This post details my visit to Washington DC earlier this month. Where I stayed, what I ate, and how taking a scooter in the rain when you don’t know where you’re going isn’t a great idea.
Hello friends! It’s been about a month since I’ve posted anything related to OKC OVER EASY, and I finally got the itch to write again. A couple weeks ago, I took a little birthday trip to see my friend Madison in Washington DC. These city weekend trips are my favorite because I get to stay with a friend, see the city through their eyes, and get all the best local recommendations. I ate and drank A LOT. I also walked a ton, averaging 7-9 miles a day. This is my favorite way to travel. There’s definitely a place and time for the beach, but I love getting out and exploring new cities.
I didn’t have many plans for the trip except one reservation at Maydan, which was recent on the Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants 2018 list. I definitely wanted to go to some of the museums and just explore the city in general.
I flew on Southwest Airlines, since they are now offering a non-stop option to Washington DC. The flight from Oklahoma City was breezy and fast, and I landed in no time. I took the Metro from the airport to Madison’s apartment just off 14th Street. I could have Ubered, but whenever I would visit chicago and fly into MDW, I would always take the train and it just makes me feel instantly adapted to my new surroundings. It’s super calming for me and I really love experiencing public transportation in different cities. I am sure that this would be totally different if I had to use the Metro every day, but once in awhile is really fun.
We started by grabbing lunch at Colada Shop, which was a little Cuban Empanada Shop. It was a perfect refueling stop before exploring. We walked down 14th street, popping in different shops and just wandering around. Then Madison forgot she left her candles lit (!!) so we went back to the apartment for a power nap before Happy Hour. The weather was great this day.
We walked to Happy Hour at Provision 14, and had some cocktails and truffle fries. Then we walked over to Southern Comfort, which is Madison’s tried and true (all the bartenders knew her!). They have half off bottles of wine, so we definitely indulged. I ended up eating Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo, which is definitely something I hardly ever order (I tend to never get pasta out at restaurants because I feel like the pasta takes up too much room in my stomach, haha) but it hit the spot after we opened the second bottle of wine.
Friday we hit up breakfast, first thing. Ted’s Bulletin was on the agenda. Ted’s is known for their diner specials and homemade poptarts. I got the coffee (pretty shitty), avocado toast and a maple walnut poptart. Fueled for the day, I was ready to go.
I made my way to DuPont Circle and checked out Kramerbooks, an indie bookstore and cafe. I walked around a bit until the two bottles of wine came back to haunt me and I stopped into CVS to grab some Naproxen. I then made my way to the Renwick Gallery. The Renwick Gallery is a Smithosean with modern art. I LOVED it. They had some great exhibits along with a Burning Man display on the second floor. I Lyft’ed over to The National Portrait Gallery to see Obama and Michelle, and the rest of the cool modern art.
After all that I was getting a little hungry, so I had an amazing master plan. I knew there was a popular ramen shop about 10 minutes away, so I walked over. There was a 30 minute wait, which I SHOULD HAVE signed up for, but I ended up going to the bar next door and getting an overpriced salad and beer :((( . What I should have done was put my name down, gotten a beer next door, and then come back for sweet sweet ramen. Ugh, I know now for next time. That’s when it started pouring rain, and I made some more mistakes. I took a LYFT SCOOTER in the pouring rain and went a mile in the wrong direction from Milk Bar and Momofuko (I could have eaten there too, ugh.) I finally gave up and got a Lyft to Milk Bar and had some cereal milk ice cream. Worth it. Madison and I met back up and took a 2 hour nap (I am all for napping on trips. I have no FOMO)
That night we made our way to ARTECHOUSE, which was very very cool. All I can say is that it is an interactive art and tech experience. Tickets were around $15, and worth it for the experience. They also had a craft cocktail bar with interactive drinks.
We went back to 14th Street and hit up Chicken + Whiskey, which was a fast-casual Pollo a la Brasa & Latin street food restaurant. THE COOL THING was is that in the back, behind a hidden freezer door is a speakeasy with a ton of different types of whiskey. This place was HOPPIN, and somewhere I would have loved about 5 years ago when I was on the prowl. Now I am all “let’s go to a wine bar on Monday night when it’s less crowded!” We made our way to Bar Pilar, which I loved, and the ended the night again at SoHo. I also had an Adam Morgan’s Big Slice (if you know, you know) and crashed happily into bed.
Saturday was BITTER cold, and we were planning on doing a bottomless brunch and then monumenting. When we showed up to Boqueria, it was closed for a private party. Fail. So we did what Saturdays are for. Went to the mall. We shopped for awhile and then found an Irish Pub with $4 rail drinks and parked there. After a tispy shopping experience at TJ Maxx, we made our way to Magnolia Kitchen, which is the sister restaurant of SoHo. After a few more drinks there, we got pretty tired and ended the night with McDonalds, a throwback to those nights from 5 years ago I was talking about earlier. It was the perfect blow-off day. We didn’t do much, but we didn’t have to. It was fun anyway!
Sunday morning I met my friend from college Michael for breakfast in Shaw. We ended up walking around for awhile and finally settling on The Commissary. We hadn’t seen each other in around 2 years, so it was great to catch up and see where he lived in the city. After we split off, Madison and I took an Uber to Georgetown, and walked miles all over the city to check out the architecture, shopping, and even a few sweet treats. We even got to go inside an open house, which was my absolute dream (I spent a lot of the trip looking on Zillow and seeing what house prices cost compared to Oklahoma City). We ended the afternoon at Jeni’s Ice Cream, which is another one of my favorites.
Then — the main event. I had been looking forward to going to Maydan since I booked the reservation a month out. I had only heard great things about it. Here’s the thing – I didn’t get great food photos off the bat (it was super dark in there), so I didn’t take any, but I will detail what I ordered. Sometimes it’s good just to put the camera down and enjoy the meal.
The door is really hard to find, in a back alleyway. When you walk in, it’s a small, dark room with a host stand, and one door. Behind the door though – it’s magical. There’s a large hearth that the food is all cooked on, a long bar, tons of greenery and tons of seats. It smells amazing, the music is incredible and the whole vibe is just cozy.
We were seated in a back corner on the second floor, and our waitress was also great. She explained everything very well and we began to order. I started with a Spanish Tempranillo, which is a light Spanish wine. Here’s the rundown of what we ordered:
- Muhamarra (which is walnut, red pepper, and pomegranate molasses)
- Hinbe (dandelion greens, garlic, fried shallots)
- Eggplant (georgian walnut sauce, pomegranate molasses)
- Saffron Lamb (yogurt, turmeric and citrus)
- Tenderloin (omani spice, chile, lemon)
And they also keep bringing fresh bread to the table. My strategy was to make small pitas with all my ingredients, and I have to give a shout out to the Hinbe, which cooled everything down and mellowed it out. I also got every single condiment (they were $1 each), and the tahina was my favorite to drizzle on everything. I also really loved the zhoug.
I have a real love of Mediterranean food but this Middle Eastern food sent it over the top. It was just really fantastic and a meal I won’t forget for a long time. A perfect send off from my weekend in DC. My dream would to go back and try the other half of the menu, along with some more of the proteins they offered.
Have you ever been to DC? What are your favorite ways to travel? I love walking around cities and trying all the amazing food.