Eat Like Me: February’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
’3666-33Crop’
courtesy of ‘furcafe’

Some months I go fancy, others I don’t. I definitely erred on the side of casual this month, going so far as having a grilled cheese sandwich at not one, but three restaurants. Take note, fancy restaurants, I don’t find many things more satisfying than butter, bread and cheese cooked to gooey perfection. Did I just call the new burger? Is it the grilled cheese? I sure hope it is.

Where I Ate: Teakwood, Stoney’s, Vace, American Ice Co., Tunnicliff’s, Dickson Wine Bar, Ted’s Bulletin, Bourbon Steak, Cava, Cajun Experience, Tortilla Cafe, Young Chow, Trusty’s, The Heights, Agora, Dr. Granville Moore’s, Ripple, Italian Store, Ping Pong Dim Sum.

My Favorite Drink Breakfast: Can we just officially change this category over to breakfast? Whereas I usually have about zero to one mixed drinks per month, I eat breakfast out about six times. So it’s just better researched, folks. This month’s breakfast bonanza comes courtesy of Dr. Granville Moore’s. Brunch at this tiny H St. gem may be competitive (tables aren’t exactly bountiful) but if you time it correctly, you’ll get a great meal in a restaurant conveniently devoid of all natural light to help deal with that hangover. On this particular Saturday (LOVE Saturday brunch), I had the Eggs Over Gilgamesh, the special that day. Oh, you’re not familiar with the Epic of Gilgamesh? Well maybe you should brush up on your Babylonian mythology, eh? The egg incarnation was a warm pita, two runny eggs, a big mound of tabbouleh, two links of lamb sausage and a coriander-lime cream sauce. It was quite the hangover delight, and I looked totally scholarly eating it.

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‘Fish and Chips – Duck-Fat Fries, Watercress, Tartar Sauce @ The Four Seasons Washington DC’
courtesy of ‘thepresidentwearsprada’

My Favorite Appetizer: It may seem like the only things I like to eat come doused in cheese with a side of extra cheese, but I like to get down and dirty with some class now and then. And this month, I hit the fancy pants dinner and hit it hard at Bourbon Steak. Oddly enough, the best thing I ate there was far from a steak — live diver sea scallop sashimi. It’s a healthy portion of perfectly simple scallops, cauliflower, tangerine and tons of caviar. It sounds like a weird combination, but it all makes for a creamy and unbelievably luxurious dish. I didn’t even need the bites I stole off my mom’s lobster pot pie. Well I didn’t need bites 6-15, the first five were quite necessary.

My Favorite Thing I Ordered at a Counter: February was a month of great pizza, both at Vace and The Italian Store, but you’ve heard me talk endlessly about them already. So the best thing I ordered at a counter this month goes to the Stacker at Trusty’s. It isn’t exactly molecular gastronomy, but it is a grilled cheese sandwich smashed together with a BLT. As God intended every grilled cheese (and BLT, for that matter) the Stacker is served on thick Texas toast, buttered within and inch of a structural breakdown. Served with a side of mayo, the sandwich isn’t exactly for those on a heart-healthy diet, but I doubt you’re coming to Trusty’s for a light meal. Though I certainly can work up quite a sweat over Connect 4.

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‘crispy yum yum!’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’

My Favorite Main Course: Not only were the veal sweetbreads at Ripple my favorite main course of the month because they were so delicious, but also because I totally grossed Marissa out by ordering them. I am a total, absolute sucker for all things sweetbread, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. They were fried perfectly in that wonderful mushy, fried chicken way that only fans of sweetbreads can appreciate, and served over a slaw with a nice tang to it. Like all dishes at Ripple, the portions were small, but so so mighty. I even think I got Marissa hooked…or she’s really good at humoring me.

My Favorite Thing Between Two Slices of Bread: I’m sorry, sandwich category, but I ate at Dickson Wine Bar this month. I know. I know! It’s not fair to all the other sandwiches out there for me to get the pork banh mi because it’s just that delicious, but I did it. And it was amazing. Since talking about this sandwich is probably like beating a dead horse by now, I’ll also discuss my second favorite sandwich-y thing — the pork souvlaki at Cava. Ironically, I had the banh mi from Dickson and the souvlaki from Cava on the same day, making it the PERFECT STORM OF SANDWICHES. But I digress. If you haven’t had the souvlaki at Cava, you must try it. Served at lunch, it’s a fluffy warm pita with tender pork and a deliciously creamy tzatziki sauce. And it comes with their incredibly crispy and salty fries, which are some of my favorites in town.

Photo courtesy of
‘Cava Mezze Platter’
courtesy of ‘snowpea&bokchoi’

My Favorite Dessert: Though February is my birthday month, I honestly didn’t go too crazy dessert-wise. The best thing I had though, came from a last second decision at The Italian Store. While waiting for our delicious, amazing pizza to come out of the oven, we ordered up a couple cannolis in a moment of weakness. They are tiny — three bites max — but they are the perfect sweet ending to a meal. From the buttery and crispy shell to the creamy and thick filling, I was in love. And even though they had Girl Scout cookies behind the counter, I wasn’t even interested. Well, maybe in one Samoa.

So what fabulous thing did you eat this month? (Grilled cheese or otherwise.)

Ashley Messick

Ashley is a born and bred Washingtonian who left for college but came running back to the District as fast as her little legs could carry her. By day she is a Capitol Hill brat, but by night she is a lean, mean, eating machine. It’s her goal in life to steal Anthony Bourdain’s job…by whatever means necessary. Contact her at Ashley (at) welovedc (dot) com or follow her on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Eat Like Me: February’s Best Dishes

  1. Those who think the pork sandwich thing at Dickson Wine Bar is anything resembling a banh mi are sorely mistaken. I think my meal there was the most disappointing one I’ve had in DC so far…probably because of all the hype. That space has so much potential that is so completely squandered. I love the idea of the place so much though.

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