Thanks to Greg’s List for publicizing this one.
THURSDAY, April 2
11am – 10pm
4321 Wisconsin Circle (Tenleytown)
2414 Wisconsin Ave NW (Glover Park)
No coupon needed!
Tell your friends!
Code Word: yowZa
Thanks to Greg’s List for publicizing this one.
THURSDAY, April 2
11am – 10pm
4321 Wisconsin Circle (Tenleytown)
2414 Wisconsin Ave NW (Glover Park)
No coupon needed!
Tell your friends!
Code Word: yowZa
I met Michael Twitty of Afro Foodways a few years ago when his table was one of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s exhibits on food culture. We spoke about Judaism – he is an African American man who has converted to Judaism, and we of course talked about food as well. He was fun and full of interestign information, and we have kept in touch over the years. Now is your chance to see him do his thing:
Saturday, March 28 – African-American Foodways Lecture – Alexandria Black History Museum, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is a few blocks walk from Braddock Road Metro Station. The lecture is free!
Culinary historian Michael Twitty returns to present his new lecture, “Cooking in the Quarters: Enslaved African Virginians Cooking for Themselves.” Discover the important cultural aspects of diet and food preparation with this leading expert on African-American foodways. Lecture will explore the preparation of foods of enslaved Virginians, including open hearths, stew stoves, and special tools and pots that gave certain foods their unique flavor. Learn about the importance of tradition, nature, and availability of ingredients in African-Virginian cooking.
Twitty’s book, Fighting Old Nep: The Foodways of Enslaved Afro-Marylanders 1634-1864, will be available for purchase.
703.838.4356. 902 Wythe Street. www.alexblackhistory.org.
By Andrew Kohn.
I’m an adventurous drinker. Just as any professional athlete is always looking to improve his game, I’ll sample almost anything. It’s with excitement that I look at the D.C. areas drinking rejuvenation. In a town where it’s all too easy to cater to the clientele with either expensive Scotch or cheap beer, I’m thrilled to know there are true artist in the city re-claiming the past and defining a future for often neglected and forgotten spirits. Perhaps a little too trendy at the moment, however, this too will settle and the spoils will remain for those original riders of the bandwagon.
Much has been written about the new drinking trends of the city. A recent Washingtonian detailed the 75 “best” bars in the area. I need not get into this. Not today – today I’m going to share three great wines with you that are inexpensive and versatile. We all love to go out drinking, but it can easily drain our bank accounts with expensive cocktails and buying drinks for certain people we would never do so for under normal circumstances. This is for the Tuesday night FUNctional alcoholic: home from work, musing over dinner, and looking for a simple glass to drink while opening the mail.
This one is for you!
THE RED: Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin 2006. I’m in love with this wine. Let me be the first to admit, I know very little about the science of wine tasting. But I’ve drunk enough over the years to know what tastes good and what doesn’t. This is, however, pure opinion. But, just so you know, I’m usually right. Give me a heavy red, a meaty red, a red with body! I don’t normally like being punched in the face, but I’ll allow it from this wine. Deliciously robust, this Zin let’s us know who he is from the opening sip. Described as having “heady layers of vanilla and chocolate” a Dixie Cup this is not!
And the best part is, you can get a bottle for about $9 from Safeway. Reduced in price for months, I’ve recently been stocking up, expecting at any moment for the price to shoot back up to $16. Courage my friends, get while the getting’s good!
THE WHITE: 365 Everyday Value® Diflora Pinot Grigio. That’s right, a Whole Foods Pinot Grigio. As the website says, at $11.99 per 1.5 liters, this wine works out to about .80 cents per glass (albeit small glasses). I like to think I’m an expert of the cheap Pinot Grigio. This is my water, my liquid diet. I wouldn’t have gotten through law school without my Fish Eye. Do I have a problem? Yes. I can spend more time in the 1.5 L section debating the merits of cheap wine then most people. But, because I’m a giver, you are now benefiting from my hours of extensive thought and labor.
