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Friday, November 9, 2007

Thing 79: Teaism

How do you know it's NaBloPoMo? Because you find yourself waking up early so that you can go out to breakfast on a weekday.
Teaism, next to Starbucks
I love Teaism. I really dig its Asian-inspired attempt at a little serenity, adjacent to a Starbucks. Their food is fairly healthy and simple, they sell beautiful tea-themed gifts, and as the name implies, they stock a vast quantity of teas. Their salty oat cookies are locally famous and even made it onto the list of scavenger hunt items (five points). But perhaps Teaism's greatest claim to fame is when our fair lady of the Food Network, Rachel Ray herself, ate breakfast at Teaism while in DC on $40 a Day. Never mind what Bourdain would say of this.

I followed in Rachel's footsteps this morning, when I found myself at the Dupont Circle location, hungry for my breakfast. Like their lunch menu, there is a mix of Asian and subcontinent flavors, along with some humble American favorites -- scrambled tofu, scrambled eggs with cilantro, chicken sausage with naan and raita, sourdough waffles. Their lunch menu is similar, ranging from organic turkey sandwiches to a selection of bento boxes, Thai curries and ochazukes (Japanese rice and tea soups).

I stuck with what I'd probably have eaten if I'd stayed at home -- Irish oatmeal. Though I have been topping mine with pumpkin butter, this one came studded with raisins and dried apricots and sweetened with honey. I ordered a steaming mug of chai tea, which tasted like honey and cinnamon, and came served in a really handsome, square, black ceramic mug.

Irish oatmeal and chai at Teaism
While waiting for my breakfast, I wandered over to the shelves of small gifts -- beautiful candles, books about tea, and tea bowls and pots handmade by a local ceramic artist. There's also little stacks of salty oat cookies wrapped in cellophane for quick purchase and discreet devouring, and bags of ginger scone mix. In other words, enough to start a Teaism in your very own living room!

Teaism in DupontI took my breakfast upstairs, to the empty dining room (the Starbucks next door was hopping though, which makes me a little sad) and ate my oats and nursed my delicious chai. The dining area is simple and serene, with Asian inspired black and white photography, rustic looking exposed beams, a low ceiling and cream colored walls. (The Penn Quarter location has a downstairs dining area with real coy goldfish in a small pool. I've never been to the downtown location).

Then I bundled back up and headed to work, one more Thing down, and 21 to go. Suggestions?


Jefferson M. Stovall said...

Rachel Ray? Seriously?

Tanya said...

Mmm. All the tasty treats at the Dupont Farmers Market. Tryst/ The Diner. The new Eastern Market. Falafel. Man, I love food :)