• 13Apr

    IMG_4686

    Whether you’re traveling from out of town and want a dose of a little bit of everything DC has to offer in a couple of hours, or a DC metro dweller, Carpe DC Food Tours is a great way to explore several local fares in a short amount of time at an affordable price.

    I’ve lived in the DC Metro area now for a little over 10 years now and absolutely loved this tour.  I took a dive into the U Street Corridor Tour and learned so much of what I’ve missed over the years.  These tours are intimate groups of about 6-8 people with a knowledgeable tour guide who patiently gives you the historical background of the area you’re exploring. Each tour package offers a minimum of 4 restaurants, food samplings from each restaurant, and an alcohol pairing add-on option.  And the best part is that a portion of each ticket sale goes to local charity, Bread for the City.

    Living in the DC area for all of these years, you often forget how rich in history and art this city really holds.  Being so focused on the fact that politics seems to run this town, it’s often easy to overlook the beauty that encapsulates the city.

    So here’s the rundown of my U Street Food Tour:

    IMG_4682Ben’s Next Door
    Ok, so it’s pretty much a sacrilege for a Washingtonian to not have tried Ben’s Chili Bowl at least once in their lifetime.  Ben’s Chili Bowl is a family-run DC icon dating back to 1958 and is still operating in the same location to this day.  So it’s not a surprise that Ben’s Next Door is first stop on the tour.

    Ben’s Next Door is the sports bar version of the original Ben’s Chili Bowl, located right next door.  They offer the menu favorites from the restaurant next door along with an extended slightly upper scale cuisine.  At this location you could come watch sports team on the big screens, scarf down a classic half smoke and wash it down with a local brew.  What can I say about this place?  It never disappoints.

    IMG_4693Dukem Ethiopian
    Next stop was an Ethiopian restaurant, Duken Ethiophian.  Ethiopian cuisine has been popping up all over the metro area and becoming a popular trend.

    This was my first time trying Ethiopian food and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  We had a vegetarian platter of yellow peas, collard greens, red lentils, and a fresh tomato salad.  I’m by no means a vegetarian and this dish was deeply satisfying.   The beef tips were incredibly seasoned.  And after this tour stop, I won’t be hesitant to try out another Ethiopian restaurant again.

    IMG_4701Glen’s Garden Market
    Now I will be the first to admit, I thought that this was an odd stop on the tour.  I thought to myself, why in the world would we stop at a market?

    We came in and sat around the deli counter and were given cups of Kale and Apple Salad.  I dislike raw kale.  It’s not my favorite green.  Turn them into chips, bake them, sauté them—OK.  But a plate full of raw kale, I say no thank you.

    Boy was I wrong…this had to be the best salad I’ve ever had.  The kale mixed with sweet crunchy apples and picked radish drenched in a pumpkin seed dressing—sinfully good. I bought a tub of it and horded it at home.  This market is a great locally sourced, organic market with an amazing deli.  A gem I would’ve never guessed to stop in if not for this tour stop.

    IMG_4709Calabash Tea & Cafe
    Last stop on the tour and I was sad to see it come to an end was the perfect ending to a perfect Sunday afternoon.  Again, this was a cafe I would’ve never thought to make a pit stop at if not for this tour.  It’s a little bit off the beaten path in the Shaw neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of U Street.

    I love tea so it’s really no wonder that I really enjoyed the chai here.  There are a number of different “potion” mixtures that are brewed in accordance to your ailments or your needs.  This cafe’s belief is that food is healing.  Have a cold, they’ll have the tea remedy to help you.  The Love Potion was full of rich flavors and I need to stop here to catch my breath because I can’t believe it myself–they offer vegan and gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  My first thought is … um no thank you.  But they serve it to you WARM and holy guacamole it was the best cookie I’ve ever had.  It didn’t taste like stale cardboard.

    So overall, this was an incredible experience.  My first food tour (first tour ever) of DC and I want more.  And a special thanks to our incredible tour guide, Laura.  I’ve learned so much about this fair city I now call home.

