26 October, 2010
Washington DC Travelogue September 2010 #5: Embassy Row, U Street, and Adams Morgan.Posted in : Bars in Washington - DC, Coffee Shops, Restaurants, Travel Guide for Washington - DC on by : The Gourmez
My last day in DC started with a nice, long walk—probably too long as I get a little crazy with the walking when travelling—down Embassy Row. Embassy Row is the stretch of Massachusetts Avenue between Scott Circle and the DC National Cathedral, I believe. I headed up Massachusetts Avenue from Dupont Circle,
and right away, impressive, if mysterious, embassies greeted me.
Okay, I’m not even sure that building was an embassy, since I could see no flag. Flags are important to this Embassy walk, because you generally have to guess what country is using that establishment based solely on the flags. Since I have no great knowledge of flags, I have made vague stabs at matching up the right countries to the right embassy. Sometimes, an embassy was helpful and had a plaque on the fence that said which one it was. Other times, I assumed that a familiar statue would indicate proximity to that country’s embassy,
but I didn’t come across India’s main building for another mile down the road, and so I couldn’t count on that, either. Here’s the Greek embassy:
A row of a bunch of smaller embassies:
A fine horse and rider statue at Sheridan Circle:
The Republic of Korea (South Korea)’s spot:
And there’s that Indian embassy!
And the Islamic Cultural Center of DC, at which point, I decided I should probably find my way back toward 17th Avenue to meet Rebecca in an hour.
After finding a lovely circle of houses behind the embassies and learning that I couldn’t walk beside Rock Creek Park as I had hoped (no sidewalk), I came across a fearsome buffalo guarding a bridge.
I stopped for a cappuccino at Soho Tea and Coffee, and the man who runs the place is wonderful. He determined from my attempts to describe what I wanted in my cappuccino (“Short, two shots, please.” “Do you mean that you don’t want a lot of milk, you want a real cappuccino?” “Yes, exactly. Most people use way too much milk.” “I can’t believe what most shops call a cappuccino! Not in my store!”) that we were kindred souls. He made a great one! Then I continued on toward Rebecca’s workplace to meet for lunch, passing a sight sure to make my foodie friends with a food truck fetish happy:
A lobster roll food truck! It was very crowded. Right next to it an interesting protest was going on, one where the protesters proclaimed loudly, and with giant helpers, that they smelled a rat.
I think that protest might have been going on during my last DC trip, too. That rat looked strangely familiar. At the next corner, there was an interesting stairwell. I love when greenery gets incorporated into city buildings.
At last, I met up with Rebecca, and we ate our sandwiches behind the White House, in Lafayette Square. Let me tell you, Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli has some gigantic sandwiches, and the egg salad with their Cajun sauce was delicious, making the egg salad much more flavorful than it is in most sandwiches. It gave me the sustenance I needed for the next leg of my walking tour. Onward to U Street, and sights on the way!
I loved that splash of color in the midst of standard city buildings. Here’s a pretty circle on the way, with another unknown, patriot rider in the middle.
Captain Arturo seems like my kind of guy, and a complicated fellow with a slogan of fighting for nonviolence.
And how could I not share passing the Thai Tanic?
These colorful buildings announced that I’d reached my destination of the U Street neighborhood, with a number of hip shops and up and coming restaurants. And don’t forget the progressive graffiti!
The short building at the end of this row is Cakelove, a famous bakery. I peeked in their coffee shop across the street, and those cupcakes looked extraordinary. I then walked a few blocks to reach Adams Morgan, another hipster destination area.
I must say, I found it a lot more fun that U Street, perhaps because it’s been around longer. Lots of bright colors and quirky attitude in their storefronts, such as the rock club and restaurant Madam’s Organ.
She’s got quite the organ. I also liked this pretty in purple spot, Columbia Station.
I stopped at Tryst, recommended by my friend, Sommer, for a drink and dessert. It’s definitely my kind of place to chill. You can get drinks, coffee, dinner, appetizers, snacks, or anything else you want, and there’s no pressure from the waitstaff. It’s like a coffeeshop/restaurant hybrid. I had a watermelon splash cocktail, which was pretty, but not so exciting. I’m not having luck with watermelon cocktails—I think watermelon is just too light of a flavor to work well in them.
The dessert was much more exciting, a caramel pudding with almond brittle.
Now that was tasty. I highly recommend it if you like your caramel. After enjoying some reading at Tryst, I made my way across Calvert Street and the Duke Ellington Bridge to the nearest Metro to head back to the hotel, passing some lovely views along the way.
I also saw a quick traffic stop by police for a motorcade, and I must say, those police are experienced at making a motorcade procession as painless as possible for the motorists. It was right near this lion-guarded bridge.
Farewell, DC! Until we meet again, which may be sooner rather than later.