I slowed down posting on EatOrToss in October, but promise it was for a good reason! I stepped out of my kitchen for a bit to help organize a walking tour of some of the most sustainable restaurants in Washington, DC. Even if you couldn’t join us, you can come along for the ride below!
Did you miss the first-ever RescueDish Walking Tour during Recovery Week in October? No worries! Take the virtual tour now and make sure to visit these low-waste restaurants next time you’re craving a sustainable bite in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of the District! And, check back and follow @RescueDish (Twitter and Instagram) and @DCFoodRecovery (Twitter and Facebook) for updates on future events and tours. Special thanks to Eleni Maltagliati for photography!
Stop 1: Teaism!
Teaism has a special place in the RescueDish family because we believe it was the first restaurant in DC to actively promote dishes with underutilized ingredients. The tea house’s Trash-to-Treasure menu has been a mainstay for several years, and tour goers were lucky enough to sample the broccoli stem tots and pickled cabbage butts.
Stop 2: Beefsteak!
We were so thrilled to have a member of ThinkFoodGroup (helmed by famed chef and humanitarian Jose Andres) as part of our tour. Beefsteak, named for the tomato, not the meat, sells vegetarian bowls, salads, soups and burgers, with farmer-turned-restaurateur Bennett Hayes planning the menus. The fast casual restaurant also partners with Food Rescue US to make sure any food left over at the end of day is donated to people in need. Tour goers enjoyed a cozy “stems and peels” soup, made with broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and sweet potato peels in a butternut squash base from local soupery, Soupergirl.
Stop 3: Firefly!
Lead bartender Brendan Ambrose not only makes cocktails that resemble flower bouquets—he also harvests produce served at the bar and restaurant from the rooftop garden. At Firefly, whose décor makes you feel like you’re in a magical forest, tour goers were treated to two beverages. First came the Summer Sandia, a watermelon cocktail garnished with, naturally, pickled watermelon rind.
Next, we transitioned to fall, with the Great Pumpkin, a pumpkin spice drink made with pumpkins from Firefly’s rooftop garden, including ground up seeds.
Stop 4: Farragut Square!
We stopped in this square of greenery for an outdoor picnic of upcycled edibles! We started with samples of apple chips, made from foraged apples by Alexandria-based Together We Bake, which employees women who have faced significant challenges.
Then, we munched on snack bars from ReGrained,* a West Coast company that turns the spent grain left over from making beer into snack bars.
Stop 5: Equinox!
Last stop, Equinox, which we’re excited to report is in the thick of a mission to go zero-waste. There we enjoyed tempura fried wilted greens—they were past their prime for the salad treatment, but perfect for crunchy nibbles.
Equinox also makes a fab limoncello from the lemon peels left over after juicing. Limoncello normally takes more than a week to make, but with a sous vide system, bar manager Peter Grimm turns out each batch in just two hours.
Cheers to a great tour and to the participating restaurants and companies, who donated all of the bites and sips to support the RescueDish mission. And thanks to the sustainable foodies who toured with us, including Josh Singer, founder of the DC Food Recovery Working Group, Cheryl Kollin, program director for Community Food Rescue in Montgomery County, Maryland, Kristy Halderman, Chief Oat Officer at Blue Crate Oat Milk and Abby K. Cannon, nutrition and low-waste blogger with Abby’s Food Court. Finally, a shoutout to fellow tour organizers, Meggan Davis, Jessica Salguiero, Cara Blumenthal and Paloma Sisneros-Lobato! Happy RescueDishing!
*ReGrained ships nationally. Not only did the company donate bars to the tour — they are also generously offering a 15 percent discount if you enter EATORTOSS15 at checkout