3 Dinners on U Street
Nelson @ Washington DC (Ustreet): We ate 3 dinners this night because we wanted to try food that Washington is famous for. Three dinners is tough to do in one night, but we managed.
Our first stop was Oohh's & Aahh's, a soul food restaurant that was basically a hole in the wall. Kitty and I split their most famous dish, the Shrimp & Grits (Grilled & Grilled) with fried onions & peppers. I have never had grits before so this was something new to me. Grits are a ground corn in boiling water with a consistency like porridge. But I could taste the butter and oil they added to make it savoury. The shrimp were good blackened and also very savoury. The grilled onion/peppers were also blackened and very soft. A really heavy portion and I am glad I split it with Kitty. I'm not used to eating grits and wouldn't say they are my favourite, but still a good tasting dish overall.
The next several pics are what other people ordered. The first is turkey wings, which were gigantic! I couldn't believe how large they were, but they looked good. Served with collards greens (a bit bitter) and mac & cheese.
Another southern specialty is the blackened catfish. The yams on the right had a slight cinnamon taste which was different and really yummy as a result. Lastly is some baked dark meat chicken. Great name for a restaurant and must be popular with all the politicians from the south.
We wanted to try Ethiopian food since it was supposed to be good in Washington DC, so our second stop was Dukem. I'm not sure what the first one is as they ordered before I got there, but I think it's the Regular Tibs: Cubed tender beef (or lamb) fried with onion, rosemary, jalapeno pepper served with Injera, salad and spicy Awazie sauce. I have never had Injera, but wikipedia tells me it is a yeast-risen flatbread made with teff flour. The really unique feature about it is the spongy texture that absolutely soaks up the sauce and makes the flatbread moist. The texture is unlike anything I have eaten before, so this was interesting. The meat sauce was fairly spicy though, encouraging more consumption of the Injera.
I ordered the Dukem Special Tibs, cubed tender lamb fried marinated with their Dukem special sauce, sauteed with onion rosemary, tomato, jalapeno and touch of fresh garlic. To relate it to my eating experience, it was almost like a lamb stir fry, but with different spices and tastes. The lamb did not taste strongly gamey and once again, the Injera is feature, but this time it was much less saucy and acted as a wrapper for the food. Not sure if I really like Ethiopian that much, but I am willing to try more of their cuisine.
Our last stop is perhaps the most famous food establishment in Washington - Ben's Chili Bowl. Their most famous item is the chili dog, or as they call it, Bill Cosby’s Original Chili Half-Smoke. A 1/4 pound half pork and beef smoked sausage on a warm steamed bun and topped with mustard, onions and their spicy homemade chili sauce. Just look at all that blackening on that grill! I'm not a fan of chili dogs, and although the chili itself was good, I'm not a big fan of it on top of the dog and this one was really overpowering. The dog itself was really tasty though, with the fat of the sausage coming through, but not as smokey as I was expecting. All together, it was better than I thought it would be despite the generous toppings.
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