Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekly Website(s): Good Things Come in Threes Edition

I've got three new food blogs on my roll that I'd like to feature today. Remember, you can find these on the right side of your screen.

On another note: I'll be purging some of the blogs that haven't updated in the past two months, and will do this once a month, so I apologize in advance if your blog is one of the ones that gets cut - but I've got too many blogs I want to put on the roll, and I want to keep the best list possible for you.

Back to our originally scheduled list, already in progress:

Adventures in Shaw: Focuses on recipes and DC food news. You'll find some great pictures and great dinner, dessert, etc. ideas.

Mango & Tomato: I like blogs with two food names and pretty pictures - and this blog has that and so much more. The dishes are smart and look fantastic. It's only been around for a month, but it'll be great to watch this blog grow.

The Bitten Word: I just hate it when I find blogs that are head and shoulders above mine. But then I forget about it just enjoy the show. The Bitten Word is putting on one hell of a show - featuring some great recipes from some great magazines. It's like having a subscription to every food magazine, but without the cost.

Good Stuff Eatery Releases Menu

It looks like Good Stuff Eatery, the new hamburger joint from Top Chef alumn Spike Mendelsohn, will live up to its name - that is if the menu is any indication.

Follow the link above to the website where you can find the menu.

I can't wait to get my first Farmhouse Cheese with a Toasted Marshmallow shake.

Which burger are you most looking forward to?


When used as a transitive verb, it means "to give little attention or respect to" or to "leave undone or unattended to especially through carelessness".

When used in relation to sweet potatoes you got at the farmers market a month ago, you get this:

Any questions?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Butterfield 9 Rumored to be Closed

Starting from a rumor on the boards that started two days ago, it looks like Butterfield 9, the downtown restaurant once called "one of the 100 hottest restaurants in the world" according to Conde' Nast Traveler Magazine, is closed.

The restaurant, headed up by Chef Michael Harr, was the subject of many jokes between Apples and myself, as it was the site of our first Restaurant Week meal, and a very disappointing one at that.

If these rumors (which, coming from Rockwell himself I'd consider above the rumor level onto pretty solid fact) prove to be true, it'll leave another big restaurant space opening downtown, near where Red Sage used to be, and continues to sit as a restaurant corpse.

It'll be interesting to see why BF9 is closing, and if any other restaurants of similar ilk close their doors in the coming months.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

First Look: Mr. Yogato

"Are you a fan of Mr. Yogato?" yelled Steve Davis, Mr. Yogato's so-called "Man of Yogurt" as I took the picture below.

I didn't know how to answer that. How can you be a fan of a restaurant that still isn't open? So I responded with the only reply that came to mind: "We'll see in a few minutes."

A few minutes later, the doors to Mr. Yogato, DC's newest, and second major frozen yogurt shop opened, and the customers came flooding in.

Immediately Mr. Yogato, the brainchild of a set of Georgetown business school students, will draw comparisons to TangySweet, its primary competitor and Dupont neighbor.

It's ironic that Yogato is run by grad students, because it feels a lot more like a undergrad kegger as opposed to TangySweet's grad student martini happy hour feel. Mr. Yogato's space feels cramped and chaotic by comparison, something that could be solved with signs showing people where to order and where to get their yogurt.

Going to Mr. Yogato isn't just about getting a cup of yogurt and some toppings, the emphasis is just as much on the fun as it is on the product. There are a number of "rules", basically fun ways to get a discount on your yogurt - today you could have gotten a $1 off your order if you did so in a Scottish accent. I declined and just paid the extra buck. You can also get a flavor named after you if you order something for thirty consecutive days, or get a discount if you suggest a topping or flavor that's adopted.

If you're going to Mr. Yogato expecting the same product as TangySweet, you'll be sadly mistaken, or pleasantly surprised, all depending on your views on TangySweet.

If you like and are expecting the tangy-tartness of TangySweet, you won't get it. Mr. Yogato's product is milder, almost to a fault. With flavors like Mango, Mojito, and "original soft" (a flavor akin to all the TCBY you ate as a kid), there's a lot of variety here, but sadly those flavors didn't exactly all come out as strong as they should have. Even the topping options are plentiful. I got mochi, strawberries and blueberries. I was glad to see mochi, something Apples turned me onto, on the menu - I've got a feeling it'll be a regular topping of mine when I visit.

