Summer Fancy Food Show 2012 – SPG in DC

  • July 11th, 2012
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NASFT’s Fancy Food Shows are just one of many outlets we use to find the amazing products we carry on our shelves. It is also a time where we can spot some growing trends in food, taste some local fare, and nibble on a new city.

Recently, bagels had been catching my tastebuds as ‘the things’ to eat, so I did a little digging and found that Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, one stop off the Orange Line, was to carry some of the best bagels in the city. I know, what sort of food scrounging could come of Bagel hunting, but I think there is something to be said about the nuances of the tried-and-true staples of the ‘American Breakfast.’ I got an everything bagel with egg, onion, and bacon. While Brooklyn Bagel Bakery’s bagels weren’t stretching the definition or doing anything ‘different’; it was simple, delicious, and perfect to kick off the weekend. Not entirely mind-blowing, but perfect crack-of-dawn & just-got-off-a-plane food for sure.

From there, I was to make sure the class I was slated for wasn’t missed. I arrived a good hour and a half early, and the one cup of coffee I had, was not pulling it’s weight. A quick search on my phone lead me to Azi’s Cafe, a coffee shop that is bright and loud with so much mod, it’s basically oozing from the walls. If the coffee (and croissant) wasn’t going to wake me up the decor was going to finish the job. Not a bad place to sit out on the over-sized patio, relish in the fleeting morning, and get ready to take on the day.

After the class, my stomach was churning both from being over-caffeinated and it being deep into lunch time. I had done some previous digging and found a tiny, hole-in-the-wall joint where hand-made noodles were king. China Boy has got a lot of ‘authentic’ flare but the the wide and thick noodles are amazing. They’re hefted into a tiny black bowl, and tossed with a protein. China boy is a great departure from the regular tourist laden restaurants of Chinatown around the corner.

A rest was needed so to the hotel I went, I soaked up and mellowed out to the low rumble of the air con. From the hotel, my next visit – to Founding Farmers – was just a small hike down the way. It’s a restaurant that pulls from the farm, in the most pure sense. The menu is sometimes painfully seasonal, but I was there in late spring so all was not lost. It was early dinner so cocktails were had as well as starter plates of super fresh and interestingly filled deviled eggs, and an order of crispy and delicious fried green tomatoes. The cocktails were infused, ultra-fresh, and above all beautifully tasty. The restaurant was very stylish, unabashedly hip. If there wasn’t a beer bar calling my name across town, it would have been the perfect place to plop down and devour the menu.

The hallowed ground of Churchkey was next. A long walk across town with short sightseeing stops at the White House and VP mansion made a perfect spot to reflect on the surroundings. The famous gastro-pub met me with a bustle and stairs that climbed to the attic. The beer was astonishing, a myriad of hand-picked domestics laid out in a logical menu that put to shame many a drink menu. From the brat-burger to the tater-tots its was luscious, fatty bar food like it was dressed up for prom. If there was one place I’d go back to the entire visit, this would be it. All components, from the wall-shaking loud people to the bench seating (we can’t help but love), it’s the right space, the right place. An ideal explanation point to end the day on.

A word to the wise, nothing in DC opens on Sunday before 9am, coffee shops included. I’m an early riser and not being able to grab a cup of coffee was a bit of a bane and quite a nuisance. After a painfully long walk and a rumbling tummy, I set my sights on Firefly. A place that was hard to resist simply on it’s name alone (nerd alert), but the brunch menu was quite enticing. My eye went right for the eggs reuben – a spin on eggs benedict that had my mouth watering as I shoveled it all in. Salty sourkraut, smooth eggs dripping down on the slices of meat and onions, over the crunchy english muffin. A pitcher of mimosas on the cheap and I was ready to crush the day ahead of me.

A short stroll through the packed and shockingly diverse Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market, and secretly trying to find the Pleasant Pop folks, to snatch up one of their pops before they hit the big time. Something special happens when standing back and soaking in your surroundings on a hot day, holding a choice ice lolly. DC really isn’t a place for kids on a field trip or people with name tags to feel special anymore – it’s full of talented food folk to feed those searching for something more. Maybe that is part of the reason why the Fancy Food Show moved there while New York is under construction. It’s a nice place to visit, but it’s also growing it’s food scene in new and interesting ways and we were glad to come by and have a bite.

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