Who knew there was more on top of Capitol Hill than political scum?  I spent a little more than a year calling the Hill home, tromping all around the area, and eating in dozens of restaurants.  However, only 15 minutes into our tour with DC Metro Food Tours during  Eat, Write, Retreat I realized there was a lot I didn’t know about Capitol Hill.  I’d totally be lying if I said great company wasn’t a major reason I loved this portion of the weekend.  I had such amazing conversations and bonding time with several ladies during this experience. I took pictures, lots of them in fact but they won’t come off of my camera.  I’m so upset!!  Fear not, Olga from Mango, Tomato and one of those special ladies I mentioned above said I can share her pictures!  You can find all of them on her non-food blog, My World.

This is one of the oldest residential homes on Capitol Hill.  There’s a long story that goes with it and it’s a really great story..I’ve just forgotten all of it.  I do remember however that the original owner of this house was rumored to have a very expansive wine collection.  The gentlemen got into some trouble and ended up fleeing the house (and possibly the country – sorry fuzzy details) and instead of leaving his wine collection he dynamited the entrance to the cellar.  No one has ever found the wine.  Our guides did tell us that the house will be undergoing renovations to bring it back to it’s original look soon.

Another very cool stop was to the Navy Annex area.  I had NEVER been to this part of the Hill and now I’m sort of upset that I hadn’t been.  This house is the oldest federal building in continual residence.  I think it would be a pretty awesome place to call home.

I have actually been in this church when we were looking at planning for an event.  Interesting historical tidbit, the family of one of John Wilkes Booths’ helpers attended this church.  After news reached the city that Pres. Lincoln had been shot hundreds of people gathered here in vigil for the president.  The family was too ashamed to come again.  Our guide also told us that sometimes they toured the inside, Olga and I decided they vetoed this time because we were with.

The most interesting lesson was about alley houses.  Long ago these areas were the slums and in the not so distant past they served as shooting galleries for addicts as well as other unsavory behavior.  Not so anymore.  Residents are purchasing these homes and re-vamping them.  Honestly taking a walk down this alley to these little houses was like you weren’t even in DC anymore!!!  I loved it – I would totally live in an alley house in 2.5 seconds.  Check out this piece by the Washington Post for more about these homes.

…But what where’s the Eats??  Here they come!

Credit: Allie Mak – livelaugheat.com

I was a little scared to eat here.  The first thing I think of when I hear soul food is – pork.  I was pretty sure this stop was going to mean no food for me.  Not true!  Levi’s makes their veggies without pork – making it vegetarian friendly, or halal friendly in my case! I did have to forego the pulled pork sandwich but got to eat everything else.

Las Placitas is a Salvadorian restaurant serving all kinds of yummy Salvadorian and Mexican dishes.   The meat here is to die for.  During our vacation to Florida this year we ate at a Cuban restaurant.  This beef tasted very similar to the Cuban version.   As totally yummy as that bread looks I didn’t get to try it – they make it with lard, I was sad.

The other stop was to an Indo/Pakistani restaurant.  I had a really gorgeous picture of the muligatawney soup that is now lost in cyber space somewhere.  Trust me it was good.

Overall DC Metro Food Tours is a great company.  The tour guides are witty and loaded with really interesting trivia.  The food is fabulous.  I wish I would have known about this company when we lived in DC because I would have a) taken every visitor I had on a tour and b) made it a point to take every tour myself!  Next time I’m back in the city I’m booking another tour.  My next choice would be a tour of U Street.  Which neighborhood would interest you?