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Get Adventurous with DC's Funkiest Bar Bites

by Lanna Nguyen on Jan 6, 2015 in Roundups for Daikaya, Oyamel
Get Adventurous with DC's Funkiest Bar Bites

Wings, nachos, fries...anything slathered in cheese. Sure, the usual bar food can be comforting, tasty and filling, but also predictable. With so many restaurants popping up, the bar food game has definitely been taken up a notch.The next time you head out for happy hour, take the road less traveled and try some of the not-so-average bar fare D.C. has to offer. From beef tongue to grasshoppers and everything in between, step out of your comfort zone with these funky bar bites.

Daikaya: With a ramen shop on the first floor and an izakaya on the second, there’s no shortage of tasty menu items at Daikaya. Head to the upstairs bar for unique bites including skewers of chicken liver (Teba) or beef tongue and jalapeno (Yuzu Kosho). If you’re craving seafood, try the cod roe spaghetti or their two variations of octopus: grilled with potatoes, pimenton and olive oil or in a dumpling with tomato sauce, ricotta salata and basil. (705 6th St., NW; 202-589-1600)

Eat the Rich: There are all types of sea creatures to munch on here, including the infamous snakehead fish. Known as an invasive species around the Potomac, Eat the Rich serves it up in the form of a pie. Available on the dinner and brunch menus, the snakehead is served lightly smoked in a savory pastry with mushroom catsup. Enjoy it with an equally unique drink: the Beer ‘n Clam, a mix of housemade clamato juice and Miller High Life. (1839 7th St., NW; 202-316-9396)

Oyamel: At Jose Andres’ Mexican restaurant, you’ll find a variety of tacos to choose from. The most intriguing of which might be the Chapulines. The Oaxacan-style taco is definitely one-of-a-kind with sauteed grasshoppers, shallots, tequila and guacamole. If you’re feeling adventurous, but not in the mood to ingest insects, try the Lengua Guisada (braised beef tongue with radishes and a sauce of roasted pasilla chile, tomatoes, onion and garlic) or the Carnitas Estilo Michoacan (confit of baby pig, green tomatillo sauce, pork rinds, onions and cilantro). (401 7th St., NW; 202-628-1005)

The Partisan: If you’re squeamish when it comes to fatty cuts of meat...steer clear of this place. If you’re like me and thrive on such flavor, welcome to heaven. From the charcuterie menu, try the lardo (cured fatback), the wild boar pate, pork liver terrine or my personal favorite, the Tete de Pho (spiced pho braised pig head). Speaking of pig head...if you’re ready to go hog wild, order an entire roasted pig head complete with pig ear salad. (709 D St., NW; 202-524-5322)

The Pig: You guessed it. The main protein served at this Logan Circle restaurant is pig. All pig, all the time. And I do mean, all of the pig. From the menu, you can get everything from face bacon to spicy tails and everything in between (including bone marrow, pork cheeks and pig ears). Equally known for their selection of bourbon, come during happy hour for a flight of their bourbons, which rotate weekly. (1320 14th St., NW; 202-290-2821)

Pop's SeaBar: The casual counterpart to Cashion's Eat Place has food reminiscent of a beach town boardwalk. If you're willing to venture away from the curly fries and crab cake sandwiches, try the smelts. Fried whole with pickled hot peppers, it's definitely a snack you won't find in most bars. (1817 Columbia Rd., NW; 202-534-3933)

Right Proper Brewing Company: Fried food is the best food and we’re used to seeing all types of battered and deep fried munchies on bar menus. Shaw’s own brewery and restaurant ups the ante by serving fried chicken livers with mumbo sauce. Once you get over the initial doubt, you’ll realize that it’s technically still fried chicken (right?). And really, you can’t get more “D.C.” than knocking back some Right Proper brews while munching on a snack with a side of the District’s own condiment. (624 T St., NW; 202-607-2337) 

Photo via The Pig and The Partisan


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food
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