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November 29, 2014

Posts in "Eat"

November 13, 2014

Cheese Making Its Way Into D.C. Culture

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A cheese plate at Sona Creamery on Capitol Hill. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“You don’t want to disturb the milk,” Genevieve O’Sullivan said as she slowly poured the white liquid into a plastic container. “That would break the fat molecules. Pour it like you pour champagne.”

A few in the room giggled. This was the first time the class participants were touching the cow and goat milk that would — after much stirring, some extra bacteria and about an hour of work — become cheese.

It would be delicious, fresh cheese actually made in Washington, D.C. — a small regulatory feat. Though small-batch and legal for the cheesemaking participants to take home, it was a symbolic step for Sona, the restaurant, wine bar, retail shop and soon-to-be-creamery on Capitol Hill. Full story

November 3, 2014

Let’s Do Election Day Lunch

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Consider the Tune Inn for your Election Day culinary needs. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The 2014 midterm elections are finally here, and it’s important to have a nice big lunch before settling in to watch returns. For those tending to the capital fires in the District, here is a highly subjective list of some of Washington’s best Election Day lunch options. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 1:09 p.m.
Eat

October 27, 2014

Scaring Up a Good Time in D.C.

witch003 102411 445x295 Scaring Up a Good Time in D.C.

It’s the season of the witch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Looking for something a little less terrifying than another round of campaign ads? How about a Halloween week dose of Franz Kafka, ladled over with a rock opera and topped with a smattering of fright-filled movies at Union Market, E Street and the AFI Silver Theater? Full story

October 20, 2014

What To Do in D.C.’s In-Between Times

Well, we all know what we’ll be doing in two weeks: sweating out election returns. And next week is Halloween. But what about this week — particularly if you’re not on the trail or otherwise — should you find yourself in Washington, D.C.?

Phillips Goes to The Wall

The Phillips Collection is getting a little help with its exterior decorating this week, inviting four Senegalese artists — Muhsana Ali, Fode Camara, Viye Diba and Piniang (Ibrahima Niang) — to paint a mural on the wall of the museum’s Hunter Courtyard that will be unveiled to the public Thursday at noon. “The Leading Edge Ideas: Inside the 21st Century Museum” is part of the Phillips’ partnership with the State Department’s Office of Art in Embassies and is designed to set the stage for this weekend’s International Forum Weekend. (Don’t act like you didn’t know it was International Forum Weekend.)

Lincoln Gets Pressed

Thinking about an Honest Abe costume for All Hallows’ Eve? Bone up, then, on a relatively unexplored chapter of the 16th president’s biography — his relationship with the press — Thursday at the National Archives. Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer will discuss his latest book, “Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion,” with Frank Bond at the Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater at 7 p.m. Admission is free. In his review of the book for Roll Call, John Bicknell wrote, “With his usual sparkling prose and exhaustive research, one of America’s foremost scholars on the 16th president has given us a robust portrait of the nexus between American politics and the press. As much as it is a telling slice of Lincolniana — the kind of detail-rich tapestry we have come to expect from Holzer — it is also a lively history of mid-19th century journalism.”

Cemetery Pre-Party

The lively folks over at Congressional Cemetery get into the swing of Halloween things on Saturday with their annual Ghosts and Goblets party on the cemetery grounds. The event follows in the footsteps of the cemetery’s Dead Man’s Race 5K earlier this month and August’s Day of the Dog, which combined animal adoption with food trucks and local breweries at the historic resting place that also doubles as D.C.’s premier dog-walking park. The party starts in earnest at 8 p.m., though VIP access gets one in the gates at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $70, which includes drinks. To purchase tickets or learn more, go here.

Related Stories:

Lincoln and the Power of the Press’ Elucidates Symbiotic Relationship Between Politicians and Journalists

The Ghosts Who Stare at Goats or All-You-Can-Eat-At-Congressional Cemetery

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 14, 2014

Tom Colicchio Helps Mark World Food Day in D.C.

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Colicchio will discuss the Food Policy Action congressional scorecard on Thursday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Perhaps no other city in the United States provides the platform to address food issues better than Washington, D.C., a culinary hot-spot that also provides a public policy forum in the seat of government.

