• 20Oct

    Taste of DC is an annual event in DC that brings together community, restaurants, food trucks, musical acts, other vendors and food demos together to benefit a local charity, this year, the Capital Area Food Bank. The two day festival was held October 11th- October 12th, 2014. I attended on October 12th. Taste of DC featured over 40 restaurants, over 50 types of beer and over 50 types of wine were available for sampling. There was also live music, cooking demonstrations, and raffles. A separate ticketed event within Taste of DC, Heritage BBQ Cochon 555 was also going on. Five local superstar chefs created their version of a globally influenced menu featuring whole heritage breed pigs. Each made six dishes. Competing chefs: Scott Drewno (the Source by Wolfgang Puck), Erik Brunner-Yang (Maketto), Kyle Bailey (Birch & Barley), Joe Palma (Bourbon Steak), George Pagonis (Kapnos). Ten other chefs also prepared BBQ items. I’m sure that this was an amazing experience.

    Crowd at Taste Of DC.

    Crowd at Taste Of DC.

    The event was heavily attended, packed with people who appeared to be enjoying themselves. I think in order to have a good time at this event, you need to come hungry, be prepared for a large crowd, wear comfy shoes as the festival stretches over five blocks,  and come with cash to score some small plates, and beer and wine samples. Beverage tickets are $1 each (there is a special deal if you preorder online to save some money on beverage tickets). The samples for food mostly range anywhere from $3-9. Yes, for some items this seems steep. However, it is cheaper than an entrée, and allows you try a variety of items. I brought my husband with me to help me taste test some of the offerings. Part of how we decided which dishes to try depended on how quickly lines were moving. I had a great time at the festival and enjoyed trying so many delicious and different foods in one place.

    We started out on Restaurant Row:

    Macon Bistro & Larder:

    Biscuit with pepper jelly and ham: The flavors were on point, and the biscuit was perfectly buttery and flaky, but I would have liked it better if it was warm.

    Burnt Ends with watermelon salad: Smoked brisket ends with honey- chipotle bbq sauce, watermelon, and greens was a really great symphony of sweet and salty and texturally balanced, with soft meat and crunchy watermelon. I had to beg for a bite of this because my husband loved it so much.

    Deviled Egg. The deviled egg topped with bacon, scallion, and roasted red pepper. It was good, but it suffered a bit from having been sitting for a few moments (the bacon got a little mushy).

    Luke’s Lobster
    This miniature lobster roll broke my heart when it was all gone. The roll was really great bread, with a generous buttering. The lobster was fresh, sweet and perfectly cooked.

    Pete’s New Haven Style Pizza
    Neither my husband nor I had ever had New Haven Style Pizza before, and did not know what to expect.
    We got a mini slice of sausage, meatball, and prosciutto pizza. The crust was thin and crispy. I’m normally in the deep dish camp, but I loved this. The toppings and sauce were very good as well.

    Dolce Sweets
    I have to recommend Dolce Sweets for giving bites (a literal bite) away for free, as they were the only restaurant doing that. I very much enjoyed their tres leches cake and rice pudding. Both were perfectly balanced and not too sweet. (Not pictured)

    District Donut
    My husband loves donuts, and therefore waited in a line that took half an hour for him to score us some donuts. We tried the vanilla bean and the brown butter donuts. They were incredibly good, the dough light and airy, and the glaze was sweet but not cloying. They were excellent, and I would stand in line to eat them again.

    Food Trucks

    AZN

    This was one of my favorite things all day. For $3.00, I got a Ssam, a spicy pork lettuce wrap. The meat was tender, spicy, and delicious, and a fantastic deal.

    South Meets East
    This food truck makes really fabulous and fresh soft tacos and burritos. You can get Southwestern style, Bahn Mi, or Bacon Tomato and Avocado taco. All of them are fresh and very good, but my heart belongs to the Bahn Mi taco. Tender pork is slathered in pickled vegetables and it is a beautiful thing.

