How This DC Restaurant Is Honoring The COVID-19 Vaccine

Back in 2020, as the word "coronavirus" first entered our vocabularies and we became increasingly aware that we were in for a global tragedy of epic proportions, there were a few spots of levity provided by people's creative attempts at creating COVID-themed foods. One of the first to go viral may have been the bright pink dragonfruit bread bakers in Vietnam developed to use up surplus produce that could no longer be shipped across borders. Later, as the virus hit our shores, people in the U.S. found themselves coping with the crisis by way of frog breadquarantinis and, in some cases, even baked goods shaped like the virus itself (via The Washington Post). In our nation's capital, though, one enterprising bar owner decided to create a COVID-themed line of drinks meant to honor one of the heroes of the pandemic, and the to-go drink known as the Fauci Pouchy was born.

As our third pandemic winter is well underway, another DC restaurant has gotten into the hero-honoring game. They recently offered a special meal meant to celebrate a few more people without whom countless more lives would have undoubtedly been lost: the developers of the COVID vaccines.

Injectable foods paid homage to vaccine developers

Immigrant Food+, located just a few steps from the White House in the Planet Word museum, specializes in fusion cuisine. They take their inspiration not only from the great American melting pot, but also from DC's own vibrant diversity. Immigrant Food+ is also incredibly proud that two of the people who helped develop the COVID-19 vaccine are immigrants: researcher Katalin Karikó's profile in The New York Times notes that she comes from Hungary, while BioNTech co-founder Özlem Türeci is a German-born Turk (via NYT).

According to Washingtonian, the brunch offered by Immigrant Food+ over a recent mid-January weekend consisted of a number of "injectables" meant to honor the vaccine and those whose efforts have made it so widely available. The menu featured croquettes that came with pipettes of feta cream, blue cheese burgers complete with ketchup-filled syringes, and tiramisu churros with chocolate syringes. NBC4 also showed a cocktail that, upon receiving a shot of lemon juice, changed color from blue to purple. The restaurateurs intended the brunch to be a way to "celebrate science ... in a non-political, non-polarized way," and part of the proceeds went to support a local charity. The cause Immigrant Food+ chose to support was, appropriately enough, Mary's Center, an organization that provides vaccination services to DC's under-served and immigrant communities.