While I am on the Middle East related subjects, I went to an MIT Club of Washington event at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates last night. I was a little surprised by the food. For one thing, they did serve wine and beer. But the big surprise was that the appetizers included crab cakes and sushi. The ambassador gave a brief speech before turning things over to people involved with the Masdar Initiative. I noticed that the ambassador did peek at his blackberry during the other two speeches. The gist of the presentations was that the UAE wants to be a leader in energy, not just oil.
The announcement had claimed that the presentations would be followed by "dinner featuring ethnic food." There was pita and some dips (very good pine nut hummus) but most of the food was fairly generic Mediterranean fare. There was beef tenderloin, chicken with sage, and Mediterranean sea bass, along with potato croquettes and grilled vegetables (zucchini and peppers). It was good, but not exactly exotic. I suppose the mango ice cream for dessert might have qualified as mildly exotic. Still, it is always interesting seeing different embassies and one gets to have a lot of conversation with intelligent people at these events.
Finally, I took advantage of having a medical appointment to stop at the Foggy Bottom farmer's market to pick up mushroom empanadas and cardamom gelato for supper. They have a lot more prepared food than the Crystal City market does, but fewer produce vendors. I did get some blackberries to have for breakfast tomorrow, but there wasn't anybody selling salad greens, for example.