    -ADT (Angie)

    Editor’s Notes: Glen’s has a good and affordable beer selection, indoor and outdoor seating, and tons of interesting options, including hot food. Callabash makes great herbal tea blends; I usually buy two bags of Rescue Me at a time in the winter to take home. -JAY

  • 10Apr

    IMG_4638

    April 1 was the grand opening of the new Bowlero location in Centreville, VA.  If you’re looking for some good old fashioned family fun “cool” enough to tear the kids away from their devices, this is where you want to be!  Or, if you’re looking for a fun chill late night hang out spot with your friends, Bowlero is open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

    This renovated bowling ally offers loud energetic music to get you amped up for a round of cosmic bowling!  That’s right, the lanes and pins are neon lit to make your bowing experience that much more fun.

    IMG_4667

    Above you can see the Grand Opening presentation of Bowlero’s signature Behemoth Burger with DeAngelo Hall of the Redskins.

    Their “Go Crazy” menu offers a great selection of items you’ll need to share, including the Behemoth Burger (pictured above), a 5lb mammoth of a burger (not a mammoth burger) that you won’t want to tackle alone.  Tired out from bowling?  They also tout a decent size arcade with games that are enjoyable for all age ranges.  I, myself, enjoyed defending our nation from an alien invasion.

    Overall, I think this is a great place for a fun date night, or group outing with friends and/or family to escape your mundane day-to-day routine.  I love the idea of the revitalizing nostalgic activities in the digital age.

    Bowlero Centreville
    13814 Lee Hwy, Centerville, VA
    www.bowlero.com/location/bowlero-centreville

    -ADT (Angie)

     

    Editor’s Note:

    The Urban Dictionary defines Cosmic Bowling as:

    1. Actual bowling with lazer lights and black lights.

  • 08Apr

    We are a big fan of Noosa Yoghurt! Our favorite flavors are Blood Orange, Tart Cherry, Mango, and Lemon, although available varieties do differ by store. Here is a link to send your friends a coupon for a FREE Noosa!

    Thanks Freebies for a Cause for posting the coupon link

    -JAY

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  • 05Apr

    The good news is, some of us are over-employed (that’s good, right?). Some of us have even moved away from the DC area. (You know who you are). 🙂

    But the bad news is a dry spell for the FUD at the moment. So, to counteract this terrible state of affairs, we are looking for…

    A FEW NEW WRITERS!! Have you discovered the best wine, restaurant, or food truck in DC? Do you want to write a comparison article for a particular item or dish? Need some hipster cred? Do you have some random recipes to share? Writing experience for your resume? Articles for your Portfolio? Passionate about food? Then we want you for DCFüd. Send writing samples to dcfud.writers@gmail.com, along with few ideas you’d like to write about. It’ll be crazy!

    This is on a volunteer basis. Writers who contribute regularly may cover events as well.

    -JAY

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  • 15Feb

    The Masala Art location in SW DC (Waterfront Metro) is featuring 3 courses meals different cuisine of India every month (on Mondays). The meat option costs $27, while the vegetarian option is only $24. You select one entree, and are served an appetizer platter (of 3 items). We tried some of January’s Punjabi offerings (see the above images).

    We ordered both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and were impressed with the Punjabi menu, including the accompaniments, Maa ki Dal, Jeera Mattar Pulao and Butter Nan, dal makhani  and cumin and peas pulao. We practically fought over the dal (it was so good).

    Service was good. They dealt very well with us having a short amount of available time that evening.

    February’s menu is Indo-Chinese. The non-vegetarian menu will begin with an appetizer platter that includes hot mango chicken; chicken lollipop; and Sriracha honey fish, while the vegetarian menu will begin with an appetizer platter of spring rolls, honey chili potatoes and crispy friend vegetables. Entrees include a choice of Chili Chicken, Lamb Manchurian, or Hot Garlic Fish for non vegetarians, and Chili Paneer, Vegetable Manchurian, or Garlic Broccoli Tofu for vegetarians.

