Interested in starting a food blog? Or maybe you have one up-and-running, but you want to share ideas with local bloggers about recipes, photography and software? Or really, maybe you just want to talk about food. We know people who do that, too. Join the DC Food Bloggers tomorrow night for happy hour at Vinoteca.
See you there! And make sure to RSVP on the Facebook fan page.
Special thanks to co-hosts The Arugula Files, Beerspotter, Biscuits and Such, Capital Spice, Capital Cooking, Common Man Eats, DininginDC, Gradually Greener, ModernDomestic, Thrifty DC Cook, and WeLoveDC.
You may not be able to pronounce it, but you will soon be talking about the coolest street food truck this side of the Mississippi – or perhaps even the Nile (not “denial”, we are actually talking about the river in Egypt). Sâuçá is a new “mobile restaurant” that will be hitting the District’s streets by the end of the month. Let’s recap a few key words that describe this new concept: on wheels, food from around the world, flat screen TVs, wifi, international pay phone, super social media usage and FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD. Did I mention this is all on wheels? To this, Mr. Farhad Assari (the restaurateur), I have only two words: YES PLEASE.
‘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.
‘U.S. Senate bean soup’
courtesy of ’4braham’
Corral your canned goods. It’s Arlington Takes a Bite Out of Hunger Week, today through Dec. 7. They’ve made it easy to donate. You can put vittles in boxes at county community centers, libraries, nature centers, and other government buildings.
The Arlington Food Assistance Center drive will help feed the more than 1,200 families who need help each week. And that number continues to grow.
On the wish list? Soups, cereals, canned goods, pastas and peanut butter.
courtesy of ‘rayb777′
To be honest, I never thought of growing sprouts in my kitchen over the winter. But I like the name of this class – “Sprout Happy!” – that will be held in North Bethesda on Saturday morning. And they promise you’ll learn how to grow live, organic food inside for just pennies.
Hmm, houseplants that you (and not just your cat) can eat. This sounds simple and fun.
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.
August. Dead month, right? Not in the foodie world, at least not in DC. Yes, things may be slower than usual, but I was still pretty busy shoving food into my mouth. I was lucky enough to preview upcoming Masa 14 and meet Kaz of Kaz Sushi Bistro, I headed out on the town with Donna for a locovore dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak, and I returned to some all-time favorites. Mostly I’ve been eating sushi and steak, seems to be the reoccurring theme this month. At least they balance each other out in the health department, right?
So here are the best of the best dishes I’ve eaten all month. I’ll give you a list of where I’ve been (also known as what we’re working with) and then give you a look at the best of the best. Can you handle all the tasty? Continue reading
If you ever find yourself in Reston (as I did last Saturday) and you’re looking for a unique, chef-driven, alcohol-involved concept you’re in luck. Why you’d ever be in Reston looking for those things is largely beside the point. The point is, you can find all of those things at Vinifera.
Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro hosts “Vinifera’s World Tour” dinners, which feature “an eclectic mix of food, wine and music” from different regions of the world. We were there on Pacific Rim night, and were offered sake or wine flights with all kinds of delicious regional food pairings. The food and wine I got, the music, uh not so much. (Tangent: There was though, a memorable epic Titanic-type song that played over the speakers that made my partner-in-dining-crime Karl wonder if monumental things were about to happen, like dinosaurs roaming the patio, or a fireball heading straight for our table.) Continue reading
‘Surfer Rides Wave Brought by Hurricane Bill’
courtesy of ‘michelemeek’
Take a break. Right now, really, and watch the lush, smooth, curling waves on this trailer from BlueGreen. Ahhh, the beach! I can even feel the sand between my toes.
BlueGreen, they say, is a documentary about the human connection to the ocean. That sounds wonderful, and I think I vaguely heard people saying as such on the trailer. But mostly I was mesmerized by the waves and the surfers sliding along them, including stars Keith Malloy, Layne Beachley, and Robert August. Robert “Wingnut” Weaver narrates.
BlueGreen is one of three summer movies with an earth-friendly bent that have screenings around town in the next few days. The next few hot, dog days of summer, that is — days perfect for slipping inside a chilly theater.
