Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Colonial Diet at Gadsby's Tavern

Ever since moving to DC over five years ago, I have been looking for an excuse to try Gadsby's Tavern, the quirky Old Town Alexandria landmark established in the 1770s, and famous for purportedly serving George Washington.  When I heard about a benefit dinner that showcased Yard's Beer paired with four courses for $85 a person, I thought I had found the perfect opportunity to sample this institution and enjoy a night of good food and great beer.

Wrong!  And here is why:

The night, which began in the adjacent museum, started with an incredibly strong fowl "Is it rude if I hold my nose odor" that was so pervasive it lingered all night.  That odor, from what I could tell, a combination of body odor and dirty clothes, was none other than the Yard's Brewery representative.  His stench was truly vile.

Gadbsy's Tavern: Roasted Duck with Whipped Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
And the food was not much better than said stench.  After being treated to Colonial cuisine (euphemism) all night, I am proposing a new diet based on this fare.  As a woman that loves to eat, I would be a size 0 if all I had to eat was bland potatoes, salty, tough duck, and rubbery, flavorless vegetables.  It was disgusting. 

The other issue was the beer pairings were really small--we were poured four 6 oz beer samples throughout the three hour experience.  If there was ever a night where I would have appreciated large mugs of beer -- didn't they have that back in the day? -- it was this one.  The beer may have helped mask the blandness ofthe food and allowed us for a minute or two to forget about that odor.

Gadbsy's Tavern: Spruce Custard over Gingerbread
The best part of the night was Dairy Godmother's creation of Yard's Spruce Ale custard.  Finally, some flavorful, savory food and not a bit too soon!

It is safe to say that I have had my fill of Gadbsy's.  Stop by for the history, but save yourself the misery and the money and head to one Cathal Armstong's many offerings in Old Town Alexandria for some truly terrific eating and drinking options.

Gadsby's Tavern on Urbanspoon

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