I hold no grand illusion that this wine is phenomenal. But for the price and the quality, it far exceeds its competitors. Light, airy, and a nice color, this wine will be a staple at my summer extravaganzas from the back yard to Wolf Trap. Get out there and try it before Whole Foods realizes this delight is being offered at a Trader Joe’s price.
THE BUBBLY: Banfi Rosa Regale. I’ve saved the best for last. I went through a champagne period where I drank a bottle everyday – my Absolutely Fabulous era – sampling almost everything available. This red liquid ambrosia is beyond compare the best I’ve ever tasted. Champagne is a tricky game. Even the expensive stuff isn’t a guaranteed homerun. With this glass, rose petals and raspberries subdue your pallet. And I discovered it in Vermont! Who would’ve guessed?
This is not cheap; at about $18 it’s not something you’re going to buy everyday. But then again, how often do you drink something sparkling? Milliliter per milliliter, this is the best you’re going to find. And don’t dilute this gem with anything. It doesn’t need it. Find it where you can and get two bottles – one for now and one for later. I can think of no better accompaniment to celebrate a special occasion.
Please enjoy these bottles! It is possible to drink well while on a budget! Any one of the three bottles I’ve suggested should please even the toughest critic. And if not, remind them how much it costs and that you’re not picnicking somewhere in Chateauneuf du Pape. Grab your corkscrew and have a wonderful time!
by Guest Blogger Margie Remmers
It was Plan B, but what a plan it turned out to be.
I was tired of the usual choices–burritos, pizza, bagels, and veggie burgers–so my son and I headed out to a shop that I thought I had heard served vegetarian fish and chips (don’t look so shocked–the amazingly fabulous Clare and Don’s Beach Shack in Falls Church does just that…as well as other incredible veggie stuff).
As we were headed down King Street, I saw the distinctive awning of
Zorkafor’s SandVeg and remembered that I had wanted to try that out sometime, too, so I wasn’t too disappointed when I learned that the fish and chips rumor was false.
With the word “SandVeg” in the name, I thought it was going to be a vegetarian deli, and though that is kind of true (the vegetarian options are very prominent, not tucked away like most restaurants), they do condescend to serve some meat products as well.
The thing that makes Zorkafor’s stand out, however, is their amazing–and I do mean amazing–”fixin’s bar” that comes free with every pita encased sandwich.
My son and I walked into the tiny establishment (“Mom, why do they only have four tables?”) and looked at menu. Part Mediterranean (falafel, hummus, etc.) and part American deli (grilled vegetables, provolone, etc.), there were four vegetarian suggestions as well as a “make your own” sandwich option. Since I was buying for my family of four, and the sandwiches all looked so good, I decided to get one of each of the recommended combinations, saving the “make your own” for our next visit.
First was the Falafel SandVeg. This was pretty much what you would expect: a bed of lettuce and four freshly cooked balls of spiced chick peas. I added some tomatoes and cucumbers from the fixin’s bar and filled several containers of tahini (sesame) and tzitziki (yogurt) sauce to add later.
Next was the Charbroiled Eggplant and Veggie SandVeg. The eggplant was joined by squash, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, and green peppers–at least that’s what the menu said. I only remember the squash and peppers. It was good, but a little skimpy, so I added some fried caulflower from the fixin’s bar (they have fried cauliflower in the fixin’s bar!) and was later glad I had tahini sauce from the falafel to eat with it.
Then, the Portabella Melt SandVeg: grilled portabella mushrooms, melted provolone, and pesto served on a bed of lettuce. To this I piled on some spinach and tomatoes.
And finally, the Fusion SandVeg. This was all the mediterranean treats rolled into one: hummus, baba ghanoush, feta cheese, and lettuce and tomato. To this I added some tabbouleh from the fixin’s bar (they have tabbouleh in the fixin’s bar!).
We also got some fresh cut fries, which were yummy, if a bit overpriced.
The dinner was delicious and filling–with all four of us chowing down, we still only managed to finish three of the sandwiches, and I only got three orders of fries. All in all, Zorkafor’s is a vegetarian’s dream, and it’s worth a visit just for the fixin’s bar, which contains just about every sandwhich topping you could possibly dream up (over 20 of them), including exotic favorites like pickled mangoes (which looked good, but tasted surprisingly disgusting) and pickled turnips (which looked disgusting, but tasted surprisingly good).