Agatha, my yogurt partner for the day, got granola, blackberries and raspberries. She was a little disappointed that they only fit four blackberries on the yogurt (and pointed out that much like TangySweet, she had an air pocket in her yogurt), but seemed to like what she got (a little original soft) overall.

Like any other startup, Mr. Yogato will undergo some growing pains. The flavors need to be distinguished further, and there needs to be some greater order to the flow of traffic through the restaurant.

So to answer Steve's question - yes, I'm a fan of Mr. Yogato. Right now I don't think they're quite where TangySweet is when it comes to their product or their operation, but I think this team has the potential to do very well for itself, and I look forward to watching them grow in the weeks and months ahead.

A sign of hope with a side of fries

There's been a lot of talk over the past five years about benchmarks in Iraq (I know, this is a food blog, but follow me), but there's a great story in the Washington Post today about how one of the best indicators of things starting to go well in Iraq is the reemergence of their restaurant industry.

The article focuses primarily on one restaurant, Qadori, which was the site of a suicide bombing a couple years back, but is now running at 100% again, and making one of its most popular dishes, makhlamah, described as, "a spoonful of hot grease into a small frying pan, then tomato chunks, minced meat and eggs."

Regardless of your politics, this is great news. Now if I can only figure out where to get me one of those makhlamahs.

Photo Courtesy: Washington Post

Friday, June 27, 2008

To Do: Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Looking for something to do this weekend between the predicted thunderstorms? Make your way down to the mall for the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

This year's festival features exhibits from Bhutan and Texas (I'd like to see the dart board they used to pick those two places), below is a sampling of the menu:


Nakey Tshoem
Chicken (shredded), fiddleheads, cheese, chiles, onion, garlic, ginger, and special seasonings served with Bhutanese rice

Ema Datsi
National dish of chiles with cheese, served with
Bhutanese rice

Pork and cheese filled dumplings


Steak Fajitas
Grilled flank steak with onions and peppers, served with rice and beans

Cheese Quesadillas
Two flour tortillas filled with melted cheese, grilled onions, and peppers, served with rice and beans

Deep-fried corn tortillas filled with chicken, lettuce, and sour cream, served with rice and beans

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Frozen Yogurt Joint to Open in Dupont Circle This Weekend

At what point does a neighborhood have too many frozen yogurt outlets? Dupont Circle, already home to TangySweet, and the future home to Sweetgreen, will now be the home of Mr. Yogato when it opens this Saturday, June 28th at noon.

Located just south of Q St. and 17th St. NW, it looks like Mr. Yogato will look a lot like TangySweet, but with more flavors, toppings, and sans the smoothies.

People who aren't into the whole tangy yogurt thing can also get an "original soft", which I'm assuming tastes more like the TCBY yogurt a lot of us grew up with.

So, are you excited about another yogurt place? How do you think this will match up against the wildly popular TangySweet?

Good Stuff Eatery Rumored to Open on July 7th

Top Chef fans and burger freaks get ready, because according to a source on, Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery is set to open on July 7th.

The burger and fries place will be located at 3rd and Penn Ave SE on Capitol Hill, and will also serve a milkshakes with homemade ice cream.

It'll be interesting to see if the product can be as big as Spike's hype. In a city with plenty of burger options, I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Tony!

Chef, TV personality, and professional bad-ass Anthony Bourdain turned 52 today.

Celebrate by drinking a bottle of liquor (any will do) and eating vast quantities of Vietnamese/Chinese/Japanese food. Have a carton of cigarettes for dessert.

Food Day: Breaking News Edition

There's a lot going on in the world of food today. No New York Times stories here on the evolution of spinach, these are stories that you need to read, because they'll effect where you'll eat.

Hooked: It was his restaurant, and the restaurant was him. Sleek, hip, on the forefront of the environmental and sustainable movements, Barton Seaver was the face and the frying pan behind Hook and his new restaurant, Tackle Box.

No more.

As of today, according to multiple sources (I found out through a simple text from Apples saying, "Seaver left hook"; yet another reason why I have the best girlfriend ever), Barton split with his ownership group, Pure Hospitality, after "difference in philosophies" were highlighted between himself and owner Jonathan Umbel.

While Barton states that he remains "committed to seeing Hook and Tackle Box succeed", losing him in the kitchen and as the creative driving force behind these two projects is a huge loss, and hopefully doesn't affect the service or quality of the restaurants respective products.

Josh Whigham, Hook's Chef de Cuisine, will take over for Barton as the Executive Chef. According to Umbel, "“The restaurant was being run by Josh anyway."

