Friday, January 16, 2009

Belgian Eating, Adds 1.5 Pounds

We're not exactly the hippest couple in the greater Washington D.C. area. We tend to eat locally, usually in our own neighborhood when we go out. If we venture from our 'hood, we let our trust-worthy Washingtonian magazine direct us to good restaurants. Especially good are the extremes: Dirt Cheap Eats, and the 100 Very Best Restaurants. This time though, with our friend Lisa in visiting for Seattle, we were looking for cool, funky, cheap and delicious - ideally all at the same place.

After a bit of online research, it became apparent we needed to head over the Atlas District. If you live in the DC area, you might not have even heard of it, unless you are more cutting-edge and hipper than I am! This is the H Street Northeast neighborhood. And we found a gem. A diamond in the rough. One of the reviews I read said that the place looks closed even when it isn't, if you actually do locate it, and then when you try to push open the door, it's so heavy and sticky, that you still think it might be closed. Once inside though, you know you are in a different world.

The pretty hostess sits on a tall stool, an expert knitter at work. Without a complete party, you're unlikely to get seated at a table, because there simply aren't many. But who cares! Get a beer and check the place out. The dark wood and intimate tables creates a warm, welcoming, secret club environment. But not a pretentious club. Upstairs, the walls are left unfinished, the ceiling too, with the wooden crossbeams exposing a little third floor nook, probably office space for the owner. Maybe that's where he orders his amazing selection of Belgian beers. Wednesday night there were 3 different beers for $5 each, and we tried them all. Citrus, a hint of pear, and honey seemed to flavor each one. And then don't forgo the Chimay, even if it's not on special. It was delicious.

Known for their moules-frites, a typical Belgian dish of mussels and fries, we knew we had to try them. The first time I ever ate them, I was actually in Brussels, and up until the other day in the Atlas District, they were the best I had tasted. But enter the mussels at Dr. Granville Moore's, the best Belgian restaurant in the Atlas District. They were amazingly scrumptious. The sauce was so good, we had to remind each other that no, we could not lift up the giant bowl and drink the broth afterwards. But we did have some bread good for dipping into the sauces. And the fries. Abundant bowl of the kind of fries that make you wanting more and more, until you realize you are stuffed more than the Thanksgiving turkey.

Drooling as I write this... I just found the recipe for the mussels I ate - Moules Fromage Bleu. I'm not sure why anyone would want to try to make them at home, when you can have the experts prepare them for you for 16 bucks, but hey, some people are more adventuresome. The Washingtonian review of Granville Moore's is here for you to check out. And if you want, you can go straight to the Granville Moore website to check out the menu and prices, and photos. And if you're not a mussel eater, they made an amazing skirt steak as well.

Enjoy! I sure did. Instead of losing any weight in my second week, I managed to gain 1.5 pounds. But, I figure I'm in this for the long haul, and this splurge was so well worth it. There is a lesson learned - next time I'll try to share a dinner with a friend, because they really do give you a mountain of moules, more than enough for sharing with another hungry friend. We did do one thing right - the three of us shared the Chocolate Chocolate Brownie with Bourbon Caramel which was rich enough to satisfy us all, even shared.

1 comment:

Dr. Mom said...

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