It’s a good time to eat out in the District. Just check out Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema’s fall dining guide, released over the weekend, for proof. As if to demonstrate how food in the District is both a sensual and political experience, one of Washington’s pre-emininet food activists is also among its most celebrated for his kitchens. Among Sietsema’s 37 selections, four are from José Andrés, whose ThinkFoodGroup has a growing policy footprint in advocating for the elimination of hunger and addressing its root causes.

On Thursday, noshing meets education with World Food Day, the anniversary of the Oct. 16, 1945, creation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Food Policy Action is using the day to release its National Food Policy Scorecard for the 113th Congress at one of D.C.’s foodie havens, Graffiato, Mike Isabella’s downtown Italian-American lair.

Food Policy Action, an offshoot of the Environmental Working Group, released its first scorecard two years ago for the 112th Congress, grading members on 32 legislative actions ranging from nutrition assistance to food safety. Fifty members got perfect scores; three came away empty-plated. Full story

September 23, 2014

Sona CREAMery Taps Its Inner Wu-Tang Clan

 Sona CREAMery Taps Its Inner Wu Tang Clan

Say “Cheese!” (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

It finally makes sense why Method Man’s character on “The Wire” was named Cheese.

Strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday, one may witness a chalkboard with a Wu-inspired message: “Cheese Rules Everything Around Me.”

The riff on the Wu-Tang’s iconic anthem “C.R.E.A.M.” (Cash Rules Everything Around Me for those slow on the uptake), works two ways, cream being so important to the dairy minded. A bit, ahem, cheesy? Sure. Why not?

For the record, Sona Creamery’s Wu-Tang name, as concocted by the Wu-Tang Name Generator, is Chocolatey Shatner.

Related Stories:

Sona Creamery Opens Its Doors

Wu-Tang Will Bring Da Ruckus to D.C. 

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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September 9, 2014

District Doughnut Set for Barracks Row Friday Liftoff

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(Screenshot/District Doughnuts)

After months of being relegated to pop-ups and soft openings, District Doughnuts is poised for its grand opening on Barracks Row on Friday, bringing to Capitol Hill a heaping dose of yeasty treats.

The last couple of weeks the pastry slingers have practiced with soft-launches on Fridays at their 749 8th St. SE locale. This Friday, starting at 8 a.m., its their tasty brown butter confection will have its official permanent home.

The grand opening weekend festivities will continue Saturday and Sunday, with the doors opening at 9 a.m. on those days. They say they’ll stay open until the sell out. Given the hype, and DD’s popularity at such events as the DC Donut Crawl, there might not be too long a window to claim your confection.

Related Stories:

Beer, Bikes and Doughnuts — Like You Need Anything Else

‘Twas the Night Before Doughnut Day

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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By Jason Dick Posted at 5:24 p.m.
Eat, Nosh of the Week

September 4, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Tunes of The Week: The Atlas Brew Works Celebrates 1 Year

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Has it really been a year? Atlas Brew Works honchos Justin Cox, right and Will Durgin will party this weekend to celebrate the milestone. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Local beer makers Atlas Brew Works is celebrating its one-year on Saturday with a fiesta at its Ivy City HQ, complete with its signature beers, local foods and live music from area bands the Bumper Jacksons, Sunwolf and Baltimore-based Unstable Heights.

Tickets are $10 for the 1-5 p.m. party, and can be purchased here. In the meantime, here’s a sampling of the music to help prepare you for some weekend beer drinkin’.

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September 2, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Captain Cookie’s Ice Cream Sandwich

 Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Captain Cookies Ice Cream Sandwich

A chocolate chip cookie, vanilla ice cream, Nutella cookie sandwich. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Summer’s latest loosing of heat and sun is a vivid reminder of the importance of eating ice cream. Captain Cookie & the Milkman food truck provides a tasty ice cream delivery system: two cookies of your choice with an ice cream of your choice in between. A sandwich, if you please.

On this particular hot day in the capital, a chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream and a Nutella cookie was the way to go. Other combinations could have included chocolate ice cream, black cherry ice cream or apple ice cream and snickerdoodle, peanut butter or oatmeal raisin cookies. Like Lake Wobegon, all the cookie and ice cream combos are above average.

 Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Captain Cookies Ice Cream Sandwich

The crowds go wild for Captain Cookie’s ice cream sandwiches. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Captain Cookie’s two food trucks dish it up at lunchtime hours at rotating sites. To check their locations, check out their website or Twitter feed. On a scorching late summer day, you can eat Captain Cookie’s ice cream sandwiches forever.

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By Jason Dick Posted at 5:07 p.m.
Eat

August 29, 2014

Congressional Cemetery’s Day of the Dog: It Could Get Ruff

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Congressional Cemetery. It’s gone to the dogs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional Cemetery will help usher out the dogs days of summer with its Day of the Dog, welcoming local breweries, food trucks, dogs and the people who serve them on Saturday.

The free event, which lasts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is just the latest good-vibe party to swoop in on the final resting place for so many Capitol Hill denizens. Last week, the cemetery’s latest 5K, Flee the British, brought the historically minded running crowd over for a race on the 200th anniversary of the burning of Washington by the British army. The British muskets that doubled as the starting gun were a nice touch, as was “Dolly Madison” fleeing the redcoats in a golf cart. There were even redcoat hecklers. “Run, you cowardly Washingtonians!” one said from a hillock full of family mausoleums.

 Congressional Cemeterys Day of the Dog: It Could Get Ruff

“Dolly Madison” attempts to get away from a marauding British soldier and save Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Washington Post writer Joel Achenbach recently recounted how weird a conflict the War of 1812, including that “we are a little vague on the question of who won,” and “we have a decent idea of when it happened, because of the name, but given the critical events of August 1814, the conflict possibly should be called ‘the War of Approximately 1812.’”

In other words, the Flee the British race and Day of the Dog fits in perfectly for a quirky cemetery that last year employed a herd of live goats to dispose of the poison ivy and invasive weeds that threatened the grounds.

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Release the goats! (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Every so often someone gripes about how appropriate it is to host such things at a cemetery. Pish posh. They’re probably the same sticks in the mud who groused about the Brits’ recent Twitter ribbing about the 200th anniversary of the burning, “a rather unfortunate event in UK/US relations” as the British Embassy’s press people dubbed it. Unfortunate, too, when so many people don’t get the joke.

But back to Congressional Cemetery. Amid the beer (Atlas Brew Works and Port City Brewing will be on hand), dog costume contest, raffle drawing for gate prizes and overall bonhomie, it’s a decent way to spend a Saturday.

When they stick me in the ground, I hope it’s in as lively a place as this.

 Related:

The Ghosts Who Stare at Goats or All-You-Can-Eat at Congressional Cemetery

Dog Days at Congressional Cemetery

Cemetery’s Sales Pitch: We Want Your Body

August 28, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: ‘Soul Food’ by Adrian Miller

 Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: Soul Food by Adrian Miller

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Former White House aide Adrian Miller started writing his book “Soul Food, The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine One Plate at a Time,” in humble circumstances, but it wasn’t long before the James Beard Foundation Book Award winner took it to another level. “We should have soul food in space,” he said of a sit-down he’d had with folks about NASA.

Many forms of soul food do indeed taste heavenly, and whether they are bound for space travel any time soon is a topic that could be posed in person to Miller, who’s in town in Washington as part of the 2014 National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown. The one-time aide for President Bill Clinton, who worked as part of 42′s Initiative for One America before heading to Colorado to work for the Bell Policy Center and later as a senior policy aide for Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, decided to write the book almost on a lark.

At the end of Ritter’s term of office, Miller said to himself, “You know, I’m just going to go for it,” and cashed in his retirement to buy himself time and resources to research and write about his passion: a truly American food that is itself a melting pot story, a misunderstood part of our culture and a vanishing tradition. “I’m a risk averse person. It probably wasn’t the best financial decision, but I’ve never been happier,” he said.

The Beard award was “totally unexpected,” he said, and has given him and his work a level of appreciation that many books published by university presses (in this case The University of North Carolina Press) don’t enjoy. It’s an important topic as well, as it touches on issues ranging from nutrition, race and disappearing culture. Driving home the point about soul food’s endangered status, two of the local D.C. establishments I wanted to recommend to Miller for his trip to the capital city — The Rib Pit and Mr. P’s Ribs and Fish — are no longer around, and it hadn’t been too long since I’d visited each.

