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.
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.
Consider DC a success for day 1. We did not need to buy anything from this truck:
See you tomorrow.