"She's ready to move on": And so we announce the end of Colorado Kitchen, Gillian Clark's DC restaurant, according to the Washingtonian. According to Clark, "The final day is coming. . . . People should make their plans soon. We've had a great seven years and had a really great time. We're not a one-trick pony. . . . My brain has more restaurant concepts in it than Colorado Kitchen."

So what other restaurant concepts could those be? We'll all find out this fall when she opens up a yet to be named restaurant in Silver Spring.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Guns and Butter

Have you ever had a craving for a hamburger and to fire a machine gun at an Israeli defense post in the same meal? Yeah, me neither, but next time you're in Beirut, Lebanon, you'll have a chance to.

According to this BBC report, the newest fast-food joint in Beirut is called Buns and Guns, a restaurant "made out to look like a military post and diners eat to the sound of gunfire instead of muzak."

With the motto of "A sandwich can kill you", you can order such dishes as "the Kalashnikov, Dragunov, Viper, [and] B52", off of menus that are shaped like bullets.

Owner Yousef Ibrahim believes that he's got a winner on his hands, "It attracts customers in an unconventional way. You noticed the moment I opened the restaurant, there was a lot of business". We can only hope that his primarily Hezbollah customers put down their real rocket propelled grenades, and pick up the dish by that same name (chicken on a skewer).

Photo Courtesy: BBC News

Chop Talk: Interview with TangySweet's Aaron Gordon

Whoever said you can't go home again obviously wasn't talking about TangySweet owner Aaron Gordon. After leaving his hometown of Washington DC for the sunny promise of the west coast, Aaron saw a ticket home in an emerging west coast trend, one that he's brought back to our nation's capitol: high-end frozen yogurt.

At first glance, Aaron doesn't look like the kind of guy who's a pioneer in what promises to be the next big thing in food for DC residents. With a lack of background in the restaurant industry aside from tending bar and waiting tables, this former PR professional looked like a regular customer when I met with him yesterday; orange t-shirt and jeans with a matching five o'clock shadow, customers passed him not having the slightest clue that it's his product they're lined up out the door to sample.

It's his product that he's most passionate about. Aaron "fell in love" with the light, "healthy treat" while living out in Los Angeles over the past decade, and sees the latest craze for frozen yogurt as anything but a trend that will suddenly disappear.

Aaron had some initial reservations about bringing the concept to DC, a city that, when he left, was a little too "steak and potatoes" for frozen yogurt. But after seeing what he calls a shift towards more "fun, adventurous food" over the past five years, Aaron knew it was time to make his move.

Landing himself a spot in the "West P" neighborhood (the area of P St. NW just west of Dupont Circle) that he sees as up and coming, Aaron seems shocked by the response he's gotten. With around 1,500 guests on his opening "Free Friday", and a steady stream of over 700 takers a day, he's pretty excited about the now-common line out the door.

But with the lines building up, it's only a matter of time before competition builds (in fact, as I’m writing this, it’s been announced that Sweetgreen, the Georgetown based yogurt shop is opening another restaurant in Dupont Circle), and Aaron says he's ready. He believes that "friendly, great service" and his "hometown roots" will give him an edge over the out of town mega-chains. But what Aaron really believes will set him apart from the competition is his product.

From "the best smoothies in town" to the freshest fruit he can find, Aaron takes a great deal of pride in his product, and says that he'd rather risk turning a profit if it means he can get the best ingredients possible.

Even with his success thus far, Aaron isn't about to slow down, saying that it's "fun to change things up." Expect to see new flavors such as mango make appearances about once a month, and new toppings rotate through.

There's also been some thought put into expanding into other areas of the city. Aaron says that he's gotten five serious franchise offers, and that we could possibly see two more stores, one probably on Capitol Hill and the other most likely in Penn Quarter, by next Spring.

Until then however, he's focused squarely on his product, and keeping his customers happy. "Right now I'm working on how to make this better," Aaron says with a smile, a thought that makes us all glad that Aaron Gordon has made his way back home.

Monday, June 23, 2008

500th Post!!!

Well, I've hit another milestone, and it's time to celebrate.

The past six months have been almost as busy as the previous year, and I don't see myself slowing down anytime soon.

So what can you expect in the next 500 posts? I'd like to do more interviews with local restaurateurs, and will post my interview with TangySweet's owner Aaron Gordon tomorrow.

