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Doi Moi Brunch

Logan Circle
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I am working a lot lately. Bitches has long converted from a hobby to a business—with Bitches in different area codes brunching for the cause! I also lead marketing for a women-led interior design start-up, Havenly.

I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship and girl power, which is to say I’ve always been bossy. But, as of late, I’ve taken a serious, deeper day-to-day effort in supporting and working with female girl bossses.

For instance, I get my nails done and spend quite a bit of time at the nailsaloon, which is owned by Andrea & Claudia, and also has wifi. Right down the road, there’s another women-owned business, JRINK, run by another female duo, Jennifer and Shizu.

Now that I telework (constantly), I strive to ensure the vast majority of my activities occur in a one-mile radius of my Logan Circle apartment: grocery store at Whole Foods, nails at the ‘saloon, meetings at Compass Coffee, and a cold-pressed juice from JRINK when I haven’t had time to make lunch, which is always.

The lines between work-and-play are also becoming blurred, as I deliberately mix them in an effort to surround myself with hard-working, kick-ass females. Case in point, my new friend Jennifer of JRINK. We connected over brunch on a beautiful, sunny morning on the patio at Doi Moi, which recently launched its brunch.

We spent quite a long time chatting about the Washington, D.C. food and business scene and our strategies for managing busy schedules (The successful juice bar is killing it with all sorts of veggie-based juices, but also nut milks, which have enough calories to substitute as a breakfast or heavy snack between brunch and dinner on the weekends). Finally, we decided to order.

Jennifer ordered the Vietnamese coffee, which is sweet, condensed coffee served with condensed milk. I ordered an iced coffee black, which was far too strong for me to drink. It was Blue Bottle coffee, which is better than average coffee. But, it’s too tart to drink black—even for a coffee fiend like me.

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I also ordered the Doi Moi mimosa. I’m glad I did, because it was the most beautiful mimosa I’ve laid eyes on. Served in a champagne coupe, Doi Moi’s mimosa was a bright, vivid orange and served with an orange twist as a garnish.

The beverage was a darker orange color and has a unique flavor, as it was made with carrot, ginger, orange, and sparkling wine. It was also pretty strong, which a Bitch can appreciate. This cocktail has my vote for Best Mimosa of 2015 come December.

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I’ve been to Doi Moi several times for dinner and enjoyed it immensely. So, I knew what to order from the regular menu that would surely be a hit: radish cakes and the blue crab fried rice.

An appetizer, the radish cakes are maid with wild mushrooms and daikon radish—fried crispy on the outside and smooth, flavorful and moist on the inside. Served with a soy dipping sauce, the radish cakes are a crowd pleaser the vast majority of the time, and this brunch was no exception.

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The blue crab fried rice is a veggie fried rice with spring vegetables: ramps, scallions, garlic, mushrooms, tossed with fresh blue crab, and topped with thin slices of cucumber. It’s a light, healthy and hearty entree. Served in large bowl, the dish is perfect for sharing. I don’t normally get a doggy bag after any meal—but I took this home with me.

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For her entrée, Jennifer selected the roasted chicken and vermicelli noodle salad, which was served with a healthy portion of fresh vegetables: lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, pickled carrots, herbs, peanuts, chilies and nuoc charm. This was the perfect salad for summer: light and healthy, with summer flavors. Each dish at Doi Moi was clean and fresh, yet simultaneously satisfying.

I always order the steak and eggs, and I was thrilled to discover an Asian take on the dish with grilled lemongrass beef, sunny side eggs, and hoisin Siracha dipping sauce. The dish was beautiful—and, again, a large portion. Doi Moi is generous with its servings!

The beef was sweet, tender and flavorful. It had clearly been marinated in the lemongrass sauce for quite some time—it was absolutely delicious. The eggs were cooked perfectly, and laid atop a bed of rice. Even though I was rather full at that point, I couldn’t help eating more.

Abiding by the Bitch Bible, we ordered the beignets off the menu. These beignets, or Banh Tieu, were Vietnamese Sesame seed beignets served with pandan pastry cream. I had no idea what to expect—and was wondering if we were getting “Panda ice cream” when I initially glanced at the menu too quickly.

The large round disks of fried dough were covered in sesame seeds and served warm, with a little bit of powdered sugar. They could have used more powdered sugar, but I will say they tasted better than they looked. The dough was warm, a bit greasy, and spongy. The Pandan pastry cream was bright green, light, frothy, and sweet. It spread nicely over the beignets and provided the necessary (and unique) flavor. I wouldn’t order this dessert again, but I don’t regret ordering it the first time.

The Bitches say: A. We wish there were a few more sweet options, but do acknowledge Asian cuisine is not notorious for gluttonous desserts. Doi Moi

Doi Moi
1800 14th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.
(202) 733-5131

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