2 great eating experiences in Washington.....
This weekend I ate at 2 places we had not been to before
First stop - the Cafeteria at the smithsonian Museum of the American Indian.
Wow - what a selection and the food is cooked much better than one would expect for what is essentially cafeteria style food. The Cafe breaks up the Indian selections regionally, eg. South West, Pacific Northwest,....and you can choose a full meal or ala carte items from each region including regionally appropriate drinks and desserts.
Of course - there are the standard soda machine fare to drink if you so choose.
There were a bunch of us - so we all got a selection and then shared . So while I cannot reel off everything I ate - all I can tell you, it was a great eating experience. But you do have to get past the cafeteria style trays and eating...but try and get a seat to eat by the window- will take the cafeteria edge off!
We wandered down to Eastern Market in the afternoon and then afterwards went to a little Belgian place called Belga Cafe a few blocks away.
Now others on this board have complained about the service at Belga . I thought the service was wonderful, attentive without being cloying and all our food came out at a good pace and nice and hot.
I was looking forward to this place in particular - since we had just come back from Brussels - and I wanted to experience a steaming hot pot of mussels in garlic and white wine. My family had duck and rabbit. None of us were disappointed. (although - I must admit - I had to adjust my palate from expecting the small sweet mussels one gets in Belgium to the mussels they get here from Canada) They also have a EXCELLENT selection of Belgian beers! The bread was fresh and warm - a crusty bread with some raisins in it. After our meal - - We decided to shoot for desserts. Again - no disappointments - we even had the chef come out and explain our desserts to us! So that was definitely a highlight of the evening.
I am not from the area - so we went by car - parking can be a problem in the area - but Belga shares Valet parking with a few other restaraunts in the area. If you must - leave yourself time to find parking down one of the side streets. Else - it looks to be a short walk from the train station at Eastern Market . The prices here are moderate to expensive - depending on what you order. But you defintiely get a great meal here !!!
The wild rice salad in the northeast section is fabulous. some sort of combination of cranberries, rice, onions and a sweet yet tart dressing. great. i like how the squash soup has fried wild rice on top, gives it a little crunch, and nice touch. They have a very ncie variety of south american (mostly from mexico) drinks as well. a top notch place for interesting food by the mall (a rare find as we all know) and with buffalo burgers it can keep even kids happy if you don't tell them what it is