Friday, May 30, 2008

New bar to open in Arlington this Sunday

I don't have a whole lot of information on this, aside from the fact that I know that a new bar, named Thirsty Bernie Sports Bar and Grille will be opening up this Sunday at 4pm on the corner of N. Glebe Rd. and Lee Highway.

According to the chatter on, the menu will be your traditional bar food at pretty moderate prices.

So if you're in Arlington this weekend, and looking for that one last drink on Sunday before the work week, you know where to go.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Strawberries and Asparagus Matter

If you've stepped foot inside a grocery store or through a farmers market recently, you probably know that it's asparagus and strawberry season. In celebrating of the season, Alexandria's Food Matters is having two days worth of events, kicked off with a family style dinner in honor of those wonderful green veggies tomorrow night for only $45.

For that price you'll get the following: Hors D'oeuvres, Asparagus Tempura, Grilled Asparagus with Herbed Aioli, Asparagus and Potato Frittata, Asparagus and Carrot Salad with Dill Vinaigrette and Baby Greens, Creamy Asparagus Soup with Grilled Amberjack Garlic Croutons, Roast Lamb with Asparagus Puree, Royal Trumpet Mushroom and Soy Saute served with Steamed Rice, and all topped off with Vanilla Pudding with Local Strawberries and Almond Cookies.

And if that's not enough for you, you can come back the next day for their Strawberry festival!

Aside from strawberry and whipped cream pancakes for brunch, you can get a variety of strawberry alcoholic drinks and of course, loads of fresh strawberries.

This is what unemployment looks like

Sitting at home looking for a job can work up quite the appetite.

Nothing two veggie chili dogs can't handle.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Clarendon Farmers Market Open for Business

I'm not sure if this is the first week that it's open, but passing the Clarendon metro stop today, it looks like the Clarendon farmers market is back in full force - even if that full force means about five booths.

Among the booths there were two that had bread and various desserts, one that had veggies, and another that had salsa.

It may not be much, but between the Ballston market earlier that day, and the Clarendon market at night, you just might have a market worth going to.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Eventide Announces Chef, Drink Duo

I've been writing about Eventide, the new restaurant in Clarendon for the last couple months, and now we finally have a better sense what kind of food and drinks we'll be looking forward to.

In a press release sent out today, General Manager Dave Pressley announced that Miles Vaden will be the restaurant's Executive Chef. Working under such chefs as, "Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Shawn McClain, Todd Gray, and Anthony Chittum", Vaden has spent the past two years working as chef de cuisine in Capitol Hill's Sonoma Restaurant.

So what kind of cuisine can we expect coming from Vaden's kitchen? Being a student of Gray, expect a focus on "farm to fork" dishes with local and seasonal ingredients.

Vaden himself expressed an interest in, "traditional cooking techniques", but stated that he's, "fascinated by the technological advancements made by [the restaurant industry]", which might lead to some interesting dishes.

On the liquid side of things, you'll find Steve Warner, formerly of Chadwick's in Alexandria working the bar, and Glen Fisher as the restaurant's wine director. Glen will oversee a selection of 100-150 primarily North and South American wines, twenty of which will rotate and will sell for around $10 a glass.

While there is still no set date for Eventide's opening, clear progress is being made and we should be seeing doors opening sometime this summer.

Friday, May 23, 2008

High on the Hog

Mark your calendars BBQ lovers, because one of the best weekends of the year is only a month away!

The 16th annual National Capital Barbecue Battle, presented by Safeway will be held on June 21st and 22nd on Pennsylvania Ave. NW between 9th and 14th St.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids, and include a great deal of free BBQ samples and live music on three different stages.

What will make this year's competition different, is that we'll see members of the Kansas City BBQ Society duke it out against the Memphis in May (I only wish North Carolina had reps here) to see who is the national BBQ king.

New Thai Restaurant Coming to Dupont

Walking past Dupont Circle today I noticed a sign next to Julia's Empanadas annoucing the arrival of a new restaurant - Pasara.

There's currently a Pasara in Alexandria (which I know nothing about); whether or not it's the same restaurant/concept I haven't the slightest clue.

Either way, it's great to see a new restaurant option in one of DC's best neighborhoods.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

IHOP Coming to DC

Feel like Washington DC is missing that one place that's open 24 hours and has sub-par food and horrible service? Well that void is about to be filled...with pancakes, glorious pancakes!

