keep your expectations low and i will rise to the occasion.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Update: The Nation, In Fact, Tastes Good

A food coma should not last 24 hours. However, when surrounded by 60 of the best restaurants in DC all handing out samples of some of their most creative and exciting dishes... it suddenly seems reasonable.

On Monday night, I attended Taste of the Nation: DC Edition at the National Building Museum and it was an incredibly delicious experience. As someone who lives on Taco Bell, Subway and the always popular food court chinese food, I was a little apprehensive about trying recipes from the likes of Michel Richard from Central or Clayton Miller of Trummer's On Main, named one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs of 2010. However, it was for a great cause, to end childhood hunger, so I decided to suck it up and venture into the unknown.

After walking around the entire National Building Museum, looking for the entrance, I finally broke down and asked someone who quickly pointed to a sign that simply read "Event Entrance." So far, so good. The registration process was a breeze but I could not help but be distracted while checking in by 1. how beautiful the National Building Museum is with its big golden columns 2. the dj spinning some silly jams infused with a little techno pumping a feeling of excitement into the air 3. how many people were already there! It quickly dawned on me that with all these people, the food may run out. I knew I had to be strategic. I only have two hands and obviously one was full with some of the free wine, liquor and beer being handed out. I moved quickly and made sure I got to each table... at least once.

I obviously cannot go into great detail about all the dishes I tried but there were a few that truly stood out:

* Flamed & Spiced Courvoisier Beef and Shrimp Skewers, by Executive Chef Darren Hendry of Bobby Van's Steakhouse
Delicious!! Anytime you mix a little meat with a little liquor, you are bound to create greatness. Definitely my favorite dish of the evening

* Burgers with Special Mojo Sauce from BGR: The Burger Joint
So simple. No frills. Just chalked full of taste. Because of my fast food background, I felt very comfortable holding a little slider burger. However, this was not your ordinary slider burger and the mojo sauce was off the chart

* Vanilla-Infused Pork Bellies from Executive Chef Clayton Miller of Trummer's On Main
Not big on pork but I ran into one of the Trummer's On Main chefs while at another table and he convinced me try it. Um... thank you kind sir for you are so very wise. If evolution is real, may we all hope that pigs begin to have the flavor of vanilla occur naturally within them.

* Cheesecake lollipops from Co Co Sala
Again, not big on deserts but when in Rome...(there were columns and everything! bad joke?). Thank goodness I did. Who doesn't love lollipops?!

Those are just a few notables but literally everything I put in my mouth was delicious. I had some octopus, crab, shrimp, lamb stew, foie gras, steaks, andouille sausage hot dogs and even beef tartar. However, it wasnt ALL about the food. There were a lot of wines and liquors to be had. My personal favorite was the Hibiscus Drink which included Grand Marinier, Woodford Reserve, some sour mix and of course, a little bit of Hibiscus flower. After two, I cut myself off. I didn't want to be the guy that falls into the fountain that is dangerously unassuming in the middle of the room.

Other than the food and drink, it was also a great event in terms of all the fun people there. I ran into a good friend from high school, a next door neighbor (who helped me remember where I got my favorite dishes! Thanks Kim!) and, of course, the star from The Top Chef, Bryan Voltaggio, who was really nice and let me get a picture with him and some of my friends.

All in all, the event was really a good time. I even got a great little goody bag full of coupons and fun paraphernalia from sponsors. The best part about the whole thing was that it was for a great cause. Special thanks are definitely in order to Share Our Strength, the organization who was responsible for this delicious and exciting event.

Now I need to go and lie down... Someone wake me up when its time for dinner... on Thursday.

1 comment:

  1. holy crap! you capitalized your I's! what's happening to the world??