For those who aren’t familiar with this, What I Ate Wednesday (#WIAW) is a really popular link-up in the food and fitness blogging world where bloggers post photos of their eats and munches over the course of the day. I’ve never shared what I eat in this manner before because I honestly don’t think it’s that interesting. This may come as a surprise, but I can guarantee you that even though I post fun recipes each week, I do not eat creative things every day! My lunch typically consists of a salad of some sort and I am a huge fan of scrambled egg and toast dinners (it’s at least a 1x per week event, all my former roommates can attest to this). And breakfasts are usually one of the same few things: a smoothie, a bowl of cereal with fruit, or oatmeal of some sort (though, as a sneak peak, a new breakfast idea will be coming to you next week)!
However, since I started working on my book about food and drink in Loudoun County, I’ve noticed that my lunch pattern has changed substantially. There are days where I drive out to Loudoun (60 to 90 minutes away thanks to lovely D.C. area traffic), interview two or three business owners back-to-back and have maybe 20 minutes to eat something. A lot of my interviews are in rural places so there aren’t many, if any, stores or cafes to go to. Other times, my interviews have led me to some of the more populated parts of western Loudoun, such as Leesburg and Purcellville, and I’ve been able to grab a quick bite from a few small restaurants there.
So, today’s post is inspired by the #WIAW idea, but specifically relates to what my writing partner and I eat when we go out to do these interviews. Listed below are the various lunch scenarios we encounter and what we’ve done when they arise. Enjoy!
When we have less than 20 minutes between interviews and/or are out in the middle of the countryside without a restaurant or gas station to be found for miles and miles (gahh…such a horrible idea, right?):
- I pack snacks, such as Lara Bars (or this homemade version that I made a few weeks ago), fresh fruit, and nuts and bring them with me to munch on as needed.
- If we get into a jam and don’t think to plan ahead, which happens a little too often, then we try to find a local farm stand to grab some fruit, yogurt, or other snacks. One of the most memorable lunches I’ve had is eating Amish-made kettle corn and yogurt while sitting on top of a hen house in Lucketts (see top picture!).
When we interview alcohol-related companies:
- One of two things typically happens when we go to a winery, brewery or distillery. The first option is that we don’t drink anything, likely because we already know the company’s products and feel comfortable with them. The second option is that we do have a few sips if we’re feeling adventurous (we make sure to snack first). This has led to sampling seasonal ales at 9:30am, wine at 11am and whiskey cocktails at 2pm in the afternoon (note: not all in the same day). And this is considered work?! The photos above are from Old 690 Brewery, Catoctin Creek Distillery and Stone Tower Winery – all fabulous places to visit and try.
When we actually have a moment to grab lunch, and are in a location that has small restaurants or cafes:
- Market Burger, Purcellville – Delicious, local angus beef burgers, fries, and tater tots (<— so yummy). They also make a fabulous veggie burger. Shakes are also one of their specialties, but that would have been a little too much for me the day I ate there so can’t speak to how they taste.
- Haute Dog and Fries, Purcellville – A fun and surprisingly stylish cafe where you can build-your-own hot dog (beef, local sausage or veggie!). They also offer things like sliders and get all of their animal products from local farmers, many of whom we interviewed. Their garlic fries are delicious.
- South Street Under, Leesburg – A small cafe that bakes some of the most delicious ciabatta you’ll ever smell and lay your eyes on. Lots of soups, salads, prepared-cold salads, and sandwiches to much on – it’s like a more local Panera concept.
- Puccio’s New York Deli, Leesburg – A cute family-run sandwich shop in downtown Leesburg. Their sandwiches are massive, but really delicious and have an Italian theme.
When we get too wrapped up in our interviews and realize we haven’t eaten in a long, long time:
- It happened on one interview with the family who runs Fields of Athenry Farm; somehow four hours flew by in what seemed like seconds. Their story is fascinating and I just never thought about food while we chatted. I also kept getting distracted by their adorable, not-so-little Saint Bernard, so no lunch that day was ok.
When we have working lunches:
We are now getting into the meaty part of the book-making process: writing! One working lunch has been had so far and sadly, I didn’t get a picture, but it was a delicious spread of fresh grapes, cheddar cheese, pita chips, yogurt, and some guacamole. We both like snack-type of lunches rather than big meals (except for when burgers and hot dogs call, hah), so this was perfect.
So that’s it! As a reminder – I’ll be blogging here about the book over the next few months. We’re targeting an October release date which is fast approaching! If you’d like to get up-to-date info on when we will publish and other exclusive details, you can sign up to get email notifications on our landing page (scroll to the bottom and provide your email). Your email will not be used for any purpose other than to notify you of book updates.
I’ll end with a few questions for you:
- Are you surprised by what we’ve been eating during our interview and planning process?
- Have you been to any of the places I listed out?
- What else do you want to know about the makings of Capital Food and Drink?