4 Things You Need to Do during Cherry Blossom Season in D.C.

Have you ever wondered how to fully embrace cherry blossom season in Washington, D.C.? It’s one of the busiest times of year in the area, and the perfect time to do any and everything you can before the blossoms go. Strolling, or being stuck in foot traffic, around the Tidal Basin is a given. Indulging in the cherry blossom-inspired food and events are some things that you must consider to fully experience this special time of year. Peak bloom is April 1, which means at least 70% of them will be fully bloomed on that day. You definitely want to partake before it comes to an end!

Cherry Blossoms 2016

Cherry Blossoms on the Tidal Basin 2016

This time only comes once a year, so this is the perfect time to explore! Check out my list of things to do in D.C. to compliment your cherry blossom viewing activities. Note: This time of year brings a LOT of traffic to D.C. area. Driving times are based on low traffic times. Expect some traffic patterns to change and a lot of tourists.

  • Visit the Cherry Blossom Pub pop-up – This pop-up has been super popular since its beginning. It tends to be super busy after 6:30 pm, per their FAQs page. They have cherry blossom-themed drinks and ramen. It’s located near the Shaw-Howard University metro stop, which isn’t super close to the Tidal Basin. It’s about 30 minutes by metro and 15-20 minutes away, if you’re driving. Street parking is available. (Shaw) 1843 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 
  • Munch on cherry blossom dessertsAstro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken – Cherry Cheesecake doughnut. This Astro location is about a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute metro ride from the Tidal Basin. 1308 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
    • District Doughnut – A cherry blossom doughnut made up of vanilla bean dough, cream cheese glaze, and cherry pie filling, topped with crumbled pie crust and cream cheese drizzle. The Wharf location is about a five-minute drive from the Tidal Basin and about 12 minutes via metro. (The Wharf) 5 Market Square SW
      Washington DC, 20024. 2 other locations on Capitol Hill – Barracks Row and in Georgetown.
    • Baked & Wired – A cherry blossom cupcake made up of vanilla cake with maraschino cherries in the batter topped with a cherry buttercream. (Georgetown) 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington DC 20007
  • Sip Rosé at the Watergate Hotel on the weekend. – Until Sunday, April 14, the Watergate Hotel offers cherry blossom-themed afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu includes Veuve Cliquot Champagne Rosé and cherry blossom macarons. Reservations are required. The hotel is 26 minutes from the Tidal Basin via metro and eight minutes by car. 2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20037
  • Learn about Japanese culture at the Japanese Street Festival. – Formally known as Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival is an opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions through food, performances, and art. This part of 7th St. NW is about six minutes away, if you’re driving, and 25 minutes by metro. Pennsylvania Ave., NW between 3rd and 7th Streets.

Check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc.’s official 2019 event guide.

Until next time.

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EEEEEATSCon

I saw a lot of promo for EEEEEATSCon in New York City on Instagram and decided to go on a whim. I had never gone to a food event that sounded like this one, so I was down to try it. This was the first big event away from home that I’ve gone to by myself, so this was different for me. I was hoping for the best.

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The lines in the first section were pretty long, so I skimmed over the menus to see if there was anything that jumped out at me. I didn’t see anything I wanted. It was great that they had a giant map posted, but I had never been to this stadium before. Winging it was the best option for me.

What really got my attention was Bailey’s Treat Bar. There were quite a few pastel-colored chairs and tables set up for eating the desserts offered in that area of the stadium. I had my eyes on Dulcinea, a churro spot, first.

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D.C. Event Guide: How to Do Truckeroo the Right Way

Truckeroo is a popular food truck event in Washington, D.C. that happens nearly year-round. There are so many trucks with great, Insta-worthy food, and you don’t want to miss out and not get the most out of this free entry event! Here are some tips to help you experience as much of this event as possible.

  • Show up early. Truckeroo usually goes from 4 pm to 11 pm. If you don’t like large crowds, go as early as you can. The earlier you go, the more food options you’ll have. If you go later, you risk missing out on food that is no longer in stock.
  • Make the most of having a group (if applicable). Have someone hold your place in a super long line while you get food from a truck with a shorter, faster line, if you’re with a group. You’ll make the most of your time.

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  • Consider sharing food that you buy with group members so you don’t get full quickly and have plenty of room try other foods there.
  • Check the Facebook page for updates throughout the week (i.e. cancellation due to weather). Better safe than sorry!
  • Check out the list of trucks attending to plan which ones you must go to. Planning ahead makes all of the difference because you spend your time in line instead of figuring out what’s there as you go.

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Tweet me to tell me about your experience or Instagram your Truckeroo pics, using #foodishways. I’ll repost some on my new food only Instagram account, @foodishways! Follow to find out about good food spots.

Until next time.

It’s Really Plantain and Simple

In a park full of food trucks, I had my heart set on one that didn’t have a long line upon arrival. I tried it for the first time, last year, at my first Truckeroo event. Peruvian Brothers, one of my favorite food trucks in the D.C. Metropolitan area, serves some of the best Peruvian food I’ve ever had.

