DC Food Monuments – Washington, DC

When planning a trip to DC, most people are likely to look for information about the White House, the presidential monuments, or the various museums throughout the area.  For me and Sonia though, our planning focused on what to eat and when.  This was not only our first trip in a while but also our first trip for 2018, so we wanted to set the bar high with the culinary delights we sampled in our country’s capital.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

When done right, there’s no better combo in the morning than doughnuts and chicken sandwiches.  There’s just something naughty about having doughnuts and fried chicken together in the same meal.

If you’ve read any of our doughnut crawl blog posts from last year, you should be able to guess which doughnut we went with….of course it was the maple bacon.  Looking at it, I was expecting it to be very heavy, but was I wrong.  It was surprisingly fluffy and light even though it looked somewhat dense when we cut it in half.  There was a good amount of bacon and glaze topping this doughnut, and each was perfectly portioned so that neither dominated.  Rather, they combined in your mouth in perfect proportion with each bite.  Once we each finished our halves, I found myself regretting the agreement to share so we could say we were making smarter food choices in 2018.

Luckily, the urge to run out and buy more of these doughnuts was tempered by the fact that prior to eating this doughnut, Sonia and I each had a chicken sandwich.  One of the highlights of Astro is the variety of ways in which the chicken sandwich can be customized.  They offer a couple of bun options for breakfast and a number of sauces and add-ons.  Since this was our first time having it, we decided to go simple.  Sonia went with the doughnut bun, and I opted for the cheddar biscuit.  The doughnut was similar in texture to that of the maple bacon, but it was plain so no added sweetness from it.  As for the biscuit, it was a little denser than the doughnut, but still not too heavy that it weighs you down.  The chicken itself was nicely fried so that it was crispy but not oily.  However, the highlight had to be the honey butter we added.  It came in a small container on the side so we were able to have a bite with the butter and another without it.  The bite with the butter won hands down.  The added creaminess and sweetness put the sandwich over the top.

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Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is located at 1308 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005.

The Pig

If you haven’t guessed it, we have a ridiculous obsession with piggy eats.  I feel like we’ve limited our reviews of pork delicacies though to mainly bacon, but all that changes with this next restaurant.  With a name like The Pig, how could we not try it.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were not prepared for all the yummy options.  Normally, when Sonia and I eat out, we go over the menu and customer reviews to see what the must eats are for a particular place.  Coming here unprepared though had us making tough choices on what we definitely had to try or what could wait until we came back another time (and yes, just based on the menu, we were ready to come back again).  In the end, we opted to share multiple appetizers and then split an entree with a couple of sides.

For our appetizers, we split an andouille sausage, the face bacon, pork wings, and the farm harvest.  While the face bacon is one of their signature items, the two I would definitely recommend are the pork wings and the farm harvest.  I do want to note though that the face bacon was good, and they did an amazing job with the texture so that it didn’t feel like we were eating a fatty cut.  The cognac mustard that it sits on adds a wonderful flavor and was one of the best sauces we had on our trip.

Face Bacon

Face Bacon 2

Next we tackled the farm harvest, which was a salad of arugula and spinach with apples, feta and cranberries.  While there was no pig to be found in this dish, it served as a nice complement to the fat and meatiness of the other appetizers.  The salad had a nice freshness to it which helped tame the guilty feelings of having a meal with so much meat.

Farm HarvestFarm Harvest 2

From the salad, we moved on to the andouille, which was probably my least favorite of the appetizers.  For me, it was way too spicy, so I couldn’t enjoy it, and Sonia found it very aggressive with the paprika.  To offset the heat, we both had to rely on the pickled cauliflower and beets that accompanied it.  Even though the andouille was a little too forward for our tastes, we both agreed that those pickled vegetables were a highlight that we would want again.

AndouilleAndouille 2

After finishing the andouille, our final appetizer that remained was the pork wings.  The order came with 2 pieces and came with sweet pickles (which Sonia loved) and a house made sauce.  The menu noted the sauce as a chili sauce, but I felt it was a little more like an Asian-inspired garlicky glaze.  The pork wings were meaty and tender.  They came sauced as well which made the additional cup of sauce on the plate almost unnecessary.  I’m glad that we saved the wings for last as the flavor got to linger in my mouth while we waited for our entree and sides to come.  My only complaint though is that the order only came with 2 pieces.  You can’t help but want more.

Garlic Pork WingsGarlic Pork Wings 2

While I don’t regret ordering so many appetizers, the down side was that we only got to try one entree.  From the porchetta to the duck breast (yes, I know that’s not from a pig, but duck is so hard to say no to sometimes) to the ribs, I wanted to try it all.  In the end, we chose the shank and ordered the mac & cheese and roasted mushrooms as sides.

The pork shank came served over crispy kale and eggplant caponata.  I especially want to note that the portion was very generous and more than enough for 2 people to share.  The shank was fall-off-the-bone tender and came topped with a pesto that added a nice herb-y flavor.  The perfect bite for me was getting some of the shank with the pesto and a few pieces of the crunchy kale.

Pork ShankPork Shank 2

As for the sides, the mac & cheese was delicious and cheesy, but both of us found ourselves wanting more of the crunchy topping.  As for the mushrooms, they came with a nice crunchy topping as well.  It’s cooked in duck fat, which gives it a nice umami flavor and made it easier to accept that we didn’t order the duck breast.

There’s something about going to a new restaurant, ordering a ridiculous amount of food, and still feeling like you didn’t even scratch the surface of the menu.  The Pig is one of those places for us.  Unfortunately, we live a plane ride away from DC so it would cost us some plane tickets to come back, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we find ourselves back in DC one weekend solely to visit The Pig.

The Pig is located at 1320 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005.

Food for Thought

Welcome to all our readers!  Sonia and I are excited to share our adventures with you.

If you want to know a little more about what this blog is all about, check out our “About” section.  To kick off our blog though, rather than focus on our most recent trip, we decided to each pick our favorite restaurant that we’ve tried regardless of where it is or on what trip.

We have 2 more trips left this year – Honolulu and Montreal and would love to hear any suggestions from you on where to eat at either place.  Just let us know by adding a comment on our “Reader Recommendations” section.  Oh, and don’t forget tell us what dishes we should order for when we go there.  If you have suggestions for other locations, please send those in at well.  You can always find an updates list of our upcoming trip on the right hand side of our blog posts.

So, welcome again and remember to travel happy and eat happy whenever you can!