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Found 17 results

  1. Las Gemalas has two separate operations at Union Market, a fast casual counter (taqueria) and a sit-down restaurant. According to @Tyler Cowen, "The tacqueria is the best Mexican food this region ever has seen. Real blue corn tortillas, everything else authentic, could be mistaken for excellent real Mexican food in Mexico." Since Hurricane Ida turned my New Orleans vacation into a working-staycation, I went by on Monday night to check it out. I noted their website describes the tacos as served "on a pair of heirloom corn tortillas." I ordered 2 tacos: carnitas ($4.5) and tongue & cheek ($4.75). First, I only got one tortilla per taco. A very good tortilla, and had I gotten two, I probably would've discarded one anyway. Second, the tacos are small (the typical size in Mexico (about 5 inches in diameter) but the same taco in Mexico would've cost 75 cents to a dollar) - very much smaller compared to Taco Bamba. Third, I love tongue and I didn't see nor taste any tongue in the tongue & cheek taco. Fourth, the tacos were otherwise pretty tasty (but not necessarily better than all the taquerias in this area). Heck, better tasting than some of the tacos Steve and I had at Pujol.
  2. Pinsa Love A couple of months ago, I got a message from one of our long-time members, Jordan Feinberg, seeking my advice for what sounded like an exciting project - a labor of love and passion. Have you ever heard of a “pinsa?” Jordan discovered these while traveling in Italy, and has poured his heart into making them available in the Washington, DC area. A pinsa is similar to a pizza, but it has a light, cloud-like crust due to more water and less salt in the dough (which also gives it fewer calories). The crust - which is like no other pizza crust I’ve ever tasted - uses a 72-hour fermentation, and in its final shape, is mottled with indentations due to it having been manually prodded and poked - the crust is thick, and when cooked, gives the illusion of being still wet (even though it’s not) with a thin, crispy periphery - top and bottom. The Latin “pinsere” means “to pound or stamp,” and that applies here - a pinsa isn’t perfectly round; it’s irregular and slightly oblong. Jordan’s pinsa has a crust that’s as good or better than any frozen pizza I’ve tasted. I sampled numerous versions, giving him feedback on what worked, what needed work, and what might work in today’s marketplace. And now that the pinsa has actually come to market, I was one of his first paying customers, and several versions of pinsa are sitting in my freezer as I type this. I would encourage people to start with a Classic Pinsa ($10.99), as this really lets the crust stand out, and from there, go on to some of the standard and exotic offerings (I’m curious to try the Nonna which is a riff on a classic Philadelphia roast pork-and-broccoli rabe sandwich; also the Carbone Classic which has a crust activated by charcoal and whole grains (apparently, charcoal is a popular, modern, “detox” method)). When you heat the pinsa, make sure you follow the directions and do it in your oven, but I can vouch that they reheat the next day just fine in a microwave without losing much of the “moist” quality in the crust. I have no financial interest in this product; I just answered a call for some advice, and now I look forward to being a paying customer, and hopefully watching the rise of the great American pinsa. Jordan’s website is www.Pinsa.Love, and you’ll also find ordering information there. Good luck to Jordan and his pinsa, which I hope will become a staple in many a DMV freezer. Cheers, Rocks
  3. O-Ku is located in a building next to Union Market. It is currently helmed by opening chef Brian Emperor, who is apparently well established as a Japanese cuisine chef. We inquired about the omakase ($80 and $120), which generally consist of dishes selected by the chef from the menu. We decided to order on our own so as to get dishes we want and avoid dishes we don't want. Executive Summary: Awesome (and priced to match) We started with 3 items from the Robata Grill, hanger steak, chicken meatballs, and yakitori (chicken thighs). The steak was tender and well seasoned and should be ordered by anyone who loves heifers - I don't think the garlic chips added much though. The chicken meatballs were heavily laced with scallions and the dip is made with raw egg - I think it's pretty tasty (but probably even tastier if made with pork). And the chicken thighs were good too. That was followed by some fantastic tempura soft-shell crab roll. Actually, the two end pieces were tempura soft shell crab, the 3 middle pieces were filled with delicious snow crab meat. All the pieces were topped of wasabi tobiko but none were polluted with avocado as stated on the menu (maybe there was avocado in there but I don't recall tasting any). What I did taste was the fresh crab meat. Then came the sashimi. We went with the Kindai o-toro, aburi toro (aburi means lightly torched, hence the whitish color), and Hokkaido scallop. The blue-fin is decadently fatty but the winner is the Hokkaido scallop, which tasted sweet and pristine. Finally, we had sweet prawn, anago, signature anago, and sea urchin sushi. Again, the quality of the seafood is top notch but I don't have an impression of the rice (it's like the rice isn't even there). With a couple of drinks a piece, the bill was $110 with tax per person.
