A few more photos from our DC trip a couple of weeks ago.
We ended up having dinner in the hotel bar a couple of times, and the food was actually pretty good. The crispy pork belly bao were great, as a matter of fact. The charcuterie board was nothing amazing, but it was our last night in DC, we were tired, and everything was tasty if unremarkable.
That same day, we also had lunch at Mikko, a little Scandinavian cafe that was a short walk from the hotel. From that website, I was sort of expecting a fancy European restuarant, but it was a small walk-in with a couple of tables inside and on the sidewalk. We sat outdoors, since it was a very nice day. I had the Skagen, an open-faced shrimp salad sandwich. We also shared a bowl of the mushroom soup. The soup thoroughly exceeded my expectations. It was a thick puree rather than a creamy or brothy soup, full of deep mushroom flavor and almost nothing else.
We had a hard time finding food tours in DC. I don’t know if the pandemic killed hem off, or if it’s just not a thing there. There were only a couple we could find online: one that took people through the U Street neighborhood and focused on the Black ethnic cuisines there (Ethiopian and Jamaican, mainly), and one in Georgetown. We opted for the Georgetown tour, though I am sure we would have enjoyed either. We met up at District Doughnut and then very briskly walked through the gorgeous neighborhood, stopping at several spots that were involved in JFK’s time there pre-presidency. We enjoyed an excellent falafel from Falafel Inc., had the meatloaf special at the famous Martin’s Tavern, and a creme brulee at a newer restaurant whose name I now forget. Overall, the tour did not live up to some of our previous food tour experiences, but it was nice to walk around the neighborhood and sample some local favorites.
Somehow, when I posted the photos from Albi last week, I managed to forget to include the dessert tray, so I have added it here. Tiny little bites of wonder to finish off such a memorable meal. The baklava was especially good.
As I mentioned in the post immediately below, I picked up some desserts at Caramel Patisserie to go along with our delightful dinner. The mild day brought people out in droves, and when we got to Caramel, there was nowhere to park nearby (a common occurrence in downtown Salem), so I got out of the car and went in, while Bridget circled the block in the car.
They’ve had these gorgeous little mousses a couple of times recently. It’s milk chocolate, white chocolate, and dark chocolate mousse and a little hazlenut crunch on the very bottom. They were as delcious as they were beautiful, like everything else we get from them. I also picked up a couple of chocolate-filled eclairs, which we had for dessert Sunday night. Tough call which was better, to be honest.
I got to the patisserie in the knick of time. I was about fourth in line when I walked in the door, but by the time I left, the line was all the way out the door and starting to head down the street. Glad to see that they do such robust business.
I enjoy baking a little, but I’d much rather cook. My wife enjoys cooking a little, but she’d much rather bake. Works out pretty well on average. She’s made this caramel cranberry apple pie a few times now, and it is usually excellent. She made one for Christmas, though, where she accidentally used salt instead of sugar (I still have no idea how she coud mistake the two very different-sized canisters). That one went directly in the trash.
Our daughter insists that she does not like pie, but I think this is just youthful contrarianism. Who doesn’t like pie?
We love Caramel Patisserie (I would link to their website, but it seems to be not working at the moment), a delightful little shop a short walk from our house. They are known around the area for their exquisite macarons, but they also have a selection of other French patisserie items like cake slices, croissants, and other traditional French pastry. I especially like these cake slices. For our birthdays this year, we skipped making birthday cakes ourselves and just enjoyed these slices, which we’ve decided is worth turning into a tradition. This particular evening was not anyone’s birthday, however. Our old friends Tony and Sharon had come to spend the weekend with us, and we’d stopped into the shop as we took them around downtown Salem. We had just come from spending most of the afternoon at the Notch Brewing beer garden, enjoying plate after plate of snacks to go with the beer, so no one was very hungry for dinner and thus we opted to skip straight to dessert.