My friend Keerin, who is a vegan, recently sent me a list from the Washington Post of the best restaurants for vegans and vegetarians in the area. She challenged me to try them out with her, and we hope to get through the whole list at some point.
Surprisingly, my favorite pizza place was on the list - Pizzeria Paradiso! They celebrated their 20th anniversary last week and were offering special deals, including all-you-can-eat pizza and beer for $20! We hopped at the chance and met up at the Dupont Circle location. We found out that while the AYCE pizza part was true, they were only including two $6 draft beers in the deal - which is only half of their draft list, and half of those they were out of. So we only had 3 or four beers to choose from, but they were also having a happy hour with 1/2 price drafts so we were fine.
I had been wanting to explore Georgetown for quite some time when I saw I an article in the Washingtonian that inspired me to just go out and do it. The article was focused on Georgetown and highlighted several favorite spots - it even included a map! So on a GORGEOUS day, I hopped on the Metro to Rosslyn, map in hand, and walked across Key Bridge to begin my adventure.
My first stop was to Crepe Amour for breakfast.
It is a tiny, but cute, little place with a modern feel.
The chalkboard menu features a number of savory and sweet crepes - some simple, some unusual (mac-n-cheese, anyone?).
I opted for a simple butter, powdered sugar, and fresh lemon version that was the perfect combo of sweet and sour. I also had a lovely caramel latte.
DEAN & DELUCA
Next, I headed down the street to foodie-heaven grocery Dean & Deluca.
It is a good thing that I don't live a convenient distance from this place or I would spend all my money here. They have some amazing local and imported products from wine to pasta to cheese to whole lobes of foie gras. They have fantastic ready-made food, as well as a sandwich counter, espresso bar, gelateria, chocolate counter, and outdoor cafe (with outlets for your laptops).
I wandered around the back streets and canal area, finding some lovely architecture.
Eventually, I found myself down by the waterfront at a nice little park. I had a great view of Key Bridge on one side and the Kennedy Center on the other.
BAKED & WIRED
After spending some time by the water, I wound my way back up to the coffee and sweets shop cleverly titled Baked & Wired.
Here, baked goods are displayed under a whimsical sea of glass containers.
I decided on an ooey, gooey, caramel apple bar
I happened upon a little Mediterranean cafe and coffee shop that happened to have something I have been searching for - bubble tea with fruit gel as opposed to tapioca balls. I love bubble tea, but can't stand the chewiness of the tapioca. I prefer to get the coconut, pineapple, or lychee flavored gels instead. But I had yet to find a place out here that had them, until now. They also have paninis and crepes.
For lunch, I headed to the Georgetown location of one of my FAVORITE pizzerias - Pizzeria Paradiso. They serve Neapolitan style pizza and have an extensive beer list.
My all-time favorite pizza - Margherita with fresh Buffalo Mozzarella (substituted for an extra $2).
THE GREAT CUPCAKE WAR
Georgetown has many famous bakeries, and the treat du jour seems to be cupcakes. I decided to compare two cupcakeries head to head to see which was better.
The first contender - neighborhood favorite Georgetown Cupcake
The second contender - newcomer Sprinkles
From Georgetown Cupcake, I ordered the Lemon Blossom (lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting, it got a little smushed), the Coconut (coconut cake, vanilla cream cheese frosting, shredded coconut), the Chocolate^3 (Valrhona chocolate cake, chocolate ganache icing, chocolate sprinkles), and the Salted Caramel (caramel cake, salted caramel buttercream icing, caramel drizzle).
From Sprinkles, I ordered the Lemon Coconut (vanilla cake with lemon coconut cream cheese frosting) and the Dark Chocolate (dark chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate frosting and sprinkles).
The Sprinkles coconut lemon had more coconut flavor than lemon, I couldn't taste any lemon actually. The frosting was creamier than the Georgetown cupcake, but Georgetown had a much stronger coconut flavor. The Georgetown lemon had a nice, mild, lemon flavor.
The Georgetown chocolate cake was dry and there was not enough ganache to make up for it. The Sprinkles chocolate was moister with a nice, rich chocolate flavor in both the cake and the frosting.
The Georgetown Salted Caramel was the best of the batch, but it wasn't "salted" enough to my taste.
Neither shop had perfect cupcakes, in my opinion, but they are both good and came out pretty equally.
And with that, my journey through Georgetown has ended. I hope to return again and check out some of the spots I didn't make it to. Next time, though, I will remember to wear sunscreen - I got pretty burned!