Eating in DC: A Surprising Smithsonian Lunch

The last time we visited Washington DC we were not really wowed by the tourist dining at the Smithsonian. It was mostly heavy cafeteria fare, not very veggie friendly, but it was usually named after a state or city like Wisconsin Mac and Cheese, Kansas City Baked Beans, which made it charming.

We were expecting the same situation at the National Portrait Gallery.


We were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful cafe/dining area.



And some of our most favorite things to eat. We both had grilled cheese (not greasy at all).


I had veggie chips- very unexpected and exciting. My whole meal was Whole Foods in feel which was surprising.



The best part– they had pudding cups!

Vanilla for me.


And chocolate for JY.



With American old timey folk music playing in the background and it was probably our most fun, relaxing, and favorite meal of the trip!



dorito wednesday

“is today free chip day?!”

—–“the chips aren’t free but if you want them for your veggie then you can have them”

“YES! its free chip day!!!”

at the middle school level one wednesday a month is “dorito wednesday” or as the kids call it “FREE CHIP DAY.”  the technicalities of this are that doritos are made of corn thus they can be considered a vegetable choice.  at the high school level free chip day exists every monday.  now granted we are only allowed to sell reduced fat and baked potato chips and these chips are offered everyday for purchase.

the first dorito wednesday that happened we kind of forgot about it at the last minute.  the extra rack we fill full of bags of doritos hadn’t been put together so we just kind of pretended it wasn’t happening.  the only kids who asked about it were special ed and frankly i like those kids any ways so i let them get their bags of chips. mr ingalsbe, the 8th grade algebra teacher was also wise that it was free chip day.  the only lunch mr ingalsbe purchases is a coney dog. coney dog day always exists on free chip.  i let him have chips because i’m always trying to win ingalsbe over.  he has yet to eat a single breakfast we’ve made for him.

another experiment with the doritos happened this week, by pure accident.  we just forgot to put out the normal snack rack that has all the chips on it.  it wasn’t until the 7th grade lunch that i realized it wasn’t there.  out of almost 300 kids no one had asked about it.  since the hadn’t asked i decided to see how long it would take them to notice. only one 8th grade boy wanted to know where the chips were.  i think this means…..out of sight out of mind.  they only buy the snacks because they are offered, don’t offer them they don’t care.

the part that makes us all dread dorito wednesday now is the new federal guidelines.  in an effort to get kids to eat more fruits and veggies the new guidelines say that a meal does not have to include an entree (main dish).  a meal can be a combination of side items, 2 fruits and a milk, 2 veggies and a fruit, etc, etc.  we have yet to really promote this option.  can you guess why?  oh you want 2 bags of dortios and a slice of pizza ok that’s a meal.  you want 2 bags of doritos and an apple ok good to go.  all we would be serving is doritos.  i like what michelle obama is trying to do with revamping the guidelines for school meals, but until the government tells lobbyists that doritos aren’t vegetables even if they have corn in them or that tater tots aren’t a vegetable because they are made of potatos, the healthy options for kids at school have not changed at all.