East Coast Road Trip – Part 3!
Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great holiday weekend! For the last of this three-part travel edition of Foodie Adventures, we’re taking you to Philadelphia, PA; Washington, D.C.; and Alexandria, VA, – so join us for our recommendations for fun, food, and sights along the way! 🙌
To pick up where we left off (check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the blog here to catch up if you’re just joining us now), this week we meet again for our last installment, Philly, PA; Washington, D.C.; and Alexandria, VA! This was a great part of the trip as we were able to hit up a ton of amazing sightseeing and foodie spots too. 😁
We’re so grateful to all the friends and foodie followers that helped give us recommendations on what to eat and where to go for this leg of the trip. For all the places we didn’t make it to this time, we’ve included our Google Maps lists with notes on what we were recommended to try from each location! We’ll certainly be heading back again soon since there’s definitely a lot of stuff we wanted to see but simply didn’t have the time or energy for this go around.
See more recommendations here: https://goo.gl/maps/hwdYbnENCFhJ1kSr6
It wouldn’t be a proper trip to Philadelphia if we didn’t stop for Philly cheesesteaks of course! We had multiple people giving us recommendations for places all around the area for great sandwiches but ended up choosing Dalessandros Cheesesteaks outside of the main city center for lunch instead.
It didn’t open until 11 am, so we ended up taking a quick detour to see a cool historical site in the area which I’d recommend, the Historic Rittenhouse Town, which was one of the first working paper mill towns in the Philadelphia area. It had a ton of walking trails, a gorgeous little stream, and had a ton of kids doing on-site classes when we were there. Check out the slideshow below for some of the great pictures we took:
Dalessandro‘s had outdoor seating but nothing indoors, so we had to order at the walk-up window. But with the outdoor seating full, ended up eating our sammies on the hood of our car!
Jamie and I both got the classic cheesesteak with peppers and onions, his with cheese and mine without. They were very good but with mine, I was sorely missing the moisture from what would have been the cheese element. They did offer tomato sauce and things like that to accompany your cheesesteak but at that point to me, that wouldn’t have been a classic cheesesteak, so I refrained from adding it. I probably will next time.
Jamie and I actually recreated Philly cheesesteaks at home recently on our griddle, even going so far as to make our own homemade cheese sauces, and they turned out amazing (might come out with a recipe for those in the new year)!
We stayed at this awesome Air Bnb in downtown Philly, a perfect location for walking to restaurants or sightseeing, check out the link to that here!
There were so many places we went to in Philly for sightseeing, it’s such an old city and awesome for history buffs. I hadn’t visited Philly since I was maybe 10 or 12, so it was really cool to get to see all the museums and attractions again as an adult.
Check out the slideshow below for our stops we visited: The Old Statehouse, The Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin’s Grave and Museum, The Olympia cruiser, and historic statues in the harbor beforehand.
Jamie picked our spot for dinner, a little local joint called Top Tomato Philly! We had the most amazing waitress, Stella, who took care of us the whole night as we sat at the bar, making sure she told us about all the best things to check out on the menu (including the “Top Tomato” sauced wings, which were a tangy and sweet version, similar to a buffalo sauce but with a tomato twist!). He also had a slice of pizza with his beer and we shared the calamari before heading back to the hotel to relax before getting up early to head to Washington D.C. the next morning.
See more recommendations here: https://goo.gl/maps/tVtq9ufFo2oB8Ucd9
Not unlike Philly, this trip was very much about the sightseeing for us! With me growing up in Maryland for 14 years, however, going to DC for school field trips and trips with my family was pretty normal, since it was always less than an hour away from where we lived.
Jamie hadn’t been very often in comparison, so we tried to go to a mix of monuments and museums that he hadn’t seen and ones that were new to me too, for example, the National Museum of African American History and Culture was one we really enjoyed, which was finished being constructed after I had already moved away to UNC Charlotte for college so I never got to visit beforehand.
