• 11May

    I did what most young professionals do on a Friday night,  look for an after-work chill, cool down spot with a nice view of the city and good food.  Well, I think I might have found this “diamond in the rough” at the Embassy Row Hotel Rooftop Bar located at 2015 Massachusetts Ave, NW,  in the District.

    Opened over the weekend, the Embassy Row Hotel Rooftop Bar just had their kickoff event, and was  named “One of the World’s Most Amazing Rooftop Pools in The World” by Weather.com and “One of Best Rooftop Pools in America” by USA Today. They also received an awarded for “Best Chef in DC” with Chef Guy manning the grill.   Some popular items that were ordered include:

    Starters: Roast Piquillo pepper hummus,  Street Fare Kabobs Skewers of beef, chicken, steak, and vegetables, and Grilled Wings, which all will run you about $10.

    Sandwiches: Basil Chicken Breast, and “Juicy Lucy Burger.”

    The drinks: “Red Bull Mango Manic” sold out quickly. The shot girls appeared with the featured alcohol of the night (Tequila shot and Coronas in honor of Cinco De Mayo).

    Upon entering the Rooftop, there were some chairs near the grass-like area in front where people can sit and talk and pose with different selfie props. Around the pool area, there was some seating.  The lower desk has different games that people can play such as Checkers, and Connect Four – the adult version.   More games are featured downstairs in the “Underground Playground” which features:  Foosball, Ping Pong, Shuffleboard, and Air Hockey.

    The only downside that was a constant was the long line for drinks and food since Chef Guy was his own one man band and there were only 2 bartenders for thirty people.  However, with the long line came the shot girls to quiet the masses and the line moved with the sweet tunes of DJ Nick manning the tables.   He definitely played to the crowd and took my requestto play the Macarena – in honor of Cinco De Maya – I was in heaven.

    According to the Event Calendar, some notable events:  “Silent Disco” on Fridays, each guest gets a pair of headphones and then tunes into each 3 DJ different stations from 7pm until 11pm – this a cool millennial spirited event.  “Yoga Monday” starts the week out with some calm by the poolside. Events are listed on their website.

    Follow them on social media as well  (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) @EmbassyRowHotel, #MyDCRooftop, #EmbassyRowLove

    To access The Rooftop pool, you can purchase a day pass for $30 on The Rooftop, starting at 3 PM each day; if you’re dining on The Rooftop, you don’t need to purchase a day pass. The Rooftop is typically open May – September, weather dependent.

    Embassy Row Hotel features different options for those who want to spend the night:

    LOVE,

    -CLF

     

     

     

     

     

  • 10May

    When you’re looking for a mini oasis in DC, look no further than the Penthouse Pool Club U Street (above VIDA Fitness). This gorgeous rooftop features a pool with cabanas and lounge chairs, plus a bar and restaurant with tables, couches, and fire pits. Oh, and some of the best views in the city, of course.

    Garlic Hummus and Fresh Guacamole

    Penthouse Pool Club brought on a new chef this year, Sean McIntosh. His menu is filled with fresh, delicious options that are perfect for summer. We started with fresh guacamole and garlic hummus. The hummus comes with pita and crudité, and the guacamole with tri-colored tortilla chips and pico de gallo. Both were not only beautifully presented, but quite good as well. I could actually go on and on about the pita—it was warm and fluffy, and was one of the better pitas I’ve had. We then moved on to the tabbouleh, chicken banh mi, and scallops. The cauliflower-based tabbouleh offers a lighter, yet flavorful, take on a more traditional version. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and rich and buttery, which was offset by an arugula and fennel salad. For heartier fare, you’ll want the grilled chicken banh mi. It’s quite filling, with crunchy vegetables and crusty bread, plus a kick from sriracha mayonnaise. Don’t ignore the side of chilled pesto pearl couscous either—I’m not typically a pearl couscous fan, but this was addictive.

    If relaxing at the Penthouse Pool Club puts you in the mood for a few drinks, they have you covered. Look no further than the sweet and tart Frozen Blueberry Lemonade for something cool you down. You can taste the fresh blueberries, but not the vodka, which can be both good and bad. The Sparkling Berry, with strawberries and prosecco, is also a great option for a seasonally-inspired cocktail. And for those who just want something classic and refreshing, the Ginny Hendrick’s is your best bet, though note that it is quite floral, due to elderflower liquor, but I loved it.

    I’d be remiss not to mention the service. Everyone we encountered was knowledgeable, friendly, and overall on point.

    The Penthouse Pool Club is members-only, but if you’re not a member, you can visit as the guest of one. With this menu and those views, you’ll want to visit, and you’ll want to return.

