Dear Readers – I’m thrilled to announce my first guest blog-post!  Let me introduce Amy, one of my best friends, a former college roommate, my travel buddy, and yes – a vegetarian!  She doesn’t keep her own blog but will be making occasional guest appearances on mine.  Thank you to Amy for filling in for me, while I’m away on my annual family vacation at Lake Ontario in Upstate NY.

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Amy’s Food-Filled Weekend in DC

I recently visited my sister, Janice, in DC.  The highlight of the weekend was a visit to the “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” exhibit at the National Archives—it chronicles the government’s effect on the American Diet. For those of you who have an interest in our country’s history of food, this exhibit is a must-see if you’re in Washington this year (it runs through January 3, 2012).  Pretty much every aspect of the exhibit is fascinating, but I took photos of my favorite parts.

Sugar Rationing

 

The first one here is of a poster from 1917. World War I was in full swing and sugar was in short supply, so the government in turn promoted minimizing its use. The nutritional benefits of eating less sugar—not highlighted here—are of course pretty big!

 

 

Vitamin Donuts

 

Next up is an ad for Vitamin Donuts, from 1942. The doughnuts were fortified with small amounts of vitamin B1, in reaction to a study from that period showing that a deficiency of this vitamin could lead to sluggishness. People panicked, because those living in a country getting ready for war couldn’t have a lack of energy. This poster shows that fortified foods have been around for quite a long time.

 

 

100 Calorie Portions

I’ve saved my favorite part for last—here’s a poster of 100-calorie portions from 1930. Apparently, the notion of 100-calorie portions goes back many, many years!

 

 

 

 

Cilantro scrambled eggs at Teasim

If you’re wondering what to eat during your visit to DC, definitely stop by Teaism. It’s my favorite restaurant in DC, and every time I visit my sister, I ask her to take me there. We always go for brunch, although they make a mean lunch/dinner as well; there are three locations in the city (in Lafayette Park, Penn Quarter, and Dupont Circle). I’m a creature of habit, so I always get the same meal: Cilantro Scrambled Eggs (organic eggs with ginger, cilantro, and jalapenos), a side of Sweet Potato Salad (totally shareable), and Cinnamon Apple Tea. Yum!

Sweet Potato Noodles with Bulgogi at Cafe Green

We tried a vegetarian restaurant, Café Green (near Dupont Circle), for dinner one night, and it was delicious. I ordered the Spicy Ginger Tea (so good!) and a sweet-potato noodle entrée. You can add veggies and protein to it, so I topped my dinner off with broccoli and a vegan bulgogi (a fake meat with a beef-like texture). Janice got the pesto pasta with “chicken.” I sampled it—both dishes were delish, although I thought hers was just a tad tastier.

Amy (right) and Janice (left) at Vegetable Garden

If you’re willing to venture just a little ways out of town, you might like Vegetable Garden, a vegetarian restaurant in the White Flint area of Rockville, Maryland. It’s a pretty quick metro ride—about 15 to 20 minutes—from the Cleveland Park area of DC. One of my favorite Chinese dishes is Kung Pao, but it’s hard to find a vegetarian version that comes with a fake meat. This restaurant had one, so I ordered the version that came with faux chicken. It was really tasty—and the portion was so big that I brought leftovers home with me—although the “chicken” was a little squishy. Janice chose a fake chicken dish with asparagus, which was equally yummy. The restaurant has a good tea menu (can you tell I like tea?), and I ordered the Orange and Spice one.

I hope you get to try at least one of these suggestions!

What are your favorite restaurants in the DC area?