Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lunch in DC: Proof

Why drive all the way to Washington for lunch? To eat somewhere good I've never eaten before. To be entertained by a handsome man in a suit. To be reminded how different people are in my hometown than they are in my adopted city. To receive a gift of home-baked chocolate cupcakes. To laugh out loud at statements like, "Hey, I don't want her to blow up."

And then there's the little delights of driving up 95. The golden arches-yellow van, painted with "McCruelty. I'm hatin' it," and featuring a red and black Ronald with fangs and a dagger. It was a PETA van, but you had to really look to see the tiny little PETA emblem.

My restaurant of choice today was Proof in Penn Quarter because I'd read great things about the Proof Lunch. I was sorely tested by the Wagyu Steak and Cheese Sub or the Grilled Shenandoah Lamb Burger, but I already knew I had to have a salad because of my plans later this evening. And while my choice, Grilled Hanger Steak Salad with roasted corn, avocado, bacon and blue cheese over chopped Romaine, was technically a salad, it had so much thick-cut bacon in it that it really didn't need the hanger steak and doubtfully qualified as healthy or low-calorie. And since Proof has a superb cheese selection (not to mention house-made charcuterie), I had to pick a salad that featured the Bleu des Causses, a semi-soft creamy and lush blue that smeared itself all over my greens. I do <3 stinky cheese, after all.

My Biggest Fan had one of the specials, a Chinese Pork barbecue sandwich which he devoured... always a good sign. I considered the Chocolate Five Spice Cake, but instead chose the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake with vanilla ice cream and a butterscotch sauce with spiced rum and a crumble of pistachios. The subtle undertones of the spiced rum was what distinguished this wonderfully old-fashioned desert.

Afterwards, we strolled the holiday artisan market set up next to the National Portrait Gallery, which included many jewelry artists, which appeals to me not at all since I never wear jewelry. But I did notice it had a very different feel than an artisan market in rva would have, so that made it interesting; I didn't see a single tattoo or piercing on any of the artists. How is this possible, the transplanted Richmonder wondered?

M.B.F. gave me way too much credit for making the drive up again, but it's such a pleasure to have someone to share a meal with in the city, especially since I get up there less often for weekend getaways these days.

Besides, not only does he crack me up, he tells me he thinks I'm pretty funny, too. I'm more than willing to drive a few hours to hear that.

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