my dad’s birthday is a few days before christmas and this year he wanted to take a family trip to the smithsonian in washington d.c. for his birthday present. we were happy to oblige.
the day was bitterly cold and windy, but we managed to make it from our parked car to a chinese restaurant my sister and her husband remembered from a visit to d.c. more than 5 years ago.
the guy making noodles in the window was the key landmark in their memory. it certainly was tasty (and cheap!). i was thrilled to get to eat yummy hot and sour soup, eggrolls and sweet and sour pork–some of my very favorite foods that i don’t get too often.
then, we braved the cold again to make our way to the smithsonian museum of natural history. the dinosaur at the top of the post was there, as were these shells (i love the blue background)
and these diamonds cut into alphabet letters! (be still my librarian heart.)
then, we made our way over to the art museum. here’s a detail of a jasper johns piece that i liked.
i was also excited to see a chuck close painting. (that’s my dad admiring the painting. poor guy. his arm is broken. but i think he had a good time anyway.)
but i think i was most excited to see an andy goldsworthy sculpture!
we finally left when the museums closed and took a gamble on a restaurant we’d noticed while driving around to find parking earlier.
the restaurant was “oyamel” and was high end mexican–sort of like tapas, but mexican, not spanish. (the photo above is a portion of the beautiful metal butterfly mobile hanging from the ceiling.) the gamble paid off.
the food was absolutely scrumptious. they made a fantastic bowl of guacamole right at the table.
and they brought the chips in these fancy cone baskets.
one of my dishes was sopes with squash and tomato crema and pepitas and cilantro.
sadly, at about this point in the meal, the food became too delicious for me to take any time out to photograph it, so you’ll just have to use your imagination. my mother got some amazing chilaquiles, my brother-in-law got some fantastic albondigas (meatballs), and then, towards the end of the meal, the tacos arrived (all of the food just showed up whenever it was ready, spread out over about 45 minutes or so). oh, the tacos. oh my goodness. if i had it to do all over again, i might just order tacos. the chicken taco with avocado, the pork bbq… so incredibly flavorful, all with homemade fresh corn tortillas…. if i hadn’t been so full, i would have ordered a whole plateful.
but of course, we had to save room for dessert. there were four desserts and six of us, so… we just got one of each and shared them around the table. i think each dessert had at least one person who chose it as their favorite. you can see the menu on their website if you want to drool.
it was an excellent family adventure and i wouldn’t be at all surprised if we repeated it again in the future.
(oh, and by the way, i edited yesterday’s post a little late–be sure not to miss my impromptu cd review at the end!)