Last year, when we created the reader’s survey, we found out that you guys really like to read about food. I felt validated, and proud of what we’d created for food here at We Love DC. Pretty soon after that, though, I got a new demanding day job, where I wasn’t able to write much. I let the food coverage dwindle, but was continually bothered that I wasn’t able to write. I racked my brain for a new food writer for We Love DC, and thought back to Ashley Messick, who I profiled in February. I loved her blog From Komi to Marvin, where she ate her way through the 100 Best Restaurant List from Washingtonian. I knew that she had eaten a TON in this city, had a good palate, and a funny wit about her.
After a little sweet talking she agreed to join our team, and I was thrilled to bring her on to get our food coverage back on track. So I have to say, Ashley was maybe my favorite thing of 2010′s We Love Food, but since it has to be an entry, not a person, here are our greatest hits from 2010, brought to you by Ashley and Katie. (Side note: We are, again, looking to expand our food writing team, if you’re interested in joining us, let me know via email.)
Favorite First Look:
Katie: I had been following the Capital City Diner saga since the beginning, and was tapped to write it up for DC’s Daily Candy (RIP) so I met Matt and Patrick long before the diner opened. I was stoked to get in there for a First Look and thought my final product turned out quite nicely and captured the essence of what they were trying to achieve with the diner.
Ashley: I’m downright obsessed with hot dogs, so I stalked the progress of DC-3 in a truly embarrassing fashion. When it did open last month, I pounced on it. I really can’t think of a more fun meal than chowing down on hot dogs and cotton candy, all in the name of research. And the piece ended up being quite cathartic — I let the Internet world know my deep, dark secret…that I am from a family of carnies.
Favorite Round Up:
Katie: When the snow struck last year, we all had apartment fever. I would search Twitter in hopes of getting clued in to who was open, so I decided to turn it into a feature, “What Snow? Restaurants & Bars To Stay Open In DC Blizzard” for everyone to see. It turned out to be one of the greatest hits of the snowstorm, and I think people appreciated it. I was happy to keep at it, since I was bored out of my gourd. I also want to give a small nod to my Un-Valentines Day Round Up of things to do if you’re single. It gave my then-single self personal satisfaction to know I wasn’t alone.
Ashley: While the sheer volume of information featured in the Thanksgiving Round Up and the Farmers Market Closing Schedule makes me pretty proud of my organizational skills, the response to the Gluten Free in D.C. post was overwhelming. I got the idea for it after a girl I work with went gluten free and was forced to eat peanut butter at her desk every time we ordered in lunch for the office. It is, to date, the post I received the post positive feedback on, and I’m so happy to have helped the gluten free of Washington (and beyond!) navigate this wheat-ful world.
Favorite We Love Food:
Katie: One of my favorite hidden DC gems was able to sparkle when I featured Et Voila! in a We Love Food. I got an email from a reader a month or so later saying she was visiting DC and had read about that tiny place you can only get to by car and she wanted to try it but couldn’t remember the name. I linked her back to this We Love Food and she said she’d go. I like it when I’m able to truly sell a place that I love to you guys, and I learn that you actually go and enjoy it. Makes this whole writing thing worth it.
Ashley: The truth about the We Love Food posts is that they’re my absolute favorite, since, well, I love food. And what I’ve learned over the years and many, many meals is that I love an off-the-beaten path restaurant despite (or maybe because of) sometimes being relatively unknown. My first We Love Food post was about Market Lunch, a place that takes a little bit of dedication and a lot of patience, but is well worth it all. I can’t even tell you how many of my friends told me they hadn’t even heard of it before. Who had I been eating my Brick sandwiches with all these years??
Katie: It’s rare that I have DC things that I feel a very strong need to yell about, but it happens from time to time, and when it does, I tend to vent to you guys. In 2010, you could find me yelling about Wagamama’s (possibly) not opening. Off-the-food-topic, I yelled about people on the Metro who listen to their headphone music on blast, and most recently I yelled about how I don’t want another single cupcake bakery in DC. NOT ONE SINGLE ONE. NOOOOO THANK YOU. (Whoops, there I go getting all riled up again.)
Ashley: For me, I don’t get too up in arms about many food-related things, but due to the sheer volume of burger and cupcake joints in the news this year, I started to get pretty annoyed. While Katie rocks an annoyed article about cupcakes like none other, I tend to steer towards the darker side of burgers (not the burned side) and covered the weird burger lawsuits we saw this year. And while we’re talking burger controversy, I had a few thoughts on Spike Mendelsohn’s spot on the Vanity Fair Next Establishment List.
What we’re most proud of:
Katie: 2010, is, in my mind, the year of the food truck. With the onslaught of interesting, portable fare driving around the streets of the District, Ashley began the Food Truck Tracker to show you, our dear reader, where the food trucks are parked for lunchtime. It’s been your daily guide to eating well, and I’m so happy Ashley has the energy, foresight and twitter power to create it for you by hand each day.
Ashley: After the success of the gluten free post (and possibly a few too many glasses of wine), it dawned on Katie and me that we should do a little research in to other dietary restrictions. And what’s better research than living the life? Enter Vegan Week. It was definitely a tough week for us meat and cheese lovers, but we learned a lot about veganism and ourselves, most notably that the Vegan Pad Thai at Nage was definitely worthy of non-Vegan Week.
What will 2011 hold? We’ll be with you every step of the way to find out. Forks out, folks.