30. Things to do in DC | Eatonville Restaurant
I think it’s time to stop for a second. Let’s be clear, I would have reviewed this restaurant either way, because I think it’s a genuinely awesome place (I’ll get to that in a minute). But first I have to say that I’m truly in awe of Andy Shallal the owner, and his contributions to the city.
Pause for a minute and reflect on his initiatives with Bus Boys and Poets: green products, wind energy in his restaurants, celebrating African American culture, providing a space for political activism, supporting poetry and the arts, his support for fair trade markets, and on and on and on. A few months ago, he was honored for working for full voting rights for Washington DC. Good. It’s time we…Gave this man his props!
Okay on to Eatonville Restaurant:
What Langston Hughes is to Bus Boys, Zora Neale Hurston is to Eatonville. Zora Hurston is a popular folklorist during the days of the Harlem Renaissance who worked with Langston Hughes on a project that turned out to be quite contentious. Eatonville is actually the name of her Florida hometown. Thus you’ll find the restaurant decorated with colorful murals reflecting the town and some of its legends.
In some ways it reminds me of Bus Boys and Poets’ Langston room but upscaled a bit. Picture jazzy southern flair (with rocking chair to boot) with a touch of U street cool. And of course Zora Neal Hurston is beautifully represented throughout the restaurant in a gazillion murals.
The food: Southern Fried Chicken, Gumbo, mac and cheese, collard greens, all the standards. You guys already know I love macaroni and cheese. So I had to do it:
And if you didn’t catch it the first time, take a closer look:
Oh and I loved their sweet tea. They serve it in some cool jam jars that I wish I could keep. Go with a few friends or with a date and you’ll have a great time. It’s a popular place so reservations may be a good idea on weekends.
You know, somebody asked what my New Year’s resolutions were and I didn’t have an answer. I do now: I’m going to live an epic life this year. And one way to do it is to get out and do epic things in Washington DC.
I challenge you to do the same and watch your relationships and friendships flourish. Eatonville Restaurant is a great place to get started.