Urban Farmhouse Dining
In July, Don and I had a pretty memorable lunch, a few blocks from the White House.
Here I am posing with my future daughter-in-law and her mom, under the sign for Founding Farmers. The playful name obviously is a reminder of our Founding Fathers. But the farmer part is serious. 40,000 farmers own this restaurant!
In and Out
The 2-story, corner restaurant looks like a typical city office building on the outside. But inside, the open space is an entertaining mix of modern design, whimsical accents and recycled materials.
Inside the resturaunt, it was pretty busy, so there were good people watching opportunities. However, the big windows offered a good show of the the non-touristy downtown D.C.
Bar and Booths
The bar and booths were filled with mostly business diners at 1:30. There were a few laptops getting some use and a little drinking going on as well. It was loud and festive.
"Engage, Involve and Interact"
We had a short wait until we were seated, which gave us a chance to browse through books in a cozy nook. A sign with the 3 words above, invited us to take a peek at the books and to learn and share.
This is what I learned:
I was reminded that many of the Founding Fathers were originally farmers. I learned that the food served at Founding Farmers, comes from hundreds of US farms.
I was totally entertained as we waited. The very odd hanging clouds looked like they might pour down a little rain at any minute. I was delighted by a few pig statues and the modern bird lamps.
There were some silo inspired shapes here and there. I loved the stairway going up to the second level, where we dined.
I'm guessing the floors may have come from an old barn. The walls had so many interesting textures.
The upstairs space was brighter and starting to thin out. Our table, right in the middle, gave us a good view all around.
Serving Up Fun Dishes
I liked the way some of the food was served. The skillet cornbread with sea salted honey butter was delivered in a mini iron skillet. Don's burger came with green beans and a knife that made me think of Daniel Boone!
Chali's tomato soup, grilled cheese and fries warmed her up, along with her shawl. (The air-conditioning seemed to be focussed at our table.) Note the retro milk bottle, that was used like a carafe, for water.
I couldn't resist the "Butcher's Hot Dogs and Rolls" that came topped with tomato chow chow... blue cheese, bacon and chili... rich and decadent! And Pearl Pasta Salad on the side!
After Meal Fun
After we finished our feast, we had a fun time chatting and making discoveries.
Don and Linda were quite delighted to find out they have something very unique in common.
It's not everyone who has a wallet or purse made of sting ray skin. What a hoot!
Linda and I found out we have something in common as well. We both have huge appreciation for a fun bathroom. Luckily the place was empty, when Linda and I explored the entertaining bathroom.
First we had fun reading the quotes on the black wall. Then we spent way too much time laughing at the sets of infinity mirrors in each bathroom stall.
Before heading off, I took a quick peek at a food prep area, behind the counter. The glass dome with enclosed farm animals made me laugh. A cup of candles made me wish for a birthday. The 2 piping hot cornbread skillets made me wish I was hungry all over again.
A fun place... with lots of good food and surprises!
Why World Bank?
This was taken last summer, when I had some fun posing with my future daughter-in-law, in front of The World Bank. Her dad was working that day and invited us to meet him for lunch. That's an opportunity you don't pass up!
Driving in D.C.
In the morning, after we did a little museum wandering, we found the perfect parking spot near The World Bank. It takes up an entire city block, so we still did a little walking to find the right entrance.
We waited outside for our host to greet us at the proper door. Then we checked in, getting special badges. It was quite a thrill, since tourists can't exactly decide to eat lunch at World Bank. And Don and I were defintely tourists in D.C.
We were checked through security, as we walked by a colorful wall of flags. Each flag represented a country involved in World Bank, since it's beginning in 1944.
First we walked through the beautiful glassed in atrium with a vaulted skylight ceiling. This sleek, modern building has evidently evolved over the years, by using materials from past World Bank buildings.
World Bank's Goal
The goal of the international financial institution is to reduce poverty, by providing loans to developing countries. This exhibit gave us something to ponder.
Just getting to the cafeteria was an adventure. We walked over a bridge, where some were dining above a blue pool.
It was a Friday in July, so the atmosphere was quieter and more casual than usual. There was an option for a more formal dining room, but we'd heard great things about the cafeteria.
So Many Options
Once we got our trays and utensils, our group of 5 scattered, in search of our favorite foods. There are thousands of employees of World Bank and most aren't U.S. born. So it made good sense that there would be food stations representing foods from all over the world.
Dining on Trays
I chose a station named, "Green Apron" where I picked out a salmon patty with zucchini and squash, along with some African Spice Eggplant. We carried our trays to a huge dining area, broken up into cozy spaces. Everyone seemed to have the routine down. Eat on your tray and then bus your own table afterwards.
Doors of the World
I managed to find one empty area to snap a photo. There were many beautifully decorated areas, using bright backgrounds to display carved doors and shutters from around the world. I wanted to be invisible and wander through the space, listening to all the different languages.
Time to Go
After we took our trays to be emptied, we crossed over the bridge again. I noted the clocks and realized we'd finished our lunch just before 2, but it was about happy hour in London! I wish we'd had more time to explore because there was so much besides food. There was a classy gift shop, that sold wine. There was even a cleaners, which is obviously more handy for employees, than guests. I heard there was a daycare somewhere in the building.
Don and I had to do a pose with our special badges. You could tell we were first timers, because we weren't any too eager to take them off. What a fun experience with delicious food and wonderful company!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.