WeLoveDC authors Donna (greenie) and Katie (foodie) have paired up to bring you a double-hitting feature about local area restaurants that take on the challenge of being green. Donna will explain the logic behind the environmentally friendly trends and Katie will tell you if the food tastes any good. It’s a rough life, but someone has to do it, right?
Katie: Charlie Palmer Steak is situated on the bottom floor of the Carpenter’s Union building, facing the Capitol Reflecting Pool on the Senate side. I’d almost be tempted to call it DC stuffy, if I didn’t love it so much. And love it I do, Charlie Palmer Steak gets top marks in my foodie book. Not only is it gorgeous, the food is fantastic, and the service matches. The entire front of the restaurant is glass, and in the winter I’m sure it has a supurb view of the Capitol Building. An impressive walk-in wine cellar sits above a fountain and water pool full of stones. The servers are inconspicuously attentive. Candles flicker on the table. It is a quiet sort of posh, the perfect place for a business meeting, or a very impressive date. Honestly, it’s the type of place that you wouldn’t quite expect to do locovore meals. It’s a bit too conservative, too buttoned-up. But for all the month of August, through September 12, you can stop by Charlie Palmer to do an incredibly affordable “In the Loop” dinner – all food from within 150 miles of DC for $39 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Continue reading
‘Say Hello to My Little Fren”
courtesy of ‘marciadc’
If you still have an appetite for food movies, there’s a new one in town — but only for a limited time.
The End of the Line, which has been called “the Inconvenient Truth of the oceans,” is a fascinating movie that lays out why seafood may soon be off the menu and what you can do to save it.
Originally screened at National Geographic in June, it’s now playing for one week, starting today, at Landmark E Street Cinema.
Check out the trailer for a taste.
courtesy of ‘ttarasiuk’
I’ll admit it; I was a little nervous about going to see two movies about our food supply on two consecutive evenings — Food, Inc., playing in area theaters, and FRESH, at a special screening Wednesday night.
I didn’t know much about FRESH, but what I’d heard about Food, Inc. was to eat something organic beforehand. My imagination ran wild. How disgusting was this going to be? Would I have to start eating seaweed for breakfast? And what if I came out of the theater feeling really compelled to change something? The horrors!
It wasn’t quite what I expected.
Food, Inc. may masquerade as a boring documentary, but really it’s a thriller, full of espionage and ex-military company types roughing up farmers in the black of night, arrests and cover-ups and mad scientist types turning corn into Coke and Cheez-Its. Of course there are blood and guts — those are prerequisites for any box-office hit — but the message wasn’t all kumbaya about growing broccoli and whatnot. It was about how giant corporations run by evil, squinty-eyed people are controlling the food supply.
In essence, this movie’s about rights — among them, yours and mine to know what we’re eating and to order a burger without a side of e-coli. Cool concept, huh? So now for the big question — if you go see this flick, will you ever want to eat again? Continue reading
courtesy of ‘Hoffmann’
Sure, we know that farmers markets bring in fresh, healthy food and allow us to support local farms. But knowing what to buy when we get there is a different story.
How is a white peach different from a yellow one? (It’s sweeter, and sublime.) And what do you do with a rutabaga anyway? (Darned good question.)
Find more answers at a local foods tasting on Monday at 7 p.m. at Arlington Central Library, where you can sample our area’s produce and learn how to cook it.
‘it’s full. yet it’s empty.’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’
I have mixed feelings about Union Station. It’s gorgeous, yet it’s grubby. It’s full of good stores, yet it has nothing really that interesting. It’s got good hustle and bustle, yet I hate the lost souls. Seriously, it’s love/hate. I love it but I really hate it. But mostly I think about Union Station and how much space is wasted with bad food. I recently had a discussion on Twitter with my tweeple (I’m getting addicted. We knew this would happen, didn’t we?) about Union Station and the lack of decent food inside.
We settled on Corner Bakery actually being the best option. And that’s fine, I like Corner Bakery (not as much as I love Potbellys!) but isn’t it sad that our epicenter of transportation doesn’t have good uniquely-DC food inside? There’s a decent Gyro to be had downstairs, and I don’t hate Cafe Renee, but ya’ll, it’s basically a food-void, in my opinion. This is distressing to me. So I ask you… Am I missing something? Is there a hidden gem in there that I just don’t know about? Or is Union Station just the way I see it – a black hole of mediocrity?
