• 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

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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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  • 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)

     

     

  • 16Nov

    District Fishwife, located in Union Market against the right wall, has a special secret.  The Shrimp Bahn Mi sandwich!

    District Fishwife introduced the Shrimp Bahn Mi sandwich re-imagined. District Fishwife’s original Shrimp Po’Boy – which is known in New Orleans as fried shrimp balls on a bun with a slaw – recently received a Vietnamese splash (fried shrimp balls on a bun with Vietnamese accompaniment). This sandwich’s relaunch has justifiably increased its popularity.

    When the creative chef team behind the sandwiches went back to the drawing board, the Shrimp Banh Mi was designed.  The sandwich comes with your choice of curly fries or apple slaw.  Nolan, one of the managers, was gracious enough to answer my questions in regards to where the fish originates.  Most of the fish come from Florida and the East Coast during the cold months, ensuring freshness, since the time from water to plate is shortened.  The fish is full of Omega-3 fatty acids which good for a growing body.

    The sandwich was good, but with 4 little shrimp balls, this sandwich is more like a good snack than a meal.  That works just fine if you are walking around Union Market perusing food stalls and planning dinner.  But, the addition of 2 more shrimp balls might make the sandwich fuller and seem more like a meal.  Overall, I like the Vietnamese influence in this sandwich.

    Happy Eating,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

  • 06Oct

    We recently reviewed a local business that cooks healthy meals and delivers them to homes in the DC area, Strong Fit meals. We ordered 5 more meals (pictured above), and were impressed with the consistency and quality of the entrees. Yeah, we missed the Chicken Fajitas and Chicken Satays from the last round, but the new meals were tasty (and healthy) as well.

    Strong Fit Meals did a good job at grilling many of the components (some proteins and some vegetables), and used some tasty herbs, spices, and sauces as well. We ordered four entrees from the clean menu (which changes weekly) and one (Ground Turkey) from the lean menu (which stays the same). The Teriyaki Chicken and the Ground Turkey were our favorite dishes this time around. The steak was a little tough but the chimichurri sauce made up for it. It would have been nice if the buckwheat noodles were not chopped up, but they were a tasty gluten-free option.

    It was nice that this week’s meals were not (low-fat) cheese heavy like some of the dishes we previously sampled. The cheese wasn’t bad, but I didn’t feel it was necessary.

    -JAY

  • 20Sep

    We tested out Strong Fit Meals‘ menu last week, and were pleasantly surprised. With menus called the “Lean Menu” and “Clean Menu,” our fear was that we would be sacrificing flavor in a quest for healthy food.

    We tried 5 items from the Clean Menu and one from the Lean Menu. The meals we sampled from the Clean menu were the Chicken Satay, Salmon, Beef Burger, Chicken  Fajitas, and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. From the Lean Menu, we were given the Chicken Breast.

    The meals were definitely better than expected (of healthy cuisine), and were fresh, with the absolute standouts being the Chicken Satay and the Chicken Fajitas (with Cilantro Rice), which were both delicious. I will say that if I had found the Chicken Satay in a store, I would have passed it up since it has P28 powder which does not sound like an appetizing (or necessary) ingredient. And, they could work on the flavor and texture of the pickled cucumbers that were packaged with that dish. The Beef Burger is more like meatloaf (hello egg whites!) but is good, as long as you skip the low sugar ketchup (ick). The Chicken Breast with Green Beans was nice as well.

    I think I overheated the Salmon, so won’t critique it. Stuffed Peppers aren’t my thing in general, so I’ll skip talking about them.

    The Lean menu consists of lean proteins such as Grilled Chicken Breast, Grilled Steak, Tilapia, Salmon, and Ground Turkey. When ordering from the Lean Menu, you can select from various vegetables and starches as sides. This week’s Clean Menu includes Spicy Plum Chicken, Blackened Chicken, Turkey Enchilada Bake, Swedish Meatballs, and Peanut Chicken.

    This is definitely a good service for someone who wants healthy well-packaged and home delivered (to DC, Bethesda or Virginia) meals. I can see people bringing these meals to work for lunch.

    -JAY

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