IGE in Washington D.C.


Greetings from our nation’s capital! :D


Ben and I grew up less than a mile away from each other, but his parents moved to DC last summer. Today, since the first time they moved here almost a year ago, the whole family convened for a 4-day vacay!


Crazy side story – Sigourney Weaver was on our flight from Des Moines to DC! As we were boarding our plane I was all… “Weird. That woman looks a lot like Sigourney Weaver. Clearly it couldn’t be her though. Why the heck would Sigourney Weaver be in Des Moines?!”


As we were waiting for our gate-checked bags in DC, standing directly across from the look-alike on the jet way, I whispered my suspicions to Ben. “I thought so too!!!” he replied.


She was with a guy who we assumed to be her husband (they were PDA’ing…) so I Google searched an image of “Sigourney Weaver’s husband” on my iPhone, and he popped right up. Sigourney Weaver was standing 2 feet away from me – HA!


According to several helpful sources on Twitter and Facebook, she was in Des Moines to speak at a local women’s talk series. So random that she was on my flight. I should have asked her about Ghostbusters… ;)


Anyways, Ben’s Dad picked us up from the airport and took us on a spin around town to see a few monuments and such before lunch. I am SUCH a history nerd – hello, I work at a museum – so I was geeking out!


When my in-laws moved here last summer, a reader told us to check out Easter Market whenever we made it out to visit. 058

It happened to be right by the restaurant we ate lunch at, so we popped inside to take a look!


Kind of a miniature version of the Ferry Building Market Place in San Fran, this indoor market had everything from fresh flowers, fruit & handmade Italian pasta,


to pigs feet, goat meat & enoooourmous fish!

040 041

Loved it!


Our stomachs began to growl, so Ben’s Dad took us across the street to a place he had seen on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Tortilla Cafe!


I took one look at the sign outside the door, and I was sold. PUPUSAS!


The inside is no frills, but what kind of frills do you need when Pupusas are on the menu anyways? And for $1.75 no less! :D


A traditional Pork Papusa was exactly what I ordered. It came out hot and was accompanied by spicy, crunchy cabbage slaw.




The outside was crisp, the inside was tender, and it seriously melted in my mouth. The vinegary heat from the slaw was literally. perfection. Loved it!


The Tortilla Factory’s Tamales were also featured on their Triple D episode, so I had to get one too. Fresh cornmeal wrapped around tender, baked chicken then steamed. Incredible.


Couldn’t have said it better myself. ;)


Well the troops have all rallied and we’re back at Ben’s parent’s place now.


Check out this view! :D


Awww, check out THIS view – Ben’s parent’s pup, Emma. Missed this little gal!


Off to go hang with the fam for the evening. We’ve got a full, 4 days of fun planned and we need our rest!

ps I’ll post the winners of the Sabra Hummus VIP Coupon Giveaway tomorrow!

See ya!


Are you into politics?

Eeeek, no. I have zero interest in politics. My Grandmother – who, at 92, is still VERY informed – hates this. ;)

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  1. Melissa 05.19.2011

    Can’t go wrong with a DDD recommendation! I love history, and I’m always trying to teach a little about history whenever I teach a novel to my class. I love showing them pictures from the historical context of the story. I’m a super-nerd–hello history-loving English teacher!

  2. Sarah 05.19.2011

    I LOVE pupusas—totally yummy! I really recommend the Museum of American History….enjoy DC.

  3. Mac 05.19.2011

    I’m not huge into politics, there’s too many people trying to tell you 1 million different things and the majority of them are lie… my political source is primarily my boyfriend. Enjoy DC!

  4. Karlee 05.19.2011

    I think everyone should inform themselves about “politics” at least somewhat, but I don’t think it needs to be a big dramatic thing.

  5. Steph@321delish 05.19.2011

    You’re in 321 territory!! :-) I love Eastern Market! Have fun with the fam:-)

  6. That puppy LOOKS like a girl! :) Have tons of fun and enjoy the museums!

  7. jad18 05.19.2011

    I think it is important to be informed about political issues, especially for voting but I do not like talking about politics b/c people get so angry/mean in political discussions. Seriously how do you guys have the time/money to travel so often?

