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Found 70 results

  1. District Soul Food & Lounge is taking over the former Banana Cafe space. Capitol Hill Corner with the goods: "Two Brothers Soul Food, a popular but short-lived restaurant on Route 1 outside the Beltway has chosen the former Banana Café on Barracks Row as their new home. According to ANC Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg, in whose district the restaurant lies, the restaurant plans to open in September. Banana Café closed last December, when owner Jorge Garcia-Meitin Zamorano retired. District Soul Food owners Chris Everett and David Roundtree announced last November that they were closing Two Brothers after seven months and relocating. The restaurant opened in May of 2017 and had experienced a number of structural issues with the building, which eventually drove the decision to relocate. The menu will feature authentic Southern cooking, heavy on fried chicken, pulled pork, fried fish, collard greens, baked beans, etc. Oldenburg says that the owners will offer live jazz in the former piano bar on the second floor. Everett and Roundtree are partners in other real estate deals, but relative newcomers to the hospitality business – Two Brothers was their first venture as restaurateurs. The space is undergoing renovation, which, according to ANC Commissioner Chander Jayaraman will include plans for indoor trash storage. Jayaraman, as chair of ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee, has been a strong advocate of indoor trash storage, and developed a strategy of using alcohol beverage license applications and renewals to encourage Barracks Row restaurants to provide indoor storage to combat rodent issues."
  2. Plenty of asparagus and strawberries floating around Eastern Market, not sure how local they are...otherwise nothing has really taken off yet.
  3. Somehow this place has passed me by with stealth. I just really noticed it today, and it's apparently going to open in mid-May. (Well, that's the target.) Two of us spoke with a man working outside I assume is the owner, and he said that he plans outdoor seating and will also be applying for an alcohol permit to serve wine (or at least wine). Projected hours: 6AM to 9PM Mondays through Thursdays and 6 to 10 on Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Sundays. Since it has completely passed me by, I have no idea how far he has gotten with any of the permitting for outdoor seating or alcohol. I'm not sure how the immediate neighbors will react to those two facets of the operation. There is a decent space for a patio outside. (Visually, this is catty-corner from the northeast corner of the Car Barn, at 101 15th Street.) Their website is up and functioning: http://www.miascoffeehouse.com I wasn't sure if this was the right forum for the posting, but given that this is the coffee menu, I figured here: Espresso Americano Flat White French Press Pour Over Macchiato Cortado Cappucino Latte Cold Brew Iced Coffee Decaf House Blend
  4. Had lunch at Montmartre today on their little terrace and thoroughly enjoyed it. They have a braised paleron steak on the menu right now that's like beefy butter. It's even better than their onglet, and that's saying something. The iles flottantes were also as good as usual. I'm going to make an effort to get down there more.
  5. Dorjee Momo should be on the radar screen for all people who love good personal food mixed with a heartwarming story. Dorjee Tsering was born to a nomadic Tibetan family, became a Buddist monk, fled Tibet to Nepal and then India, met his now wife Amberjade, and eventually settled in Washington, DC. With stints at Bullfrog Bagels, Maketto, and Honeycomb Grocer, Dorjee has opened Dorjee Momo, a small pop-up restaurant located on the second floor of Bullfrog Bagel near Eastern Market. The pop-up is open Thursdays thru Sundays and is expected to be located at Bullfrog until late summer. The upstairs space is small and intimate, with low lighting, a handful of bench-style seating tables and four seats at the bar. The staff is friendly and enthusiastic about what they are producing. Definitely the kind of place you hope will succeed and grow. I got there around 8:45pm on a Thursday and all the tables were full (but there's only like 5 tables) but was able to get a spot at the bar. Seating is walk up unless you are doing the hotpot, which is by reservation. The menu consists of a handful of vegetarian/vegan dishes and a handful of meat based dishes, about 5 or 6 dishes per side. I went with the Pan Fried Lamb Momo (because momos!) - $14 for 6 pan fried dumplings with 21-spice sepen (which was like a thick pepper sauce, not that hot but I detected sichuan peppercorns as part of the mix) and a garnish of green onion. Really quite tasty, moist, with some lamb gaminess cut by the sepen. I also ordered the Sunflower Buns (because steamed buns!) - $8 for 2 buns stuffed with spinach, glass noodles, tofu, mustard oil glaze and basil-cilantro sauce. Also very good, the basil-cilantro sauce played nicely with stuffing. I will be back next week for a deeper dive into the menu... Lamb Momo followed by Sunflower Buns
