The Washington Post

This thing you should try: Acre 121’s smoked trout dip

The smoked trout dip at Acre 121 in Columbia Heights. (Tracy A. Woodward/THE WASHINGTON POST)

This Thing You Should Try is an occasional feature about unusual (and, most likely, unhealthy) food and drink in the D.C. area that, well, you should try, perhaps no more than once.

Smoked fish is usually only something I’m excited about when I’m at Zabar’s in New York or at a weekend brunch with a whole spread of bagels, lox, cream cheese and bronze-skinned whitefish or sturgeon before me.

No matter how much I enjoy it at the time, though, it’s rarely something I crave on a consistent basis. I don’t think I’m alone in that, which is what makes Acre 121’s smoked trout dip such a pleasant surprise.

I wrote about the six-month-old Columbia Heights beer and barbecue hangout in the Weekend section, and after three separate visits there, chef Michael Soper’s trout dip remains top-of-mind.

“If you do the smoked trout and then approach it as the crabmeat part of the crab dip,” Soper said of the concoction which he began whipping up for private parties years ago, “[the flavor] really permeates it more than a whole plain fish or crab would.”

He’s right: The salty, hickory-laced tang of the trout stands out in the concoction, which is finished off with cream cheese, Old Bay, Worcestershire and hot sauce. An order of the dip, served with sesame crackers and French bread, is $9.

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Alex Baldinger is editor of the Going Out Guide blog, which covers food, drink, arts, music, events and other curiosities in the D.C. area. He is forever in search of a great sandwich.

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