Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Weekend in the Nation's Capital

This past weekend, I visited my friend Courtney in Washington, DC. 

She and I have this crazy parallel journey - in terms of our locations.  We met in Salamanca, Spain while we were studying abroad through Emory University.  When we were done, we returned to Atlanta to continue making some zany memories.  I taught in Korea for a year and a half and moved to Los Angeles from Asia.  Well, guess who was also on the West Coast?  Yup, Courtney's originally a California girl. And now I'm in New York. and she's in DC!

One of the first trees I encountered after I stepped off the bus.  You'll see that I'm kind of obsessed with flowering trees.  I'm warning you now.

I adore the colorful buildings in the city. 

As usual, I got really excited about the food.  In a span of an hour and a half, I did a couple of rounds.

We had brunch at Barcelona.  

All of our friends were raving about it.  I thought it delivered!  That tapas were delicious!

Courtney showing approval.

We ordered Cava Sangria (Casas del Mar Blanc, St. Germain, 4 Orange Vodka), Gambas al Ajillo, Spicy Eggplant Caponata, Potato Tortilla (shown here), and the Grilled Pork Belly.

The pork belly was my favorite! Look at that gorgeous piece of meat.  And the bed of spicy cabbage is not to be neglected. 

After Barcelona, we planned to get pasta at Lupo Verde.  Pasta after a brunch meal may sound ridiculous, but ...ok, it is.  However, I also had a craving for some baked goods.  So I got distracted when we walked by Ted's Bulletin

How could I not?  It was a vision of colorful Pop Tarts and other heavenly treats.
I couldn't decide between the Cherry Lime Pop Tart and the Brown Cinnamon Pop Tart, so I just got both.  With a Chocolate Culler (Curler?), which is basically a skinny, light chocolate donut.  None of it really blew me away. Which is sad because they looked like they should be extraordinary.

I include this photo because this guy's putting together the Blueberry Cheesecake Pop Tarts here! See how he's gingerly placing the blueberries on the cream.  I have a suspicion those were the best flavored Pop Tarts.  Especially because they ran out before I got there. :(

The whole city was into celebrating the cherry blossoms.  It's blooming season!  By the way, I hear the adult milkshakes at Ted's Bulletin are AMAZING.  Which I think just means they have an insane amount of alcohol in them.  I vow to confirm this one day.

Lupo Verde actually wasn't open yet, so we walked into Taqueria Nacional.  It's another very popular spot.  I really enjoyed the decor.  It was like a taco joint in the world of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet.

Although the food was inspired by LA's taco trucks, I didn't love it.  You could tell the quality was good, but maybe my taste buds are just accustomed to good ol' authentic tacos from the trucks! 

Only a couple of hours after this, a friend came over to Courtney's bearing gifts - containers of homemade chicken biryani!  It was perfection.  I still can't get over the intricate blend of spices.

I requested and received the recipe so I will be trying it out very soon.  He said it took him about 10 times to even get the taste right.  Which means it will take me 20+ attempts.  If you have any recipes, I would love to try them out!

We danced all night at Eighteenth Street Lounge.  It was such a fun place. The crowd was super diverse, as was the music.  There were several elegant rooms playing a range of music from live jazz to Punjabi remixes.

Courtney and I talked about how it was a relief that both of us love taking pictures.  When another person isn't into it and you keep stopping for photo opps, you know you're gonna get a punch in the face.

And that's not good when you have an unhealthy love for flowering trees and they are EVERYWHERE!

 I never understood the appeal of those painting pottery places...until now.  It's like being a kid again. I could have stayed there forever, and we weren't even drinking. (It's BYOB at All Fired Up!)

Omg, yes, I painted a flowering tree.  Problems, I know.

Wine and cheese plate.  I mean, if you didn't notice the hash tag.

Getting silly at the Monument.

And I shall leave you with some cherry blossoms.

No, wait.  I will leave you with a cherry blossom tree with a random child trying to fly.  Or run.  I like the idea of her flying better. 

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