Let me know what you'd want to see me do more of, or less of for that matter. Times like this are a great time to step back and think about past and plan for the future. I look forward to writing 500 more posts, and hope you're there with me along the way.

Local yokels make 100 pound eatin' disc

For those of you who didn't make it over to the 14th Annual RC and Moon Pie Festival in Bell Buckle, TN this weekend, you missed the creation of a 100 pound, 75,000 calorie moon pie according to NBC affiliate WTLV.

Yep folks, enough to feed up to 150 people who are fixin' to dig into one mighty tasty dessert, and probably wash it down with a Royal Crown Cola!

Also, I don't know if this banner will still be there when you click on the link above, but one of the anchors is a dead ringer for Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor.

Just sayin'

Story Courtesy: So Good

K as in Klosed?

Restaurant K, after only ten months at its 1700 K St. NW location, is officially closed according to the Washington Business Journal.

I hate to say it like this, but, I called it. I had my doubts about this "South by Southwest" eatery from the first time I tried it. I said in my review:

It's hard to say for sure if Restaurant K will succeed. It's only be open for a week and a half now, but it seems like the problems that usually plague new restaurants are non-existant there. The service was fantastic, the food, with a few exceptions, was on the mark, and the dining experience as a whole was first rate. I don't know if Restaurant K on its own is enough to lift K St. into the top tier category for food, but it's giving it a good shot, and I hope it stays around long enough for us to see just how good Allison Swope and this concept can be.

To be honest, I was probably a little too easy on the place. I never really got the sense that it had much of an identity of its own, and never really believed that Swope was a big enough name to bring people in.

Within the last few months, Apples and I went there for a drink after work, and overheard the bartender asking a patron (someone in the restaurant business) about job opportunities elsewhere, so my guess is that the folks working there knew the writing was on the wall.

According to the WBJ article, McCormick & Schmick's, which owned Restaurant K, said in a statement, "current economic conditions have led to the business decision to close this restaurant and reallocate its resources to our core McCormick & Schmick’s branded establishments … We deeply appreciate Alison’s skills and hard work and hope to incorporate her as part of our culinary development team going forward.”

Sadly, it seems like that location is a bit of a black hole when it comes to restaurants, as the previous occupants left somewhat prematurely too.

Restaurants come and go, and DC can be a hard city to find success in, but it never seemed to me like Restaurant K ever hit its stride. It was a restaurant that was widely publicized, but its publicity came across more as an act of desperation than a sign of success. The restaurant even tried gimmicks such as offering breakfast in order to get people through the door.

I can only hope that whatever comes next learns from Restaurant K, and I'm not writing about another restaurant closing ten months from now.

Weekly Website: Washington City Paper's Young & Hungry

Today's Weekly Website feature is the Washington City Paper's Young & Hungry page, written by their food guy, Tim Carman.

You can find this column in the actual hard copy of the paper, but either way, you're always guaranteed some of the best food writing in the city. You can find this link now on my links section on the right hand side of the screen.

And if you have a food-related website that you'd like me to feature, leave a comment and I'll write about it next week.

Revised Dragonfly set to reopen in four weeks

According to a source within Dragonfly (seriously, the guy was literally standing inside the restaurant after I knocked on the door), the sushi restaurant that has been under renovations since June of 2007 will be reopening four weeks from now.

The restaurant, located at 1215 Connecticut Ave. NW - just South of Dupont Circle - is undergoing, "a lot of changes", and will be, "like Dragonfly", which to me indicates that it might open under another name.

When it does open up, it'll join Pasara Thai and Hello Cupcake as new additions on that stretch of Connecticut Ave. NW.

Meat Overload: National BBQ Battle 2008

"I feel drunk."

Usually a statement like that follows the mass consumption of alcohol. But there was none consumed yesterday. No, this was drunk by way of pork. Wonderful, slow cooked, smoky pork.

Apples and I headed down to the National Capital BBQ Battle yesterday and celebrated all things hog.

The entrance fee was $10, but once inside there were plenty of samples to be had, and plenty of amazing BBQ to be eaten.

Among the vendors showing off their pulled pork and ribs, were local chains like Famous Dave's, Old Glory, and Red Hot & Blue, as well as big name national winners from as far away as Florida.

We started off splitting a bratwurst from the Johnsonville uber-grill, which was pretty much what I expected. Cheap and full of brat-y goodness.

After that we loaded up on potato salad (Apple's favorite) and cole slaw, and proceeded to both wait about 30 minutes in separate lines for the real star of the show, pig - and lots of it.

