Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eating Out - Seafood

Greatest combo of all time... sandwich and fries.

Tackle Box (Seafood)

As a proud Midwesterner, I once considered everything north of Virginia and east of Ohio to be "New England." Other than the major cities, this was the land of yachting (on the coasts) or polo fields (inland). In my mind, the population sustained on champagne, lobster, and steaks (expensive steaks). One New England delicacy I had only heard of before moving East was the famed lobster roll. In the Midwest, we would have simply called it a "lobster salad sandwich." But what do we know?

  • Tackle Box is the sort of fast food restaurant DC loves to offer. I imagine the owners secured their business loan by saying "Do you like Captain D's? Imagine a Captain D's where every meal costs $25!"
  • The place offers essentially two choices: fried fish and lobster rolls. Both are pretty decent options, but, much like the NBC Thursday night comedy block, they rarely transcend from really good to great. Still, it's hard to complain about really good.
  • The major downside of Tackle Box? It's in the heart of Georgetown, so chances are the people seated to your left and to your right are annoying.

Eating Out - Empanadas

Panas (Empanadas)

I've lived in this town long enough that I can't tell if something is a DC trend or part of a larger national trend. I do know this: there are a lot of empanadas in this town. Before moving to the District, I only came across them sporadically, but now it seems like they are everywhere. There's even an empanadas food truck, so empanadads can quite literally sneak up on you.

  • Kathryn has been hassling me to go get empanads for a couple of months now, but I alway fought back because (1) they are not filling enough for a meal or (2), if you eat enough to get full, the grease will destroy your stomach. I couldn't fight back any longer, and we went to Panas for a late afternoon lunch. To my surprise, I left full, and the empanads weren't dripping with grease.
  • Panas' empanadas look tiny, but don't be deceived. Those little guys are pretty filling. We both ordered the four empanadas meal, which comes with guacamole and plantain chips. It was entirely too much food.
  • Panas has probably 30 offerings, including meat, veggie, seafood, and even dessert empanadas. The empanadas have a little brands stamped into the dough to show what flavor is inside. Genius!
  • I want to head back and try a few of the flavors I passed on the first time out.

Eating Out - Fish

My kind of sandwich... tons of fish, a little bread.

Market Lunch (Fried fish and stuff)

Market Lunch is the sort of place that every city must have. It's located in the center of Eastern Market, a sort of farmers market/open air market (another must for all cities). The menu consists of all the foods you expect from a small lunch counter in an historic market --- everything is either deep fried or smothered in mayonnaise.

  • Market Lunch is known for super long lines, but I assume this is a problem during peak times. On a Friday afternoon, you're golden! The ladies working the counter are just as impatient though, so make sure to read the board and know what you want before stepping up to order.
  • The crab cakes are solid, but not the kind that bring you to tears. The fried fish is pretty outstanding though. I put it up against anything I've had in DC. (The best fried fish, in my opinion, still comes from the Midwest.)
  • You're selling yourself short if you don't get some French fries.
  • Insider's Tip: There is some Old Bay next to the ketchup and stuff. Put it on everything you order (excluding drinks).

Eating Out - Sushi

Making cafeteria dining cool again.

Wasabi Sushi (Sushi)

I've been eating sushi for at least 10 years, with occasional periods of obsessive sushi consumption. However, I've never been to one those places where sushi plates come by on a conveyor belt and you just pick up whatever looks interesting. Well, at Wasabi, I finally had my chance at a sushi-go-round.

  • It took us forever to realize that prices were indicated by plate color. The price differences weren't too staggering though, and all the sushi was surprisingly cheap (happy hour specials, too).
  • The portions were cheap for a reason: they're small. The lady next to us had a staggering 10 plates when we sat down. I was relieved when we only made it through about 12 or so between the two of us.
  • In terms of quality, Wasabi was just a bit better than really good grocery store sushi.