish, Greek and Lebanese inspired cuisine. After scrolling the entire menu, there comes the time to order… The waiter was trying to not laugh because of me struggling to pronounce the meals’ names. So, the Portakal Salatasi – above – is an orange and grapefruit salad with baby arugula, Kalamata olives, pine nuts, feta and orange flower dressing. Then the Fattoush is a tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper, radish, pita chips, pomegranate vinegar dressing based salad. Both are very fresh and well balanced. The Shish Taouk is one of the chef’s specialty: grilled chicken skewer, sumac, onions, garlic toum (it looked like white mashed potato so I got a little surprise in my mouth…) and grilled tomatoes. From meat to seafood, we went for Garides Me Anitho, sautéed shrimps, dill, shallots, mustard and lemon juice. The sauce was absolutely divine. And of course some veggies to go with, Crispy Brussels Afelia seasoned with coriander seed, barberries and garlic yogurt. It is quite funny because we don’t find that many brussels sprouts on the menu in Europe… a little paradoxical. Well, the whole came with some freshly out-of-the-oven pita bread, so good, and that was a wrap!

While wandering around, the FBI headquarters appeared in front of me and surprisingly I wasn’t expecting it this way. You know me and my passion for crime series… I guess that very deep in me I was hoping to see a car jumping out of the parking ready to pursue some villain. Anyway, maybe next time…?

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Millenials or French, I’ll let you choose but aperitivo is the quintessence of a lifestyle! A little talk around a glass of wine? Obviously, why even ask? Barcelona is THE place you are looking for. The tapas menu changes almost everyday so that would be hard to follow but I believe that you can find something right up your alley no matter when. The Truffled Bikini with Jamón Serrano, Mahón, Garlic Aoli, is highly recommended by me. Although the pear and whipped ricotta toasts with lavender honey were very ordinary, I would suggest the pork belly with a carrot and orange purée, basted of a trickle of honey. That was heaven. I ordered it twice… don’t judge me. The Jamón & Manchego Croquettes were also very good and eventually, when I saw Patatas Bravas on all of the tables, I had to order that. Baked potatoes, yes but definitely well done! Weirdly, the only place I remember is 14th Street haha. So many people told that this is the place to be. Indeed, as I said the city is quite quiet and this is probably one of the rare dynamic areas of the Capital.

I can’t claim myself as a food expert. But I’ve been learning so much for the past year and I keep learning everyday. I enjoy guessing what my meals are made of, trying to find the seasonings etc. And I totally agree with Idriss Aberkane when he ensured during an interview that expertise is a matter of time.

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