DC: Mitsitam Cafe

Thanks to Katy for telling me about the Mitsitam Cafe, a cafeteria-style dining spot in the National Museum of the American Indian. I’m glad I previewed the menu on their website – the food service area, which is divided by region, can be overwhelming to the indecisive.  The regions represented are Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America and the Great Plains.

The star of our meal was the Native Woodlands Mixed Grill, which consisted of two delectable appetizers:

  • Cast Iron Seared Breast of Pheasant, Dried Cherry Pemmican
  • Grilled Hardwood Smoked Venison, Wild Rice Pudding, Red Wine Cherry Reduction

This was up my alley – game is always tempting, I love the idea of wild rice pudding and I’m a fan of dried cherries. Both dishes had a good balance of flavors, and the meats were perfectly cooked.   This would be an inspirational addition to a game dinner menu.

Native Woodlands Mixed Grill

Next, we shared a 5 Region Sampler Platter with two extra sides.

  • Grilled buffalo strip loin
  • Cedar planked salmon
  • Hearts of palm salad
  • Wild rice and watercress salad
  • Black beans
  • Side of seaweed and musrooms
  • Three sisters salad (not pictured – giant beans, corn, squash)

5 Region Sampler Platter

Even though we were ravenous after a 5+ mile morning walk, this was a lot of food – maybe we should have just gotten the buffalo with a couple of sides.  The variety of dishes was irresistible, though.    I’ll be inspired to recreate some of these at home – I didn’t pick up a copy of the Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook during my visit because I was traveling light, but it’ll surely be a part of my next Amazon order.

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