  4. On Friday, doughboy and I went to the new St. Anselm, a Stephen Starr joint located at Union Market. Our server was friendly, and quite good at ass kissing. We had him as a server before, but we can't remember where. We started with beef tartare and blue crab deviled eggs. The tartare was mixed with lots of herbs and seasoning, thus obscuring the taste of the beef itself. The deviled eggs was good, adding crab made it different, but not better nor worse. The best part of dinner were the grilled oysters (with smoked herb butter) and grilled clams, with a chartreuse sauce. The oysters were the best since my first visit to The Ordinary in Charleston. The clams were also excellent. Unfortunately, the monster prawn was overcooked. The Butcher's Steak of the day was a hanger steak. It was cooked to medium rare as requested, and very good. At $28, it might be not a bargain (or maybe it is, I don't order steak very often). We also had the grilled salmon collar. It was nicely grilled - a treat if you like simply grilled salmon. I would go back just for the oyster, clam and maybe steak.
  5. "DC Pastry Chefs Launch a National Bake Sale to Support 'Black Lives Matter'" by Daniella Byck on washingtonian.com
  6. There are a few excellent spots to eat in Union Market, but one of us usually ends up with a bowl of soup from James at the Maketto pop-up whenever we stop by on the weekend. Some time ago, we also had the Laotian fish curry, and while delicious, it was incredibly spicy. James is indeed as nice as they come, and every soup he produces is exceptional. Last weekend, it was "Cambodian Pho"; not spicy, but it was perfect in every way. We're also big fans of Toki, and my favorite is the Kimchi ramen, which when compared to the Lao fish curry, is not nearly as spicy. (Getting hungry as I type this...) Stop by Honeycomb, their small asian goods store in UM. They make many of the products themselves, and there is always something new and creative, including pickled vegetables and kombucha. I'm looking forward to checking out Maketto when it opens. Word has it that it should be open in a matter of weeks.
  7. @eatruneat and I were feeling good, but in need of a snack after doing a wine tasting at A Litteri and scoring several bottles - seriously, if you like Italian wine, you need to check out A Litteri. They won an award as the best selection of Italian wine outside of Italy a few years ago. Anyway, we sat down at the bar and were warmly greeted by co-owner Antonio. I ordered a glass of wine and @eatruneat ordered the 'Stellina Sprotz'. After trying her drink I immediately regretted ordering wine. Made with DC distiller Don Ciccio & Figli's Amborsia liqueur and a few other ingredients, it was a light, slightly sour orange delight. I looked down the bar and realized that everyone else had one except me. We ordered the Cotto & Funghi pizza and were a little surprised when it came out uncut. Two seconds later a server dropped off pizza cutter, which didn't totally solve the issue. The tray the pizza is served on has a bit of a lip, which makes cutting the crust a challenge. Once cut though, the pie was delicious. The sauce tasted close to Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce with a hint of sweetness and velvety texture and the toppings tasted very authentic. Unfortunately we were time constrained and that was all we were able to try, but will be back to try more and this time I'll get myself a Stellina Sprotz.
