Washington D.C.    Date of Visit  04/20/17  

I was so going to stay in the hotel room and eat leftover pizza, who wants to walk to lunch in the rain? Well, the sun came out and seemed intent on staying out, so I picked up Frankl’s Will to Meaning and headed to lunch alone with Viktor. So glad I did, have always wanted to try something set up by José Andrés, after the wonderfully simple pizza last night, some wonderfully simple Spanish options were just what the Chef ordered.






Jaleo apparently means revelry or party. It seems like a pretty fancy place for a party but my server Cynthia seemed to be having a great time, which made for a much less lonely outing. She brought me some bread you could smell from the other side of the table with a thin crisp crust and luscious almost creamy center. It came with a little bowl of fragrant and bright olive oil with a whole clove of smashed garlic and half a branch of rosemary. If you insist….

I went with the Almuerzo Rápido or quick lunch the José way.

You get one choice each from four different sections and I tried the Gazpacho estilo Algeciras, the chilled Spanish soup made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and bread, which turned out to literally be summer in a shot glass. Strong garden flavors with just enough crunchy pulp to scream fresh. So vibrant, but so balanced, I should have added a bowl to the shot. Cynthia suggested the salad instead of the croquettes and I have already put this simple combo together at home, steal from the best. Endibias con queso de cabra, naranjas y almendras are little boats of endives with passengers of goat cheese, oranges and almonds, with a sprinkle of onion or chive. So simple, so just right. Lightly bitter blade of lettuce, sweet juicy orange with a touch of acid, browned nutty almonds and big plops of tangy goat cheese.

Crispy Loaf And Fruity Seasoned Oil

The Jose Way Comes With A Discount On Excellent Sangria
Could Do A Gallon Of Gazpacho

Simple Deliciousness In The Salad

The Tortilla de Patatas was listed as a traditional Spanish omelette, so there was no tortilla but a thin sheet of egg was engineered into a perfect circle and stuffed with potatoes I’m pretty sure were cooked in butter, a little onion, I think a little cheese, oh, and just butter. It was certainly interesting and everything was well cooked, but this was easily the least flavorful and exciting dish. Finally, the dessert, a Pan con chocolate, beautiful chocolate custard with a quenelle of vanilla ice cream and deeply dark and rich chocolate sauce and crumble. But that’s not it. It was topped with the thinnest ever slice of toasted savory bread which cracked under the weight of the spoon…and they drizzled the whole mess with some of the fruity olive oil from the bread dip. The little touches of savory made the less sweet flavors of the chocolate stand out for a unique and delicious dessert.


Good Taters & Eggs & Butter & Butter & Butter...

...But Less Vibrant Than Other Dishes

The Dessert Looks Sweet

But Closer Examination Leads To Savory Elements

I got a sandwich to take back to the hotel to share later because we only had 20 pounds of pizza left from We the Pizza. The Sammy was the Roasted lamb with thin sliced roasted lamb topped with a salad of tomatoes and olives on grilled ciabatta bread with a pungent alioli which served to explain what the gyro would have been like had it been created in Spain. Intensely tasty. It also came with a side, so I got a cup of the soup of the day which was lentil, not my favorite, but like most chefs of note…they can take things I’m not excited about and alter my perception. Excellent lunch, the José way. Now I really want to try some of his nuttier places.

Goodies To Go

Smooth & Rich Lentil Soup

Lamb Sandwich...

...The Spanish Gyro





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