Looking to have breakfast with Abe Lincoln's ghost? I can't think of a better place to experience such a possibility than to grab some morning grub at Lincoln's Waffle Shop, located in the downtown area of D.C. near the Metro Center stop.
This diner is borderline divey in the "we serve good food but don't care about our looks" kind of way so don't be put off by first impression when you enter the joint. Also, skip the hostess (because there isn't one) and hustle through the crowd the find yourself a seat before someone else takes it. Once you're settled in, order a cup of tea and enjoy bustling scene.
^^ If you're lucky, you've got a partner in crime who doesn't mind getting up early to share the foodie experience with. In my case, Eser was present to partake in the morning grubbery. When the waiter arrived, we both ordered the chicken and waffles that also came with a side of eggs. I got mine scrambled with cheddar cheese. Eser got his over easy.
The sweet, salty, savory and crunchy combination of fried chicken and waffles is one of my favorites to order. Make sure to ask for extra syrup in case they don't give you enough because chicken and waffles always tastes better when its drenched.
^^ Please excuse my makeup less face. Eating at dives = No makeup necessary ;)
^^ Every once in a while when I'm out and about taking pictures, I'll get funny looks from people who seem either A) curious or B) offended by my snap happy fingers. Overtime, I've learned to ignore these people because more than likely, I'll never see them again. While taking this picture of Eser, I ended up capturing some major "side eye" action from a fellow waffle shop patron in the background. I busted out laughing so hard when I looked at this photo the second time around later on in the day. I can only imagine what he was thinking with that death stare haha.
Anways, back to the food which by this time is more than likely finished. Correction: demolished.
After paying the bill, head outside and wander a few steps down the block until you happen upon The Peterson House, where Lincoln passed away on April 15, 1865. Don't worry about missing the house because there's a huge sign outside that will let you know you're at the right place.
Eser and I weren't interested in seeing the exact location of where Lincoln died. Something about visiting The Peterson House seemed insensitive to us at the time, so we walked across the street to check out Ford's Theatre instead.
For those of you who would like a little refresher on American History, Ford's Theatre is the site where Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th, 1865, just five days after the Confederate South surrendered to the North (marking the end of the Civil War). To keep in sequential order of events, the fatally wounded Lincoln was then taken across the street to the Peterson House where he died the following morning...
Fast forward to present day, Ford's Theatre is now a National Historical Site that offers free tours of the preserved building and presents a full season of theatrical productions on its stage. In addition the theatre and the Peterson House, they opened a Center for Education and Leadership in 2012. This museum commemorates the years of Lincoln's presidency and provides historical background on what it was like to live in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War.
Eser and I entered Ford's Theatre and went straight to the ticket booth to grab our FREE tickets for one of their daily tours, which are offered every 30 minutes. Once our tickets were scanned at the entryway, we headed inside to find a seat.
A couple minutes later, a National Park Service Ranger came on stage and told the story of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States who abolished slavery. It was a very engaging monologue that touched on the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, where the South ceded from the Union in protest of the abolishment of slavery, and went through the series of events that led up the that fateful day when Lincoln was assassinated by actor, John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer.
After the ranger finished his story and answered a few questions from the audience of tourists, he invited us to visit the Presidential Booth where Lincoln sat watching the performance of "Our American Cousin" on April 14th, 1865. It was during this performance, that John Wilkes Booth crept into the booth and fatally shot Lincoln in the head from behind. Booth then jumped on stage in the middle of the production and yelled, "Sic semper tyrannis!" before fleeing the scene. 12 days later, the U.S. Federal troops caught up with Booth and he was killed in a stand off.
Unfortunately, due to the wear and tear from tourists over the years, the Presidential Booth is closed off the the public for the sake of preserving the space (meaning you can't actually walk into the booth). Thankfully the booth's entry door has a glass window where you can peak inside and see where Lincoln sat (red rocking chair in the photo above). Once we caught a glimpse of the booth's interior, Eser and I headed down the spiral staircase of the theater and made our way outside.
My thoughts on the whole Lincoln experience? As I mentioned previously on Instagram, it's probably one of the more depressing tours to go on in D.C. because who really wants to go see where Lincoln was shot and killed. But the theatre is a beautiful in its historical preservation and the tour is free. So there's that?
If anything, I think Ford's Theatre serves as a reminder of the ideals and aspirations Lincoln stood for and ultimately, died for. If not for Lincoln or the abolishment of slavery... Heck, I can't even imagine what the U.S. be like today. And as I'm typing this post, my mind has changed. I now want to go back the Peterson House. Not to take part in what I initially thought was a spectacle/ zoo viewing of his deathbed. No, this time... I want to go back and pay my respects.
Dear Lincoln: If you ever want to meet up for breakfast at your waffle shop, let me know. I would be honored to sit at a table with you and pick your mind while sharing a chicken and waffle or two.
Linking Up With: Random Wednesday