‘Look what’s for dinner!’
courtesy of ‘jessicafm’
I got slightly snarky a while back about the upcoming Kid’s Restaurant Week (June 13-21) but promised in my last post about it that I’d offer up my personal picks for the event, even if I plan to stay far, far away. So here’s keeping good to my promise. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’
Big news coming out of Metro today: officials are considering allowing kiosks in certain Metro stations to sell packaged food in stations! The move is an attempt to increase revenue by adding kiosks at a number of stations (in DC: outside Anacostia, in Fort Totten, in Gallery Place-Chinatown, and in Metro Center). Kiosks could be newsstands, dry cleaning services, and even gourmet food stores.
But no, this doesn’t mean you’d be allowed to eat what you bought at a kiosk– the Metro food and drink ban is still in effect. About three years ago Metro solicited proposals for kiosks that would sell anything but food, beverages, and tobacco– but they didn’t get a good response and realized it wasn’t profitable to not sell food in transit stations.
This seems a little weird to me. I think I’d be really bitter if I were starving, and got a gourmet sandwich at a Metro kiosk (probably marked up ridiculously because of the captive audience), and had to sit there just looking at it the whole ride home. That’s just mean, Metro.
‘Yann Tiersen 27′
courtesy of ‘Shadowgate’
Last night’s US premiere of musician and composer, Yann Tiersen, marked the opening of the season of events hosted by the ‘La Maison Française‘ (or “The French House“) Franco-American cultural exchange at the French Embassy. They are scheduling event’s throughout the summer and vary their selections from music (jazz, folk, classical, and rock) to other performances (cabaret, opera, theater) and are held in a very intimate setting on the grounds. If the actual quality of the performance isn’t enough, remember, this is France, and a complimentary wine tasting ensued after the performance (I only wished for cheese and bread to follow!).
‘Fried Pickle Chips’
courtesy of ‘SauceSupreme’
IT’S FRIDAY! Aaaaaaayyy! And you know what Friday says to me? It says HAPPY HOUR! This week has had some gorgeous weather in it and I think I’ve got a full-out case of some serious spring fever. It’s time we get out there, DC, put on your game face and start practicing for summertime. I’ve planned and been invited to more happy hours in the past couple of weeks than I had been all winter long!
One of the first things I consider at my happy hours is the availability of food. Cheap food, preferably, but also delicious food. And food that goes with beer. You know what food goes best with beer? Fried food!! So click on through for a sampling of my favorite fried happy hour food and where to find it. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘FamilyNature’
So, you’ve got your garden under way. Or maybe you’re anxiously awaiting the beginning of your CSA. You’ve armed yourself with a good cookbook or two so you’ll have some basic recipes for that eggplant you inevitably end up with. You wander through your nearest farmer’s market every week, wistfully looking for the first hothouse tomatoes of the season. And then there’s the inevitable result: the moment the Westmoreland Berry Farm strawberries look any good, you buy 8 quarts, get them home, and realize that even if you could fit them all in there, they only keep in the fridge for 3 days, and that there’s no way you can possibly eat that many in that time. Not that this has ever happened to me. I’ve certainly never walked out of a farmer’s market wondering how I managed to buy $90 of fruit and had to hold a sangria party to consume it all… *ahem*
When you can’t foist any more zucchini on your neighbors and coworkers, when you’re tired of pesto, and when you’re embarrassed at the number of peaches you allowed to go bad in your dining room while you were looking for the right cobbler recipe, you realize: You’ve got to find a way to preserve this stuff. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘webjedi’
Originally, this Omnivore update was for another topic, which was “Beer above 8%” (and will show up soon), but after taking a look at the menu at Brasserie Beck, the Belgian-styled gastropub downtown, I figured I’d better shift focus.
So you ask, “snails?”, what is the most joked about cuisine when you’re trying to gross-out friends doing as a willing entry here rather than on a dare. I have to honestly admit, if it weren’t for my wife, there would be a lot of things, cuisine-wise, I’d never have tried, and snails (not to be confused with their brethren, “escargot”) would not have been the highest on my list. But, figuring this is a top notch establishment, and an unlimited supply of good beer to wash everything down, I said “what the heck!”. For goodness sake, the meal and establishment share most of name (Gastropod vs. Gastropub).