A Small Southern Town in Northwest Washington

hush puppy

D.C. has a long list of traditional southern-style restaurants, so you’d be forgiven for wondering why it needed another.  But you shouldn’t wonder after seeing Eatonville‘s unorthodox starter above — a single fried hushpuppy the size of a baseball filled with leek fondue and rock shrimp. It is seriously effing delicious.

Eatonville Restaurant

Set on the same 14th Street corner as sister restaurant Busboys and Poets, Eatonville is named in honor of Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem renaissance author and playwright. Hurston grew up in Eatonville, Florida, one of the first southern towns created by African-Americans after slavery ended. The name really made an impression on me as I realized how thoughtful they’ve been in putting the place together. From picket fences and rocking chairs flanking the bar to drinks served in mason jars, this was more than another DC restaurant with southern fare… I felt like I’d hopped a train to a small town in the Deep South.

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Eating on the Edge: City Island


Endless Simmer’s NYC-based tasting team is bypassing the cutesy outer borough neighborhoods and taking the subway to the end of the line, then getting on a bus and taking that to the end of the line, then seeing what we can find to eat.

This week’s destination — City Island — is seriously the edge-edge-edge of New York City. It’s kind of like an adorable New England fishing village, except it’s actually in The Bronx, retains just a smidge of that New York City grime, and you can get there on the MTA bus. Take the 6 train all the way to the end of the line, then hop on the Bx29 bus, which takes you across a bridge onto this amazing little island where they’ll deep-fry anything that swims. Just hope this fish isn’t too local.

frogs legs

Since we came this far, we figured we might as well go all the way to the water’s edge, where Tony’s Pier offers lunch at picnic tables right on the sound. As you can see, inside NYC or not, they’ve got pretty much the whole nine yards when it comes to summer-y fried seafood. Yes, even frog’s legs, which I’m pretty sure I disapprove of eating anywhere outside of Paris, but definitely in The Bronx.

fried clams

Instead I went with the pretty perfect fried clam strips meal. Most excitedly, it turns out Tony’s has pioneered a new form of serving a five-course meal. I call it the slow reveal. This looks like just a giant pile of fried clams, with a super-sad side salad thrown in for good measure, right? Wrong!

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