According to an ad on craigslist (it's amazing what you can find while you're desperately looking for a job), IHOP will be opening up a location in Washington DC and is now hiring for all positions.

So far the pancake giant has about a dozen restaurants around the city, but none actually within its limits.

So if you're looking for some spare cash, or just an endless supply of syrup and coffee, this just might be your day.

Washingtonian's 100 Best Bargain Restaurants List Out

There are very few times each year that I actually buy a magazine, but the Washingtonian's Best Bargain issue is one that I always get.

Looking through this year's issue, it looks like my home of Arlington is well represented, as such restaurants as Bangkok 54, Cafe Pizzaiolo, Delhi Club, El Pollo Rico, and Eleventh Street Lounge, along with many others made the list.

I'll post a link to the full list once it's up - but for those of you who have your hands on the hard copy already - how many of the restaurants on the list have you visited? Any surprises? Any restaurants that you feel should have made it, or shouldn't have?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Food Day: The Secret is in the Sauce Edition

Happy Food day folks, here's what's going on in the world of food today:

Sun, Fun, and BBQ
: With the big holiday weekend upon us, a lot of food sections are weighing in with some great BBQ articles. From the WaPo and the NYT, to the Arizona Central and Dallas Morning News, you'll find some great ideas for some tasty BBQ this weekend.

After Mondavi: With the death of vino legend this LA Times article asked the question, who will take the standard of the California wine industry?

Store Brand Savings: Find yourself saving money by switching to store brands? You're not the only one according to this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article.

Chip Picks: Trying to decide which chips to buy this weekend? This San Francisco Chronicle article ranks the best BBQ chips according to a recent taste test. The winner? You'll just have to read to find out!

Jose Andres on Top Chef Tonight

Just in case you already didn't have a reason, I've got two words that'll have you tuning into Top Chef tonight: Jose Andres.

DC's own uber-chef will be a guest judge on the series popular "restaurant wars" challenge, in which the contestants will show their skills keeping up with the breakfast rush at a diner.

This isn't Andres first brush with TV, he's the host of Made in Spain, "a 26-episode television series showcasing Spain’s wine, food and travel which airs on public television (Saturdays at 12:30pm on DC’s WETA.)"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Think Before You Eat

I've written quite extensively about the obesity crisis in this country, one that is only a part of a larger problem of the way we manufacture food and eat.

American Prospect writer Ezra Klein (who evidently looks a lot like me) has a great post on how our government is doing more to hinder efforts to reverse this trend than to help, particularly through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

The post really speaks to the point that the people who need the system changed the most are getting hurt the most, and that we really need a cultural shift in the way we eat in the United States.

I'd like to get your take on this. Are programs like WIC really hurting families, or are they simply providing them the food they couldn't otherwise afford?

Great Food in the Great Outdoors

Looking to head out to the country this summer to enjoy some tasty food and good music? Well you're in luck.

Clyde's Willow Creek Farm location will be hosting a two-day outdoor bluegrass celebration with live music and open pit-roasted chicken on the 21st and 22nd of June.

Along with the roasted half-chickens, you'll find hot dogs, coleslaw, potato salad, mixed berry shortcake, fresh watermelon, and homemade cornbread.

You'll be able to get a half-chicken and a choice of two sides for only $8.95 - but luckily the bluegrass is free.

And they thought an election was tough

With the Democratic Primary coming to a close (perhaps tonight?) many people are already looking to the convention in Denver this August.

Well it looks like the convention caterers are having a rough time meeting the high standards the Democratic Party has put forth for the campaign cuisine.

According to a article, "Fried foods are forbidden at the committee's 22 or so events, as is liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, like china, recyclable or compostable. The food should be local, organic or both."

Nick Argo, owner of a local catering company says that, "
We all want to source locally, but we're in Colorado. The growing season is short. It's dry here. And I question the feasibility of that."

I think the efforts by the DNC are great, and I hope that the RNC makes the same strides (though I highly doubt they will) in ensuring that their delegates and visitors are eating the best food. I only hope that their convention policy in August 2008 follows through to their governing policy in January 2009.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's like if your friend's basement opened up a bar

Walking back from the Greek Festival yesterday, Apples noticed a new face on Wisconsin Ave. NW - Breadsoda. Little did we know that Breadsoda is opening today, and promises to be the coolest thing to hit Glover Park since...well...I honestly don't know.

