Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Taqueria del Barrio offering Mexican turducken, tamales for Thanksgiving, drag brunch

Well, this isn't something you see every day: Taqueria del Barrio  the Mexican spot at 821 Upshur, is offering a Mexican take on turducken, the Thanksgiving food where a turkey is stuffed with a duck that has been stuffed with a chicken. Wow. I guess in Spanish it would be a pavpatollo, or something.

Taqueria del Barrio's version, however, has turkey around a pork loin wrapped around chorizo, which sounds pretty awesome. You can buy it by the pound from now until Nov. 20, plus tamales, another Christmas staple. Might be good for Thanksgiving proper or Friendsgiving. They're also offering it in the restaurant from Nov. 24-26.

They're also doing a drag brunch on Nov. 18, which sounds fun. Read on for the details:
Drag Brunch – Saturday, November 18 
Taqueria del Barrio hosts drag brunch Saturday, November 18, with resident queen Desiree Dik hosting and performances by queens Chicki Parm and La Bella Mafia.  
Reservations are encouraged with one seating at 10am and another at 1pm. Guests can order from a fixed $25 menu including the choice of either a brunch entrée or three of Taqueria del Barrio’s signature tacos, as well as a brunch cocktail. Reserve a table by calling 202-723-0200 or visiting  
Thanksgiving at Taqueria del Barrio 
Spice up your Thanksgiving table this year, and let Taqueria del Barrio do some of the work for you in the process. Chef and owner Anna Bran-Leis is preparing a Mexican turkey roulade (her take on turducken), wrapping turkey around pork loin, which is wrapped around house-made chorizo, resulting in a savory, showstopper Thanksgiving entrée. 
The Mexican turkey roulade can be ordered in advance by phone at 202-723-0200. It is priced at $16 per pound (each pound feeds two people), and is offered alongside homemade cheese poblano tamales for $3.99 each. Orders can be placed now through Monday, November 20, and all orders will be available for pickup from the restaurant from noon to close on Wednesday, November 22.  
Although Taqueria del Barrio is closed on November 23 for the holiday, guests can also enjoy the Mexican turkey roulade as a special in the dining room Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26. The roulade will be $13.99 and comes with a cheese poblano tamale, as well as cranberry and orange salsa.  
Taqueria del Barrio 
821 Upshur St NWWashington, DC 20011 
Photo by Jai Williams 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Grants available for social justice: affordable housing, environment, peace, immigration, anti-oppresion and anti-racism

This is awesome: All Souls Unitarian Church at 15th and Harvard sent me a press release about the Beckner Advancement Fund, which offers $70,000 in grants each year up to $10,000 for a variety of social justice causes: 
  • Safe, affordable housing
  • Environmental justice
  • Peace and reconciliation
  • Immigration
  • Anti-oppression efforts, including racial and ethnic justice
The deadline for the first part of the application is January 26, and the group needs to either be a 501(c)3 nonprofit or be affiliated with one. 

Here's a bit more about the fund and requirements, with a full description on their website (scroll down for the External awards, Internal are for church members.)

About the Beckner Advancement Fund 
All Souls Church Unitarian has a long history of working for social justice and fighting against oppression of all kinds. Our proud tradition of public witness here in the nation’s capital dates back to standing against slavery and continues to this day. For almost two centuries, the congregation has worked to make our city, our nation, and our world more just and compassionate. 
All Souls members Earl and Meta Beckner endowed the Beckner Advancement Fund in 1973. The Deed of Gift states their desire to “make the Church and surrounding community more cohesive, attractive, and forward-looking; foster human rights and dignity; and enhance the influence of All Souls Church in the Washington metropolitan area.”  
Grounded in commitment to social-change philanthropy, the Beckner Advancement Fund distributes about $70,000 each year to support efforts that advance All Souls’s social justice mission. The Beckner Advancement Committee, made up of All Souls members, the senior minister, and coordinated by a program officer, manages the Fund and advises the church’s Board of Trustees, who make the decisions for the Beckner Advancement Fund. Internal grants fund the church’s own social justice activities, and external grants support DC organizations that address urgent and compelling social justice issues from the community. as identified the following social justice priority areas
The Fund prioritizes proposals for organizations and projects that:
1.  demonstrate significant ties to Ward 1 neighborhoods and residents (where the church is located);2.  are facilitated by small, grassroots organizations;3.  address root causes of social service needs (rather than providing direct services);4.  actively engage the community they serve in developing program strategies;5.  effectively measure their success (or are building systems to do so);6.  seek support for new initiatives or for project components that build capacity of existing programs;7.  demonstrate willingness to educate and include All Souls members in their work for social change; and8.  have existing relationships with All Souls Church or its members. 
The Fund will not consider requests to fund individuals, sectarian programs that promote religious doctrine, or organizations that ask for more than 10% for general operating support.
Read more at their website, scroll to the External Grants.

Canned food drive for Mary's Center, which provides health services, tutoring and more; drop off at Petworth Farmers Market

Mary's Center, the great local nonprofit that serves as a community health center and also offers literacy and social services, is holding a canned food drive to help give families a good Thanksgiving meal. And the Petworth Community Market, every Saturday until Nov. 18 from 9am-1pm, is accepting donations.

Here's more about the canned food drive and Mary's Center. The market is at the triangle where 9th and Upshur meet.
Help Feed 500 Families In The Neighborhood 
We're partnering with Mary's Center to make sure everyone in the community can have a wholesome Thanksgiving meal this season. We'd love your thoughtful and kind help.
Items you can drop off at the PCM Market Manager table are: stuffing mix, instant potatoes, cranberry sauce, canned fruit and vegetables, canned gravy and gravy mix, canned sweet potatoes and yams, pie crust and filling, sugar and flour, rice and beans, and grocery store gift cards. 
If you're interested in volunteering with Mary's Center at their bag stuffing event on November 19 (or any of their other holiday volunteer opportunities), email Magali Ceballos at 
Mary's Center, founded in 1988, is a Community Health Center that provides health care, family literacy and social services to individuals whose needs too often go unmet by the public and private systems. Mary's Center uses a holistic, multipronged approach to help each participant access individualized services that set them on the path toward good health, stable families, and economic independence. The Center offers high-quality, professional care in a safe and trusting environment to residents from the entire DC metropolitan region, including individuals from over 100 countries, through 8 locations.

UPDATE: You can also donate canned goods at the Brass Knob, 2311 18th Street NW. They're open 7 days a week, 10:30am-6pm Monday-Saturday and noon to 5pm Sunday.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Help get out the vote in Virginia: phone banking and canvassing today and tomorrow!

The Virginia elections are tomorrow, which means elections for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state legislature: and you can help.

The elections affect us in DC for a few reasons: for one, Congress has the power to stop DC from spending its own money and enforcing its own laws, and they've used that power before to block the city from spending money on things voters here support: medical marijuana, decriminalized marijuana, women's health, LGBT issues, abortion services, and many other things DC taxpayers have voted for and want.

The local elections also affect how the districts get drawn in the state going forward: right now, there are 4 Democrats and 7 Republicans in the Congress from Virginia, despite the total vote being split nearly 50-50. Thanks to gerrymandering, in the state house there are 34 Democrats and 66 Republicans, despite the state going for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

But you can help! There are opportunities to make phone calls to Virginia voters either from your own home or at a local restaurant, as well as volunteer opportunities to visit the state to encourage folks to vote. 

Here's more info from DC for Progress. Read on for how you can get active!

Election Eve Phone Bank at Parthenon 
Join us at the Parthenon Restaurant tonight! Make calls for the full Virginia Democratic ticket using an online system! We will provide training, so do not worry if you have not used the system before. 
Please bring a laptop or tablet, and a cell phone with a charger, and FRIENDS! 
When: Monday, November 6, 6:30pm-9:00pm
Where: Parthenon Restaurant, 5510 Connecticut Avenue NW (Friendship Heights Metro) 
Please RSVP using the link below.
Sign me up! Election Eve Parthenon Phone Bank, Mon, Nov. 6

Remote Phone Banks  
Sign-Up Form --> 
All phone bankers or volunteers organizing phone banks should sign-up using the form. You will then be sent the training materials & call-in information for the phone bank training, which will happen at the start of every shift and last about 15 minutes.

We need as many people as possible on the predictive dialer. For anyone who definitely can't be on the dialer, we have back-up open virtual phone bank.

Get out the Vote Canvassing 
Knocking on doors and talking with voters is the best way to get out the vote.

Do not have a car? No worries! We are arranging transportation. But if you do have a car, and would like to drive other volunteers, please let us know. 
Meeting Location: DNC, 430 South Capitol Street SE (Capitol South Metro stop) 
Shift Times - Monday, November 6: 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm
Shift Times - Tuesday, Election Day: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm 
Please sign up using the links below, and indicate which shift(s) you will attend in the sign up form.
Sign me up! Knocking doors in VA, Mon. Nov. 6Sign me up! Knocking doors in VA, Tues. Nov. 7

Election Day Phone Banking 
Join us in the final get out the vote sprint with phone banking at the DNC!

Please bring a laptop or tablet, and a cell phone with a charger, and FRIENDS!
When: Tuesday, November 7, 9:00am-7:00pm
Where: DNC, 430 South Capitol Street SE (Capitol South Metro stop)

Kickboxing pop-up at YogaWorks: get the first class free!

If you're looking to get into shape, just got this announcement about a new kickboxing class at YogaWorks on 14th just north of Florida Avenue. And there's a free code for the first class! Read on.
I am thrilled to announce a 7 class cardio kickboxing pop up class in DC. Classes will be held @ YogaWorks on 14th Street. Classes will be held from 7:40 AM to 8:20 AM on the following dates: 
· November: 14th, 21st, 28th
· December: 5th, 12th, 19th
· January: 9th 
BoldBox is a cardio-centric kickboxing class with kicks and punches set to an amazing playlist. No bags and no wraps needed. Being a champion is a lifestyle, and this class will train you to be fighting machine in your everyday life. Most classes will have 4 rounds: the warm up, the hustle, the knockout and the cool down. 
Come join the first class on us! Enter the promo code "BOLDBEATSVIP" into 'Enter Promotional Code' in the Eventbrite! (before 11/14). You can register here.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Caribbean pop-up coming to EatsPlace on Georgia Avenue Fri. & Sat. Nov 3 & 4

If you like Caribbean food, or just want to try something new, swing by food incubator EatsPlace on Georgia this Friday and Saturday for Littles, their latest pop-up. It's a Caribbean spot from Brooklyn-born chef Terry Tomlinson who learned to cook from his Jamaican mother and grandmother. They'll have meat, vegetarian and vegan options, plus drinks, beer and a kids' menu. Here's more from EatsPlace, sounds pretty tasty:

WHAT:  Littles: Caribbean Pop-up at EatsPlace  
WHEN:  Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4, 2017 starts at 5:00pm - kitchen closes at 9:00 pm

Warm up with Caribbean dishes from the Littles pop-up at EatsPlace. Imagined through the creative and innovative lens of Chef Terry Tomlinson and his wife, Littles brings alive the spirit and flavors of American and Caribbean cuisine in a rich fusion. At Littles, the plates are designed to be shared. This pop-up's goal is simple: to source the best authentic Caribbean and local ingredients, that can be enjoyed with good friends, conversation and music!

One of Chef Terry's missions is to make Caribbean food healthful for the body and soul and embrace vegan diners. In addition to classic curry and jerk meats, there will vegan entrees and sides. Entrees include vegan curry shrimp; veggie tails, a version with all the island flavor but no oxtails; and creamy mac'n'cheese. 