    Note: I’ll comment on this article when I know what region they are featuring Mondays in March.

    -JAY

     

  • 09Feb

    Delicious Chicken & Waffles made with tenders!

    Bread Basket with butter and house-made jelly!

    We sampled City Perch’s updated menu in the fall, and it was delicious, so we were thrilled to recently revisit the restaurant to check out their brunch menu. City Perch is definitely worth the trip to Maryland, praise I usually reserve for recommending (to DC-focused friends) a certain Bethesda BBQ truck, Hardy’s.

    City Perch’s Brunch Box is $19.99 and includes one entree and one drink (coffee, tea, juice,
    soda, house punch, sangria, mimosa, bellini, Moscow mule, or bloody Mary). Add $10 for bottomless drinks.

    We tried Chicken & Waffles, Slow Poached Egg with Short Rib, and the off menu Bread Basket, all three of which were excellent choices.We did not need to order dessert, since the bread basket is more of a pastry basket.

    The Chicken & Waffles is much better than the versions we generally see on brunch menus, included delicious and well-coated fried chicken tenders, and is alone worth the trip to City Perch for brunch. It is listed as a sandwich on their menu, which is incorrect. We preferred the vanilla maple syrup to the spicy bacon maple syrup, but you can certainly request for both syrups and decide for yourself.

    The Slow Poached Egg with Short Rib includes tender and flavorful slow cooked short rib, creamy mascarpone polenta, and wonderfully-executed bacon braised kale. You see, we aren’t anti bacon!

    The Bread Basket is a signature item from the previous menu that is presently an off menu option. As mentioned, it’s more of a pastry basket than a bread basket. It can function as a nice selection whether at the beginning or end of a meal for a group, and contains a butter croissant, chocolate croissant, cornbread soaked in honey butter, orange sage drop biscuit, and seasonal muffin, which in this case was orange cranberry. The pastries are made in house with the exception of the two croissants.

    We also tried the Crispy Latke Fries, which we’d personally prefer as a non French fry version of potato pancakes.

    Maryland (MoCo) diners should be happy to have access to such a wonderful dinner and brunch restaurant. Even DC diners should consider a trip to City Perch, and those are strong words! You may want to plan to see a movie after brunch; the iPic Theater on the same floor is owned by the same company as the restaurant.

    -JAY

  • 08Feb

    About six months ago, restaurateur and James Beard Foundation Award winner, Michael Richard passed away. His loss will be felt in the DC restaurant world.

    I was lucky to attend Sweet Hope, an annual charity event to benefit St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital a couple of months ago, and am happy to report that Central is producing desserts of the same quality and deliciousness of previous years. Above are some of the image highlights. Here, here (featuring an image of Michel), and here are three of our previous articles that featured this great French chef and his food.

    -JAY

  • 05Jan

    I’ve been a bit obsessed with Mexico City recently following a trip in November. It’s pretty fantastic (if you can handle the smog  and speak at least a bit of Spanish) – great art, great culture, amazing food, etc. – I’m going back this month. But in the meantime, back up here in the cold, I wanted to bring myself  back to a bit of a warmer state of mind, and what better excuse to use everyone’s favorite  winter warmer, the slow cooker?

    So I decided to try a spin on a DF classic – al pastor. So I polled a couple Mexican friends  (ok, exactly two) for a recipe, and combining them got a semi-coherent list of ingredients
    with vague proportions. But it sounded good, and I’m not big on precise measurements anyhow.  Also note that al pastor is generally defined by use of the guajillo chili, which I didn’t
    have handy. I used chipotle. I also had no pineapple juice, so that got mucked about a bit,  and obviously I slow-cooked instead or spit-grilling.Tasty, not authentic

    You read the title, right?

    I also added the onion because I thought it seemed right. It was.