While the menu will be dominated by deli-esque cuisine, the real draws will be the opportunity to play pool, darts, ping-pong, shuffleboard, or Nintendo Wii.

As far as I can tell, they don't have a website, but I can tell you that it's only about a block or so from Sushi-Ko.

So, does this concept sound interesting to you? Will you be lining up to grab a sandwich or play some Wii?

Lunch + History Class = Awesome Video

If you were never much of a history student, but were very much the lunch expert, this video might just be for you.

Made by Stefan Nadelman, this short film is a history of conflict from WWII on, as shown through the examples of the food most representative of the respective countries.

If you can't tell what scene goes with a particular conflict, just visit the website and consult the cheat sheet.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Annual Saint Sophia Greek Festival This Weekend

Well if you don't, be sure to head down to the annual St. Sophia Greek Festival on 36th St and Mass Ave. NW (on the grounds of the National Cathedral) today or tomorrow and pick one up.

The festival has all of your favorite Greek food with, "outdoor grills serving Souvlaki, Gyros, Calamari, Feta Burgers & More". You'll also get a chance to sample one of the whole lambs roasted on spits.

It looks like the weather might hold up today, so take advantage while it lasts and get some good Greek food.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Want Wine? You're In Luck!

It looks like DC will be two wine bars richer with the annoucement of the opening of Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro at the Westin Hotel in Reston, VA, and the rumor as sent by my good friend Catherine via Prince of Petworth that a new wine bar/bakery might be opening up on 11th Street.

While details are sparce on the 11th Street bar, Vinifera will feature, "over 270 local, regional, and international wines" and will be served with, "innovative American cuisine that showcases our global influences with seasonal and sustainable ingredients."

I don't remember the last time I was out in Reston, but it's good to see that this wine bar trend is continuing to expand. Time will tell however how long it'll last.

What to do this weekend in Ballston

It's a good weekend to be in Ballston and hungry as the 21st annual Taste of Arlington will be underway from noon until 7:30 on Sunday.

With more than 45 restaurants, you'll have plenty to choose from, including: Rocklands BBQ, Willow, and Big Buns.

It's free just to walk around and eat your eyes, but if you want to actually taste some food, tickets are $2 each, and each food item will cost 1 ticket a piece - beer and wine will cost two.

If you can't wait until Sunday however, stop by Grand-Cru restaurant for a free wine tasting between 2:00pm and 5:00pm on Saturday.

Some of the wines to be featured are a "Simonsig" Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, and "Sticks" Chardonnay from New York.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Greetings from Bushville

I love eating out alone. Don't get me wrong, Bananas, I love eating with you too. But there's something really liberating about having a great meal by yourself. Of course, I'm compulsively burdened with the urge to write a blog post in my head, and then I kick myself later for not remembering all the amazing phrases I came up with, because whatever I wrote always sounds better in my head then when I actually try to put it on paper. But anyway.
Per Bananas' early post, I'm currently in Houston for work, and what a week it has been. Turns out Houston is a vast culinary wasteland where "high class" means "steakhouse" and "delivery" is pizza. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against these venerable institutions of american meat and american cheese, but every once in a while a girl just wants a little sushi deposited right on her doorstep, ya know? Well, after I couldn't get my delivery sushi fix last night, I asked around today and was pointed (by the concierge at the Doubletree, where I am not staying) to Azuma, a very schwanky sushi restaurant located in what I imagine is downtown Houston. (Houston appears to have been planned by a very drunk man on a very bad night... the urban layout has no rhyme or reason and I find it infuriating.) Inside, Azuma is, like most schwanky sushi places, lacquered black and red, with a long slate-topped sushi bar and softly glowing paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. I was badly in need of a drink after my meetings today, and ordered a lychee martini, which was very sweet and tasty. I also got chirashi sushi (my test of a sushi restaurant-- plus, it seems like chirashi is usually made by the head sushi guy, which increases the likelihood of its excellence) and an order of uni, which tasted properly like the bottom of a fisherman's very dirty shoe. (Uni always makes me think of that Calvin & Hobbes cartoon where Calvin is staring at a cow udder and saying, 'I wonder who was the first guy to say, "I'm going to squeeze this and drink whatever comes out!"') The service was great and I left much happier than when I went in. One minor beef was that the waitress asked me, before I ordered my drink, if I would like some edamame while I "waited"-- and later, said edamame was waiting for me in the form of a $4 charge on my bill. How do you feel about being charged for something when you'd gotten the impression that it was complimentary?

