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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Chronicles, capers and custard: My experience on a Georgetown food tour

Jordan Tovin | Assistant Photo Editor
A group of patrons await their food at Georgetown vegan eatery Green Almond Pantry.

Blue Fern Travel’s “Fork Tour” of Georgetown satisfies hunger and gives a taste of the history of the area. 

Unlike some food tours that give small tastes of many restaurants, this food tour gives full portions from five spots around historic Georgetown. The experience is on the pricier side of D.C. attractions at $124 a person, but Blue Fern Travels seeks to make every dollar spent worthwhile.

The tour only partners with small businesses in the area, pays full price to the establishments, tips all waiting staff 20 percent and donates to the local nonprofit Bread for the City the amount to feed a resident the same amount of meals eaten on the tour. Most importantly, the food does not disappoint.

My experience on the food tour began in the bustling Grace Street Collective, an open-concept collection of restaurants situated about a half-block away from the Georgetown waterfront. My mother, aunt, family friend and I embarked on this tour as a way to see a bit of the city and were excited for the experience despite the overcast weather forecast for the day. We met our tour guide, Soneka Anderson, at the vegan Green Almond Pantry.

With the fervor that only someone with a background in theater can muster, Anderson explained that the co-founders of the tour group, Mary Collins and Stefan Woehlke, founded “Fork Tours” as a way to help people eat like local Washingtonians.

She also quickly brought out the first dish of the tour: a seasonal butternut squash tart with a roasted tomato soup. The tart was flaky with a creamy and rich filling, which contrasted the slightly tart and brothy soup. It was a phenomenal start to the food tour as a nostalgic, simple yet artfully made dish.

From there, we trekked through historic back alleys to Il Canale, an Italian restaurant that boasts Vera Pizza Napoletana certification demonstrating entirely authentic Italian ingredients and equipment. The restaurant sits next to the C&O Canal, which Anderson explained was a passion project of George Washington.

I ate melt-in-your-mouth meatballs with a bright tomato sauce and a side of bread with garlic-infused olive oil. Then there was a hint of spice from a Diavola pizza topped with Calabrese salami and Buffalo mozzarella on a wood-fired crust that added both crunch and airiness.

The restaurant itself sits at the crux between an upscale establishment and a neighborhood get-together spot that balances feeling welcoming and classy. One wall was covered in the notable guests who have attended the restaurant, but the patrons who filled the restaurant while I was there felt more like a family laughing over lovingly made food and drinks.

The walk to the next stop was cut short by the uncooperative weather. Yet Anderson was set on making up for this inconvenience by taking a detour to Compass Coffee while we waited on our falafel from a small standing-room-only location of Falafel Inc. that prides itself on providing locally sourced food at affordable prices.

The pita was overflowing with pickled cabbage, falafel, cucumbers and various sauces. Each bite brought a different flavor: tangy, spicy, nutty and fresh. Falafel Inc can also be found right in Foggy Bottom inside Western Market.

From there, the tour ended on a sweet note at the Brasserie Liberté with the dish that wowed me the most. I have been thinking about this awe-striking creme brulee ever since I took my first bite. Breaking through the thin crunch of caramel into the creamy vanilla custard made a balanced bite regarding both flavor and texture. The custard even had specks of vanilla that stuck to the dish at the end, practically calling on me to scrape the last bits of the divine dessert despite being fuller than imaginable at that point.

Unlike waiting in the District’s constant lines, this tour gets you in and out of some of the best restaurants without a wait and takes care of all the planning for you. With commentary about where young JFK lived or whom you may see in the nation’s oldest ongoing jazz club, Anderson’s poignant humor and spunk made this an unforgettable way to leave the Foggy bubble.

While the typical student budget may not often accommodate this price, it is a great activity for parents’ weekend or a way to treat yourself after finishing grueling finals.

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