The two biggest booths (if you could call them that), with the most trophies were from Florida. Skin & Bones BBQ (from Arcadia, FL) and Smokin' Rednecks (from St. Petersburg, FL) had equal lines, but not exactly equal products.

While I'm sure Smokin' Rednecks smokes a good hog, its pork was cold and unimpressive.

Skin & Bones on the other hand had great, fresh pulled pork and some of the best greens and corn you could ever eat by the pound.

The National BBQ Battle isn't something you walk away from easily. It's something that stays with you (in fact, I can still feel it today), and makes you wish at times you ate strictly kosher, but this is an event that simply can't be missed, even if you might not have to eat again until next year.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Have it your way (for $200)

Seriously, this has to stop.

Hotel kitchens throwing some overpriced beef on a bun with some fungi and charging a few hundred bucks for it is one thing, but Burger King? Since when did the dollar menu become the $200 dollar menu?

Well, according to this CBS report, Burger King restaurants in the U.K. are serving a $200 hamburger that's made with, "Japanese wagyu beef, white truffles, onions fried in Cristal champagne, topped with pink Himalayan rock salt. "

Don't worry though. Aside from burning a hole in your wallet, that money will go towards a children's charity in that makes it okay, right?

Photo Courtesy CBS

(not so) Fatty Fridays: Bizzaro McDonald's Story

Ok, so it's technically Saturday, but I've been meaning to write about this since I first saw it a couple days ago.

Evidently, a Richmond, VA man is claiming that through a diet solely consisting of McDonald's, he has lost around 90 pounds!

According to Good Morning America, " After six months on his McDiet, [Chris] Coleson lost 80 pounds and dropped 14 pants sizes. His waist went from 50-inches to 36."

Frankly, if this happened, good for him. Eating, "salads, wraps, apple-walnut salads and the occasional cheeseburger since last December..." according to this AdAge article is bound to help you lose weight.

Sadly though, that's not what McDonald's primarily markets, and that's not what most people eat. So congratulations to Chris for being able to wear your wedding band for the first time in seven years. I hope your message gets out and more will follow your lead...first of which being the McDonald's marketing team.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Food Day: Summertime, and the livin' is easy edition

Happy food day folks. Here's what's going on in the world of food today:

Vampires beware: The New York Times waxes poetic about the virtues of garlic.

We're gonna need a bigger fridge: The WaPo shows us why buying meat in bulk can be a challenge.

Summertime Eats: Yeah, it's too hot to go outside, but it looks like everyone is embracing this whole summer concept. Here's what Arizona Central has to say about some cool drinks, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has to say about outdoor grilling, and the Dallas Morning News has to say about Watermelon season.

Out of the darkness and on to your plate: African cuisine is all the rage right now, in large part thanks to our own Morou Ouattara. Read all about it in the Detroit Free Press.

Tea Time: It's Iced Tea month according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; here's how to get make the most of it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not-so-Happy Hour?

If Washington DC could have an official meal, it'd be happy hour. Yes, it's more of a liquid meal than it is a meal of substance, but I would bet that more people partake in happy hour here than they do breakfast, or even a proper lunch.

But over the past day or two, there's been a debate on the forums of over what constitutes proper happy hour fare.

Should restaurants stick to traditional burgers? Or should sushi be considered fair game?

What's your favorite happy hour dish? What would you add to your favorite happy hour menu?

Monday, June 16, 2008

First Look: Perry's Restaurant

One of the advantages of living in Washington D.C., or any other major city, is the large selection of bars and restaurants at your disposal, and the chance that maybe one of those can become your restaurant or bar.

My friends and I have gone through a number of bars during our years in D.C., and have found some gems. From Nanny O'Brien's in Cleveland Park to Townhouse Tavern in Dupont Circle, once you find a place with good drinks, friendly service, and that other special factor that just makes it yours, it's hard to go anywhere else.

Yesterday was my first time at Perry's in Adams Morgan, like love at first sight, this bar was mine at first drink. Now you probably know Perry's from their incredibly popular Drag Brunch on Sundays, but yesterday night was a perfect first look; the crowd was a little older and quieter, the bar was empty, and the weather was perfect; on such a beautiful night, you would have been foolish not to sit on their rooftop deck with a view right down Columbia Ave. NW.