    Borinquen
    I polled a few people about what they were eating and what they liked the best. A young lady and her friend said they loved the empanadas from Borinquen. I tried a chicken empanada. The dough was soft and flaky, with chicken tender on the inside. Another good value at only $3.00

    Snowcream shavery
    I loved this food truck, which is actually a bus. Customers come aboard the parked bus), overhead lighting and upbeat music give it a kid friendly club feel. At the back of the bus, you order your snow cream and toppings. I got a mango snowcream with mango on top, and a Thai tea snowcream topped with mochi. The end result was a flavorful shaved ice/flavor/ and condensed milk treat with toppings on it. The snowcream is really delicate in your mouth, light and delicious.

    -JHC

  • 19Oct

    The good news is that some of us are over-employed. (That’s good, right?)

    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! Found a great new restaurant? Do you have recipes to share? Have you discovered the best wine, restaurant, food truck, or (restaurant) restroom in DC? Do you want to compare 5 different restaurants’ BLTs? Need some hipster cred? Maybe cover an occasional food event? Writing experience for your resume? Articles for your Portfolio? Passionate about food? Then we want you for DCFüd. Send writing samples to jay@dcfud.com, along with few ideas you’d like to write about. It’ll be crazy!

    Also, please welcome our newest additions, Angie (ADT) and Jennifer (JHC) who owe us bios. :)

    -JAY

    Permalink Filed under: Etc No Comments
  • 17Oct

    ShirleyCorriher“The NPC Events Committee is offering an exciting opportunity to see the One, the Only, the Irrepressible Shirley O. Corriher in action at The National Press Club next Wednesday, October 22 at 6:00 PM!! Shirley is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, renowned cook/baker and television personality.

    Even better, Shirley is teaming up with NPC’s Executive Chef Susan Delbert, who is preparing five delicious appetizers and sangria for you to sample. After tasting the sangria and appetizers, Susan will explain how they were prepared and Shirley will simply and humorously discuss the science involved.

    Open to the public with registration required. Admission is$10.00 for members and $15.00 for non-members includes appetizers and a glass of sangria. There will be a cash bar for additional drinks.  Registration:http://www.press.org/events/secret-life-food.”

  • 16Oct

    TVFN star castingReady for your shot on TV?

    Submit a Home Video for TVFN Star by November 25th, 2014. Visit www.FoodNetwork.com/Casting for additional open call details, instructions on how to submit a home video, and for more information. E-mail: FNS11Casting@jenscasting.com.

    For Beat Bobby Flay, go to www.JSCasting.com or  email BeatBobbyFlayCasting@gmail.com.

    They cast other food shows (and Ink Master) as well.

    -JAY

    Beat Bobby

  • 15Oct

    wonka“Chocolate prices will likely go up — possibly by as much as 20% — due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which produces 70 percent of the world’s cocoa beans.” Here is the related CNN  article. Thanks “Need To Know NYC” for the heads up.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

    -JAY

    Permalink Filed under: Etc Tags: 1 Comment
  • 14Oct

    November DCFBHH Profile-1The next DCFBHH is hosted by me (Jason) at Fishnet DC (a new seafood restaurant) in Shaw on 11/5, 6pm-8pm. It is located at Shaw metro, next to Uprising Muffins.

    Please RSVP here, and keep your RSVP updated. You can take a look at their menu or beer menu if you would like.

    -JAY

     

  • 13Oct

    Organic tequila, roasted pig, and wrestling masks: Need I say more?

    Last week at Oyamel’s menu preview of their upcoming Day of the Dead Celebration event, I entered Oyamel’s establishment and found festive bartenders donning wresting masks while pouring Oyamel’s specialty Day of the Dead cocktail drinks. I knew it was going to be a good night.

    But what exactly is The Day of the Dead? It is a Mexican holiday tradition that recognizes Mexican friends and family members who have passed away. This year, Oyamel honors El Santo, or Rodolfo Guzman Huerta, an actor and Mexican folk icon, but he is best known as Mexico’s legendary luchador wrestler.

