I had a good eating weekend.
Saturday lunch: tapas at Jaleo. Shrimp with lemon and garlic; housemade chorizo with mashed potatoes; tomato bread with manchego; roasted asparagus with romesco sauce; curiously bland but beautiful cured pork loin, sliced paper thin; more pork loin with roasted figs (which I can just now eat again, haviong leared that they contain dead little bees) in a sherry sauce; and a potato and onion "tortilla", or omelette, which my father was shocked to discover was being served at room temperature. Worked for me, but then I am a very pretentious eater. At another point, my sister and stepmother had a whole rant session together about People Like Me who eat head-on shrimp. I see the point, but again I say--works for me.
Saturday night: a half-dozen raw oysters and an equal number of GARGANTUAN shrimp, which I waited nearly two hours for the privilege of eating at Old Ebbitt Grill. I also had my first ever corned beef and cabbage, which is crazy considering that I served it every day for years and years. It's...OK. It seems like one might prepare beef that way for storage purposes rather than gourmet ones, but as a person who eats shrimp with their googly little heads attached, I say to each her own.
I also had a very good wine at Old Ebbitt, Hunter's Sauvignon Blanc from Australia. It was voted the number one wine to drink with oysters by...someone.
When I asked for another glass, the bartender, a very officious sort of man, said, "It's very good, isn't it?"
"Yes," I replied, "it really is. Very citrusy." (Bring on the snotty wine terms!)
"Justice Scalia told me that it's his very favorite," he said, eagerly anticipating my reaction to finding out that I share such an important opinion with such an important man.
"What?" I asked. I'd sampled the wine some during my two-hour wait.
"Justice Scalia told me that it's his very favorite," he repeated, a little slower since I was obviously such a rube.
"Well, I'm not a big fan of Antonin," I said. (I think he's despicable.) "But it's still a very good wine."
He looked shocked. Clearly, the wrong reaction. Was he Scalia's son or something? No, just a very conservative name dropper, as it turned out.
This is a very Washington kind of story, FYI. Which may mean that none of you care.
Then on Sunday, after we bid adieu to the 'rents, we drove a ridiculously long distance to wait in a very long line to try Pollo Campero, the chicken sensation of the Central and South American world, which recently opened up a store in VA. It's a fast food joint with parking attendants to help manage the traffic. As a scene, I rate it very highly. As chicken, I'd say it's good but not THAT good. It's also handily located next to a Trader Joe's, which explains why I'm eating Cranberry Circle cookies for breakfast right now.