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Taste of the Nation Food Coma

Last week, POM Wonderful tweeted that the first three followers to send them a photo of themselves with a bottle of POM would win a VIP ticket to Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation DC.

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What can I say?
Right time, right place.

I had been dying to go to one of these, and was excited when I was named one of the recipients!

Share Our Strength is such an important organization, and I felt pretty privileged to be a part of it. From tonight’s program:

“In an average month of 2009, a record 34.7 million Americans received SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Half of them were children. Food banks reported an unprecedented 30 percent increase in service demand between the summers of 2008 and 2009. In some communities, the increase was nearly 50 percent, and across the nation, demand continues to outstrip supply.

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation is the nation’s premier culinary benefit dedicated to making sure no child grows up hungry.”

As part of the VIP crew, Sana (another POM winner and blogger of Simply Sana) and myself had private access to the Volt VIP Lounge that opened at 6:00.
volt

We got a birds eye view of the set-up.
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And started with some first rate hors d’oeuvres. Beginning with a Pork Belly from 1789 in Georgetown.
Pork Belly

Mmmmm, and bite sized!

We then moved further into the VIP area.
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And I sampled a Peppercorn Steak from BLT Steak.
food

I love BLT! I haven’t had it since Geoff’s birthday where we got snowed in!

And then we got to the unfun part of the VIP area.
The part where everyone wanted to try food from the place with the fancy lights on the ceiling.
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The place known for its handsome Top Chef finalist – Bryan Voltaggio.
He was serving up some killer items from his namesake restaurant, Volt.

Beet Macaroon with Foie Gras Mousse

This was light, airy and very meringue-like. I could have eaten a few more!

When we’d about had it upstairs we made it downstairs for more and more and more eats.

We caught the chef of Kellari Tavern giving a little background on his dishes to the camera.
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They served up an AMAZING scallop and spanakopita.
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They are known for the healthy Mediterranean cooking and they nailed it!

And, oh look – it’s my favorite bartenders from AGAINN.
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Next up, Braised Beef Sandwich from Mon Ami Gabi
It was good, but I thought their portions were too large, I threw half away, and at an event that raises awareness about hungry kids – I didn’t like that.
burger

Firefly was next on my tour.
Firefly

The chef prepared a smoky octopus. Surprisingly not as chewy as I would have expected!
smoky octopus

Then came the Tower of Heaven – cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake
YUP – FULL sized..

I of course sampled a Red Velvet.

The ladies are also filming a new show for TLC being billed as “Cupcake Sisters.” We joked that hopefully they don’t end up like Jon & Kate. TLC might have a curse on their hands 🙂 But seriously, I wish them nothing but the best.

My one beef with these tasting events is that they don’t corral the desserts in one area. I hate that they’re all interspersed because my taste buds cannot go from savory to decadently sweet that quickly. Rant over.

Next up – Vinoteca.
They served a lovely sausage dish.
Vinoteca.

Sana and I split a play on the Lobster Roll from the Occidental Grill.
Personally, nothing to write home about. Sorry, Occidental!

And then I sipped an Asparagus Soup

Anchovy Tartlets from Proof
Sana enjoyed hers by the beautiful flowers!
A scallop bite from Poste – I think.
Poste

Pastry chefs of Poste.
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Ice Cream Lollipop – ummm crunchy inside, creamy, words can’t even begin to encapsulate this chocolate experience.

Seriously, waffle + sundried tomato + brie = genius.
sundried tomato

Ok beef number dos with this event and events like it. Make agua accessible throughout – even if just bottles. Some of these salty dishes had me CRAVING liquids – preferably the non-alcoholic kind. Soap box, down.

Tuna Mousse from 2941
Look who we found?!?!?!
Thanks, POM for an amazing culinary evening!!!
Oh no, no – the night was not complete unless I was to be rolled outta there.

Mini Carrot Cupcakes from Best Buns Bakery.

Chocolate Decadence from Co Co Sala

Co Co Sala

And to cap off my evening, a Tuna Tartare Cone from The Source
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Executive Chef Steve Drewno of The Source.

I had an absolutely amazing time this evening, and can you believe I:

a) Didn’t consume any of the wine, spirits and other bevvies; and

b) Didn’t even get to half of the restaurants featured?

I would have popped!

If Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation is coming to your city, I highly suggest grabbing a ticket – I would have gone even if I’d had to pay – it was seriously that good!!!!

Thank you again to POM Wonderful for such a fun Monday evening!

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