Tapas in DC 12/26/2010
I'm in DC for the week with my son, reminiscing about my years here while a student at GW and playing tourist at the same time.  We spent a good part of today in the Penn Quarter district, an area where, short of the Hard Rock Cafe I went to on a date in '91, I've really spent very little time.  The whole place has had a complete makeover since I gave up my DC residency in '94 (and I'm pretty sure Hard Rock is gone.)

We started at Starbucks as, once we got to this part of town, we found were too early to hit our intended destination, the National Building Museum.  A Starbucks is a Starbucks, but it was a nice, clean place to grab a hot cup of joe.  Today's a pretty crisp, blustery day!

Once at the museum, my son had a blast at the Lego exhibit.  The buildings an architect created from these tiny pieces were stunning, rivaling some of those we'd seen at Legoland in San Diego a few years ago.  The best part was watching my son (who LOVES lego) build his own.

When we left, we went to Jaleo with my aunt ~ one of her longtime favorite spots.  This tapas place, which I've been hearing about for years, lived up to it's reviews, and there were lots of interesting choices on the menu for a vegan like me.

We began with fresh bread accompanied by olive oil with a fresh sprig of rosemary and roasted garlic for dipping.  From there I enjoyed the brussel sprouts with apples, grapes and apricots in a warm honeyed vinaigrette and rice with wild mushrooms.  My aunt and son raved about the butternut squash soup with croutons, pumpkin seeds, plated tableside.

In addition to what I chose, the restaurant boasts other vegan-friendly items like gazpacho, a salad of red beets, citrus and pistachios in a sherry dressing, a sliced apple and fennel salad with walnuts, also with a sherry dressing, and a dish of roasted red peppers, eggplant and sweet onions.  I'm curious to go back and try my runners up: wrinkled potatoes with mojo verde, (I mean, wrinkled?  How great an adjective is that for roasted potatoes?) a moorish stew of chickpeas and spinach, the sauteed cauliflower with dates and olives, or the lightly battered eggplant with honey.

If you're in DC and you go, let me know what you choose!  I don't think you can go wrong.


Veg and the City