One final note: My son and I stopped by on a Wednesday evening at about 5pm, and we were the only ones there. This was a good thing, because I’m not sure how they would handle a crowd. The do-it-yourself fixin’s bar is right in front of the cash register, and though our food was ready quickly, I had to fix it up and hand it back to the staff to be wrapped. The whole process took longer than it should, and since most of their business must be take out (as my son pointed out, this tiny establishment only has four tables, plus some bar/window seating), it could make for a frustrating lunch hour.
Zorkafor’s SandVeg is located in Old Town Alexandria at 703 King Street.
Guest Blogger Margie Remmers has been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years, and her children have been vegetarian since birth. Her vegetarian home cooking was recently featured in Howard Lyman’s latest book, No More Bull, but she enjoys the challenge of eating out and is thrilled to find restaurants that make it easy. Margie is an author, mom, and Life Management Consultant. You can visit her on the web at Stress Free Like Me
By Andrew Kohn
I’m in love with brunch – that is, every other day except the traditional Sunday feast. Why must I wait until 2:00 to eat? And who ever thought it was a good idea to drink juiced-down cheap champagne instead of a heartier, potentially infused, vodka drink? I’m over it! Simply put, brunch is breakfast for lunch. Don’t get me wrong; this is a meal plan I can believe in! I’m also a huge advocate of breakfast for dinner. But why do we limit this culinary event to once a week? Every human being I’ve ever met – yes, all of them – loves breakfast food at any time of day. (And usually more for lunch or dinner that for their actual breakfast.)
Brunch is an excuse for weak people to eat foods they really crave at the time most socially acceptable to their peers. I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to eat omelets for dinner. It’s ok to put poached eggs on your dinner salad. And it’s perfectly acceptable to use your waffle iron on a Wednesday afternoon. It won’t blow up. Join me as I celebrate freedom from traditional food roles. Breathe deeply, grab your whisk, and show that Large Brown Cage-free Omega-3 doped egg who’s the boss.
Here is a “brunch” recipe from our friends at Bon Appetit magazine. If you follow it word for word, it’s probably wonderful. With a few slight modifications, it becomes delicious! This sausage, roasted red pepper, and spinach torta rustica works well with vegetarian sausage (my hands were tied because of a guest) and with any commonsense cheese substitute. The baguette transforms into a quasi-French toast – a quality I’m eager to explore further on my next go-around. Cook it up tonight and enjoy! The brotherhood of breakfast lovers fully supports you and your brave decision.
By my good friend, Guest Blogger Wayne Manigo AKA Wayneman. Wayne is on the left in the photo.
There are some musicians that make history by being masters at their craft. They might practice for hours each day, until they hit the pinnacle of success. Other may decide on combining other talents with their god given gift. Enter Bill Wharton (aka The Sauce Boss) and his band “The Ingredients.” His unique style of playing the blues is combined by his love and desire for “Gumbo.” “Uncle Bill” (I’m the only fan who calls him that) has a talent to make a gumbo that will “Knock your Aunt Connie’s socks off!” This has been his signature style since 1990.
Once the Sauce Boss hits the stage, he’s a magic man in motion. He’s start by making the “holy trinity” of celery, onions, and green peppers for the “rue” on stage. As he continues to cook, the Sauce Boss will perform some of the finest blues in all the land. These are old school blues jams inspired by the likes of Robert Johnson, Duane Allman, Muddy Waters, and ZZ Top. As the band plays the blues into the wee hours, the Sauce Boss demands audience participation by inviting everyone to come onstage and “Stir the gumbo!” At the end of the night…the entire audience eats gumbo for free!
The first time I met “Uncle Bill” was nine years ago in his hometown of Tallahassee. I walked into this establishment named Bullwinkle’s, which was voted best college bar by Playboy magazine. I couldn’t believe what my senses were telling me! Was that the smell of gumbo coming from their Tikki bar? And who’s that crazy guy with the chef’s outfit playing the guitar?” By the end of the evening, I was dancing, singing, and sweating like I’ve never done before. Once the set is complete, “Uncle Bill” served this fabulous gumbo to the masses – free of charge.
