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Top 5 Favorite Healthy Foods in DC

By Arielle Berger

Hi. My name is Arielle and I am no stranger to food.

I love to try new foods and seek out places to eat that are off the beaten path. I grew up eating primarily organic food with a salad at every home cooked meal, so I have a good sense of what is healthy and what is not. Growing up, I thought it was annoying that my parents made me eat my veggies while my friends would eat pizza and takeout. But now that I am older, I appreciate that I grew up eating healthy foods, subconsciously learning the foods that are healthiest for me.

When I first got to Washington, D.C. this semester, I knew I would be in for a treat. The city is a hub for food. From bottomless brunch buffets to happy hour food deals and everything in between, D.C. does not disappoint. I made it my mission to find some of the best local restaurants.

Now, here is the thing: I am gluten intolerant. Yup, there is the eye roll. But seriously, I am. Gluten tends to inflame my throat causing strep throat seven out of ten times, and that is no fun for anyone. So I want to take you on a journey of some of my favorite ‘healthy’ foods of D.C. Safe for gluten-free folks like me, but with gluten filled options as well.

1. Buredo

Pronouced bur-EE-dough. Clever, right? Buredo combines two of my favorite foods, sushi and burritos. You can find this sushirito restaurant in downtown D.C. (conveniently located next to my work office). The menu consists of 11 sushiritos that are made fresh to order. It is pretty easy to edit the ingredients just to your liking.

Some popular items include spicy tuna tartare (pictured to the right), avocado, cucumber, tuna sashimi, tempura crunch and edamame.. I ordered the Gogo but substituted the coconut crema for the siracha mayo.

If you are a fan of following the trends and ordering very Instagramable foods, and you are NOT allergic to any sort of seafood, then Buredo is the spot for you. You can check out there very aesthetically pleasing website here!

 

2. The Little Beet

The Little Beet, it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

There are a surprising amount of Chipotle-esque, make-to-your-liking, type restaurants here in D.C. The Little Beet is one of them, but better and healthier! This farm fresh restaurant (no 

surprise there, just look at the name) changes their food based on seasons to guarantee the freshest, in season items. The Little Beet gets all their food from “the best farmers and vendors in all the land” (according to their eye catching, all natural website).  And ALL of their menu items are gluten-free WOO-HOO.

I will admit that I was a little overwhelmed when I first got to the counter – there were just so many yummy food options that I could not decide what to get. Take a peek at their seasonal menu and you’ll understand what I mean. I settled on the grain/salad blend with white beans, roasted kale, beet falafel, avocado white bean spread, and pickled ginger. Take a peek at that masterpiece.

3. Chaia

I am a taco junky and finding 

this little gem was a blessing and a curse (on my wallet).  I stumbled across Chaia when I googled “must eat places in D.C”. Chaia is located in Georgetown, so it is a little bit of a trek to get there. Luckily, I was already in Georgetown doing my second favorite thing (shopping), and after a few hours, it was taco time.

Chaia is located one block off the main road in Georgetown, across a small bridge. After crossing the bridge you will first see the back of the restaurant, in all its green vine covered glory. After you walk through a cute little park, with tables to eat at, you will see the doors leading to taco heaven.

The restaurant is cute and quaint and just feels like a nice place to hang out in. They have orange infused water and servers who 

are always smiling. Their menu is simple and to the point, so as a very indecisive person, I was thankful for that. 

There were five different types of tacos when I went. I ended up deciding on the mushroom, Moroccan carrot and, my favorite, the creamy kale and 

potato taco. My friend got the roasted beet and absolutely loved it. Each one had the most distinct flavors. I ended up eating my tacos so fast that I contemplated getting a second round because they were that good.

Check out their unique taco flavors here and see you if you can recreate them at home. And if you do, let me know!

4. Fruitive

I’ve said Fruitive wrong the entire time that I was in D.C. I always called it fruit-iv, but apparently it is pronounced fru-I-tive (adj.) meaning enjoyment. Anywho, it’s fabulous. They have everything from salads and sandwiches to gluten-free waffles, smoothies and lettuce wrapped TACOS. Back at it with the tacos.

It is located right in D.C.’s City Center making this place a must. Everything on this menu is healthy. There is kale, spinach, quinoa, and flax just to name a few things. If the healthy way is a stay off the path for you, I promise you will like this place. They still have waffles (gluten-free) but they come with coconut whipped cream and maple syrup, so the sweet tooth lovers are in luck.

But as you know from the post above, I love tacos, so naturally I had to get their collard tacos. There are three kinds and thankfully I was able to get all three. Each comes in a lettuce wrap so they are extremely messy, but totally worth it. I got the Sesame Ginger Taco (which was the best), the Southwest Taco and the Tuscan Taco. Again, each was uniquely perfect.

My non gluten-free roomie got the Avo Portobello Panini and devoured it in about 6 bites. I think she enjoyed it. I have also tried the Hail to the Kale salad and Coconut Colada and have been very pleased. Needless to say, I have spent my fair share at Fruitive.  Health nut or sweet tooth, check out their menu.

5. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

So I said healthy, right? Well I’m going to stay off the path, A LOT, like total gluten, a lot. This is a D.C. hot spot and listed on the “21 best donut shops in America” list by Thrillist. This shop specializes in their crème brulee doughnut as it was named “the city’s best doughnut”. So for these reasons, I am adding it to my list. Yes I ate it all and yes, my tonsils swelled up and I got stick. But yes, it was worth it. Besides their doughnuts, Astro is known for their fried chicken doughnut sandwich.

