Adventures in DC and with the Art o Mat

This was a remarkably uneventful trip (for me). None of the usual excitement of almost missing my flight, losing my keys, phone, purse, etc. It was snowing Tuesday morning when I had to meet my mailing guy and drop off some postcards with him, which didn’t bode well for the plane leaving on time, and it didn’t, but we didn’t have anywhere we needed to be that night.The incoming flight was late and the plane had to be de-iced as we left, but like I said, no rush to get there.

Our meeting is in DC, but my boss owns a timeshare in Alexandria, VA, so we stay out there and take the Metro into DC.

Sorry, no food pictures, my board members think I am quite weird already.

The first night we walked 12 blocks (good warm up for the next few days and all of the walking we would do on Capitol Hill) to The Warehouse, which is kind of spendy but a really good place to eat. I had the she crab soup, raw oysters, and crab/shrimp beignets. The soup was good and the oysters were excellent, the beignets were extremely MEH, which I should have taken as a warning for all cakey/croquetty things to come that week. Coconut rum cake for dessert, which was also good, but didn’t knock my socks off.

We had our first day of Hill visits the next day, visiting five Congressional offices. They all went well. Ate lunch at Bullfeathers near the Hill, had a seared tuna sandwhich which was just OK. The corn chowder was good but he snatched it away when I still had 3 bites left, which didn’t make me very happy.

We tried a place we hadn’t eaten before in Alexandria for dinner, Geranio Italian. It was good, probably the best meal we had (in my opinion) all week. I had the Five Onion Soup with Gorgonzola Crostini, was was not at all like French Onion soup, this was a light colored broth with all kinds of onion slices, and the crouton with cheese was quite small, really a garnish. There were a lot of green onions and leeks, I think. I quite liked it, it was different. I had the lobster risotto, which came with 1/2 of a 1 lb lobster, and they removed the meat for you, so no shell. Although 1/2 of the meat from a 1 lb lobster isn’t really very much, it was about just right for a serving size, and the risotto was excellent. Three of us had that, all of us gave it thumbs up. I had the creme brulee for dessert, it was good, kind of hard to ruin creme brulee, but I have been places where they did it.

2nd day of Hill visits went fine, although I left my phone in one of the offices and had to return and retrieve it. Weather was nice, sometimes we are tramping around back there when it is freezing cold. We ate at La Loma (no website that I could find), which is close to the Senate side of the Hill, and is one of our traditional places to eat when we are there. I had the ceviche and tortilla soup. The ceviche was not a huge serving size, but after the usual chips and dip, it was just right. We were done by 3:00 so I took off and tried to go to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Portrait gallery. After some confusion over where it was, I walked the three blocks off the mall to its location. My prime reason for going there was to visit the Art-O-Mat and get some $5 art. I had also promised one of my board members who is an artist I would get her some.

The Art-o-Mat is addictive. Inserting your money and receiving a block with a painting on it or a small box with a surprise in it is delightful. (Pictures tomorrow.) I looked around the museum a little bit, enough to know I wanted to come back here and look around some more, and then headed to Alexandria. Everyone else had gone their separate ways to receptions/dinners etc., and I just went to Pines of Florence back in Alexandria and had pasta fagioli soup and manicotti, because I knew I would have leftover manicotti that I could have for breakfast the next morning. I was already tired of the Dunkin’ Donuts across the street. (to be continued)

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