    Oyamel’s Head Chef Colin King recently came back from a trip to Mexico and personally created the Day of the Dead menu items inspired by El Santo’s favorite dishes. They are as follows:

    Puerco en Chile Morita:
    Local pork spare ribs that are braised and lacquered in a chipotle chile morita salsa. The balance between the subtle yet steady flavors of the pork and the exceptionally fresh salsa was very well executed. This was one of my favorite dishes from the night.

    Bistec con Pasilla:

    This local hanger steak is placed over a sauté of cactus paddle, sweet potato, and seasonal squash mixed in with salsa pasilla negra, a cured egg emulsion, and pickled chile dressing. It was cooked beautifully with the right amount of rareness in the meat and the flavors are a bit louder than the Puerco en Chile Morita but rightfully so.

    Ancas de Rana en Mole Verde:

    Cured frog legs coated in a crispy batter served over a green mole of tomatillos, sesame seeds and serrano chilies with a frisee salad. I was not particularly fond of the batter but once I got through it and indulged into the frog leg, I must say, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it tastes just like chicken.

    Huatape de Hongos:

    The locally foraged wild mushroom is served with a green chileatole consisting of epazote, sorrel, and jalapeno. This was surprisingly a favorite of my boyfriend (who attended the menu preview with me). This is a delicious vegetarian choice (or any choice for that matter).

    Pescado Veracruz:

    Now this was one of the more popular items of the night. The wild-sourced snapper was tender and juicy in a Veracruz-style sauce that consisted of tomato confit, caramelized pear onion, garlic, capers, and olives. Another favorite of mine other than the Puerco en Chile Morita.

    Mole de Olla con Rebo de Res:

    This was my third favorite dish of the night. The locally sourced braised oxtail is succulently tender and complemented by a vegetable stew served with pickled vegetables. The tang from the pickled veggies was an excellent choice to balance the braised meat.

    But that’s not the end of the Day of the Dead menu specials! Oyamel’s Beverage Manager, Jasmine Chae, is responsible for specialty cocktail drinks that complement El Santo’s movies featuring El Luchador, a clean-tasting organic tequila made by David Ravandi. El Luchador itself was inspired by the famous masked wrestlers of Mexico so it only makes sense that they are also the official sponsor of this event.

     El Santo Contra los Zombies or Santo vs. the Zombies:
    Inspired by the movie Santo vs. the Zombies, the Zombie cocktail rounds up El Luchador Organic Tequila, 123 Organic Tequila Blanco, 123 Organic Tequila Añejo, D’Aristi, orange liqueur, orange, lemon, and pomegranate in a nice large cocktail glass. For those who appreciate the sweetness of fruits without compromising its cocktail kick, this Zombie is for you.

    Santo en Atacan las brujas or The Witches Attack:

    Inspired from Santo’s role in the film The Witches Attack, this simple yet refreshingly delicious cocktail was my favorite choice of poison for the night. The Witches Attack consists of El Luchador Blanco Organic Tequila, grapefruit-lavender mint syrup, and soda. It’s dangerously good; you have been warned.

    Now that you have a sneak peak at what is to be offered at Oyamel’s Day of the Dead Celebration Event, you can purchase your tickets at: nvite.co/oyameldotd. (Editor’s note: This link did not work for me, so I’ll followup for the correct one.)

    The event will be held at Oyamel (401 7th Street NW, Washington D.C.) on Monday, October 20, 2014 from 6pm to 9:30pm and tickets are $60. Specials remaining will be available from October 20th to November 2nd.

    Salud!

    -EHY (Elina)

    Oyamel on Urbanspoon

  • 09Oct

    Rosa Mexicano is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special 3-course anniversary menu, Desde 1984. The current special menu is available through October 12th. In the restaurant’s words: “From the traditional Tamal con Huitlacoche en Cazuela (cornmeal topped with mushroom and salsa ranchera, served in a traditional cazuela); to the Crepas con Camarones (crepas filled with shrimp, covered with a chile pasilla sauce and sprinkled with cheese), Rosa Mexicano will revive menu classics via rotating Desde 1984 specials for an entire year; offered as a $30 menu or a la carte.”

