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🙂 = The entire place is a play area. There’s toys, a pool table, piano, a couple of organs, and a 60” TV in the dining room and kitchen permanently tuned to children’s networks. They even have a kids’ menu custom tailored to my taste buds and kids always eat free.

🙁 = No high chairs or booster seats. But who cares. This place? They just get me.

Notes: Evelyn’s Kitchen is completely exclusive. They do not take reservations and operate on an invite-only basis.
With Thanksgiving in the books, the holiday season is now upon us and Christmas is just around the corner. So you know what that means. The smell of awkwardly uncomfortable family reunions is in the air! Ahhh! There’s nothing like the delicious whiff of bite-sized appetizers of he-said-she-saids, the slow-simmered airing of dirty laundry, and fresh-from-the-oven family drama.

Looking to avoid all that nonsense? Well, my fellow DC Metropolitan-ites you’re in luck. Head on out to Blue Duck Tavern, America Eats by Jose Andres, Buca di Beppo, or your pick of the virtual Chinese restaurant litter. Those are just a few of the plethoric options at your disposal. Yes I used plethoric. You won’t believe the things they teach you in pre pre-K nowadays (that’s the grade before pre-K). That being said, here’s the plethoric list of restaurants open on Christmas.

As for me? I get a verbal invite every year to the tres exclusif, Evelyn’s Kitchen, otherwise known as, Lola’s and Lolo’s (Grandma’s and Grandpa’s). Check your gossip and small violins at the door. This house is only big enough to accommodate peace, love, and good times. Nothing shall taint my happy place.

And the food? Oh, the food! Glory be the food! Prepared by the one and only…

Turkey at Grandma's

I’m bout to work-y this turkey

Master Chef. Member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. Grandmother. And armed with trusty Sous Chef Grandpa at her side, that should sufficiently tell the whole story of just how lucky my taste buds are.

We always start with lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) and sweet chili sauce. I’ve had spring rolls from everywhere but no one has perfected it quite like Chef Grandma. It’s my regular ‘go to’ when I’m not feeling gastronomically adventurous. For most kids it’s PB&J or grilled cheese. I feel sorry for them. For their boring appetites. Their lack of glandular stimulation. That’s why there’s no place I’d rather be for the holidays than Lola and Lolo’s. No store bought ham or potato salad here. More like Tom Yum Sinigang. Yea, you heard me. A gorgeous, cultural mashup of Thai and Filipino sour soups. There’s also Sotanghon (cellophane noodles) with Salmon and Pickled Artichoke, Filet Mignon Medallions with a Merlot Reduction, and Lechon (Filipino style roast pig) with Pork Liver Sauce just to name a few. Yes, I eat them all. And, yes, I’m currently salivating as my paternal slave boy types this out.

Got room for dessert? How about Kutsinta (sticky rice cake with brown sugar and lye), Bibingka (coconut rice cake), Turon (banana and jackfruit deep fried in an egg roll wrapper), and Mango Chiffon Cake for starters. It’s like Filipino Halloween with all those tasty treats.

About to make this Bibingka shri-shrink-a!

About to make this Bibingka shri-shrink-a!

So yes, dear readers, while internationally recognized chefs like Jose Andres, Michael Mina, and Michel Richard will all have restaurants open for business on Christmas and Christmas Eve, I’ll be spending it with my fams at Evelyn’s Kitchen. Cooked and served with love by the best chef this side of the Milky Way.

Maligayang Pasko (Merry Christmas)!

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