    • AJ 05.20.2011

      I have that question too! It is great you get to travel so often. I am jealous!

  8. Shannon 05.19.2011

    Omigosh… in the picture for the Tortilla place I saw a sign for “Aqua Al 2″. I had NO idea there was one in D.C. The original is in Florence, where I studied abroad, and the sister in San Diego. They have the MOST AMAZING blueberry steak and pasta samplers. So jealous… and stoked there is one this far east (even if I am in Boston)!

  9. jenny 05.19.2011

    Oooooh…..you must go to 2amys for lunch or dinner!!!
    It is some of the best pizza in the world…seriously better than some i’ve had in rome, nyc, new haven, etc.

    goooooooooooo :)

  10. Amanda 05.19.2011

    That story about Sigourny Weaver is funny! I had a similar experience, where I saw Steve Buscemi (he is in lots of Adam Sandler movies) on my flight from Calgary (Canada) to New York. I totally recognized him but my boyfriend didn’t believe me. He was with a woman, so I googled “Steve Buscemi’s wife” and it showed a picture of them together. Bingo!

  11. I absolutely love DC!! My in-laws own a student travel company, so my husband and I have been tour guides there in the spring with junior high groups. :)

    Have a ton of fun!

  12. Kayla 05.19.2011

    Check out Jaleo (tapas restaurant) in the Chinatown area! :)

  13. Katrina Caldwell 05.19.2011

    I just started following your blog after you guest posted on Peanut Butter Fingers, and I just saw BGSU gear on your friends and family – did you graduate from BG? I graduated in 2009, and have been working there ever since – love to see the BG pride. Ay Ziggy Zoomba!

    • MOM 05.19.2011

      GO FALCONS! I went to BGSU & also graduated (in 1975, nursing:)! Best friend still works on campus in athletics!

      • Jil W 05.20.2011

        I had the same question about the BG clothes. I’m from Toledo originally and have noticed it before. I niece is attending BG. GO Falcons!!

      • Pops 05.20.2011

        MOM’s husband (IGE’s Dad) also went to BG and graduated in 1977. Go Falcons!!!!

    • Katrina Caldwell 05.22.2011

      I love all of the BGSU love :)

  14. Melanie 05.19.2011

    I was so excited to read your post as I moved from Iowa to DC (well, Arlington) a year ago. I was even more excited when I saw that you went to the Eastern Market, and even MORE excited when I saw that you went to the Tortilla Cafe! YUM! I have taken all of my visitors for lunch there – love their pupusas! :) Excited to read your reviews of other things you see/do/eat!

    • Amy 05.19.2011

      Like Melanie, I moved to the DC area about a year and a half ago from DSM and was so excited to see this post! Melanie, I’m glad to “meet” another Iowa girl in the capitol. :)

      Enjoy your visit, Kristin! And your in-law’s dog is so darn cute.

    • Emily 05.20.2011

      I was going to ask the same thing! Did you or Ben go to BGSU? I grew up about an hour away from BGSU, and my dad is an alumnus.

  15. Mary 05.19.2011

    The Air and Space Museum is my favorite! I hope you enjoy your visit. I’ve lived in the DC Metro area my whole life and there’s so much to see and do here! Enjoy!

  16. Amy 05.19.2011

    I think the reader who told you to visit Easter Market meant to go on the weekend, during the week day it’s no big deal. On the weekends, it’s a whole new place, and their breakfast is basically to.die.for. Try to go back during the weekend, it won’t disappoit. How I miss living in DC. It’s an amazing place.

  17. Meghan 05.19.2011

    Yay my adopted city! I lived by Eastern Market until a recent move. So many recs don’t know where to start and am sure you’re all booked up, but if you are in that area again try Ted’s Bulletin or Matchbox right on 8th St. So good! Enjoy the visit!

  18. how fun! i love dc!

  19. jen 05.19.2011

    Awe, have fun with the fam! Their view looks awesome!

