• 21Jul

    Coffee. Whether it’s your go-go juice, your perfect beverage paired with morning zen time, or an emergency pit stop to survive those last hours at work … Hopscotch Coffee & Records in Winchester, VA has your bases covered. The menu skips past the specialty drinks (don’t worry, you won’t miss those mocha-frappa-double-shot-extra-whip-hint-of-bullshit-achinos) because the true, rich flavor of Hopscotch’s locally roasted beans are showcased throughout each latte, espresso, regular drip, and french press. Did I mention that the beans are roasted less than a mile from the shop? I’d say that’s as local as it gets. Nate Rhodes, the owner, has seven years of experience with coffee and really knows what he’s doing behind the counter. I give him mad props for not hiring a bunch of hipster wanna be teens attempting to make coffee with no experience dialing in espresso. He’s really involved in his business, and I highly appreciate that as a customer.

    As for my latte, there were no complaints. I tasted no acidity, and only bold, rich espresso with delicate steamed milk. The drink was not blistering hot, and not at all lukewarm. The kitschy atmosphere reminded me of an urban outfitters, but homier. There was pinball machine in the corner, and cases of records for sale. Modern art adorned the walls as well as a map you might find in a high school geography classroom. There were plenty of seating and power outlets for every occasion, whether it be a business meeting, date with friends, or a quiet study session. All in all, for a shop only opened for 3 years, I see it being as prosperous and delicious for many more years to come.

    -Jara (JMG), Guest Blogger

    Permalink Filed under: Drinks, Etc, Stores Tags: No Comments
  • 08Jul

    DC recently welcomed the Pod Hotel to its Chinatown neighborhood. For those that aren’t familiar, the Pod offers small rooms with large amenities and a fun vibe. Founded in NYC, they are just starting to branch out. Having stayed at the original Manhattan location, I think the DC outpost stays on brand. While I didn’t see the rooms, the lobby, staff, and diner were exactly what I’d expect from a Pod.

    Hushpuppy

    So why was I at the Pod, if I didn’t see any of the rooms? To sample sips and tastes from Crimson Diner, one of the hotel’s three eateries. While the Pod opened in April, this was their official launch party. The atmosphere was energetic and you could tell that everyone was really excited about this project. The diner is an all-day sort of place with a focus on Southern favorites and boozy milkshakes, is on the main level, and has just opened. Crimson Whiskey Bar is beneath the diner, and opens in July. Crimson View, their rooftop bar, opens in August. While the menus will differ, all three seem like places that will attract visitors and residents alike. Backed by the Hilton brothers, it’d be hard to go wrong here.

    For drinks, we sampled the Crimson Old Fashioned and cava. The Old Fashioned was strong yet balanced, and my favorite. You’d be remiss not to order it. The cava was dry, bubbly, and perfect for summer. Samples of the Tennessee Transplant, a boozy milkshake, were passed. Concocted of vanilla ice cream, Jack Daniel’s, peanut butter, and cola syrup, it wasn’t overly sweet, and I’d consider ordering it. For a non-boozy milkshake, we had the Georgia Belle, which is vanilla ice cream, peaches, and hibiscus syrup, and it was basically dessert in drink form.

    Fried Chicken Sandwich

    Food definitely focused on Southern fare. We tried biscuits with ham and apple butter, crab hush puppies, and fried chicken sandwiches. The fried chicken was savory and crisp, and I’m hoping it’ll be an entrée on their full menu, in addition to the sandwich. I’ve never even considered ham and apple butter on a biscuit, and while slightly salty, I loved this combination and it was my favorite nosh of the evening. It was texturally interesting as well as being delicious. I thought the hush puppies lacked flavor, and while crispy, I’d not go for those again.

    The highlight of the evening had to be that DC Mayor Muriel Bowser stopped by to speak and cut the ribbon to officially launch the Pod. She was just as excited as everyone else, and her energy was really great.

    Crimson Diner seems to be just what is needed in Chinatown—casual, but not “fast casual,” with thought and creativity behind the food and drink. Keep Crimson in mind when in the neighborhood.

    -LEM

  • 26May

    We very much enjoyed organic Pacari chocolate samples from Ecuador!

    We attended the Embassy Chef Challenge a couple of nights ago, and sampled some great food and drinks. This event was a chance to try food from countries and chefs we might not otherwise have access to. Some standout dishes (other than those pictured above) included Chile’s salmon, Uzbekistan’s plov, and Morocco’s lamb shoulder. This is definitely an event you want to attend in the future.

    The 2017 Judges’ Choice award went to Chef Moha Fedal of Morocco with his Marrakech Tangia. Chef Cynthia Verna of Haiti brought home the People’s Choice award with her shrimp ceviche with plantain chips (served with a much appreciated passion fruit rum concoction).

    -JAY

  • 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)

  • 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

    Permalink Filed under: Etc Tags: , , No Comments
  • 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

    Permalink Filed under: Etc Tags: No Comments
  • 17Nov

    cr-invite-mokiCotton and Reed (1330 5th Street NE) is a new distillery recently opened near Union Market.  This bar does not offer any food; co-founders Reed Walker and Jordon Cotton contract local food truck vendors to make sure that they are in the parking lot for the last night ready for the crowd.

    Chaz Jefferson, Head Bartender, when asked about what type of bar does he want to have: “I want to have rowdy bar.”  His favorite shot is: 1 oz shot, and is so smooth. His advice to Novice Drinkers: Chaz suggest that individuals start with a daiquiri to taste the rum; its not a sweet bite, but its sneaks up on you!” Lucas, the Head Drink Designer, states, that the “sweetness comes from Turkish sweets.”

    The official opening was November 12, however we attended a soft opening which was open to food bloggers, friends,  and publicists, but some locals did manage to get in and enjoy free spirits that night.

    The menu normally contains simple offerings at only of $10 a drink, which is very generous considering the quality of the spirits and cocktails.

    When speaking with one patron, he stated, “The Spice Boy is my favorite: I just love it!”  Another man, whose 21st birthday was this day, marked the occasion with a 1 oz Spice Rum Shot which he stated as “Transverse.”  A group of women joined in and cheered, “This rum makes me speechless!” while the other woman stated, “This rum makes you wonder why other rums aren’t this good.”

    My question remains, “WHY DO ALL OTHER RUMS BURN, when this rum is so SMOOTH?”

    Smoothly Signing Off,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

     

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