Intending just to have a quick dinner, my friends and I ended up staying for dinner and several drinks - in large part because the service was so good (the bartenders are all incredible) and the food was actually decent.

Go for their happy hour specials - not exactly the cheapest food in Adams Morgan, but at $5 for a small plate and $4 for a cocktail, it just might be what the doctor ordered after a long weekend.

I didn't get a chance to explore the large sushi bar downstairs, but the sashimi I had was as fresh as you'd get at most sushi bars, and all of the other sushi looked and tasted delicious.

I don't know if it was the free shots that were flowing, the sunset on the deck, or the fish in my stomach, but Perry's has a lock on me, and I think I'm ok with that.

Photo Courtesy:

Weekly Website: King Corn

This week's Weekly Website comes from a fellow blogger who wrote about the movie "King Corn", commenting that, " I actually learned more reading through this website and all its links than I did watching the movie."

So here you go - the website in question.

King Corn for those of you who don't know, is an independent movie about the surprisingly far reach of corn in our society, and its dangers.

The website is incredibly informative, as is the movie. I'd recommend you check both out.

New Wine Bar Open Near National Cathedral

Replacing the old Zebra Lounge, Enology, a wine bar which will also serve a good selection of quality beer opened this weekend.

Located on the corner of Macomb and Wisconsin Ave. NW, Enology promises to add to an already incredible block of food and drink that includes 2 Amy's, Cafe Deluxe, Sushi Sushi, and Cactus Cantina.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pasara Thai Now Open in Dupont

The second location of the Alexandria based Thai restaurant had its, "soft open", today for lunch and dinner.

The restaurant, located right next to SEIU headquarters, has some outdoor seating, and hopefully will add to an already popular food/drink destination.

Pictures from the Ballston Farmers Market

It's probably one of the smallest, if not the smallest farmers market in the area, but the Ballston Farmers Market, located across from the metro stop, is still a great place to spend a Friday afternoon if you're in the area.

As usual, it was packed with people today, and a number of vendors with everything from great looking strawberries and cherries, to breads and veggies.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sorry Marc*...

...but I have to post about this.

According to a member, McDonald's in Maine serves up a "McLobster Roll" during the summer.

I'll admit, it doesn't look half bad, but I know it couldn't hold a candle to the roll I had last July in Maine.

Regardless, there's just something...wrong about this. Thoughts?

*Marc is a great friend, loyal reader, and master of all things Maine.

So what exactly can I eat that won't make me sick?

Tomatoes? Nope.

Lemons at New Jersey "casual dining" restaurants? Nope

According to a Good Morning America report, lemon wedges tested from four of the six family restaurants were, "contaminated with fecal matter, including one sample that contaminated with E. coli."

The fecal matter was found on lemons at both Applebee's and TGI Friday's, while E. coli was found at the Applebee's. Evidently, Chili's was the only restaurant with a clean bill of health.

Don't you worry though, the Triple Chocolate Meltdown is fecal and E. coli free!

Everyone's Talking About Glover Park

Up until recently, Glover Park for me was the first place I'd ever completely blacked out while drinking. Now and in the months to come, you can get completely smashed, and evidently get a pretty good meal while doing it.

Washington Business Journal's Gillian Gaynair did a great report (see video below) on all of the new additions to come, and some of the concerns that the neighborhood has. I don't know what it is about Georgetown/Glover Park that they really don't want anyone else coming there. So what if a little riff-raff mixes in with the regular rich-raff? It's not going to become the next Adams Morgan, and if it does, it'll be because of places like Town Hall and Smith Point, not because of ZBurger.

In addition to the WBJ report, Metrocurean wrote a pretty comprehensive post about everything new that's going on - complete with links.

So, do the residents of Glover Park really have anything to fear? Will this quiet little neighborhood really become the next big thing? Or just another place for Georgetown students to go once they get kicked out of their regular M St. bar?

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

If you haven't heard or you weren't watching, Stephanie Izard was named the Top Chef last night, the first woman to earn the title on the Bravo program over the course of the show's four seasons.

Stephanie beat out Lisa Fernandes and Richard Blais to win $100,000 and a bunch of stuff from Food & Wine magazine - plus a whole lot of street cred.

Congrats to Stephanie! I hope she can use her 15 minutes in the spotlight to create a long and successful career in the kitchen.

Photo Courtesy: Bravo

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Get Ready to Get Fat(burger)

It looks like Five Guys is going to get a taste of its own medicine, as Fatburger, a popular burger chain out west, is coming to the D.C. area according to this DCist report.

