The Daily Feed

Third Annual Week of Bacon at Restaurant 3

Photo courtesy of
‘a magic number’
courtesy of ‘christaki’

Let out a great big yell, “IT’S BAAAAACOOOON!”  From October 13 through 22 Restaurant 3 is hosting their 3rd annual Week of Bacon.

Kicking off the week is a pig roast on the 13th with pulled pork sandwiches. The rest of the pork-tastic week features a bacon tasting dinner menu for $30 per person that incorporates bacon through every part of the meal, including dessert with a maple bacon ice cream. Restaurant 3 is also offering bacon bites at the bar and bacon-curing demonstrations during happy hours from 4 PM til 7 PM during the week.

If you can snag a spot, you can keep the magic of the bacon week alive in your own home by taking a free bacon curing class on October 16th at 3 PM. The restaurant’s chef, Brian Robinson, will show you how to cure bacon, give you bacon samples and share some of his curing rub recipes. You can try to get into the class by emailing

And if that’s still not enough cured pork for you, you can also buy a pound to go of the restaurant’s house-cured bacon.

Food and Drink, The Features

First Look: Rustico Ballston

Photo courtesy of
‘Rustico: Coming Soon’
courtesy of ‘tbridge’

The paper is still up at Rustico in Ballston when I arrive just a few minutes early for the evening’s events.  The block of Wilson Boulevard is mostly in transition and Rustico sits in the center of the restaurant cocoons, looking like it will be first to arrive.  Across the plaza is the next NRG project, the second location of Buzz Bakery, and next door to Rustico is an early-in-build-out Sweetgreen slated for the end of the year.  Our guide for the evening opens up the side door, and a few workers follow her out, showing that this is still a restaurant in the final phases of being constructed.

The entryway floor is covered in paper to protect the surface from the boots and construction dust, and some of the interior work is in progress, including a beautiful beer bottle and mirror mosaic.  A fireplace sits dormant on a night that would otherwise call for it.  Shepherded past the construction and into the bar, beer sommelier par none Greg Engert is waiting for us, and hands me a small glass of a California Imperial IPA that has notes of just about every possible hop and floral.  While Greg will continue his focus on Church Key, it’s impossible to separate the man from his first home, at Alexandria’s Rustico, and he’s been integrally involved in training the Arlington staff.  Neighborhood Restaurant Group believes strongly that passionate people make the best employees, and have continued that trend forward in the new Rustico.  Andy Carlson will be helming the bar for Rustico Ballston, which will feature 400 bottled beers, 40 taps and 3 cask-conditioned ales, making it a formidable presence in DC’s already expansive beer scene.  Last night’s dinner was certainly a festival of great beer paired with great food that left me thinking that we’re in for a real treat.

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The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: Clarendon

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘blakespot’

In this week’s Where We Live, we’re venturing back out to Arlington into the heart of the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor. Clarendon is one of those places that always has something going on, and with a wide selection of bars, restaurants, and shopping, you’re never at a loss for something to do. But it’s also a great place to live– our very own Patrick says moving to Clarendon was the best choice he ever made! Read on to find out what’s so great about Clarendon.

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Alexandria, Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: The Burger Joint

‘DSCF3611.jpg’ courtesy of ‘joelogon’

The Burger Joint (BGR) is the latest in a line of local hamburger shops trying to muscle in on DC-area institution Five Guys by offering a gourmet twist on this American staple. I went to their new Old Town Alexandria location to put these burger peddlers’ wares to the test.

There is no better food than a hamburger. A good steak comes close but really hamburgers take the title with their myriad of configurations. Easily a sit-down meal or a perfect eat-on-the-go, with a few toppings tweaks the hamburger offers all things to all comers (except maybe vegetarians). I have long been a fan of DC hamburger establishments and have been putting new offerings to the test for many years. I guess it all began back when I was accepted to George Washington University back in 1993. While quite happy to have got in, I was secretly celebrating the fact that I would soon be living less than a block from burger heaven, Lindy’s the Bone. Back in those days DC was a tale of two burger shops; Lindy’s Bon Appetit and Five Guys pretty much had you covered. For specialty burger creations it was Lindy’s and for the purist burger experience there was none better than (the now overly-franchised) Five Guys.

