Thursday, May 20, 2010

Georgetown Cupcakes and Founding Farmers, Washington DC

After our meal at Komi we enjoyed our suckers while wandering the Dupont Circle area until my aunt and mother arrived to pick us up. Having forgone dinner themselves the decision was made (by them) to go pick up some dessert at the famous Georgetown Cupcake - arriving half an hour before closing time we found a 30+ person line but decided to wait it out. Standing with the largely college-aged crew and chatting the line progressed slowly - a young girl came out around 8:45 to stand at the end and prevent more people from joining the line.

Making our way into the store we had already identified the cakes we would order from the large menu - unfortunately many of them were sold out (though still present on the racks they were purportedly already spoken for.) Changing two of our decisions we opted for four cupcakes, paid the relatively substantial fee, and made our way out the same way we came in - the store design is much like Magnolia in NYC and could use some work.

Though not really hungry I tried a bite of each of the cakes - Red Velvet, PB Chip, Chocolate Ganache, and Coconut Chocolate. While it should be noted that our visit was late in the day, Georgetown was still baking when we were there...but after tasting the cakes I'm uncertain if the baking was for those of us in line or the noon crowd the following day. Not wanting to jump to conclusions I waited for my family to weigh in...the verdict was dry, boring...perhaps even stale. While the frosting on each was quite nice, the cakes themselves tasted as though they could have been made with Bisquick…..if I had to name a favorite I’d go with the Ganache…but I really don’t have to name a favorite so I won’t.

Thrilled with Komi, disappointed with GK we got home early and went to bed early – rising as early as usual I went for a long run and felt great. With big museum plans for the day we hopped the Metro and were downtown by 8:00am and decided to stop for a bite to eat at Founding Farmers – first of all because of the great looking Breakfast menu, secondly because of their dedication to local farming and an almost Slow-Food ideal, and third because of the catchy name and eye catching restaurant…to say their mission impresses me would be an understatement: “Take comfort knowing that nearly all of our products are made by us, including all breads, pastries, dressings, sauces, pastas, desserts and even our ice cream. When ingredients are available locally and it is sensible for us to buy them, we do.”

Walking into the largely empty restaurant we were seated quickly – as we walked through the hostess explained some of their Green concepts…it didn’t feel “contrived,” but rather honest. Seated at a 2-top near a group of lawyers discussing business we were greeted by our server, Cory W, a friendly young man who presented menus, filled water, and kept our coffee and tea (both provided by Intelligentsia) filled throughout the meal – unlimited refills on a bold Intelligentsia blend (plus one for the road) for only $3 would alone be enough to justify my visit to Founding Farmers in the future, though I will note I much prefer Equal over Splenda and Stevia (their only 0-cal sweetener options.)

With orders placed we sat in the pleasant sun coming through the floor-to-ceiling windows and discussed our day – it took only 20 minutes for orders to arrived and both items were presented with a nice description and a refill of our respective drinks. For my sister the choice was the McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal Served Warm with Vanilla Bean Cream, Fresh Strawberries, Brown Sugar, Almonds and Granola. Originally stating she “didn’t want a lot of food” I don’t think she realized exactly how much food she would get for $5. Easily a 2-cup slow cooked serving of the oats and ample toppings the Oatmeal was fresh, tasty, and nicely made – the vanilla bean cream was amazing but made it just a wee bit runny for my tastes.

For my selection I opted for Fried Chicken, Eggs and Waffles, a dish of Crispy-Fried Free-Range Chicken Tenders with Country Gravy, Two Poached Eggs, and Golden Waffle with Whipped Farm Butter. A substantial deal compared to the $26 option at Bouchon or $15 smaller section at Roscoe’s I will say that it was good, but not as good as those mentioned. Overly poached but still with a runny yolk the eggs were golden and creamy – quite tasty. The waffle also was impressive with the crisp exterior yielding fluffy insides. What was only average, unfortunately, was the chicken – salty with a bit of black pepper there simply wasn’t a lot of chicken taste above the breading – the thick country gravy helped, but true fried chicken would be a better option than the tenders.

Settling the tab and leaving a nice tip after receiving to-go cups of our drinks we made our way to the street quite happy with the experience – environmental, economical, tasty, and great service is definitely a motto I can get behind.

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