It looks like the first two locations will be in Columbia, Maryland and Fairfax, Virginia - not exactly DC (in fact, pretty far from DC if you're metro bound like me), but it's a start. However fear not, the first DC location will be located in Shaw, near Howard University.

Looking at the menu, Fatburger looks more like my personal favorite, Big Buns or the new Tenleytown ZBurger, rather than Five Guys - as Fatburger has chicken and veggie burgers on their menu, as well as onion rings and milkshakes.

I've got a feeling that Fatburger will do well here, but will never overtake Five Guys in the hearts or stomachs of DC area residents, as folks here really seem to love this home grown chain.

So, will you stay loyal to your regular burger joint? Or will you be getting fat?

First Look: TangySweet

It's just what the doctor ordered on a day like today; cool, refreshing, surprisingly light, TangySweet was everything I expected, and everything I could have wanted when I tried it for the first time today.

The new Dupont area yogurt joint is inspired by the same trend as bigger names like Pinkberry and Red Mango, and while I've never had a chance to try either one of them (neither of them have outlets here in DC for some strange reason), I can safely say that TangySweet will surely satisfy until that day comes (and long after that).

The space itself has come under some criticsm for being "too dark". Well, it is underground, and actually, on a sunny day like today, I felt the light level was appropriate. If anything, my only criticism with the space is the lack of seating. There's really only three or four tables, and three or four tablesque spaces for people to stand. While there's more outside, and a lot of people get their yogurt to go, I wish there would have been more seating inside.

But the yogurt, yes, the yogurt was the real star of the show. I got a medium "well dressed", which comes with three toppings. I opted for some blueberries, strawberries, and the cereal of my youth, Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

I'm very pleased to say that the toppings were great. The berries were all very fresh (it probably helps that so much is in season right now), and even the CTC was just as wonderful as I remembered it.

I don't know if this was an outlier case, but I did have a pretty substantial air pocket in my yogurt, which left me with a little less than I actually ordered, but in all, one person really only needs a small - I easily could have split my medium with someone else.

TangySweet has a lot going for it. Location (it's on the same block as Oblisk and Pizzeria Paradiso) and quality of product should keep TangySweet open for a long time - and a good thing too, I still have a few dozen topping combinations to try.

Food Day: Do it for Dad Edition

Happy Food Day folks! With Father's Day right around the corner, I'm seeing a lot of stories today to get you ready to celebrate Dad. Here's that, and everything else that's going on in the world of food:

Looking for food in all the wrong places: Sometimes it's a good thing. WaPo's Tom Sietsema shows us how to find a great meal where you'd least expect it.

Harder than quiting smoking: For some, that's probably just how hard quiting or even cutting back on meat is. The NYT's Mark Bittman shows us the path to less meat, more veggies.

Make it Summer all year long: You may be reaping the bounty of your local farmers market now, but come December, you'll be wishing it was June again. But you can make it June all year long by freezing your fruit according to this Dallas Morning News report.

My parents have been doing this for a while now, and my mom (no website to link to) reports (told me on the phone last night) that she's starting to freeze the first of the mangos that are falling off of our tree, and will eventually turn them into some sort of rum based beverage.

Growing is Growing: Worried about tomato scares? High food prices? The Denver Post might just have the solution for you.

Father's Day Fun: Looking to have some fun with dad this weekend? There are a lot of stories out there with some tips and recipies, here are some links: Arizona Central, Chicago Sun-Times,
and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

McDonald's Giving Away Food Again*

*That is if you buy a drink

McDonald's is giving away their Southern chicken sandwiches (both the breakfast and lunch versions) on Thursday, June 12th between 7am and 7pm.

If you've actually had one of these let me know if it's worth the eventual regret. Something tells me a "buttery tasting" bun isn't all it's cracked up to be.

First Look: The Diner

When one things of Adams Morgan, food probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind...unless you're absolutely wasted and you need something NOW.

But when you wake up on Sunday morning from your night of debauchery, brunch is often your only salvation. This past Sunday, The Diner, located in the heart of Adams Morgan, was the location of our salvation, our Basilica of Bloody Marys if you will.

Open 24/7, The Diner, owned by the neighboring Tryst, is exactly what you'd expect for a restaurant serving brunch in the heart of Adams Morgan at 11am on a Sunday - packed.

Expect to wait if you go during peak hours, because this place is popular. But is it worth it?

