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  1. 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
  2. Some friends and I had a wonderful lunch at Joselita today, in the old Sona Creamery and Wine Bar spot around the corner from Eastern Market. The space is beautiful aesthetically, with a wall full of black and white family photographs in the main room, another covered with posters, a very long sleek bar, and cafe tables and chairs. It has a European feel, as though one had stepped off Capitol Hill and right across the ocean. As has been noted in reviews, the menu offers three sizes of portions: tapas size, half size, and full size. We ordered five tapas portions, two from the "cold" side of the menu and three from the "hot" selections. Our server helpfully pointed out that the hot portions tend to be a little larger than the cold ones of the same size category, which we found generally to be true. I tried all but the Jamon Iberico de Bellota “Capanegra” - $12/23/45; Jabugo hand cut black foot Iberian ham, country bread. My friends loved this. The "country bread" were very small croutons shaped like itty-bitty baguettes. My favorite dish was probably Almejas a la sarten - $10/19/39; Manila clams, garlic, oloroso sherry. This was a more generous portion than I expected for a tapas serving, filling a decent-sized bowl, and I was glad for every last one of them. The clam broth was exquisite soaked up with the chunks of wonderful soft and crusty rustic bread that was brought for the table. (I also ate quite a bit of the bread with the plate of excellent salt-, pepper-, and rosemary-accented olive oil that accompanied the bread basket.) We ordered two types of pork with very different flavor profiles. One was Solomillo de cerdo al whisky con papas fritas - $10/19/39 Iberian pork tenderloin, garlic, cumin, fries. This boasted a winning combination of flavors enhanced by a slightly boozy sauce. Once all was gone, I further cleaned the plate of the sauced bits of onion and garlic remaining. One friend said that the fries topping the plate tasted like french fries filled with mashed potatoes, which is a creative description that hits the mark. Speaking of mashed potatoes, the other pork tapas dish was Presa Iberica a la plancha - $16/31/na; Grilled Iberian pork shoulder, mashed potato. The mashed potatoes were a perfect grilled or griddled mashed potato cake. There was a flavor to this pork we couldn't pinpoint, almost like maybe a mildly sour flavor. The tenderloin had a more assertive peppery flavor to it, which I think I liked little more, but both cuts of pork were good. It seemed odd that shoulder was significantly more expensive than tenderloin for about the same amount of meat, but it reads from the menu that the shoulder might actually be Iberico and the tenderloin something else. Not sure and I didn't ask. The other cold tapas that one friend ordered and I had a bit of was Crudo de atún y aguacate con cebolletas y almendras - $9/17/33; Tuna carpaccio, avocado mousse, spring onions, almonds. This was perhaps the smallest portion of all. It was very clean-tasting and fresh, though the avocado mousse didn't seem to have much flavor. Perhaps it was meant to be a blank canvas against (well, below) the tuna. Service was just great. Our server was very attentive and went above and beyond while we fussed over splitting the check. We agreed that we would order any of the things we tried again. If I were ordering only one kind of pork, I think I would go with the tenderloin, but I would certainly eat the pork shoulder again. Joselito is a great addition to the Capitol Hill/Eastern Market dining scene. There's nothing else like it around there, and I hope they thrive.
