August 2, 2011

Dining Out: Open City Diner

Man!  Can anyone else not believe it's August already? I'm starting to see pumpkin recipes in some of the food blogs I follow, and it's making me start to daydream about crisp mornings and sweaters a little. Just a little. Because I spent most of the winter complaining about how cold I was, so I know I should try to appreciate the warm weather while it's here. But still...a Saturday morning consisting of pumpkin pancakes, hot coffee and the promise of college football is starting to sound pretty tempting right now...Anyways. Summer is still here to stay for a while, and with it a wealth of good produce. So we all win!

You can't grow these when it's cold.

Yesterday MG and I had quite the day of cooking - MG attempted his first no-knead bread and made us tex-mex arroz con pollo for lunch, I roasted beets and cooked quinoa for work lunches this week, and I spent last night making an eggplant and tofu dish to have for dinner tonight (recipe will be up later this evening!) With all that cooking we decided to take a kitchen break and use a restaurant coupon for dinner :)  So, after a jaunt down to Whole Foods in search of miso paste, we headed over to Open City Diner in Woodley Park.

We sat in their open air porch-ish area, so we got a nice breeze and some good people watching.* We started off with this yummy refreshing iced green pineapple tea. It came with a slice of pineapple, so, bonus! I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to get breakfast for dinner or just, well, omelet sounded super tempting, but in the end I went with a veggie burger with smoked gouda and a garden salad, and man was it ever a good decision! The veggie burger was A) humongous and B) delicious (although, it was also C) a little messy).  Rather than your typical "trying to be meat" veggie burger (which are also good), it was a wonderful and hearty mix of lentils, spices, and I think barley? It came on a multigrain bun with the usual veggie toppings. The smoked gouda was a good choice on my part (and not a difficult one; it's basically my favorite cheese). The garden salad was, um, awesome. I was expecting a little iceberg lettuce and maybe some cherry tomatoes, but this one came with roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes and dried cranberries! I had a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette on the side, but honestly, it didn't even really need it.

I was so content and full after this feast!

MG ordered the chorizo hash with scrambled eggs. I'm assuming he enjoyed it, because by the time I finished assembling my veggie burger, he was halfway done. I did get a little bite though and I completely understand why it got devoured so quickly.

I'm lucky I was able to get this picture before it was consumed.

For dessert we got Cuban coffees...and animal crackers!

It's fun to bite their heads off first.

We enjoyed a nice walk home before I started in on cooking tonight's dinner.  All in all, a pretty good way to end the weekend.  Unless you were the animal cracker lion. In which case, I am sorry.

*NB: if you are in college, you are too old to wear matching t-shirts when you go on a group outing. Especially if the matching t-shirts identify your university by name.

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