I’ve been thinking about starting a series for a long time to feature some of my favourite people who know their way around some of my favourite cities. Today, I want you all to meet Matthew Stafford from Washington, DC. A gentleman and a scholar, Matt is a self-proclaimed whisky connoisseur and has a particular penchant for quality meats. After a great meal at The Pig together, I have enlisted his help to provide you with some helpful advice should you be planning a trip to America’s capital city anytime soon. Here are his answers to my rapid fire questions and his Top 5 picks for eating in the city:
Name: Matthew Stafford (most people just call me Stafford)
Occupation: I’m an Analytics Engineer at BlueLabs. Simply put, I build systems to process and transform large quantities of data.
Hometown: Born and raised in the lovely one stoplight town of Honey Brook, Pennsylvania.
Current City: Currently, I reside in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC. Six years ago I moved to the DMV area for work after graduating from Penn State.
Best Thing about DC: The District isn’t as gritty as Baltimore or Philly, nor as cosmopolitan as New York but I feel that it has something most other cities lack: a sense of purpose. Nearly everyone you meet in this town is here for a reason, be it personal or political, and rarely are they afraid to tell you what that reason is.
Top 5 Places to Eat in DC:
1. Florida Avenue Grill: Pennsylvania is diner country and while DC is lacking in diners (The Diner in Adams Morgan doesn’t count) the Florida Avenue Grill comes very close to filling that niche for me. Nothing cures homesickness like a plate of eggs and scrapple.
2. Looking Glass Lounge: It’s more apt to say that my actual apartment is my home-away-from-home, as the Looking Glass is my true home. A shot of Jim Beam and a Natty Boh will cost you six American dollars. Burgers are half-priced on Wednesdays, wings on Sunday. The company is free.
3. Chez Billy: An interesting mix of neighborhood hangout and fine dining establishment. Their happy hour involves five dollar rotating cocktails (no Long Islands here, we’re talking boulevardiers, rickeys and sazeracs) while their dinner menu features one of my favorite dishes: boeuf bourguignon
4. Cedar: Many new American eateries offer you choices like duck or lamb, but can you get venison, elk or even wild boar? The United States was a wild country and before the proliferation of farming all meat was game meat. Cedar pays ode to this by offering modern takes on classic meats and nicely fills my need to eat all things on four legs.
5. Habesha Market and Carry Out: You can’t talk about DC without talking about Ethiopian food. The U Street Corridor is home to many, many Ethiopian restaurants but none are as good as Habesha Market, an Ethiopian market and carry-out joint. While Dukem down the street is more popular, the quality at Habesha is leagues ahead.
PS: Check out 24 Hours: Washington, DC for more recommendations!