Tuesday, December 06, 2005

back from DC



My trip to Washington, DC to give a paper at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association started with French ravioli smothered in gruyere (depicted here-- at DuPont Circle's Bistrot du Coin) and ended with a bad cranberry scone in the Washington National airport... In between were many delightful repasts, highlights of which included the Lebanese Taverna (in Woodley Park, where the conference was) and a trip to a new cafe in the neighborhood of Howard University, Busboys and Poets, where I had a tremendous burger with melted havarti and avocado. This was a neat cafe with high ceilings, lots of comfortable lounge chairs, and a bookstore that appeared to specialize in books about African-American history and architecture. There was a trip to the Love Cafe for cake from the Cake Love bakery and Moroccan mint tea. There was also the antipasto platter at Me & You, a Mediterranean-themed place in Georgetown.

There were also some not-so-exciting meals-- forgettable Thai, boring burritos. The Indian restaurants in the neighborhood of the conference (again, Woodley Park metro), were pretty bland affairs, but I was heartened when I returned home with two of my colleagues and, on the way home, had an excellent lunch with Nour & friends at a vegetarian Indian restaurant right here in Orlando called Woodlands. Crisp samosas with perfectly spicy potato and pea filling, creamy malai kofta, potato & cauliflower curry, spinach & paneer, and a luscious eggplant baigun bhartha. Excellent gulab jamun, doughnuts served in a hot syrup, (a contrast to the refrigerated, desiccated nightmare of the gulab jamun I'd had in DC). That had me feeling pretty good about central Florida, in addition to the fact that it was 75 degrees and sunny.

I was amused by the gingerbread house they were building in the lobby of the Marriott where the conference was held. I watched the hotel staff put up a giant plywood house and then glue what looked like cafeteria cookies and graham crackers to it little by little. You can see at the top the half-plywood, half-graham crackered house. The employees looked less-than-thrilled at having to complete this arduous task.

I'm going into exam/grading mode for a few days and there may be no food-related dispatches until I'm finished... but the semester is drawing to a close, which is a great feeling...

3 comments:

Mia Goddess said...

I've been to the east coast less than two handfuls of times in my life. Every time I go, I am struck silent by the utter lack of edible burritos. Being a native Californian, it's just so weird to me that entire states would have no idea how yummy an authentic burrito is!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Heh, heh. What did people say when they saw you taking a picture of your food? :)

OK.NOWwhat said...

i'm assuming you were at the Wardman Park Marriott in Woodley. you should have seen the larger-than-life white chocolate Abe Lincoln that was in the lobby one of the times we stayed there! i hit "next bog" and it was you. it's a treat looking at the food!