DC CITY GUIDE: BEEFSTEAK + CILANTRO MOJO SAUCE
With Andrew in the midsts of training for two consecutive triathlons, I often find myself questioning the validity of, or I suppose drive behind, a (my) proclaimed ‘life in motion’. A pseudo-anti-antiquated designation I’ve taken upon myself to rationalize an absence of overall fitness direction, but also appreciate the lack of quantifiable-ness found in my days worth of walking, jittering, bopping; the movement for movements sake. Not diminishing my periodic yoga practices or intended jogs – those do happen too, but instead celebrating the naturalness of the unintended.
A few month’s back I buzzed my sister – ranting about the life a student, one student to another, the isolation and stiffness mustered from the confines of a desk, the stress found in deadlines. With gentle ease she replied simply, “Sissy, you’re not a tree. Move”. With our legs and our minds we have the opportunity to pick ourselves out of any situation – those harder days, that stiffness – and not only change our positions, allowing our arms to stretch and our jaws to yawn, but our minds to wander and our attitudes to redirect. While still honoring the intention behind training, a designated afternoon cycling class, Zumba – it’s essential we not only take note of calculated movement, but recognize those little unintended moments as life giving and nourishing in themselves.
Although I’d classify myself as the ‘at-home-luncher’, relying on the leftover one-pot meals of dinner’s past, or a light salad or smoothie to carry me through until snack time, there are many afternoons that take me out of my kitchen, no home cooked bite in sight. Constantly on-the-go and perhaps a bit too awkward to find myself as good lunch company, I tend to seek out some semblance of fast and nourishing. That perfect nibble located somewhere in the land between supreme health food and crispy battered tofu and ranch sandwiches that can keep up with my motion. Located in the heart of Washington, DC’s George Washington University campus, Beefsteak, Chef Jose Andrés’s latest fast, casual, and vegetable-centric concept, provides eaters just that – light, cozy bowls packed to the brim with unique combinations of flash-boiled vegetables, hearty grains, bright sauces, raw salads, and a little added crunch. With menu options ranging from the ‘Frida Kale’, made with rice, wilted kale, black bean and spicy tomato sauces, and raw cherry tomatoes and corn nuts, to the Asian inspired ‘Kimchi-wa’ with edamame, toasted sesame seeds, and soy ginger dressing, I prefer the make-my-own-combination approach. Finding bowl inspiration in the many (though, not all) locally sourced and seasonal vegetables, I fill my bowl with lots of greens, most recently kale, spinach, zucchini, and snap peas, bight cilantro sauce, and avocado, all atop their warm, fiber and protein rich quinoa. This summer, Beefsteak is also offering patrons a bright tomato gazpacho and (now) vegan-friendly beefsteak tomato sandwich with avocado, sprouts, onion, and ‘mayo’. Bowls begin at an affordable $7.99 with meaty add-ons ranging from $1.59-$3.99. Be sure to gawk at the ‘vegetables, unleashed’ wall decor and grab a box of water on your way out.
note: Beefsteak’s kimchi is made with anchovy paste.
Beefsteak’s Cilantro Mojo Sauce [makes 16 servings]
This light and herby sauce is the perfect addition to your at-home grain bowls, used as a marinade for roasted or grilled vegetables, or served as a dressing atop a raw veggie packed salad.
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2/3 cup grapeseed oil
2/3 cup olive oil
1 bunch cilantro, 2-inches of stem trimmed and cleaned
In a sauté pan over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds until just fragrant. Grind using a mortar and pestle.
Transfer ground cumin into a food processor fitted with a S-blade and add salt, garlic, vinegar, and oils. Start on the lowest setting and increase speed gradually to blend everything until smooth. Roll the cilantro into a bundle and roughly chop. Return the processor to the lowest setting and add the cilantro. Increase the speed to medium and blend until the cilantro is just puréed, about 30-60 seconds. Set aside until ready to use.
Nutritional Information [per serving = 2 tablespoons]
160 Calories, 18g Fat, .4g Carbohydrates, 0g Fiber, 0g Sugar, 0g Protein