Need a vacation? Who doesn’t! While I’d love to plan another thousand trips right now, fall is just too busy. However, I’m a big proponent of indulging in ethnic cuisine as an alternative. Savor the International Marketplace is exactly where I’m headed.
Savor The International Marketplace
Savor the International Marketplace is a 2-week event. Even better than Devour Downtown, Savor allows you to treat yourself to a 3-course meal for less than $20. There are over 20 participating restaurants. Everything from African, Cuban, Pakistani, Mexican, Mediterranean, and so much more! It’s a great chance to try new dishes and step out of your comfort zone, without breaking the bank.
All of these restaurants are located in the Lafayette Square / Georgetown area. Within a 12-block corridor area there are over 70 different languages spoken, 80 different ethnic restaurants, 40 ethnic specialty shops and over 700 ethnic businesses. This area is in the midst of a fantastic revitalization. How lucky are we to have all of these options and opportunities to learn about other cultures?
A Different Way to Dine
I had the pleasure of attending progressive dinner. A progressive dinner is when you have multiple courses, at multiple restaurants. We started with two restaurants – Chapati and Los Chilaquiles – for appetizers. Our entrees were provided by La Mestiza. Finally, our night was capped off in a sugar heaven coma at Mama P’s. I totally recommend planning a progressive dinner with friends, and the International Marketplace is the perfect spot.
Chaptai is a Pakistani and Indian restaurant. They offer all natural, free range, free roaming, Zabihah Halal meats. I’ve been craving Pakistani food ever since I moved back from Los Angeles and this might be my new go-to spot. We started with the sweet chaat, which is a homemade sweet yogurt with fluffy pakoras and crispy puris. As someone who occasionally eats vegetarian, I value vegetarian options.
Just a few doors down from Chapati you’ll find Los Chilaquiles. Los Chilaquiles offers traditional Mexican food. We enjoyed the salsa, queso fundido, guacamole and their quesadillas.
Onto the entree portion of our progressive dinner! La Mestiza is also Mexican cuisine, but primarily from the southern part of Mexico, Oaxaca. Fun fact – they start with a vermicelli soup instead of chips and salsa. I’m not totally sold on giving up my beloved chips and salsa, however, the soup was delicious. Every dish we tried just seemed to get better and better. My group liked the fish ceviche the best.
Mama P’s Bakery
Walking into Mama P’s Bakery is like walking into a cloud of sugar-coated heaven. You can almost taste the sugar in the air. I have a huge sweet tooth, so I was in heaven. Mama P bakes everything from pies, cookies, cakes, and even offers vegan options! They are a bakery, so keep than in mind when you are looking at a time to pay a visit. If anything – bring these home to your sweetie. The peanut butter pie is to die for.
Special thanks for Susan and Megan for inviting me and Mary Clark, the executive director of International Marketplace Coalition, for putting on a wonderful event.
What restaurant are you most excited to visit during Savor? Let me know in the comments!