Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel
9939 Universal Boulevard
Jetting from one corner of the US down to almost the exact opposite quadrant is something that I never enjoy. I realize its just one country, but man, can America seem massive some times. And I’m not just talking about the gigantic people I sometimes get sat next to on the airplane. So after a day long journey, a taxi ride once I landed and a groggy check-in past the dinner hour, I was in no mood to check in with my mates (one of whom had arrived two hours before me) and desperately needed to eat something as I got into my room. Thank goodness for that wonderful thing called room service.
Those massively, old fashioned binders that house the pages of the hotel’s restaurant options had some not bad looking choices, but room service was limited to just the one. Fine, I thought, let’s just roll with it. It seemed to be from the Cafe Osceola located on the main floor, and their menu choices were pretty standard fare variety American family fare. As I really hadn’t had anything substantial on the plane rides (after all, who wants airplane food?), I thought it might be overwhelming but decided to get a French Onion Soup to begin with. I should have taken the plastic wrap in taking this shot – so excuse the shiny glare. It was a good size, easily the palm of my hand. A thick layer of oozy cheese was cut through, revealing a very thick with bread cubes soup. Rich and flavorful, and not too salty. The only downside with room service is of course, the temperature of the soup had cooled somewhat, to the point where it was getting just above warm.
National Pastime Sports Bar & Grill
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbour, DC
Some places and food just go together. As a lifelong baseball fan, for me, this sport is all about hot dogs. Its part of the experience of seeing MLB games live. Strangely enough, having been through enough pork processing plants in my lifetime and gaining a full view into what goes into hot dogs, you would think I’d stay away from them. Alas, I can’t when it comes to watching America’s favorite pastime. This isn’t even limited to the outdoor environment, as if there is a game on in the bar, I’ll look to see if there are any ‘dogs in the house. Yup, I’m predictable that way.
For those fans of the sport, you’ll know that Canada lost one of its top professional teams to the Americans. The glorious Montreal Expos franchise that gave birth to so many amazing players has relocated to Washington, DC. The Nats as they are affectionately called are a fairly forgettable bunch, without a winning season in six years of their new existence. I wondered when I came across this sports bar within this massive hotel facility, if it was tied to the franchise (I did see a logo on the front glass), given its name. Its a little mixed, as I did see a lot of football paraphernalia adorning the room, including a pretty cool display case with helmets from all of the NFL clubs. Looking for a quick bite to eat and to catch a glimpse of whatever sports game was on the gigantic screens that covered on side of the room, we were quickly seated by a slightly unenthusiastic hostess at one of the high tables in the middle of the floor. A prompt order of some non-alcoholic beverages – since we were on the clock – and so began our lunch.
In stark contrast in both volume as well as price (five times more!) to the English Breakfast I had the previous day, I had to have a very early morning, room-service delivered meal before heading out of my hotel room by 6am, as I had a very long day in the city of London.