Monday, August 30, 2010

The Weekend Report: H Street Adventure with Jess

My awesome Boston friend Jess came to visit this weekend!  She flew in Thursday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon. After 3 whole days with her, my voice is tired. Because we do not stop talking. Ever. It’s kind of amazing, but also a bit ridiculous. How do we still have things to say??? Who knows, but I’m glad we do!

After a day of shopping and talking and baking and talking and an abs workout and talking and watching Food Network and talking, we went to meet up with Jess’s friend and his wife for dinner on H street. I’ve never been to H street before because a) I don’t go out that often, b) it’s not Metro accessible, and c) it is just way too far away from my bed. But I’ve been reading stellar reviews of Ethiopic since it opened this winter, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to make the venture over thataways.

Ethiopic was very good. The injera (Ethiopian pancake-bread that you use as a utensil) was fantastic!

 We ordered vegetarian: Azifa Salad (Whole lentils seasoned with red onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, olive oil, lemon juice, herbs & spices) was a great value! This could be your lunch or 2 salads could make a dinner. Fosolia (String beans and carrots simmered in a mild sauce), Shimbra Asa (Spicy chickpeas dumpling seasoned with onions, garlic, red pepper, & spices), Signature Shiro (Pureed split peas cooked with red onions and garlic served hot in a clay pot), and Asa Tibs (Fried Croaker fish marinated with fresh herbs & spices and served with lemon). Be warned that last one comes out as a whole fish...but you don't get any it's time to get pickey! Sorry - no pictures of the food - we were hungry!

The décor was very minimal, not what I expected at all. Normal chairs and normal tables, rather than the usual Ethiopian style stools and little round table things. My only complaints were that the table was way too small for a group of four, and it took FOREVER to get our check. And Jess drinks like a camel, so we could have used a few more water refills.

After great food and good conversation (i.e. more talking – we are just relentless!), we left the restaurant. Our next stop was Dangerously Delicious Pies. This place was a must-see, since it’s been featured more than once on Food Network: Paula’s Best Dishes, and Road Tested with the Neelys and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Jess and I decided to go for a slice of Baltimore Bomb Pie to go (Berger Cookies (a local specialty) that melt down and swirl into a sweet vanilla chess filling), since that's what was featured on TBTIEA.

It was about 10:00 as we meandered down the street. H street is the new hip place to go out in DC, and we could definitely tell where the “hot spots” were. The neighborhood has the reputation as being ever so slightly sketchy, but early in the evening with a group of four felt fine…

Until, out of nowhere, a woman lunged at Jess and tried to grab her pie! I’m not even kidding – she didn’t go for Jess’s purse – she went for the pie. And since Jess had good priorities and a solid head on her shoulders, she held tight to that box of pie!

The woman was clearly high, and a man near her grabbed her by the shoulders. “Woah there woman, you gotta learn to control yourself!”

Oh my gosh. Just keep walking. Things like that happen so fast you don’t even know what’s going on until afterwards. Obviously no one was hurt…it was just kind of scary.

I’m a very trusting person, and my danger-radar is non-existent, so when something actually happens it freaks me out. My conclusion is: H street, been there, no need to go back. Unless it’s for injera…in which case I will take a cab.

Our spirits weren’t dampened for long though! Shaken but unscathed, we metroed back home, pie in hand, where Baked and Wired cupcakes awaited us (aka, the BEST cupcakes in DC). One Strawberry and one Ginger Peach cupcake to be exact. Yum!

The pie, however, was kind of a disappointment. Don’t get it. It’s just kinda soggy and sweet and blah. Obviously we ate it, but it definitely didn’t live up to the hype. Note to self: fruit pies are always the way to go.

On Saturday, Jess experienced yoga for the first time (she didn’t hate it, so we’ll count that as a win!). 

Then most of the day we worked on constructing an epic birthday cake, which you will hear about tomorrow. For now I’ll leave you with this teaser. Looks delicious right? It caused some serious rage.

We rested up for a big night out: Local 16 then Wonderland Ballroom – oh man we could barely drag ourselves out of bed for brunch at The Tombs on Sunday (coffee cake on the table. Need I say more?)!

Then Jess headed back to Boston – let’s all agree, she should move to DC!