Thursday, August 31, 2006

tea in D.C.

So now that Mark and I have moved across the country to Washington, D.C. and are neatly tucked into our tiny-but-wonderful Dupont Circle apartment, we're starting to turn our attention to exploring our new environs. Our favorite neighborhood gem so far is Teaism, a teahouse that serves an interesting mix of affordable Asian and Indian fast meals, along with a dose of American comfort food. Oh, and really, really good tea.

On our first visit, Mark had a veggie bento box and I had a handroll bento box. The fun part was that I got to assemble the handrolls myself: the box contained sheets of nori, tea-cured salmon, miso mayonnaise, wasabi, sushi rice, and braised cabbage. There's even a little instruction sheet in the box to guide you through the process, should you find yourself hopelessly flustered by the concept. Mark's veggie bento box had -- I wish he were here right now to refresh my memory -- sweet potatoes with some sort of peanut sauce, baked tofu, edamame, and sushi rice. (I have a feeling I'm forgetting something.) We each had ginger limeade, which was delicious, but sort of the wrong beverage for the meal. I could see myself just popping in for one on a really hot day, though.

For dessert, we shared jasmine creme brulee. Lately, I've had too many creme brulees (or should that be "cremes brulee"? hmm) with wimpy sugar crusts that don't do that great cracking thing when you break it with the spoon. This one, though, was perfect in that regard. And the sugar was almost --but not quite -- burnt, just the way I like it. The jasmine scent was very faint, though.

Service is a bit of a downside: Most of the seats are upstairs, but you have to wait for your food downstairs, where you clog up the small space that's also needed by the people waiting in line to order their food. All those factors make things a little chaotic.

Even so, I liked Teaism so much that I went back for lunch today, where I had a pot of Moroccan mint tea and a side of tea-cured salmon with naan and lime pickle. I can't wait to go back for breakfast sometime -- sourdough waffles, french toast, chicken apple sausage, Irish oatmeal ... yum.

Anyone out there know the D.C. food scene, especially Dupont Circle? What else should we make sure not to miss?


Blogger Sarah said...

Sounds wonderful! Will you try the chai shake with ginger ice cream and share your impressions?

8:06 PM  
Blogger tara said...

Will do! I plan to eventually eat my way through the Teaism menu. :)

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Tart said...

DC food scene immediately off the top of my head? Well, track down the Washingtonian 100 Best (it's online) and go from there.

If they're still around, the Dupont Circle restaurants I liked were Pesce, an Italian Pizza place across the street from Pesce (Pizza Paradisio?), a noodle place I'm sure is gone (NE of the circle itself), and an Italian place a couple of blocks East that I'm going to have to remember the name of.

I also haul people over to Adams Morgan for Brazilian at Grill from Ipanema. There's a Thai place there that's really good. I also try to take people for tapas at Jaleo and the carribean restaurant in the same building is good (both were doing fine in 2004).

I'll see what else comes up from the depths of my memory.

10:24 PM  
Blogger tara said...

Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! You're the second person to tell me about Pizza Paradisio, which is extremely close to our apartment.

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Tart said...

Scanning the Washingtonian 100 best--the list has changed tremendously since I lived there (not a surprise).

I also recommend Vidalia (wonderful, almost took Sarah there, but Kinkead's won out). Past that, my old faves have fallen off the list (I'm gonna beat my head on the wall about the Italian place), so it's gonna take some work to determine if they're still around and as good, or have gotten worse or closed.

7:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home