If you like a bit of history and a sampling of great local food, then a food tour is for you! In the Washington, DC area there are nine neighborhoods to choose from. Last time I was there, I was only able to visit one city, the historical village of Alexandria, VA. Spending the afternoon like this is a great way to meet like-minded people from all over the country who love and appreciate great food.

About the DC Metro Food Tour

This is a picture of Market Square in Alexandria.

Have you ever been to Market Square?

On this particular sunny, fall day we had a group of ten and one future foodie (age 9). We met in the historic Market Square, the oldest gathering place in the city. Two of us were from California (one from Northern and one from Southern); Colorado, Illinois, New York City and Wisconsin were also represented. Our tour guide, McKenzie, was a local college student attending George Washington University. He mixed in fun trivia and historical facts about Alexandria along with several local food offerings that he pre-arranged for our group. It was great to do a bit walking and learn some local history, too. Our three hours together flew by. It wasn’t too short (no one felt rushed) and it wasn’t too long; the amount of food offered was just right and well balanced.

The food that we sampled arrived promptly and it was all presented well. I call this good “plating.” Or, in other words, it tasted as good as it looked. What was my favorite item on the tour? The dessert, of course! And a close second was the gourmet Mac & Cheese with the crumb topping.

What bit of history did I learn on the tour? That George Washington, our Founding Father and first president was also the architect and city planner for the city of Alexandria. This is quite impressive, especially as he was in his early twenties at the time!

Would I attend another Food Tour from DC Metro? You bet!

My DC Metro Food Tour Highlight

Stop 1: Virtue Feed & Grain (You can see photos here and learn about their eco-efforts here).

We started with a bar snack of toasted corn and Virginia peanuts alongside locally-brewed wheat beer from Port City Brewery, “Optimal Wit.” For appetizers, we were served 3-cheese Mac & Cheese and Frisee Salad with Goat Cheese & Beets.

This is a picture of Virtue Feed & Grain's Mac & Cheese.

You will definitely want to try this Mac & Cheese!

This Mac & Cheese was decadent and creamy with just a hint of spicy heat – just the way I make it. It was served in small ramekins, the perfect portion size as an appetizer. After all, this was only the first stop on the tour; we had four more eateries to go!

Everyone in our group LOVED this Mac & Cheese recipe! As a group we even asked if the chef would share the recipe. Sadly, they were unable to do so, but I did give the server my email address and I was informed they would be happy to share a “summary of ingredients” soon. In the meantime, I’ve made a similar recipe that I can share (it’s my new favorite). My husband found a recipe for “Mac & Cheese with roasted Poblano” in the September 2013 issue of Spirit Magazine from Southwest Airlines.

A Dinner Diva Tip: Don’t be scared off by the amount of cream in this recipe! I know it’s large amount but it’s not a typo. Quality ingredients make the best dishes, and you actually reduce the amount of cream in half on your stovetop before continuing with the rest of the recipe.

What else did I get to sample when on the DC Metro Food Tour? Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll share more highlights!

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: Dinner-Diva.com for more info.