    Last night, Cy and I sampled the dishes from the current Desde 1984 menu (as well as their wonderful table-side-prepared guacamole).  I could not actually try the  Tamale con Huitlacoche en Cazuela or the steak’s mushroom topping because of a (mold/fungus) allergy, but Cy tried them. One of the dishes included a brown rice that was way too crunchy for me, but I think it was brown rice different variety than I am used to.

    Our Favorites:

    The Guacamole! This is made for you table-side.

    The Margarita Rosa (Pomegranate and prickly pear-infused El Jimador blanco, pomegranate, lime and organic agave nectar) was a great drink, but the two that I was served were inconsistent as far as alcohol level and components (and one didn’t have the pomegranate seeds). You still definitely want to try this Margarita.

    The Empanadas de Jaiba (crispy corn empanadas filled with jumbo lump crab meat, served with avocado-tomatillo salsa) are addictive.

    The mole sauce from the enchiladas!

    Crepas con Camarones was a really flavorful shrimp crepe dish with an exceptional (chile pasilla) sauce. This was the favorite dish for both of us.

    As far as dessert, Cy leans towards the Crepas de Cajeta (Crepes folded and served with a rich caramel sauce) and I lean towards the Tres Leches de Zarzamoras (sour cream pound cake soaked in three milks, topped with blackberry-hibiscus glaze and tasted meringue). It is not unusual for us to favor different desserts.

    -JAY

    Disclosure: From time to time, we are given free items, meals, or entry to events.

    Rosa Mexicano on Urbanspoon

  • 08Oct

    The Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig is perfect for people who are obsessed about everything pork, people who will sacrifice a day in the pursuit of the perfect piece of meat. Chamberlain spent over a year researching the most delectable ways of preparing pork. The book is broken down by parts of the pig, as well as a geographical travel guide, including recipes from the most lauded barbeque restaurants in the south. The book includes a myriad of brines, marinades, rubs, and sauces, as well as a few side dishes that pair well with pork. Just reading this book and looking at the pictures will get your mouth watering. Pro tip: Most of the recipes in this book require you to let something sit overnight, and or cook it all day. You must plan ahead, but it will be worth it. I tested two recipes from this book and found both to be very good. I cannot wait to utilize the travel guide and dine at some of the restaurants showcased in the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves pork, barbeque, and foodie road-trips.

    Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Championship bbq pork butt

    I tested the Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Championship bbq pork butt recipe, which includes an injection and a dry rub. I injected my pork butts with the concoction of juices, salt and sugar. I learned very quickly that most of my injection would not stay in the muscle tissue, and would seep its way out. The recipe has a technical flaw in that in the left column where it lists ingredients it states 2 cups of barbeque sauce, but did not include the sauce in the directions. I added it to the rest of my dry rub (as it was listed under the dry rub ingredients). I am fairly certain that this is what the recipe intended for me to do, as the end result seemed right. I rubbed the dry rub over my pork butts and then got my grill going with some mesquite wood chips in the smoker box. If you do not have a grill or a smoker, you can roast your pork butt in a very low oven (between 200- 250 degrees).

    If you are using a smoker box in a grill, prepare to add an hour or two to your total cook time as you will be losing heat every time you put new wood chips in. I cooked two 6 lb pork butts using indirect heat in my grill with my smoker box over my one lit burner and it took 12 hours to cook. It was worth every minute of cooking time. The pork had a nice subtle smoky flavor and a beautiful crust from the dry rub. The meat was very moist, though did not taste particularly like the juices in the injection. The spice rub added great flavor, but did not overpower the flavor of the pork. Once you have your meat cooked and rested, you can slice it, pull it, or chop it. You can add your favorite barbeque sauce to the meat, if you like something saucier. As a side note, this meat freezes and reheats well.

