As has become a tradition, this Thanksgiving was as untraditional as you can get. I was reminded of what Thanksgiving used to be and was even a bit nostalgic for those times but then I heard the stories about Jerry Springer families, stories about disappointing, unthankful family members and talked to friends that were reminded to be grateful to live in a city when they returned home from the burbs. Sometimes I want a normal family, loud and boisterous, tons of people, but then would I have done all the things I have if we were a traditional family? Would I be who I am today? Would I say to my best friend that if the world really does come to an end on December 21st that I am content and happy with the life I have lived? Probably not.
Surprisingly, mostly to me, I have become quite the morning person with my new job. Thanksgiving day I was determined to get to DC, lounge in my jammies all day and cook a simple dinner with my dadio. If you’ve never driven on Thanksgiving Day, you should. Leaving Philly at 7AM made for the most pleasant ride: sun coming up, tunes blaring and virtually no one driving with me. The stress of traffic did not enter my veins this holiday weekend!
And indeed I did make it in time to watch the parade on TV in my jammies (plus 2 more movies) and dinner truly was spectacular. My good friend Deke of Deke’s BBQ smoked a turkey London broil for us, I experimented with new recipes of spinach & brussel leaves with almonds and sweet potatoes glazed with maple syrup & bourbon and dadio cooked StoveTop Stuffing. Yes, you read that right. Like Del Monte canned green beans (not the salt free ones!), StoveTop stuffing, while not the best you’ve ever had, is still one of those things that I will eat until the day I die. And dessert, of course, was a couple glasses of Maker’s 46 bourbon and a couple glasses of Russell’s Reserve bourbon.
And then the rest of the weekend was filled with delightful, unexpected, peaceful experiences:
- A stroll through the American Indian museum and a colorful view of the beginning of their tribute to quinoa.
- A decent meal at Wolfgang Puck’s Asian Fusion Restaurant called The Source (the only outstanding item being Spicy Tuna Tartare in Sesame-Miso Cones with pickled ginger and shaved bonito – a fish similar to tuna. It was not spicy at all and really nothing that blew my mind but it was the first time I had had this in cone where I appreciated the sweetness of the coronet. I usually believe it should be savory but this worked and I understand the time and effort that goes into making these. It is incredibly labor intensive and tedious and these were definitely made to order.)
- A leisurely walk at dusk through my favorite memorials: Jefferson, FDR and Martin Luther King Jr.
- No less than 7 Uber rides – if you don’t have this app and you live in a city where it is offered, get it.
- My second, and just as spectacular meal, at Cedar Restaurant complete with the lovely Maura as our server (I hope I spelled your name right!). Again Lobster & White Chocolate Soup, Fois Gras au Torchon, Black Truffle Ice Cream, Day Boat Scallops with cauliflower, cous cous, gold raisins and cauliflower puree, Grilled Salmon with calamari stew, house made sausage, olives, fennel and tomato and the most amazing Cherry Glen Goat Cheese Mousse with raspberry chiffon.
- An incredibly comfortable and fun first experience at a Kimpton Hotel, Rouge.
- An unfaithful breakfast at Logan Tavern – Classic Eggs Benedict on a Croissant. Plate licking worthy!
- A few “Benjamin’s” spent at Zina Boutique.
- A personal, inside tour of CNN Washington given by one of the sweetest, smartest men I have met in recent years, Coco Chanel
- And finally a yelp inspired detour to the most amazing Greek restaurant I have ever been to in Baltimore called Samos. Avgolemono, Greek Salad, Grilled Octopodi, Shrimp Haloumi, Loukaniko, Rice Pudding, Baklava and Galaktoboureko. The entire meal was surrounded with conversation that went like this. Me “Mmmm”, CB “Wow that’s good”, Me “Mmm hmm”, CB “Yummm”, Me “Wow that’s good”, CB “Mmmm hmm”, Me, “Oh my yum”, CB “So good”, Me “Oh Wow”, CB “Mmmm hmmm”. No joke. The only time we actually spoke sentences was when our kind and perfectly attentive server, Tiffany, came by the table. This place is worth the drive to Baltimore. They are closed Sundays, BYO and only take cash. Without a doubt, my kind of place.