On Sunday, we woke up to a cold, rainy day in Virginia. Mim had reserved a table for us at the Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle. We drove in a circle in a 5-city block radius around the hotel searching for parking for 15 minutes before we realized that the Hotel Tabard offers valet parking. Good to know.
According to the website, the Tabard Inn is the oldest inn in Washington D.C. It looked the part, too. As we stepped inside, and saw the rich mahogany wood and various old portraits adorning the wall, John whispered to me “Did Paul Revere or George Washington ever stay here?” It certainly looked like they did.
Apparently it was a meeting place primarily for rich young debutantes in the early 20th century. No Paul Revere. Or George, unfortunately.
We were greeted by the hosting staff and immediately shown to our table. The seating area was not large but cozy, warm and casual, and seemed to be full of locals. A bread basket full of carrot muffins and blueberry scones awaited us. The coffee was robust and flavorful, and the bread delicious. I ordered a quiche with mushrooms, leeks, goat cheese and spinach). It was by far the best quiche I’ve ever had in my life. The crust was flaky and buttery and perfect. The side salad tasted absolutely delicious; the tomatoes tasted like they were harvested that morning.
To walk off all the carbs, we decided to stroll around the Tidal Basin. We hadn’t seen the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial so that was the first stop.
John told me that the memorial had been fraught with all kinds of controversy; from the family of MLK Jr. demanding payment for the memorial’s use of quotes and images of MLK; or the security concern over defacement to the memorial which led to consideration of “blocking” the monument from being accessible by car; to the outrage from certain members of the black community that the statue was to be carved out of white granite and not black granite or marble. At first, I thought the latter grievance was a bit ridiculous until I saw the impressive structure itself. You do feel a bit in awe as you gaze up at this towering structure which gazes back at you.
It did seem a bit ironic that this brave, eloquent man who pioneered civil rights for black people in America should be forever immortalized in white stone. I did partially understand the argument that the goal was to ensure that all of the Washington D.C. monuments have a unified look. But it doesn’t explain why FDR and Thomas Jefferson and others are NOT in white stone like the Lincoln Memorial or Washington Monument.
Regardless of the controversy, the monument was beautiful and I enjoyed reading the quotes by MLK Jr. which were etched on the walls surrounding the monument.
We also cruised through Franklin D. Roosevelt’s memorial (which John had never seen) and also Thomas Jefferson, the “Standing” monument. My aunt Loida likes to joke that Lincoln is the “sitting” president and that Thomas Jefferson is the “standing” president.
We concluded the afternoon back at the apartment with a viewing of the film National Treasure. Being in D.C. always makes me want to watch Nick Cage be ridiculous and overly enthusiastic about American history. Dinner was at Nando’s in Pentagon Row with Taken 2 to follow.
I first had Nando’s chicken and peri-peri sauce while at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. They unfortunately don’t have Nando’s anywhere in America except in the D.C. area so I will have to wait until I go back to D.C. (or the U.K. or Australia) until I eat that delicious peri-peri sauce again.
Or I guess I can order it online…