It's probably no surpise that working in the food industry barely allows me to get out and enjoy what the DC food scene has to offer. While right now I don't have time to eat out as much as I'd like, I have had the chance to check out some great spots in the area. Most of the time I like to lean towards the healthy choice on the menu and always give the chef's attempt a fair shot. Some kitchens are made to cater to the healthy eaters while others are just wasting their time and should just stick with their full-fat butter and fried "anything".
I could find a thousand of dishes in this city that will raise your cholesterol and help you gain those extra five pounds. Here are a few of my favorite dishes in the area that, in my eyes, are healthier and still packed full of flavor.
Thai "Chicken" Salad from Great Sage in Clarksville - Clarksville might not be very close to DC or Gaithersburg, but I will tell you a thousand times that it is worth the trip - vegetarian or not. Anyone can find something to eat here and leave satisfied and full. Their vegan entrees are packed with flavor and I think that the Thai "Chicken" Salad is one of the first dishes you should try. The soba noodles are cooked perfectly and the "chicken" has great texture and doesn't taste fake at all.
Spicy Tuna Roll from Yoyogi Sushi in the Kentlands - Yoyogi is one of my favorite places to go for sushi. The staff is always friendly, catering and extremely fast. There are always at least two people working the sushi bar to assure that the food is made to order in this "fast food" type establishment. You can grab a roll to go or sit down and enjoy a meal at your own pace. The California Roll is one of my favorites in the area, but I'd say the Spicy Tuna Roll is my favorite healthy choice.
Vegetarian Salad from Chipotle in the Kentlands - Everyone loves Chipotle. They promise fresh, sustainable food at an extremely reasonable price. Two people can easily grab dinner for under $20. My favorite healthy dish is choosing the Vegetarian Salad. Instead of doing the rice bowl, I get the salad and request for a little bit of brown rice sprinkled on top of the salad. Plus, if you order the Vegetarian option, guacamole is free.
Meatless Bacon Burger from Founding Farmers in Potomac - I am a little biased here because I worked at this restaurant, but I really commend the Chef here for creating a great vegetarian/vegan menu. You can order from this menu at all three restaurants. My favorite is ordering the Meatless Bacon Burger (without the bun) and the Arugula Salad. The burger is made of black beans, brown rice, flax seed, oat bran and other natural seasonings. It also comes with "Fakin Bacon", the impressive attempt at delivering a vegan bacon. (I ate it as a snack at work it's that good.)
Kale Salad from Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown - Here is a shameless marketing plug...you can't get this salad now, but on Friday you can. Farmers Fishers Bakers is set to open up at the end of the week and while there is plenty of fried fish, buttery steaks and cheesy pizzas on the menu, you can find some great healthy options. I think that the Kale Salad is going to blow everyone away. Kale has made its way into a lot of kitchens lately and I'm excited to see it offered on a menu. Dates, hazelnuts, pecorino cheese...our chef described it has tasting like a "peanut butter and jelly sandwich". She's right, and I mean that in a positively delicious way.
What are your favorite healthy dishes in the area?