Search This Blog

Sunday, July 13, 2014

DC day 1

We are safe and home and back in NY. DC was a nice, quick getaway.
The bus left 7:30 Thursday morning. I had coffee before we left and a bar on the bus, but otherwise was either too wired, or too sleepy to eat much else on the ride:

By the end of the 4+ hour ride, being hit with the DC heat (and light - no skyscrapers to block out the sun, a cleaner city not covered in grime, and buildings made of white stone,) and dropping our bags off at the hostel, we were tired and ready to eat. It took us only 1 block to stumble upon Khepra's Raw Food & Juice Bar (which we turned down in favor of a place with coffee) and 1 more block to stumble into Sidamo.

They offered a vegan breakfast sandwich, which was hummus, avocado, tomato, and lettuce on bread (we got a bagel.)

Alongside good, strong Ethiopian coffee.
Thus fed and rested, we walked down towards the Capitol.

Greg took this one and it makes me laugh.
Then we hit up the Botanical Gardens and the National Gallery of Art - both of which, being Smithsonian museums, are free.

                                 G stretching at the pond - getting ready to do a lot of walking.
                                                                    Calder mobile
                                       Giacometti's Walking Man, which I've always loved
                                                G's feet wore out. He got a wheelchair.

From the museums, we walked up to Chinatown and, inexplicably, ended up in a Mexican restaurant, Jaleo. Only now do I realize this place was so fancy - it's one of Jose Andres' restaurants. G and I shared chips and salsa with tableside-made guacamole, and two tapas plates: nopales and a bean plate that was incredible. Sweet and smoky and spicy and perfectly cooked with enough other ingredients to add texture. We also got limonades (lime juice) and somehow managed to not spend an entire fortune.

Despite looking like two scrummy kids who had been walking around all day and potentially did not have a ton of money to spend on dinner, the waiter was attentive and helpful, pointing out vegan options as well as asking about allergies. And for the simplicity of the ingredients and ubiquitousness of the dishes, the food was really incredible. But you don't need me to tell you that Jose Andres knows what he's doing.
It started to pour as we left Jaleo, and I threw a mini-fit. As it eased up, we passed a cupcake place and G stopped in, just to see if they had a vegan option for us to share.
They did:

This was a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. I believe they had one other option. Both were also gluten-free.
Consider DC a success for day 1. We did not need to buy anything from this truck:

See you tomorrow.


  1. So far, very impressive. Didn' t think of the bus getting you to and fro. Figured you were taking the train to Union Station. Never heard of Sidamo. I hope there's more things I've yet to see. If I'd known you were gonna throw a mini fit, I'd have tried to make it down there ( oh who amI kidding? DC sucks and now you know it too)

    1. I'm with Shen on this one. DC is kind of wack, but we still had a great trip.

    2. Well, the bus didn't take too long and was cheaper. We still came in to Union Station. I do prefer train travel, but the Bolt Bus wasn't bad. Almost easy enough for you and mr. SV to do a day trip to NYC and not worry about the animals...right?

    3. Thanks, G! It feels so great to be vindicated. I tried to stop your little Gal Pal from wasting her vacation time & money on D.C. but to no avail. At least you gained an appreciation of what you have.

      By the time Mr. SV & I got to the bus, we might as well just drive.

      Can't wait to read about Day 2. Also, any pics of thr hostel?

    4. Hm, I didn't think to take any photos of the hostel but it was pretty nice and clean. The Germans in our room tried to snuff us out with body spray though.
      It was this place:

  2. Looks like a jam packed day! I love all of your pictures and the recap. The pic that Greg took at the Capitol building made me laugh too, that's awesome. The meals look delicious, the breakfast sandwich looks like the perfect fuel for the day. The limonade must have been so refreshing after all of that working. That's great that the waiter was so attentive too.

    Can't wait to see Day 2!

    1. I can't tell if we had a jam packed time or not! Some days the hours flew by and other times I was worrying whether we were doing enough with our short time. Walking definitely took a while. Day 2 looks like a lot of food but it was spread out over a long day.
      The limonade was perfect though, yea.

  3. DC! Fun! I love that you guys ended up at Jaleo when you were in Chinatown. I've always wanted to eat there; impressed that it didn't cost you an arm and a leg!

    1. Yeah, I haven't been since 1996 other than a couple protests so it was cool to be back. Do you get there often?

  4. Such fun! I haven't been to DC in three years, and I know I wouldn't be able to visit all of those awesome places (I go there to visit grandma - don't worry, she has come here a couple of times, and we saw her TX, too). Think of all the Vitamin D coursing through your body! ;)

    1. Wellll I think yr trip probably was more interesting than mine, but we had fun. Is yr grandma in DC? Or Virginia?
      The Vitamin D is definitely coursing.

    2. Grandma is just outside of DC in Falls Church, VA

  5. Jaleo is spanish- like from spain- not mexican! (They're touchy about that kind of distinction)
    I thought G also lived in how could he get tired of walking?? I think its funny you got a bagel in DC, sounds like a yummy combo though.
    Love giacametti's works and all of the caulder mobiles

  6. Nothing stops a rain-fit like a vegan cupcake! I'm so excited to hear all about this trip; I really want to go to DC sometime soon. There had better be a Kermit photo at some point! At least Archie Bunker's chair?


Leave a message and I'll call you back.