1905: Confit Turkey Leg

1905 turkey legs

Medieval Times called. They want their turkey legs back. It must be because they’re in a different category of deliciousness. These confit gams are a no contest Best Thing on the Menu at 1905. They come with two seasonal sides and pastrami mayo. The menu says leg (singular) so when two showed up, it was like Christmas in March.

It goes without saying that the meat falls right off the bone. The leg only has to catch a GLIMPSE of a knife and fork before it slides onto your plate and into the pastrami mayo, doing all the work for you. You lazy caveman you.

Known first and foremost for its roof deck, 1905 is tucked away at 9th and T Street NW, bridging the Shaw and U Street neighborhoods. It’s perfect for a first or second date because of the favorable lighting, cozy fixtures, cheap(er) cocktails and unobtrusive service.

1905 Hush Puppies

Whether intentional or not, the menu leans a little gluten free. There are spicy quinoa-crayfish hushpuppies and a bunch of sauces involving sorghum. Vegetarians can find solace too. The seared cauliflower “steak” and warm heirloom grain entrees actually give vegetarians a choice instead of a one-dish mandate.

Confit turkey leg not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Prepared Meals Fit for a Foodie

In this special edition, we talk BPM instead of BTM. Prepared meals in this city have come a long way. Though often stigmatized as being flavorless, unimaginative, full of preservatives and sodium and other dining deadly sins, this is no longer the case. So who’s the best out there? What do they offer? Is it worth the price? Where can you get meals? BTM is here to help.

The BPM (Best Prepared Meals) come from Power Supply, which started out as a meal delivery service responding to the paleo diet craze in the Crossfit community. Paleo’s pretty much what it sounds like … you eat like a stone age, hunter/gatherer caveman. Lean proteins, veggies, nuts and (some) fruits. No dairy, no gluten, no added sugar, no beans, no no no no no. This sounds seriously limiting, so the fact that a small local business found a way to make this absolutely delectable is astounding.

Recognizing that there are many ways to eat healthy, Power Supply recently expanded to offer two new lines. The “mixitarian” line is paleo-inspired, but incorporates “good” grains like nutty quinoa and hearty brown rice, while the vegetarian line is well, vegetarian. We put our money where our mouth is spent a week eating the mixitarian meals below.

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Roasted Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Onions and Almonds

Power Supply is highly customizable. Each week, you take a look at the menu and decide if you want to order lunches, dinners or go all out and order lunches and dinners. Going out of town the second half of the week? No problem, you can choose to get three meals a week instead of five. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday meals are delivered Monday mornings and Thursday and Friday meals are delivered Thursday mornings.

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Vietnamese Spicy Cabbage and Chicken Salad

Where are they delivered to you’re wondering? Your local gym. Even if you’re not a member of a gym, simply look at Power Supply’s list of participating locations and find the gym that’s closest to you. You select your location when using their easy online ordering system.

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Beef Stroganoff Spaghetti Squash

Regardless of the line (mixitarian, vegetarian or paleo) Power Supply gets creative with their ingredients and menus, drawing from flavors from around the world. We love when they do takes on African peri-peri, Japanese bento boxes, Mexican rice bowls (made out of cauliflower rice of course) and more. Protein wise, in addition to the traditional chicken, beef and pork, Power Supply changes it up with bison, fish and shrimp dishes. This Beef Stroganoff, for example, creatively uses spaghetti squash as impostor noodles and the creaminess comes from coconut milk.

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Pineapple Stuffed Chorizo Burgers with Side Salad

We’re nearing the end here, so it’s probably time to talk about cost. These five meals cost us $66 bucks. That’s about $13 a meal. It’s a little less if you set up a recurring order. Before you stop reading, consider how much money you spend on groceries to pack lunches that you end up throwing out at week’s end because of impromptu lunch meetings or trips out of town. Addicted to Seamless.com or that build-your-own bibim-bap place across the street? Dining out adds up as well. What you’re getting with these meals is value, variety, nutrition and convenience.

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Jerk Chicken and Papaya Salad

If you can’t tell already, we’re smitten with Power Supply. Truth be told, we subsist on their meals when we’re not trying DC’s latest and greatest food for Best Thing on the Menu. One last added bonus for our gluten-free friends? All three of Power Supply’s lines are gluten free.

Check out current menus:

Click here for strict paleo.

Click here for paleo-inspired mixitarian meals.

