My trip to Georgetown, by way of food

I recently spent a weekend in DC to attend my friend Ritu’s gorgeous wedding in Potomac, but also to visit another friend, Anum, and her hubby in their new digs (which HAPPENS to be only a mile away from Georgetown). I’ve passed by the area before by car (doesn’t count), but never really wandered around. On a pretty scorching Sunday, we decided to make a day of it. And also because Anum still doesn’t have a couch. First stop: Zenobia Lounge for lunch.

Zenobia Lounge

It’s so refreshing to get out of NYC sometimes, because the restaurants EVERYWHERE else have so much more room. This Middle Eastern restaurant is interesting because it calls itself a “multicultural cafe and bookshop.” It has loads of literature on all the different Arab countries, and even a small gift shop by the entrance. They also host Arabic classes and other workshops year round.

Inside Zenobia

We made our way to the back garden, where people were already smoking hookah in the afternoon. We ordered the mint lemonade which is the “mintiest” you’ll probably find on this side of town — so much so, it’s actually GREEN.

Mint Lemonade

I felt like i hadn’t had a latte in forever, so why not:


We then ordered some kibbeh to start, chicken shawarma with fries, and fatteh chicken.


Chicken shawarma

Fatteh Chicken

The kibbeh came out steaming hot and delicious (I always feel like kibbeh is a cross between a falafel and beef samosa). The chicken shawarma and fries hit the spot. When I ordered the fatteh chicken, I was not expecting what I got at all, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a yogurt dish with toasted pita, tahini, garlic, grilled chicken, pine nuts, cilantro and drizzled olive oil. It’s just so flavorful and delicious, but being ahem South Asian, we don’t know what to do with dishes without bread or rice on the side. So we ordered some:


The rice dish was a monster, and we ended up only eating a fourth of it because it just became too much food. But if you can manage, the fatteh chicken really is delicious on its own. When we managed to reach a satisfied full, we moved on to shop around a little (I scored some flares that would make Rachel Zoe proud), and then made our way to foodie stop #2: Serendipity 3.

Serendipity 3

I didn’t even know they had a Serendipity 3 there also, but the cool thing is it was still just as whimsical, but a little DC flair (check out the giant Abe Lincoln):

Inside Serendipity 3

I spy our 16th prez

My friends got the requisite frozen hot chocolate, mostly as a means to escape the heat for a little while:

Photo Credit: Faraz Hamedani 🙂

The two straws were for Faraz and Asghar

FINALLY, I refused to leave unless I tried some Georgetown Cupcake. Everyone in DC talks about them, and the 20-minute line out the door didn’t scare me at all.

Georgetown Cupcake

Decisions, decisions...

The lovely staff made the wait pretty bareable, giving everyone glasses of water who were waiting and just generally…happy? I think if I worked at a cupcake place, I’d be generally happy too though.

Display inside Georgetown Cupcake

Display inside Georgetown Cupcake

After poring over the menus they handed to us while we waited in line, I decided on carrot cake, red velvet, vanilla birthday, and less-than-promising-but-whatever-I’m-gonna-be-experimental mint julep.

Our cupcake feast

The verdict? I’m probably going to get hate mail for saying this, but I wasn’t totally impressed! Carrot cake was good but standard, red velvet was decent but I’ve had better, and the mint julep was barely ingestible. Granted, I didn’t even try anything chocolate (I’m generally not a chocolate cupcake person), and to their credit they were freshly baked and all. My favorite was the vanilla birthday….vanilla on vanilla. I don’t know if that says something more about me or the rest of the selection. And I appreciated that the sprinkles even had a little flavor, and not just the usual waxy toppings like most. I just felt they were slightly lacking in its texture (I like them really soft) and maybe I’m comparing them to the Sprinkles and Buttercups of the world. What do you guys think?

But alas, a day where 2/3rds of my meals are sugar still makes perfect sense to me.

Trip well done, kids

Anywhere else I should stop by next time I’m in G-town?

Restaurants’ Info:
Zenobia Lounge

1025 31st St NW
(at N K St)
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 339-0555

Serendipity 3 DC

3150 M St NW
(between N 31st St & N Wisconsin Ave)
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-5193

Georgetown Cupcake

3301 M St NW
(between N 33rd St & N Bank St)
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-8448


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Recent Comments


  1. Hajera A. wrote:

    not a good ramadan post. no points for shyyyy

    Posted 8.3.11
  2. fatty wrote:

    hahahaha, haji: ur awesome!!!

    Posted 8.3.11
  3. sidrah wrote:

    i agree..i tried georgetown cupcakes and wasn’t impressed either. i think dessert club chikalicious is on top of my list for cupcakes. yum.

    Posted 8.3.11
  4. asghar wrote:

    i was so delighted to see this blog post. COME BACK SHYEMA

    Posted 8.6.11
  5. shyema wrote:

    I was delighted to see you <3.

    Posted 8.6.11
  6. Wheezy F wrote:

    I got google’d by a co-worker and this came up. I am very very proud of that. And of my picture. And of your love for food. Thanks for making me hungry an hour after lunch.

    Posted 12.13.11
  7. shyema wrote:

    Haha that’s hilarious — if he knows you well, he would know it’s not strange at all that you’re an integral part to a food post. Miss you guys!

    Posted 12.13.11

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