Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ms. Cavanaugh's Best of Washington

The Washington City Paper just came out with their Best Of issue, so I've decided that it's time to do mine.

Best Sushi
Sushi Taro

All the sushi (along with all the shumai, gyoza, yakitori, tempura, and cocktails) I've had here has been fresh and flavorful. The restaurant gets crowded, so head there soon after it opens at 5:30 p.m.

Best Indian
Heritage India

The saag paneer is to die for, but everything else I've had from here (chicken tikka masala, muttar paneer, channa masala) have also been delicious.

Best Late Night
Ben's Chili Bowl, Amsterdam Falafel (tie)

Ben's is my favorite, but since I'm hardly out on U St. and since I don't want to die of a heart attack before age 30, it's a special occasion late night place. Amsterdam Falafel makes a night out in Adams Morgan worth it.

Best Bookstore
Politics and Prose

Their author visit calendar is unparalleled in the area, there's a cute cafe, and a great selection. What more could you want in a bookstore?

Best Low Key Bar
The Wonderland

My love for Wonderland comes in part because it is 4 blocks from my house. And because I can wear either jeans or a dress and not feel out of place. And because there is beer I actually like.

Best Caramel Latte
Corner Bakery

These caramel lattes are addicting. Sweeter than lattes from Mayorga, Corner Bakery, one of which is on the first floor of my office building, sucks me in at least once a week.

Best Delivery
Mr. Chen's

I have had excited conversations about this place with a number of people. The sesame chicken? Best I've ever had. The crab rangoon? Can you even get it anywhere else? The fact that you can order online AND save your favorite orders? Genius. The food is light years ahead of typical Chinese places, and it's organic.

Best Stationery Store
Paperie in Bethesda, Paper Source in Georgetown

My love for paper borders on seemingly irrational at times, as I have boxes of stationery stacked in my room. These two stores are both filled with beautiful paper and great gifts.

Best Museum Store
Freer and Sackler Galleries (book selection)
National Gallery of Art (sheer size)

I admit I've overindulged in the Freer gift shop, mainly on their books. And the National Gallery of Art, which has a mini-store every three feet, also has some great gift items. Though I will never understand why they sell old calendars.

Most Friendly Museum Guards
Freer and Sackler Galleries

I think this is the only place, aside from the National Portrait Gallery, where the guards have engaged me in conversation. Is it out of boredom, since there seem to be fewer people at the F&S Galleries than at other museums I visit regularly? Or are they just really nice?

Best Small Plate Restaurant

I've only been here once, but it's my favorite of Jose Andres' restaurants (as the time I met him, after consuming entirely too much tequila, I raved about it to the point where I think I embarrassed him). I still salivate over the Hünkãr Begendi (traditional Turkish braised lamb shank with an eggplant-kefalograviera puree).

Most Attractive Metro Line
Orange and Blue

I think it's because these lines bring Virginia residents to their jobs on the Hill, but the Blue and Orange lines have by far the most attractive passengers. I'm also inclined to name my own line, the Green, least attractive.

Best Quick Lunch Place
Naan and Beyond

The paneer tikka sandwich is one of my favorite things to eat, though the outpost in my office building makes a less-delicious version than the L St. spot. The veggie thali plate is also delicious, as are the samosas (the chicken one, which is too dry, excluded).

Best Yoga Studio
Yoga District

Their last Friday of the month snuggle yoga class elevates the traditional restorative class to a new level. With aromatherapy, hot stones, and lots of blankets, I end the class wanting to fall asleep right in the studio. Their other classes are equally as unique, and they're eco-friendly.

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