    Sausage Cornbread
    This book features a few cornbread recipes. The sausage cornbread piqued my interest because I like sausage and cornbread, so I figured that I would enjoy the combining of the two. This cornbread was less bread and more a vessel for cheese and meat. The end result was slightly sweet but mostly salty cheese and sausage enveloped in bits of corn and golden yellow cornbread. I found that ultimately the cornbread tasted good, but I had issues with the amount of cheese in the dish. In my opinion, it was a little too cheesy for my tastes. I wanted to taste the sausage and cornbread more, and the cheese obscured that somewhat. I would make it again, but maybe tweak it to my tastes. However, I found it to still be a delicious dish, and it is hearty enough that you could serve it as a main course or as a hefty side.

    -JHC (Jennifer)

    Disclosure: From time to time, we are given free items (like this book), meals, or entry to events.

  • 07Oct

    On September 30, 2014 I had the pleasure of attending A Taste of Lettuce DC, a spectacular four course dinner featuring the different flavors of Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, Wildfire, Joe’s, Big Bowl, Mon Ami and Community Canteen. The event was held at Wildfire, Tysons Galleria and included cocktail and wine pairings. The Executive Chefs from each restaurant provided a few words about their dishes, and I have paraphrased their comments in the descriptions below. It was a fantastic evening filled with delicious food and drinks. I will definitely be coming back to all of the Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants for more, and will be sure to attend other tasting menus with pairings. The Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants hold special events monthly.

    Hors d’oeuvres by Mon Ami Gabi:

    Chicken Liver Crostini with red wine mustard. This dish featured a crispy toast round with zingy mustard, creamy and light-as-air chicken liver, and was topped with a sliver of cornichon. The flavors were balanced well: a sour, salty, and slight sweetness from the chicken liver, and a slight warming spice from the mustard. The texture was very pleasant as the cornichon and crostini provided crunch while the chicken liver was soft in texture. The chicken liver and country pate Crostini are signature dishes of rustic French cooking, which is the essence of the cooking at Mon Ami Gabi.

    Country Pate Crostini with grain mustard. This was very similar to the chicken liver crostini, in flavor, texture and appearance. The biggest difference was the pate was a little denser than the chicken liver, but was still very light.

    Salmon Tartare on Gaufrette Chips. I really enjoyed the simplicity and playfulness of this dish. It was composed of raw chopped high quality and high fat content salmon atop a plain potato chip. The salmon had a wonderful soft buttery quality and this worked so well with the crunch and salt from the chip. I will have to take a visit to Mon Ami Gabi to eat more of this.

    Mini Mushroom Quiche Tartlets. The tartlets were soft and fluffy. They were well balanced and did not have a strong mushroom flavor.

    Wine pairing:

    Ruffino Prosecco DOC: A sparkling dry white wine with delicate bubbles, soft notes of apple, pear, and citrus, with a fruity and floral bouquet. I found this to be a delightful pairing.

    Second Course by Big Bowl:

    Thai Crab & Corn Soup. This dish featured sweet lump crabmeat, local corn, coconut milk and Thai Chili. It was moderate in spice, complementing the sweetness from the corn and crabmeat and the richness of the coconut milk. A beautiful kefir lime flavor and aroma permeated the dish, adding a little sour flavor to make the dish sing. I was pleased when I saw some kernels of corn still together, letting me know that whole ears of corn were utilized for the dish. The chef informed us that the chicken stock that is the base for the soup is homemade. I was not at all surprised that this was the case because it was clear from the soups wonderful flavors that no shortcuts were taken. Now that fall is upon us, I’m looking forward to heading to Big Bowl on a crisp day to warm up with this soup and to try others.

    Cocktail Paring:

    Limoncello Tini: This drink was sweet and sour, featuring Limoncello flavor. The acidity of the drink was nice, but the sweetness was just a little overpowering paired with the soup. I would have personally preferred this drink on its own or with dessert. Read the rest of this entry »

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