• America Eats Tavern & The District Line Restaurant

    September 30, 2011

    On Wednesday afternoon, our group also visited the What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? exhibit at The National Archives. The exhibit utilizes historical records to explore the Government’s effect on what Americans eat. We weren’t allowed to snap photos inside the exhibit, but it was super interesting and a MUST SEE if you visit DC. Trust me!

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    After doing the museum thing all afternoon long, it was time for happy hour at America Eats Tavern.

    America Eats offers a new take on American classics and celebrate native ingredients and some long forgotten dishes, from burgoo to oysters Rockefeller. With recipes and stories collected through extensive research, and with help from the National Archives and a culinary advisory council of chefs and scholars, the menu showcases the fascinating history of our nation one plate at a time, whether it’s the origins of New England clam chowder or the introduction of grapefruit to America.

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    The tagline of the restaurant is “Eat the History of America,” which pretty much says it all.

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    Profits gained from America Eats during the run of the What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? exhibit will be donated to The Foundation for the National Archives. How cool is that?!

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    When we arrived at America Eats, the plan was to enjoy a cocktail and some light refreshments. It sounded like a fantastic plan to me, but I didn’t expect to enjoy so many cocktails.

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    The bartender made us nearly every single drink on the cocktail menu to try!

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    They just kept coming!!

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    And coming!

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    And coming!!

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    At first, Leslie, Gina, and I were a little intimidated by the sea of cocktails sitting in front of us, but we bucked up and tasted them all.

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    We started by taking a sip from each cocktail to try them, and then taking a few more sips from our favorites.

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    My favorite cocktail was the Switchel, which was a field worker’s drink from New England made with rum, cider vinegar, molasses, and ginger. It sounds kind of strange, but it tasted like a refreshing fig-flavored cocktail. I absolutely loved it, and ended up drinking most of it myself.

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    While we sipped cocktails, we also munched on a few appetizers: hushpuppies, fried chicken with blackberry catsup (FYI: America Eats offers 15 kinds of catsup!), buffalo wings, and mac & cheese vermacilli. All of them were tasty, but my favorite was the fried chicken. Mmm!

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    And then there was dessert— thank goodness they were tiny portions!

    Pecan Pie, which was to die for! (Please order this dish if you visit America Eats.)

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    And “deconstructed” Key Lime Pie.

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    The crust and whipped cream were on the sides of the key lime filling.

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    After eating, drinking, and being merry at America Eats, we ate dinner at The District Line Restaurant in the Washington Hilton. For real. The food just kept coming on this trip!

    Enjoy an authentic, contemporary urban neighborhood gathering place, serving up handcrafted cocktails, chalkboard specials and a host of hearty American comfort foods with a local twist. The menu features a variety of regionally-inspired comfort foods and seasonal dishes with high-quality, fresh ingredients from farmers within 150 miles of Washington, D.C.

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    The chef prepared a special four-course meal with wine pairings for us.

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    The first course was Maryland crabmeat salad served with grilled yellow watermelon and crisp yucca chip. It was light and refreshing—a perfect way to start off the meal.

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    The next course was tea-smoked and five-spiced duck breast served with roasted mushrooms, baby bok choy, red current tomato, lotus chips, and ponzu vinaigrette.

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    Initially, I didn’t think I’d like this course because I’m not usually a fan of duck, but I ended up really enjoying it. The duck was cooked wonderfully—it was moist, tender, and flavorful. The tea and spices really came through to enhance the flavor.

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    The main course was venison served with potato puree, shaved Brussels sprouts fondue and espresso reduction. Doesn’t that description just sound amazing? Well, it was! I had no idea that I liked venison so much, and the Brussels sprouts fondue was definitely something special. I mean, Brussels sprouts + cheese? Get in my belly.

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    The TDL’s dessert was my favorite of the entire three-day food tour. Listen to what it included: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf hot chocolate brulee and panna cotta, caramelized fig cake, port reduction, and tuile with firefly goat cheese glace. Um, yea. It was basically a tasting plate of the best desserts ever. Even after eating all day long, I had no problem finishing off the whole dessert. Boo.Yah.

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    I’m stuffed just thinking about this day, but I’m not going to lie, it was pretty awesome!

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    { 36 comments… read them below or add one }

    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    So much amazing food! That’s quite the assortment of cocktails. I don’t really drink, but I would try a sip of all of them because they look so pretty. :)

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    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake September 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I can’t believe all of those cocktails… you lucky girls! Everything looks simply delicious!

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    Hilary September 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Wow….that food looks A-MA-ZING. I heart hushpuppies….and everything…just wow.

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    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    WOW!!! Great post!!

    rum, cider vinegar, molasses, and ginger = in a cocktail I can see that being soo good!

    the deconstructed key lime pie and the pecan both look delish.

    And making you nearly every drink on the menu? That’s because he wasn’t blind and saw all you pretty ladies standing in front of him :)

    BTW are you on Instagram? There is someone with carrotscake as a screenname but wasn’t sure if that’s really you or not. So many fake twitter accounts and fake everythings these days..just checking…
    :)

    Reply

    Jenn September 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I am definitely going to see the What’s Cooking Uncle Sam Exhibit. It sounds amazing and may just have to hit up America Eats Tavern for some food and drinks. Thanks so much for the post!

