It’s summertime and despite the fact that for most people that conjures up images of chilling on a beach or taking a luxurious hike, in D.C. that means we want to do more all the time. We want to see every new art exhibition. We want to dine at every beautiful new patio. We want to eat decadent lunches while we walk down the street (and back to our desks). My weeks (and weekends) haven’t gotten more relaxed as the days get longer, they’ve gotten more frenzied, more jam packed with activities.
In response to our frenetic summers (at least, this is my theory), D.C.’s lunch scene has exploded with take out windows and to-go options. And by exploded I mean I can think of… three places that have them. As chronicled by Eater, Bar Deco, Bantam King and Momofuku have made it easier to grab their delicious food and run out of the door like a mad person. Momofuku’s menu is especially interesting because their to-go menu includes everything on the sit down lunch menu (drink every time you read the word menu). Intrigued by the concept, we swung by to put those claims to the test. Which of their food is the most portable? Which meal could you grab a literally go (read: run)? Below, we’ve rated a few key items from Momofuku’s menu on a scale I like to call go-ability (a word I made up and I would not stop saying until someone reminded me ‘portable’ is a real word that actually exists).
ROTISSERIE PORK SHOULDER
If the perfect food to eat on the go is an apple (or a pear or any fruit that doesn’t require you to peel off the skin), Chef Tae Strain’s bing wraps settle nicely into the 7.5-8 range (depending on your own personal grace). Served cut in half and covered in foil, the wraps are easy to carry in one hand if you have normal adult sized hands (I don’t, but my problems are not your problems) and the bing wraps are soft, pillowy and easy to bite into. It also helps that Strain doesn’t overfill the wraps. Each bite has the perfect ratio of meat, rice and bing. My favorite was the rotisserie pork with roasted onions, daikon and a smattering of delicious kimchi mayo. You might not want to eat this while running to a meeting or maybe that’s exactly what you want to do. It’s your life.
CURRIED RED BEETS
If you are sitting down to have a luxuriously long lunch meeting, you should definitely order the curried beets. If you are running back to your desk because you only have 15 minutes to eat before your boss calls you to talk about a project you haven’t even started, you should still order this. Filled with chunks of succulent beets and layered with slivers of watermelon radish, the dish is refreshing a light with a bit of a spicy kick. Grab your bowl, grab a fork and shovel this baby into your mouth as you power walk down New York Avenue.
CHILLED SPICY PORK & SHRIMP NOODLES
Again, if you’re sitting down with your boss and celebrating a new contract with an old school mid day drink, go for the pork and shrimp noodles. Cold noodles are deeply underrated (especially in the summer) and Strain’s pork is so filled with flavor it will knock your socks off. Unfortunately, eating this dishing and hustling back to your desk is nigh impossible, only order this baby if you have the time to sit down and give it the attention it deserves.
SMOKED TROUT DIP
The only way you could eat this snack while moving would be if you filled your mouth with chips and then filled your mouth with dip (or vice versa). Don’t do that to yourself. The homemade salt and vinegar chips paired with the smoked trout, pickled onion and trout row sprinkles (they are an add on, but you should absolutely get them) are the perfect meeting snack. Grab it to go and then force all of your colleagues to eat them with you. They’ll love you forever (or at least for the rest of the day).
In conclusion, please don’t actually run while you eat any of these. It’s a choking hazard. You’re smarter than that.