Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn

A DAY IN D.C.

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I'm not gonnna lie, going to the White House for the first time was a bit of a thrill--hence the cheezy cell phone pic. In all my travels, I've missed D.C. so we had a lot to cover in our few free hours. The usual local morning shows all had an edge, with a tinge of a heightened politico edge to them all. Being there on veterans day had a powerful feeling too, especially driving through Arlington National cemetery. Another thrill was visiting the Washington Post in order to do a story with the food editor Bonnie and her favorite shooter, Jim- for next Weds food section. We had a lot of fun and I was just tickled to be included in their coverage. There will be a great Thanksgiving leftover idea included so check it out next week.

The area is also home to a very large Vietnamese community so we headed out to Fall's Church, Virginia for a really good lunch at Present. Unlike so many of our local NYC Viet joints--all the food was distinctive and flavorful and I liked the above pictured idea of making a roll out of fried vermicelli noodles. The Saigon pancake (flavored with coconut) is a favorite recipe and was executed so well. We raced amongst 9 bookstores to drop in and sign books: a little activity that gets your books out of oblivion and hopefully put in a more prominent place once they put "autographed" stickers on it. Finally-there was time for one more thing before our evening event so we went to the National Portrait Gallery which was gorgeous, FREE and filled with familiar American history--so interesting to see painted. Visiting the portraits of the Presidents, I was most struck by the JFK one, differing from all the others painted so straight and paternal-like, his was a contemporary rendition painted by Elaine DeKooning. Very cool.
Arriving at Zola Wine and Kitchen, I was heartened and happy to be met by relatives who came--a second cousin Joan, the daughter of my grandmothers brother Virgil and her husband Richard. The small crowd was so great, interested, warm and I loved being there. My NYC friend, Rita Jamais of the famed La Caravelle restaurant came by with her son Nic, also a restaurateur in Washington with his organic Sweet Greens restaurant. We made Crunchy Chicken Wings from MH, proving to be a tour favorite, along with tasting samples too.
Am back in NYC for a few glorious days at home. Middle son has returned safely from Thailand, thank the universe for getting him back to me unscathed. All my boys home tonight for dinner--aahhhhhh, nothing makes me happier. Off to the west coast tomorrow. Check the schedule-- should this be your neck of the woods, would love to see you.

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