Native Highlight: @thetufftruffle

Native Highlight: @thetufftruffle


Sometimes you come across people doing amazing things at a young age that makes you ask the question, "What in the world was I doing in high school?...". This is the case when you meet William Goldberg, the high school phenom crushing the DC food scene. He runs The Tuff Truffle (@thetufftruffle), on a tear to find the best spots around the DC area.

Check out a behind the scenes look at an Instagram food blogger and find out William's favorite spots around DC!

The Inspiration Behind The Account

Around three years ago, when I was in eighth grade, I posted a food picture of some homemade dish. I remember how all my friends roasted me up for it. I was like ‘alright then’ and I made a new account one night for my food shots, so that my friends could have the choice to see my photos or not. Soon after, people I didn’t know started following me. That’s when I really bought into the notion of being a DC-focused account.

Just leave it to your friends to make fun of you to the point where you fall into creating an account that 11K DC food lovers go to for restaurant suggestions. That's exactly what friends are for!

What got you so hooked on the DC Food Scene?

... the pervasive youthfulness of DC food hooked me. It’s cool to see these amazing restaurants succeed in the ways they have, and then realize the chefs and bartenders aren’t even that much older than me.

William is the definition of a DC Native. He was born and raised in the area and has been exploring the ins and outs of the city for years. What gets him most excited about the DC food scene is learning the amazing stories about the restuarants he visits and the chefs he gets to hang out with. It is one thing to enjoy a meal at a quality restaurant, but it's another to create an emotional connection to the people that made your meal possible and understand the history behind it.

DC's foodie identity

Recently, a guy told me that he didn’t think that DC food had an identity like the food of Los Angeles or New York. I disagreed, but couldn’t put into words how I would describe it. I did give him the names of two restaurants that I think embody the emerging culture— Himitsu and Bad Saint. Both are run by very young restaurateurs, and deliver dynamic, robust, fresh takes on their respective cuisines. To me, the best DC restaurants right now are either hyperlocal or extremely faithful takes on a foreign cuisine. For oppressively local food, the Dabney by Jeremiah Langhorne and the upcoming A Rake’s Progress by Spike Gjerde come to mind. Himitsu and Bad Saint both highlight foreign subjects —Japanese and Filipino— balancing tradition and innovation.

We really enjoy to see that age is no longer a barrier for following your passions. It is really cool to see that DC's identity is being driven by the newcomers and younger restaurant owners focused on creating the new markets for food through taking risks on recipes.

The struggles of 17

It’s often a big surprise to chefs or restaurant owners to find out that I’m 17. Only after offering me cocktails or finding out that I am coming from track practice do they figure it out. I put my age in my bio on Instagram, because I think that should be part of the appeal of following me, but people don’t read bios as much as I thought they did, apparently.

There's a reason why restaurants assume William is out of high school. They don't see many - if any at all - high schoolers with his kind of influence. He's tried putting his age in his profile, but often people get so distracted by the awesome pictures he posts, they never even read it. Not a bad problem to have.


Why you need to follow @thetufftruffle right now

I am one of the only food Instagrammers who can honestly say that I am the only one doing what they are doing. I know for a fact that I am the only high schooler in DC creating content with chefs in DC on Instagram. I try to find places that don’t get the social coverage they deserve. And finally, my photos are very good. Natural lighting is so important.

We started the Native Highlight to help readers gain a deeper understanding of the Natives in their city. They have amazing stories to tell, and we're so excited we can help tell stories like William's. Seeing his posts is so much more meaningful when you have an emotional connection to him. You can get a unique perspective from following @thetufftruffle!

Want to learn the stories of more Natives like William? Make sure to download NativX!


The top spots for The Tuff Truffle

1) Bantam King

501 G St NW, Washington, DC 20003

Pro Tip: 

This downtown joint deals in fried chicken and ramen. But the best thing on the menu, in my opinion, is the gyoza, a dish of delicate steamed chicken dumplings sitting in a pool of hot chili oil.


2) Calle Cinco

465 K St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Pro Tip:

It’s a cozy Spanish tapas place next to Alta Strada in City Vista. It’s the kind of place where you order everything. And you cannot skip Alex Levin’s desserts, especially the warm churros.


3) ChiKo

423 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Pro Tip 

Again, order as much as possible. Nothing on this Chinese/Korean mashup menu will be bad. You have my word.


4) Etete

1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Pro Tip

While there are some classic Ethiopian hits on the menu, and Ethiopian cuisine is a cornerstone of the DC culinary scene, and the team at Etete is taking it to new levels. The injera is on point (necessarily) along with the beef tibs, but the showstopper for me is Chef Roberson’s crispy chicken wings. Might just be the best in DC.

Be sure to follow @thetufftruffle on Instagram and download NativX to get more awesome tips from Natives!


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