First off, I think I should receive a reward for eating out so much over the last two weeks. Starting in South Carolina, all the way through my DC trip. I
have had an extreme fear of eating out. Due to my multiple food allergies, dietary specifications, cross contamination fears, and food safety (i.e. salmonella, germs etc.), eating out gave me huge anxiety. Luckily my family rarely ever eats out anyway, but if we did have to go somewhere, I would just eat beforehand, or bring my own food. But that has to change now that I won't be living at home with access to any food I want and space to cook. I love cooking and am perfectly content with making everything I eat, I love to do it, so it is not a burden. (That is going to be one of the hardest things next year! How will I be able to develop new recipes! O the humanity!). Anyway, I sucked it up over these past few weeks and I am glad to say that I have survived! I still don't like to eat out and I have to do major research before going somewhere, but at least I know I can do it when need be.
Anyway, on to the goods! For breakfast each of the days I had just packed some creamy buckwheat cereal and quinoa flakes to heat up in the morning. However...the one down side to out hotel is you have to request a fridge. We did that but didn't receive it until late on Tuesday. What we also didn't realize was that they don't provide microwaves to the rooms either and you can't request one. I was screwed. But...the happy people down at the hotel restaurant allowed me to use their staff cafeteria microwave to make my breakfast each morning! How nice of them! I used my trusty big red ceramic bowl that I bought down in South Carolina for just this purpose (however in that hotel, we had a microwave). It all worked out though, happy day! I also drank copious amounts of unsweetened iced green tea from Starbucks the whole trip. It is so damn good, especially when I couldn't have my normal hot mugs of tea since there was no way to get hot water in the hotel room, haha!
Our first meal in DC was of course Sweetgreen! I had been dreaming about those salads all year. There is something so magical about their greens and local ingredients! You can tell by the line we had to wait in, but o it was worth it!
My salad included the Mesclun mix + black beans + beets + sweet potato + cucumber + lemon juice. It was o so good! I would marry this place if I could.
Next up was the decision on where to have dinner. I had a huge list of possible places that I had saved and bookmarked on my laptop. I finally settled on Daily Grill.
They have a really nice menu and even a huge gluten-free menu which is always a plus! I knew what I would be getting ahead of time plus I made reservations and informed them of my allergies and well as my moms. The inside was beautiful, a nice ambiance. The servers were all nice and the restaurant was not crowded which was good. You could even see right into the kitchen form the dining room. Nice, open, and elegant.
I orderd the Grilled Idaho Trout with herbed brown rice. I also added a side or broccoli. It was delicious. The Trout was phenomenal and the broccoli was steamed so perfectly! Haha, I laughed when they brought it out as a big hunk, but it tasted so good. The rice was okay. A little to much olive oil, but it had a nice flavor.
On to day two! I knew I couldn't hold out any longer and I finally gave up my Whole Foods Hot/Salad Bar virginity. I feel like such a foodie now! I just crossed my fingers and chose wisely as to not get cross contaminated. But I like how they list all the ingredients and names of the dishes above each plate so you know if that sneaky soy is there, etc.
I made a salad or greens + beets + black beans + zucchini + mixed carrots + peas + roasted sweet potato + some other stuff I can't remember + red wine vinegar. It was awesome 😉 I love making mass salad bowls. Non-foodies think that when you say salad, you mean just some greens and dressing. O no. Salads now-a-days means big mass nourishment!
Later for dinner I had to choose another restaurant, but wanted something in Georgetown since we would be down there for my Barre3 class. I ended up making reservations for 6:30pm at the Peacock Cafe. We got there right before the rain started and were seated right away, but had to wait a few minutes for my grandparents to get there. It was a really cute little place down a quiet street in Georgetown. It was elegant and open inside and again not crowded. (I have been having the best luck with non-crowded restaurants!)
Again, I already knew exactly what I would be ordering and this time I was going to be a pain and make some substitutions. But all was good and they were very friendly and accommodating to us! They marked all of their gluten-free dishes was asterisks which was nice. They even had gluten-free bread. It looked really moist and decent when they brought it out (I didn't try it though since it probably has egg, dairy, or soy in it) but my mom and grandparents did. However they said it was really dry. My grandparents did not like it, haha, but my mom was able to get though a whole piece 😉 At least they tried!
So I ended up choosing the Grilled Chicken Breast with Baby Vegetables and substituted the Peacock Fries for Grilled Sweet Potato instead and had them not but on the BBQ Aioli on the chicken. It was the perfect portion for me and was so delicious! I loved the grilled sweet potato and the chicken was perfect! Plus of course I loved the veggies...but I always do, haha! I would definitely get this dish again!
My mom also had to stop at her favorite place for dessert. Georgetown Cupcake. They always have at least one gluten-free cupcake each day. (I've never had one since they aren't vegan and soy-free). My mom was pissed it wasn't her favorite chocolate birthday cake one and was made she had to try the salted caramel. (She thinks that is so weird. But she just isn't a foodie and don't understand flavor combos like salted caramel, haha!). But low and behold, she still loved it...like I told her she would. My grandparents also got some cupcakes (non-gluten-free).
So cute and pretty. And so damn pink. Everything is really girly in there, haha! And the line is always so long and out the door! (A.K.A. this is little tween girl heaven, plus they think they will be on TV on the DC Cupcake show). But the one thing I do like about them is that they keep the gluten-free cupcakes completely separate from the gluten-filled ones and they change their gloves before handling the gluten-free. The whole kitchen is open to so you can see what they are doing.
Last, but definitely not least. I ate at Sweetgreen one more time on our last day before our long drive home. This time I got my favorite mix of ingredients! Mesclun Mix + Sweet Potato + Beets + Grape Tomatoes + Cucumber + Roasted Chicken + Lemon Juice. Their chicken and sweet potatoes are so unbelievable good! Salad heaven!
But wait, one more foodie find! In our few trips through Whole Foods, I fell in love with their huge array of bars! So of course since I don;t have access to most of these at home, I had to pick up a Thunderbird bar, the Almond Cookie Pow Wow! It was pretty good, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and nutrient dense! I am so pissed they are sold nowhere near me...just like every other cool foodie find. Thank God for the internet!
Well that is all the great things I ate down in DC! I am proud of myself for doing it and stepping out of my comfort zone. My stomach only hurt a little bit after a few things, but for the most part I was a-okay! There are so many other places I want to try next time to. I still have my huge bookmarked folder of restaurants on my laptop so if you have any recommendations, let me know!
So tell me:
+ Have you ever had the glorious privilege of eating at Sweetgreen?
+ Are you really adventurous when eating out or do you usually stick to something you know you will enjoy?
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