I became a fan of “Bill Wharton and the Ingredients” on the spot! The Sauce Boss is so well known for his gumbo that it inspired Mr. Jimmy Buffet to pen the tune “I Will Play For Gumbo.” He’s been mentioned in the “Lee’s Brother’s Southern Cookbook” and they stated “When he comes to your town, you don’t want to miss this blues and gumbo combination. “Uncle Bill” provides the Sauce Boss Gumbo Recipe for is gumbo on his website, so you can duplicate it at home. I make it each year at my annual pot luck prior to attending his annual concert at Madam’s Organ.
It would be a crime not to mention the charity work the ‘Sauce Boss’ has done with his nonprofit organization “ Planet Gumbo.” This non-profit was created by Bill Wharton in Nov 2002 to help everyone understand the trials and tribulations of the homeless. His band continues to perform benefit concerts each year to raise money and awareness. By the end of time, The Sauce Boss would have spread his message for love, happiness, and helping other using gumbo and the blues. Let’s eat!
Bill Wharton is playing at Madam’s Organ at 9pm tomorrow (4/14).
The crew at DCist.com do a feature called “Overheard in DC” in which snippets of conversation are presented with minimal context – typically somebody talking a bit too loud on a cell phone at an area grocery store, or two folks sharing a wee bit too much information on the Metro. It’s a great feature, and if you can’t get enough of DCist’s offerings, check out EavesdropDC.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and probably the laziest, then we at DCFud could launch a similar feature focusing simply on restaurants and people eating in public. It never ceases to amaze me what people will say in public, scant inches from perfect strangers.
I had the joy of sitting next to a couple of medical school students in Baltimore, and while I certainly would like the best trained, most highly educated doctors available, I’m not enthralled with the idea of eating next to them when discussing various ailments and diseases. And…especially when they have visual aides. And…I dated a doctor several years ago, but recent enough that I remember a few things.
At a restaurant in Baltimore…mid-conversation
Female Med School Student: “It was a softball-sized hematoma above his left eye.”
That’s a blood collection from a broken artery. I was OK with that.
Male Med School Student: “We worked on the dissection of the posterior compartment.”
That’s generally known as the calf muscle. I’m OK with that too.
Male Med School Student: “I was looking at the three muscles, and I know it’s weird, but I got hungry for chicken.”
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever heard while dining?
Many people are sensitive to gluten, and I know I make them flinch when I rave about Hello Cupcake’s Maya, a chocolate cupcake covered in silky dark chocolate frosting that leave’s the lingering spicy taste of hot peppers on your tongue. Yum.
So, let’s explore Lilit Cafe (its more of a deli, really) in Bethesda; its gluten free menu is located here.
To quote their website:
Gluten-Free Desserts sold at Lilit Café are specially created by an award winning Gluten-Free Bakery called the Sweet Sin Bakery. Gluten-Free Desserts made by Sweet Sin Bakery are specially created by Pastry Chef Renée D’souza, who herself is gluten-intolerant. Renée’s love for desserts and her passion for making desserts combined to form the Sweet Sin Bakery in 2005.” i do remember seeing a large Key Lime Tart that looked quite appealing.”
They did seem to have a good variety of other gluten free packaged goods as well.
I do expect one of you gluten free connosoirs to report back to us (at firstname.lastname@example.org), giving us the scoop on whether or not the the baked goods are tasty.
7921 Old Georgetown Road,
Bethesda, MD 20814
By Guest Blogger Andrew Kohn.
Every great man needs a personal mission in life. Jason sailed the open seas looking for Greek drama. Fievel searched a new country in the hopes of finding his lost family – just one little mouse out to conquer the world. And Bill and Ted went through time in search of a better grade and, in the process, found themselves. These journeys weren’t easy, but in the end, these men came out on top, better for the experience, true role models for future generations. My search, just as important, is to find the ultimate Buffalo wing.