  6. Went last night to ChiKo in Barracks. I had been interested in going, but just don't get to that area as much these days. It's "Chipotle-esque" inside, industrial look, done quite well. There isn't a whole lot of seating, you get in line, take a number and then hope a table opens up. There were 3 of us, so we went to town ordering. It's small plates-ish, but some of the items could definitely make a good size for lunch. It's not Chipotle as in customizable - you order items that are being continuously made fresh in the open kitchen. - Double fried chicken wings - spicy soy glazed - expertly fried, just a bit sweet for me, compared to BC, but these come right of the fryer and perfect crunch - Pork and kim chi poststicker - really tasty, with a nice dipping sauce - Kimchi stew - with pork belly, subtle, not very hard core on the kim chi, but well done - Smashed salmon - with squash and korean red chili paste ... very good - Wagshal's chopp'd brisket - this came most highly recommended by the staff member, but it was not the most loved - I didn't try it, since I don't eat the beef, there's a soft egg and you mix it in. - Cumin lamb stir fry - with wheat noodles... this was one of my favorite dishes I've had in DC in a long time, really well prepped, noodles had good chew (not sure if made in house), spicy but not terribly so, braised tender lamb, pretty much everyone's favorite - Chiko "shrimp and grits" - another WOW dish! Congee and garlic-sauced shrimp, so tasty. I think maybe I liked this better than the lamb. - Wok blistered Chinese broccoli - greens, a palate cleanser, done differently than at Chinese restaurants - it has thicker stems $125 for 3 of us, including one adult beverage each. Not really "fast-casual" - it takes a bit of time to get your food, as it is made to order, and it's not exactly cheap to get full for dinner (what we had was a good amount, we finished almost all of it and were comfortably full). But, high quality. I really like it - I would go back for that lamb stir fry. The ingredients are all really good compared to most Asian places, I think that's why everything just tasted "brighter". And, as someone else on Yelp said, it's not really Chinese - Korean fusion - it's Chinese and Korean dishes, all on the same menu. It's pronounced - "Chi" with a long I sound .. duh - "Chinese Korean". Got corrected when we said chee-ko.
  7. There's a sign in the window of the old Ben & Jerry's saying the place is leased. 'Bold Bites' is the name of the place I think. No idea when it'll open.
  8. What, no thread on Belga? Dropped in last night with my brother and nabbed the last two seats at the bustling bar. Despite the frenzied atmosphere, our bartender provided us with calm, cool, and efficient service. We both had steaks-- he had the hanger with roasted potatoes, and I had the "Belga Steak" which was a filet with herbed butter and their killer frites. Both steaks were cooked perfectly and absolutely delicious. My only complaint would be that the menu should state that the "Belga Steak" is a filet mignon. I'm glad I ordered it, but I'm not typically a big fan of filet as I prefer the more flavorful cuts. If you haven't been yet, go!
  9. So a place called Acqua al Due is coming to a space across 7th Street from Eastern Market formerly occupied by two clothing stores. (Just up the block from Montmartre.) (Here is a blurb.) Has anyone eaten at this place, the original of which is in Florence and an outpost of which is in San Diego? I can't imagine this is bad news, given that neither Dottie's nor A&A Athletic had attracted my disposable income while they occupied the space. But how good is the news?
  10. Stopped by 7th Hill Pizza (next to Montmartre) a couple of hours ago. I walked in to look around, and they're giving away slices of pizza. I thought the pizza was pretty good (nice brick oven). Apparently they're still lacking an inspection before they can open for business fully. I'll be back when they are.
  11. Interesting piece by Tim Carman on Ambar. It reads a little like Richard Sandoval (one of the owners!) thinks Balkan food kinda sucks. Anyone eaten there yet?
  12. Bullfrog Bagels did a few pop-ups around the city, but has now opened a permanent store on one side of the Star and Shamrock bar on the East end of H St. I stopped in around 8:30 this morning, and there was a line of about 18 people. The selection today included all the standard bagels as well as a reasonable looking bialy. I needed to get in and out quickly, so decided against any of the breakfast sandwiches (egg & cheese, lox, smoked whitefish, etc.), and got a sesame and everything bagel to go, with sides of scallion/chive and smoked salmon cream cheese. The little guy got a bialy. The everything bagel was indeed everything. Almost, but not quite too salty (which is the perfect amount of salty for a bagel), with a shiny, dark brown outside and perfectly chewy inside. This was a damn fine bagel. The sesame looked like it could've used a few more minutes in the oven, and was a bit pale and soft on the outside. Overall, it was still a pretty good bagel, but didn't compare to the other. I'm not much of a bialy expert, but this one at least looked like the ones I remember from NYC. Nice softened onions and poppy seeds filled the middle. Given the crowd, they're definitely filling a need. Another day, another quality opening on H St.
