One of my favorite lunch spots in Washington, DC is Busboys and Poets, a bookstore/restaurant mashup that attracts foodies and literati alike. It may sound like a strangle combination, but it works. The restaurant’s name is a creative take on Langston Hughes’ background as a busboy that left poetry on patrons’ tables.
Statue outside of the Busboys and Poets, 5th and K location
During lunch a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try a dish I hadn’t tasted before. The shrimp cake intrigued me, as I love traditional shrimp and grits. FYI, I’m taking a break from my vegetarian diet until the new year, so I’m getting my share of seafood NOW.
The Busboys and Poets website describes the dish as,
shrimp grit cake, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, Cajun cream sauce
For the record, all of the menu descriptions are short, to the point, and fail to capture the deliciousness of the dishes offered. Here’s a photo of the meal I enjoyed:
Now here’s what you really need to know: This. Was. AMAZING! For the readers that know the trickiness involved with cooking grits (trying to make them not too watery yet not too dry), you’d appreciate the fact that the grit cake was firm yet had just enough moisture to keep it from being too dry. The cajun sauce was flavorful but not too spicy, and it was a perfect complement for the lightly seasoned grit cake. The shrimp not only surrounded the cake but little bit of crustacean were actually cooked into it, as well.
This dish is an appetizer, but you could easily add a side and make it a meal. It’s satisfying and delicious.
I’ll be reviewing more Busboys and Poets meals in the months to come because, truthfully, I look for any excuse to eat there. If you can, you should definitely stop and have a meal there. The restaurant has six locations, all within the Northern VA/DC/Maryland area. Stop by and treat yourself!