It’s always delightful to take a trip down to Washington, DC…DC…DC, especially on the Chinatown bus from Philly (BTW…I’m being sarcastic here.) 🙂 But for a $30 round trip ticket, you can’t beat that with a bat. I guess you pay for what you get. Nevertheless, we arrived in Washington, DC fairly quickly, within 2.5 hours from Philly. The city is renowned for the monuments, memorials, museums, politicians, and the Cherry Blossom Festival. Having seen the landmarks during our previous visits, Alev and I wanted to explore the Gtown or Georgetown area. Getting there is easy via the Metro Red Line. Get off at Dupont Circle, which is a few blocks away by foot from Georgetown.
Dupont Circle Next to Georgetown
The heart of Georgetown is on M Street; here you’ll find a ton of hip shops, and restaurants. After navigating through the crowded blocks, Alev and I decided to take a teatime break at Ching Ching Cha, located at 1063 Wisconsin Ave, NW. Founded by Ching Ching himself, the teahouse provides a large selection of teas, as well as a snack menu.
Ching Ching Cha offers an authentic Chinese teahouse experience. Here, you can purchase a wide range of teas and fine pottery straight from China, Taiwan, and Japan.
Decisions, decisions….An extensive selection of teas is labeled exclusively in Chinese, but the menu is in English and somewhat resembles a KungFu manual.
A tea liquid tray, 1 small tea pot, 3 cups and a tea utensils provided for preparing the tea. And of course, tea leaves of your choice.
Our tea waiter gave us a demonstration on how to prepare the tea. A few steps are involved, before actually drinking the tea.
First, pour hot water in the tea pot. Next, pour the tea into the pouring tea cup. Transfer the tea from the pouring tea cup into the aroma cup. Refill the teapot and tea pouring cup with more hot water. Place the lid onto the teapot. Pouring the tea water from the aroma cup over the teapot and smell the aroma of the tea from the cup. Lastly, pour the hot water from the pouring tea cup onto the teapot. The tea is brewing, ready to be poured and ready for tasting. Puzzled? Here’s a short video of the demonstration.
Of course you can’t have tea without some side dishes. As Mark Wiens would put it, “Mmmmm….Tea Eggs!”. Eggs broiled and soaked with soy, peppercorn, star anise and tea leaves for a fairly long time, until the egg becomes marbleized and soaks in the fragrance of tea with a sweet and salty palette.
A Chinese pastry filled will beef curry inside. The texture is flaky and crispy. The curry beef filling is quite hot and simply oozes with distinct curry flavors. You can usually find this so-called Curry Beef Triangle at any Chinese pastry shop.
Three times the yum: beef curry pastry, tea eggs, and vegetable dumplings. The veggie dumplings are tasty and translucent. The filling inside the dumpling wrappers consist of mushrooms, carrots, napa cabbage, vermicelli noodles, and dried bean curd. The dumplings are steamed and topped with some type of sweet soy with sesame oil. They are super delicious and light! BTW, I, too, make mean vegetable dumplings. 🙂
Chop it up with Ching Ching Cha, if you are ever in Georgetown. The tea can be pricey, but it’s worth the trip.
If tea is not your thing, you can always walk a few blocks up to Crepeaway, located on 2001 L Street NW, where they serve sweet and savory crepes at an affordable price. They are open until 4am on weekends, 3am on Thursday and the rest of the week, until midnight. Perfect for the after-hours munchies! I think Bourdain himself would approve after a long night of drinking! Hahaha…
Since Crepeaway is in Georgetown, the capital of upscale outings and fun parties, they encourage you to dance inside the store while music is blasting and crepes are cooking. Ladies, don’t forget to take off your high heels before dancing. 🙂
While waiting for your order, you can view the staff making the fresh delicious crepes in front of your eyes. Mouth is watering already. They make it look so easy.
Savory crepes are placed at the assemble line. This place is still jumping while we was there, after 2am on Saturday night. I myself prefer the savory rather than the sweet: more flavor and fewer napkins required. 🙂
I like it when they call me Big Poppa (sorry for the Biggie Smalls reference again). The Big Poppa is a savory crepe that consist of chicken, turkey, ham, bacon, cheese and hot sauce. Big Poppa is no joke: Filled to the brim with juicy proteins its flavors combine in sweet thin crepe envelope! And you know what they say, Everything tastes better with beacon on it. Definitely not for vegans or gluten-free fans.
Washington DC is more than monuments and landmarks. The town can party, too! If you want to see how, make your way to Georgetown; if you book a room there, the experience is even more awesome. Don’t forget to #DrinkMoreTea!