The end of August was my most hotly anticipated trip of the year: going to the NOVA Open in Washington DC. The event itself has nothing to do with food (it's actually a miniature waraming convention), but there is new and delicious food on every corner. We stayed in a different hotel this year than last, and this one came with a full service restaurant in it as opposed to a tiny cafe to pick up breakfast and breakfast only.
We ate there twice in one day just because it was so easy to get to and fit in a nice, sit down meal in between events at the convention across the road. Lunch service was our first experience at Socci, a little Italian-American type joint that doubled as a semi-fancy bar. I would never call what I ate there full blown, purist Italian, but that’s not to discount the value of what they’ve got going on there. The name Socci didn’t betray the actual cuisine we’d see there, so when I saw a lot of Italian ingredients on the menu, I was a little surprised.
Nestled in Arlington, Virginia is a tapas establishment known as Jaleo. I found myself in the area for NovaOpen 2018, a miniature wargaming convention that my husband and I had been looking forward to for the whole year. While we enjoyed our shared hobby, I made sure we had some time to check out some of the high end establishments in the city. Jaleo was not a planned stop, but one we found during an Uber drive to the nearest Shake Shack with some friends that came down to meet us.
It was a blur in the driver’s side window when we first saw it, noticed by my notorious baking waifu Amanda. We kept note of it even as the pair of us suffered through sinus induced car sickness. When dinner time came, and we wanted somewhere within walking distance of our hotel, Jaleo popped into the conversation. It was decided. I would try a tapas meal for the first time.
We stayed in the Courtyard by Marriot in Arlington, and the building for Jaleo was maybe three long city blocks away. The sun had gone down, and the swampy humidity of the DC area had mostly let go of the streets. We walked in, slightly under dressed in our jeans and leggings, and we were seated despite not having a reservation. We were all excited, even my husband.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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