Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup

First Look: Sixth Engine

exterior

Photo Courtesy Justin Cook

Like most people, I was excited to try out Sixth Engine, with a lot of the appeal coming from its setting: a historic firehouse house built in 1855 and the oldest in Washington, DC. Located north of Chinatown in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood, Sixth Engine serves modern American cuisine and comes to us from the team behind Capitol Hill’s The Dubliner Irish Pub.

I went there last week and even though it was freezing outside, the place was packed. Owner Gavin Coleman and team did a great job with the decor, though I wish the second floor didn’t feel so separate from the first: think doors, steps, and more doors. The industrial feel was appreciated albeit expected, and the furnishings and fixtures added to that historic appeal.

The food different story. Before I get to the negatives, the wine menu was uninspired and pricey, so I went for a regular cocktail instead and everything I tried was pretty good, so maybe the trick is to treat Sixth Engine more like a bar. The menu had many different options — it isn’t often that you see spaetzle on the same menu as a linguine. The prices were average (still on the high side) for the neighborhood, though more than worth it if the food turned out to be stellar. Unfortunately, that was far from the case.
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The DC 100, The Features

DC Omni 100: #6 Black Pudding

Photo courtesy of
‘Black Pudding with kidney – The Botanical Breakfast – The Botanical AU19.50′
courtesy of ‘avlxyz’

It’s time for another item from the DC Omnivore 100 list of the top one hundred foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their lives.

Let’s get over the squeamishness now, and call a spade a spade. Black pudding is blood sausage. Ahhhh…I said BLOOD! Now we know what we’re eating and we can directly correlate it to a real live animal,  not some amorphous substance. So now that we’ve established that, freaked out a tad and gotten over it, let’s talk about how delicious black pudding is.

In its simplest form, black pudding is a combination of onions, a few herbs, barley, bread crumbs, meat, seasonal vegetables, or heavy spices and, typically, pork or cow blood. I supposed for some it’s the incorrect assumption that the only ingredient in black pudding is blood that makes it SO unappealing. However, the best black pudding does not use too much blood, and has an even mixture of the other ingredients. It’s this perfect combination that makes the flavor of black pudding to be so rich, complex and delicious.

Traditionally, black pudding is served as part of a full English breakfast, such as the one I recently enjoyed at Ireland’s Four Courts in Arlington, VA. A full English breakfast gets you a few slices of black pudding, eggs (cooked to your liking,) baked beans, fried tomatoes, hash browns, toast, bacon, white pudding (a relative of black pudding but sans blood) and perhaps a few other odds and ends depending on the cook and restaurant you’re at. If you’re new to black pudding, the small amount provided as part of the meal will be an excellent way to sample this iron rich, savory treat. And if you don’t like it, at least you’re left with plenty of “friendly” food. Continue reading

Adventures, Entertainment, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Night Life, The Daily Feed, The District, The Hill

Half Way To St. Patty’s Day Celebration

Photo courtesy of
‘Don’t Have Any Words at the Moment’
courtesy of ‘marciadc’

I’m guessing that even if you’re Irish, you probably didn’t realize that tomorrow is the halfway mark to 2010′s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

If you’d like to celebrate this VERY special occasion, have a pint or you’re just looking for a good time, check out the St. Patrick’s Day Festival at Kelly’s Irish Times and the Dubliner tomorrow.  Festivities begin at 4pm and last until 12pm with drink specials, raffle prizes and live music.

Entry is $5 in advance, $7 if you’re sporting green and $10 if you just want in at the door, and can be bought through Lindy Promotions.