Bell & Basket - Eating D.C., Memoir Review, and What's Happening in Food Policy

Wow, it's May. How did we get here?! We recently took a fast and steamy trip to Washington D.C. (it w
Bell & Basket
Bell & Basket - Eating D.C., Memoir Review, and What's Happening in Food Policy
By Bell & Basket  • Issue #9
Wow, it’s May. How did we get here?! 
We recently took a fast and steamy trip to Washington D.C. (it was 90 degrees) where we walked a ton and ate really well. Whoever says the nation’s capital is all steakhouses and senators has got. it. all. wrong. There is so much culture in that city! More on our favorite coffee and eats from the weekend below. 
And finally, IT’S RHUBARB SEASON. A recipe for the best crumb cake will be up on B&B very soon. Here’s a sneak peak of it below, to get you through this beautiful Tuesday. 
-Michelle 

Rhubarb crumb cake
Rhubarb crumb cake
DC EATS
Colony Club is my favorite D.C. coffee shop. It’s sleek, cool, spacious and the cold brew is on point. The coffee is a light roast, with bright citrusy notes. If you’re in the Columbia Heights area–be sure to make a pit stop here. 
We had a delicious and healthy lunch at A Baked Joint. Their curried vegetable soup was one of the best bowls I’ve had and their caramelized onion focaccia was top notch. 
Feeling brave enough for chicken hearts, blood sausage and crispy pigs ear? Check out Thip Khao, a traditional Lao restaurant in Columbia Heights. If you’re not feeling adventurous, there are some classic noodle dishes, salads, awesome fish, sticky rice, and sweet and salty beef jerky. On a hot day, this is a must. Get the thai iced tea, sit outside and chill. 
Last but definitely not least, my favorite meal in D.C. was dinner at Le Diplomate–Stephen Starr’s mecca for french onion soup, steak frites and crème brûlée. We sat on the edge of the restaurant with all of the windows open and listened to a saxophonist playing jazz on the street corner. It was pretty close to perfect. 
Colony Club
Colony Club
MEMOIR REVIEW
I’m beginning my bread baking journey just in time for summer thanks to Sam Fromartz’ memoir In Search of the Perfect Loaf : A Home Baker’s Odyssey. Baking bread is an intimidating task. I’ve tried making my own sourdough starter around three times. Every time I have, I’ve ended up with a glass jar of grey liquid that smells like moldy moonshine. 
But since reading Sam’s journey in bread baking, all the way from Paris to California to Berlin–I’m inspired to try again. And if you feel like you need a kick in the pants to get on the homemade bread train, I’d highly recommend reading this book. It’s inspiring, informative, and most of all, it’s given me the confidence to believe that I can create my own style of bread. I’m aiming for big wholes in the crumb, a really crisp, chewy crust and lots of tangy sourdough notes. Because that’s what I like. And if I’m going to make bread–I’m going to like it! Wish me luck. And I’ll leave you with this awesome excerpt: 
“To make a sourdough starter, remember,  you are a farmer, not a cook! You are creating the conditions for your microscopic animals to live happily. If you keep that in mind, the process will go a little more smoothly.” 
FOOD POLICY UPDATE
Trump’s executive order may very well affect our rivers, lakes and oceans, as well as the farming industry’s most vulnerable. Check out more in the Civil Eats post below. 
Trump Executive Order Promises to Slash Farm Regulations | Civil Eats
Will a new executive order “promoting agriculture and rural prosperity” fulfill its promise? That depends on who you ask.
NON FOOD PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Statue of Joseph Henry at magic hour on a balmy spring evening. He was a scientist whose work focused on electromagnetic relay that would serve as the basis for the invention of the electrical telegraph. The pre-internet. The dude believed in science. Have a great rest of the week!
-Colin
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