I’ve come to one wonderful, unnerving, and momentous conclusion – the perfect wing is in the eye of the beholder. Over the past two weeks, I’ve eaten at six establishments known for their wings. Now, I know there are secret places throughout the region that produce incredible products; if, however, I want to find the best, I’ll start with what “experts” have determined as such. This was only phase one of my journey – the initial landing in the New World – and to be sure, I will continue this quest until the day I die – either of old age or kidney failure.
The criterion is easy – who had the best sauce, meat, and heat. To be clear, I’m in search of the perfect Buffalo wing. I know there are wonderful restaurants that create delicious dishes with chicken wings in all sorts of awkward and beautiful scenarios. I met some of them head on. My prey, however, on this hunt are the red sauced, fiery hot, blue cheese dipping, Buffalo wings. That wonderful export from a town with very little else going for it – they are the perfect snack food, appetizer, or main event.
Just as Christopher Columbus had unknown sailors directing operations on the Nina, Pinta, or Santa Maria, I relied on my co-captains to help me stay on course. And just like those captains, history shall not remember their names but simply refer to them as Frat Boy and Gay – a martini drinker and a kegger; they represent all spectrums of my real America.
Without further ado, let’s get to the ratings:
The first stop:
Uno Chicago Grill and Bar in Union Station. This was the base line. Also, a back up as Wingmasters in the cafeteria has closed down. These wings were traditional, not very meaty, and salty. Avoid the “Wowza” sauce unless you like a combination fruit leather/cocktail sauce concoction that is probably very popular somewhere other than the D.C. region. I drank a Sam Adams.
On to: Austin Grill in Gallery Place. These wings weren’t traditional, covered in a dry rub and grilled. The meat was the best we’ve tasted thus far on our journey. But these weren’t Buffalo wings. And, while I can appreciate a different wing when it owns its uniqueness, served with a hot chipotle mango sauce or something, you can’t just give me ranch dressing! You played your hand with the ranch Austin Grill, attempting to walk the fine line between traditional and quirky. Dump the ranch and find a good sauce (and while you’re at it, a new salsa recipe for your chips!) I drank a Shiner or two
Now the traditional: Hooters in Gallery Place. My initial question – when did women and families start eating at Hooters? It’s a real downer on the atmosphere. And Frat Boy wasn’t pleased either! These wings were breaded and covered in a “3 Mile Island” sauce. I hope the radiation from a nuclear meltdown is this bearable. These wings tasted like they were bad for you – a piece of fried chicken covered in hot sauce. And the vinegar hints were over-whelming. My final question – when did I start having to pay for blue cheese and celery? I drank more Sam Adams.
For the gay and gay-friendly: Nellies on U Street. These were breaded and had a lovely texture. They also tasted a tad buttery – not a bad thing, just unexpected. The breading was borderline mushy at times, but the sauce was nice and without a hint of salt. I drank a gin and tonic.
For the editors: Hard Times Café in College Park. These “original Texas” wings by description weren’t Buffalo-like. The presentation was the best we’d seen and the chili powder sprinkled on top gave some nice extra heat. There was a distinct sourness to them that was considered welcomed by some and not so nice by others. They were big and meaty, but a little tough. I drank a Magic Hat.
And the winner: Buffalo Wild Wings in College Park. This is a national chain making its way into the region. From its window you can see the IKEA and its meatballs beckoning you like a siren – fight back I tell you! These wings were hot, juicy, and not a bit salty. There are fourteen flavors of sauce to chose from- “wild” is hot with a salty taste and “blazing” just ridiculous – stick with the traditional “hot” and you’ll be in heaven. There are also thirty beers on tap. Leave it to a chain that specifically cooks Buffalo wings to create the best. I drank a New Castle and a Killians.
The results thus far, are not surprising. But now it’s time to delve deeper into the Buffalo wing underbelly of D.C. and find those hidden gems that would make Anthony Bourdain stand up and take notice. Out of pure principle, we can’t have a chain take the ultimate title so it’s time grab a wet-nap and hit the streets once more…