Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gluten Free DC Marathon Weekend

Last weekend my crazy hubby ran the Marine Marathon in DC. That's him right after finishing 26.2 miles. Smiling ear to ear. It was really a wild experience. There were approximately 34,000 Runners, wheelchair racers and hand cyclists participating.

I am not a runner, as evidenced by the sticker Chris bought for me at the runner's expo:

Every place we ate over the weekend was really wonderful and warrant their own review but here's a quick recap and photos straight from my phone:

Saturday we drove up to DC and picked up his run packet in one tent and his shirt at the expo. By the time we were through with all the lines and vendors it was starting to get dark and we were hungry. We went to Shophouse Kitchen, a southeast Asian style restaurant. It's owned by Chipotle and while the set up is a similar concept to Chipotle the result is so different. Shophouse Kitchen's food is entirely gluten free, fresh, fast and truly one of the best meals I've had in a very long time. Authentic flavors made as mild or spicy as you like. I'd love a bowl right now. The green beans were spicy hot but really flavorful, the eggplant with basil was a mellow contrast and the cold rice noodles were a yummy, if messy, base. So far you can only find SK in the DC and Los Angeles areas but I'm hoping they spread quickly to Raleigh!

The marathon morning was sunny and perfect and I was able to watch some of it from our hotel room. As Chris' finish time grew near I headed up to meet him. I thought he made great time and couldn't believe he had energy to spare. We walked from the race down to the hotel and had a very brief encounter with Taylor Morris and his adorable girlfriend Danielle Kelly who had just run her first marathon in amazing time. They are one of the most inspiring couples you'll ever read about and it was an honor to get to say hello. Check the site, please.

After that we headed out to District of Pi for gluten free pizza. Chris had been here with Joe and Marc and Marie had visited, too. So I was the lone hold out. The gluten free menu is varied and includes lots of different options and it was hard deciding just what to get. We ordered far too much and enjoyed our pizza for lunch and again for dinner. The pizzas and salad were really good, but the caramelized onion dip and kettle cooked chips - something we never order - was so delicious. Creamy dip and warm salty chips - such a great combo. The leftover pizza was just as good cold at dinner time, the sign of good pizza in my book. =D

We had hoped to get to Macaron Bee after our pizza but they were closed before we could get over to the shop. DC is not an easy place to maneuver! Since I'd been in contact with Debby prior to our visit, I emailed my apology for not making it in when we got back to the hotel. We had been in touch since I'd written to see if they had any dye free macarons. (While a macaron is a delicious gluten free treat I am careful because many of them have food dyes which cause problems for us. There were several safe varieties at Macaron Bee!) Debby wrote back and told me she'd even set some aside for me on Sunday and I felt so bad for not getting there in time. Then she told me she'd be in the store Monday, their day off, and I could stop by! The shop is so cute and I loved the bee decor. Debby was as sweet as I imagined and had a lovely selection of macarons for me to choose from. I picked out a box for Marc and Marie and one for Chris and me. Even the packaging is perfect and makes for an even more special treat. The Earl Grey/Milk Chocolate, Expresso and Fleur de sel Caramel have all been perfect. Macaron Bee will be a must stop every time we visit DC.

We then headed to the freeway and trudged along in traffic for a while and as we got further and further away from the city the fall foliage was so pretty - just starting to turn. We had to stop for one more meal and made it a late lunch. Marc and Marie had found Burger Bach in Richmond, Virginia while driving home from Maryland last month and they raved about it. The burgers really were as good as they had told us but the fries were out of this world. Whenever you can get gluten free safe fries it's a good thing, but Burger Bach has unique dipping sauces that take them over the top! While you can get ketchup, you can also try a variety of sweet and spicy dips. We chose a cilantro sauce (right) that was creamy, mild and flavorful and a jalapeno remoulade (left) that had just the right amount of kick. We inhaled them.

I'd like to visit every one of these spots again and I bet you'd enjoy them, too.


R Brandsberg said...

Kathryn! What a fun weekend. Chris did a super job on the run - what a guy! And you did a great job reviewing the food. All looks yummy and great. I feel like I need to run after reading about all your delicious nibbles. haha!
Haven't ventured outside of WF to eat here. Asking for recommendations at TJ's though… :) Miss you!

chacha said...


I miss you friend!! In fact, I have a post started to link your delicious vegan chocolate mousse because everyone loves it so much. Another double batch disappeared in no time this weekend.

Chris amazes me all the time, wish I had his energy. =D I know you'll find lots of fun places near your new home. Hope your new coworkers are great - your old ones miss you, too.

Give your parents my love. xoxo

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Lovely, informative post, Kathryn! Congrats to your hubby! And I love all the good look you had with eating. I clicked on the Burger Bach link and was happily surprised to find out that it's located in Richmond. I visit Richmond much more often than I visit Maryland! You might want to change your write-up to show that it's in Richmond to help all of gluten-free Virginians out. ;-) Thanks for all the great reviews! If only I could do a travel post as succinctly as you!


chacha said...

Thanks Shirley, I can see that I wasn't clear and revised my sentence. There's a wonderful healthy food store in the same parking lot so plan to check that out if you try Burger Bach. =D