    I am actually really into politics. I haven’t always been, but over the last few years, I’ve realized the importance of being informed.

  20. jennyv 05.19.2011

    I’m just enough ‘in to’ politics to have working knowledge w/ the who, what, and whys for my voting preferences. That said, I’m much more interested in our American history (politically and otherwise) than keeping up with the craziness in politics today.

    My aunt used to work for a senator and still lives w/in 45 minutes of DC. Having family at/near the nation’s captiol is HUGE! I feel like I’ve seen the DC area w/o being a total tourist!

  21. Lexi 05.19.2011

    I just fell asleep reading that little snippet about politics. OK, I didn’t really but that’s how much I care. Can I tell you how much I hate living in Iowa every 4 years!?

  22. Jenni 05.19.2011

    Hey! I’ve become quite a fan of your blog – I love everything that it stands for! Traveling, eating well, and staying fit. I am from central Iowa and also a HUGE history nerd. I graduated from Iowa State with a degree in Classical Studies and really, really want to work in a museum, so your entry today prompted my curiosity.
    So, if you don’t mind I have some questions! What was your major in college and what area of the museum do you work in? I am planning on getting my master’s in Library Science or Museum Studies very soon! And if it’s not too nosy, what museum do you work at? I had a collections management internship at one of the museums at Iowa State and I loved it! Sorry if I am rambling – talking about it just makes me very excited for my future!
    Have fun in D.C.!

  23. Erin 05.19.2011

    Emma makes me miss my Schnauzer!

  24. dmcgirl 05.19.2011

    The S.W story is lovely and I love that Grandma at 92 HATES that you are not interested in politics (even though from what I have read we don’t agree ;-) But I LOVE the the 10th picture down, Ben and the lady in the long dress in the isle! That is the coolest pic!

    IG, you rock the blogs, can I just say that!!??!!!

    Have fun G~~~

  25. Nicole 05.20.2011

    I love Washington, DC! It really is such a great place, especially at this time of year! I hope you saw some pretty cherry blossoms :)

  26. Lauren 05.20.2011

    How fun! I love DC. Have a wonderful weekend and it looks like you guys might get some sunshine this weekend. ;)

  27. Rachael 05.20.2011

    Such an amazing city! I’m taking my kids to Arlington National Cemetery for “flags in” next weekend and then we will squeeze in what other sites we can. This will be their first trip.
    As you probably know, it’s a foodie’s dream, too. And there are lots of runners there, too. Enjoy your trip!

  28. I also LOVE history. When I went to DC last year I was amazed by the US History Museum. Did you go there? I was so sad that I could only spend a couple hours there, because you could spend days there and not get bored!

  29. Hope 05.20.2011

    I really like exploring Washington DC! There is so much to see and do! Have fun! :) That puppy is so adorable!!!

  30. Linda Kidd 05.20.2011

    Politics not way.

    Love the BGSU shirt!

    • MAC 05.20.2011

      Go Falcons!!! Got stopped in the Milwaukee airport last week asking where I got my BGSU t-shirt bought while visitin YOU!!!

  31. McKenzie 05.20.2011

    I lived in DC for 4 years during college- if you are still in town you HAVE HAVE HAVE got to go to Founding Farmers near Foggy Bottom. This is not a joke. It was like you and that menu were MADE for each other!

  32. Teresa K. 05.20.2011

    oh oh oh! – That’s funny Sigourney was on her way to Washington D.C. – ever see the movie “Dave”? – awesome chick flick! great for conspiracy theorists as well!

  33. Tina Z 05.20.2011

    I am a political scientist, so yes, I am into politics! And food, which is what brings me to your blog.

  34. Jen Marie 05.20.2011

    Welcome to DC!
    I just discovered your blog two weeks ago and it’s been my good ol’ midwestern fix everyday since! It’s so entertaining and you inspired me to get back into writing in my blog again. Thank you IowaGirlEats! I’m living in DC now (originally from central Illinois) and Eastern Market is my stomping ground. It looks like you and Ben are having a fantastic time! Sorry it has been so rainy here but at least y’all will be in for a warm weekend! I’m sure you’ve planned your trip but just wanted to let you know that tomorrow there’s a street Asian Heritage Festival and it’s FREE! :) Right next to the capital building: http://www.asiaheritagefoundation.org/
    Have a great time in DC!
    P.S. So did Ben go to BGSU? I have family that went to Bowling Green and I’m excited to see him sporting his orange hoody!