In the time I have lived here there have been many new burger contenders. Most notably Hamburger Mary’s (now defunct), ZBurger (not bad), Elevation Burger (yuck), and Ray’s Hell Burger (omfg!). Of those four, really only Hamburger Mary’s and Ray’s Hell Burger stand out and for good reason; Hamburger Mary’s offered truly excellent specialty burgers in a fun and funky sit-down dinner environment; while Ray’s continues to serve-up over-the-top, gourmet burgers in a real, walk-up-order, ‘burger joint’ setting.

The Burger Joint now enters into a field beginning to feel a tad cluttered. After all, Five Guys has expanded all over the city like a fungus, Lindy’s is still quietly rocking the Red Lion basement, and Ray’s is all the rage after the Obama/William’s visit. So how does a new burger shop stand-out amongst such stiff and varied competition? By offering the best pure burger in town, that’s how.
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The Features, We Love Food

First Look: Restaurant 3’s Bacon Week

Photo courtesy of
‘pigs in a row’
courtesy of ‘specialkrb’

Books have been written about it. Love songs. Poems. It’s salty. It’s crispy. It’s fatty. It’s bacon.

And Restaurant 3 knows about the beauty of the food, and the Clarendon neighborhood restaurant is celebrating the “Week of Bacon” from October 21-27, 2009. Each day for the duration of the week of bacon, the restaurant will offer a daily Bacon Happy Hour, where bar guests can feast on bacon bites such as bacon on a stick & bacon-wrapped shrimp and wash it all down with $3 craft beer draft specials. Not only can you stop by for bacon and beer, but Restaurant 3 is offering a Bacon Tasting Menu priced at $30 per person. I was lucky enough to preview a few of the Bacon Week specials, and let me tell you. It’s impressive. Continue reading

The Daily Feed, We Green DC

Does Farm to Table Mean Pumpkin Pie?

Photo courtesy of
‘Pumpkin Pie’
courtesy of ‘benklocek’

Hard to believe, but true — soon it’ll be time for pumpkin pie! And pumpkin dip, and pumpkin muffins…nom, nom, nom.

As the fall harvest starts, Arlington is celebrating local foods like the great pumpkin. Its Farm to Table Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 14, with locavore dinners at several restaurants including Willow and Eventide.

There will also be movie nights, with films such as The True Cost of Food and FRESH. Next Tuesday’s kickoff is from 6-9 at, where else, the Whole Foods in Clarendon.

Arlington, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Minh’s

Photo courtesy of
‘Day 63: Minhs’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

I discovered Minh’s pretty quickly after moving to DC. You see, I have this thing for rice paper summer rolls and peanut sauce. I love them, and I want them at least once a month. Back where I come from (cue the country song), there is this amazing Vietnamese restaurant called Lang Van’s, owned by a friend’s family. I was upset to leave Lang Van’s, so I quickly searched out a substitute. Minh’s certainly lives up.

With one of the largest menus I’ve ever seen (trumped only by Cheesecake Factory) you pretty much can’t go wrong at Minh’s. Located between Court House and Clarendon out in Virginia (where arguably all the good Asian food hides) Mihn’s is situated on Wilson Boulevard in a nondescript office building. I’ve had friends tell me that they’ve ridden past it a million times, never noticing it. I wonder how that could be, seeing as there are huge neon signs in the window, but that’s just me. (Hey, I never claimed Minh’s was trendy, or sleek, or chic!) The outward appearance isn’t the fabulous part of Minh’s, the food is. Continue reading

The Features, Thrifty District

Thrifty District: Paint Your Own Nails

Photo courtesy of
‘Tube nails’
courtesy of ‘Phil Hawksworth’

Getting your nails done doesn’t seem like that big of an expense– what’s $20 here or there? But pampering like that is easy to cut out of your budget while still keeping your fingernails pretty and maintained at home.

