Friday, February 08, 2013

Visiting the Capitol

The kids had a couple of days off from school last week, so we ventured into DC to check another item off our "must see" list: The Capitol.

First we had lunch at Panas a gourmet empanadas quick service place. It was really unique and fun.

The empanadas were served in this long boat with dipping sauces and fried plantain chips. You can also see just a bit of the "ticos" which were cucumbers topped with a mix of avocado, black bean and cream cheese.

Each empanada was marked with little initials denoting the flavor. This CP was Chicken Pesto. Fun, right?

I snapped a picture of this beautiful shadow on our way back to the car.

We had a great guide at the Capitol. Here we are in the crypt, the circular room at the base of the capitol with forth columns that support the dome.

Washington was supposed to be buried here, under this star. He opted to be buried at Mount Vernon instead.

I wish I would have asked the tour guide about that one red brick in the picture above. She was a wealth of information and I suspect she would have had an interesting answer. Please note my new black boots. I ordered five pairs of black shoes from Zappos before I settled on these.

You may not be able to see the sign above the door. It leads to the Lindy Clairborne Boggs Congressional Women's Reading Room. I like the idea of a place for congresswomen to read... and rest and gather.

In the visitors center there is a full size replica of the Statue of Freedom that sits on top of the capitol dome. Isn't she lovely?

It was cool to examine all the details including the trim of her gown (pom pom fringe?) and her eagle helmet.

It was a beautiful day!
We went to Ethiopic to dinner. It's a newish Ethiopian restaurant in the metro area and I've seen it written up here and there, and I thought it would be an interesting new experience. None of us have eaten Ethiopian before. Have you?

We started with Butcha which is chickpeas pureed and chilled with seasoned with red onions, garlic, jalapeno pepper, olive oil, lemon juice & spices. When the waitress brought it, she asked gently, "Do you know how to eat it?" I replied, "No. Please show us."
We are accostomed to plates and silverware, but we're adventurous. The rolled up bread is called injera and you simple rip off pieces and use it to scoop up the salad... and all the other food.

We opted for the beef and chicken sampler which was served in the center of the table with a big basket of injera. The green dish is the chicken doro alechta wot and is served with a whole hard boiled egg. You can probably see the two eggs covered in the sauce.

The chicken dish was my favorite. I really liked that green sauce. We had a great time. It's good to experience new things. Honestly, I think I can cross it off my list. It's a little too far outside my comfort zone and I didn't find the food so incredibly delicious that I'm eager to return. But I am definitely up for other new culinary experiences in the future.

And more DC landmarks too. We need to visit the new seal exhibit at the zoo, National Building Museum, Library of Congress, bike through Rock Creek Park, Marine Corps Silent Drill Team...


Kristin L said...

Ooh, we definitely need to try the empanada place. That looks good. Haven't tried Ethiopian yet. I like your list of places to visit. It's been years since we've been to the zoo. I'd like to go to the Museum of the American Indian (heard they have fry bread at the cafeteria!), and revisit the Holocaust Museum. The National gallery is on my list too. We saw the silent drill team years ago -- it was very good. Perfect for a summer evening.

Kit Lang said...

We've had Ethiopian twice and that was enough for me! :) It was okay tasting (not bad, not particularly good); but I can't over the way it looks and I do *not* like the texture of the injera.

Looks like you've had a lovely trip! :)

Deborah C. Stearns said...

I haven't been to that Ethiopian restaurant -- my go-to favorite is Meskerem in Adams Morgan. I get the vegetarian sampler and love it! The injera bread and all the different stews and salads are delicious. I'd recommend it, in case you ever want to try Ethiopian food again.