Food and Drink, The DC 100

DC Omni 100: #24 Rice and Bean

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’161/365 Rice and Beans’
courtesy of ‘eiratansey’

It’s time for another item from the DC Omnivore 100 list of the top one hundred foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their lives.

After all the turkey, potatoes, gravy and stuffing from the past week, let’s take a flavor profile U-turn to explore the popular Latin American and Caribbean dish, rice and beans.

Prepared separately, rice and beans are usually served side by side, not mixed together, and can be both a main and side dish. Traditionally, the rice is usually of the white grain variety, but can be seasoned to take on a more creole or Spanish style flavor. In researching the dish, I was surprised to learn that rice is not a native grain to America, rather it was introduced to the continent by European colonists during the early 16th century. Rice provides an abundance of nutrients, like iron, protein, and vitamin B. As a starch, rice is also an excellent source of energy.

The beans is where you’ll find a lot of variety. Beans can black, red or brown, and can be cooked from in either dried and fresh forms. Like its rice counterpart, beans contain a wealth of iron, protein and other necessary vitamins. Continue reading

We Love Food

We Love Food: Zengo

Photo courtesy of Me

Our outing to Zengo for restaurant week was perfect in every way. Zengo deserves much of the credit, obviously, but it helped to have a good sized group of people – five – who were all willing and thrilled to share their food. I think Frank Bruni’s article about how deranged his dining companions have been over the years says less about the world at large – as he alleges – and more about the caliber of his friends. Certainly none of the attitudes he describes were at play at our table, as nothing failed to get passed around and shared and nobody was shy about consuming their fair share.

Photo courtesy of Me

My darling wife and I arrived ahead of both our dining companions and our reservation so we spent a little quality time in the bar. I’m a boring beer drinker but my dearest had the cucumber mojito, which she declared excellent. The bartender claims their mango mojito is also superb, but the conversation happened because of the look of horror on our faces when he made a few in front of them. No doubt that mass of pink goo he dropped in on top of the ice tastes like delicious mango mint goodness once it’s dissolved into the drink, but, like sausage, this is something you should not watch being made if you expect to enjoy it.

I comment on how polite and efficient the host staff was in seating us only because it was the beginning of a trend. I see a lot of concern from people about the quality of service during restaurant week but if any of the staff at Zengo thought we were unworthy of their best effort than I can only imagine what it’s like there during ‘normal’ service. I was tempted to see if was even possible for me to drain my water glass below the halfway mark before someone came around but I feared I’d rupture something.

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