When I decided to leave DC I sat down and made a short list of things I’ve never done in the city that I’ve wanted to. It really is pretty short because lets face it, I’ve been here off and on since 1999 and if I hear about something that sounds fun I generally try to seek it out quickly.
That being said, I came up with four things I wanted to do or go before I left and today I finished the fourth one, I guess it means I can leave now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are tons of super fun things to do in the city that I never experienced but if so in those cases I was just unaware.
Thing 1 = Visit the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center aka the Air and Space Museum by Dulles.
I’ve been to the Air and Space on the mall literally dozens of times and it’s great but as cool as they are you can only see the Wright Brothers’s craft and the Bell X1 so many times before they start to become familiar. Somehow (it could be the 45min highway drive or the fact that I generally hate to cross the bridge into VA unless its to climb something tall) I’ve never made it out to Udvar-Hazy. Totally worth the drive and the $15 for parking (All Smithsonians are free). It’s basically a giant airplane hanger with a observation tower (actually the low point of the trip) and a dizzying array of jets, rockets and shuttles.
I originally asked a female friend of mine to go but she said that she had already been and while it was cool it was “guy stuff”. This may be so but it’s awesome guy stuff. Luckily I was able to talk Brian and Kim into going with me. The highlights for me were the SR-71 Blackbird, The Enola Gay, the Enterprise, and a supersonic concord
Thing 2 = Eat at a José Andrés restaurant.
I wouldn’t say I’m a foodie, I probably don’t have my tastes refined quite enough to qualify but it is telling that three of the four things on my list revolve around food. DC has several celebrity chefs but as far as the king of DC restaurants it’s hard to argue with Andrés. Minibar, Zaytinya, Jaleo, Oyamel, Café Atlantico/America eats, and somehow I’d never been to any of them. I chose Jaleo and it was a great choice, I love Tapas in generally and I guess Andrés gets some credit for introducing the style to America. I went with a date and we split quite a few plates. After ordering I was really looking forward to the “Rice with duck confit, duck breast and foie gras cream” but I have to say after finishing the meal my favorite was the “Seared scallops with romesco sauce and mojo verde”. I’m generally not even a big scallop fan but they were just perfectly textured and extremely tasty. Sorry no pics.
Thing 3= Ray’s Hellburger
Most of the time when I repeatedly hear good things about a burger place and I finally get to it I’m a little disappointed. And I have repeatedly heard about Rays. I have been to Ray’s the Steaks East River (cool eating in the Anacostia area) and did enjoy it quite a bit so I wasn’t entirely jaded going in. The night of the trip Brian and I went for a run on the mall and then trucked over to Rays. As a result of going after a run I had only brought a $20 bill (don’t like leaving my wallet in the car while running) and Brian had only a credit card, which it turns out they don’t take. The end result being me unable to purchase a milkshake to go with my burger due to budgetary restraints. I don’t blame Brian too much though. As we were trying to figure out exactly how much food we could get for $20 a cockroach ran over my hand that was resting on the counter. So at this point, I was starving from the run, couldn’t get my milkshake, was attached by a cockroach and was already a little skeptical it was going to be as good as everyone said. In my head I was saying “this better be a damn good burger or I’m going to be pissed”.
I was not pissed. That was a damn good burger.
Thing 4 = Baked and Wired
I like good coffee and I have a ridiculous sweet tooth so its kind of surprising that I haven’t hit this place yet. I guess it’s partly because I generally avoid Mst like it’s got the plague, but everything I hold against it is really just because of the experiences I’ve had there at night. During the daytime Mst is really a pretty sweet area.
Right off the bat this place had a Pixes song lyric on the door and I liked it already. B&W has a cool indie vibe and definitely felt like a NYC or PDX coffee shop. It had awesome array of baked goods. We got a chocolate caramel bar and one that was basically a giant s’more (I love s’mores) and I went with a cappuccino while Steph got a Café au Lait. I have to say that it was all good but nothing was mind-blowing. Very tasty but I’m not sure it was worth the large line or the trip to Gtown.
Overall I liked the people (the workers were super friendly) and the vibe better then the food. I went with Steph after getting sandwiches from SUNdeVICH and eating them on Roosevelt Island with Teddy to celebrate Presidents day (neither of those things were DC firsts for me) and on the way back we figured I could check this last one off my list. I’m glad I did.