(As a side note, while the sushi was good, I thought it was not nearly as tasty, as big, or as nicely presented as the sushi at Asahi, my little place in the Courthouse plaza.)

While I sat at the sushi bar, enjoying my lycheetini and my (not)gratis edamame, I was channelling Anthony Bordain and coming up with a really interesting thesis about how sushi bars are the original open kitchen, and how, in a way, they are also one of the world's most acceptable (and practiced) forms of voyeurism, in which you can watch, covertly, all kinds of down-and-dirty of things that you probably shouldn't be seeing (the de-tentacleing of an octopus, for example) but that still entice and excite you none the less. But that's one of those things that sounds better while I'm eating alone and blogging in my head.

Moral of the story: Don't go to Houston to eat. But if you do, have a lycheetini.

What I'm Reading: Three New Blogs

Ok, well the blogs (at least two of them) aren't exactly new, but they're new to my blog roll - so I would encourage everyone to read them and read them frequently.

Palatable Reviews
: A great new blog written by friends Tweaks and Matthew Barney Gumble that focuses on restaurants in the Columbia Heights area. I don't get up there much, so consider this THE source for food reviews in DC's hot new neighborhood.

Eat Washington: I had the chance to meet Julia Watson last year at a press dinner and was automatically impressed. I would say that her site is probably the most complete food blog that covers DC - and I wish I would have put up the link months ago.

Eat Foo(d): This will only be a DC based blog for another week or so, as it will soon turn into a San Fran based blog. But it's still a lot of great writing and recipes.

You can find the links to these sites and more on the right hand side of the page.

Happy reading folks!

When can we expect the $200 half smoke?

It was only a matter of time, but someone finally killed the cheesesteak - by adding a bunch of crap to it and charging $100.

The Barclay Prime created a "haute" version of the Philly food landmark, this one with, "butter poached lobster and shaved truffles", as well as kobe beef, according to a local CBS report.

So does anyone actually buy this thing? According to Chef James Locascio an average of five or six a night order this culinary monstrosity.

So, will you be heading to the City of Brotherly Love for a $100 cheesesteak this weekend?

Breakfast is on me today!

Don't feel like paying for breakfast? Put that wallet away, I'll cover you today. means you've got to go to McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts to collect your free meal according to So Good.

For most of the day today you'll be able to get at least something free from McDonald's. From 7am until 10:30am, you'll be able to get their new, "Southern Style Chicken Biscuit", while from 10:30am until 7pm, you'll be able to get their new "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich".

Need something to wash that down with? Stop by Dunkin Donuts for a free iced coffee between 10am and 10pm.

Now, if we can actually get a real restaurant to do something like this, I'd be a happy man.

Chicago lifts ban on foie gras

Good news for carnivores, bad news for geese and ducks; Chicago's two year ban on foie gras was lifted by a 37 to 6 vote of the city council.

According to the Reuters report, "Mayor Richard Daley had called the ban the "silliest ordinance" the city council ever passed and said it made Chicago "the laughingstock of the nation."

PETA shot back saying that the council's reversal was, "a secretive, rushed bow to special interests that benefit from the cruel treatment of animals. It goes against what the vast majority of Chicagoans believe in."

I don't think there's a whole lot of argument to be made that the production of foie gras isn't at least some degree of cruel and unfair treatment to animals - but it'll be interesting to see if Chicago's decision puts the choice of whether or not to produce and consume foie in other areas in question.

I'm sure there will be a lot more discussion on this in the weeks/months/years to come.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Food Day: Brevity is key edition

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

Mushroom Madness
: It looks like morel season is upon us, the WaPo has some great tips to find these find fungi.

Eat with your Eyes: They say don't play with your food; these artists obviously didn't listen according to this NYT story.

Cooking with Kids: It looks like there's a new trend in getting kids interested in cooking (I think it's fantastic - get them started young in the kitchen and away from the drive-thru). This NYT article and this Boston Globe article are great examples.

From the Mayor's Office to the Kitchen: Former LA Mayor Richard Riordan has made an amazing transition from politician to one of the biggest restaurant owners in Southern California. The LA Times has his story.

