Trini Food in D.C.

victoria —  March 31, 2005 — Leave a comment

I would say that we went to our nation’s capital to see the sites and bask in the glory of our great nation, but I would be lying.

The very first thing we did was head to the Islander on U Street for roti. They apparently don’t have roti on Sunday night. The boychick and I had stew chicken and Keifel and E.B. had oxtail and goat respectively. The pelau was quite good, but I have to confess that I think Keifel’s stew chicken is better.

Monday morning we went to the Museum of American History on the Mall. The one thing I really wanted to see there was Julia Child’s kitchen. It is an amazing sight but I would have loved to sit at the table or stand at the sink rather than peek at it all through glass. Keifel did get a picture of me next to the stove and our pilgrimage was complete.

We went out that night to Raku: An Asian Diner. Wow. An excellent choice by our hosts. We had all manner of dim sum type appetizers and small plates. The best were Keifel’s pork dumplings with a spicy black bean sauce. I got shrimp coconut curry that was similar to panang but without the heavy basil perfume of the Thai version. I could have licked the plate but we were heading to Sweet Licks, an ice cream parlor after dinner and I wanted to save room.

Sweet Licks offers about 16 to 20 flavors. I had Coffee Toffee Crunch which is my perennial favorite with a scoop of bittersweet chocolate that was so chocolatey it was almost like a truffle. I was really glad that I saved room for the treat.

Tuesday we got up and drove out to Teddy’s for doubles. I could smell them when we got out of the car. I could tell Keifel was in heaven and we had high hopes that the boychick would be a doubles convert. They were good and the first ones I’d had for almost two years. The boychick wasn’t thrilled and Keifel ordered a Jamaican beef patty for him with Apple Js all around. I ate four, Keifel had five or so. We left happy and stuffed to the gills. E.G. then drove us out to the Air and Space Museum hanger at Dulles.

He also made us dinner that night. A lovely roast pork from the Angostura cookbook and a vegetable melange with parmesan cheese served with a lovely Yellowtail Reserve. It was one of the best meals of the trip.

Wednesday we had a quick breakfast and out the door to see E.B.’s group give a Shakespeare performance and theater lesson to some highschoolers in Silver Spring. We dropped her to work and went to tour the National Cathedral, one of my very favorite things about Washington DC.

We finally got roti that afternoon. It was the first time the boychick had experienced roti as well. It went over much better than the doubles. We waddled home well fed again.

E.B. offered to hang with the boychick so Keifel and I could have some alone time driving around the monuments and being grown ups. I got some coffee and we took lots of “Washington at Night” pictures and made rude comments about tour buses.

The next day was our last in DC. We got up and drove back out to Teddy’s for bon voyage doubles. So good. I’ve discovered I really like them with the tamarind. I had only had them with shadon beni and cucumber when I was in Trinidad. Our drive home didn’t involve any interesting food but all of our food adventures in DC have inspired a new round of attempting Trini food at home for me.

Keifel’s week this week at work has been less than stellar. In an effort to cheer him up some today, I surprised him with homemade doubles for lunch. Well, a homemade attempt at doubles. I made the baking powder barra, which were rather crunchy and just not as good as the yeasted barra and won’t be attempted again. The channa was spot on on the flavor but it didn’t cook long enough for the chickpeas to soften into that perfect mouthfeel.

Keifel was surprised and gracious about my first attempt. I think I might still be digesting them 6 hours later. Let’s just say they were much heavier than any I have had to date. I’ll hold off posting a recipe until I meet with more success. Until then I leave you with the addresses for where we ate in DC.

The Islander Caribbean Restaurant
1201 U St. NW Washington, DC

Teddy’s Roti Shop
7414 Georgia Ave. NW Washington, DC

Raku: An Asian Dinner
Dupont Circle
1900 Q St., NW
Washington, DC
Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Sweet Licks
Dupont Circle
1704 R St.
(Also serves hot soup at lunch)



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