  8. The Bruery which hails from Orange County, CA, is about to open their east coast hub in DC at Union Market at some point this month. If you haven't heard about the Bruery or their beers, they are known for making "big" barrel aged beers, wilds and sours. Although they are currently available in local stores, most of their more rare offerings never make it to the retail channel and are sold through their website/clubs. Their Reserve Society is now open for new members and will allow you to pick up your allocations at the DC location. Definitely worth checking out. Membership gives you first crack at getting your hands on their most rare beers such as Black Tuesday or Chocolate Rain. I have had the joy of drinking Chocolate Rain, it is a beast of a beer, clocking in at 19.6% abv. Although the beer is such a beast in the ABV category, it is exceptionally smooth and balanced, there is a good amount of sweetness to balance out the abv, it drinks like an 8% beer, and has so much flavor going on. I am not generally big on the liquor barrel aged big beers, but this is something special. If high abv liquor barrel aged beers is not your thing, perhaps Flimishmish is. Flimishmish is a tart blonde which is aged on apricots in oak barrels. The result is nothing short of amazing, with a refreshing natural apricot flavor coming through. It is one of those beers that I dream about.
  9. Bidwell opened recently in Union Market, and as hard as it was to pass up the amazing smells of Toki Underground (he was serving a Thai yellow curry), we decided on a real-deal sit down lunch. The space is very smartly done, balancing the sterile white of the market with a mix of dark and grey wood. The country music playing was a bit of an odd choice that really didn't seem to fit the mood of the restaurant or the neighborhood. From what I can tell, there are not separate lunch and dinner menus. There were 4 of us, plus the boy, so we sampled a reasonable bit of the menu. Swedish meatballs: We ordered these right as we sat so my son would have something to munch on. No one was particularly impressed by them. Very dense and served in a brown gravy that could've used...something to brighten things up. Lobster tacos: These have gotten a bit of press, but don't go expecting tacos. This is more of kind of an unfried flauta. The lobster filling had a nice texture, not the least bit rubbery, and the avocado-tomatillo salsa was a nice, if a bit too subdued accompanyment. I would call for a good bit more spice, but I tend toward the spicy. I actually think the dish might be improved if the tortilla had a bit of crunch to it to contrast with the lobster. Crispy deviled eggs: Just a standard deviled egg fried with a light batter. The ranch dressing is touted as having roasted jalapeno, but I didn't taste any smokiness or heat. Probably would be a pretty good bar snack with a few beers. Fried oysters with green chile buttermilk dressing: Nicely fried...these went in a hurry, though at $12 I kind of expected 4 oysters instead of 3...YMMV. Raclette grilled cheese: White truffle listed on the ingredient list...pretty mild influence on the flavor of the sandwich. It was nicely grilled, and I liked the poached egg on top. Definitely a knife and fork kind of sandwich. I guess I'm just used to a more pungent cheese in my grilled cheese (Taleggio is our house favorite), but I found this kind of on the bland side. Gin and tonic salmon: This was the clear winner of the day. A lightly cured piece of salmon that was perfectly seared. Quite tasty on its own, and fantastic with the bright slightly creamy lime emulsion. The cauliflower "steak" beneath it was excellent, with tons of great carmelized bits. Definitely a go-to dish here. Our server was great, and they didn't bat an eye at bringing out a high chair for the boy. I'd be interested to hear what kind of dinner service they are doing. We were 1 of only 3 tables during lunch that day. Of course, that location doesn't really lend itself to a bustling crowd for a formal sit-down lunch. Overall, I'd call it a pleasant experience, but nothing that blew me away (except the salmon dish). Of course it's early on, so I'd be interested to hear others' experiences in the next few weeks. We'll be back, given we're in the market multiple times a week...I'd be curious to see if they start a brunch menu, as I imagine they would do a brisk business.
