I just got home from walking with my husband through the Adams Morgan Festival, which is a street fair that celebrates local establishments in my neighborhood in DC. This was the first time I have been able to attend since moving here 5 years ago. After running errands all day, I was tired and not expecting much from the outing to the street fair. We got to 18th Street, and it was packed. This morning’s rain storm gave way to sun, and everyone’s mood was elevated – everyone was dancing, smiling and eating their way up the street.
I was impressed with the food scene immediately. Local food trucks, restaurants, and DC foodies were out in full force selling their products. The aroma of grilled meat lured us from stand to stand. It was our “No Reservations” moment, and I think Anthony Bourdain would be proud. One stand, however, stood out from the rest. The owner’s name was Sang and she was from Vientiane, Laos. Since Jeremy and I are planning to be in South East Asia in less than 7 weeks we knew we had to give her stall a try. We ordered pork meatball skewers and a steamed pork bun. We spoke to Sang while we waited for our order, she told us about Laos and kept giving us free rice and water because “we are friends” and we are “visiting her homeland”. We collected our huge order, and in true street food dining style we moseyed to the sidewalk, sat down and dug in. We were blown away by the meatball skewers. They were tender, savory and had a nice essence of ginger. While cooking the meatball skewers Sang must have glazed them with a sweet and sour sauce, which gave the meatballs a delectable lacquered coating. The combination of flavors represented South East Asia at its best - sweet, salty, spicy and sour. It was the perfect bite of goodness, and I wanted to eat more.
It was a great day in Adams Morgan - so many diverse people laughing and dancing together, eating and drinking, joined by the love for a neighborhood. I am back at home now, and I can’t stop thinking about the experience of the meatball skewers. I have been inspired by my late lunch at the fair, and I will replicate the tastes in a recipe. Of course, I am even more excited to get to South East Asia!