Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bread Line: Simply Delicious

Finding a perfect sandwich is not easy, but when you do, it’s a little slice of heaven. This is my brunch sandwich at Bread Line on Pennsylvania Ave and 17th street last Friday; and it’s a thing of beauty.

Thinly sliced smoked salmon, dill caper cream cheese, red onion and water cress. The cream was spread so delicately on the bread that it did not weigh the sandwich down, just conveyed intense creamy-fresh flavor to my mouth (and protected the bread against potential sogginess, a common sandwich downfall.) I was impressed with the watercress, a innovative selection that gave the sandwich bright tasting crunch.

My dining partner, (and frequent guinea pig for my personal culinary endeavors) ordered southern pulled pork on a Kaiser roll, but it was messy and gobbled up before I could get a good picture!

I’ve also had a few salads from Bread Line, black lentils and feta as well as chicken curry. All salads are served on top of crispy mesclun and a roll on the side. The lentils were dynamite, but i have to stop ordering curry chicken, I hate mayo-i-ness!

Bread Line is 7:30 until 3:30 on weekdays and sadly closed on the weekends. Get in there whenever you can. There is nothing like the smell of fresh baking bread to signal a great sammie. Hey, free WiFi too!

Bread Line
1751 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 20006

Takeout: 202.822.8900

Hours: Mon - Fri; 7:30 -3:30

Kramer Books and Afterwords Cafe

"Excuse me, but what delicious thing did you order?" I asked the innocent women unwittingly seated next to me at Kramer Books and Afterw0rds Cafe. The plate of beauty had three little mounds of grain: farro, cracked wheat and quinoa, surrouned by slow cooked chicken and slices of deep purple heirloom tomato. I ordered it immediately with the recommended white wine and it was exactly what I needed on a hot and steamy night.
I consider myself pretty well verse in the world of unusual grains, but farro and I only have a casual relationship; whereas quinoa and cracked wheat have been good housemates for for quite sometime. So, I begin dating farro. What do you do with a new potential? Google him of course!

Farro is one of the oldest grains around...it is the ancestor of modern wheat, first cultivated domestically around 11,500 BC in the fertile crescent near Israel. The french saved this traditionally Italian grain from anonymity by introducing it to haut cuisines in hearty vegetable soups. Farro has almost double the protein and fiber of conventional wheat and it is full of complex carbohydrates for long burning energy. I would describe this grain as the Cabernet sauvignon of the grain world, moist and full bodied.

Farro is staging a resurgence in restaurants all over the country. It can be used in almost any recipe calling for barley or spelt (its closest sibling) but the cooking time must be adjusted. Usually, I think of farro as a savory item, but as noted in Cook & Eat, making farrow pudding is an outstanding concept. I like the looks of this epicurious recipe: Farro Salad with Peas, Asparagus and Feta.
I followed my delicious and healthy dinner with a equally tasty, but nutritionally lacking strawberry shortcake (do you think the cookie cancels the antioxidents from the berries!?). This was one of my favorite nights in DC. Thanks DuPont Circle, I'll miss you, I'm back home in Minneapolis on Saturday, and looking forward to some Minnesota sweetcorn!