My DC // Amanda of Metrocurean

For my second My City feature, I spent the afternoon with food writer, Amanda of Metrocurean. Amanda is an expert on the DC food scene, and has been blogging since 2005. Her roots are from North Carolina, which you get a hint of from her slight southern accent.

Amanda is in love with her neighborhood: 14th Street between Logan Circle and U Street. She met me at her daily coffee stop, Peregrine Espresso, where the barista knew her by name. Actually, everywhere we went, they all knew her by name.

Over hibiscus tea, we chatted about the difference between cake flour and regular flour (I didn’t even know cake flour existed until a few years ago), my 27 years of not eating vegetables, and she made it her mission to get me to like them.

Next door to Peregrine is Cork, one of her favorite wine bars that she says also has amazing food. It wasn’t open, but someone from inside saw her and came out to chat and let me in to see the ambiance. Definitely on my list for an afternoon soon!

We strolled down to Pulp, a bright shop with all sorts of kitchen and home goods. Great place to pick up gifts. She said throughout the ups and downs of this stretch of 14th street, Pulp has always been there and lasted through rough times. Now the street is bustling with new restaurants.

You can find frequently find Amanda on the patio at Standard, a BBQ and beer garden, where they also serve donuts that you can just walk by and purchase on the weekends. Note to self: Go to Standard.

Amanda’s blue patterned is A.L.C. from Heidi Says in San Francisco, blazer and scarf both from Urban Outfitters (similar jacket, similar scarf), jeans are J.Brand (similar), and Sunglasses were $5 from Wrightsville Beach Corner Store.

Amanda took me into one of her favorite shops, Muléh. A modern mix of fashion and furniture, I think my wallet jumped out of my purse and hid at the sight of all the beautiful designer goods.

And of course, one of the owners stopped to chat with Amanda, because again, she knew them. She has definitely made this place her neighborhood.

If you are a New Yorker, they have also have a store on 30 Gansevoort St. (Greenwich St/Hudson St).

As we approached Bar Pilar (which I constantly hear about but haven’t been yet), one of the owners was standing outside, and of course, knew Amanda. So we chatted with him for a while. I felt like I got such a rich history of the neighborhood and a great personal experience because Amanda knew so much about each place, and we stopped to talk to everyone.

While they were chatting I was getting artistic with my camera (I don’t claim to be a talented photographer, but more just capturing the moment in a journalistic way).

Her shoes are Seychelles and the bag is Cynthia Vincent, similar.

The guy at Bar Pilar was standing outside because he was sanding down these glass coke bottles that they are going to use as glasses — how cool is that!?! Love the concept and that he was taking all the time to do that, they are just hoping people don’t end up taking them home because they like them so much.

On our way down to the Timothy Paul bedding store, Amanda clued me in on the rest of the restaurants in the area. This pink rug in Timothy Paul was calling for an Instagram (obviously). Amanda told me they also had a rug shop, Timothy Paul Carpets, down the street, so after she left for her dinner plans I went down there to check it out, and who did I meet? Timothy Paul. Lovely guy and his rug store, I was practically drooling in there.

My Shoes: Jessica Simpson, old, similar

Amanda also told me if I had time to go get some gelato or sorbet at Pitango. Not one for missing out on anything in the ice cream family, I marched myself right down there and had raspberry and chocolate sorbet, yep chocolate sorbet. It was delicious! As I was eating (and looking at my photos from my time with Amanda) two of the people working there started speaking (a grammar person corrected me — thanks anonymous) in Spanish, and they guy sitting next to me perked up and started talking to them also. I used to speak fairly fluently so I can usually understand a lot but am too timid to speak much anymore. Anyway, they were staying how they were all from Colombia, which funny enough, I’ve been to. The world is small. I’ve probably never mentioned how much I LOVE the Latino culture. Everyone is always happy, smiling, spends a lot of time outside, eating and with family and friends. The cities in Central and South America just feel so alive to me. I’m excited to do more traveling down there.

Anyway, back to Amanda!

Let’s hear about our day from her:

What are your favorite things about your neighborhood?
The food! I may never leave again. 
Since you are a foodie/food blogger, what are your other favorite places to eat in DC and why or what do you HAVE to get when you go to them?
Bar Pilar (fried chicken), Birch and Barley (seasonal flatbread), Cork (lemon zest fries, avocado on grilled bread), Estadio (chorizos with potato chips, shishito peppers), Pearl Dive (oysters, crawfish etoufee), Saint-Ex (fried green tomato BLT), Standard (burger, hush puppies)
What food items do you always have on hand?
Carrots, oranges and ginger for making morning juice. Pimento cheese and olives for snacking. Bottle of sriracha for spicing things up. And bacon from the farmers market.
Do you have a favorite recipe you want to share with us?
This Moroccan chicken is the bomb. So easy and elegant.
How did you become a “foodie” / why is food special to you?
I can’t remember a time when my family wasn’t constantly planning its next meal and talking passionately about food. It took me a while to realize not everyone’s raised that way.


Huge thanks to Amanda for taking me around her 14th Street hood!

Check out Amanda’s website Metrocurean, twitter, and Facebook.