  10. A very nice comeback story. I haven't been to K&K because I try to avoid the Wharf. I can attest, however, that the cheesesteak place in Union Market is really great. What worries me: He dreams of running “a bajillion restaurants.” Never a good idea.
  11. Looks to be in the very early stages of development, and they are still looking for a lease. They are have a competition for designing the restaurant logo. PoP with the news. "Chef Deth & Chef Seng are combining forces to launch Khao Poon, DC's first Lao Noodle House. They're going to kick off the effort with some pop-up events at different locations as they lead up to securing the new restaurant's permanent location. Khao Poon will offer a unique culinary experience featuring noodle dishes inspired by traditional Lao cuisine as well as that of the surrounding countries."
  12. Pretty slick looking (Washingtonian) City Paper Soft opening July 21, debut August 4. Three, five, and eventually eight course prix-fixe tasting menu format. Masseria. 1430 Fourth St., NE; 202-608-5959 "Masseria combines the raw and simple look of an Italian country estate, the industrial grit of the Union Market district, and the undeniable contemporary chic of its fashion-savvy chef-owner."
  13. Washingtonian is reporting that Andrew Evans, of Inn at Easton fame and owner of The BBQ Joint in Easton and Pasadena has signed a lease with Union Market. Sounds like the bbq will be counter service and the meat is being smoked at the Pasadena location and brought over to Union Market. Fair warning. December-ish opening. It's starting to get smokey around here.
  14. District Fishwife is a new permanent vendor in Union Market that, like Red Apron is combining retail and prepared foods. I had the chance to attend their opening party, where they served up fish and chips as well as some meaty fried oysters. Last time I was in the market, I didn't see the oysters on the menu, so I don't know if that was a one off. The fish and chips were fantastic. The fish was excellent...substantial, crispy crust without a greasy feel or taste. No complaints about the fries (er, chips) either. They were served with the standard accoutrements, including a house-made ketchup that didn't really do it for me (needed more vinegar, I think). There really isn't much to indicate that they are more than a retail fish-monger (like how Red Apron has the bar area), so it'll be interesting to see how they reel people in for the prepared stuff. (Sorry.)
  15. Apparently it is open. Co-worker tried the lasagna soup said it was decent. I looked at their website - they use no dairy, no butter, no oil and no salt. I might be convinced of the first three ingredients, but no salt?
  16. Wanted to give a plug for these guys. They have a stand up now in the new Union Market, and I dropped my knives off over the weekend (chef knife that needed to be slightly ground down for a ding on the cutting edge, and a Global paring knife that I despise sharpening myself). All of the work is done on stones, no wheels (except for grinding needed for repair). Really quality service. Both knives were $25 combined; they had them turned around in a day. For simple touch ups and if they don't have a large back load they can do the work as you browse or have lunch. Site lists prices per inch, and they do most any type of blade. They even offered to drop them off at our house for free when finished (the mobile part of the business). Very happy to have a reasonable place to get quality knife sharpening when I don't feel up to dragging out my stones and doing it myself. And if you feel like dropping several hundred dollars they have some absolutely beautiful custom knives from a local smith for sale. All come with lifetime free sharpening.
  17. Hi all, I have exciting news - I am opening a cheese shop & bar in the forthcoming Union Market! We open in September, and although I have raised most of the necessary funding already, I have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the rest. It is going swimmingly so far, but we only have until 8/23 to raise all of the funds. If you back the project, you can get really cool rewards like a wine & cheese pairing, or a gift basket, etc. Check out the link here: http://www.kickstart...p-and-bar-in-dc. You can learn all about the shop and what Kickstarter does too. I'd so appreciate your support in any way possible, whether through backing the project or even simply posting about it on your Facebook page. Please email if you have any questions: info@righteouscheese.com Thanks so so much. I hope to see you all there when we open! Again, here is the link: http://www.kickstart...p-and-bar-in-dc
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