*Peep the pic*

This sandwich was one of a kind, with a warm piece of fried chicken, tomatoes, sriracha buffalo sauce, and pickled jalapenos, it was definitely different, but a good different.

The line is typically out the door with not just tourist but actual working D.C’ers, so you know this place is a must.

Good Food, Better Friends

By David Jensen


Coming to D.C. was a big change of scenery for me, and I mean that literally. Growing up in a small town of less than five thousand people where the tallest building is probably the tip of a church steeple, doesn’t exactly prepare you to live on your own in a metropolitan area of over 600 thousand.

However, the size of the city was not what I was most nervous about while pondering what my semester in D.C. would be like. I had maneuvered my way around cities like Chicago and London before, and was fairly comfortable with my ability to do so here. What I was more concerned about was whether or not I would have cool roommates that I could spend time with.

While I knew that I would be extremely busy with my internship, classes, projects, and tours, I also knew there would be plenty of free time to explore the city and didn’t want to do so alone. I also knew that my best shot to make friends would initially be with my roommates. I really wanted to like the guys I would be living with because as anyone who’s ever had roommates knows, they can either make or break an experience.

Fortunately, they turned out to be better than I could’ve ever hoped for. Scott and Zack are both great, and we have plenty of good times together. Whether it’s going out for drinks and dinner on the weekends, exploring new places, or just chilling in our apartment after work farting around or binge watching Game of Thrones, we have a great time. All I was hoping for were people that I could get along with. But what I got, are two guys who I can genuinely say are good friends of mine, which is pretty special after just under two months together.

Something I wasn’t worried about before coming to D.C. but should have been is food. There are way too many good places to eat, and they are all within walking distance of my apartment and office. So of course and soon as I got to the city I was eager to try as many new places as possible (and maybe the fact that I didn’t want to grocery shop or cook played a factor as well…just maybe).

I’ve found that grocery shopping is much more of an inconvenience without a car. When you have to carry all your groceries back with you or pack them in the back seat of an Uber, it discourages you from buying in bulk. So needless to say, the first few weeks here I found out the hard way how quickly and seamlessly a bank account can plummet when you are spending $10 a day on lunch and going out to eat every weekend.

There was one bright spot in my restaurant excursions. Scott, Zack and I found this awesome seafood restaurant just down the street called Hot N Juicy Crawfish and it’s become our go-to favorite place. I even recommended it to my boss and he proceeded to thank me the following week after he went with some friends. I recommended it to everyone in the D.C./Woodley Park area. But the food wouldn’t taste as good if I didn’t have some awesome friends to share it with.
Moral of the story: friends are important, and so is food. Find a happy medium between eating out and grocery shopping, and your bank account will thank you. I also highly recommend Amazon Prime Pantry if you’re already a member. It’s clutch.

Finance and Hunger in D.C. – A Savage Journey to the Heart of an Undergrad’s Checking Account

By Chris Vest

Having grown up in a small, rural town with maybe five fast food restaurants, a few mom-and-pop diners and a questionable Chinese place for dining options, I have few reservations about making reservations at various eateries when the chance strikes. Any food that might be considered ‘unique’ where I come from (see: any ethnic eatery or even any place with a semi-decent atmosphere) draws me like a moth to a flame. I’ve spent many week-long vacations in big cities, and weekend outings in some of the more culturally oriented parts of my home state of Michigan, but never before have I settled in for a months-long stay in a cultural mecca like the District.

My first week here I don’t think I cooked a single meal in my apartment. The second morning I made a brief stop at a nearby grocery store to pick up a handful of essentials (for posterity’s sake if anything else) and some of them still remain untouched in the cabinet, waiting to find purpose. Whether it was Portuguese chicken, pad thai, sushi, Lebanese, or crepes, I never found myself want for options. Worse yet, all of these options were within 15 minutes walking distance of my apartment. At first, I was in heaven.

I spent the better part of my summer preparing for this semester working a minimum wage job, keeping my spending lean and my wallet fat. Little did I know that my efforts were in vain. After my second week here, I decided it might be a smart idea to check my bank account. What did I know? As far as I was concerned I had been fairly responsible – only spending my budget on the necessary components of integrating myself into a new area. What I saw was perhaps a reflection of my own hubris – possibly how a large portion of Wall Street felt before the Stock Market Crash of 1929. I had blown through my finances in (relatively) small transactions faster than I think I ever have in my entire life. With the occasional necessary Smart Trip card refill or Uber interspersed, I was presented with a wall of restaurant charges so large that I sincerely wished we could make Mexico pay for it.

From that point on, my diet was purely despair-inducing. While I watched my classmates go out to try new restaurants and go to group dinners, I stayed in to eat affordable, $2.00-or-less-per-serving meals. My shameless self-indulgence had put me in a financial situation where I had to keep my wallet in my pocket for about as long as I possibly could. I wasn’t broke, but my budget for activities was nearly spent.

Do not let my story serve as a warning against going out and seeing the sights, or indulging oneself; rather, treat it as a cautionary tale. Ration your precious opportunities to eat out and experience the local cuisine well. Don’t eat out alone on impulse, share in the experience with friends. Make the culinary arch of your trip a rich tapestry of personal experiences instead of a brief flavor binge. Give yourself time to process and digest the culinary marvels you experience rather than mindlessly consuming as fast as you can. For now, I’m going to go defrost several pounds of black beans and rice that I made in the days following my financial revelation. Don’t be like me, keep your impulses in check and your wallet close.

Originally posted October 5, 2016