USA Day 9: Washington – National Air and Space Museum

A new day, and a new chance to see if Washington has good food….

Founding Farmers

1924 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 822 8783
Open: Mon – Thu  8am – 11pm;  Fri 8am – Midnight; Sat 9am– Midnight; Sun 9am – 10pm
Website

I know, I know, I know.  I know what you’re thinking.  After such an average meal the night before, why would you want to go there for breakfast.  But, my research had indicated that breakfast was good at Founding Farmers – that’s how I originally found them, by researching breakfast spots (again – the most important part of the day).  And in most cases, breakfast menus can be so different, they’re designed by different chefs, and cooked by different people.  So, bravely we went back to check it out.

New Orleans Style French Toast stuffed with Vanilla Pastry Cream
- wtih Bananas Foster (Cinammon Syrup).

Founding Farmers Breakfast – 2 eggs (poached) plus
breakfast sausage and shredded leek hash browns.

Now we’re talking!!   This was much better.  How fantastic does that French toast look…. Drool!

The French toast was soft and fluffy on the inside, and crisp on the outside – it was quite delicious. And it was great to come across someone doing French Toast a little bit differently.

I am very spoiled as I live quite close to the amazing Hardware Societé in Melbourne who do the best French Toast in THE WORLD – without a doubt.  So, it was good to see some creativity. Again, I have to concede – this version was not quite to their standard, but it was really lovely.

One thing was consistent though, given it was Founding Farmers – the servings were substantial. So we opted to walk the couple of kilometres to the National Air and Space Museum.  We need all the exercise we can get!!

Founding Farmers on Urbanspoon

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20560
202-633-2214
Hours: Daily 10:00am – 5:30pm
Website

From the outside the National Air and Space Museum looked massive – and I was worried we would be in there for the whole day.  But the exhibits inside are huge – and take up a significant amount of real estate – so it didn’t actually take that long to go through everything.  We ended up taking a couple of hours to go through it.  Below are only a sample of the photos that Andrew took – please ask to see the slideshow for a fully informed and enthusiastic narration…

Entrance to the National Air and Space Museum

A replica of the Lunar Landing module (the original is still on the moon!).

John Glenn’s actual space suit.

Messerschmitt Aircraft

The Apollo 11 command module.

The famous white vest made famous by Ed Harris in the movie Apollo 13.
Alas – Ed Harris was nowhere to be seen.

After walking around the museum for a couple of hours – we decided we would take a rest in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. There were a couple of nice pieces in there, but on the whole – we decided the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden was better.

Monument to Balzac, 1891-1898, Auguste Rodin

The Burghers of Calais, 1884-1889, Auguste Rodin

We were most entertained by a furry friend …
– the Washington Squirrel.  Move over Rocky!

Julia’s Empanadas

1221 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 861-8828
Open Fri-Sat till 4am
Website

We took the subway back home – my feet were killing me!   We had a quick bite at Julia’s Empanadas.

Saltenas for me (chicken, potatoes, green peas, hard boiled egg, raisins, green olives & onion).

Jamaican Style for Andrew (ground beef, onion, potato, curry and other spices).

This was quite a late lunch – so we just had time for a quick rest before we went out for dinner.

Jaleo

480 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628 7949
Open:  Tue-Thu 11:30am – 11:30pm;  Fri-Sat  11:30am – midnight; Sun-Mon 11:30am – 10:00pm
Website

I have a confession to make.  After our mediocre meal at Founding Farmers, while sitting there over our half eaten mains – I bowled up two sets of people that were sitting at the tables next to us.  Where do they recommend for really good food?  The first two girls asked where we were staying.  Dupont Circle – ah well, anything up there is great. So many good restaurants.

FAIL.

It was time to be ruthless people!!!  Based upon our experience at Dupont Circle, we needed to ignore any advice they gave us.  So I smiled and nodded, and made the appropriate oohs and aahs. Nothing made it to long term memory. Delete. Delete. Delete.

The next couple were a cute, lovey dovey couple - and it was obviously her birthday because he pulled out a present (after ripping it out of the Amazon packaging at the table) and presented it to her (a lovely necklace). She seemed really happy, so cute!  At one stage, she excused herself from the table, and I saw my chance.  Surely a lovey, dovey couple knows all the good spots???  I honed in on the guy. The poor thing looked like a deer in the headlights and professed that he was not the foodie of the couple. But I still persisted – while we were talking, his girlfirend returned and joined in the conversation.  They mentioned a few places, but one name stuck in my mind – they described it as Spanish fusion - Jaleo.  Could this be the one…. ?

We got the concierge to book for us the next day (after our empanadas).  We caught the subway, and got there a bit early, but they happily seated us anyway. There were people everywhere, and spilling out the door as well.  Was this a sign?

Jaleo specialises in tapas with an option for a few different types of paella.  We decided to focus on tapas, and our server advised that it was fairly typical to order around 3-4 dishes each.  Sounds good to me…   The menu looked very promising – there were 3 different chorizo dishes for Andrew – so I knew he would be happy!

Let’s start with some sangria…

And some fresh bread with olive oil (which was poured at the table over the garlic
and rosemary so it would continue to infuse as the night went on!).

Jamón Ibérico de bellota Fermin – Cured ham from the legendary, acorn-fed, black-footed Ibérico pigs of Spain. This is served with toasted bread with tomato smeared across the top – so good!!

Chorizo Palacios – A slightly spicy cured pork sausage seasoned with pimentón and garlic

Arroz de pato ‘Jean-Louis Palladin’ – Rice with duck confit, duck breast
and foie gras cream – hands down amazing!!  For me, it was the dish of the night.

Berenjenas con miel – Lightly battered eggplant. Obviously this one was all mine!

I just need to interrupt this moment – to let you all know how happy I am
– this is AMAZING food!!

Chistorra envuelta en patata frita – Slightly spicy chorizo wrapped in crispy potato.

Croquetas de pollo – Traditional chicken fritters

Codorniz con salsa de romero y alioli de miel – Grilled quail with rosemary sauce and honey alioli.
Again – another amazing dish!

This was the scallop special – two huge, fat scallops seared and served with
sweet potato puree and crisp sunflower seeds.  So good!!

I was so happy – I had to have a photo with our waitress Sandra, who had been great!

And finally, to finish off – dessert:
Espuma de chocolate negro con bizcocho de cacao y helado de avellana -
Dark chocolate mousse with a cocoa sponge cake and hazelnut ice cream.

Hello…. Am I in heaven????

Overall, this was an amazing night.  This is the sort of restaurant that, if I had come here the first night – we would have kept coming back – 3 nights in a row.  I am salivating just looking at the pictures.  If you ever find yourself in Washington – do yourself a favour and check this place out!! Absolutely gorgeous!  Definitely a place to find dining nirvana!!

Jaleo on Urbanspoon

After such a wonderful night – we hopped on the subway (see the station below – they do their subways right in the States) and rode it home.  This was our last day in Washington and a brilliant way to finish.

Gallery Place / Chinatown Metro Station