Well, that depends. If you're looking to shove greasy food down your gullet and head back out for another day of drinking...then yes. If you're looking for something a little better, a little quieter, or even a little more sophisticated...then you might want to try Cashion's, or somewhere else.

I ordered the grilled cheese on wheat, which had more butter than cheese in it, and the fruit salad that came with it was surprisingly sub par considering what all is in season right now.

Brunch is a utilitarian meal - eaten to fight off a hangover or as an excuse to get together with friends. The Diner is a utilitarian restaurant, and one that I'm sure will continue to get the job done, one greasy disappointing grilled cheese sandwich at a time.

Monday, June 9, 2008

McDonald's, others, holding the tomatoes

With fears of salmonella food poisoning linked to the hospitalization of almost two dozen people, McDonald's, along with Taco Bell and Chipotle have stopped serving raw tomatoes at their restaurants.

According to an AP report, an FDA spokesperson has stated that the outbreak has been linked to, "
certain varieties of raw tomatoes including red plum, red Roma and red round."

The reaction hasn't been limited to restaurants, grocery stores such as Winn Dixie, Giant Eagle, and Ralph's have all pulled the suspected tomatoes off of their shelves.

Other People's Breaking News: Beard Award Winners

As reported on Metrocurean, the James Beard Awards - which are kind of like the Academy Awards for people who cook for a living, happened last night, and as usual, DC had a strong showing.

CityZen chef Eric Ziebold came away with the award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region, and Michel Richard's Central was named best new restaurant nationwide.

Terry Theise of Terry Theise Estate Selections in Silver Spring, Maryland came home with the Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional award.

The big winners of the night were Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali, who won Outstanding Restauranteur for Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca in New York City, Gramercy Tavern in New York City who won Outstanding Restaurant nationwide, and Alinea's (you'll recognize the name from a recent post) Grant Achatz who won Outstanding Chef nationwide.

Congrats to all of the winners!

New Vegetarian Restaurant Set to Open

According to an article in Washington Business Journal, a new vegetarian restaurant is set to open at an undetermined date near 14th and Q St. NW.

Elements, which will be owned in large part by former Green Party treasurer Linda Welch, will serve, "organic vegetarian food grown our own garden in a building that exceeds environmental standards."

The restaurant will also cut waste by, "composting, and recycling, and by neutralizing our carbon output with offsets and green energy."

Along with organic, seasonal cuisine, you can expect to hear local musicians, and see works by local artists.

I can only hope that the execution is as good as the idea, and I can't wait to give it a shot.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Oy vey! Giraffe meat and milk declared kosher!

That's right my fellow Jews, you can finally stop avoiding it at restaurants and passing it over in the grocery stores - Giraffe is now fair game!

According to Rabbi Shlomo Mahfoud, "The Giraffe has all the signs of a ritually pure animal, and the milk forms curds, which strengthed that view." What the Rabbi didn't add, is that it's delicious!

Seriously folks, who woke up one morning and said, hey, I wonder if we can eat those big animals with the long necks? Someone get this guy working on the cure for cancer, because he's on a roll.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Feeling the heat? Grab some FroYo!

Ok, so we don't yet have a Pinkberry or a Red Mango, but tomorrow, DC's first dedicated tart frozen yogurt shop will open.

Tangysweet, owned by DC native Aaron Gordon, will offer both original, green tea, and pomegranate yogurt, with a variety of toppings including fruit, cookies, and cocoa and fruity pebbles.

Along with yogurt, they'll have smoothies in straw, rasp, black and blueberry.

Tangysweet is located at 21st and P, just west of Dupont Circle.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Decision 08: Alinea or Applebees?

Imagine this: It's November, you're in the ballot box, and you're trying to figure out who to vote for.

The multiple debates haven't swayed you, the hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign ads haven't reached you, and you decide to vote with your stomach.

That scenario might not be that far fetched.

A special thanks to Agatha for pointing out what NYT columnist David Brooks is essentially calling the, "Applebee's Test".

Brooks believes Obama's problem is that, "he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who can go into an Applebee's salad bar and people think he fits in naturally there."

Aside from the fact that Applebee's doesn't have a salad bar, does Brooks have a point? After eight years of a president that people thought they could "have a [non-alcoholic] beer with", do voters really want the common man, or do they want someone with the uncommon qualities like a certain senator from a certain mid-western state as their next president?

Do Americans want someone who eats at Applebee's, or someone who eats at Alinea?