Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Driving to Asia? Culinary Adventure in DC


The view from the rooftop bar, Whiskey Charlie

Driving to Washington, DC, can be a tragic mistake, with traffic jams and short tempers. But on our recent trip, we had smooth sailing.

And we stayed at a waterfront hotel where we could have gone sailing - or kayaking, or on a water taxi.
First, a Korean car. Then, Korean food

Not only that, we 'drove' to Asia, courtesy of a new restaurant, Kaliwa, that featured food from Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. And we were driving a Korean car, a Hyundai.

First, the car: thanks Hyundai

The Wharf 'street' for cars, walkers, bikers and runners
We hit the road early in the 2018 Hyundai Elantra on a Thursday, hoping to avoid weekend traffic on I-95. And we did. In fact, the only traffic at all was around our hotel, the Canopy by Hilton. This hotel is part of the new District Wharf development. The area is still under construction, so it can get pretty hairy or there.
#drivehyundai

Apple CarPlay in the Hyundai Elantra
Also, the 'street' along the Wharf is for cars, bikers, runners and walkers, with no clear delineation. We stuck the car in the hotel's garage, and only used it to drive our daughter home at night.

The Hyundai Elantra has Sirius XM radio, so we had great music for our whole drive. And our phones connected with Apple CarPlay so we could listen to a podcast or two. The GT model that we drove had premium speakers and the cabin was quiet, even with the windows open.

There was a wireless charging pad, as well as a USB port for charging.
Pickled vegetables at Kaliwa

Asian food, a short walk from the hotel

District Wharf has quite a few restaurants. The Canopy by Hilton hotel has a rooftop bar, Whiskey Charlie. Bar food like crab cake sliders and a warm soft pretzels with beer cheese sauce stave off hunger. We had just two of us drinking, so we couldn't have the cocktail tankard. These giant cocktails serve 4-6, and you aren't even allowed to get one for less than 4 people.

By rooftop standards, $52 for a cocktail that serves 6 is a bargain. We had delicious Manhattans. There is, naturally, a great selection of bourbon and rye.

Korean vegetarian bibimbap
Kaliwa, a short walk from the hotel, divides its menu into three sections. There were no vegetarian choices on the Philippine section, which I expected.

From Korea, we had vegetarian bibimbap. This stew of pickled vegetables and rice had a spicy chili sauce. A sunny side up egg topped it

We also got a plate of more pickled vegetables. The sweet pickled shiitakes were delicious.

Thai crab curry
The Thai Kaeng Daeng was blue crab with red curry. Since it was rich, I were happy to share with 3 others. The stir fried green beans retained their crunch and the clams with black beans was so generous we couldn't finish it.

We also took the Hyundai Elantra with us to shop in Dumbo, Brooklyn
Drinks include a wide variety of Japanese beers. There are rice lagers and rice ales, beers from Korea and the Philippines and cocktails that include tropical fruits, Thai chilies and ginger.

We ate outside, watching the water lap the boats bobbing on the Potomac and felt transported far from I-95.

Note: Hyundai loaned us the Elantra GT for this trip. Opinions expressed are my own.

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