Miller, who is now executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches, speaks as part of the Culinary Arts pavilion from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Saturday at the convention center. He’ll be signing copies of “Soul Food” from 11 a.m. to noon.

August 27, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Tastease Midi Doughnuts

 Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Tastease Midi Doughnuts

Two dozen Tastease doughnuts, waiting for a happy eater. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

HARTFORD, Conn. — There is more to the Nutmeg State’s capital city than the insurance industry, homes that Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe used to live in and heartbroken Whalers fans. There are doughnuts.

Located on the city’s west side — not too far from the domiciles of the authors of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” — is Tastease, an establishment that serves up what it describes as “mini and midi donuts,” all for the good of mankind, if not its waistline.

Their midi donuts — bigger than a mini doughnut, not as big as a regular size doughnut — are cake varieties, in all flavors and colors. Want vanilla oreo? It’s there. How about apricot glazed? Check. German chocolate? Um-hmm. Red velvet? Yep. Dulce de leche? But of course.

The list of flavors and their decorative counterparts goes on and on. A collection of Tastease midis are at first a rush to the eyes, then to the taste buds. The beauty of the midis’ size is that one may sample twice as many at half the volume of a regular-sized doughnut. Truly a prized nosh.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:45 a.m.
Eat

August 14, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: The Duffeyroll

 

 Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: The Duffeyroll

The Duffeyroll and its pastry brethren beckon. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

DENVER — Here in Colorado’s Mile High City, the humble Duffeyroll has been staving off hunger pangs since 1986, a cinnamon roll with simplicity that belies its buttery, sugary goodness.

As the starch industrial complex moves from fetishizing cupcakes to doughnuts, something as “been there, done that” as the cinnamon roll has, perhaps, been left behind. Or perhaps its time will come yet. Who knows? In the meantime, the Duffeyroll abides.

The original Duffeyroll has been complemented in the intervening years by other flavors — Pecanilla, English Toffee, Zesty Orange, etc. — as well as a pecan sticky bun. They’re all good, too. But the original is a graceful classic, the black cocktail dress of breakfast desserts.

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:19 p.m.
Eat

August 5, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Canolis From Lechugas Italian Restaurant and Lounge

 Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Canolis From Lechugas Italian Restaurant and Lounge

A handful of goodness in a savory canoli. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

DENVER — Here in what used to be called North Denver — then Highlands, then LoHi — there’s a restaurant that does something that feeds the masses in an exemplary way, combining Italian and Mexican influences to produce a savory canoli.

Lechugas Italian Restaurant and Lounge is a place that has been here through various phases of this neighborhood as reflected in its name changes. North Denver was an Italian enclave, Highlands was Hispanic and LoHi is riding the latest wave of gentrification here in the Mile High City. Lechugas combines those first two influences — the first owners were Italian, the current Hispanic — and spreads the love in its menu.

 Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Canolis From Lechugas Italian Restaurant and Lounge

These canolis aren’t the ones you might expect. But they are delicious all the same. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The canolis, dense rolls wrapped around sausage and peppers, are available in mild and hot and are a smoking bargain at $2 a piece. More than one is a meal. More than two is a party. More than three feeds the hungry — and then some — who assemble here at 3609 Tejon Street. The sweetness of the roll beautifully complements the spicy sausage and peppers. This is grab-and-go noshing at its best. No surprise that among the vehicles you see coming for lunch and take-out is a hefty dose of contractors’ trucks.

On the way out after lunch, I asked for a takeout menu. No dice. There’s no website, either. They don’t need it. People who come here know exactly what to order.

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:07 p.m.
Eat

July 29, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Chocolate Chip Cookies From Batter Bowl Bakery

 Roll Call After Dark Nosh of the Week: Chocolate Chip Cookies From Batter Bowl Bakery

Batter Bowl Bakery has the goods. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Try as we might, it’s difficult to think of a better snack than the humble chocolate chip cookie. There’s something about the combo of chocolate chips, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter and the like that satisfies that most basic instinct to nosh.

Batter Bowl Bakery at 403 H St. NE makes a chocolate chip cookie for the ages. Whether it’s BBB’s obvious flaunting of the butter threshold, the cookie’s balance of bitter and sweet or its weighty appearance, this nosh is one for the ages.

By Jason Dick Posted at 3:35 p.m.
Eat

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