Before I get to the culinary delights of our nation’s capitol, I wanted to tell you about our weather. I’m sure you saw it on the news. Or maybe you lived it with me. But last week we had snow. And sleet. And then snow.
It didn’t turn out to be quite the event they originally forecasted, but it was the most winter we’ve had this season. In March. Right after we’d had lovely, upper 60’s, leave the windows open, I’m ready for spring weather. Now I love me a good snow storm as much as the next fella who loves a good snow storm, but I feel kind of like winter missed its chance. I think Mother Nature should have just let us be disappointed for the year and move on. Maybe she could have made up for it next year. But to be teased by the glory that is spring like that and then smack us upside the head with what we got is kind of cruel. But maybe that’s just me.
Alright. Onto why you’re really here.
[Disclaimer – I’m afraid this post may be a letdown. There are really only two food experiences to share with you. So please, for the sake of our friendship, lower your expectations.]
We ate lunch at the Holocaust Museum Cafe after our tour because we were starving and it was the closest place to find food. I had a decent Mac & Cheese, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Our plan was to make our way from there to Baked & Wired, procure our cupcakes and then go back to the hotel for a bit, after which we would walk over to CAVA.
So this is how it went down. We ate at the Museum Cafe, walked the couple blocks to the Smithsonian Metro station, took it to Foggy Bottom Metro station, wherein we disembarked and followed the map on my phone towards the bakery. Except we turned left out of the station instead of right and finally figured that out after two blocks. Still, we were in the midst of Georgetown and it was an interesting locale.
After turning around and passing the metro station we’d just come from, we set out for confection perfection, our steps determined and our moods light. We walked and walked and walked some more. We walked for a mile after we’d already been walking most of the day. When we finally got to Baked & Wired the line was out the door. No, I’m not kidding. Out the ever-lovin’ door. But we waited, by golly. There was no way we were leaving without the goods.
The patrons were lined up along the glass display case and the cupcakistas (you know, like barista, except they were serving baked goods instead of coffee) were grabbing the orders as fast as they could. Which was great and made the line move pretty quickly. Except here’s the thing. It took me months of practicing “Venti white chocolate mocha, 2%, with whip” in the mirror before I was comfortable ordering at Starbuck’s. I had no time to practice, people! I didn’t even have time to look at all the splendor they had to offer and make up my mind! Oh, the pressure! It was almost too much and I blurted out, “One cherry blossom cupcake, please!” because it was the main cupcake on display in honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival beginning the following week.
Do you see the gravity of this situation I’m describing? There was no chocolate in the cherry blossom cupcake. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Do you know me?
Katie, on the other hand, had the privilege of perusing the case while I kept our place in line and ordered a chocolate doom just as cool and confident as you please. Ingrate.
After the acquisition was completed, we decided to take an Uber back to the hotel. Best $4.73 I’ve ever spent.
Once in the room, we shucked our shoes and settled down for a little rest. At this point I was seriously considering room service for dinner because I didn’t think I would ever want to move again. I had walked more than 200% of my daily goal and my dogs were barking. But a nice, little nap and a growling tummy later, I was up for the next edible adventure. Thankfully we didn’t have to walk a mile for dinner, but rather about half that.
I really didn’t know what to expect, but Katie described it perfectly. Think of a Mediterranean Chipotle. Minus the salmonella, of course. You start with a base – greens, grains, pitas – you decide. Next you add your dips or spreads – these would be tzatziki and hummus and the like. Follow that with your protein. I chose falafel, but there are meats or roasted seasonal vegetables as well. Then you choose your favorite toppings. I had them add pickled onions, cucumber, cabbage slaw and crumbled feta. Finally, you pick a dressing. Yogurt dill was my choice.
And that, my friends, is a blueberry soda next to it. I’m not a big consumer of pop, but I saw Maine Root blueberry soda on tap and had to try it. It was everything I expected it to be.
There was very little conversation at dinner because we were too busy eating. It was very filling and I despaired of being able to finish. But I’m not a quitter so I stuffed myself silly. I wasn’t going to waste a drop!
We were more than pleased with our dinner experience as we walked back to the hotel. But we were too full to eat the cupcakes.
~ Can I just pause here and right a wrong? I have been referring to these as cupcakes. The correct term is cakecups because they were huge. ~
Finally we could wait no longer. We each fixed ourselves a cup of coffee and then settled in for our sugary prizes. I decided right then and there that I had chosen wisely, even if it had been under duress. It was a vanilla cake with big chunks of maraschino cherries and a smooth cherry butter cream on top. I was NOT disappointed.
And judging from the look of bliss on Katie’s face, she was not mad about her choice, either. We also decided we would be stopping there on our way out of the city the next morning.
Which we did. I dropped her off and then drove around the very large block. She jumped back in the car with four cakecups (because we had to get one for each of the boys – duh) and a vanilla latte for me. And then we were for home!
Except the GPS told me to turn down a street that was crazy backed up so I kept going, but the rerouting couldn’t keep up with me and we finally turned around and I pulled up a side street to readjust the GPS. There was no parking from the corner up to the next house, but we weren’t actually parking so I pulled over. And then saw the sign that said, “NO PARKING Unless Approved by the Mongolian Embassy”, which we were not. But I didn’t even care because I had chocolate cakecups, a vanilla latte and the remnants of joy from a delightful day in DC. And I also kept the car running and could have easily made my getaway had Katie spotted a Hun coming. Yes. That’s how I pictured it. Men dressed like this, chasing after us, waiving swords and yelling loudly.
Nobody chased us (I may have even been a little disappointed because just think how much better my story would have been) and we got headed the right way. As we were cruising down the Beltway, we started reminiscing about our dinner the night before. There were smiles and sighs and everything. Then Katie looked it up and it turns out there was a CAVA only 4 miles out of our way! So we changed our plans, took the detour and enjoyed another visit to our new favorite restaurant. I loved it so much I even toyed with the idea of opening a franchise by us. Except I’ve never had any desire to be a franchise owner and I don’t know the first thing about it. So if any of you live in my area and are looking for a new, up and coming restaurant to own, let’s chat.
Once home and settled, we had our cakecups. And you know that part about buying four cakecups because of the boys? Well, it didn’t actually work out that way. The excuse I’m going with is that I’m bad at math and we’ll just leave it there.