A Love Letter to My Friends Who Share Food by Steph Shih

This is a love letter to my friends who share food. Who go family style no matter the restaurant, no questions asked. Who are the chasers of variety, never settling for just one dish. This is a love letter to my friends who, like me, have to try it all. 

It’s you who have made so many moments of joy possible. You who have brought such richness into my life – of flavors, textures, and colors. With some of you, I’ve traveled far and wide, reaching across the table to try each other’s food in Peru, South Africa, Iceland, and Hong Kong. With others, I’ve explored the far corners of the DC metro area, together devouring a whole steamed fish at Sparrow Room, ordering entire sections of the menu at Ambar, and passing bowl after bowl of curry down the table at Indigo. 

I’ve called DC home for over 3 years now, and I sometimes think about what my life would be like without friends like you. And let me tell you, the picture is bleak. I would have never sunk my teeth into the 45oz Ax Handle Ribeye at St. Anselm, tried every tart, bun, donut, and Kouign-amann at Rose Ave Bakery, or washed down the Mapo Tofu with Beef Noodle Soup at Astoria. I would have been forced to make impossible decisions like choosing between the Etna 2.0 or a classic Margherita pizza at Two Amy’s or ordering hand-pulled noodles over the soup dumplings at WASAI. And, lord knows, I would’ve been way too full to order the Purple Gold Yolk Buns after stuffing my face with all-you-can-eat dim sum at Han Palace. 

So, to you my friends, I raise my glass (along with my third plate of food) and say a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for ordering the Mezzi Rigatoni with me at The Red Hen, as Joe and Jill Biden once did (… as well as the Wild Mushroom Arancini, Cavatelli ‘Alla Genovese’, and Campari Olive Oil Cake). My life is better – richer, more abundant, and more flavorful – because of you. 

Featured restaurants (DC Metro Area)*:

Ambar (https://www.ambarrestaurant.com/

Astoria (https://astoriadc.com/

Han Palace (https://www.hanpalacedc.com/

Indigo (https://www.indigowdc.com/

St. Anselm (https://stanselmdc.com/

The Red Hen (https://theredhendc.com/

Rose Ave Bakery (https://www.roseavebakery.com/

Two Amy’s (https://2amyspizza.com/

Sparrow Room (https://www.sparrowroom.com/

WASAI (https://www.wasai.online/

*not sponsored, just vetted and loved

Steph (she/her) is a Taiwanese-American food and music lover who eats too fast for her own good. She was once compared to a lizard because of how much she chases and basks in the sun (and she’s not mad about it). You can find her biking around DC – 9 times out of 10 to the nearest climbing gym. (Instagram: @sshih_)

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