India jealous of our gluttony: As food prices world-wide rise, it looks like some Indians are pointing the finger at the US according to this article in the International Herald Tribune.

The real story here is this graphic.

Look at the amount of corn consumed per person - and that doesn't include all the ethanol used to transport that product, and the amount of corn used to feed the cows and chicken we eat. Long story short, we're not just addicted to oil, we're addicted to corn.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cupcake Conflict

Cupcakes seem like one of those trends that might actually be here to stay for a while. Big in NYC and LA, we're seeing that trend hit full speed here with a few big cupcake centered places already open, and at least one more on the way.

Over the past couple weeks Apples and I have had a chance to stop by both Georgetown Cupcake and Baked & Wired, the two Georgetown centered cupcake joints, to see which cupcake was king.

The verdict was mixed (in my opinion), though Apples heavily favored Baked & Wired.

At Georgetown Cupcake I had a chocolate and hazelnut cupcake, which was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and crushed hazelnuts. I really liked this. I thought the cake was incredibly moist and the frosting and hazelnuts were a great flavor/texture combination.

Apples got a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Her reaction was very favorable, and I enjoyed the small bite I had.

The inside of Georgetown Cupcake is small, and you'll often find yourself waiting in line, but in general I approve of the product.

Baked & Wired was an Apples favorite before the past two weeks, as she had frequented it while interning here a couple summers ago. We both split a lemon-vanilla cupcake which was very tasty and different than Georgetown Cupcake's. The cake itself was denser, and more "cakey". The frosting was lighter (probably helps that it wasn't chocolate or cream cheese) and had a subtler taste.

I really liked the space overall at Baked & Wired; certainly the kind of place I could hang out and study if I went to Georgetown.

When it comes down to it, both of these bakeries are worth a visit. Yes, you'll always get critics saying that they're overpriced (these are a luxury item in a luxury neighborhood, buy less cupcakes and more veggies and you'll be fine) and that they make them better in NYC and LA (perhaps, but you're in DC...if you really want a Magnolia cupcake, hop on a train and head up there), but I'd have no problem stopping in either one of these places again, and I certainly look forward to it.

Help Apples in Houston

Nothing makes you appreciate home like leaving it. Apples is in Houston on business this week and is in desperate search of good restaurants downtown (She's staying right near the Toyota Center).

She's going to T'afia on Wednesday, which is the home of Chef Monica Pope, a 2007 James Beard Award Nominee for Best Chef in the Southwest and is very excited about it...but beyond that we really couldn't find much outside of steakhouses and suspicious looking Italian restaurants.

So my loyal reader(s), we need your help. Leave your Houston, TX restaurant recommendations in the comments section...Apples thanks you in advance.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Other People's Breaking News: Changes at 1789

Straight from today's Weekly Website, The District Domestic is reporting that 1789 Executive Chef, and former Cathal Armstrong student, Nathan Beauchamp, is leaving his post and moving on from the Georgetown restaurant.

It will be interesting to see where he goes from here. After successful stints at Restaurant Eve and 1789, I would hope that Nathan stays in the Washington DC area.

Count this as pure speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Nathan move across the bridge into Virginia and end up headlining a new restaurant in Arlington.

Stay tuned...this could get exciting.

Another reason to wash your mouth out with soap...

because that soap is made with PBR!

The soap, made by Anderson Soap Co., actually contains everyone's favorite cheap beer (or at least mine) and is vegan friendly!

Looking for something a little more high class than PBR? Anderson Soap Co. also sells Guinness and Sam Adams soap.

If you're interested in buying yourself a few bars, you're out of luck - they're all sold out.

Weekly Website: The District Domestic

This week's Weekly Website looks at a food blog I've somehow overlooked, The District Domestic.

Written by Sarah Meyer Walsh, you'll find great recipes, pictures, and food news you can use.

You can now find a link to The District Domestic on the right hand side of the blog.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Marvelous Market Opens in Ballston

Good news fellow Ballstonians, as I reported some time ago, you've got another option when it comes to shopping. Marvelous Market, a relatively small higher end grocery store opened up its second Virginia location in Ballston (888 N. Quincy St.) this past Friday.

I happened to run into MM yesterday as I got an urgent text from a very hungry Apples looking for a snack. You'll find a pretty solid cheese, pastry and bread selection, as well as a good amount of decent looking pre-made foods.

