October 7, 1999
For the past few days I've slowly been adjusting to the pace at D&P, figuring out where the bathrooms are, raiding the supply closet and tying up various loose ends of administrativa.
One of the challenges inherent in beginning a new job I've found, revolves around the lunch question. To go out, or eat at your desk? Where to go out to, lunch counter or sit-down restaurant?
That question came up to haunt me very quickly here. Because the location is somewhat secluded, getting out and about for a bite to eat isn't as simple as it was downtown. Even if I wasn't always happy with the quality of the food available at the many walk-in lunch counters/groceries and cafes at Foggy Bottom, at least there were a lot of them within a 5 block radius. Even picky me could find something to eat come lunch time.
Out here, it's more complicated and the choices are fewer unless one catches the shuttle down to the mall, someone with a car goes around asking if anyone wants to eat out, or Sabs drives up and we go out together.
However, the complex has its very own cafe, tucked between two buildings across from the small park that graces the center of the area. It's smaller than most of the places I used to eat at in DC, but it does have a cozy nook with tables and chairs as well as two tables oudoors behind the bench where people wait for the shuttle.
Like almost every other establishment of its nature in this area, the Cafe Sequoia is run by a Korean family and features a salad bar with a choice of hot dishes and cold salad items. However, this cafe is also a deli/grill, and as I discovered the other day, the sandwiches are excellent and the prices are very good.
Comparatively speaking, the prices are nearly half of what I would pay downtown. A grilled cheese sandwich is under $4.00, a sub is under $5.00 and the salad bar is a full dollar cheaper per pound. They also have a very interesting assortment of beverages, among them "Honest Teas" of which I have sampled both the "Assam" and "Gold Rush" flavors. I'd never have expected bottled iced tea to taste so good. I am not a Snapple person, but these were just right: very refreshing and not cloyingly sweet at all.
Many of the patrons are greeted by name at the Cafe Sequoia. The decor is simple, but warm and every dish is served up with a smile.