To make up for the more dismal last post, I’ll include some bites from around town.
First: Misitam Cafe, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian (http://www.mitsitamcafe.com)
Hands down, best cafeteria food in the Smithsonian. Salmon, tapas, rabbit, turkey, salads, and everything you can think of. By representing the diverse American Indian cultures over a geographical diversity, the cafe has a variety of food that can probably found in few places.
I had the grilled buffalo (medium rare, as suggested by the chef), along with sides of wild turkey with beans, and an asparagus salad with vinaigrette. First time having buffalo (just hearing someone say “how would you like your buffalo?” is quite an experience), and I quite enjoyed it. It was leaner and firmer than a beef steak, but I felt that it had more flavor; and the sauce that they used was wonderful. Sides very good too – turkey wasn’t dried out, and the asparagus salad was a nice cooler temperature contrast.
Second: Southern Comfort Food, Smithsonian Folk Life Festival
Out on the National Mall, being 100 degrees, we decided to get food at the Southern Comfort Food tent. Choosing between chicken or catfish (both fried, of course), I chose the catfish (as I was intending on cooking chicken tonight – and you saw how that turned out). It came with a side of collard greens and sweet potato fries. The catfish was good, and the sweet potato fries were pretty good too – not dried out like they’d been sitting under a hot light, but not soggy like they were in the box for too long either. I’m usually not a collard greens person, especially the way they prepare them at school, but I quite enjoyed them here! Perhaps not the most memorable meal ever (except for the intense heat and humidity! At least we were able to eat under a tent), but it sure delivered on its southern comfort food promise.
During the week, I was able to attend a dinner with some awardees who were in DC. Besides the plus of having salad on a plate on top of a 2009 Presidential Inaugural Lunch plate, there was a main course of what I believe was filet mignon with horseradish sauce on top, some roasted chicken, roasted yellow squash, and what I believe was cream of cauliflower. It was an amazing array of flavors on the plate. Topped off with a desert of a rich chocolate cake with chocolate chunks, and some vanilla ice cream on top of candied ginger. What a meal!