  35. Jessica B. 05.20.2011

    That dog is super cute. Hope you have a great time in D.C. I was supposed to be there this weekend but we canceled it last week since we are out of town the next couple weekends.
    I am not into politics at all, my entire family loves it and I just don’t get it.
    P.S. What’s this BGSU stuff I am seeing? I went to Toledo and that was our rival!

  36. That is so cute that your grandma loves politics. I used to live in DC and miss it so much! Eastern market is the best!

  37. Julie S. 05.20.2011

    I didn’t realize that you & Ben grew up a mile apart. Did you guys know each other then?
    Cracks me up how you & another commenter both figured out that it was the celebrity you thought by Googling the spouse’s pic. A little bit creepy… :)
    Love the dog!
    Have a great vacay! Can’t wait to hear all about your trip & see some great pics! I’m living vicariously, girl! :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.24.2011

      Yep! We were in the same Kindergarten class and everything – but didn’t start dating until our senior year in college!

  38. lauren 05.20.2011

    Is ben wearing a BGSU hoodie? Bowling Green? My wife graduated from there!

  39. Emma 05.20.2011

    Right next to Tortilla cafe is Acqua Al 2 which is an amazing restaurant! There is one in Firenze and one in D.C. Order the blueberry steak :) Sounds a little weird but it is famous in Firenze, so it can be like you are in Italy!

  40. That’s so great! I love Eastern Market and Tortilla Cafe so much!!! I went there before DDD filmed and I may have had a minor freak-out when I found out they were going to be on. I totally agree with the other commenters here, Founding Farmers and Ted’s Bulletin are amazing (if you do go to FF, you should probably call or go on Tasting Table, they get B-U-S-Y). Have a great time!

  41. Welcome to DC!!! It should be beautiful here this weekend!!

  42. Faith 05.20.2011

    Try the Old Ebbitt Grill. It is great. There are tons of amazing places to eat in DC. YUM!! I wish I lived close by again.

  43. I was sitting next to Clemence Poesy (from Harry Potter & 127 Hours) at LAX a few months ago. I was having an “is it her? is it not her?” moment, when I whipped out my iPhone, googled images, and confirmed my suspicions. I felt so mischievous, and a little bit like a stalker… The view from your room, and those tamales, look amazing! Have fun!

  44. Machelle 05.20.2011

    LOVE the cute doggie! i do follow politics a little. i’m for smaller goverment, less taxes, more personal resonsibility, but none of that ever seems to happen no matter who i root and vote for so it gets discouraging for me! have fun in DC!

  45. Carolina 05.20.2011

    Love the indoor market, looks amazing! And Emma is so cute, she looks just like my pup Rocco who I love. Have fun in DC!

  46. Lauren L. 05.20.2011

    I am visiting DC this weekend too! The last two days for lunch we went to “We The Pizza” on Capitol Hill for pizza. AMAZING. Seriously. So awesome on Thursday we had to go back today even with the infinite amount of food choices in this city. If you have time, do it.

  47. Karla 05.20.2011

    Not to be picky but you went to Eastern Market in DC, not Easter Market. I lived there a few years ago and Tortilla Cafe was one of my faves.

  48. Definitely into politics but It’s hard discussing it with other people. I don’t think it usually gets me anywhere. I’d rather just be informed and talk about it with my bf & immediate family.

  49. Colleen 05.20.2011

    I’m not really into politics, but I went to a tiny conservative liberal arts school for undergrad and had to take constitution and political econ classes. My constitution professor gave us all pocket sized copies of the Constitution to “reference for everyday debates.” :) Enjoy DC!!

  50. Karla 05.22.2011

    I dream of going to D.C… for now I’ll live vicariously through you :)

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