Walking Tour: Random Statue

alexandria, dc, Uncategorized, Year 2

I’ve lived here in Alexandria for about a year and half now. There’s pretty much no excuse for the fact that we have done very little of the tourist activities. We haven’t done a ghost tour, a historical tour, a brewery tour, or pretty much any tour. We went to Mount Vernon once last January and stared at George Washington’s toilet.

On my last day of vacation after our trip to New Hampshire, I did the tourist thing and did a self-guided walking tour around Alexandria.

This is one of the first things I saw on my tour. This particular statue I have seen several times. It is right in the middle of an intersection, which is terrifying if you’re driving along in the middle lane and don’t notice the giant X in your lane, which apparently means get over now or become statue food.

I have always assumed it was a statue of George Washington. Mostly because this is George Washington’s town. This is where he lived, sold his produce at the market that’s still running, ate at a local pub, and just generally hung around. All this time I never bothered to take a closer look at the statue other than my disgruntled glances for it occupying an entire lane.

Well, apparently it is not George Washington. It’s a representation of Confederate soldiers, which perhaps unsurprisingly doesn’t help my angst of this statue. See below plaque for the explanation.

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Vermillion

alexandria, Dining

This was the last day of my vacation before it’s back to work tomorrow, so I intended to make good use of it.

I started off with yoga (of course). I’m trying to make this a routine. That is if you define routine by once every three weeks.

Then I went to Old Town to eat lunch with a friend at Vermillion. This is the second time I’ve been here. The first time I came was with the husband for brunch.

I must say that Old Town has some pretty nice places and this one is becoming one of my favorite.

Rumor has it that the Obamas also like to eat here. That might just be a rumor I made up, but I swear I read that somewhere. Anyway the point is I think I have good taste.

So I started off with this drink called Spring in Bolivia. Fancy, right? Bolivia is a pretty happening place. It was this sparkling beautiful springy yellow color with a strip of lemon peel in the flute. It was bright, refreshing, not too sweet and just tart enough from the lemon. If a drink could be well balanced this would be it.

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Spring in Bolivia. See my roommate’s arm? I’m sure she’s going to appreciate this picture. For some reason this drink reminds me of a rainy day and brightly colored umbrellas. Next time I’m at Vermillion, I should remember to bring an umbrella. Or just try a different drink.

The main course was rainbow trout, lemony potatoes and spinach. I think it was spinach. I have no idea. It was a dark green leafy thing that had a similar taste and texture to spinach. It will therefore be spinach. The skin on the fish was crispy, the potatoes were much more lemony than expected, but in a good way. It was perfect and it was light, which is something that I’ve been craving with the warmer weather.

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FISH. Rainbow Trout is up. I loved this. It was simple, flavorful, summery. Just about everything I want in a lunch.

However, the best thing I’ve had here, and I’ve had them twice now has to be the hushpuppies. Seriously. Almost nothing is better than deep-fried wads of dough. And these may be the fluffiest balls around. If you’re into that kind of thing.

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Hush puppies and house made pickles with three sauces. This is what dreams are made of. Fluffy deep fried pieces of dough. We really didn’t need to order anything else. We could have stopped here and would have been happy. Also I have no idea what the sauces are. Except the yellow one. That’s obviously honey mustard.

Also a little factoid: Hushpuppies used to be called Red Horse Bread and originated in South Carolina in the late 1800s. So these things have been around for while, and have spread across the country. Hushpuppy history: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/06/real-history-myths-hushpuppies.html

If you’re ever in Old Town Alexandria you need to stop by and try these things.

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I completely forgot that I also had this corn soup thing with crab. Also, amazing. I ate more than any normal person should for lunch. I’m using vacation as an excuse.

 

 

Saffron 

Food supplies, Shopping, Thoughts

-New food & wine magazine is here. Guess what we’re making this weekend?! Lamb Biryani! We have all. The ingredients for it! Minus the lamb and the saffron. It also takes like two days to make.

This sounds like a poorly thought out plan. I’m food adventurous. I try to make new foods all the time. I made butter chicken a couple of weeks ago. It was horrible. Like seriously. This is the problem with recipes you find on Tastespotting. Though it is probably my own fault. My slow cooker is too small and I winced at the though of six cups of heavy cream and subbed almond milk instead. This was doomed from the start. 
Yerp… And I mean yerp. 

Well today we hopped on the metro and headed out toward Eastern Market, which is kind of like a farmers market and a flea market combined. It’s pretty awesome. They have all kinds of fresh local grown vegetables, cheeses from the Amish, jewelry, scarves, artisanal products, artists, and food booths. Pretty much everything that makes life perfect. 

On the way, we stopped at Sugar Shack. Probably the best donuts in town and maybe the country, and by extension the universe. I am not kidding. This place is amazing. Today I ended up with a Boston creme and maple bacon.

   

Delicious. I also think I may have gained four pounds today.

Anyway, while at Eastern Market we come across this Moroccan spice/tea booth, where of course I bought two bags of tea. But also they had a large sachets of saffron. Like usually saffron is $14 at Harris Teeter for a small vial with four or five threads in it. This was like seven times that amount for $10, plus he gave us a pamphlet of recipes that actually look amazing. So maybe we should try the biryani after all.

Also, seen while walking around near the donut shop. This gorgeous tree. Alexandria is just amazing.