Roasted Duck “Low & Slow” from District Commons.As I mentioned, I spent about two weeks in Washington, DC and Virginia. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time — basically since we arrived to San Salvador. Sure, there was the chance to catch up with family and friends, a wedding and our one-year anniversary. But the real highlight was the food.Specifically, all the food and drinks (read: bourbon and beer) that one cannot enjoy in El Salvador. You already know about my DC food bucket list. Well, this post is an addendum to that, with some repeat visits to old favorites and a couple new additions to the list.Wild Mushroom, Applewood-Smoked Bacon & Truffle Cream mussels at Brasserie Beck.Where did we eat? Where didn’t we eat? If I wrote a meal-by-meal breakdown (not to mention in-between-meal snacks, and by “snacks” I mean giant cupcakes and other desserts), this post will go on forever. So I’m just going to give you the highlights:
- Pizzeria Paradiso: My first night in town (Kail had already been in DC for a two-week training), we enjoyed gourmet pizza and craft beer at the Georgetown location.
- Sprinkles: Before we even went to dinner, Kail surprised me with cupcakes from my favorite cupcake place.
- Taylor Gourmet: The next day, we skipped breakfast (see: pizza, beer and cupcakes, above) and headed straight to Taylor Gourmet for lunch. Kail always goes for a classic Italian cold-cut sandwich, but I like the Ben Franklin, their version of the chicken parmesan sub.
- Liberty Tavern: Kail and I had brunch there the first Sunday we were in town. There are a couple places in San Salvador that do “American-style” brunch. They are passable at best. Because O.M.G. Liberty Tavern has brunch: an all-you-can-eat buffet of everything from your classic staples like eggs, bacon and grits to smoked salmon, fried chicken and hanger steak. And a pastry bar.
- Crumbs Cupcakes: They are the size of softballs, and they are super-rich and come in all kinds of interesting flavors (see: cannoli-topped cupcake, below). While they are a bit too decadent for your everyday cupcake (because, you know, who doesn’t eat cupcakes everyday?), they are great for a treat. Like a weekly treat.
- Peking Gourmet Inn: I’ve already written about their famous tableside-carved roasted duck, but I’m writing about it again because it’s that good. We took our friends there as a thank you for letting us temporarily move into their house and borrow their car.
- Brasserie Beck: I’ve also already written about their delicious Belgian beer and moules frites (in fact, the above photo is a recycled photo from a previous post since I ordered the same thing) but I’m writing about them again because Brasserie Beck is one of our favorite restaurants in DC. We went there for dinner and drinks with some friends, which turned into more drinks elsewhere, which leads me to our next highlight …
- Chick-fil-A: We had breakfast at Chick-fil-A the next morning. Nothing like a chicken biscuit and hashbrowns to get you through a morning drive down I-95. Also, El Salvador does not have biscuits. This really upsets me. They have English muffins. They have rolls. But if you order, say, McDonald’s breakfast looking for a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit or KFC looking for a crumbly biscuit to accompany your delicious fried chicken, you will not get it.
- The Bavarian Chef: I discovered my love of German food and beer in — of all places, Copán, Honduras. Specifically, spätzle. Kail and I went to the Fredericksburg location (the original is in Madison County, Virginia, north of Charlottesville) for our anniversary dinner and ate way too much.
- The Olive Garden: I admit it — this beloved Italian chain restaurant was a favorite of mine growing up in the Northern Virginia suburbs. It was fancy and saved for special occasions like birthdays. Naturally, when my mother asked where I wanted to go to dinner, I suggested it. Because what is more special than your daughter and son-in-law returning from being abroad after seven months?
- The Italian Store: I was not a big fan of Italian cold-cut sandwiches until I met Kail and he took me to the Italian Store. And then after watching multiple seasons of “The Sopranos” on DVD here in El Salvador, there was nothing I craved more.
- Good Stuff Eatery: I had not only one, but two toasted marshmallow milkshakes during my two-week trip. I also had lunch there one of my last days in town: the Good Stuff Melt is my go-to, along with hand-cut fries.
- District Commons: I love Passion Food Hospitality restaurants and District Commons is no exception. I treated my friends to dinner here for hosting me at their apartment the last few nights I was in town (different friends than before). Even though we originally wanted to go to Founding Farmers and couldn’t get a reservation (on a Wednesday night — crazy!), I think all parties were happy with how things turned out. I got the roasted duck (although the photo above is from last summer before we left — I am a creature of habit) and funnel cake for dessert.
And that is why I’m now on a diet. I just gained another 10 pounds writing this blog post.What foods do you miss the most living abroad (or if you’re at home, what can’t you do without)?