Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari is a hot springs spa theme park styled after an Edo-era town center. Once you walk through the doors and sign in at the front desk, it’s time to move through the magic time travel curtains. You find yourself transported back in time to a festival evening — stars in the sky and colorful lanterns all aglow. You find small shops, food vendors, a variety of spa services, and, most importantly, the entrances to gender separated hot baths of all kinds.
Walking into Martin’s Tavern is like taking a trip through time. While equestrian paintings are the prominent artwork on display, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a horse-themed restaurant. The original owner, Billy (William S. Martin), was a pro basketball, football, and baseball star who opened this Georgetown watering hole in 1933. Billy was on the 1914 Boston Braves team that won the World Series. His humble tavern has been a favorite of locals and several of our nation’s presidents, albeit before they were elected to the nation’s highest office.
Jose Andres — now a nationally-renowned chef with restaurants from South Beach to Beverly Hills — opened Jaleo, his first, in Washington’s Penn Quarter entertainment district in 1993. Recently renovated, Jaleo is bright and lively with large windows looking to the busy sidewalks outside. Our favorite dishes here include sauteed spinach with pine nuts, raisins, and apples; shrimp sauteed with garlic; and chorizo sausage with mashed potatoes and cider sauce.
Sobrino de Botin is the oldest working restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Founded by a French chef in 1725, Botin is now owned by Antonio Gonzalez and his family. Every day, they serve their world-famous roast suckling pig and roast lamb to tourists, celebrities, royalty, and regulars alike.
According to the French Quarter bartender serving my Sazarac, “the Easter Parade was the brainchild of ‘a well-preserved 80-year-old showgirl and her curated contingent of NOLA [New Orleans, Louisiana] friends.’” My back home NOLA-to-Seattle-expat colleague assured me the Easter parade would illustrate the grand tradition of genteel Southern ladies dressed in their Easter bonnets accompanied by dapper gents in boater hats. And the NOLA pedicab driver described it as the craziest, wildest party in NOLA second only to Mardi Gras.