A Foodie Guide to D.C.

While D.C. is usually not considered as the nation’s hot spot for fine food, it does have some delicious options that are well worth visiting. So here are some of my personal favourites.

Let’s start with the beginning of the day, that is the all-American breakfast, which means a visit to The Original Pancake House.

The Orignal Pancake House

They serve everything I yearn for in a proper American breakfast; delicious fluffy pancakes with your choice of condiment, waffles, eggs done the way you like them, freshly squeezed juice and everything else that you could possible want. They have three locations in the wider D.C. area, so a car is useful here, Bethesda, Falls Church and Rockville. Despite the distance the Original Pancake House is definitely worth a visit.

José Andrés’ Zaytinya! (701 9th Street NW)

How was itMy answer to this question has always been….delicious! Zaytinya belongs to the well established eateries of D.C. and that is well deserved. Not only do I love the food here, which is Greek and Middle Eastern inspired and perfect every time, but I love the mezze style here. Mezze, the Middle Eastern equivalent to Spanish tapas, basically means you get to order many different smaller dishes and share these around the table. I love eating this way because it allows for tasting and trying so many different dishes at once. It also results in a fun and interactive eating experience.

We move on…to Italian food and Café Milano (3251 Prospect St NW). Again, this “Café” is well established and known in D.C., both for its food and the scene it provides. It is often frequented by Washington’s political who’s who and as such is a place to see and be seen. More importantly, of course, is the food, which is always good. They serve delicious Italian food, with basics that surprise in their quality and deliciousness. Furthermore, the place is chic, relaxed and always busy. In summer the Terrace is open, adding an extra flair. Perfect for lunch! Enjoy!

And on again to a more exotic location, namely Makoto (4822 MacArthur Blvd NW).

makoto

I really enjoy Japanese food and I am ashamed to admit that prior to my visit to Makoto I was wholly unaware what Japanese cuisine really meant. Just to make that clearer…nothing at Makoto included rice or seaweed. Instead, I had a truly remarkable and unusual dining experience. We were asked to wear no perfume, as this can influence your taste experience, and informed that no cell phones were allowed. Also, we were each given a beautiful pair of Japanese slippers instead of our own street shoes. The food that followed was truly exquisite. Everything was delicately prepared, elegantly served and perfectly delicious. I was introduced to tastes and dishes as well as traditions previously unknown to be me. As such, it was the perfect dinner out and I look forward to my next visit.

And finally for dessert! Dolcezza (1560 Wisconsin Ave NW)!

DSC_0270As I may have already mentioned once before I LOVE ice cream! So lo and behold my delight when discovering this “not so secret anymore” secret of DC. Dolcezza uses local products sourced from local farmers, their gelato is made daily, and they experiment with unusual flavours. The result is really delicious gelato. I love coming here on a warm afternoon and enjoying two scoops of unusual deliciousness! I hope you do too!

Or you can have the best discovery since ice-cream…Pies at Pie Sister!

piesisters II Wonderful, delicious, comforting, yummy and oh-so-American! This never-ending craving of mine, was finally satisfied at Pie Sisters in Georgetown (3423 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007). Pie Sisters is truly unique, getting its name from the three sisters that have founded and run this pie heaven on earth. More importantly, it serves delicious freshly baked pies. Furthermore, for those of us who need a bite of every single pie available, they have created “cuppies” which are small pies (muffin sized) meaning that you can have all sorts of different flavours in just one sitting. If you have more time or are more traditional one slice of pie is of course also available.

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A Foodie Visits Florence

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Florence is a food city! I have eaten my way through Florence and was rarely ever disappointed. However, there are, as always, a few places that are especially good and hence worth sharing here with you.

GELATERIA = ICE CREAM STORE

Florence serves some of the best ice cream I have ever had. (And I should confess here that I have a serious weakness for ice cream and have hence eaten cette deliciousness wherever I can find it.) While there are countless options, the truly delicious ice cream you want is across the Arno River at Gelateria La Carraia (Piazza Nazario Sauro). They have a good selection of flavours, ranging from classics to some more unusual ideas (and they even serve very good mousse au chocolate.) Each and every one is perfectly creamy and simply delicious!

Another option I found myself returning to, though not with the same gusto as to La Carraia, was Venchi in the centre of town (Piazza del Mercato Nuovo). This is a chain well known for it’s chocolate…hence, the chocolate ice cream is particularly good.

TRATTORIA = PLACE TO FIND DELICIOUS LOCAL FOOD

Italian food is truly delicious. I could eat Italian all day, every day. And the one place in Florence that always satisfies my need for really good Italian food was Trattoria Cammillo (Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r). This place is always busy and frequented by Italians, which is always a good sign. The menu has a lot of options including changing daily specials – my favourite is the homemade pasta. All the action is overseen by one formidable Italian woman who keeps the whole place running smoothly.

If you’re looking for something less trattoria-like and more elegant, I suggest you simply go a little further down the street to the Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant (Borgo San Iacopo 62/R – 50125 Florence). The cuisine is refined Italian, delicate and extremely good. One desirable quality this restaurant also has is a terrace overlooking the Arno, which is a rare find and true treasure in Florence.

If you’re just out for an Italian lunch that does not require an afternoon nap after, I recommend Cantinetta dei Verrazzano (Via dei Tavolini 18/20). They have a bakery, serve focaccia, and offer a small but tasty lunch menu. The atmosphere is easy, busy, and Italian. Perfect for a delicious lunch!

EATING HEALTHY

After weeks of pasta I was craving something fresh and green. Thankfully, I found just the right places…in fact, two of them. The first is 5ecinque (Piazza Della Passera); all the produce is organic, the food is healthy and very good, the interior is smart and laid back and during warm weather you can sit outside on the lovely piazza.

The second is Libreria Brac (Via dei Vagellai 18), which on top of serving great vegetarian food, also functions as a bookstore, exhibits art and offers Wi-Fi. This place is definitely hip and artsy. There is a bar you can have lunch at, a courtyard where you can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea, and a restaurant for lunch and dinner. It has a great vibe with the possibility of buying a cool book or piece of art, and all the while serving something fresh and vegetarian.

And finally, amblé (Piazzetta Dei Del Bene, 7a)this unusual place serves delicious sandwiches, (you can create your own or choose from their daily menu) and sells the tables and chairs you sit on. It’s perfect for a quick delicious bite.

And now, buon appetito!!

Travelling Deliciously

Hi, my name is Julia and I love good food! Nothing is more disappointing than having an unsatisfactory food moment. However, finding good food outside of your usual hunting ground can be quite the challenge: it requires research, testing and patience. Nowhere is this harder than while travelling. I for one quite frequently find myself wishing I had a local friend I could call and simply ask for a recommendation. Sadly, this is not always possible and so I resort to the old fashioned method of travel guides, printed and online.

As such, I find myself wanting to share my knowledge of delicious food with fellow travellers who also love good food and are forever on the search for that next delicious bite. This blog is just that – my discoveries of delicious food while travelling the world. I promise deliciousness on a plate – I’m your local friend.

I will be posting once a week and introduce you to new deliciousness!

I hope you find “Travel Deliciously” tasty and useful.

Your,

Food Lover and Traveller

Julia