This Truckeroo event felt drastically different than the last one I attended. It was hot and humid outside, and there were a LOT more people…not my ideal summer situation. I really wanted my baby sister to have a similar first experience, but I couldn’t change these factors. We looked for the shortest lines, and my sister chose the first one, the Westray’s Finest Ice Cream food truck.

My sister got Peanut Butter & Chocolate, and I chose Southern Maple Cornbread. Let. me. tell. YOU. The ice cream I got was scrumptious. Enjoying this really felt life-changing. Have you ever eaten something and just thought, “Wow. How did I live life before this?” This was one of those moments for me.

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After devouring ice cream, I bought pan con asado from the Peruvian Brothers food truck. Their food is truly a must-have. The roast beef was tender and seasoned just right. The caramelized onions were like putting a cherry on top. This sandwich truly is one of the best I’ve ever had.

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Until next time.

Festival Peruano de Arlington (Photo Diary)

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and didn’t realize how much I took it for granted until I went to university out of state for 4 years. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that we had tons of historical landmarks, amazing Smithsonian museums with FREE admission, and a lot of tourists from all over the country and the world who come to visit from spring to early fall. But I never went into deep thought about the cultural communities and subcultures we have in this area. Better late than never.

I’m so glad my family and I had the opportunity to go to one of the events in the D.C. Metro Area centered around Peruvian culture. We attended Festival Peruano de Arlington (Peru Festival of Arlington) this past Sunday and got to experience a taste of their culture. This was actually the festival’s 30th anniversary. I can’t wait to go to more cultural events in the future.

Here are some photos from our day.

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Firenzes Artisinal Gelato

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Chirimoya gelato

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Handmade bracelets and toys

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My mom bought dream catcher bracelets for my sisters and me.

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Plantains from Peruvian Brothers

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Chicken empanada

Until next time.

Battle at the BBQ

Crazy lines on a beautiful day can lead to the perfect Saturday. Shutting down one of the most popular parts of Pennsylvania Avenue (in front of the Newseum) in DC for a BBQ Battle was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve only participated in an event loosely similar to this one other time in the District, which was the annual Taste of DC event.

My mom told my sisters and me about Giant’s annual BBQ Battle, and I just had to go. A reasonably priced event with good food? Count. me. in. The line to get in wasn’t really a line. It was a mass of people moving to pay to get in or pick up tickets. I wish this was more organized, but at least it didn’t affect how quickly people got in!

As soon as we got in, we saw several stations lined up. Some stations only had food and others were media-related. Most, if not all, of the stations inside were free. No strings attached.

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There was a Mentos station that gave each person in line the chance to win a free pack of their gum (as long as supplies lasted). The Turkey Hill station gave out free mini containers of their ice cream: Vanilla and Salted Caramel. Another station gave out free packs of Sunsweet Philippine Green Mangoes.

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The Oscar Meyer hot dog car was there. At their station, they had a game that required you to throw small sandbags into three different holes in a cardboard *thing*. If you got a bag in all three, you won a coupon. My mom won, and my sister and I had a photo opp in front of the hot dog car!

The biggest BBQ tent had a super long line, so we decided to see what else the event had to offer before committing so much to such a line. There were so many places to get free food. Giant (Stop n’ Shop, depending on where you are in the U.S.) sells most of this food in their stores. We got to try some Naked juices, Yungeling ice cream (churro), and some of their food products barbecued. The Apple Butter pulled pork was scrumptious. 

The Nature’s Promise truck allowed each person to choose one free item from the shelves inside. I chose their Thousand Island dressing, which I finally tried the day before writing this. It’s decent, but I think it tastes eggy.

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One of the guys at the Haagen-Dazs station was basically giving away ice cream. The station had two of the company’s flavors: Pineapple Coconut and Mint Chip. My mom only wanted one, and he was being pushy and trying to give her another one. I took two. He got my sister to take three. ‘Twas interesting.

There were a couple of tents that let people 21+ try alcoholic beverages. My mom and I went to one that didn’t have a name but offered two different wine brands and the Barefoot Wine station. We both tried one of Steila Rose’s sweet red wines, which was honestly the best red wine I’ve ever had. I love a good sweet, red wine. Barefoot was sampling four different flavors of their spritzers, and I chose the Moscato Spritzer that has “flavors of peach and tangerine,” according to their website. I loved it but wished it was a little more peachy.

There was a BBQ tent that had a shorter line: the military BBQ Battle. I was glad that I finally got to sample some food from what the event was centered around! All of the U.S. military branches were represented and had to incorporate chicken in their dishes. I think the Army and the Navy had the best dishes, packed with tons of flavor. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take pictures because I was juggling plates.

This was our first time attending Giant’s BBQ Battle, and I enjoyed my time trying a lot of good food and drinks and enjoying the weather. I’m looking forward to the next one.

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Until next time.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

This week, I went to the city to complete an assignment and ended up running into the St. Patrick’s Day Parade…good and bad. Good because it was my first New York City parade. Bad because I felt like I was walking through a maze trying to make it my destination. I caught the last 20 minutes of the parade. I thought what I saw was cool. I loved the parade outfits. Also, I got to see my school in the parade. Here are a some of the pics I took.

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Note: I took all of these pictures.

Until next time.