DC Food Tour


district commons, roasted duck, passion food groupRoasted 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.brasserie beck, belgian food, musselsWild 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 ParadisoMy 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.

pizza paradiso, dc pizza, bottargaThe Bottarga: Pizza topped with fried eggs. This Instagram doesn’t do it justice.

  • Sprinkles: Before we even went to dinner, Kail surprised me with cupcakes from my favorite cupcake place.
  • Taylor GourmetThe 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.

crumbs cupcakes, dc cupcakes, crumbs bakery, red velvet cupcake, canoli cupcake, snickerdoodle cupcakeCrumbs cupcakes. Yes, that is a cannoli. On a cupcake.

  • Peking Gourmet InnI’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 BeckI’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.

bavarian chef, sausage, fredericksburg, german foodBavarian sausage sampler at the Bavarian Chef.

  • The Bavarian ChefI 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.

bavarian chef, spaetzle, spätzle, fredericksburg, german foodSpätzle: German for nom nom.

  • 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.

good stuff eatery, toasted marshmallow milkshakeToasted marshmallow milkshake from Good Stuff Eatery.

  • 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)?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

8 thoughts on “DC Food Tour

  1. I love the Bravarian Chef. I’ve been to the Madison County location. I also like Good Stuff Eatery on the rare occasions I eat a burger. I eat at Chick-Fil-A way too often. It’s terrible I tell myself it’s healthy and not really fast food. That kind of thinking can get me in trouble! I also hear you on biscuits. That would be a hard thing to live without. Have you tried making your own?


    1. That’s so funny — I had never been to the Bavarian Chef before even though I went to UVA and grew up in Northern Virginia and probably drove by hundreds of times. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on German food for so long! Chick-Fil-A is probably my husband’s favorite restaurant haha. I have tried to make biscuits but not from scratch, just by using Bisquick mix and they turned out kind of dry (the pancakes from the mix are good though!).


  2. I’m just catching up on your blog…Why did we do so much drinking that night?!? Probably because its fun to have good times.


  3. […] arrived. I guess somewhere between the end of the honeymoon period of our first post and spending two glorious weeks in ‘merica, it dawned on me that life will always be like this for us in the Foreign Service: a little bit […]


  4. Is all you do go out and eat like a pig. You truly are a yuppie brat, nonetheless quite unsophisticated with the meaningful/deeper things of life. No mention of any local culture or insights from all these places – sorry, your titles should read ‘places to eat’ rather than ‘things to do’ in a certain country. That is misleading. Not everyone is looking for food as the focal point for their trip/vacation.


    1. Hi Lindsey, I appreciate your comment, although I do find your tone a bit rude. Could you have expressed the same sentiment in a slightly different/more polite manner? The point of the DC food tour post was sort of a “farewell” of the foods we were going to miss when we moved overseas. I don’t know if you’ve read a lot of my other blog posts, particularly during the period I lived in El Salvador, but I do write about other parts of culture (and arguably, food is considered an important part of a country’s culture), things to do (hiking, scuba diving, running, etc.) and places to visit (museums, historical sites, shopping areas).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: