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Northside Social, in the old Murky Coffee Space - Bakery, Coffee, and Wine Bar by the Owners of Liberty Tavern - Now Also Open in Falls Church


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Northern Virginia Magazine reports on Liberty Tavern's plan for the old Murky Coffee space:
 

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Northside Social will be managed by Willow’s one-time sommelier Alison Christ, while ex-Murky Coffee general manager Marianne Tolosa will step in as director of coffee (look for Counter Culture java and dairy goods from Trickling Springs Creamery). Baker G. David King is expected to trot out around a half dozen bread varieties per day.

Northside Social is expected to feature “work-friendly farm tables” as well couches and love seats for maximum lounging, while second story guests will now enjoy an aerial view of the ground floor. The from dawn-to-dusk venue is also expected to field various alternatives to your morning joe (think: fully developed wine and beer program) as well as live music.

Northside’s menu will turn on breakfast, lunch and other lite-fare, and is tentatively set to include: Polyface Farm egg sandwiches, homemade granola and yogurt, chicken liver rillettes and apple pie topped with Fiscalini cheddar (FINALLY!).

Northside is currently projected to open right around Christmas.


Chef Liam LaCivita will oversee the kitchen. The article also has info on their new restaurant, Lyon Hall.

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Hopefully to open after Xmas before New Year.

The newly painted exterior certainly brings a festive cheer compared to its old "murky" self. I can't remember if the awning/roof is new or not, but the black contrast shapes this building up quite nicely right now. Always on a random drive-by these days...
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Will they be taste testing any bakegoods with this coffee at Liberty Tavern next week? I shouldn't be asking this with Christmas feasting coming my way, but that would definitely tip the scale for me.

Absolutely! Starting Tomorrow (Dec 14, 2009) we will be serving fresh baked goods, Counter Culture coffee and espresso, and whole beans at our pop-up coffee shop at The Liberty Tavern from 8AM-12PM. Starting the next day, Tuesday the 15th, Chef Liam will also be preparing the best egg sandwiches I have ever eaten (and I've had a lot of egg sandwiches). On to the best news I have to share… We officially received all of our work permits and we will begin some major interior construction this week. So, Northside Social should be open in about five weeks (barring any construction issues). I’ll keep you posted on dates and menus and anything else you’re interested in hearing about. Let me know if you have any curiosities! -Alison

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Stopped by Liberty Tavern, subbing as the temporary am home of Northside Social 'til the real deal opens, this morning to kill some time. Had the egg samwich which is quite good, served on the house-baked toast with the applewood smoked bacon usually seen on the Liberty burgers, some greens and flavored with maple-butter. I would warn the consumer to beware as the yolk in the fried egg is served soft. Not expecting this I bit into the sandwich and had a yolk explosion down my sleeve. [Next time will ask for the yolk to be hard-cooked.] They are still anticipating a mid-January opening and are working on the food menu.

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Stopped by Liberty Tavern, subbing as the temporary am home of Northside Social 'til the real deal opens, this morning to kill some time.

I just wish they would update their website, as this blurb about Murky is still on the LT site:
COFFEE The Liberty Tavern is proud to partner with our friends and neighbors at Arlington's finest coffee house, Murky Coffee. The Liberty Tavern's General Manager, Mark Fedorchak, worked closely with Murky Coffee owner Nick Cho to design and implement an ambitious coffee program that features Counter Culture coffee and espresso beans, along with Intellegentsia tea. Individual French press pots are a highlight.
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I just wish they would update their website, as this blurb about Murky is still on the LT site:

Actually the quote, which refers to the coffee program at Liberty and not at Northside, is still basically accurate. Nick Cho was the provider of both the equipment and the know-how that still informs the coffee service at Liberty ( i know because I witnessed his teaching lesson for the Liberty staff). Now that could change once Northside opens....but the beans at Northside will still be provided by Counter Culture.

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Actually, the latest news on facebook is that the opening will be on Wednesday. Something about getting the filtration system installed.

ETA: menu can be found here.

Wow, perhaps it's because of the "Social" theme, but I read that as "flirtation system".

Oh well, maybe next time.

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Absolutely! Starting Tomorrow (Dec 14, 2009) we will be serving fresh baked goods, Counter Culture coffee and espresso, and whole beans at our pop-up coffee shop at The Liberty Tavern from 8AM-12PM. Starting the next day, Tuesday the 15th, Chef Liam will also be preparing the best egg sandwiches I have ever eaten (and I've had a lot of egg sandwiches).

Actually, the latest news on facebook is that the opening will be on Wednesday. Something about getting the filtration system installed.

ETA: Here's an article. The menu can be found here.

There are no egg sandwiches on that menu. Does that mean breakfast is limited to pastries?

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There are no egg sandwiches on that menu. Does that mean breakfast is limited to pastries?

Northside Social is officially opening on Monday, but today and tomorrow they're doing a "soft opening" to train the staff. Egg sandwiches are indeed on the menu. The place looks great, particularly compared to Murky Coffee. Well worth the wait.

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Can't wait! Milk chocolate peanut butter cookie is making my mouth water.

Northside Social is officially opening on Monday, but today and tomorrow they're doing a "soft opening" to train the staff. Egg sandwiches are indeed on the menu. The place looks great, particularly compared to Murky Coffee. Well worth the wait.

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I had a chance to visit the sneak peak of Northside Social this past weekend, and visited again this morning to try the food. Overall, I am very impressed. Great Coffee. Huge selection of baked goods and the breakfast sandwich I had with Maple Sausage, Poached Egg, and VT Cheddar was fantastic. I have a more thorough review on my blog.

I would highly recommend checking out their breakfast selection, I have not had a chance to try their evening menu, but it looks good.

I am curious to see if it will be the immediate success that Liberty Tavern was. That place seemed to be packed from day 1. I can't imagine the stress level they are experiencing right now, with opening Northside Social, Lyon Hall, and running Liberty Tavern all at the same time.

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Stopped in this morning for a coffee and mufffin. I really like the look and feel of the renovated space. Very bright and airy. I used to go to Murky everyday before work and I am very pleased I get to continue that trend at NSS. Congrats on the new digs.

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Stopped in tonight for dinner, coffee, and studying. Sandwich was really tasty - the pork belly with broccoli rabe and mozzarella. Also came with a small fruit salad. Compared it to the pork sandwich at Taylor - maybe unfairly bc of the size and style but the ingredients reminded me of it. The cheese was not nearly as prominent but the sandwich still tasted balanced, albeit slightly greasy - it was a pannini with fatty pork. Not as good as taylors, but again prob an unfair comparison. Thought the price ($7) was fair and reflected the size/quality of it. Classic cappuccino was exactly how I remembered it from murky - delicious!

Now for my companion's take...

I [Companion #1] stopped by for coffee this morning; it was fantastic. Absolutely perfect (the apology for the slightly skewed foam art was unnecessary; the cappuccino was fantastic - call it a clef and you're golden).

Now for my evening experience...

Ordered a 6oz glass of the Blaufraenkisch at $11. The wine was delicious, but let's talk about the pour. The first server poured a glass that was slightly below the widest point of Northside's red wine glasses. It looked more than a little short (in the glass and in the newly opened bottle), and I asked if it was a 6oz or 3oz - my eyes aren't that bad. The server assured me that the glasses were large, and it was indeed a 6oz pour.

That would have been the end of the story, but at the same time, the customer next to me ordered two 6oz pours that a 2nd server filled at least a fat finger above the mid-point of his glass. Not to be a bastard, because my server looked like she was new on the job (or industry), I asked the 2nd server if my glass was a 6oz-er... referring to the 2 glasses that he had just poured. The response was, "those were special circumstances."

So, special circumstances are cool, and I understand them, but what really set me off was seeing 3 more glasses of red and white come out with pours well above my 6oz. "More special circumstances," I assume.

I feel like a shit for ratting on the cool kids, but guys, don't make me want to bring a measuring cup next time I visit.

If you say, "yeah, that looks a little short" and give me an extra splash, I leave happy and probably forget about the whole thing. Now, it's like an itch that I can't scratch.

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I [Companion #1] stopped by for coffee this morning; it was fantastic. Absolutely perfect (the apology for the slightly skewed foam art was unnecessary; the cappuccino was fantastic - call it a clef and you're golden).

Now for my evening experience...

Ordered a 6oz glass of the Blaufraenkisch at $11. The wine was delicious, but let's talk about the pour. The first server poured a glass that was slightly below the widest point of Northside's red wine glasses. It looked more than a little short (in the glass and in the newly opened bottle), and I asked if it was a 6oz or 3oz - my eyes aren't that bad. The server assured me that the glasses were large, and it was indeed a 6oz pour.

That would have been the end of the story, but at the same time, the customer next to me ordered two 6oz pours that a 2nd server filled at least a fat finger above the mid-point of his glass. Not to be a bastard, because my server looked like she was new on the job (or industry), I asked the 2nd server if my glass was a 6oz-er... referring to the 2 glasses that he had just poured. The response was, "those were special circumstances."

So, special circumstances are cool, and I understand them, but what really set me off was seeing 3 more glasses of red and white come out with pours well above my 6oz. "More special circumstances," I assume.

I feel like a shit for ratting on the cool kids, but guys, don't make me want to bring a measuring cup next time I visit.

If you say, "yeah, that looks a little short" and give me an extra splash, I leave happy and probably forget about the whole thing. Now, it's like an itch that I can't scratch.

Companion Numero Uno, again -

thetrain and I had a lovely walk back from Northside, and because I'm a bastard, I filled my glass with water before we left, took it with me in a bottle, and measured the amount at home. 3oz! 3.5oz if I'm generous!

I didn't want to make a scene about it in Northside, and I thought that it was enough to ask 2 different servers. Obviously, I was wrong about that, but right about the pour.

I'm beyond thrilled that Northside has opened, and I'll be back there often and with enthusiasm. Screw-ups happen, but guys, try to not to make this one. I love you all.

...I offer myself for vigorous junk-punching.

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Dinner last night at Northside Social was a mixed bag, but with enough positives to ensure a second visit.

The renovations to the space are impressive. Although I enjoyed Murky Coffee, it seemed to have a dingy "I've been sitting at this table with my laptop for five days straight" sort of feel. Northside Social, on the other hand, is bright, clean and much more welcoming -- with a wood shelf on the right holding loaves of bread for sale and tiered platters of cookies on the counter.

My husband had the Amish Chicken Salad (green goddess dressing, frisee, pistachios, tarragon, apricots on oatmeal stout bread - $8). His response was "it's okay, I guess" and then proceeded to polish off the sandwich. I think he was hoping for a more traditional chicken salad, but I thought the combination of ingredients (especially the apricots) resulted in a tasty twist on a classic sandwich.

I ordered the Spring Vegetable Salad -- or at least that's what I thought it was -- the online menu only refers to a Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad (frisee, pistachios, green goddess dressing, grilled tofu - $8). I was . . . well disappointed. For $8 I received something slightly smaller than your average side salad. Instead of grilled, the tofu was presented in two raw, slightly marinated cubes. It tasted fine, but I'll certainly think twice before relying on their salad choices for an entree selection.

We also split an order of the House Made Ricotta (extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper, sea salt, local honey, Italian feather loaf crostini - $9) based on a recommendation from the woman who took our order. We agreed that it was delicious and I tried to argue that I should get 3 of the 4 pieces based on my mistake of ordering the salad for dinner. The creamy ricotta contrasted beautifully with the honey and the olive oil. My only gripe would be that $9 seemed a bit high for 4 small pieces. But I also acknowledge that I probably wouldn't complain about the price if I were eating at a restaurant that didn't require you to order at a counter and pick out your own plastic utensils and paper napkins.

I had a glass of wine (not to say that size doesn't matter, but I was satisfied with my pour) and thought the prices for wines by the glass were more than reasonable. I also noticed that they had some interesting beers on their list including Prohibition Ale which we recently purchased from Screwtop around the corner. In addition to our dinner order, we bought a loaf of bread (when asked what type it was, the woman at the corner shrugged and said it was a mix between white and wheat) and we were the happy recipients of two Dark Chocolate White Chip Cookies which accidentally slipped off a platter while my husband was ordering. I'm not a fan of white chips, but these cookies were fairly decadent and delicious.

So we've decided that Northside will be a great place to go for brunch after yoga class, a lazy weekend lunch, or to grab a glass of wine while waiting on a reservation at Liberty Tavern or Eventide. I'll also probably stop in for a loaf of bread from time to time. But I'm not sure whether we'll head there for dinner again.

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I stopped in to check it out on Wednesday afternoon and got a iced chai to go - love the space and my tea was tasty but was a little surprised at the price - $4.96 for a small. Maybe the request for soy milk added to the price? Or I'm just getting old . . .

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I've now spent two enjoyable late afternoon/evenings at Northside Social. First time on their first day of public business, they were having printer issues so I was unable to look at a wine list. Yesterday, however, they had one printed out. As one would expect if familiar already with Alison Christ's predilections, this was an ecclectic mix of medium priced wines -- the most expensive and the only one above $100 was a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir at $150. among the Whites was a 1/2 bottle of Mersault (I think it was an 03) at $84(?). The by-the-glass prices start at $7. There is a large selection of half bottles with good representation of French, Spanish and italian grapes. They do a nice cheese plate with a selection of 3 cheeses + embellishments at $8.

The menu features breakfast items (including the aforementioned egg sandwiches -- one with sausage and one with bacon) served until 11 am, and soup, salads and sandwiches for the rest of the day. they also have a few of the apps such as duck confit that you can find on the Liberty Tavern menu. Large offering of sweet baked goods one would expect at a coffee shop. Chef Liam says that when Lyon Hall opens later this week they will be using the kitchen there for bread and other baked goods.

This is a nice space with some of the interior decorating still going on. Service downstairs and on the patio is now at the counter, but I would expect that as the weather improves and they get more customers sitting outside that they may provide table service outdoors. The upstairs features a large unfinished wood table/bar and also a couple of lounge chairs and small tables. Wi-FI is available, and when they get a permit there will be some live music.

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Maybe the request for soy milk added to the price?

The request for soy milk will set you back $0.65, which is roughly $0.15 more than comparable coffee shops.

They were really slammed this past Sunday morning, and I felt a bit bad for the staff with all hands-on-deck sort of thing where there were 4 people at the machine, 2 getting muffins, 2 running registers, a 10-plus person wait to place the order with the poor staffer explaining that there will be a 13 minute wait for stuff placed with the kitchen. Good that they are busy and running a steady stream of folks, but the bad is also that there is still a lack of places to sit with such a popular place.

Gelittleman likes the blueberry muffins there and he seemed excited about the bread displayed, so maybe that's next to try.

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This place has been slammed the two times I have visited. I only went for coffee both times. Maybe they need a "coffee only" line, but overall the line moved reasonably well. No free parking on Saturday nearby unless you use the church parking lot, which would suck for them. I enjoyed the coffee, but they do not offer brewed decaf (though they will prepare a decaf caffè americano). I suspect this may disappoint more than a few people besides myself. All things considered, I will probably spend less time in line and more of my coffee money at The Java Shack.

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Got a flier in the mail, so decided on Friday to stop in and try a sandwich for lunch. Nice enough space; parking can be an issue as it is with most of Clarendon. The coffee bar and breakfast looked pretty interesting, the lunch menu less so. I decided to try the ham and cheese - simple enough, should be fast to prepare and hard to screw up. There were maybe half dozen people in line, a few folks standing around waiting for their order. The coffee drinks came out fairly fast for those folks, the food again less so. I waited at least 20 minutes before starting to ask questions. Two women sitting at bar stools ahead of me also complained - their food came out for here, they wanted to go. They didn't have lids for the soup, the women ended up getting some sort of freebie to placate them. Another ten minutes. Aside - perhaps the 6 folks taking orders up front could redistribute and help out the 2 Hispanic folks making food as it wasn't going well. Two folks up front spend 15 minutes counting the change in the tip jar - wish the GAO was the compulsive....

Anyway, my ham/chesse panini finally came out. It was tiny and black (on the outside). I guess I could have asked for my money back, but I certainly wasn't going to run that obstacle course again in hopes of a better result. I had already wasted 30+ minutes and was hungry, so I just wolfed it down. I know its early, but they've got a lot of work to do. My guess is I might try the breakfast and coffee, but unless that is a huge improvement, you can do better at the Silver Diner across the street or the Cosi/Corner Bakery/Starbuck du jour.

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After reading Tim Carman's post about Northside Social (and realizing it was only a matter of blocks from my house) I had to check out this pork belly sandwich for myself. I went there around 2 in the afternoon on Saturday and the place was pretty busy, not ridiculously packed but busy. You had your typical computer/coffeehouse crowd there doing their thing. I ordered an iced white peach tea with the pork belly sandwich and they called my name after a 10 minute wait (which was actually rather pleasant since I spent it outside on the patio). Personally I thought everything was pretty great. At the risk of repeating Tim's observations, the pork was nice and moist, the bread was nicely toasted, and I really enjoyed the bitter contrast of the broccoli rabe. There's nothing I enjoy more for lunch than a solid sandwich and I've already had everything on Earl's menu so another shop in the area is perfectly welcome.

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I really like Northside Social. I have had their Breakfast Sandwich with Sausage three times, and every time the poached egg was overcooked. Has anyone else experienced this? I was wondering if this was by design

. I asked for a soft poached egg, and still received a hard yolk. Obviously the sandwich is still delicious either way, I think it would be better with a runny yolk. Admittedly, I am being nit-picky here, just wanted to see if anyone else had a different experience.

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Anyway, my ham/chesse panini finally came out. It was tiny and black (on the outside).

I had that yesterday. Although the menu indicates it is to be served on marble rye, it was actually made with pumpernickel bread, which may explain the black appearance; or are you trying to say that your bread was burnt? In any event, mine was black in appearance, but not burnt and was an average size. This is not an overstuffed deli-style sandwich. It is closer to a European style with a couple slices of ham and cheese with a light application of kraut that makes it quite tasty. I had no issue with the porton size.

Perhaps smaller, but even better tasting, is the crispy pork belly sandwich, which lived up to its (minor) hype for me.

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My wife and I stopped into Northside Social for a drink before dinner at Eventide Sat night and had an enjoyable visit. I was happy to be informed, upon walking in and seeing the long line, that the line was for the coffee bar and that the wine bar was upstairs. Two seats at the bar awaited us, two glasses of cava soon followed, and we had a lovely, relaxing time. The upstairs decor is a bit sparse but it's a nice setting altogether. It's kinda like drinking wine in your friend's living room, if you friend has a really nice wine collection. It's very low key, conversation is easy, and it was nice to find a civilized setting for a drink without having to contend with meatheads trying to order red bull vodkas behind you at the bar. We didn't eat but there did seem to be some selections worth exploring on the food menu. Service was friendly and prompt and the establishment exuded overall a welcoming vibe.

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The house-made ricotta is awesome. It was the first time that I ordered an appetizer and wanted to order a second helping of the appetizer as soon as I was finished the first.

I highly highly recommend you head over to Northside Social to check it out.

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The house-made ricotta is awesome.

Seconded. I had it today as part of their market salad ($6). A smallish mound of fresh greens mixed with fennel and orange slices sat in the center of a rather large bowl. It was lightly dressed in a refreshing vinaigrette. Three slices of soft bread topped with a generous dollop of fresh ricotta sat around the greens. It was creamy, soft, and balanced the acidity from the salad. The cheese was a bit too heavy for the bread, which wilted as I took a bite, but wow, that ricotta is terrific. I wish they sold it by the pound to go.

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Has anyone tried their Pullman loaf?

Their ice cream social has started, with a window on the side and daily, changing flavors. However, this means that the window is open, and their goods aren't always covered and, well, you know this cautionary tale.

It's about $3 after taxes per soft serve for a decent portion. The flavors available the day I tried (Sunday) it with a dear friend were chocolate bacon and key lime pie. Wasn't in the mood for chocobacon, so I tried key lime and ended up not liking it so much. Mainly because it had an artificial flavor to it, as if they didn't use real key lime juice. Otherwise, the texture, smoothness of it was great. One can always ask for a tasting too.

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So after having a hellacious day at work that started very early I decided to leave work a little early and stop by Northside Social just to check it out. I had a late lunch so just wanted something refreshing in all the heat. I got an iced chai. Caveat Emptor it comes from a box. Now I am sure it was a really great brand, but after having not from a box, incredible iced chai from Sidamo I just expected more, I was really hoping for more, especially for $4.91. Also the flavor of the chai just wasn't great for iced beverages. I wish I would have known it was a mix I would have gotten an iced latte or coffee something made fresh. OR I could have gotten the brown butter ice cream which sounded great. Why I didn't get that I don't know. It was a bad call. I will be back because I am sure other stuff there will be great, the baked goods looked wonderful, the soft serve sounded good, just won't get an iced chai again.

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Fear not, I spoke to them this morning and they are selling bread again. You can also buy their milk which comes in those cool old school glass bottles ($6 but you get $2 back for the bottle).

Had a fantastic breakfast sandwich there this morning. Oh so delicious, the egg was poached perfectly.

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I was in yesterday moning w/ several others - we really enjoyed cappucini, french press coffee, muffins and (as above) the egg sandwhich. This was the best cappucino I have had (w/ extra shot of expresso) in the DC area period. Outside seating and menu choices are nice pluses. Only concern is getting a seat!

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Lemon Cranberry cookies were fantastic and buttery. I thought my iced coffee was quickly and expertly prepared. The day I went, there was some kind of art fair going on and so there was a bit of a gallery/festival vibe. Service seemed professional, friendly, and not snobby like I have encountered oftentimes at Murky Coffee in the past.

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Went to Northside last night for the Food Blogger Happy Hour and found out they took the Homemade Ricotta appetizer off the menu! I am very upset, this was hands down my favorite item on the menu. I even tried to replicate it at home!

What gives? Was it not a popular item?

I had to settle for a super delicious cheese plate w/ an excellent lemon curd and fresh bread. Not a bad evening afterall. :)

Another favorite at Northside is the Raspberry Coconut Muffin. Check it out, it is delicious.

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Just read @DCDining's 21 Jan upgrade of Northside Social. Good stuff there beyond the coffee and espresso that is a worthy successor to Murky's. The best thing about inside is that it isn't grungy and grimy like Murky and Common Grounds were. Still I think DR's on point with it being a bit cold.

Where I take issue is with what appears to be an alarming lack of culinary understanding of coffee. I find this astonishing, but there it was, plain as day. DR asserts that you need "professional equipment" to make good coffee and that Counter Culture beans are "under-roasted." (I cannot believe Nick would let you get away with that!) I will limit my discussion to coffee vs espresso--pressure is generally relevant only for espresso, and there are many, many reasons why home espresso is often not up to par.

In coffee circles a common lament is that people who will pay top dollar and expect high quality food, wine, sprits and beer, yet they treat coffee like an afterthought. Ordering coffee after dinner or with brunch is just pro forma. I recall how Eve used to (still?) make press-pot coffee with what I'm sure were pre-ground beans. What is the point?!

Most auto-drip machines do very poorly in their primary task--heating water. Indeed Don is right about temperature--about 185-195F is optimal, from memory. You could spend $300 for a Technivorm Moccamaster, but Bunn's Phase Brew line gets to the right temps for about $100 (still not "professional" eq). For an investment of about $16 anyone with a mug and kettle can brew exceptional coffee using "The Clever Dripper" or a pour over filter. (These are available at fine coffee houses throughout the area, including Chinatown Coffee Company, Boccato, and NSS.) Its almost foolproof. Professional equipment, not required.

Currently very light roasts--sometimes called "Scandinavian roasts" are all the rage, even at Starbucks with their "Blond" roasts. But this is just a trend. In the higher end coffee world, which I'll call "craft coffee" for lack of a better word, the roast is specifically tailored to the beans--often coming from a single farm or lot, aka Single Origin. "Medium" roasts can optimize the qualities of different coffee varieties. Dark roasts do have a very important outcome: they minimize the underlying taste of the bean and its "terroir" in favor of roasty tastes which come charing the beans. Poor quality coffees can be roasted more darkly to hid imprecations. Sure people can like dark roast coffees, but I wouldn't ask them about coffee anymore than I would ask someone who drinks Budweiser or Coors about beer.

I would invite anyone who is even remotely a "foodie" or culinary geek to explore the world of coffee through our area's finer coffee shops. Counter Culture has a tasting lab in DC where they offer cupping on Friday mornings.

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Slightly off-topic (since they're Liberty Tavern and Northside are owned by the same group, perhaps not), but I had the best "pitcher" of French press coffee of my life there last week over a leisurely lunch. A great value, too, given that our whole table was able to share it without finishing. I think it was Counter Culture as well.

And the food at Liberty was superlative as well! Maybe the best meal I've had there yet.

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Where I take issue is with what appears to be an alarming lack of culinary understanding of coffee. I find this astonishing, but there it was, plain as day. DR asserts that you need "professional equipment" to make good coffee and that Counter Culture beans are "under-roasted." (I cannot believe Nick would let you get away with that!) I will limit my discussion to coffee vs espresso--pressure is generally relevant only for espresso, and there are many, many reasons why home espresso is often not up to par.

You're right - that was a bad choice of words. I corrected it (sort of) here.

I definitely plea ignorance to the availability of home coffee machines - my Cuisinart "Grind & Brew" is long on convenience, but just doesn't get the water hot enough; I guess there is this thing called a "stove." :unsure:

Cheers (and thanks),

Rocks

PS - Nick *didn't* let me get away with that! That's why I was looking for the conversation, but couldn't find it.

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Rocks,

Wonderful. Exactly what I wanted--to start this discussion. I have followed for years the blog and web site of a coffee guru in Vancouver named Mark Prince. He operates the web sites coffeegeek.com and coffeekid.com, along with the occasional Coffee Geek podcast (on extended hiatus). the coffeegeek site has an extensive forum section which discusses the preparation of coffee and espresso and a whole range of topics. Mark was an advocate of culinary coffee--decrying the shoddy coffee in restaurants--before people around here had even heard of Counter Culture.

I'm not familiar with the Grind & Brew (other than googling it). Fresh grind is very important, but so is the quality of the grounds is too. Its often said that the grinder is the most important factor in good coffee: coffee geeks will tell you about conical burr grinders. The importance is that the grinder produce consistent sized grounds without too much friction/heat. If your grounds don't have a consistent size then your will over-extract or under-extract flavors from the coffee, which leads to bad coffee.

Would love to continue this discussion here or over a *real* coffee.

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Rocks,

Wonderful. Exactly what I wanted--to start this discussion. I have followed for years the blog and web site of a coffee guru in Vancouver named Mark Prince. He operates the web sites coffeegeek.com and coffeekid.com, along with the occasional Coffee Geek podcast (on extended hiatus). the coffeegeek site has an extensive forum section which discusses the preparation of coffee and espresso and a whole range of topics. Mark was an advocate of culinary coffee--decrying the shoddy coffee in restaurants--before people around here had even heard of Counter Culture.

Would love to continue this discussion here or over a *real* coffee.

I have to run now to an appointment, but let's take this discussion over to a new coffee thread (which I'll start when I get back). I have a lot to learn, and with all the talented baristas (and roasters, etc.) now in this region, I have a lot of people to learn from - maybe we can get some of them involved.

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