When I heard The Food Network was doing a casting call for a special episode of Chopped that would feature amateur chefs/home-cooks, I obviously applied (and made it to the final round of auditions). During that process however, I realized a few things. The first thing was that while I loved to cook, I had no clue how to talk about cooking or tell people about food. I sounded like Kim Kardashian cry-talking; being like, “Crispy pork skin is the best because it’s crispy, and amazing, and BBBLLLREEEGGGG JUST EAT IT!!!” This had to be fixed. So I started doing some research and looking up local food bloggers to see if other people could articulate the emotional response bacon gives other than saying, “It’s so freaking good, man!”
WHILE I LOVED TO COOK, I HAD NO CLUE HOW TO TALK ABOUT COOKING. I SOUNDED LIKE KIM KARDASHIAN CRY-TALKING: “CRISPY PORK SKIN IS THE BEST BECAUSE IT’S CRISPY, AND AMAZING, AND BBBLLLREEEGGGG JUST EAT IT!!!”
Enter Jenna Golden and EatMoreDrinkMore.com. She cooks, she bakes, she eats, and she writes about all this with poise, and real adjectives! But in all seriousness, Jenna’s blog is down to earth and sincere. Much like Jenna, who assures me she is not a millionaire from the Twitter IPO launch…but we’ll see about that.
Jenna is that weird person in DC who is actually from DC, well, the surrounding area at least which is increasingly rare. “I have lived in DC for just about 9 years now,” she says. “I grew up in Maryland and always knew I would come back to the area because of my interest in politics and my love for this city. I have a good feeling I’ll be here for the rest of my life.” Jenna’s like many in this town, and certainly many FamousDC.com readers. I like to think it’s the charm of DC, but like stockbrokers in New York, most of us just have to be here to do what we do. It’s a blessed-curse.
When she’s not telling you, how “the cheese sauce added the perfect punch to the fluffy frittata” she’s crushing it in Twitter’s DC office on the sales team. I mean, a Twitter employee with a food blog?!? Ugh, you win.
Jenna started her blog, EatMore DrinkMore in 2010 as a group blog. “For about a year there were three of us that were regularly posting content, but since 2011 I have been the sole blogger for the site and now manage it on my own,” she says. The site has a recipe component and Jenna’s favorite thing to cook is Italian. “I make a mean homemade tomato sauce and I love to throw together a baked ziti.” Well I will see your ziti any day and raise you braciole! Sorry, us Italians get feisty.
But, her culinary pursuits aren’t always as flawless as her typically put together appearance or her aesthetically pleasing blog. She has been known to serve some finger with her mac and cheese. “Last year during a cold night in December I decided to cook a homemade macaroni and cheese,” Jenna recounts. “I got all of the fancy ingredients like Gruyere and Fontina, and I thought using my cheese grater would be the perfect way to shred the cheeses. A few minutes into shredding I had also shred part of my thumb! I ended up in the ER with three stitches, and totally lost my appetite for macaroni and cheese for a while.” Yeah- step away from the grater, crazy lady!
Another reason I like Jenna is because she is real. She doesn’t live in Clarendon but only eats dinner on Barrack’s Row. She stays true to her local spots. And, living in the same hood, I appreciate that. When Jenna needs some comforting, she heads to “Stoney’s for a grilled cheese sandwich or chicken fingers.” Why? “It’s been there since 1968 and has weathered all of the neighborhood changes and still knows how to make the best bar food,” she comments.
“IT’S BEEN THERE SINCE 1968 AND HAS WEATHERED ALL OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGES AND STILL KNOWS HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BAR FOOD,” SHE COMMENTS ON STONEY’S.
Some of her all around favorite places to eat in the neighborhood are “Posto, Cork, and Ghibellina. I can walk into these restaurants at any time and I always feel welcome.” When she wants to leave the ‘hood and bust out some of that sweet, sweet Twitter IPO money, she sayd, “My favorites spots for a splurge are Fiola, Blue Duck Tavern, and Rasika. Other favorites are Zaytinya and Acqua Al 2 which are such solid restaurants that never disappoint.”
Many people have opinions on the DC area food scene – what does Jenna think? “I think our scene is fantastic and gets better by the day. We have so many new and exciting places opening on a daily basis (Bluejacket/The Arsenal, Rose’s Luxury, Doi Moi, Thally, and Baby Wale to name a few), and we have an incredible variety of options.” All of these options, Jenna thinks, are bound to send DC to becoming a Michelin stared restaurant city. “I think it’s bound to happen,” she tells me. “I wouldn’t say “we” (as a city) want it or desire to have it, but given the pace of growth, the caliber of chefs, and the innovation, we’re likely to get there.”
Fancy or not, Jenna keeps it real. She loves carbs, very into pancakes/French toast for brunch, and loves a good burger on “a killer bun that is soft enough to soak up all of the juices.” If she’s tweeting #MyFavoriteBurger, she’s at Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons. “Their lamb burger with tzatziki is the best,” she adds.
Burgers can sop up things, but has Twitter kept her brain sharp? It’s time for the Feasting Famously Fast Fivewhere I say words, and Jenna says the first thing that comes to mind.
Bacon: Piggly Wiggly
Hashtag Hashtag: Tater tots
Holiday cocktails: Bourbon Steak
Sweatpants in public: Madhatter
I think someone once Tweeted about being in a Piggly Wiggly in sweatpants eating tater tots then woke up at Madhatter with pancakes in their pockets and a Bourbon Steak giftcard. No? Well, someone should.
A TWITTER EMPLOYEE WITH A FOOD BLOG?!? UGH, YOU WIN.
Jenna is smart, nice, and grounded. Her blog, EatMoreDrinkMore.com is awesome with honest reviews and commentary. So, do yourself a favor, follow her on the online Twitter machines, read her words on the internet, and steer clear of her carb pursuits during Sunday brunch. Oh, and if she offers to make you mac and cheese, suggest a lamb burger instead.