I’m staying at the Gaylord National Harbor, which is kind of a cool space– though totally geared towards convention travelers. A few places I’ve tried:
Ketchup: Interesting concept (flavored ketchups), really bad execution. It’s a chain restaurant that has been touted on the Food Network, but doesn’t live up to the hype. The “threesome” of fries– garlic parmesan, sweet potato with cinnamon sugar, and Old Bay– are frozen. The ketchups– which all sound good– are ‘house made’ but couldn’t be more than mixing ketchup with a flavoring. The five flavors are ranch (tasted like ranch dressing with some added food coloring), maple (tasted like ketchup mixed with pancake syrup– not real maple syrup), raspberry (ketchup with raspberry syrup– very artificial tasting, and far too sweet), chipotle (which was good– spicy and smoky) and regular ketchup. This concept could be outstanding if done right. Since it was done wrong, my coworkers and I came up with some alternatives that might be more successful:
Condiments (in general)
If this tells you anything– “Anywhere but Ketchup” has become our running joke at the conference.
Rosa Mexicano– gorgeous view of the harbor, very stiff margaritas, good tableside guacamole. Fairly romantic and seems to draw locals, not just convention goers.