Lavagna’s Eggs Florentine. Image from chroniclesofadietician.com
The parents were in town this weekend, which meant a weekend spent taking refuge in yummy restaurants to avoid the snowy and grey weather that plagues DC this time of year. I ate out more than even I might like, and sampled a number of different great places in DC, including Lavagna in Eastern Market for Brunch, Oyamel in Penn Quarter, Pi Pizza, and Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown. All of these places had awesome food, but I want to focus specifically on my Lavagna brunch for this post, because if there’s anything Washingtonians know how to do, it’s brunch.
Lavagna is a restaurant that appeals to me especially because it’s “farm-to-table”, meaning all of their ingredients are locally sourced, and because they make just about everything in house. The look of the restaurant is nothing to write home about, but it’s in a great location in Capitol Hill, just a few blocks south of the Eastern Market metro stop. There’s a large chalkboard (or lavagna) near the entrance that lists the farms from where they get their ingredients, most of which are in Pennsylvania, Virginia, or New York. On this visit, I ordered eggs florentine, which is a change from my usual tendency to go the sweet rather than savory route at any brunch. I always try to order things at restaurants that I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) ever cook for myself, and today was no exception. Most egg dishes are kind of a mystery to me, but breakfast is the best meal of the day and I am always wanting to learn. The dish was delicious–paired with spinach and potatoes, it was a hearty meal in a perfect portion.
Living in a city like DC definitely has its perks then, as my brunch options would seriously be limited if I went to a school in a small college town. Moreover, it’s hard not to notice that eating well in DC also usually means paying a premium price (and this is why it only happens when the parents are around). These two factors in combination point to one truth–that the ability to take part in the ‘foodie’ culture is limited by your proximity to some foodie center with lots of restaurant options (usually a city), and by your ability to spend money on meals that cost more than eating at home. While there’s also a large culture that emphasizes cooking gourmet/organic/healthy on a budget, I understand completely why some might view gourmet and organic food movements as being restricted to an upper- and middle-class white population. However, I think there’s a lot of reasons–especially in DC–to believe that this isn’t always true. I’ll keep an eye out for good examples, and will share them in future posts.