8/23/11

DC Food Tour of U Street

I'm back from a fun long weekend in Denver. The food scene there was amazing and the service was unbelievable. All the eating was balanced out by walking, sightseeing and two nights of salsa dancing. Other than a 6 hour delay in Kansas City on the way back to DC, it was a great time.

While I'm editing photos from Denver, I want to share with you yet another food filled afternoon I've had with DC Metro Food Tours a few weeks ago. My other two food tours were Little Ethiopia and Capitol Hill.

Sharone from DC Metro Food Tours contacted me to see if I'd like to attend their new tour of U Street in return for blogging about it. I said YES, but warned her that I'll be completely honest with my feedback.

So let me just start with a few negatives: first, it rained off and on during the entire food tour. Really? Could they not have ordered a perfect walking-around weather? Second, there were no cute single guys in my tour group. Where are the men? And finally, the amount of food left me completely not hungry for dinner. In fact, I did not eat until after 10 pm.

{I hope you are fluent in sarcasm!}

Here is the information about the tour:
The U Street Corridor, one of DC’s trendiest neighborhoods, has long been known for its rich African American history and place in the jazz scene, and today it’s getting more recognition for something else: it’s food. DC Metro Food Tours is presenting the U Street Heart and Soul Food Tour, its newest culinary experience set to highlight one of Washington’s most quintessential neighborhoods through its food, history, architecture, and culture.

The walking tours last about 3.5 hours and groups will enjoy a variety of dishes from selected
local restaurants that reflect their specialties and also deconstruct the culinary history of the area.
Guests will also explore the neighborhood’s evolution from its roots in racial diversity, to its rise
and prominence in the African American community, to its rebirth as one of the main cultural
and culinary epicenters of the city.

The U Street Heart and Soul Food Tour will begin on Saturday, July 23rd at 2:30pm. Food
selections will include Caribbean classics, traditional soul food from a chef highlighted on the
Food Network, innovative European inspired dishes using locally sourced products, high end
Cajun and Creole dishes and inventive cocktails.

Tickets are $68 a person and the tours will run Thursdays-Saturdays from 2:30-6:00pm.
The first stop on the tour was Oohh's and Aahh's. I've heard of this place for years, but this was the first time I actually went inside and tried the food. The atmosphere reminded me of visiting someone's house. It was casual, family oriented and there were no pretenses. We ate with plastic forks and spoons, but it did not matter: the food shined. The menu included Blackened Cat fish served with collard greens, yams, and mac n cheese with 7 cheeses (Provolone, Parmesan, Mozzarella, White Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Fontina and Manchego).


Although I wasn't a huge fan of the sweet potatoes, I thought they were too sweet, the macaroni and cheese were smooth, cheesy and not too heavy. The fish was seasoned to perfection, and the greens made a nice side dish.

The next stop was Islander. This was a completely new restaurant to me. Looks like they don't have a website, but they are located on 1201 U St NW. On the menu: Roti, served with goat curry and chick peas and plantains.




If you've never tried goat, you've got to! It reminds me of lamb and was incredibly tender. The chickpeas were clearly made from scratch and what is not to love about fried plantains? Just like in Oohh's and Aahh's, the chef came over to our table and explained the concept behind the restaurant and welcomed us. Such attention is definitely something you don't get on regular basis. While we ate, we chatted about our travel adventures, our favorite types of food and learned more about the history of U Street area.

Once outside, the sun made an appearance and we happily walked to our next destination: Eatonville. This was my second time at this restaurant: the decor is stunning, the service is impeccable, and the food is top notch.



On the menu: Gumbo-a stew of crab, rock shrimp and andouille sausage followed by Hush puppy served with Rock shrimp fondue, crispy shallots, and a roasted tomato coulis. And since we were a little group, the owners of DC Metro Food Tours treated us to cocktails!




And the final stop was 1905 restaurant. I've heard multiple people rave about this restaurant, but this was my first time checking it out. Isn't this precisely the point of a food tour?! Good job, DC Metro Food Tours!

Once inside, the restaurant was dark: a great place for a date or an intimate get together with friends. The bar was gorgeous. That's where we sat ourselves down and got ready for our last mini meal on the tour. The owner, Tony, chatted with us, explained the name of the restaurant (it's just the address!) and talked about the items on the menu and specials they have throughout the week.


On the menu: Lobster meatballs (Maine lobster in a tomato cream sauce) and House made bread pudding.  You know my obsession with tomatoes: I could have eaten the tomato cream sauce as soup: so good! And the lobster meatball did not disappoint either. There was hardly any filler: all you could taste was the lobster. The bread pudding was the perfect sweet ending to the day.


If you are curious about the history and food of DC neighborhoods, definitely book your food tour soon~

1 comments:

Fernando said...

$68 a person seems a bit steep, especially since the idea is to advertise their food to you so you will return as a regular customer. Guess it's just the times we're living in.

As for the food, it looks amazing. I'm a huge fan of goat, so I'm quite sure this would really appeal to me.