Jose Andres’ Jaleo still kicks out tasty tapas, night after night. The paella is worth ordering, too: guest chef Quim Marqués of El Suquet de l’Almirall is on hand until June 21st to celebrate the DC restaurant’s “Paella Festival”. If you’re headed to the nation’s capital (along with half the free world during the summer, it seems), do yourself a favor: skip the overpriced, over-touristed museum food courts–Jaleo’s not so far from the Mall.
Or, in lieu of a trip to DC, you can watch Andres on TV. He hosts the PBS program “Made in Spain“. It airs locally on WYES at 5 am and 11 am Saturdays (sorry, it’s not currently airing on WLAE). It turns out that the national PBS listings website is wrong; I should have known that NOLA-centric WYES, which in recent years has focused on New Orleans nostalgia to generate revenue, wouldn’t be airing a contemporary food show.
Andrés’ Penn Quarter joints — the original location of Jaleo’s, Zaytinya, and Café Atlantico — are all quite good. The suburban branches of Jaleo’s more hit-or-miss.
But if you’re combining food with DC tourism, be sure to give the National Museum of the American Indian’s Mitsitam Café a try. It’s expensive (museum food court after all), but fantastic variety and tasty. Plus it reinforces the core mission of the museum in a way few other museum restaurants could.
I did indeed have lunch at Mitsitam–stay tuned for a post on what is easily the best food on the Mall.