We didn’t get pictures of everything (couldn’t take pics inside most of the museums), but see the slideshow below for shots from the Washington Monument, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (from afar and close up), the White House (from afar), the WWII monument, the Lincoln Memorial (from afar), George Mason Memorial, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (from afar), The Smithsonian National Gallery of Art (not pictured), and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (also not pictured).
We ended up getting lunch from one of the MANY food trucks lined up outside the museums, it was a burrito, which was delicious, but it was a walking lunch, as we were in between monuments and museums, so no pics (sorry yall!).
However, we certainly made up for that at dinnertime! We met up with one of my best friends from middle school, Lizzie, at a great Balkan restaurant called Ambar Capitol Hill in DC that had a fantastic menu idea.
For $40 per person (at the time, it’s now been increased to $45/person), as long as your whole table was willing to participate, you could enjoy anything off their entire menu (everything came in tapas-sized portions) the entire night! You could also add on an extra $20 per person if you’d like for unlimited drinks off their cocktail menu as well (not everyone had to participate in this part).
We absolutely loved this idea and tried out a ton of items! Lizzie had been here for her birthday a month before and thought we’d have a blast trying a cuisine we’d never had before, so we definitely enjoyed ourselves. Check out the slideshow below to see the awesome tapas we tried. Feel free to pause the slideshow with the button on the top right corner at any time to read more on the captions of what each item was!
We also stopped next door for Jenis Ice Cream to finish off our meal, as Jamie and I had never been to one and we were super excited to try it out before we get our own in Camperdown Plaza next year!
Jamie ended up getting the Coffee with cream and sugar ice cream I got the Dairy-free Texas Sheet Cake, and Lizzie got the Cookies and Cream ice cream (from the top going clockwise below). Both Jamie and Lizzie also got little ice cream cone chips in their cups as well! 🍨
See more recommendations here: https://goo.gl/maps/jSNAEdMcArLhsKt36
So we ended up staying in Arlington, VA and driving over the river into D.C. every day we were there to visit. We had originally planned on having a half-day in Arlington to explore the waterfront and restaurants there too, however, we’ll have to make it an official stop next time!
Check out the Google Maps list we created above, and these few honorable mentions Jamie and I hand-picked from the list:
- Port City Brewing Company
- Lost Boy Cider
- Extra Perks Coffee, Brunch, & Bubble Tea
- Lena’s Wood Fired Pizza & Tap
- Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro
Let us know if there’s any we should add in the comments below!
Okay, so we had to sneak one last one on here before we finished off this series. Jamie and I went to go visit one of his friends in Bethesda, a town about 20 minutes north of D.C., and he took us to one of his favorite little haunts in his city – Dog Haus Biergarten.
This place was essentially a gourmet burger and hot dog place, with a huge beer list to boot, and the toppings on some of these dogs were awesome!!
I got the DOWNTOWN hot dog (smoked bacon wrapped dog, caramelized onions, pickled peppers, mayo, mustard, ketchup) with sweet potato fries (first two pics below). Jamie got the LITTLE MULE burger (white American cheese, avocado, pickled jalapeños, cotija cheese, fried egg, chipotle aioli) with tater tots (you know he loves a burger with a fried egg and some kick!). Finally, Jamie’s friend got the COWBOY hot dog (smoked bacon wrapped dog, cheddar cheese sauce, bbq sauce, crispy onions) with tater tots (his go-to here).
This was a delish way to end our vacation, and we were super happy with all the sights and food we were able to enjoy throughout our almost two-week trip around the East Coast. We’ve definitely picked out towns and places we want to go back to visit again after this, as well as places we think we’ve checked off our list now. 🙌
We’re super excited our friends from Resident Dogs GVL are creating a brick-and-mortar concept similar to this here next year, so we can have something like this local to us in the Upstate area too! 🌭
So how was your weekend, Foodie Friends? Do you have a favorite place or attraction from one of these places we should go to next time? How have you enjoyed these shorter form travel blogs? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of what dishes to make or places we should visit next. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share 🤗