    -LEM (Lia)

  • 03May

    Fogo de Chão recently invited us to a media event featuring their new bar and seasonal offerings, and of course, a variety of fire roasted meats! While our schedule didn’t allow us to arrive early enough to try the Southern Brazilian steakhouse’s new Bar Fogo – Happy Hour Menu offerings, Braised Beef Rib Sliders, Brazilian Empanadas (beef), and Garlic Shrimp, or seasonal options, Blackberry Arugula Salad, Lentil Quinoa Salad, and Carrot Ginger Soup, we did sample the Mango Habanero Caipirinha off the new menu, and Fogo’s classic, Passion Fruit Caipirinha.

    We did arrive in time to sample the Rodizio (parade of fire roasted meats), sides, and dessert. Some of our favorite meats of the evening were the Picanha (prime part of the top sirloin), Beef Ancho (ribeye),  Costela (beef ribs), Pork Sausages, and Baby Lamb Chops. The Pão de Queijo (cheese bread) and Flan were hits as well.

    “Bar Fogo’s Happy Hour is available Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and features new Happy Hour prices that everyone can appreciate – from $4 Brazilian Bites & Beers to $6 South American Wines and $8 Brazilian Inspired Cocktails.”

    This was our first time at Fogo, and we will definitely be returning soon. We definitely need to try the empanadas and both the new Strawberry Hibiscus Caipirinha and Fogo Caipirinha.

    Fogo’s nearby locations include Washington, DC, and a new addition to the area, Tysons.

    -JAY

     

    Editor’s Note:

    Several of the included links contain actual recipes.

     

     

     

  • 02May

    On an unassuming corner at the very end of the Woodmont Triangle area of Bethesda lies Bistro LaZeez. I stay fairly up on restaurants across the DC metro region, but this one had somehow flown under my radar, and it’s probably under yours—but it shouldn’t be.

    Bistro LaZeez is small but warmly decorated, and offers sidewalk seating. Lively music is a nice touch. Staff is quite friendly.

    The first time I visited, I opted for takeout during lunch (about 15 minutes—call ahead). I ordered the grilled lamb sandwich platter (not pictured) and chose hummus as my side. The hummus was creamy and delicious, and I appreciated the herb and whole chickpea topping. The sandwich was huge and well-filled, with plenty of lamb and spiciness (from their special sauce, which is similar to harissa).

    On my subsequent visit, I tried a variety of mezze. A sampler platter is only offered with the spreads (hummus, baba ganoush, etc.) only, but I was happy enough to create my own with fried kibbe (fried balls of seasoned beef), halloumi (a thick cheese best served seared), and dolma (vegetarian stuffed grape leaves). I highly recommend the kibbe; it is well-seasoned, perfectly crispy, and served on a bed of sumac-dusted salad. The halloumi is topped with pomegranate reduction, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives, so while it is a beautiful dish, it has a lot going on. It’s definitely tasty though. Dolma (stuffed grape leaves) was a nice respite to the heavier cheese and meat mezze. Filled with rice and herbs and drizzled with olive oil, the fresh flavors of the dolma complemented my other picks. Parsley potatoes were a nice touch. I found the portions quite big, so come hungry.

    When looking for a quick, casual Mediterranean meal, Bistro LaZeez is your spot.

    -LEM (Lia)

  • 29Apr

    When walking by, it’s easy to categorize Esencias Panameñas as another restaurant serving some type of Central American cuisine. When driving by, you probably wouldn’t even notice it. However, this small Panamanian restaurant is worth seeking out. Proudly displayed on its windows are awards from various publications, though I had never heard of Esencias Panameñas until I parked in front of it.

    I was welcomed with a warm greeting, upbeat music, and beautiful Panamanian art and décor. A bar and bar tables sit on street level, while the dining is up one level. Having been to Panama, I’m familiar with the cuisine, and was excited to be here.

    I started with a drink. I love both of Panama’s famous spirits—seco, a white spirit distilled from sugarcane, and Ron Abuelo, the well-known rum. They have both here, and I ordered a Chichita Panameña, a cocktail made with various fruit juices and Ron Abuelo. It was delicious, and at only $5 during happy hour, the price is great.

    For food, I ordered carimañolas, patacones con ceviche, and a tamal de hoja. Carimañolas are similar to an empanada, but with a thicker outer layer made from yuca. The ground turkey inside was well-seasoned and paired nicely with the tamarind dipping sauce. Corvina ceviche is somewhat of a national dish in Panama, and I loved it and the crunch provided from the patacones (twice-fried tostones); plus the ceviche had a bit of heat. The tamal de hoja is a bit different from other versions you may be familiar with. Done Panamanian style, it is fresh ground corn stuffed with chicken, olives, capers, peas, and carrots, wrapped in a banana leaf. The tamal was tasty and they did not skimp on the filling. It’s worth noting that this restaurant has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

    You’ll discover something different by trying Esencias Panameñas and won’t be disappointed.

    -LEM (Lia)

  • 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

     

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