So many of you may know I’m a HUGE Washington Nationals fan. In fact, I also write for the Nats blog, We’ve Got Heart. This past weekend, I went out to DC for the first time since we moved back to Oklahoma. My dear husband, a proud C-5 pilot in the West Virginia Air National Guard is on a 3 month activation which will probably be filled with a few trips back and forth to Afghanistan. We figured we would spend the weekend eating some of our favorite foods and going to the Nats Opening Day on Monday. For a baseball fan, this feels like Christmas. All the fanfare, being back in that haven of baseball goodness, and a great DC tradition of the President of the United States throwing out the first pitch. Basically, this was such a great day for me.
We actually didn’t arrive until Sunday. I arrived a few hours before Joe and I stopped at one of my favorites for lunch, Noodles and Company. (DISCLAIMER: Yes, I eat at a chain restaurant now and again… Yes I know this isn’t very “foodie of me. BUT, I’m a fan of food that tastes good. Even if it may not be your typical “foodie” place…if its got great food…I will eat there!) Noodles and Co is obviously a chain restaurant, but is just oh so very good. While I lived in DC, I was alone quite a bit because Joe was gone for the military. I would go to Noodles and Co and grab it takeout, but the big draw was that they had DR PEPPER OUT OF THE FOUNTAIN. It’s amazing the things you miss when you live away from a place. Fountain Dr Pepper was one of my big ones. Anyways, I always get the Pasta Fresca with chicken and parmesan. It’s a very simple dish with penne noodles, fresh spinach, tomatoes, onions, lots of cheese and chicken. It’s a very quick, fresh meal that is a good alternative to McDonalds or Five Guys (love it…not good for the waistline). Anyways, I’m slightly obsessed with Noodles and Co (way more than I should be) and it is proving to be one of the things I miss about the DC area.
After I got my chain food hankering out of me, I got over to Georgetown to see if I could get my absolute favorite dessert in the world, Red Velvet Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake. Unfortunately, the line was A BLOCK LONG, so I decided to just get some shipped to me. I know it won’t be the same as the fresh cupcake with the cream cheese icing that melts in your mouth. There are quite a few cupcakeries in DC, Red Velvet, CakeLove, Baked and Wired, Hello Cupcake, etc., but none, in my opinion, even come close to Georgetown Cupcake. It is like a little slice of heaven in your mouth. Purely delicious.
I did a bit of shopping at Anthropologie and stopped at Trader Joe’s on my way to the Metro. Trader Joe’s is simply the best grocery store of all time. Oklahoma could totally use one. After Trader Joe’s, I headed to Eastern Market to look at all the fresh produce and yearn to live in DC again so I could buy it. I am a huge fan of farmers markets and this has to be one of the best in the country.
That evening, Joe and I met up with our good friend Karl (one of the things/people I miss most about DC!) at a foodie staple in the DC Area, Ravi Kabob in Arlington. I first ate Ravi Kabob with Karl and my good friend over at kitchengeeking. I’m not going to lie… I was a bit nervous. This is a hole in the wall Pakistani restaurant off of Glebe in Arlington that is very busy with the local Pakistani community and foodies of all types. I always order the chicken kabob and Joe gets the lamb kabob both with chickpeas and rice. I’m generally not a fan of lamb, but the
lamb at Ravi changed my mind on this meat. It is beyond amazing and is the only lamb to date that I like. Karl got the special samosa as an appetizer. This is really a great starter dish, but watch out, it will burn your mouth!!
We got up bright and early Monday and drove back to DC for OPENING DAY!!! This was my first time to go to Opening Day. I’m a huge Nats fan, so I was thrilled to be back in Nats park, which was basically my second home while living in DC. I knew exactly what I wanted to eat: A half smoke…all the way…from the Ben’s Chili Bowl in the ballpark. Ben’s is a DC staple that is over 50 years old. The only location besides the Ben’s in the ballpark is on historic U Street and has been quite popular with Bill Cosby and President Obama. This place is truly the most DC thing someone could do if they come visit the city. Because I only had two days in the city, I decided there was not near enough time to go to the original locale, so Joe and I got us a half smoke at the ballpark. Ben’s has interesting chilli. It’s got quite a kick to it, but the half smokes (half pork, half beef) are just great. They have a great crunch when you bite into them and the flavor is unlike any other hot dog I have. I definitely miss my regular trips to Ben’s.