Along with regularly airing the masters, the National Symphony Orchestra has commissioned more than 60 original works, and regularly provides educational opportunities and exhibitions to aspiring composers, conductors, and musicians. Since 1986, the symphony has been a stalwart affiliate of The Kennedy Center and puts on as many as 175 performances there annually. Seven crystal chandeliers presented by Norway to The Kennedy Center dangle below the concert hall's intricate acoustical canopy and stare down the organ standing sentry at the back of the stage.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. At each location, thin, Lebanese-style pitas encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies, all grilled to order. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. The staff empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for each bread, meat, and post-meal toothpick and corralling a selection of healthy sandwiches.
Whether they stop by for an afternoon snack or a morning pick-me-up on their way to work, visitors to Fabulous Market know their food will be fresh and their coffee will be hot. The international eatery's team layers sandwiches and brews beans throughout the day, ensuring foods are flavorful, beverages blast away grogginess, and stomachs are satisfied. Fruit smoothies and fresh salads are also available, as are wines and beers ranging from domestic favorites to more unique brews recently unearthed in Sam Adams' cellar.
The traditional spices of Thailand weave throughout the dishes at Charmthai Restaurant. Grassy, rich basil shows up in the savory roasted duck curry and the basil-fried rice, while chili paste adds a kick to the curries and the slurpable drunken noodles. The slightly sour flavors of lemon accent fish dishes, such as the steamed tilapia in a sauce of blended chili, garlic, and lemon. Those spices even permeate the dessert menu, with custard made with a hint of coconut and fried bananas paired with green-tea ice cream.
Flavors of India manages to embrace the spirit of home cooking despite the fact that its home is located half a world away. Basing their menu on the cuisine of northern India, the chefs make everything from paneer cheese cubes and yogurt to cilantro and tamarind chutneys in-house. They also embrace the region's culinary techniques by charbroiling skewers of marinated meat and seafood within a clay tandoor oven. The recipes' combinations of aromatic herbs and sauces stem from centuries of tradition; however, the chefs do allow diners to customize their orders by specifying the amount of fiery spice—creating a mild entree or a curry capable of smelting a meteorite.
The menu at Austin Grill represents more than 20 years worth of authentic, time-tested Tex-Mex favorites seasoned with 15 different homemade salsas, sauces, and dressings. A belly-filling roadhouse burrito wraps a fresh flour tortilla around seasoned ground beef and beans, all topped with a drizzle of chili con queso and served with a side of rice ($11.99 at lunch, $11.49 at dinner). Put off cumbersome decision-making and sample the country western flavors of the Joe Ely Big Combo, a medley of a grilled chicken taco, a beef barbacoa enchilada with ancho chili sauce, and a hand-rolled chicken tamale topped with Texas chili ($14.99). A multi-colored Bevo Salad blends house greens, cotija cheese, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, corn relish, and crispy tortilla strips in tangy cilantro-lime vinaigrette ($7.99 at lunch, $9.99 at dinner). Mosey in on the weekends to lasso southern brunch specials such as the Austin eggs benedict ($11.49) and cornmeal pancakes with eggs and bacon ($9.59). Diners with more particular palates can direct their eyes toward the lengthy gluten-free menu.