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    lynn @ the actor's diet September 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    this looks like so much fun! i don’t know how you bloggers who drink handle cocktails – i was at a tasting event last night and they would’ve kept bringing stuff out if they weren’t stopped!

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    Alyssa September 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Yum! I LOVE D.C.! I interned there for four months and visiting all the places was a blast :)

    What hotel are you staying at? Is it The George?

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    Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    It sounds and looks ahmazing :)

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    Lynda @ healthy hoboken girl September 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Hope you’re having a blast in DC. Those cocktails looked like fun, and yummy bites! Enjoy!

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    Michelle @ Oats n' Bows September 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I love the drink in the mason jar! That’s just adorable. And the deconstructed key lime pie… ahh I love it! I loveee DC! Such a fun city..

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    Alison (peaches and football) September 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    The key lime filling on your deconstructed pie is gorgeous. It’s so cool how creative restaurants can be! I’ve only had venison once before but that looked delicious. ALL the food did! I love how they layer everything on a bed of greens. It looks so fancy. I should try and do something like that with dinner sometime. :)

    Keep enjoying the eats for us!

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    kathleen @ the daily crumb September 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    yummy, yummy cocktails! i’m dying to get to d.c. someday soon. looks like you’re having a great time!!

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    Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    oh my goodness, so jealous! the cocktail you liked the best sounds AMAZING, and those desserts look like heaven! Glad you enjoyed it!

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    lauren September 30, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Wow…all those cocktails! That’s amazing. LOL, I sound like a goof, but really when do you have the opportunity to try all those different drinks?
    So awesome there was a food/wine pairing after all that. What a night!

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    Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) September 30, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I’ve been dying to check out that Natl Archives exhibit- it looks like it’d be excellent. And that America Eats Tavern?! I haven’t been there yet, but am super excited to give it a taste soon!

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    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 1, 2011 at 12:02 am

    HOLY smokes! That looks like an amazing day! What great food. Thanks for making us drool ;)

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    Hannah October 1, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I’ve never had a true pecan pie; I must move to America!

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    Khushboo October 1, 2011 at 12:50 am

    I’m not big on meat but venison surprised me too! Love how juicy yet lean it is!

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    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 1, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Oh my goodness – this sounds like my kinda day! Glad you got to live it up…the food and drinks looked wonderful!

    Reply

    Sana October 1, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Well, now I know D.C has food!

    Reply

    Jaclyn October 1, 2011 at 2:16 am

    That sounds. Absolutely. Amazing. Seriously.

    fifteen kinds of katchup?! Fig, chocolate, coffee, etc…..all in ONE DESSERT?!

    Sign me up, ha! Sounds like you had a great (and delicious) trip!

    Reply

    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 1, 2011 at 8:27 am

    That dessert plate is amazing! I totally would have polished off the whole thing too. :D

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    Shaun @ snackasaurusrex.com October 1, 2011 at 8:32 am

    A food adventure! Everything looks amazing…however if I had to pick my favorite, it would be that sea of cocktails…just WOW!

    Reply

    Sandi October 1, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I guess you girls learn to take ‘small bites & sips’ to an art! Great post :)

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    Angela @ PattycakesnPancakes October 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Looks like a real great time. The food is so “American” yet very unique. Thanks for sharing!

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    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) October 1, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Love the cocktail photos! Every time more cocktails arrived in the photos, my smile would get bigger. :)

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    Lee October 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

    The bartender made you every single cocktail? Lucky ladies!

    It’s fun to read your DC posts because I am originally from there (my parents still live there, Maryland, but like 5 miles from the DC border), but I moved away a long time ago and never know the new restaurants when I go visit my family.

    Reply

    Molly @ RDexposed October 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Now I have added DC on my list of places to visit. It’s third behind Boston (!) and Seattle.

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    Maureen October 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    What an amazing food (and drink) experience!

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    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio October 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    What an amazing day!! I’ve been looking to go to America Eats for some time… I’ve got to get down there. I’m totally jealous of all those cocktails!

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    Lele October 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I loved What’s Cooking Uncle Sam! I took notes :D Also, that dessert is ridiculous. And I live in DC. And my birthday’s on Friday. So… thanks :D

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    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers October 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    All those drinks look good!! I could use a few right about now! The food looks divine! Glad your having fun!

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    Gina @ Skinnytaste October 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I really want to buy that slate plate! Your photos came out so pretty!! It was so great to meet you, you’re a super sweet person. Hopefully there will be another food centered trip on the horizon!

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    Emily @ Life on Food October 2, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I visited the America Eats Tavern this summer. It was so interesting. I loved the Hushpuppies the best.

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    Cait's Plate October 2, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Wow that place looks incredible. I’ve never been but it’s definitely just been added to my list :)

    Reply

    Hillary October 2, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I’ve lived outside of DC for almost five years now, and I had no idea this existed! Must try it soon.

    Reply

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