Man oh man, I love D.C. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this city. Its historic buildings are gorgeous, the monuments look better in real lie, and there is a certain je ne sais quoi about it. It felt like the city to go to when people want to get stuff done. That may be ironic given the current state of the U.S government, but stay with me.
I had a wonderful host in my friend Carl to guide me through the district. He's a staffer for a senator, like a House of Cards character come to life. With a local by my side, I knew my weekend was in good hands.
Carl gave me the option of eating someplace in the city or trying a local hang. I always tend to choose the latter, because sometimes that's how you find the best places. He took me to Silver Diner, a 1950s-style chain with glowing reviews from the New York Times and Politico. Because breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite cuisines, I ordered the corned beef hash. It is generously portioned, hearty, salty, and everything that is right in this world. I paired it with a Campfire Shake (vanilla ice cream, graham crackers, marshmallow, and chocolate pearls), and it was muah, perfection. Diet? Fuck that noise.
Graciously, Carl allowed me to fully indulged in my touristy desires. We walked from The White House to the Lincoln Monument and all the way past the National Mall to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I am a big fan of LA's Natural History Museum, but it has nothing on D.C.'s, and saying that makes me feel a little disloyal.
All that walking around--ten miles!--had us starving. I got a sudden, urgent craving for Indian, so Carl chose Jyoti. We feasted on Paneer Makani and Chicken Masala. The restaurant served it with rice and warm naan. I can't remember the last time a meal satisfied me that deeply. We left several pounds heavier, about to dream of the Indian flavor explosions we just experienced.
I was in no hurry to end my time in D.C., having fallen in love with it so quickly. Having heard great things about Le Diplomate, we took a chance on going to the famous brunch location without a reservation. Their Poached Eggs Basquiase was nothing short of divine. Creamy polenta with eggs and prosciutto sound so simple, but I still think of it fondly. Just outside of their patio area stood an ice cream cart, where I ordered a patriotic cone of rose ice cream. Delicate, refreshing, and just enough to help me endure the heat.
After a languid turn around the National Portrait Gallery, it was time for me to return to my hotel in Maryland. I left D.C. with fond memories of its charming rowhouses, get-shit-done vibe, and Carl's kind hospitality. I know I'll be back.