  13. Boxcar Tavern (originally to be called "Boxcar Bistro") opened December 30th. The original concept was for a wine bar, but it opened as a gastropub with a wine program. The executive chef, Brian Klein, was also the opening chef at Senart's. The interior looks much the same as Cervera's other restaurants, most closely resembling Senart's and then Lola's. It's a shotgun style, long and narrow. The buildout took many months, extending out into the back alley. I've always liked the look of his places--and he does the interior design elements, such as lighting and seating, on his own. He's very talented at this. They are comforting and pleasant. I am beginning to hit a point of fatigue, though, which is why it took me a month to go here. The staff were lovely. I got a Victory Pils on tap ($6) and a Boxcar quesadilla, with Duck Confit, Pulled Pork, Red Onion, Roasted Pepper, Melted Cheddar & Gruyere ($11). The quesadilla was small. Even though it had been cut into quarters that were stacked on each other, it was, when pulled apart, really small. The texture was mushy. Okay, I'm no food critic, but I couldn't have told you what the meat was in it if I didn't know. It came with sour cream and an avocado-ish spread that were not anything special. I like enough of the food at his other places not to give too much weight to one quesadilla that was so-so. The fatigue has set in, though. I know he thinks that his places don't all look the same, but that's because he's looking at what are minor details to everyone else.
  14. Yes the general consensus here is that Banana Cafe on Captiol Hill is crap...so why start a thread you ask, because there is new found proof that even crappy restaurants can produce a good dish and I have found that dish at Banana Cafe: The plantain quesadilla! The tortilla was perfectly golden brown and crisp, the plantains meltingly soft and delicious...a light smear of sour cream set it all off. Conversely the stuffed yuca with chorizo, carrots and olives off the "tapas" menu was a disgusting mess.
  15. Cafe Kimchi has closed. The space is now open under (I believe) different ownership with a new name and prettier look. The new restaurant is Torai, which serves Korean and Japanese food. Yelp link (obligatory "Sorry, Don.") Someone I know who lives nearby told me about the change and said that the food is quite good and a step up from Cafe Kimchi. I have not been in to eat here yet and, for that matter, only got food at Cafe Kimchi once. I forget what it was but it wasn't something that traveled too well. Given the small space, takeout probably remains the best option here, though there is some seating. The space is at 751 8th Street, SE, next to District Doughnuts.
  16. I'm really looking forward to trying this place. Has anyone been yet? Thrillest article: http://www.thrillist.com/eat/washington-dc/20003/beucherts-saloon?utm_content=feature&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Washington%20DC&utm_campaign=2.13.13%20DC:%20Beuchert%27s%20Saloon Restaurant website
  17. Prince of Popville has this on the long-pending Bearnaise from Spike Mendelsohn. I am no fan of the guy, but this actually looks promising (though come on, fix those typos on your final menu!), if he takes it seriously. It could fill a real gap on the Hill, particularly at that part of Pennsylvania Avenue, so I hope that it proves to be decent and shows us some actual chef's talent he has always touted but has yet to demonstrate in any of his establishments. (And please, may his frites be nothing like those awful little nubbins he sells at Good Stuff.) But then again, it's only Monday and my cynicism hasn't kicked in just yet.
  18. Anyone been yet? I made up my mind as soon as I saw the signage (and later looked at the website) that I would never go here, but my wife's friends are already talking about a marguerita happy hour some time next week. TS' fairly scathing review, which should come as no surprise to any of us: http://www.washingto...tic-review.html
  19. We stopped in for a quick dinner at what I suppose is a relatively new addition to the Capitol Hill sushi scene, "Sushi Capitol" on Pennsylvania Ave. SE between 3rd and 4th St. SE. This place is really bare bones - a small place with a handful of 2-top tables and a sushi bar in back. No real decor to speak of, and Japanese pop music playing on a boom box in the back. So far, so good, as it really reminded us of the places we loved back in New York. A pot of hot tea was brought out soon after we sat (a small thing, but not a guarantee since we were brought hot water and a lipton green tea bag at Hikari on H St. NE). We started with a nice version of seaweed salad inexplicably served over ribbons of romaine, and tempura vegetables. A couple of pieces of the tempura were ever so slightly greasy, but most were appropriately crunchy...no major complaints on either of these. The sushi was certainly a level above the quality at Hikari, Sticky Rice, and Nooshi. Based on this one visit, I'd put it below Sushi-Ko, but repeat visits may change that. It was served with freshly grated wasabi, which was a nice touch. A word of warning, the "spicy" rolls look to be served with a heavy dose of mayo, so if that's not your thing, steer clear. They have no liquor license, and I didn't think to ask about their BYO policy, but that is definitely something we'll be inquiring about before our next visit. Bottom line: I love hole in the wall Japanese places, and that may have inflated my opinion here, but I think of the sushi joints in the Capitol Hill hood, I'm putting Sushi Capitol on top.