  3. I got takeout from the fairly new Brgz hamburger place across from Eastern Market last night. The fries were thin, crispy, and good. The burger I got was okay. The dipping sauce ("spicy ranch") that came along with what I ordered was not good. It was watery thin and tasted more of sour than spicy or ranch. The concept behind the restaurant is that the "toppings" are mixed into the meat, so they are not actually toppings. It put me in mind of the mix-in ice cream places that used to be popular (or maybe still are?). Before embarking on my visit, my tiny poll of two people I know who had eaten there resulted in one person who thought the food was fine but too expensive for what it is and the other absolutely HATED the concept. This is not the place for someone who wants bacon and cheese on top of the burger. I got the signature Buffalo Burger, which included the following: Celery, Carrots, Scallions, Blue Cheese, and Buffalo Seasoning. I swear there were small bits of pickle in this burger. Either than or something in the seasoning quick pickles the celery bits or scallions. I couldn't figure it out because I knew it didn't have pickles listed, but something sure tasted like tiny pieces of pickle. In addition to the 8 signature burgers, they also have a build your own option. All the burgers are $9. I can see this being a good place to go to if some people want vegetarian or non-red meat options. In addition to beef (which I got), they have chicken and impossible burgers. So if you want bacon mixed into your vegetarian burger, it appears you can do that. The concept worked okay for me. I didn't love it and didn't hate it. The only outright bad thing was the dipping sauce. The price could have been lower, but it wasn't obscenely expensive. I'd stop by for the $4 fries again.
  4. 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?
  5. Port City Java, which was in the old antique shop space opposite the North Hall of Eastern Market, has changed ownership/management and name. The overhead sign for "7th St Hill Cafe" just went up today. The sign that has been up for a week or so in the door indicates it is closed for renovations and change in management. From what I've been able to find out, it seems that the franchise owner for Port City decided it was too expensive to renew the franchise because of the high rent. It seems to be completely new ownership, even though the note on the door only refers to management. I went to put this is a Port City Java thread and discovered there never was one. I liked the place and their coffee. It's been very popular in the neighborhood. I checked with the people at the newly named Hill Cafe on 15th Street and A, NE, and this place is not affiliated with them.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Pat, you probably know this, but others may not: Port City Java is a Wilmington, NC based franchise (not a chain) that was established in 1995. As of this writing, they have numerous locations in (primarily Eastern) NC, and one in Greenville, SC.
  9. Plenty of asparagus and strawberries floating around Eastern Market, not sure how local they are...otherwise nothing has really taken off yet.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. I thought there was a topic for this but apparently there isn't. Mel Inman has sold the business. The new owner/name is S. L. Mendoza Market Poultry. Despite being in the market a lot, I hadn't stopped by there real recently until today, but I had heard during the summer (and then gotten confirmed during the summer) that it was being sold. One of the people told me it was being sold to someone who worked elsewhere in the market. The last time I had been there, Mel was the only one working. Today, it wasn't busy but there were multiple employees present. I can't say the service was great, but I don't know how long they've been up and running. Whether they will continue to have more exotic birds or not, I have no idea. Some of the signs looked the same (and they had the Redskins game on the TV), but other things looked different. People who go there a lot undoubtedly know this, but FYI.
  15. I've got an hour or two to kill around Eastern Market -- looking for someplace to grab an appetizer and a drink, and perhaps even read for a bit. Any suggestions?
  16. Senor Canales's Tortilla Grill and Cafe is not only a tiny jewel on the Hill, but one of DC's best hole in the wall secrets! The Canales family is one of the major players at Eastern Market owning three different stalls: Canales Deli, the stand with the fresh pasta, and Canales Meats. Several years ago the Senor of deli fame opened up a tiny eat in/take out store front serving El Salvadoran/Mexican food directly across the street from the Market. It was an immediate success, with lines stretching out the door. But one shouldn't been surprised when the kitchen staff was ordered to make the food like they would at home and a pork tamale, 2 mixed (pork and cheese) papusas with a side of plantains running you $8.
