DC - Purple Patch

DC - Purple Patch

What is the current state of Philippine Food and Culture in D.C.? was the first thought I had before packing my backpack, how will the chefs and restauranteurs welcome me there, a stranger from NYC with not many connections or knowledge about Philippine cuisine in our nation’s capital?

I was a bit nervous as the bus approached Union Station at around 2:20 pm on March 25, 2021 after about a 4-and-a-half-hour trip from Hudson Yards in NYC. Was this the correct move to come out here? Well, there’s no turning back now and our food tour of DC is about to commence ready or not.

My first stop brought me to Purple Patch which is located at 3155 Mt Pleasant St. in NW DC. We were met by Chef/Owner Patrice Cleary who gave us a brief tour and history of the restaurant. I would have to say that after spending 5 minutes with her you are automatically drawn to her energy. She is such a commanding presence taking stride from her military background and such a meticulous Chef, always aware of what’s braising in the oven. She is known as “Mama” to her staff, and she takes good care of everyone as if they were like her own children. She pivoted her upstairs dining room to be a “Sari Sari” store that carried all sorts of delicacies from the Philippines from different bottles of Rum to Ube, Ensaymadas and other artisanal products.

To begin our food tasting session, she made us start with some classic appetizers like Mama Alice’s Lumpia and Sizzling Sisig of course enjoyed with a San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen before moving to our main courses. We started with their famous 25 oz bone in short rib bistek with onion rings and potatoes. This for me was the highlight of our meal as the flavors of the dish just simply reminded me of back home and the tenderness of the short rib was simply magnificent.

Our last dish was the “Pancit Mahal” which was basically served in a clay pot dish loaded with shitake mushrooms, lechon kawali, chicken adobo and shrimp. This was a dynamite rice and flour noodle dish that had bok choy greens and just the right amount of soy sauce that wouldn’t make me stop eating it.

As our meal ended, I was simply overwhelmed with joy in finally being a guest of Chef Patrice here at Purple Patch. Meeting her on my 1st stop was the best decision I made as she quickly helped me organize my schedule for the next few days. She got on her phone and called other chefs and told them that I was coming over in the next few days…

If this was the indication of how the rest of the trip was going to be then I was in for a real treat… #KulinaryaTravels DC series will return next week for Part2.

Written by Jappy Afzelius

Originally posted at Republika Kulinarya

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