  20. Had lunch at Momoyama (231 2nd Street NW) yesterday. I was very pleased with my "Eel Box" ($10.95) bento: a bento-sized unadon (grilled eel over unvinegared rice), six pieces of eel roll, seaweed salad, three pieces of tempura, and green salad with sesame dressing. The eel was tasty, if a little oversauced for my liking on both the donburi and the roll. But everything tasted fresh, and the tempura was well cooked and not greasy. Very good, especially for an eleven-dollar bento. And I like saying "eel box."
  21. Thanks to Metrocurean, I saw that Art and Soul had opened yesterday, and so I bopped over for dinner last night. The common wisdom about restaurant openings is that you should "give them time to settle in." However, in my experiences, I often find that the food is as good as it will ever be the very first week a restaurant is open; it's the service that almost always needs to settle in. The two things I look for with opening service are a positive attitude, and a pleasant demeanor. Most technical issues usually get ironed out in a few weeks. Everyone at Art and Soul last night was genuinely nice, and service-wise, that's all that matters to me right now. And I'm happy to say that the food was across-the-board good, with no real misses at all. The menu features three "hoecakes," which are cornmeal pizzas, something like an oval-shaped johnny cake with an airy fluffiness in the dough. Land and Sea ($12) sounded like a big clash to me, with blue crab, braised beef, and brie. I was wrong, and the dish worked. This was primarily shredded, braised beef, with a few lumps of fin-meat, and only a gurgle of brie-based sauce, enough to moisten and accent the dish but not clash with it in any way. An appetizer of Shrimp ($14) was several medium-sized shrimp, grilled and wrapped in Smithfield ham, and came across as a bit salty only until eaten with the mild grits. Together, the two worked in balance, and a little chow chow lent a snap of acidity. A Rockfish entree ($26) was also Smithfield-wrapped, and was a relatively small portion, ever-so-slightly overcooked. But it came on top of some crab risotto which was remarkably good - firm, and smartly touched up with asparagus tips - and the tiny pool of brown butter at the bottom of the plate made an irresistible risotto-swab with some of the homemade griddle-bread brought out at the beginning of the meal. Pork Ribs ($12) are an appetizer marinated for several hours - little tiny riblets bathing in bbq sauce and served with a carrot-cabbage slaw that was crunchy and correctly not sweet (you don't want sweet slaw with this dish). It worked pretty well with a side order of Macaroni Casserole ($6) which was cavatappi-like pasta in a creamy cheese sauce, served in a cast-iron skillet. Yes, it was mac and cheese and a darned good one at that. The siren song: Sweet-Potato Bread Pudding with a whiskey-caramel sauce. This was a microcosm of the rest of the dishes - comforting, balanced, not too sweet, potentially heavy but executed with a light, elegant touch. A jovial but soft-spoken Art Smith was in for the opening and prowling the dining room, but the execution of the food last night was all Ryan Morgan. One of Smith's partners is also down from Chicago for the opening, and she said to come back in a month, or three months, "to see how we've grown." "Or how you've fallen apart," I joked. Fortunately, she laughed and joked right back. But the key to this restaurant's success will be putting out food six months, a year, two years from now that was just as good as they put out last night. If they can pull that off, they've got themselves a winner. A very quiet, soft, but successful opening last night for Art and Soul. Congratulations to Chef Morgan, and best wishes to the entire team at this promising new restaurant. Cheers, Rocks.