Click here and scroll down for vegetarian.

Power Supply not your BPM (Best Prepared Meals)? Share your favorite prepared meal company in the comments section.

Doi Moi: Bun Bo Xao

Bun Bo Xao

Doi Moi is transformative in that it takes you to a different land. This land has exotic herbs, undiscovered textures and the commingling of sweet, spicy, salty and sour flavors. The Best Thing on the Menu: Bun Bo Xao Stir Fried Lemongrass Beef on Vermicelli Noodles, served with cucumbers, pickled carrot, daikon, fragrant herbs, fried garlic, nouc cham and scallion oil, features all of these far-off-land characteristics. We recommend ordering two of this dish if you are dining in a party of three or four. Bun Bo Xao carries the “phet” label, which means spicy, not to be confused with the word “phat” that still haunts us from the late 90s. So, if you like heat, look for the “phet” and “mak phet” menu icons.

There are two ways to do it up at Mark Kuller and Haidar Karoum’s Doi Moi. To determine which option best suits you, we invite you to take Best Thing on the Menu’s very first personality quiz.

DC Diner A: Are you a planner? Do you get patted on the back during performance reviews for being super organized? Do you schedule your haircuts for an entire year at once? Do you always get your oil changed on time?

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DC Diner B:  Do you like surprises? Do you live on the edge? Do you consider waiting in line at Little Serow all a part of the experience? Do you set out for an unplanned evening of exploring neighborhood bars? Do you buy lunch every day because you can’t be bothered to plan ahead?

If you identify more with DC Diner A, we recommend using OpenTable to make a Doi Moi reservation. They take reservations at 5:30pm and 6:00pm, much like their sister restaurant Estadio has done for years. You’ll feel great committing, and a table will be waiting for you. Alternatively, if you identify more closely with Diner B, live dangerously and arrive at Doi Moi at a time of your choosing. Sure, it’ll be a zoo (for good reason, the food is fantastic) but you’ll have all the time in the world to sip tropical cocktails and admire the decor. Anticipation will continue to build as you wait and wait for a table.

In addition to the BTM, we recommend other standouts including the Charred Eggplant with Poached Shrimp (Yum Makuah), Crispy Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls (Por Pia Tod) and absolutely, without question, the must-order fried bananas dessert (Gluoy Kak). Those who are hungry and aren’t on board with the small plates scene would be best served by ordering the LTOM (Largest Thing on the Menu): Lemongrass and Spice Roasted Half Chicken. Click here for more photos of Doi Moi dishes.

One last tip, Doi Moi finally added their menu to their website so you can take a gander before you dine. Plus check out their vegan and gluten free menu!

Bun Bo Xao not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

If you liked this, you may also like: Rice, Little Serow or Estadio.

Firefly: Goat Cheese Gnocchi

Firefly: Goat Cheese Gnocchi

Escape for an evening of enchantment and whimsy when you enter Firefly, a true fairytale of a restaurant. Adorned with beautiful birch bark and a central tree, you get the sense that you are in for an ingredient-centric meal that features sustainable food as the star.

Thanks to local-born Chef Daniel Bortnick’s strong command of produce, you can enjoy four seasons of flavor no matter what the month. Spring claims our favorite dessert of warm zucchini bread with basil corn ice cream as well as the halibut served with carrot puree, spring pistou, fingerling potatoes and snap peas. Summer highlights include fried green tomatoes and a farro salad full of a garden’s treasures. There are hints of fall in the smoked lamb shoulder, another winner. Finally, winter is represented in one of Firefly’s signature dishes, a personal pot roast, which we would likely be writing about if it wasn’t 100 degrees.

But the Best Thing on the Menu: Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Morel Mushrooms, Sweet Corn, Squash and Truffle Vinaigrette stands alone atop of the flavor pyramid. Replete with earth-driven umami goodness, this winning dish combines elements of all four seasons. Needless to say, it warranted multiple orders from our table.

In a city that loves customization and catering to dietary needs, Firefly takes their menu options to the next level by offering gluten free dinner, lunch, brunch and dessert menus in addition to the cutest kids menu you’ve ever seen. It appears Chefs Danny Bortnick and Todd Wiss know their clientele, which is made up of primarily locals despite being housed in a Kimpton Hotel.

Think you’ve experienced all the magic once dessert is through? Just wait for the whimsical way they deliver the check.

Goat Cheese Gnocchi not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.