Whenever I travel by myself I am content with dining alone in my hotel room and also having a couple of solo dining experiences at some restaurants that piqued my interest. I would usually have a couple of “must eats” on my list before I fly to my destination. I did not have any for DC. And honestly, unlike my previous trips to Seattle, New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia and even upstate New York last year, let us just say that I had no “food crush” on DC’s food scene. To be fair, my mind was too wrapped up on being there for work that I did not do any foodie research. I am glad that I was able to find some nice eats by just being adventurous. Here are the places where I ate during my week-long stay in Washington DC:
CUBAN | CARIBBEAN | SEAFOOD
My friend who lives in DC brought us here for lunch after our presentation. I had the Rapido Lunch which was a three course lunch. The choices were between classic, chicken, vegetarian or seafood. I chose Del Mar or seafood. It came with:
- Levanta Muerto Seafood Soup: Seafood soup to “raise the dead,” with shrimp, bay scallops, crabmeat and mussels. Coconut milk-fortified “Chino-Cubano” broth. Truffle oil
- Tuna Ceviche: Marinated yellowfin tuna, house pickled cucumbers, seaweed, avocado, toasted Macadamia nuts, pumpkin seed oil vinaigrette
- Pez Cobia: Pan roasted Black King fish, green mango, escabeche, black bean broth
While I was not wowed by it, it was pretty good. What I remember was I wished that the portions were bigger and a side of rice would have been nice. I also had a sangria which was “meh”. The place itself was fun as if dining outdoors but indoors. The company of old and new friends was lovely, though, which matters more than the food in my book.
AMERICAN BISTRO | STEAK
I do not think that I have ever ordered steak while dining by myself. During my last evening in Washington DC, though, I did. It was a celebratory steak after a successful work trip to DC, and after months of stressful preparations. Social Circle was located in Cambria Hotel where I stayed for 3 days. I did not want to venture out of the hotel anymore and it was the perfect venue for dining then riding the elevator back to my room. Surprisingly, my meal was delicious! The flat iron steak ($19) was perfectly medium rare and juicy, and the fries were nicely crispy and salty. However, my cocktail ($14) was horrible. I did not have the heart to tell the server who took it upon himself to make me something that he invented himself. He was very nice and attentive, and made my solo dining experience enjoyable. I will write more about this experience when I write a review of my stay at Cambria Hotel.
NEW AMERICAN | FINE DINING
I wrote about my lovely lunch of Fried Chicken Sandwich as well Ground Rib Burger with Tater Tots that I had delivered to my room. Please check out this post for a detailed review of this acclaimed restaurant in DC located at the Eaton Workshop Hotel.
VEGAN | VEGETARIAN | KOREAN
My Instagram and blog posts might show mostly rich foods and meat dishes, in reality, I eat mostly vegetarian almost all week. I like to consider myself as 98% vegetarian — 1% when eating delicious home-cooked Filipino food with my carnivore family and 1% during date nights, traveling and special occasions. Traveling really wreaks havoc on my diet that I really missed eating light vegetarian meals. I was happy to find West Wing Cafe which has several locations in DC. It is a casual deli that serves fast American and Korean dishes. I had Tofu Bibimbap ($8.99). It was nothing to write home about but it made me feel better eating my veggies.
I was walking around Chinatown in search of light vegetarian meal once again. I found Bibibop and had another Veggie Rice Bowl that I took back to my hotel room. It was casual, filling and vegan. It was mostly to make me feel a little better after eating rich, fried foods while traveling.
CAFES AND PASTRIES
Located at the Eaton Workshop Hotel, Kintsugi is a bright and open cafe to enjoy a coffee break.
A chain bakery that has locations all over the world. It serves scrumptious pastries.
I wrote a review of both cafes on here.
As I have mentioned on my previous post, my best dining moments when traveling are picking up food and a bottle of wine and bringing them to my hotel room. Nothing beats eating in my pj’s while reading and falling soundly asleep afterwards. When I moved from staying at the Eaton Workshop for 5 days to Cambria Hotel when I stayed for the last 3 days during my trip, I was so exhausted from all the meetings and presentations. All I wanted was to take a shower, change into my pj’s and relax. It was nice that Giant Food, which is a supermarket, is right next to Cambria. It is like a Safeway with fresh sushi, hot food section, deli, etc. I grabbed a whole rotisserie chicken and chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio. Let me just say that on that evening, it was the perfect dinner that I had in mind!
Looking at all of these, it was not bad at all that I had variety and some pretty nice eats!