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Jackie’s: Eating Local, Eating Well

June 27, 2011

If you missed my Saturday post about Cafeteria Man, please check it out to spread the word about this must-see movie! This documentary should be required viewing in all schools and mandatory watching for everyone who has kids, wants kids or likes kids.

It was only appropriate that after seeing a movie that promoted eating local, I eat local food. Friends have mentioned Jackie’s in Silver Spring multiple times over the years but I’d never been. Based on descriptions of a fun bar scene, I expected a greasy dive instead of a cool, classy, eco-friendly restaurant.

Just follow the hot pink sign.

Any doubts I had about getting a good meal were put to rest with this note at the bottom of the menu.

The menu isn’t very long but it has options for anyone, meat eaters to vegans. Before choosing food, the specialty drinks caught my eye. My blueberry lemonade was tart and cool but the mango basil limeade was the clear winner here — fruity, sweet and oh-so refreshing on a hot night.

To try more of the interesting, seasonal menu, we opted to split two small-plate appetizers and an entree. First up, were Asparagus fritto, olives and blackened red pepper sauce and Smoked mussel & zucchini crostini with caramelized onion and celeriac.

Oh yes, asparagus fritto is fried asparagus. Huge, fresh stalks of asparagus. For every 10 plates of grilled or steamed asparagus, you need to switch it up with a plate of fried — and calling it fritto definitely classes up fried food.

The mussel-and-zucchini crostini was my favorite. I could have eaten plate after plate — who needs an entree?!

But we did get an entree: Fish tacos Veracruz style, garlicky rice, tarragon black beans and whipped avocado.

I eat a lot of Mexican food and this was one of the best tacos I’ve ever had. Nothing on the plate was greasy — the tacos were simply dressed with red cabbage and a light salsa — and the beans were perfectly simmered. Instead of chunky guacamole, it was simply pure avocado.

I loved every bite of this meal, from my first sip of blueberry lemonade to the last bite of garlicky rice.

Not 100% of the meal was local: avocados and mangoes aren’t mid-Atlantic fruits. But the entire dinner was fresh and flavorful, without going overboard with spices and salt. Just simple food allowed to shine on its own.

I’m heading to New York this week for work — see you from NYC! Follow my trip on Twitter.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2011 3:13 pm

    I’ve never heard of Cafeteria Man but it sounds really interesting! It’s things like that that make me wish I lived in California where I could get lemons and avocados in my backyard. I really appreciate trying to eat locally and am so glad my state has a thriving farm community.

  2. Errign permalink
    June 27, 2011 9:11 pm

    That limeade sounds delicious, but all of your pictures have my mouth watering!

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