20 May 2009

Jaleo in DC

I travel for the food. My parents like good food but I think they travel for other things too. lol. Anyway, they had heard about Jaleo and asked me to try to find out how close it was to our hotel. I checked out the website and was so excited! I think maybe others have heard about this place before; I think the guy who started it, Jose Andres, has been a guest judge on Top Chef or something because he seems familiar.

I was excited to see it was a tapas restaurant because I thought my dad especially would love it. He has been lactose intolerant for 10-15 years but recently found out he can eat cheese and that cheese actually helps build his tolerance for lactose (so that he can then have some milk, butter, or cream also). And he really likes sausage too. And wine. I have only had tapas a few times but I love being able to try so many things. The thing I fear about tapas is the cost, which is another reason I was excited to go with my parents!

My parents had a really hard time understanding that tapas is Spanish and not Mexican. So that was fun. I've started to take charge a bit when I go to a restaurant with my parents. I guess as time goes on, I am more familiar with the kinds of foods in new restaurants and the way differnet kinds of restaurants work so it is helpful if I explain things to them and act as a go-between with the waiter. (I had to do this at Chipotle the other day too. lol.) Also, in negotiating between Kea and my parents, it is best for me to coordinate because Kea is shy about saying his likes and dislikes directly to my parents.

But anyway, the food. Everything we had was good. We had "Remolacha con cítricos," described on the menu as "A salad of red beets, citrus, picón cheese and pistachios with sherry dressing." Even Kea liked it, though he claimed not to like beets. It had beets in three forms: crispy (like a chip), thin slice, and thicker chunk. We had "Chistorra envuelta en patata frita," described on the menu as "Slightly spicy chorizo wrapped in a crispy potato." One of the best things was the patatas bravas, basically like french fries. I was hesitant to order this because I thought it was the kind of thing you order to get full without spending too much, but the sauce it came with was so good--a little spicy, a little smoky. We think it must've had charred peppers or tomatoes or something. We also had "Espinacas a la Catalana," described on the menu as "Sautéed spinach, pine nuts, raisins and apples." This is one of many dishes that is bringing Kea around to the idea of fruit in savory dishes.

The shrimp was just okay; I think shrimp doesn't absorb flavors very well. We had "Pimientos del piquillo rellenos de queso," described on the menu as "Piquillo peppers filled with goat cheese." This was a milder goat cheese; I'm not a fan of really strong goat cheese. And we got "Lomo de buey," described on the menu as, "Grilled skirt steak with piquillo peppers."

We also had the red sangria. I have only had sangria a few times so although I liked it, I'm not sure that says all that much. In any case, I would strongly recommend this restaurant. Just check out the menu and you'll be excited! I would go back anytime I am in DC--and even pay for it myself! It was definitely a light meal, but we all had enough to eat. The bill came out to about $30/person, with three of us sharing a half carafe of sangria.


At 10:17 AM , Blogger Julie said...

Oh my god, my mouth was watering while I was reading this post! Must... have... tapas!


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