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.

DCity Smokehouse: Meat Platter

DCity Smokehouse

DC’s gearing up for a sweaty, smoky, artery-busting Meat Week 2014. One of the featured meat magicians is none other than BBQ newcomer DCity Smokehouse. This four-seat cubbyhole of heaven can be found right around where Florida Ave meets North Capitol Street NW. Use your nose to guide you the rest of the way.

As far as the Best Thing on the Menu, go all out and get the Smokehouse Meat Platter: 1/2lb of any sliced or chopped meat or combination of 2 meat with one side, house made pickles, & Texas toast. Select the hush puppies as your side if you know good food when it stares you in the face. We went with brisket and pulled pork, but there’s pork belly and turkey too.

You can trust Pit Mater Rob Sonderman with all your BBQ needs; he took the reigns at DCity Smokehouse after leaving Hill Country BBQ in Penn Quarter, and has really injected new life into the neighborhood.

Fried Chicken and Red Velvet Waffles

Those who prefer poultry also have a killer option: Crispy fried boneless chicken & red velvet waffle with bourbon syrup. A definite BTM runner up. This dish was a Revive Catering and Events original.

If you’re lazy when it comes to BBQ, not to worry. Rather than cruising down Florida Ave, just use your mouse to navigate to Seamless for delivery. Keep them in mind for Super Bowl orders!

Smokehouse Meat Platter not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Proof: Duck Confit with Scallion Hush Puppies

Proof Duck Confit

Proof is so much more than the place foodies eat before a Caps game. It’s a dining destination all on its own. The wine and food programs seem to compete for the role of the lead dancer. Is Proof a wine bar with food or a gastronomical, food-focused delight that has a solid wine list? Whichever you decide to be true, don’t order a beer here. It just wouldn’t be fair. We recommend an Oregon pinot from our favorite winemaker Patricia Green.

Back to the food from Haidar Karoum. The Best Thing on the Menu: Warm Duck Confit with Scallion Hush Puppies, Pickled Beech Mushrooms and Tomatillo Salsa Verde is rich, bright and light at the same time. The tart tomatillo salsa cuts the confit – you know duck cooked in duck fat. What could be better?

We’ve also never met a hush puppy we didn’t like. Some of our favorites are at Garden District and Lincoln. Proof’s hushies are a little on the lighter side, with very little grease and some tangy onion flavor.

Proof

There’s another dish on the menu that made a real impression. Let’s say you’re Santa Claus fueling up for a trip around the world. Or, Rob Ryan. Or Rex Ryan pre-weight loss surgery. Order the Cassoulet of Duck Confit, Crispy Pork Belly & House Made Duck Sausage. The meatiest, manliest entree we’ve ever seen with a calorie count that is likely higher than the entire contents of a Cold Stone Creamery. Order it anyway.

Duck confit not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

Garden District: Summer Feast for Two

Garden District

As we embark on the last real month of summer, we thought we’d share the perfect summer feast for two at Garden District, formerly known as Standard. Although there’s a fresh new name paying homage to the previous tenant, we’re pleased to see the menu remains unchanged.  The American South meets Bavaria at this community-driven Logan Circle smokehouse. There’s really something special about drinking German beers from steins that goes all too well with American BBQ.

The platter making up The Best Thing on the Menu consists of the pulled pork sandwich, barbecue brisket sandwich, hush puppies and Mexican style grilled corn. The biggest benefit of this platter is that it draws influence from different regions.  The chef, Tad Curtz, is not a monogamist when it comes to his ‘cue. He’s got vinegar-based North Carolina BBQ in one corner of the menu and sloppy, saucy Texas style in another.

The only sin we committed (besides gluttony) was not calling ahead to order a head.  For $25 bucks the chef will present you and your team of hungry hungry hippos with a full pig head so you can go after the jowls, tongue and beyond. While some might call this omission an epic fail, we’ve chosen to look at it as a reason to go back to Garden District, and soon. Before we know it, the Redskins will be under the lights, the leaves will be on the sidewalk and we’ll be asking where summer went.

The gates open at 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon on the weekends. We tell you this because thanks to top-quality beer and BBQ and an onslaught of great press, they’re due to be packed.  Just this month Garden District was named on Parade’s list of best BBQ. In an era of competitive reservations on 14th Street, it is somewhat refreshing that Garden District doesn’t reserve seats. Instead, you’re encouraged to grab some bench next to strangers and enjoy the camaraderie of consuming summer together.

Oh, and don’t forget the donuts! They’ll be available for just a dollar this weekend as a part of the neighborhood’s Mid City Dog Days (Aug. 3-4, 2013).

Our perfect platter for two not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section. Oh, and do rub it in (with salt) if you remembered to order the pig head.

If you like this, you might also like: Lincoln, Teddy and Ben’s Chili Bowl.