A Star is Born

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. 

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