I'd imagine that MM will do a pretty good business in its location; surrounded by expensive apartment buildings, and probably not competing directly with the Harris Teeter down the street, MM should become the place to go for specialty items and a quick snack on the run.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Michael Pollan on ABC's Nightline

I'm glad to see he's getting the credit and the attention he deserves.

The sad part is that not everyone can afford to buy into his solution - to eat real (which usually means organic) food; however, it can be done.

For example, this is what I've eaten today:

Breakfast: Organic PB&J - all ingredients were "all natural", no High Fructose Corn Syrup or artificial sweeteners in anything.

Snack: Kashi Trail Mix Bar - probably not the best thing for me, but I could actually pronounce every ingredient on the box

Lunch: Organic mixed greens salad with Newman's Own dressing, Cabot cheddar cheese and an Amy's burrito - all organic.

So to recap, it is possible to eat all real food on a budget, I just hope that most people don't let that get in their way of following Pollan's simple rules.

Fun Now Illegal in Washington DC

You get the feeling that Frank Winstead was the kid in school that kept a list of the other kids who misbehaved, and promptly provided that list to the teacher when he/she returned to the room.

It would be one thing if Winstead was just another guy, but unfortunately for folks in Washington DC and the owners of Comet Ping-Pong, Frank Winstead is a member of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

So what's Winstead's problem? He doesn't like that Comet had a ping-pong table outside the restaurant on the side walk, claiming in a YouTube video (above) that it's a traffic distraction and a hazard.

Well, according to a Washington Post report yesterday, Winstead has gotten his way, and Comet has been forced to remove the ping-pong table from the sidewalk outside of the restaurant.

Winstead isn't alone in his opposition though, fellow commissioner Karen Perry uses the argument that, "when the first child got hurt chasing a Ping-Pong ball onto Connecticut Avenue, people would feel differently. Comet was flagrantly violating the public space law."

By this argument we should just go ahead and ban any eating outside. What if an olive rolls off someone's plate and goes into the street? What if some kid gets killed running after it? Hell, let's just ban any sidewalk activity outright. Walking on that very sidewalk presents more hazards than I care to count. Where is Commissioner Perry or Winstead on the dangers sidewalk walking, or olive rolling?

You can find there email addresses here. Email them now. Tell them that we need to go further. We need to ban any activity near the street that might be seen as a distraction to traffic or that could potentially get someone hurt.

Someone's life might be dependent on it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Iron Chef Japan is back...

...ok, it's only reruns, and it's on a network that very few of us get, but if you have Fine Living Network, you'll be able to watch the old Iron Chef Japan every weeknight at 11pm.

Fine Living TV also has other food related shows such as "Follow that Food" and Mario Batali's "Molto Mario".

Food Day: It's a beautiful day edition

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

Charlottesville Cuisine: Apples and I had the pleasure of going to Charlottesville a while back and really enjoyed it. The Washington Post has a great article about how this small town is making big waves in food.

Clue? Suggestion? Allusion?: I've always thought Tenleytown was a bit of a black hole when it came to food. But it looks like my former home may be getting a boost in the way of Hint, a new "modern American restaurant with Italian influences", which will be located next to the Dancing Crab according to Linda Roth PR. Nicholas Stefanelli, CIA grad and former Fabio Trabocchi and Roberto Donna student will be running the kitchen at Hint and hopefully will establish Tenleytown as a true food neighborhood.

A garden grows in Brooklyn: “This is something good happening here", says one New Yorker about the growth of small gardens in the City - this NYT article goes into detail.

The Future of Farmers Markets: This LA Times article looks at the uncertain future of farmers markets.

Ready for Rhubarb: Rhubarb is in season, here's some recipes from the Seattle PI and the WaPo.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Michael Pollan Talks to Google

This is why Google is probably the coolest place to work in America - because they bring people like Michael Pollan in to talk.

It's a little under an hour, but it's really worth watching. I honestly think he's the most important food figure out there right now, and I promise you'll come away with something.

Mystery Restaurant Almost Open near Virginia Square

With me living in Ballston and Apples living in Courthouse, I do a lot of walking down Wilson Blvd between the two neighborhood.

A while back I wrote about Rendezvous Cafe, a small French themed cafe near the Virginia Square metro. We only had a chance to visit once but enjoyed it very much.

