By Hanna, BookaLokal’s DC Intern
As a BookaLokal intern in Washington, DC, I am in charge of spreading the passion for food to locals and travelers in this international metropolis. DC has an up and coming food scene, not quite as established as NYC or SanFran so it is a perfect time to get involved in BookaLokal. Here are my “Lokal” tips for 5 dishes everyone needs to try if they find themselves in DC:
1. Duck Fat Chicken Wings from Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown
If you aren’t a vegetarian, you will have dreams about these chicken wings, that’s how good they are. Farmers Fishers Bakers prides itself on local and sustainable ingredients so the quality is guaranteed each and every time you dine with them. The chicken wings are juicy and tender but have a crispy crunch on the outside thanks to the glorious duck fat. If this dish isn’t enticing enough, anything else on the menu, especially the brunch, will have you going back for a lifetime of satisfaction.
2. Tahini Ice Cream from Larry’s Ice Cream and Cupcakes in Dupont Circle
Many people know of Kramerbooks and Afterwords in Dupont Circle, but Larry’s Ice Cream and Cupcakes is an underground, basement-dwelling, holy space just a few blocks away. The mix-masters concoct genius flavors such as cinnamon oatmeal cookie dough, tahini, and key west chocolate chunk with orange juice. My favorite by far is the tahini because it adds a savory flavor that usually isn’t prevalent in ice cream. I can think for so many ways to incorporate it into a main course, blending the sweet and the savory in perfect harmony.
3. Prime Angus Truffle Burger from Food, Wine, and Co. in Bethesda
Bethesda is technically in Maryland, so what? Food, Wine, and Co. is so close you could throw a rock into the District. Aside from Farmers Fishers Bakers, this is my favorite restaurant in the area. This burger specifically shines bright in my heart and in my stomach. The amazingly juicy angus burger is topped with pickled and crispy onions, roasted garlic truffle aioli, portabella, local greens, and truffle cheese. If you order the truffle fries on the side, you will be high off of the good kind of “shrooms”.
4. Mint Lemonade from Muncheez Mania in Georgetown
Ok, I know that lemonade isn’t exactly a “dish” but I would rather lose all of my taste buds than leave this off of my “top picks” list. Mucheez Mania is on Wisconsin Ave. just south of M Street. This eclectic hole in the wall serves up some serious Lebanese “munchies” for those who are still raging until 4:30 am. If you are in need of a quick bite I recommend the Mini Mezze menu, but if you are ready to stuff your face, I would order something from the Manakeesh or Mezze menu. Clearly the shining star is the mint lemonade, swirling off to the side in a large drink dispenser. Lemonade has the power to be both sweet and tart, but the mint instantly adds earthy tones that I never knew could compliment these flavors so beautifully. If you are in Georgetown on a hot day and you don’t get the mint lemonade, you are fooling yourself.
5. Tapas from Jaleo in Chinatown
I am the kind of person who loves to order five different things from the menu, and Chef José Andrés had the same concept in mind at Jaleo. I happened to first go on National Paella day so how could I not order the chicken and rabbit paella of the day. The real star of the five courses including goat brie with fig spread, spicy potatoes with aioli, grilled rosemary quail with honey, and paella, was what I finished with: dessert. Not just any dessert though, the best dessert I have ever had: Helado de aceite de oliva con pomelo. This is fresh grapefruit topped with candied grapefruit peel, grapefruit ice, mint leaves, and the creamiest olive oil ice cream drizzled with honey. It makes me tear up just thinking of how scrumptious it was. If you go to Jaleo or any of Chef José Andrés restaurants you will not be disappointed.