Today, I am thinking of Tapas! (Jaleo DC – photos)

photo (1)Some of my favorite restaurants in DC are owned by the chef José Andrés. On Wednesday evening, a friend of mine from out of town came to visit and I took her and a group of friends to Jaleo DC. I loved our table! The glass table sat on top of a Foosball Table (it’s been so long since I’ve played with these!). I helped my team score a goal on this evening! Go me! Photos speak louder and convey more emotion than words, so it’s mostly just going to be lovely photos. We then went to see a few of the DC monuments/memorials (lovely view at night)… but I’ll present those to y’alls in a separate post. Here’s the food! Enjoy~

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First up came the Mejillones Vinagreta (mussels served with pipirrana, sherry dressing and honey). These were served cold on a platter of ice. The scallions, tomatoes, vinegrette was so delightful to eat.
Jarkie’s Rating: 9/10

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Next came the Croquetas De Pollo (traditional chicken fritters) which was DELICIOUS! Anything fried is yummy in my opinion. And it was so incredibly cheesy & savory… it all just melts in your mouth.
Jarkie’s Rating: 8.5/10

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I’m not a fan of octopus–well, this was my first time trying it–so this next dish was not my favorite one. Pulpo A La Gallega Maestro Alfonso (boiled octopus with pee wee potatoes, pimentón and olive oil) – I spied some light paprika sprinkled on top … but other than that, there wasn’t much flavor. I was not a fan of the texture of the octopus. The thing that saved the dish for me? The potatoes. You can’t go wrong with potatoes.
Jarkie’s Rating: 4.5/10

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Another type of chicken this came along… this time, grilled to perfection. Pollo Al Ajillo Con Salsa Verde (grilled marinated chicken served with parsley purée and garlic sauce).
Jarkie’s Rating: 6.5/10

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We proceeded to eat the Rossejat (traditional paella‘ of fried pasta with shrimp and calamari) which my lovely company told me tasted like a popular Malaysian snack. Very good. Granted, there could have been some more shrimp and calamari.
Jarkie’s Rating7/10

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One of the highlights of the dinner was the Costillas De Cerdo Ibérico De Bellota (grilled pork ribs from the legendary acorn-fed, black-footed pigs of spain) that serves about 2-6. Whatever marinade they use is so very tasty. The ribs were tender and juicy. I wish I could have had more! Comes with rosemary (for decorational purposes?) and salt.
Jarkie’s Rating: 9/10

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There were two other dishes that we tried that are not pictured above. The Ensalada Campera (salad of conserved tuna, fingerling potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and hard boiled eggs) and the Pan De Cristal Con Tomate (toasted slices of uniquely crispy and ethereal bread brushed with fresh tomato).

I ended the night with their signature red sangria by the glass. It was a bit too watered down… but for my personal taste, it was perfect!
Jarkie’s Rating: 6.5/10

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See You Later, See You Soon

We’ve been sweating it out in the heat and doing major packing this weekend. My possessions are divided into “will need this summer” & “staying in BP”, most of them falling into the latter category so as not to lug them around for the next two months. Even though I won’t be leaving the city until the end of June, I’m putting things in storage this week at Anna’s cousin’s house. It was very kind of her to offer the space (and save me 2 months’ rent!); I hope she won’t regret it when she sees just how much STUFF I’m handing over.

Other than that, it’s been a social weekend – 3 outings in as many days! I guess I can’t claim hermit status anymore.

On Friday, I went to Gerbeaud, Budapest’s most famous café, for the first time. It’s in a beautiful part of the city teeming with tourists, and priced accordingly. Four of us shared this sampler platter:
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Then, we walked around for a bit on Vaci utca before heading home. Budapest is radiant in the summer sun.

Yesterday, five of us had dinner at The Big Fish, billed as “the only restaurant in town that offers fresh seafood, made in front of you”. It was excellent, and I’m definitely planning on returning to try the paella, which was sold out (a common occurrence, apparently). The only blight on the meal was an injured pigeon in the middle of the sidewalk behind us. It had a broken leg and was trying to launch itself to a safer corner, which it ultimately did, but seeing it suffer was terrible.

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There’s been an undercurrent of goodbyes as we part for the summer months, but we’ll be back at the books before we know it.

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