Thrifty: First, you need some good supplies. At the minimum, you need nail clippers (I prefer Revlon, but you can get whatever you want), a good file, nail polish remover, cotton balls, and polish. Continue reading

The Daily Feed, We Green DC

National Trails Day: Get Out

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘chrismeller’
Tomorrow’s supposed to be beautiful — and it’s National Trails Day, with a variety of hikes and trail maintenance events in and around town.

Among the other fun (and useful) choices is a journey to Ice Mountain, where you can find ice even in the summer; locals once used it to make ice cream and lemonade. You need a guide to visit this Nature Conservancy land in West Virginia that’s about 2 hours away, and a day trip leaves Arlington tomorrow morning (it’s course # 643741A).

In all my years hiking this area, I’ve never heard of Ice Mountain before, but it sounds cool (yeah, ha, ha). Happy trails!

Music, The Daily Feed

Toby Lightman at Iota tonight

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘cnraether’

You might remember Toby Lightman from her 2004 single “Devils and Angels,” but even though her songs haven’t seen radio play since then, she hasn’t stopped making music. Her new stuff is soulful, often sultry and jazzy but sometimes pop-y and upbeat, plus she really knows how to put backup singers to good use. Catch her at Iota in Arlington tonight with local Shane Hines ($12).

The Daily Feed

Calls to Stop Coal

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘dno1967’

Even with all the alarming news about global warming, coal lives on. Did you know there are plans to build yet another coal-fired plant in Virginia’s Tidewater area, only about 150 miles from DC?

If you’re tired of just talking about climate change, now you can talk to help stop it.

A phone bank sponsored by Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light will take place in Clarendon on Tuesday, April 14, from 5:30 – 8 p.m. Join it and call members of the electric co-ops who are proposing the coal-burning plant. You can discuss the proposal and cleaner alternatives, and empower them to take action. For your efforts, you’ll get treats and snacks–and a coal-free stocking on Santa’s next trip.

Arlington, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

A Hard Day: The End of Murky

Murky Coffee Regulars

This morning’s letter on the Murky Coffee website is no April Fools’ Joke. Replacing Murky in the space they’ll leave behind in Clarendon will become a venture of the group that owns Liberty Tavern, with a new space, and a new concept. While details are still sketchy, from what I understand, the upstairs at the new coffee location will be a co-working space, something like Beehive Baltimore or Indy Hall in Philadelphia.

The staff of Murky, owner Nick Cho included, are coming back into the District starting in early to mid May at a new shop called Wrecking Ball Coffee, which will be over at 5th and H Sts NW in Chinatown. The changes will be taking place here in the next month, leaving me without a third place to work from, which has me very disappointed. Murky has been, since I left my desk job, my home and community since 2006. The picture above shows half my Murky family, the other roving consultants and self-employed folks who have been my “co-workers,” and I count many among my finest friends. This site was actually designed and coded in the upstairs section of Murky before the county shuttered that part of the shop.

Murky’s run wasn’t free from controversy, from the problem with DC sales taxes that shuttered the Capitol Hill location, to Dickpunchgate, but it was home to me. And so, I’ll miss my third place, and hope that the folks who run Liberty Tavern will know they have a group of regulars who’re looking for a home, and open to what they’ve got to offer.

Arlington, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Public/Private


The Arlington Arts Center (AAC) is a private, nonprofit contemporary visual arts center dedicated to presenting and supporting new work by regional artists in the mid-Atlantic States. AAC is located in the Virginia Square area of the Clarendon and Wilson Blvd strip between Clarendon and Ballston. Right now, AAC is home to a few different exhibitions, but the one that got me out of the house last Saturday is the Public/Private exhibit I had been hearing so much buzz about.

The AAC web site describes it best: “PUBLIC/PRIVATE puts together two very different types of content in contemporary art: art about the artist’s immediate surroundings, domestic sphere, and personal relationships; and art that exists out in the world, inviting or requiring the public’s physical participation. Featuring Lisa Blas, Chris Barr & Veronique Cote, Mandy Burrow, Ben Kinsley & Robin Hewlett, Anissa Mack, Christian Moeller, Stephanie Robbins, Richard Saxton, Satomi Shirai, and Matthew Sutton”

The exhibit I most wanted to see was an exhibit titled “Street With A View” about a staged Google maps street view street performance. The artists got together and created interesting things during the time when the street view car would be driving down the street in Pittsburgh. I was fascinated to see all the different things they staged for the car. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Eventide opens tonight. Yes, really.

