D.C. Stands for “Delicious Chow”

Well, I am back to work after a wonderful long Veteran’s Day weekend!

Our trip to our nation’s capital was not what I’d call “relaxing,” as each of the two days were jam-packed with sightseeing and spending time with close friends and of course my sister, M.  While we didn’t get to do all the veg-ploring I had hoped to do, there were some definite highlights.

Exhibit 1:
DC Eats 003

DC Eats 005YES.

Now, there is no way that sofritas salad was going to photograph nicely.  But dear LORD was it delicious, and totally hit the spot at the end of the day after our late evening flight.  Dear Chipotle, please bring these up north.  Kthx.

On our first full day, I went exploring with H&M (hah).  We went to the Capitol first, where we were treated to a little VIP trip to the parliamentarian’s office.  The office used to belong to the Speaker and it was pretty humbling to think of all of the important people that have passed through it.

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After that it was across the street to the Supreme Court.  H and I are both attorneys so obviously this is very cool to us!
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At this point we were all pretty hungry and I was also suffering a bit of a caffeine-withdrawal headache (I don’t always get these when I don’t have coffee but when I do it’s awful), so we originally weren’t going to go inside the Court.  But that seemed dumb since we were right there so we did go in.  And we were rewarded with the most amazing behind-the-scenes tour from a super-sweet employee who saw the three of us browsing exhibits and offered to show us the library and other parts of the building (like the justices’ dining room, gym and basketball court!) that are not open to the public.  It was such an incredibly nice thing for her to do, and something we will always remember.

Anyway by the time we left there we were famished (and my head was pounding), so we decided to head over to nearby Union Station to get coffee and see what dining options were there.  I was a little disappointed because I had wanted to try out a real DC veg place, but figured I could get by with Pret a Manger or something similar.  Little did I know, Union Station has like 985908 restaurants.  Seriously, it was overwhelming!  After walking around for several minutes trying to decide, I finally stumbled upon something amazing in the downstairs food court: Sunrise Caribbean Cafe, a food stand with an entire vegan menu!!!

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I ordered the BBQ “steak” (made of seitan), vegan mac and cheese, and collard greens (sorry for the crappy train station food court lighting).

I honestly can’t even describe how delicious this was.  While it wasn’t the best vegan Caribbean steak I’ve had (the bar for that has been set impossibly high by the pepper steak from Belmont Vegetarian Restaurant in Worcester, MA), the mac and cheese was utterly delightful.  It had Jamaican curry powder and chopped veggies mixed in, and was super-creamy and tasted SO GOOD mixed with some of the sauce from the steak.

As if I weren’t already in love with this place, while I placing my order one of the employees came out from the kitchen and handed me this, saying it was a free sample:
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On their menu it is called a “double.”  It was basically a chickpea curry wrapped up in soft fried dough, aka Heaven.  H loved it so much that he said he wished he had just gone and ordered two of these for his lunch instead of the slices of pepperoni pizza he had settled on.  There are few things that make me happier than vegan food that tastes better than any omni offering!  I would highly, highly recommend Sunrise if you’re looking for something delicious and affordable after touring the Capitol area.

Even though we were startlingly full after our Union Station lunch, there was no way I was missing Sticky Fingers on this trip so we took the Metro over to Columbia Heights and were rewarded with this beacon of beauty:
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Between the three of us we ended up with:
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The classic peanut butter and chocolate cupcake

DC Eats 011Their seasonal Sweet Potato Maple Cupcake

DC Eats 012And their Chocolate Stout Cupcake, which looked like this when cut open:

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Yes, that was a chocolate covered cloud of Ricemellow on top.

I think I will let the pictures speak for themselves on this one.  You probably already know that Sticky Fingers is a vegan pilgrimage you must take if you are in the DC area.

I think that pretty much sums up the highlights of the weekend’s food adventures.  The rest of the time was spent catching up with our friends and exploring outside of the city (including going for a run in NoVa and taking a ride out to beautiful Annapolis!).  Some Neil Diamond was sung, some beers were consumed, lots of laughter ensued…

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And when I got home I got to spend my free Monday with this:
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I’d say it was a good weekend 🙂

What other places in the DC area are must-visits for vegans? If you’ve got one, leave it in the comments!

Daiya Giveaway Winner and Weekend Update

Not this Weekend Update, unfortunately:

First things first: the winner of the Daiya free product voucher is Donna!  Donna said:

I think I’m the last vegan on earth who hasn’t had Daiya. I’d like to try the mozz-style and make a pizza with actual “cheese!”

Congratulations, girl!  I hope your first experience with Daiya is a great one!

Thank you SO much to everyone who commented.  You guys really helped my self-esteem and I’m now super-excited about giveaways and hope to host another one really soon!  Actually I’ve already thought up an idea so it won’t be too long in any case…

Anyways, I know it’s only Thursday but I’m getting really excited for the weekend!  H and I are travelling to DC to visit my beautiful little sister M, who has promised to take me  on a tour of her favorite vegan and veg-friendly establishments.

M and me the last time I visited DC

Sticky Fingers will obviously be involved.sticky fingers

And this is the Cherry Blossom cupcake I got on my last visit and HOLY HELL I still dream about this thing.  The crappy bar lighting from Millie & Al’s does it no justice, none.

While M is not vegan, she is lactose intolerant and so obviously avoids many non-vegan foods.  Apart from this, though, she has always been extremely open to eating vegan meals.  She particularly loves seitan and soy chorizo (a version of which I hear DC-area Chipotles are now serving btw!).


I think we’ll have a good time, and I hope to take many photos!  Most of them will probably end up on Instagram (@acookinthemaking) but if there’s anything particularly awesome perhaps I’ll share it in a recap post next week.

Pile on the Miles update:
Week one went…okay.  So far I’ve done 6.3 of my 10 goal miles for the week, but the first 3.2 (on the treadmill because it was COLD and I am weak) did not come easily.  A little bit of walking and more than a little pain were involved.  All the more reason to stick with it though, right? And then last night I had this incredible outdoor run where I felt awesome and didn’t walk at all and kept up a good (for me) pace the entire time!  So who knows.  I’m hoping that by week four I’ll be back to being able to run an easy 5K without too many after-effects.

Also, I’m starting to remember why I never lose any weight when running or training for a race.  It’s not even one of those things where I run a measly 3 miles and then think I can eat whatever I want because I “earned” it.  The real problem is that the day after a run, I don’t feel like doing anything, or I convince myself I “need to rest,” so cross-training always seems to go right out the window.  The net effect is that I actually get less total exercise per week, even though my cardio minutes increase.

This is starting to annoy me and I’m working really hard at developing the mental focus to run 3 days a week and do strength training on 2 other days.    It really shouldn’t be that hard! I know that I am physically capable of doing this and that I’m not going to die or injure myself.  But somehow this irrational fear creeps in and I find an excuse.

This is something I just have to work on.  One of those personal barriers that you need to push past in order to grow as a person.  We all have them!  Identifying it is the first step, I think.

What are your personal barriers?  What do you do to try to break through them?

Also, any fun weekend plans?

Let me know in the comments!  I’ll be checking in from the road.