Sticky Fingers (Washington, DC)

sticky fingersThis is a vegan carrot cake cupcake from the DC bakery Sticky Fingers, located in the Columbia Heights area. Vegan, of course, means that there were no eggs or butter involved in the creation of this cupcake. That said, this still tasted deliciously decadent. I’m guessing that the frosting was a cream cheese-style topping. Presumably, they had to use something other than cream cheese, since that is obviously not vegan. Honestly, I don’t care what they used, it was delicious.

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Tea in D.C.

A friend and I met for tea at Teaism in DC. I thought we were just meeting for tea, but when I walked in, I saw heaping, steaming bowls of food and soup next to the expected pots of tea. Located just off Dupont Circle, Teaism claims to be a “tea house,” but it’s really something closer to an Asian fusion place that has a wide variety of tea.

My friend and I each got tea (me: Ginger Ginko, her: Assam) and a few small dishes, including the lentil soup ($3.75), the cucumber ginger salad ($2.50), and the sweet potato salad ($2.50). The  sweet potato salad, with a yummy miso dressing, was a particularly delicious treat. I’m going to try and see if I can replicate it at home.

Gelato Update

As I wrote back in July, I have long been on the search for fabulous gelato. So I was thrilled when, on two recent trips, I discovered some incredible versions of this artisanal delight.

Dolcezza

Tanya (of Veggie Love) dragged me into this Argentine gelateria, kicking and screaming. “I won’t have delicious things, I won’t I won’t!” Ok, total lie: It doesn’t take much to convince me to try gelato; simply pointing out the shop is usually all it takes. But once inside, I acted somewhat unusually. Rather than veering towards my usual choices of hazelnut or pistachio, I pointed at something else. “I’ll try the honey avocado,” I ventured bravely. Avocado?? Ice cream!?

Well don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, folks. That stuff was incredible. I’m an avocado lover generally, and Dolcezza’s gelato brought out the creamy avocado flavor amazingly, well complemented by the honey. It was neither overpowering nor overly sweet. We meant to bring some for our friends working down the street, but by the time we left, the gelato had sent us into such rapture we barely knew our own names…

♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5, for inducing amnesiac effects

Cones

While walking in the East Village of New York City with friends, I spotted a gelato shop on the corner of Bleeker and Grove street, called Grom. We were looking at the mouth-watering menu (caramel with Himalayan pink salt) when a man walked over and stuck his head into our huddle. “You want good gelato?” he asked in a thick New Yorker accent. Not waiting for an answer, he started pointing around the corner, saying, “the best stuff is right up this street, at Cones, right next to John’s pizza. They make it all by hand.”

Now I don’t know about you, but when complete strangers stop me on the street to tell me to go eat somewhere, I go there. Especially when they’re locals. So I dragged my group a block and a half up the street to Cones. Run by a charismatic and chipper Argentinian, the gelato is absolutely out of this world. The hazelnut, in particular, made me weak in the knees. The coconut, sitting in a cup next to a scoop of dark chocolate, made me moan.

♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5. Perfect date spot—the food itself is an aphrodisiac!

Best. Pumpkin. Ever.

The day after Halloween, I was walking in DC with Tanya of Veggie Love. In our ramblings around Georgetown, we encountered this fabulous pumpkin character:

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Note the wide variety of items used here: Yellow bell peppers for years, chili peppers for eyebrows, star fruit for lips, collard greens for hair, etc. (Is that a yucca root for a nose, Hannah?)

As we were taking the picture, the gentleman of the house returned and we got to chatting. Turns out, his wife is a school teacher, and she likes having a decorated pumpkin for several weeks ahead of Halloween. In order to prevent the inevitable rotting that occurs when you combine room temperature and a dissected squash, she adorns it with veggies. Anytime something starts looking a little questionable, she replaces it. Brilliant.

Also of note is the fact that the pumpkin is sitting on a raised toilet seat. Not pictured? Pumpkin “poop” (in the form of smaller pumpkins) below.

The Wheels on the Bus Go… faster, cheaper, and with WiFi?

We interrupt this mostly-food, a little bit travel blog to bring you some very important travel information:

Greyhound Bus company (you know, the one with the over-priced tickets, slow buses, overbooked coaches– essentially hell on wheels) has placed an application for redemption. It’s called BoltBus.

BoltBus will go between Boston & NYC and NYC & DC and will feature:

+ guaranteed seats
+ fares starting at $1
+ WiFi internet
+ power outlets
+ more legroom

(I think they had me at “guaranteed seats.”)

The catch to all of this? You have to buy your tickets online. (Riiiight…)

Reference: “Here comes the bus,” Boston Globe, March 10, 2008

Tabard Inn Restaurant

The Tabard Inn feels old and formal, yet comfortable and well-run. Walking in, you find yourself in a small front room with several sofas that outdate Britney Spears. Here you can watch hotel guests as they come and go. It’s a classy place, and some of the guests are indeed in suits and skirts. But for the most part, the hotel guests are average people visiting the fine city of D.C., if only somewhat smarter for having booked a room at the Tabard Inn instead of some enormous cookie cutter hotel.

Walking towards the restaurant, you venture into a dark sitting room off of the main corridor. The room is quite dark, making it cool in the summer’s heat. There is also a fireplace, however, and it requires little imagination to it blazing away against the forces of a blustery and cold winter’s day.

The Tabard Inn’s menu is printed up daily. It’s probably a terrible waste of paper, but trees would forgive the sin if they could see these incredible concoctions:

  • Toasted Pecan Waffles with ginger-rhubarb compote and cinnamon whipped cream
  • Scrambled Eggs with cherries, apricots, ginger and sour cream
  • Glidden Point Oysters on the half shell, with classic mignonette. (These incredibly fresh-tasting oysters are diver-harvested in the icy cold waters off the coast of Damariscotta, Maine and delivered exclusively to the Tabard Inn.)
  • Quiche with grilled salmon, red onions, roasted peppers, spinach, scallions and fontina cheese – – served with mixed greens

and their most famous dish:

  • Tabard’s Own Freshly Fried Doughnuts
    with cinnamon sugar and vanilla whipped cream half dozen

Everything served was fresh and deliciously simple. Much like the place itself.

Overall: YYYY (out of five)
Prices: Reasonable for D.C., excellent given the quality.
Atmosphere: Proper.
Dress code: Your nicest casual.
Great place to bring your… significant other’s parents for a place that feels special, but isn’t out of this world pricey. (But don’t forget to make a reservation.)

www.tabardinn.com
1739 N Street between 17th & 18th