Eventide Restaurant

Molly from the Post has pointed out to us this post on the Going Out Gurus blog about tonight’s grand opening of Eventide in Clarendon. It’s been a long time coming – a quick googling till turn up old articles claiming a Summer 2008 opening – and the ownership glibly quips about it to the GOG.  “Nats Park took 22 months to build,” says Dave Pressley with a smile. “I think we’re at 27.”

You might take into consideration the success of those who you choose compare yourself to in the future, Dave.

It sounds like nice digs. Bar level on the bottom floor, restaurant on the second level. The roof’s not open yet but when it does you can enjoy it without environmental guilt: it was designed by local firm Capitol Greenroofs and you can see some pictures and information about Evertide’s roof on their website[pdf].

3165 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

Arlington, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

The Big (Apartment) Hunt

Photo courtesy of
‘Misc DC – Presidential Flyover – 9-1-08’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

So we’re looking at making THE BIG MOVE, and I need some advice from all you Realtors and leasing agents out there.

My lovely roommate and I are going to be striking out to find a new apartment along the Wilson/Clarendon (metro accessible) stretch and are wondering – how are the prices out there? We had a HORRENDOUS time snagging our current apartment during the summer a few years ago, but are hoping with the economic downturn, and the dead of winter, things might actually play out in our favor.

I’ve noticed so many more advertising yard signs (Parc Rosslyn and Vista, I’m looking at you!) and random people on the street corner doing tricks with big arrow signs than I did last year – so I ask…is it a renter’s market out there? Can we bargain? What is your advice (or experience, if you recently made a move) for apartment shopping during these winter months in a crap economy?

Arlington, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Brunch @ Boulevard Woodgrill


Brunch at Boulevard Woodgrill courtesy of Needlessspaces

I have an odd relationship with breakfast. I don’t care for eggs – gasp – so there’s not tons of breakfast foods that appeal to me. I enjoy the pancakes, and french toast. I love hash browns, grits, bacon, sausage… but most of breakfast is centered around eggs, which is why I embrace brunch. Brunch, the hybrid between breakfast and lunch – I can order some lunch counterparts, or I can stick to breakfast foods that I enjoy like the ones pictured above.

Arlington is home to some insanely delicious brunches – it seems practically every restaurant up and down the Wilson/Clarendon stretch offers brunch.  My fellow Arlingtonites come out in full force, wearing the weekend-morning uniform of Uggs and college sweatshirts, we find ourselves sipping coffee and munching on yummy food. I love it. Matt and I can roll out of bed, I can throw on my UNC hoodie, and we can walk to a plethora of delicious options. A few weeks ago we chose Boulevard Woodgrill, and it was completely satisfactory to our breakfast/lunch cravings.  Continue reading

Arlington, Downtown, Life in the Capital, The Features

Thrifty District: Cheap, but Chic


"French Flappers, Parisian Cafe 1920's" by Vintage Lulu on Flickr

In one of my many other lives, I’m a theater costume designer. However, I’m not really a costumer (someone who actually makes clothes), though I sew on occasion, I’m always disappointing my friends by not making them exquisite clothes from scratch. But what I can do is shop with them! Costume designers have to realize a director’s expansive and expensive vision on a sometimes depressingly tight budget in a small amount of time. So in our continuing series on the Thrifty District and how to maximize your fast-depleting funds, I thought I’d give you a little taste of my favorite shops to get cheap yet chic fashion.

Let’s start with the basic rules (getting them out of the way fast so we can have fun with shops!):

Know Yourself and Support Yourself
No, this isn’t some New Age mantra. It means don’t buy anything that doesn’t fit. If it’s too tight or too loose just don’t do it. Don’t get distracted by sizes, they don’t mean anything anyway. If you knew your actual dressmaker size you’d freak out the number is so high – even you superskinny misses! Continue reading