Here comes the second installment of my week in D.C.! Below is a photo I took after meeting up with a friend in Georgetown, during which we narrowly escaped a ridiculous downpour of rain.
Of course, thunderstorms are a perfect time to make a delicious dinner and enjoy it in the safety of your home. Along with heating up an assortment of leftovers such as homemade beef noodle soup and chili, my sister whipped up some steamed egg. This is a really easy dish that involves beating eggs until they’re uniform, mixing in some chicken broth or water, and adding some additional flavors like mirin before steaming for about 20 minutes. Just try not to make too many bubbles in the egg mixture from beating it or the steamed egg will be too tough and rubbery with so many air pockets in it.
It’s not necessarily the prettiest dish, but it’s really tasty. I’ve seen people add crab meat and shrimp too!
Now, what’s a trip to D.C. without stopping by Baked & Wired? [Devastating. That’s what a trip without Baked & Wired would be.] I used to be the sucker who would wait in line for Georgetown Cupcake before my sister introduced me to Baked & Wired, a trendy, hipster bakery also located in Georgetown. The cupcakes (or, as they call them, “cakecups”) are much heftier both in size and taste than Georgetown cupcakes, but that’s just the beginning. Their dense brownies are rich, fudgy heaven, their cookies are phenomenal, and their granola is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Plus, they’ve got kick-ass and very Snapchattable names for some of their cakecups, such as “Pretty Bitchin'” and “Uniporns & Rainhoes.”
I picked up two classic Red Velvet cakecups, a Carrot Cake cakecup, and a Little Bertha’s Sandwich cookie, which is two soft and chewy oatmeal cookies surrounding a cream cheese filling. Check out my weirdly lit photos below. The couch behind the table on which I photographed the desserts is a very dark brown,which gave the surroundings an unintentionally mysterious feel.
This bakery has gotten really popular, and normally when I go, there’s a line out the door of eager customers. Don’t let this discourage you, though! The line moves pretty quickly, and the shop is in a really pretty area, so you can take touristy photos of the quaint little bridge nearby while you wait.
I walked to Georgetown specifically for these cupcakes around noon, and when I saw no line outside, I almost thought it was closed. Fear not, it was just because I arrived during work hours rather than during the post-work/post-dinner dessert rush. Trekking through the hot and humid D.C. weather was definitely worth it, though. Be sure to check out Baked & Wired if you find yourself in Georgetown.
For dinner on Wednesday, we tried out a place called Nagomi Izakaya, a Japanese tapas bar. For those who are unfamiliar, a tapas bar serves smaller, appetizer-sized dishes, so you order a bunch for the table and share.
The food was okay. The yaki-udon was too salty for my taste, and neither the ikayaki nor the karaage had any outstanding flavors. The pork dumplings had a very homemade taste to them. They really reminded me of the dumplings I used to make with my family, so I did enjoy them, if only for the nostalgia, but they weren’t anything special. The ni-buta was also very similar to how my mom prepares her pork sometimes, and its light taste in comparison to the udon was much appreciated. Service at the restaurant was good though; the dishes came out relatively quickly, one after the other.
After dinner, we drove towards the monuments, got there just in time for the sunset, and walked around a little. As usual, there were hordes of adolescents all adorning identical t-shirts swarming the memorial.
For dinner on Thursday, we paid a visit to the relatively new Peter Chang restaurant in Arlington. This was my second time at the Arlington location, the first time being on the day they opened! It’s a fantastic place to create a nice, heavy food baby.
This Szechuan style restaurant is known for its use of the “numbing” Szechuan spice flavors, which is aptly named after the numbing sensation you feel on your tongue when you eat it. If you like spicy food, definitely check this place out, but there are also plenty of options for those who are less inclined towards numbing their tongue off. Most of Peter Chang’s dishes feature the Szechuan numbing spice; many main dishes are labeled as “hot and numbing,” and the main entrees are mostly hearty meat dishes. There’s also a vegetable and tofu section, so vegetarians need not worry! We decided to order more appetizers because there was a bit more variety.
Their scallion bubble pancakes are literally giant bubbles. They’re filled with hot air on the inside and served with a curry-like dipping sauce, and they’re freakin’ great. This is definitely a popular dish; you constantly see the waitstaff bringing these out of the kitchen. The shredded tofu skin is heavily seasoned with cilantro, which gives it a fresh taste to accompany the spice. The flounder fish and sour cabbage soup is pretty salty but very tasty. The crispy pork belly was like a pork rind dish of sorts, but juicier and more substantial. The braised seafood, the one non-appetizer we ordered, was spectacular. Be armed with rice and water with this one, though, because it’s pretty salty. It had whole garlic cloves in it, an interesting and flavor-packed addition.
The dan dan noodles are definitely a menu favorite at one of their other locations in Richmond, VA, which is where I first dined at a Peter Chang restaurant. However, they’re not on the menu here, so we had to ask the waitress if she had them, and she informed us of “another menu.” Basically, we’re super hip and know secret things. The dan dan noodle dish at the Arlington location is much smaller than the one at the Richmond location, however. This is probably because it’s a “secret menu” item, so it’s not ordered nearly as commonly. Still a delicious addition to our feast!
Stay tuned for the next episode of “A Week of Food in Washington D.C.!” Exciting things are happening here! #lovewins