By Marty Meck, summer intern
In what can only be described as an over-indulgence of food, drinks and workplace fun, Reston Limousine office staff took to the streets of Washington, DC for the annual Dine-N-Dash culinary tour benefiting World Central Kitchen. After making our way through traffic, jammin’ out to some childhood throw-backs with chauffeur Mo Bahri at the wheel, we began the tour in Penn Quarter at Zaytinya on 9th Street NW.
Without any idea as to what the night lay ahead, we checked in at Zaytinya and found a table with just enough seating for a handful of people to sit and enjoy the seemingly endless floating waiters and waitresses each with a new, different food item. Falafels, pita chips an assortment of humus dips, bite-sized lamb wrapped in a single leaf of lettuce with just the right amount of tzatziki sauce. It was just what we needed to help fill the empty void that was becoming our stomachs. Topping it all off was a glass of wine, both red and white for whichever your palate fancied.
It was at that moment we came to our senses and remembered what we had come here for: food… and lots of it. We needed to go to the next location and only had an hour and a half to hit them all before connecting back up with “Chivas”, one of our Executive Van Terras that was our ride for the night.
You see, we had a plan to work our way through Penn Quarter stopping at each restaurant along the way in a two-hour window. From there we would meet up with the bus and head over to 14th Street to finish the tour and wrap up our time together. We went to BOE, then on to Cuba Libre; Mango Tree; Zengo; Rockland’s BBQ, Pepe and Captain Cookie food trucks; and Jaleo. We stopped just long enough for a quick drink and some of the tastiest food DC has to offer. It was all such a blur in such a short amount of time.
After meeting back up with Chivas outside of Jaleo, we all squabbled over our favorite restaurant and favorite hors d’oeuvres. A resounding crowd favorite was Cuba Libre with their Mahi Mahi a la Plancha, whole roasted pig, their mojito, and, of course, the atmosphere. With live music, tropical foliage and lighting that cast a warm red hue over food and friends, it felt as if we had all stepped into a different country. Not forgetting the food trucks, we stopped on the steps of the Smithsonian American Art Museum to enjoy cookies and ice cream from Captain Cookie because who doesn’t crave some every once in awhile? Exactly.
Now for part 2. With most of us having a pretty solid buzz going at this point, we stumbled off “Chivas” outside of Barcelona. Seeing a much younger looking crowd enjoying themselves at this establishment, it seemed to be a local favorite for young professionals. We grubbed on some of the most succulent pork belly we’d ever had and enjoyed a glass of sangria before heading out and onto the next stop. From Pearl Dive up to Arepa Zone and Swizzler food trucks, and even further up to Doi Moi and Masa 14, we had ourselves one hell of a good time.
We asked Mo to meet us outside of Masa 14 at the intersection of Swann Street and 14th Street for our venture home. With many of the not-so-young-but-young-at-hearts thinking this was the end of their fun for the night, they had no idea what was to ensue on the trip home. Little did they know that the twentysomethings, with just the right amount of liquid courage, would take this perfect opportunity to showcase their vocal and dancing abilities. For the sake of reputability for those unnamed, I’ll leave that for your own imagination. Just know that some people definitely shouldn’t quit their day job for a career in either of these fields.
We all made it home safe thanks to our driver for the night for which none of the adventure could have been done without. So if you and your friends care to join the next Dine-N-Dash , give us a call or look us up online. You’ll thank us later that you did. You worry about the fun, we’ll worry about getting you there.