Unfortunately, Rendezvous didn't last very long, and in the past few months there has been noticeable construction in it's old location.

A couple days ago a sign went up, though I honestly can't tell what it says. It looks like is says "hazl", with the sign that Prince adopted located below it.

Looking inside, you'll see a lot of dark furniture, a bar, and areas for seating. There's also a second floor that may or may not be additional seating.

Frankly, I can't quite tell what this place will turn out to be. The decor looks horrible and my gut is whatever will open won't be there for long.

I hope I'm wrong, but it's taken a long time to see any progress, and all I've seen so far is one dumb looking sign.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekly Website: Arlington Farmers Market

This week's Weekly Website focuses on a centerpiece of my weekend; the Arlington Farmers Market.

Every Saturday morning I meet Apples there around 8am and we do our shopping for Sunday night's dinner.

The Arlington Farmers Market website has descriptions about the Market's vendors, recipes, as a great guide to what's in season.

So enjoy the website, and we'll see you at the market!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Big Chicken = Big Lies

I'm sure you've seen the ads; Tyson chicken is antibiotic free!

Great news! You can now buy mass produced "chickens" without the fear of consuming harmful animal antibiotics...

...well, not really. And it looks like Tyson just got called on it by a Federal Court.

In a law suit brought by competitors Sanderson and Perdue Farms, Tyson must pull its multimillion dollar ad campaign that is, "entered on the claim that its chickens are raised without antibiotics" within the next two weeks, according to a WaPo article.

Tyson's defense lies in the claim that, "injecting eggs with antibiotics did not undermine the "raised without antibiotic" label because the term "raised" is understood to cover the period that begins with hatching".

You see, Tyson can get away with this because they inject the antibiotic "ionophores", days before the eggs hatch, a practice that Tyson officials say is, "common" within the industry.

When it comes down to it, the real questions here are that of supply versus demand. Tyson uses these practices (industrial farming with the use of antibiotics to raise more chickens) because they see a market with near unlimited demand. Give it to them cheap and plentiful and they'll buy it by the ton. Again, I hate to go completely Michael Pollan here, but at what point do we look at this and say this isn't good?

Yes, Tyson is at fault here for misleading the public to believe that their product was completely safe, but we as the public might want to think twice about participating in the system in which companies can knowingly sell us such an unnatural, unhealthy product.

Is this the untimely end of Bananas?

Ok, so I've been sick this week. I'm starting to get better, but my appetite is completely gone.

Even after a six mile run and a half hour at the batting cages, activities that normally end in me eating my weight in whatever I can get my hands on have me resorting to forcing a tofu dog down my gullet.

So please, if you know how to fix this, tell me. I'll be here not eating.

First Look: Tacklebox

Here's Apple's take on our visit to Tacklebox a couple days ago...and here's the very blurry picture I took of her with Chef Barton Seaver:

Went last night with a few friends from work-- this place is (not surprisingly) pretty great. For $13 I had a plate of at least 8 lightly-fried oysters, a big pile of some of the best collards I've ever had, and a fresh and tasty frisee salad with basil-walnut vinaigrette. Everybody else seemed quite happy with their food too. But what really makes this place great (again, not surprisingly) is Barton Seaver, who was in the "kitchen" (/behind the counter) last night. Turns out his cooks accidentally made two of one friend's meal-- so we got the extra plate too (more oysters? more asparagus? sure!). When my plate came out with a green salad instead of the potato salad I requested-- no problem, here's some potato salad, enjoy! And when a third friend's plate took a little longer than the rest of ours (its an order-at-the-counter-and-wait type place, so this is to be expected) Mr. Seaver came out to hand-deliver it with a big slice of amazing blueberry pie as a token of apology. And it was all very tasty.

I think he's got a big winner here-- the inside of the space is cute and homey already, and it was more than full by the time my crew and I left to enjoy Ben & Jerry's free scoop night. The staff makes it clear that you are their priority. At $13 for a plate of good, carefully prepared food, its a bargain on M Street. And with enough options to please just about any picky eater (the mac'n'cheese was reportedly fantastic, and there are both hotdogs and hamburgers on the menu), I see this becoming a go-to spot for tourist families looking for a quick, easy, and "DC-special" place to grab lunch between splurges. And lets be honest, the Georgetown kids who are missing their traditional summers on the Cape won't hurt business either.