Compiling a DC dream meal

Like Lindsay, I attended the Groupon-sponsored Taste of DC over the weekend. I actually had a good time. This was more a result of the good weather and friends than the long lines and unfortunate booze cage. By fencing the alcohol-sipping rabble-rousers into a their own separate section away from the general public, Groupon probably infused the event with a bit more antiquated metaphor than was necessary.

Forced displacement/consolidation aside, I cannot deny my appreciation for any excuse to consume thousands of empty calories in the company of other people (instead of alone at home while watching E! True Hollywood Story.) In the system at Taste of DC (which was surely aped from Taste of Chicago, which probably got it from the Greco-Romans or something,) prices of individual food items are in tickets, which are sold in denominations of 10 at the entrance. The nice thing about this system is that you can easily move between restaurants and cuisines, and weave together a veritable dream-dinner unconstrained by the fact that most people don’t like pad thai and meatballs together. I got to thinking about what my DC dream-meal might look like, were I free to ignore physical, financial, and calorical truths. If my tongue could plan its own DC dinner menu from any restaurants it wanted, the menu would probably contain the following:

Drink: Green Lift Health Drink, from Busboys and Poets
I know, I know. Allow me to explain. See, I lost my taste for mixed drinks at around the same time that I soured on unframed posters taped directly to walls. Don’t worry – in curtailing my cocktail intake, I offset the decrease in alcohol percentage by consuming many more glasses of wine. (Also, I still do shots.) As a result, it doesn’t seem fair to credit a given restaurant for stocking my favored pinot grigio. That actually considerably narrowed the playing field – what non-alcoholic drink could I actually associate specifically with the restaurant that served it? I love lattes, but I wouldn’t drink one with dinner. And I love the caramel milkshake from Shake Shack, but I don’t think that counts. If the presence of a straw and cup are enough to constitute a drink, then I myself have turned many an entrée into appetizers and finger food simply by not washing the dishes. In any event, I made my way to Busboys and Poets one evening with my laptop and figured that since I was writing and it was nighttime, I should probably forgo both alcohol and caffeine. Against all odds, I hastily ordered the Green Lift Health Drink, even though 75% of the words in the beverage’s name vaguely annoy me. And you know what? It was great.

Appetizer:  Cheesy Spinach Dip, from Mad Hatter
The first sign that something is delicious is that its mushy topography results in valleys of grease surrounded by cheese. The second is that it served with pita bread.

Entre: A toss-up between a cheeseburger from Five Guys and Chicago-style pizza from Armand’s
Yeah. Neither my dignity nor taste buds have moved beyond the typical drawings on any third grade classroom’s “junk foods” chart. These foods could be improved only if they were shaped like dinosaurs.

Side dish: Macaroni and Cheese, from Hill Country
Lindsay and I have been creepily open here and here about our affection for this Chinatown tourist gimmick, but the moment I tried the sloppy yellow noodles at Hill Country, I swear on my life that the lights dimmed, and ‘80s ballads started to play. Were a body of water in my line of vision, I would have run toward the waves in slow-motion. It really is that good. Also, if you’ve noticed that my dream-meal appetizer, entrée and side dish all contain copious amounts of cheese…then you’re a little judge-y, now aren’t you?

Dessert: A whoopee pie, Whoopsies
I hadn’t ever sampled one of these before Taste of DC, but now I am burdened by the knowledge that they exist. I have been distracted by thoughts of them since Saturday. I WANT TO EAT ONE AGAIN. (For analogous reasons – don’t try things like heroin and Toddlers and Tiaras.)

Of course, even the best dream-meal would be nothing without a dream-date. Unfortunately, I worry that picking and choosing different pieces of different people to create a dream-person operates slightly outside of the ethical system of this blog. We’ll see how I feel after I digest.

– A gluttonous Natalie

About Natalie Shure

literature, life and latte lady

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