  22. Xavier Cervera has produced another visually appealing restaurant, but this one looks somewhat different than the others. Located in the old Capitol Video Sales space at 514 8th Street, SE, it’s quite a transformation/reinvention of place. Nice bright tile complements the bright plates and glasses. It just feels light all around, even on the inside. There is also a rooftop bar and dining area and downstairs patio. The downstairs barstools are made of rattan or something similar and bolted to the floor. Unfortunately, one common element to his other projects--building out a narrow space towards the back and upwards--results in very narrow passageways to the back of the restaurant. Getting to the bathrooms requires a tight navigation around the kitchen, with people running in and out carrying food. They opened one week ago for a couple days and then closed again for a few more (according to their twitter feed, this was to get more power to the building). I’d held up on going because I didn’t want to go immediately and then they were closed. When I checked yelp, initial reports were good on the drinks, mixed on the service, and pretty bad on the food. Then I saw one very recent post from a yelper saying they had installed a new chef from Austin and the food had improved, so I decided to give it a go today for brunch. I saw the executive chef go by when I was there, and it was Gregorio Martinez from The Chesapeake Room (same ownership). I’m not sure if there is also a chef from Austin or exactly what the kitchen situation is, but the food I had today was pretty good, though with room for improvement. I also thought it was expensive for what it was. The menu on Urbandaddy (there isn’t one on the Pacifico site yet) listed nachos, which interested me, but they’re not on the brunch menu. I wanted chips, though, so I got an order of chile con queso with chips ($8) as well as huevos rancheros ($13), which is one of my standards for evaluating a Tex-Mex restaurant. The bartender was having some trouble understanding my order (I asked just for “queso” at first and he must have thought I just wanted cheese), but he asked me twice for clarification until he felt he knew what I wanted. I’d rather have that then get the wrong order. He was a bit slow but trying hard and he hasn’t worked there long, so it wasn’t a big deal. At first I thought the queso (which came with a shredded white cheese on top) wasn’t spiced at all, but it had more of a kick as I got farther in. This would be a moderate-sized appetizer for two people to share. I was hungry and ate it all. The amount of queso was perfectly matched to the amount of the chips. The huevos rancheros were not what I was expecting but good nonetheless. Menu description specified 2 fried eggs; 2 soft corn tortillas; ranchero sauce; refried beans; crema fresca; cotija cheese; red onion. It came out layered like a torte, not much bigger than the tortillas that were its base. I’d sort of compare this to Texas stacked enchiladas, but it wasn’t quite that either. In any case, it was tasty, but I’m not sure how I feel about the price tag. These two things plus a draft Pacifico ($6), set me back $36 after tax and tip, and I wasn’t completely full. I don’t like being stuffed full, so that’s not a complaint. Generally, though, I can’t finish a full meal at a restaurant, so that’s my basis for comparison. The most striking element is the rooftop bar and dining area. After I finished my meal, I went up to look around and ran into friends who were eating and drinking at the bar. This gave me the opportunity to sample even more food and a bit of the mango margarita. Sitting up there feels like being at the beach. It's configured to facilitate a nice breeze blowing through. It started to get a little too hot after a while, but it’s a great spot. That’s definitely the selling point of the restaurant. They were finishing the last of what they ordered when I arrived: guacamole in a huge molcajete ($12); pork, grilled fish, and shrimp tacos ($5 each; does not include rice and/or beans); chile con queso; salsa and chips ($3). They were drinking mango margaritas ($8) and sangria ($8). First, the worst: the salsa tasted like crushed canned tomatoes and desperately needed salt and other flavor. I didn’t try any of the tacos, but they liked the pork and fish more than the shrimp. (One of the people adores Senart’s shrimp as much as I do, so I’m not sure why these tacos didn’t please. Maybe it’s not the same sourcing.) The guacamole seemed to be mostly smashed avocado and red onion. There was probably something else in there, but I couldn’t identify it. I make better guacamole at home. Twelve bucks for this was ridiculous. For half the price, okay, but $12?! The mango margarita was strong and big for the price (gorgeous glassware!). It’s a slushy frozen type that melts into lovely liquid in the heat. The person whose I tried also likes their strawberry margaritas, but they were out of those. The price for margaritas is oddly low given that draft beers are $6 and canned are $5 (a can of Tecate accompanied my brunch encore). A bucket of 5 beers is $20, for anyone planning an outing. I didn’t try the sangria, but that’s half-price on Sundays after 5PM, as are nachos, so I may be back.
  23. worst burger I've had in a long time...Finn MacCools, almost inedible...if I hadn't been starving and rushing to get to the DC United game it would have been inedible. and speaking of inedible...their Irish nachos most simply put is a big pile of crap covered in melted crap.
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