  • Curry Chicken (Spicy): Chicken, onions, scallion, peppers in a spicy curry sauce, served with rice $7.00
  • Fried Whiting Nuggets: Whiting strips fried in a mild batter $6.00
  • Jerk Chicken Sliders (3): Ground chicken with authentic jerk seasoning, provolone cheese and caramelized onions $8.00
  • Mac and Cheese $4.00 

  • Veggie Tail: A stew made of butter beans, potatoes, peppers, onions, scallions and veggie meat.  Served with rice $9.00
  • Vegetable Curry: Carrots, chickpeas, potatoes, peppers, sautéed in a curry sauce. $5.00
  • Vegan Curry Shrimp: Jumbo Vegan Shrimp Prawns, onions, scallion, peppers in a spicy curry sauce, served with rice $9.00
  • Vegan Potato Salad: Potatoes, vegan mayo, vegan eggs, vegan mustard $5.00
  • Vegan Mac and Cheese $5.00 

  • Cabbage $2.00       
  • French Fries $2.00             
  • Rice (White or Rice and Peas) $2.00
  • Sweet Yams $2.00

  • Chicken Nuggets with your choice of french fries or mac and cheese $3.00
  • Fish Sticks with your choice of french fries or mac and cheese $4.00
  • Grilled Cheese with your choice of french fries or mac and cheese $3.00
  • Mac and Cheese $3.00
  • Vegan Mac and Cheese $4.00

About Chef Terry Tomlinson:
Chef Terry Tomlinson, born Brooklyn NY to Jamaican parents, had a keen interest in cooking at an early age. By the time he was 6 years old, he started cooking under the careful guidance of his grandmother and mother. Upon establishing himself in the Bronx, Chef Terry began cooking for others the Caribbean dishes he made growing up.  

In addition to being a chef, Terry holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and started his own management consulting firm, Corporate Portfolio Management Solutions (CPMS).  

About EatsPlace: 
EatsPlace is a food business incubator and restaurant accelerator with a focus on community development, and sustainability with locations in Washington DC and Virginia. EatsPlace provides training programs for culinary entrepreneurs, and gives them use of a licensed commercial kitchen and retail space, as well as business support and mentorship. For more information visit or follow EatsPlace on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @EatsPlace.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Neighborhood cleanup on Saturday, Nov. 4 with free hot chocolate at Walls of Books

The monthly neighborhood cleanup is coming up, this Saturday, November 4th: it's a good opportunity to meet your neighbors and help the area look nicer, and this month there will be free hot chocolate.

It starts at 10am, meet outside Walls of Books at 3325. Then afterwards, there will be free hot chocolate at Walls of Books, courtesy of Compass real estate agent Jason Cohen.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Where are all the Halloween decorations in our area?

Halloween is upon us, but I get the sense our area isn't really in the spirit -- I have yet to see a good display around. In contrast, a friend posted this awesome display up in Brightwood Park: tombstones for the the Nats' season :( , Humpty Dumpty, the President of the Virgin Islands and other funny stuff.

There's usually a good display on 13th near Monroe, but I haven't been by there lately. Has anybody else spotted some good ones? The best one I've seen is a surprise zombie on Newton near 6th Street, but I won't spoil it.

Target has lots of decorations still, some pretty inexpensive!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fish in the Hood starts fundraiser to help them reopen after fire

Neighborhood mainstay Fish in the Hood on Georgia Avenue caught fire in April, and they're still working to rebuild afterwards. They've just launched a fundraiser to help with repairs and new equipment. The fire was a big one too, it took firefighters about half an hour to put it out.

The restaurant has been open for decades and has been the subject of numerous articles as it survived as the neighborhood changed over the years. It's a tasty spot, if you haven't been give them a shot -- or a few bucks to help them get back on their feet. Their insurance covered some but not all of the damage.

Here's the fundraiser, currently at about $3,600 of $10,000.

(h/t DCist)