Weekend in DC!

Last weekend we journeyed back to our former city for a visit.  Saw lots of friends and had the opportunity to eat and drink at some of our old favorites.  Sadly, we didn’t get to all of the ones we wanted to, we just ran out of energy by Sunday night!

First of all, if you ever take a trip to Washington DC do yourself a favor and use Priceline.  There are so many hotels in the area you can easily stay in a 3 ½-4 star hotel for less than $80 a night.  This time we stayed in the St. Gregory on M St. near the intersection of M, 21st St., and New Hampshire.  Our named price was $78/night.  For a 4 star hotel.  Good start.  It was right up the road from where I used to live in Foggy Bottom so we were quite familiar with the area.  It was also a very short walk from there to my favorite watering hole in DC…The Bottom Line!  Full disclosure, I used to work there (doorman/greeter/bouncer) and have many friends still there like J.R., Ellen, and good ole Hurricane Ivan, so of course it’s my fav.  It was quite possibly the funnest job I’ve ever had!  Every night something happened to make you laugh out loud.  Great people to work with too.  It’s located at 1716 Eye Street, NW, right around the corner from the White House, they have a very good lunch crowd, excellent lunch specials, burgers and wings, and the best Friday happy hour in the city…Beat the Clock!  Love Beat the Clock.  Miller Lites are a $1 from 4pm-7pm then $2 from 7-9, then $2.50 from 9-midnight, then back to a $1 from midnight to close.  Not bad!  The Bottom Line is also where a lot of the other restaurant workers in the area come after their shifts, and if you’ve read Bourdain you know these places are seriously fun drinking joints.

So after a very fun Friday night and a sleepy Saturday morning Cheryl and I went to Malaysia Kopitiam (1827 M St. NW) for lunch.  When we lived in DC this was our cold winter weather weekend lunch place, mostly because of their Chicken Curry Laksa.  Soooooo good.  Big bowl of that on a winter day and you’re one happy camper.  This used to be a go-to lunch spot for me as well.  In general the food here is really good.  They’ve got great curries and stir fry dishes, all very reasonable priced.  Cheryl always liked their Malaysian coffee too.  There’ve been a few times since we moved to Chicago where we had a craving for Malaysia Kopitiam’s food, mostly the Curry Laksa.  So happy we were staying a couple blocks away on this trip.

A big bowl of goodness. Chicken curry laksa with thin rice noodles.

Since we’ve been gone from DC, every time we go back we try to have dinner at BLT Steak.  They’re at 1625 Eye Street NW (also around the corner from the White House).  I got to know a couple of people there while working at the Bottom Line who are still there so we went over on Saturday night for some cocktails and dinner.  Our friend Roger (Chicagoan) was behind the bar that night and made me one mean Manhattan.  Seriously, one of the best ones I’ve had in a while.  He also crafted a really good Sazerac!  If you go to BLT and he’s working get one, you won’t be disappointed.  We were dining with our other BLT friend Greg and had a great dinner.  BLT had some great specials on Saturday night.  We had some pan seared foie gras with chestnuts, a lardo crusted ribeye, and I let Cheryl have the carmelized banana crepe dessert.  I am not a fan of bananas.  Yeah yeah I know, how can I not like bananas.  I just don’t ok!  There are plenty of people who don’t like mushrooms, olives, eggplant, etc. so it’s like that.  We also had a fantastic bottle of wine they just got the day before (I believe it was 2009 Mount Eden Pinot Noir) and wasn’t even on the menu yet.  One thing we didn’t have which is absolutely awesome and I have to tell you about is their tuna tartare.  We’ve had this many times before here and it’s usually a staple, just not this time.  So delicious!  If you find yourself here at some point in the future, get a sazerac and the tuna tartare and you’ll be very content.

I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get to go visit our friends Adam at Graffiato or Gustavo at La Taberna del Alaberdero.  We were supposed to stop by and see them on Sunday afternoon/evening but we were absolutely exhausted and had an early morning flight back to Chicago in order to make it to work on time.  Guess we’ll just have to force ourselves to make another return trip!  In the meantime I’ll try to catch up on all the sleep I lost this weekend.

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