  17. I felt like I was walking into a parfumerie or a fancy makeup store when I stepped into this shop. It's on the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, on the North side of the street. It recently opened and I'd been hearing about people being mesmerized and spending more money than they intended to spend. Okay, I did too . Everything is laid out for tasting. You can spear bread cubes into the oils and vinegars or drink them. Given the amount of calories in olive oil, I wasn't up for drinking too much, but being able to taste everything is great. I wanted to taste the chocolate balsamic vinegar, but it was out. The people who did try it seemed to like it. Maybe it's just too popular. I'm sure they'll get it back in stock. I loved the walnut oil, which just couldn't have been finer. It tasted like toasted walnuts--a really pure, clear flavor with nothing muddy about it. My second favorite was the chile oil with ingredients from Chile. It wasn't super hot on first tasting but had a pleasant mild burn that lasted for quite a while. The third oil I bought (in addition to these two) was the first one I tasted--an extra virgin orange oil. The owner (I assume she was the owner) said that they crush entire oranges in when they make this. That would explain why it wasn't too sweet. It had a lovely rounded taste. I'm thinking of this for baking and salad dressing. Based on what another customer said, the Champagne Citrus/Mimosa vinegar is also good in salad dressing. The also have other products, such as pasta and salts. Sapore 660 Pennsylvania Ave., SE 202-544-4133 www.saporeoilandvinegar.com
  18. I guess this should become a new thread. (There also should be one in restaurants, though it's mentioned in the openings thread.) Today I stopped in at Sona, which is now open its regular hours, which I believe are 11AM to 10 or 11 PM. I bought some of this cheese from New Hampshire since I thought it looked interesting. The taste of it was a mild cheddar-ish flavor. They have a lot of unpasteurized cheeses. Everything seemed to be sourced externally, so I should have asked when they will start having cheese they make on premises. It reminded me of very early Cheesetique, but there are a lot of $30/+ per pound cheeses, which seems gasp-worthy, even if they're great. They do have tables and a counter for eating (and a chef), so they're way ahead of where Cheesetique was at the beginning. They have two cheese cases. The bottom shelf of the one facing you as you come in the door is all blue cheeses, including Roquefort and Stilton. They also have charcuterie and things like marinated white anchovies. It's located (can't remember if it's directly adjacent) near the Sapore olive oil store. A good "gourmet" combination. It will be quite a destination spot when the Italian gourmet store that's supposed to be going into the old Marvelous Market (still Silver Spork and still open) location around the corner opens
  19. My friend is the assistant chocolatier at J Chocolatier, so this is a little biased. But I really love the "drunken Buddha" chocolates - chocolates with a Bells Cherry Stout-infused ganache and a liqueur-soaked dried cherry inside. Pretty boozy and nice. The classic dark chocolate truffles are also quite tasty. They also just added a lavender-infused lemonade to their drinks menu, and plan to add a few others.
  20. Posting a new topic for those who need some sort of food option while stuck in the no man's land area of dining near the Union Station-New York Avenue Metro station corridor. Came across this site while browsing discount coupon pages. Mods - please feel free to move this elsewhere. I have never been here, so cannot attest to it, but the falafel option looked good on their menu. Apparently they do office catering too. Right across from the NY Avenue Metro. Serving Kickapoo Coffee. Pound Coffee (FB page) 1300 2nd Street NE Washington, DC, 20002 Phone:202-408-5282
  21. Cheezepowder's post on the closing of the last Marvelous Market made me think to post this. The transition from Silver Spork to Radici is nearly complete. They haven't made any radical changes or closed down during the changeover. It's all been pretty smooth. The last I was in the store, the Silver Spork employees were wearing t-shirts that said "Radici," with a tag line in Italian that translates as something like "coming soon." Many of the products should stay the same. I thought all the bread had, except the last whole wheat mini baguettes I bought were definitely different from the ones they had in the past. The wine offerings will probably be the biggest difference, and they're making changes to the layout of the store as well. This is the website for the new store. It doesn't really have anything on it but a statement of purpose yet.
  22. Stopped in at La Plaza (on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE between 6th and 7th) on The Hill last night, had a "mexican" food craving going. This is my favorite of the cluster of El Salvadoran/Mexican joints that litter the Hill. we started with the ubiquitous bowl of tortilla chips and salsa. Then I went with the carnitas soft tacos, which were very yummy, slices of tender pork, piled with lettuce and cheese. it of course comes with side of sour cream, guacamole, and beans and rice. Everything was really fresh tasting and and you can't go wrong with the $10 price tag.
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