    I used:

    Product:

    • 2lbs pork butt country ribs, separated and stabbed repeatedly
    • 1/2 yellow onion, quartered
    • 11 oz cubed fresh pineapple

    Marinade:

    • 2 tbs achiote (anatto) seed, ground
    • 2 tbs ground chipotle
    • 1 tbs garlic powder
    • 1 tbs oregano
    • 1 tbs cumin
    • 1 tbs salt
    • 1 tbs pepper
    • 1c cider vinegar
    • 3/4c water
    • 1 tbs agave nectar

    Preparation is wonderfully simple: put all the ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover and marinate overnight. In the morning before leaving for work, I poured everything into my trusty slow cooker, and set it on low for 9.5 hours (its longest setting, just because it’s not like I was getting home in less than 11) . I arrived home that evening to a gorgeous aroma from the pot, now happily keeping things warm, from which I heaped lovely, fall-apart tender pork. It was truly delicious alone, but over some rice (I suspect hominy would be good too) it was really awesome.

    The cooked marinade, by the way, is a keeper: this may become a go-to barbecue sauce for me: transfer it to a saucepan and let reduce. Thicken with cornstarch or flour, and toss the pork back in, you could make tacos. I’m just sayin’.

    Buen provecho!

     – MAW

  • 23Nov

    We recently sampled the bar menu specials at Wildfire’s Martini Lounge at Tysons Galleria. This menu is available at the bar (and bar tables) Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.

    Wildfire did a good job with the bar menu. My favorite items were the Crispy Fish Tacos and Crispy Chicken Sliders. I’ll probably also order the Macaroni & Cheese Bites and Pepperoni Pizza sometime soon. There are also two other pizza options: Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil, and Classic Mushroom.

    Prices:

    • $4.95 for Wood Oven Baked Mozzarella, Macaroni & Cheese Bites, or Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Pizza.
    • $5.95 for Crispy Fish Tacos, Loaded Cottage Fries, Classic Mushroom Pizza, or Pepperoni Pizza.
    • Sliders (Crab Cake, Bison Cheeseburger, or Crispy Chicken) are $3.95 for one, $6.95 for six, or $9.95 for three.

    For IPA fans, Wildfire has Lagunitas IPA (one of my favorites) on draught, and Flying Dog Bloodline (Blood Orange) IPA in bottles. Either of those are wonderful paired with either fried or hot cheese-based bar bites!

    -JAY

    Wildfire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

  • 18Nov

    One Eight Distillery (located in Ivy City, right around the corner from Union Market) new product line of whiskey is excellent for both drinking and baking.   Upon entering the tasting room which is just right outside the Distillery, One Eight presented an indulgent alcohol-infused brownie. The brownie and chocolate ganache were infused with One Eight’s spirits and went over very well with the crowd.

    After your ID was checked (Good Looking Out, Loved the Complainant), the individual  received a bracelet with 3 tear away coupons for the tasting room.  The tasting room presented Rock Creek Whiskey, Ivy City Gin, District Made Vodka, and Untitled.  These Spirits were distilled in DC; each of the ingredients were hand picked from local vendors in DC. The rye and corn were locally grown.  Rock Creek Rye has the distinct honor of being the ONLY “Grain to Glass” bottled in the District since Prohibition.  Now I caution you that when I stuck my tongue in the shot glass, my tongue stung. (Editor’s Note: A Christmas Story flashbacks, anyone?)

    #MadeInDC network theme ran though the event from the individualized Photo Booth (take a selfie with the bottle!) to the  “Make Your Own Cocktail” bar (craft their own personal spirit!). Also, food vendors from neighboring Union Market were on hand to wow the mouth with either pizza rolls and gelato.

    Additionally, the bar was serving various cocktails featuring the One Eight product line.  My favorite was the “Constant Gardner.”

    Happy Exploring the NEW IVY CITY,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

     

    One Eight Distilling

    1135 Okie Street NE | Washington, DC 20002

    Metro: NoMa-Gallaudet U; Rhode Island Ave

    Bus: D3, D4; E2, E3

    Parking: Free on-street parking is available. Please be respectful of neighboring businesses/residences and any posted parking policies.

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