Here at Miami Food Pug, eating is just one of our many passions. Another big one is traveling.
I recently went to Washington D.C. to visit some old friends and see the sights. In between the requisite sightseeing, I ate – a lot. Belgian food, Mediterranean food, donuts… a little of everything. If you’re traveling to D.C. anytime soon, I highly recommend you swing by the following places. You’ll be glad you did.
Kangaroo Boxing Club
When we posted on Facebook asking where to eat in D.C., this place came up quite a bit. After eating there, I can see why.
Never having had pulled duck or johnnycakes, I decided to go for the pulled duck sandwich platter with the aforementioned side. My immediate reaction upon the first bite: “Holy shit.” Granted it may have been the Old Fashioneds talking, but there was an enormous amount of flavor in each bite. The real star, however, was the johnnycakes. The cornmeal with a dollop of maple butter created a killer combination that almost made me order a second helping. It was very difficult to stop myself. The drinks were stiff, too. Overall, a memorable first meal in D.C.
I’m a huge proponent of Yelp, and the service led me and my friend to this off-the-beaten-path joint. Upon walking in, you can’t help but be wowed by the upscale décor. I definitely felt underdressed in my t-shirt and jeans. Nevertheless, the friendly bartender didn’t bat an eye and greeted us with a smile.
Four words: Chicken pot pie fritters. These fried, crispy balls of chicken pot pie may be small in size, but they pack a big punch. What really takes the dish over the edge is the sage sausage gravy. For $9, you’ll get an order of five balls. Another solid choice was the pickled vegetables. Brownie points for the nice selection of local brews.
For a quick bite, I like pizza. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better choice of pie than &pizza in D.C.
The U-street Corridor restaurant offers an assortment of signature pizzas although you can create your own, too. I opted for the aptly-named Maverick, which came loaded with loads of meat: hot sausage, salami and pepperoni. The most impressive part was the price: a pizza big enough for two will set you back in the single digits.
The generous portion of meat mixed with the housemade mozzarella and oregano oil may not have been good for my waistline, but it was good for my tastebuds. &pizza is an absolute must if you’re hungry and in a hurry.
I am a big fan of Jose Andres. I’ve been to the chef’s restaurant at the SLS Hotel here in Miami (The Bazaar) and left amazed; nothing says great presentation like chicken croquettes in a shoe (trust me on this). Needless to say, I had to swing by one of the chef’s many restaurants while I was in town. His Greek/Turkish/Lebanese restaurant Zaytinya had no wait, so off we went.
While the plating at Zaytinya wasn’t quite on par with that of The Bazaar, the food surpassed that of my Miami favorite. If there’s one word to describe the food at Zaytinya, it’s this: fresh. The octopus, the Brussels sprouts, the lamb shank… everything tasted on point. The white and blue colors throughout the dining room complemented the clean presentation of the dishes. In other words, best brunch ever. We went right when they opened so it was empty, but I strongly recommend you make a reservation if you decide to come later in the day.
Last but not least was this popular farm-to-table restaurant. Last year, I tried to go but the restaurant was booked solid for weeks. This time, my friend was able to snag a last-minute brunch reservation. There’s a reason this place is always packed: It’s that damn good.
We were offered both the brunch and regular menu, but I opted for the former. Why? Chicken and waffles. I’ve had my share of this comfort food, but there was something noticeably different about this dish here. While the waffle was great, I was really taken aback about the eggs – in a good way. Until now, eggs have always been eggs; they’ve never really stood out on a dish. But I kid you not when I say that the eggs at Founding Farmers are among the best I have ever tasted. I would give up my first born for these things. No lie.
So that’s the official MFP recap of D.C. Other great restaurants stood out – Granville Moore’s and the renowned Old Ebbitt Grill – but the photos didn’t come as planned.
Regardless, those two spots deserve a visit – especially if it’s your first time in the District of Columbia. Granville Moore’s mac and cheese washes down great with a Belgian brew, while the Aviator at Old Ebbitt Grill was among my top cocktails in the city (gin!). We’ll be traveling a little more before year’s end so be on the lookout for another MFP food adventure soon!