In the heart of Del Ray, Alexandria there is a retro-chic southern-ish restaurant called Evening Star. When you walk in, after you look for the oddly placed doorknob on the entrance door, it takes you back to a time when lemonade and iced tea were the norm. Diorama-style artwork cling to the walls telling stories of musicians from a time that I have glamorized over and over again. The menu is short, but sharp. I was first introduced to this quaint lil’ place on a Saturday morning when I woke up extra tired and extra hungry. Neil and I drove the 7 minutes to this place completely oblivious to what was in store for us. My mouth began to water as I looked over the menu (and as I write this now). There are dishes like “3 Hen eggs Your Way” and “French Toast: marinated brioche, nutella, candied pecans, and bananas”. As I sat there torn by my usual conflict of should I get savory or sweet for breakfast, I saw the dish that I couldn’t live without. I ordered the Duck Hash more out of curiosity than desire. I love duck, I love hash, surely it’s better together. Neil ordered Chicken and Waffles. It was late Spring and we snagged a table outside. While we waited for our food, I did my usual scoping of the portion sizes of our neighboring tables and inhaling of the pleasant flavors in the air.
My duck hash arrived looking extremely fresh with an a sunny-side up egg on top–prepared to perfection. The hash was a gooey delicious mix of potato, shredded duck injected with some serious flavor, and the runny egg. (Slap a runny egg on almost anything and I am a happy camper!) Our brunch informed me that indeed this was a place that I needed to try again and again. Each time I returned to Evening Star, I got nostalgia, bursting flavors, and satisfaction. The last time I went, I discovered a special new treat that they give away for free before dinner.
It was a random Wednesday night. I was too lazy to cook and craving some fish. Neil was hungry and flexible as usual. After finding a badass parking spot directly in front of the restaurant, we walked in quite hungry–it was 7 pm, two hours after my granny-dinner time. I chose the Seared Halibut that comes with sausage stuffed calamari, orzo and fava beans in a shiitake broth. While we waited, our server brought by the “bread” basket which consisted of corn cakes and sweet potato biscuits. Enter best biscuit I’ve ever had: the sweet potato biscuit. It was warm and soft on the inside so much so that you didn’t even need butter to moisten it. The sweet potato flavor added a richness that transports you back to the Thanksgiving table and a toasty slice of sweet potato pie.
Now, in recent years, I have taught myself to leave the bread on the table and eat what I actually ordered in favor of leaving the calories that love to help my ass grow exponentially on the table. This biscuit however, I couldn’t leave behind not just literally but emotionally as well. I walked away from that meal, which by the way the entree was an insane slurp of colors combining all at once in my mouth, thinking I have to make that biscuit at home and wishing for Autumn.
In a country where bread has become generic, it was nice to find a star. Thank you Evening Star for giving me a little bit of nostalgia, luxury, and dishes that allow me to remember the South, it’s music, and it’s comfort.